For the longest time, Bob Boilen and Stephen Thompson (hosts of NPR’s All Songs Considered) were my podcasting companions on road trips and flights. They introduced me to Fleet Foxes, Arcade Fire, The Head and the Heart, The Civil Wars, and Dirty Projectors. Perhaps my favorite innovation of Boilen’s is his hosting of Tiny Desk Concerts—he sets up a tripod in his office, and invites an artist to play in the office while the NPR music staff watches. We, the uninvited audience, get to see the concert through the marvels of modern technology. The mini concerts are up-close, personal and extremely exposed for the performer. My favorite of these TDC’s is Brandi Carlisle’s from 2012, coinciding with her release of her album Bear Creek. In the opening track of “Raise Hell,” she and the Hanseroth brothers (guitars) saw away at the text and music. Their performance is raw and revealing and I love the gruffness in her voice.
You can also watch the video of the performance here.