Tiny Desk Concerts

12:03pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Taken By Trees: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 2:19 pm

Taken by Trees performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 12, 2012.
Lauren Rock NPR

The power of Taken by Trees lies in understatement. Victoria Bergsman sings almost as if she doesn't care — but that contrast to almost every other singer I know is what makes me hear her words, and grants me space to think about her emotions. It's almost as if she etches the lines of a song and leaves listeners to fill in the rest.

Read more

12:27pm

Mon November 26, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Martha Wainwright: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 2:37 pm

Martha Wainwright performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 15, 2012.
Ryan Smith Ryan Smith/NPR

Martha Wainwright's songs examine uncomfortable moments and life experiences gone wrong, but as she acknowledges in between songs at this Tiny Desk Concert, she often has to fudge her own life story to make the details more unsettling. ("Take everything with a grain of salt," she says, "except the good stuff.") What she does is the opposite of sugarcoating: She roughs up life's smooth spots, then digs her fingertips into the cracks that form.

Read more

1:17pm

Mon November 19, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Ben Gibbard: Tiny Desk Concert

Benjamin Gibbard performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices on Nov. 8, 2012.
Lauren Rock NPR

Ben Gibbard has spent so much time at the head of various bands — Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, All-Time Quarterback — that it's easy to forget how well his sweetly brainy songs work in a solo acoustic setting. His melodies are sturdy enough to withstand skeletal arrangements, and though his persona is unassuming by nature, he remains a charismatic and charming live performer.

Read more

12:03pm

Mon November 12, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Flaco Jimenez: Tiny Desk Concert

Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca play a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 3.
Lauren Rock NPR

Watching Flaco Jimenez play his button accordion is like looking back in time. His grandfather started playing an accordion in cantinas and family parties along the Texas/Mexican border around the late 1800s. Then Flaco's dad, Santiago Jimenez Sr., carried on the family tradition when he released his first record in 1936.

Read more

12:40pm

Mon November 5, 2012
Tiny Desk Concerts

Jason Lytle: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 12:58 pm

Jason Lytle performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Sept. 28.
Ryan Smith NPR

Sometimes, it's hard to know what constitutes a band. Billy Corgan wrote and sang all the songs for The Smashing Pumkpins and still records under the name, even though the other original members are long gone. Same deal with James Mercer and The Shins.

Read more

Pages