It was raining the day we met up with John Darnielle and The Mountain Goats at Portland's Aladdin Theater. It was the kind of soaked, gray day typical of December in the Pacific Northwest, but for Darnielle, it was also a reminder of the dark time he spent living here years ago. "By noon, I was 18 years old again and mad as hell," he said.
Hear a song sung by Bob Boilen for the RPM Challege a few years ago
I love a deadline and every February I get one. Thanks to The Wire, a small New Hampshire magazine that started the tradition in 2006, I make an album every year. They call it the RPM Challenge, and the challenge is this: write and record an album in the time between the first and last days of February. To qualify as an album, it just needs to be 10 songs or 35 minutes of music.
Somehow, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith makes a case of the deep blues sound sweet. The new album Forever Endeavour is his 13th, and the songs show him, at midlife, reflecting a lot on the passage of time.
"I think there's always something comforting about sad songs," Sexsmith says. "It's a shared thing that everyone can relate to."
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 8:45 am
The members of How To Destroy Angels, a collective featuring Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, his wife and singer Mariqueen Maandig, art director Rob Sheridan and the brilliant composer Atticus Ross, have an unambiguously grim view of where civilization is headed. In a new video for the song "How Long," from the band's upcoming album Welcome Oblivion, man hunts man in (surprise) a terrifying, dystopian future.
Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 8:50 am
On this week's episode, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton are back with their latest mix, including a hard-to-find track from Thom Yorke's latest project, Atoms For Peace. The song "What The Eyeballs Did," doesn't appear on the band's upcoming album, Amok. But if you do some digging on the group's website, you'll find a hidden link to download it.