NPR has so many great music shows. Everything from All Songs Considered to First Listen, and Piano Jazz hour. In fact, if it wasn’t for NPR I wouldn’t like half the bands I listen to, I wouldn’t fawn over Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, and I wouldn’t be telling you that I think Bob Boilen is music God in human form. It’s all true.
Well the best show that NPR Music has is their Tiny Desk Concert series. The premise is simple. Take a band and stuff them into an itty bitty little office space and have them play an acoustic performance for the 10 people stuffed into the room and record it for everyone to see. It takes the Mtv Unplugged series to a whole new level because the audience has invaded the artists comfort level. They are literally breathing down your throat.
I have seen a lot of great performances at the concert. Including Blackaclicious, The Polyphonic Spree, Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Sharon Jones, and The National. But there is one band that just bleeds live performance and thrives on the audience. I am of course talking about OK Go. If you do not know who Ok Go are than you are missing out on the best live performance band in the world. I said it, THE WORLD. Everything that they do as a performance is just that, a performance. They make awesome pop rock music but instead of just playing it, they find ways to include their environmetn and audience into the performance. For instance, one of their best videos they every made was a huge Rube Goldberg machine that ended with cars and paint and stuff blowing up. The only other band that even comes close in my mind to their visual energy and visceral desire to be big is Matt and Kim. But they are in a league unto themselves.
NPR has recently moved offices into what looks like a cross between Mr. Porters offices and a Mac Store and decided that to move the Tiny Desk it would be great to film a band playing whilst the move happened around them. A great experience, humorous and I can’t get over the fact how original, playful, and sincere this band is. Check out and hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I did.