Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson is an editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he curates Song of the Day, fusses over the placement of commas and appears as a frequent panelist on the podcasts All Songs Considered and Pop Culture Happy Hour. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the weekly NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk.

In 1993, Thompson founded The Onion's entertainment section, The A.V. Club, which he edited until December 2004. In the years since, he has provided music-themed commentaries for the NPR programs Weekend Edition Sunday, Weekend All Things Considered and Morning Edition, on which he earned the distinction of becoming the only member of the NPR Music staff ever to sing on an NPR newsmagazine. (Later, the magic of AutoTune transformed him from a 12th-rate David Archuleta into a fourth-rate Cher.) Thompson's entertainment writing has also run in Paste magazine, The Washington Post and The London Guardian.

During his tenure at The Onion, Thompson edited the 2002 book The Tenacity of the Cockroach: Conversations with Entertainment's Most Enduring Outsiders (Crown) and copy-edited six best-selling comedy books. While there, he also coached The Onion's softball team to a sizzling 21-42 record, and was once outscored 72-0 in a span of 10 innings. Later in life, Thompson redeemed himself by teaming up with the small gaggle of fleet-footed twentysomethings who won the 2008 NPR Relay Race, a triumph he documents in a hard-hitting essay for the forthcoming anthology This Is NPR: The First Forty Years (Chronicle).

A 1994 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Thompson now lives in Silver Spring, Md., with his two children and a Frogger machine. His hobbies include watching reality television without shame, eating Pringles until his hand has involuntarily twisted itself into a gnarled claw, using the size of his Twitter following to assess his self-worth, touting the immutable moral superiority of the Green Bay Packers and maintaining a fierce rivalry with all Midwestern states other than Wisconsin.

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Concerts
1:02 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

Sigur Rós, Live In Concert From Celebrate Brooklyn

Sigur Ros performs at Celebrate Brooklyn's Prospect Park Bandshell on July 31, 2012.
Ryan Muir for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 9:55 am

Sigur Rós could be forgiven for sounding better on record than in concert. The Icelandic band's songs either billow out deliberately or stomp majestically, and in every case entail the building of layers upon intricate sonic layers. Plus, singer Jónsi — he of the otherworldly voice, singing mostly in a ghostly language of his own devising — is no Mick Jagger when it comes to calling attention to himself.

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All Songs Considered Blog
3:20 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Song Premiere: Meshell Ndegeocello With Valerie June, 'Be My Husband'

Meshell Ndegeocello.
Charlie Gross

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 9:35 am

The word "uneven" gets tossed around in critical parlance to signify artists whose fingers stray from the quality-control button — to suggest that they don't know their own genius when they hear it.

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All Songs Considered Blog
2:15 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Song Premiere: Two Gallants, 'My Love Won't Wait'

Eric Ryan Anderson

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 11:52 am

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First Listen
4:13 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

First Listen: The Gaslight Anthem, 'Handwritten'

The Gaslight Anthem's new album, Handwritten, comes out July 24.
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 4:23 pm

Audio for this feature is no longer available.

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