Hip-hop’s resident bucket-hat strange boy, Tyler, the Creator, stopped by NPR’s offices to perform not only his own Tiny Desk debut, but also to induct the first evening version of the Tiny Desk gig. Distinguishing the switch, instead of the custom clear natural light setting across the afternoon cubicles, vibrant backdrop lighting of deep fuschia, electric blue, and blood red drenched the typical work space, as it transformed into an intimate club atmosphere. Which, according to NPR, was the result of Tyler’s own request and the work of his hired lighting team. Continue reading →
To kick off the month of May, the folks at NPR Music brought their #TinyDeskContest tour to Philadelphia for a terrific night of music for a sold out crowd at World Cafe Live upstairs featuring some of our favorite artists from the city: high-energy hip-hop bands Hardwork Movement and ILL DOOTS, ethereal electronic singer and songwriter Aphra and expressive rockers Maitland. Check out scenes from the night below, care of our photographer Rachel Del Sordo.
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Heritage singer-songwriter Aimee Mann returned this year with her first album in five years, Mental Illness, and she recently stopped by NPR Music’s offices to showcase the new music for Bob Boilen and the team. “Clearly, there’s a deep honesty within these songs,” writes Boilen, who praises Mann for her long-running use of humor in songs to offset more melancholic themes. Below, watch her perform “Rollercoasters,” “You Never Loved Me,” “Goose Snow Cone” and “Patient Zero.” Continue reading →
Chicano Batman recently packed their eclectic ensemble into NPR’s office for a Tiny Desk concert full of suave, smooth and spirited grooves. As per usual of the Californian four-piece, the dapper band was dressed to the nines as they performed three songs, including “Freedom Is Free,” “Friendship (Is A Small Boat In A Storm,)” and “Jealousy.” Continue reading →
Earlier this month, the team at NPR Music announced the return of its Tiny Desk Concert to Philadelphia. Set for Tuesday, May 2nd at World Cafe Live upstairs, it showcases standout local participants in the 2017 contest: hip hop big band Hardwork Movement as well as the like-minded ILL DOOTS, and today we bring you news of two additional artists.
Joining the bill is Aphra, the emotive electropop project of singer/songwriter/producer Rebecca Way, which released its debut LP Sadness is a Gesture this winter via startup Bay Area label Inherent Sounds. Also performing is Maitland, the anthemic rock outfit of singer and songwriter Josh Hines; they have a new album en route this summer, and just recorded an impressive Key Studio Session.
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After a lively third year of over 6000 entries and a knockout winning video from New Orleans outfit Tank & The Bangas, NPR Music is once again taking its Tiny Desk Contest on the road, and it swings through Philadelphia on May 2 at World Cafe Live.
The all-Philly lineup will feature two hip-hop bands near and dear to The Key’s hearts. ILL DOOTS, a South Philly collective that just recorded a Key Studio Session last month, will perform after delivering an impressive Tiny Desk submission featuring their stirring and socially conscious anthem “Black Matter.” Hardwork Movement, a band we’ve loved since hearing their first single “Shine” a year and a half ago, is also on the bill on the strength of their breathtaking new “Becca’s Jam,” making its debut in their Tiny Desk submission. Two more artists will be announced closer to the event; stay tuned for more on that. Continue reading →
Bob Boilen and the NPR Music Tiny Desk team swings through Philly tonight to celebrate the city’s 130+ submissions to the national Tiny Desk Contest. Performing are three stand-out artists from the ranks, including art-pop ensemble Tutlie, singer-songwriter Joy Ike and rapper The Bul Bey (who totally knocked out a performance at Sunday night’s benefit show for Beyond the Bars). Tickets are free with RSVP, so sign up here and see you tonight!
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XPN favorites Wilco have always been known for their largely rocking and experimental, and musically intense live shows, however, in quiet beauty the band shows another side of themselves.
Wilco recently stopped by the NPR Music for a Tiny Desk Concert to play acoustic versions of new and old songs. They opened their set with “The Joke Explained” from their most recent album, Star Wars, a rollicking country rock song featuring guitar virtuoso Nels Cline on slide. They followed up with “Misunderstood,” a melodic ballad that captures everything that is great about the band, introspective storytelling lyrics about inner-self and strange atonal mumblings that channel Jeff Tweedy’s former crippling migranes. Continue reading →