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"
"Move"
"All Of Me"
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Postby jamel-d on Thu May 17, 2018 2:24 pm

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Postby mfaith on Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:37 pm

For the DMB fans



Stephen Thompson wrote: When you go to a Dave Matthews Band concert, you expect a super-sized performance, complete with expansive solos and a nice, long set list. So when Matthews shed his backing players to swing by the Tiny Desk for a solo gig, he couldn't just knock out three songs and bail. Instead, he played a set so long — so defiantly un-Tiny — that his between-song banter could have filled a Tiny Desk concert on its own.

After a bit of judicious trimming, we're still left with this warm, winning, utterly game, happily overstuffed performance, which balances songs from Dave Matthews Band's new album Come Tomorrow ("Samurai Cop," "Here on Out") with older material (1998's "Don't Drink the Water," 2012's "Mercy") and a deeper cut from his 2003 solo album ("So Damn Lucky"). And, we had to leave in some of Matthews' banter, which includes a priceless bit in which he enthusiastically illustrates some of the many differences between playing on stage with a band and sitting at an office desk with an acoustic guitar.


SET LIST
"Samurai Cop (Oh Joy Begin)"
"Here on Out"
"Don't Drink the Water"
"Mercy"
"So Damn Lucky"
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Postby mfaith on Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:37 pm


Abby O'Neill wrote:It had been nearly a decade since Rakim released new music, but that drought ended Friday when the godfather of rap lyricism and one half of the revered duo Eric B & Rakim released a new song, "King's Paradise." The track was written for Season 2 of Marvel's Luke Cage, which premiered on Netflix the same day, but it wasn't entirely new to select NPR staff; they heard it days earlier when the God MC performed at the Tiny Desk.

The New York rap icon wasn't the only legend in the building that day. Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest — who produced and co-wrote "King's Paradise" with keyboardist Adrian Younge under their new project The Midnight Hour — played bass, and rising blues torchbearer Christone "Kingfish" Ingram sat in on guitar.

"King's Paradise" pays homage to the heroes of the Harlem Renaissance as well as its fictional superhero, the bulletproof Luke Cage. Rakim tipped his hat to Philip Payton Jr., Joe Lewis, Lena Horne, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou and Louis Armstrong, before concluding with a few bars about the comic book-inspired series.

Younge then led the nine-member backing band through two of Rakim's undeniable classics: "Paid in Full" and "Know the Ledge." For the former, drummer David Henderson rolled right in with the unmistakable breakbeat, — originally sampled from The Soul Searchers "Ashley's Roachclip." Muhammad, who's been playing bass since age 19 despite being known for his production and DJ work, provided the low end for "Know The Ledge."

Rakim released his first single 32 years ago, yet the timbre of his voice and Dali Llama aura remain strong. Let's hope this is the beginning of another renaissance.

Set List

"King's Paradise"
"Paid In Full"
"Know The Ledge"

MUSICIANS
Rakim (vocals), Adrian Younge (keys), Ali Shaheed Muhammad (bass), Jack Waterson (guitar), David Henderson (drums), Loren Oden (vocals), Saudia Mills (vocals), Angela Munoz (vocals), Stephanie Yu (violin), Bryan Hernandez-Luch (violin), DeAndre Shaifer (trumpet) , Jordan Pettay (saxophone), Joi Gilliam (vocalist), Christone Ingram (Kingfish) (guitar)
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Postby mfaith on Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:24 pm

This was pretty rad! Wasn't sure what to expect when they all came in dressed like that. I'd say the music fit the wardrobe pretty well. :D



Bob Boilen wrote:It was a late night at an unfamiliar club in Austin, Texas when the spirit, sound, lights and costumes of the Golden Dawn Arkestra put a huge, dreamy smile on my face. It took more than three years to get ten of the players and performers in this band (there are often even more) to my desk. I tried to transform the bright daylight of the NPR office with some of my handy, previously used holiday laser lights. But honestly, it wasn't until their psychedelic jazz kicked in that the office transformation felt real. Band leader, Topaz squawked through his megaphone to join them on their journey, while singing "Children of the Sun."

Topaz told me that the band's inspiration for both the name and the spirit of the musicians is loosely based on the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The organization, devoted to the study of the occult and paranormal activities, has been around since the 19th century.

Both of Topaz's parents were heavily into spiritual movements and what happens here falls somewhere between high art and a circus, with music that feels connected to Sun Ra's jazz, the extended musical adventures of The Doors and the surprise elements of Parliament-Funkadelic. You can dance and/or trance, or sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

SET LIST
"Children of the Sun"
"The Wolf"
"Masakayli"

MUSICIANS
"Zapot Mgawi" Topaz McGarrigle (Vocals, Organ, Synth), "Zumbi" Chris Richards (Trombone, Vocals), "Malika" Sarah Malika Boudissa (Baritone Sax, Vocals), "Isis of Devices" Laura Scarborough (Vocals, Vibraphone), "Yeshua Villon" Josh Perdue (Guitar), "Shabuki" Greg Rhoades (Bass), "Lost In Face" Rob Kidd (Drums), "Oso the Great" Alex Marrero (Percussion), "Rosietoes" Christinah Rose Barnett (Vocals, Tambourine)
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