Slideshow: All Songs Considered in Portland
On tour like rock stars, All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, producer Robin Hilton and the crew strolled into Mississippi Studios earlier this week all set to hang out with about 200 Portland music fans as part of a series of listening parties they're hosting around the country.
Boilen started All Songs Considered in 2000 after receiving feedback that listeners would like to know more about the music that he played between stories on All Things Considered. Since then, All Songs has become a fixture of independent music and has spawned other NPR Music platforms like the Tiny Desk Concerts which are recorded literally in front of Boilen's desk.
Portland's vibrant independent music scene made the city a great location for the listening party. And that's just what Boilen, Hilton and the crowd did: they hung out and listened to music.
In fact, Boilen simply took to the stage with his laptop and shuffled through an iTunes playlist in front of the packed house. He played an introductory sampling of a song, then solicited responses from the audience. About 45 or 50 seconds into a track, Boilen initiated a vote, asking the crowd to hold up number cards labeled from 1 to 10 to express their appreciation or disapproval of the song.
Hilton ferried a microphone to members of the audience who shared their thoughts on the song.
There was also a celebrity panel, as Portlandia costars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, who are musicians themselves, shared the stage with Boilen and provided quips, occasionally peppered with poignant commentary about the music.
Brownstein, member of the band Wild Flag, was able to use her industry connections to obtain an unreleased and unmastered track from Menomena. The Portland-based band is set to release a new album this fall, and their new song "Plumage" received mostly 9's and 10's from the audience.
At times during the evening, it seemed like Boilen was testing the crowd's musical chops, selecting obscure tracks like "Country Life" from Jeff the Brotherhood and Lost Sounds' "I get nervous." But the audience surprised Boilen with their familiarity with his picks, including their knowledge of the classic '80s punk band Bow Wow Wow's "C30, C60, C90 Go."
"That's it! We're just going to do the show from Portland and bring the whole thing here," joked Boilen.
Check out our slideshow of the All Songs Considered listening party and get a look at the Playlist below.
ALL SONGS CONSIDERED: THE PORTLAND PLAYLIST
- "Country Life" Hypnotic Life - JEFF The Brotherhood
- "I Get Nervous" Lost Sounds - Lost Sounds
- "Oblivion" Visions - Grimes
- "Sun" Sun - Cat Power
- "The Ocean" Houses of the Holy - Led Zeppelin
- "Lazarus" Love This Giant - David Byrne & St. Vincent
- "C30 C60 C90, Go!" Girl Bites Dog - Bow Wow Wow
- "Hot Knife" The Idler Wheel... - Fiona Apple
- "Familiar" Felt - Nils Frahm
- "Plumage" Moms - Menomena
- "Red Crown" Aesthethica - Liturgy
- "Cashback" The Cherry Thing - Neneh Cherry & The Thing
- "Misunderstanding" Duke - Genesis
What do YOU think of the playlist? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!