tiny desk concerts

Music in an extremely small workspace


I love music.  In fact, I really should have been a rock star, but The Voice hadn’t been thought of yet.  If truth be told, the best I could have done in the music arena was to just be a groupie, but a girl can have dreams…  Instead, I’ve been getting my music fixes from NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.

Tiny Desk Concerts began in 2008 and can be viewed through You Tube or on NPR’s website. Some of the more popular concerts have been viewed over a millions times.  By 2013 NPR Music had hosted over 250 concerts from the desk.  The desk in question belongs to the creator and host of the NPR podcast “All Songs Considered”, Bob Boilen.  Bob was also a founding member of Tiny Desk Unit, a Washington, D.C.-based new wave band.

It is a sought after booking, but not an easy one. Musicians must sing into a single microphone, office lighting and overstuffed bookshelves negate any ambiance, and office workers are sitting at their computers in the background.  Yet the concerts always draw an inner office crowd, and many, many views on You Tube.  I love them because the performances are intimate, laid back and revealing.  The concerts feel personal.

The music crosses all genres and features well established as well as emerging musicians.  They have had Lucinda Williams, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, the Dublin Guitar Quartet, Jackson Brown, Hozier, Suzanne Vega, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, John Legend and Lyle Lovett among many others.  They have also featured many up and coming new artists, and it is a great way to be introduced to what’s current in the music scene.

As Lyle Lovett said in the middle of his concert “This is a little weird, right?”

To watch the concerts on the NPR website go to http://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/

To watch on You Tube go to https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Tiny+Desk+Concerts