Audio Only: Noah And The Whale's Tiny Desk Concert
The NPR Music offices have hosted a remarkable array of instruments in the years since we launched the Tiny Desk Concerts series: harps, koras, a pipa, a pipe organ and many more surprises, to go with the expected scores of guitars, violins and muted snare drums.
Audio Only: They Might Be Giants' Tiny Desk Concert
The notion of being a geek has changed drastically since They Might Be Giants started out way back in 1982: Where geekhood once entailed social isolation and tastes too esoteric to accommodate broad social interaction, it's now worn like a badge of honor, embraced by diehards and dabblers alike. During They Might Be Giants' commercial rise in the late 1980s, finding fans of the band meant doing some winnowing.
It's nice to discover a new voice on your own, but it's just as nice when it comes recommended from someone you trust. That's how Y La Bamba came my way: Los Lobos sax man and producer Steve Berlin slipped one of the band's CDs into my hand and said, "Listen to this voice." I'm glad he did, because I instantly became captivated by the sound of singer Luzelena Mendoza.
Audio Only: Joe Boyd And Robyn Hitchcock's Tiny Desk Concert
Joe Boyd's name popped up on many of the records I loved in the 1960s and '70s. I remember seeing him listed on an Incredible String Band album, and then later on an early Pink Floyd album; then Nick Drake, Fairport Convention, John Martyn, Shirley Collins.
The numbers alone bear out The Blind Boys of Alabama's status as one of the greatest and most venerated gospel groups the world has ever known. Formed under a different name in 1939, the band has understandably experienced many lineup changes in the 72 years since: Singer Jimmy Carter is the only participant in this lineup billed as a founding member, and even that term is up for debate.