Imagine an evening where you just around with your closest friends or family, and all you do is play music for each other. No TV or video games. No texting. Just a bunch of songs and some great conversations about what you love, or don't love and why.
It's kind of a fantasy — a nice idea that almost never really happens — but for the past few years, All Songs Considered has been hosting listening parties that get pretty close to that fantasy. We fill a club or auditorium with music lovers. We have a panel of two or three guests on stage: some friends, some colleagues, maybe a musician or two. And we play songs. Everyone in the room, on stage and off, has a stack of cards numbered 1 through 10. And as we listen, everyone rates the music. A "1" means you pretty much hate the song and a "10" means you're over-the-moon in love with it. And then we talk about the songs. It gets heated sometimes.
We recently hosted a listening party in Washington, D.C, with Bob on stage and Robin in the audience. Three guests sit on the panel — NPR Music's Stephen Thompson, Katie Alice Greer (singer for the D.C. band Priests) and Emily White, who runs the artists management company Whitesmith Entertainment. Everybody brought songs to share with the audience, but we began with one of Bob's picks, a song that should be familiar to regular All Songs listeners.
You can hear the entire listening party with the link above, or just the songs featured below.