THE BEST Npr

M. Ward: Tiny Desk Concert

M. Ward: Tiny Desk Concert

Singer-songwriter M. Ward sits down on his couch for a truly intimate acoustic guitar set that will transport you a kinder and gentler time and place. Along the way, you’ll enjoy classic tracks like Chinese Translation, and new ones like Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show from his 2020 album Migration Stories.

Sa-Roc: Tiny Desk Concert

Sa-Roc: Tiny Desk Concert

With the NPR offices temporarily off-limits, they’re continuing the Tiny Desk series with new episodes recorded at musicians’ homes. Here, MC Sa-Roc brings her smooth blend of hip hop, soul, social commentary, and spiritualism to bear, with a set of four poetic tracks loaded with meaningful messages. That’s Sol Messiah on DJ duties.

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Wire: Tiny Desk Concert

Wire: Tiny Desk Concert

Formed way back in 1976, Wire was one of the most influential bands in the UK punk rock scene. So it’s pretty awesome that three of the band’s original members still get together and make music. In this NPR Tiny Desk Concert, they performed a mix of classic and new tracks, which meld as if they were all recorded in the same era.

Star Wars: The Radio Drama

Star Wars: The Radio Drama

Back in the ’80s and ’90s, NPR produced a series of broadcasts that retold the original Star Wars trilogy as a radio drama. Using original audio recordings of the series, combined with movie music and sound effects, Nigel Langes compiled all of the episodes into a playlist of three videos, running about 11 hours in total.

The Black Crowes: Tiny Desk Concert

The Black Crowes: Tiny Desk Concert

Shortly before the lockdowns began, Chris Robinson and his brother Rich dropped by the NPR offices to perform three of their soul-stirring 1990s tunes stripped down to their essence, including their hits “She Talks to Angels” and “Jealous Again,” along with a lesser-known track, “Wiser Time.”

Rex Orange County: Tiny Desk Concert

Rex Orange County: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Alex O’Connor aka Rex Orange County performs a mini-concert of four soulful and heartfelt tunes, bringing a touch of much needed light into these dark days. We love how he embraces the vibe of 1970s adult contemporary music, but still makes it his own.

Coldplay: Tiny Desk Concert

Coldplay: Tiny Desk Concert

Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland dropped by the NPR offices with a nine-member gospel choir, who provided backing vocals for soulful performances of “Cry Cry Cry,” “Viva La Vida,” “Broken,” a cover of Prince’s “1999,” and their 2019 track “Champion of the World.”

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

Bridget Kibbey: Tiny Desk Concert

One of the things we love about NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert is that it embraces all kinds of music. In this episode, musician Bridget Kibbey wows us with her incredible harp-plucking skills, and fills our ears with the most soothing of sounds.

Los Lobos: Tiny Desk Concert

Los Lobos: Tiny Desk Concert

Christmas arrived early in October when Los Lobos released Llegó Navidad. For a special holiday edition of NPR’s Tiny Desk, the beloved group performed four festive tunes: “Dónde Está Santa Claus,” Freddy Fender’s “It’s Christmas Time In Texas,” the record’s title track, and Llegó Navidad’s sole original, “Christmas and You.”

Sheryl Crow: Tiny Desk Concert

Sheryl Crow: Tiny Desk Concert

The always amazing Sheryl Crow and her ensemble stopped by NPR Music’s studios to perform a true mini concert, playing seven tunes, including classics like All I Wanna Do, A Change Would Do You Good, and If It Makes You Happy, along with tracks off of her collaborative album Threads.

Snarky Puppy: Tiny Desk Concert

Snarky Puppy: Tiny Desk Concert

The members of the jazz collective Snarky Puppy turned in a downright funky mix of keyboards, horns, bass, guitar, violin, and percussion during their appearance at the NPR Music offices. They performed their instrumental tracks Tarova and Xavi, the latter’s complex rhythms with the assistance of the audience.

Kian Soltani: Tiny Desk Concert

Kian Soltani: Tiny Desk Concert

Listen up as NPR’s offices are filled with rich and vibrant sounds made by musician Kian Soltani and his rare Giovanni Grancino cello, made way back in 1680. The tracks are Hungarian Rhapsody by Popper, Nacht und Träume by Schubert (arr. Soltani), and Persian Fire Dance, by Soltani himself. That’s Christopher Schmitt on piano.

Sesame Street Tiny Desk Concert

Sesame Street Tiny Desk Concert

Public television meets public radio with a celebration of Sesame Street’s 50 years on TV, as Big Bird, Ernie, Bert, Grover, Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Abby Cadabby and a few people from the neighborhood regale us with 15 minutes of our childhood favorite earworms.

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Weezer: Tiny Desk Concert

Weezer: Tiny Desk Concert

Rivers Cuomo and gang dropped by the NPR office and turned in a wonderfully underproduced, all-acoustic set, including Longtime Sunshine, a rare 1994 track, the Pinkerton classic Across the Sea, and two tunes off of their recent Black Album.

Blood Orange: Tiny Desk Concert

Blood Orange: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Songwriter and producer Dev Hynes and his amazing band prepared soulful renditions of Blood Orange songs for their NPR Music set. They started off with a chilling performance of By Ourselves before launching into a trio of songs from Negro Swan.

Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

Mac Miller: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Mac Miller shows how much he’s grown both as a rapper and as a person in his sweet visit to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. He performed Small Worlds, What’s the Use and 2009, the latter two from his new album Swimming.

The Midnight Hour: Tiny Desk Concert

The Midnight Hour: Tiny Desk Concert

A Tribe Called Quest’s Ali Shaheed Muhammad and composer Adrian Younge visited NPR Music as the jazz fusion band The Midnight Hour. They played Black Beacon, There Is No Greater Love, Bitches Do Voodoo and Mission, all from their debut album.

GZA: Tiny Desk Concert

GZA: Tiny Desk Concert

“I don’t waste ink, brother, I think. I drop megaton bombs more faster than you blink. ‘Cause rhyme thoughts travel at a tremendous speed.” Watch the Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA perform three tracks from his classic album Liquid Swords alongside brass band The Soul Rebels.

The Breeders: Tiny Desk Concert

The Breeders: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) ’90s alt-rock sensation The Breeders return to the lineup that gave them hits like Cannonball and Divine Hammer. This three song set offers a stripped down and fuzzed-out mix of folk and garage rock, including two from their new album All Nerve.

Big Daddy Kane: Tiny Desk Concert

Big Daddy Kane: Tiny Desk Concert

“So just swing or fling a gathering, try to cling, ’cause It’s a Big Daddy thing.” The Juice Crew’s Big Daddy Kane showed NPR Music that swag is immortal with pared down renditions of Smooth Operator, Ain’t No Half Steppin’ and Raw. Long Live the Kane!

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George Clinton: Tiny Desk Concert

George Clinton: Tiny Desk Concert

Funk’s living legend George Clinton and his band the P-Funk All Stars spread good vibes and infectious energy at NPR Tiny Desk Concert. They performed a trio of classics: Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, One Nation Under A Groove and Give Up the Funk.

Tyler, The Creator: Tiny Desk Concert

Tyler, The Creator: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) Odd Future co-founder Tyler, The Creator graced NPR Music’s first ever nighttime Tiny Desk Concert. He and his band performed Boredom, See You Again and Glitter from his amazing new album Flower Boy.

Billy Corgan: Tiny Desk Concert

Billy Corgan: Tiny Desk Concert

He’s turning into a creepy uncle, but nothing can change the fact that Billy Corgan and The Smashing Pumpkins helped define alternative rock. He recently dropped by NPR Music’s office to perform Tonight, Tonight and two songs from his new solo album, Ogilala.

Benjamin Booker: Tiny Desk Concert

Benjamin Booker: Tiny Desk Concert

NPR Music introduces us to a talent we weren’t acquainted with before, but now that we’ve heard Benjamin Booker’s raspy, soulful voice, we want every single one of his songs. He’s joined by vocalist Saundra Williams, whose gospel sound is a perfect complement.

The Roots & Bilal: Tiny Desk Concert

The Roots & Bilal: Tiny Desk Concert

(PG-13: Language) “Looking for justice and it’s just us. It ain’t fair. There’s a riot going on out there, and it ain’t fair. When your protector is your predator – it ain’t fair.” The Roots and Bilal dropped by NPR to perform their contribution to the soundtrack of Detroit.

Randy Newman: Tiny Desk Concert

Randy Newman: Tiny Desk Concert

The legendary and inimitable singer/songwriter dropped by the NPR Music offices to turn in a captivating performance, filled with the perfect blend of sardonic wit, sentimentality, and raspy vocals we’ve come to appreciate over many decades. Even at age 73, he’s still got it.

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