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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.

Lydia Loveless: Tiny Desk Concert

For 23-year-old singer-guitarist Lydia Loveless, gritty, countrified blues-rock is a palette broad enough to include literary drama — complete with fatalistic references to the doomed French poets Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud — and a plainspoken plea for oral sex. In fact, "Head" and "Verlaine Shot Rimbaud" (both of which appear on this year's terrific Somewhere Else) pop up back-to-back in this subdued but seething three-song Tiny Desk Concert, which Loveless recorded with the help of her full touring band.

Loveless follows "Head" and "Verlaine" with "Mile High," an even newer single (released with a cover of Kesha's "Blind" as a B-side) she'd just put out as a 7" on Record Store Day. Taken together, the three songs — performed, as Loveless notes wryly, with very little audience eye contact — paint a smart, no-nonsense picture of a smart, no-nonsense talent.

Set List

  • "Head"
  • "Verlaine Shot Rimbaud"
  • "Mile High"
  • Credits

    Producers: Denise DeBelius, Stephen Thompson; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Olivia Merrion; Production Assistant: Alex Schelldorf; photo by Alex Schelldorf/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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