Bob Boilen is the current host and the creator of NPR's online music show All Songs Considered. He is also the creator of the Tiny Desk Concert series for NPR Music, hosting intimate performances at his desk. The series curated by Boilen and the team of NPR Music was inspired by a comment made by NPR Music's Stephen Thompson when he jokingly invited musician Laura Gibson to perform at Bob's desk. The two of them went to see Gibson at a show at SXSW in 2008 and the loud crowd made it impossible to hear her. The name of the series is a play on the name Tiny Desk Unit, a band Boilen played in from 1979-1981. Bob Boilen was the director of the NPR show All Things Considered (1989–2007) and chose the music between the news stories for that show. Those musical snippets or "buttons" was the starting point for the creation of All Songs Considered.
Bob Boilen writes electronic music with friend Michael Barron; both were founding members of the psychedelic dance band Tiny Desk Unit (1979–1981), for which Boilen played synthesizer. Boilen continues to write music with Michael Barron in a band called Danger Painters and also writes and releases solo music. Boilen also composed the original theme music for Talk of the Nation. From 1982 to 1986 Boilen filled a variety of roles including composer with Baltimore's Impossible Theater. He has also worked as a producer for Channel 50, and produced Science Live for the Discovery Channel. He guest starred as himself in the Season 27 episode of The Simpsons "Gal of Constant Sorrow".