Tiny Desk Concerts
St. Paul And The Broken Bones12/14/14
Close your eyes and listen, and you might imagine someone who looks a bit like Otis Redding. Open them, and you're likely to see someone who looks more like your neighborhood bank teller.That man standing on my desk in the golden shoes is Paul...
Dublin Guitar Quartet
Don't ask the members of the Dublin Guitar Quartet to play the time-honored classics of the Spanish repertoire. They might play traditional Spanish style classical guitars, but they're not your standard guitar ensemble. The Dubliners are strictly...
Sam Amidon & Bill Frisell
Sam Amidon takes traditional music and makes it his own. He might begin with a traditional murder ballad and then morph it into something of his own, fueled by Bill Frisell's languidly atmospheric guitar, Shahzad Ismaily's minimal but essential...
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo do mock-bickering as well as any long-married couple – which, of course, is exactly what they are. More notably, they've formed a commercial and creative juggernaut spanning more than three decades, with the Brooklyn-born...
The loudest guy in the world came to the Tiny Desk to perform some of his quietest music. Dinosaur Jr.'s J Mascis, for years a guy who's turned my ears red, showed up armed with just an acoustic guitar. I even had an amp for that guitar all lined up,...
Davíd Garza was already a favorite son for folks in Austin when I discovered a collection of his past works, filled with stunning songwriting and a voice that seemed familiar yet new. Once I heard his music, I knew I'd always look forward to whatever...
Roomful Of Teeth
Mix a bit of yodeling with Tuvan throat singing, add in a pinch of Sardinian cantu a tenore, fold in compositions from cutting-edge composers and you have the vocal group Roomful of Teeth. This eight-voice ensemble, which includes the 2013 Pulitzer...
When Los Lobos' Steve Berlin sent me an audio file of a band he was producing, I stopped what I was doing and listened closely. There was something about the energy coming from Enrique Chi's vocals as the rest of Making Movies enveloped him in...
Sun Ra Arkestra
Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left...
Tiny Desk Concerts often require creative and logistical transformations, from electric bands going acoustic to big bands squashing into a tiny space to many players gathering around a single microphone. But the setting is particularly challenging for...
T-Pain's fingerprints are all over pop and R&B and hip-hop. He wasn't the first musician to use Auto-Tune as an instrument — he noticed it on a Jennifer Lopez remix, and remembers "Deep" well — but it was, as he says, his style. For a while, in the...
Danish String Quartet
An abundance of facial hair is not restricted to the sensitive male indie-rocker set. Three of the four players in the Danish String Quartet could easily pass for hipster Brooklyn beard farmers. "We are simply your friendly neighborhood string quartet...
Anthony D'Amatosings and writes in the tradition ofBruce SpringsteenorJosh Ritter: His songs sound friendly musically, but they also tackle the difficult and the twisted. Like those great songwriters, D'Amato's work is universal without devolving into...
When he was 20, Ásgeir Trausti Einarsson released an album in Iceland, sung in Icelandic, with many of the words written by his father. Dýrð í dauðaþögn became the biggest-selling debut in Icelandic music history. A year or so later, he rerecorded...
The Bots' members are brothers and bandmates whose playful, catchy songs rock hard. Singer-guitarist Mikaiah Lei is 21 and drummer Anaiah Lei is 17; they made their first album when they were 15 and 12, respectively. Pink Palms is their newest and...
My admiration forJackson Brownebegan with his first album in 1971. I was wowed by the fact that the singer-songwriter had worked with Nico of Velvet Underground fame — his girlfriend at the time — on her first album,Chelsea Girl.He wrote one of my...
Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
Even if you've never been to a jazz concert in your life, it's likely that you've heard Ryan Keberle play trombone. He's toured withSufjan Stevens, backed up pop stars like Alicia Keys and Justin Timberlake, recorded for a Woody Allen film, played in...
Latino migration in the U.S. has placed people of Afro-Caribbean heritage all over the country. Bio Ritmo's heritage leads directly back to that migration — and to the sound of Fania Records, which fueled Latin dance music's transition from the...
There's something heartwarming about a family making music together. I'm especially sentimental when I see a father with a son, because my son and I made music in contra dance bands and Irish sessions as he grew up.Years ago, while interviewing Jeff...
I've spent more time listening to Luluc's second album, Passerby, than any other album this year. It's a calming, seemingly effortless affair: a marriage of graceful singing and storytelling, with guitars and textures that help create an unforgettable...
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