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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!

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.

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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.

Jason Isbell: Tiny Desk Concert

Jason Isbell: Tiny Desk Concert

“In my sleep, I build machines. Nobody wants to hear about my dreams.” Singer-songwriter Jason Isbell and his band The 400 Unit dropped by NPR and turned in a relaxed, yet soul-stirring set of three songs about life and love from their wonderful album The Nashville Sound.

ALA.NI: NPR Tiny Desk Concert

ALA.NI: NPR Tiny Desk Concert

“Just an old fashioned kiss, it gets me hot even in winter. How can I resist? Oh, how you tease me.” British singer-songwriter ALA.NI’s voice is like a perfectly preserved antique from the 1920’s. Watch her perform songs from her debut album You & I.

Tuxedo Live

Tuxedo Live

Tuxedo – the side project of hip-hop producer Jake One and soul artist Mayer Hawthorne – dropped by NPR Music to ooze out pure funk and disco. They played Do It from their debut album, and 2nd Time Around and July from Tuxedo II.

Jay Som Live

Jay Som Live

“I’ll be your old broken TV, your stuttering baby, your puppy when nobody’s home.” Rising indie pop star Jay Som charms NPR Music. She played The Bus Song, Baybee, Lipstick Stains (all from her new album Everybody Works) and I Think You’re Alright.

Chance the Rapper Live

Chance the Rapper Live

(PG-13: Language) Chance the Rapper finally got around to visiting NPR Music’s office. He performed Juke Jam from his latest album, recited a poem that he wrote just for this set, and finished with a cover of Stevie Wonder’s They Won’t Go When I Go.

Aimee Mann: Tiny Desk Concert

Aimee Mann: Tiny Desk Concert

“This song is called ‘You Never Loved Me’ — it’s another extremely cheerful, optimistic number,” Aimee Mann offers up four tracks from her album Mental Illness on NPR’s consistently excellent concert series, accompanied by Jonathan Coulton, Paul Bryan & Jamie Edwards.

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alt-J: Tiny Desk Concert

alt-J: Tiny Desk Concert

5 years after their first appearance on NPR music’s excellent concert series, alt-J returns to their offices to perform with a string trio. The set list includes 3WW and In Cold Blood, from their upcoming album RELAXER, as well as Warm Foothills, and Taro.

Sinkane Live

Sinkane Live

NPR Music recently hosted Ahmed Galleb aka Sinkane. Ahmed and his band draw from free jazz, psych rock and Sudanese pop to create chill and uplifting hippie music. Watch them perform tracks from his recently released album, Life & Livin’ It.

Tank and the Bangas Live

Tank and the Bangas Live

2017 Tiny Desk Contest winner Tank and the Bangas effortlessly combine smooth jazz, spoken word, hip hop, R&B, love and humor. Watch them play one of the best Tiny Desk sets we’ve ever seen. If they don’t blow up globally, there truly is no justice in this world.

BADBADNOTGOOD Live

BADBADNOTGOOD Live

Toronto-based jazz quartet BADBADNOTGOOD proved that they’re more than just about doing hip hop covers with their 2016 album IV, which sees them inevitably slithering their way into soul and funk. They dropped by Tiny Desk Concert to play three tracks from IV.

The Stories Behind Alicia Keys’ Hits

The Stories Behind Alicia Keys’ Hits

Singer and songwriter Alicia Keys spoke with NPR Music about how she got into music, her songwriting process and more. Keys reveals that she’s still not sure how she comes up with her songs, and that it wasn’t easy for her to collaborate at first.

Blue Man Group Live

Blue Man Group Live

“Performance art” sounds like marketing speak – it seems both pretentious and useless. Yet there may be no better term for the Blue Man Group, whose music is just half of an entertaining celebration of creativity and craftsmanship. More on the video’s description.

Charles Lloyd & Jason Moran Live

Charles Lloyd & Jason Moran Live

The prolific saxophonist Charles Lloyd and pianist and composer Jason Moran dropped by NPR Music to regale us with their enthralling avant-garde jazz. They played Charles’ Hagar’s Lullaby, Prayer, and a collab entitled Sand Rhythm.

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Weaves Live

Weaves Live

(PG-13: Language) Indie rock band Weaves at NPR Music’s NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concert. The Toronto-based quartet sounds like a suburban teenagers’ first band – pop beats, even rhymes, cute and raw. Except, you know, they’re actually good.

The Blind Woman Who Saw Rain

The Blind Woman Who Saw Rain

After suffering a stroke, Milena Channing was left blind. But then she started seeing raindrops, steam and other things in motion. Her rare condition is unfortunate proof that our vision is compartmentalized. More at NPR.

NPR: How T-shirts Are Made

NPR: How T-shirts Are Made

NPR’s Planet Money made a series of short videos to show us the technology, the places and most importantly the people that make mass-produced t-shirts. You can watch the whole series on NPR, Vimeo and YouTube.

NPR: Recycling Bottles

NPR: Recycling Bottles

NPR’s Planet Money visited a recycling plant and a bottle manufacturing facility in to see how used bottles are recycled. They found out that it takes less energy to turn recycled glass into bottles than if raw materials were used.

Become a Noun

Become a Noun

NPR’s Adam Cole and Robert Krulwich take us on a literary and historical tour as they sing a song about eponyms and whether or not it is a good or bad thing to become a noun. Go forth and Google.

Blast from the Past

Blast from the Past

NPR pays tribute to the Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Endeavor and one of the most amazing accomplishments of man – the Space Shuttle program. You’ll be missed, space trucks.

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