NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series

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Postby hunkster on Wed May 16, 2018 7:46 pm

Banks - I watched this one at least 20 times. Amazing vocals and cute, too :)

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 vocalists, especially those accustomed to heavy production, effects or — in the case of recent guest T-Pain — generous dollops of Auto-Tune. T-Pain's effects-less set grabbed more attention at the time, given the extent to which digital alterations are expected of him, but this performance by Banks is, in its own way, an even greater high-wire act. Banks' terrific full-length debut, Goddess, is constructed out of layer upon layer of electronics, beats, samples and other means of submerging the singer's voice in swirling accoutrements. With assistance from keyboardist/guitarist John Anderson and percussionist Derek Taylor, she's not all alone behind the Tiny Desk, but her expressive voice is fully exposed here. Kicking off her three-song set with "Beggin For Thread," Banks sets the scene in vulnerable, breathily seething fashion before opening the throttle in her choruses. On record, she's placed at the center of lavish productions, each suitable for throbbing remixes and banks of swirling lights. At the Tiny Desk, though, she serves notice that she's a powerful singer in her own right — and that heavy production needn't be the product of necessity. --STEPHEN THOMPSON

Set List:
"Beggin For Thread" 0:01
"Alibi" 4:23
"Brain" 8:04
Last edited by hunkster on Thu May 17, 2018 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby hunkster on Thu May 17, 2018 11:37 am

Thanks mfaith - updated

Here's John Legend's performance. His voice is SOOOO incredibly good.

At 34, John Legend has sold millions of records, won nine Grammys, collaborated with many of the biggest stars in music (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, The Roots, et al), and achieved the kind of statesmanlike musical-ambassador status usually afforded to artists twice his age. He is, in short, the sort of star who doesn't usually perform behind desks in offices. But once we'd wedged a piano back there, Legend sounded perfectly at home. His rich, soulful voice never suffered for a lack of processing and production as he performed three songs for NPR Music and a few hundred of our rapt coworkers, loved ones and hangers-on. Though he recently released a fine new album titled Love in the Future, from which "Made to Love" and "All of Me" were drawn for this set, Legend took special care to provide the backstory for "Move," which he'd recorded for the soundtrack to 12 Years a Slave. Legend executive-produced that soundtrack himself — don't be surprised if you wind up hearing him perform "Move" again on Oscar night — and recorded the album version with U.K. musician Fink. Here, though, it's stripped down considerably, with just Legend's piano and the acoustic guitar of guest Bobby Anderson providing accompaniment. Legend doesn't play settings this intimate very often, and it's not as if he has anything to prove at this point in his career. But, just in case he did, he retains a busker's lung capacity, the charisma of a born star and the easygoing grace of a performer fit for any stage — even a tiny one. --STEPHEN THOMPSON

Set List
"Made To Love"
"All Of Me"
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Postby jamel-d on Thu May 17, 2018 2:24 pm

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