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Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR's All Songs Considered features your favorite musicians performing at Bob Boilen's desk in the NPR Music office. This is the AUDIO only archive.Are you a fancy A/V nerd and need video? Visit our new Tiny Desk Concert video channel. Eye-popping video and all of the music you've come to expect.

Of Montreal: Tiny Desk Concert

About halfway into Of Montreal's Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices, I showed a friend a Post-It note on which I'd just scribbled, "Was I wrong to expect more of a decadent, pan-sexual carnival?" I'd thought we were going to need to throw plastic sheeting over our desks, like at a GWAR concert, and there we were, watching a miniaturized Of Montreal — just Kevin Barnes solo, albeit with the assistance of singer Rebecca Cash and guitarist Bryan Poole for "Feminine Effects" — as it strummed its way through three stripped-down songs.

So if you're looking for another side of Barnes' music — for comparison, check out the April 2012 Of Montreal concert we recorded for NPR Music, the description of which includes the words "wildly theatrical," "flamboyant," "synchronized dancing" and "strange, wandering creatures that look like amoebas" — you'll get it here. The singer told us that he'd been working on quieter, more personal material in recent months, and figured the intimate surroundings would be an ideal setting to try it out. The result is a rarely heard side of a band and a frontman for whom theatricality has long been a means of expression rather than an end unto itself.

Set List

  • "Feminine Effects"
  • "Imbecile Rages"
  • "Amphibian Days"
  • Credits

    Producer: Robin Hilton; Editor: Christopher Parks; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks; photo by Christopher Parks/NPR

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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