I stumbled across the “Tiny Desk Concerts” archive today. And I’d forgotten how epic it was. NPR is a music website with a bit of everything; live streams, articles/news/interviews, reviews, downloads, and so on. But one of the things I love is the tiny desk concert.
NPR gets a band to come in to their office building. They stick them in an office, behind a desk. They get them to play a concert. They record it and stick it online. Apart from the fact that they have awesome offices with all sorts of music and books and cool things I wish I have in an office, the concept is great.
They’ve had Adele in there, the Civil Wars, The Decemberists, the Swell Season, Iron and Wine and Los Lobos. There are 2 things I love about them in particular. Firstly, you get to see more of the actual people behind the music; it’s an intimate setting, it’s not just cut up into songs, and there is often conversation between the musicians and the staff who are in there watching – you just see what they are actually like, rather than JUST their music. Secondly, they do a whole range of stuff. Whether it’s larger indie or folk bands with an assortment of instruments, or a single vocalist, or a cellist just on their instrument, they’ve done it. I don’t know a lot of the names, and I never know quite what I’ll get from it. Have a look over at the archive. Here’s one that I really enjoyed, that with the Swell Season. It’s a little lengthy, but definitely worth a look! Also, I love Hansard’s guitar.