Category Archives: video

The El Mansouris – Walden (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

Here’s a band that came out of nowhere, quite literally. The El Mansouris, composed of Alex Braden, Drew Hagelin, Fiona Kohrman, Margot MacDonald and Sam Raymond, just started their social media accounts in mid January and made a lasting first impression with their NPR Tiny Desk contest entry, this live version of “Walden” with lots of great drumming. Get in on the ground floor and keep your eyes peeled for their debut show soon.

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The Girls Upstairs – This Rose (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

I pay a lot of attention to DC bands, as you might imagine, and yet this enthusiastic young group from College Park escaped my notice until their Tiny Desk submission crossed my path. The Girls Upstairs, normally a four piece indie rock band, crammed three of their well dressed members between a desk and an open closet to lay down this acoustic folk version of “This Rose”, the first track from their recently released EP Never Love You. (Guys, you sound great but $10 is pretty steep for a 4 song EP.) The harmonies and energy on this song are great, and having a solidly talented female drummer in your band is a surefire way to catch my attention.

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Sara Curtin – Careless (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

You think we’d run out of awesome NPR Tiny Desk submissions from DC yet? Heck no, son. Here’s Sara Curtin, best known as half of the folk duo The Sweater Set, doing a solo number called “Careless” at U street furniture boutique GoodWood. (Note the beautiful vintage Simmons desk!) Sara’s one of Justin Jones’s new band The B-Sides, performing Wednesday night at the 9:30 Club with Laura Tsaggaris, and don’t miss The Sweater Set hosting their annual Valentine’s Day show at The Fridge with Ballad’ve.

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Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray – Magnolia (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

Making fine use of the gorgeous chaparral landscape near their home base of Paso Robles California, Miss Shevaughn & Yuma Wray imported their DC based backup band of Derek Evry and Ben Tufts and shot this video for NPR’s Tiny Desk contest. “Magnolia” is a powerful ballad with a sweet chorus to get stuck in your head, named after Miss Shevaughn’s birthplace in southern Arkansas. After touring for 3 months last year (on their honeymoon no less!) to support their breakout full length album Lean Into The Wind, MS & YW have holed up writing new material, and “Magnolia” makes me excited for more of their cosmic Americana sound. Dig those 4 part harmonies and sweet mandolin solo by Mr. Tufts!

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The NRIs – The Streets (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

If you recognize the desk in this video, pat yourself on the back for winning the obscure DC music trivia question of the week. This is Nayan Bhula’s big guitar, brass and keys ensemble The NRIs doing “The Streets”, the leadoff track from their most recent EP Playground, in their secret rehearsal space, for NPR Music & All Songs Considered’s Tiny Desk contest. The NRIs always put on a fantastic show, so don’t miss their next one at the Velvet Lounge on Wednesday February 11th with their new friends Feral Conservatives and EastWestHwy.

(click on the YouTube link to find out the trivia question’s answer!)

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Roof Beams – Magic Show (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

Seems that quite a lot of bands submitting videos to NPR Music & All Songs Considered’s Tiny Desk contest chose to perform new material that hasn’t yet made its way to an EP or album release, giving us teasers of the future. Today’s video from Roof Beams is a beautifully lyrical new song called “Magic Show”, stripped down to a two piece featuring Nathan Robinson on vocals and Jonathan Een Newton on cello.

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The Walking Sticks – Had Enough Of Your Love (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

Dream pop band The Walking Sticks did not let DC down in their submission for NPR’s Tiny Desk contest. “Had Enough Of Your Love”, a new and unreleased song, pulses with an energy that remains wonderfully understated in this live acoustic version. I love how the percussive beat is absent in the audio but present in the video of Chelsea, Max and Spencer bopping along together. The Walking Sticks have set a new high bar in their still fledgling catalog of songs. Catch them live next at DC9 on Thursday February 5th opening for Kristin Diable and Great Good Fine Ok, presented by Communion Music & All Things Go.

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Stranger in the Alps – Black Box (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

The perennial game of Bob Boilen show-spotting is on hold as DC’s biggest live music fan stays in and watches the 5,000+ entries NPR Music received for their Tiny Desk contest. We prefer the relaxed, one-a-day pace to showcase DC’s top quality entries. Here’s “Black Box”, the newest song by Steve Kolowich’s folk project Stranger in the Alps, produced and featuring beeps & boops by Louis Weeks. Mark your calendar for their album release show Sunday February 8th at the Black Cat with Fellow Creatures and Rachel Ries.

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Kokayi – The Lick (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

It’s been a minute since we got an official release or polished music video from DC rapper Kokayi, but his Track A Day 2014 set on SoundCloud positively overflows with gems and shows his true dedication. This fierce seated performance of “The Lick” for NPR Music’s Tiny Desk contest gives a very different vibe from most rap videos, and I dig it. Chair dancing FTW.

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Flo Anito – No Dustbunnies (NPR Tiny Desk submission)

Singer songwriter Flo Anito contributed this video of “No Dustbunnies”, the title track to her 2008 album, to NPR Music’s Tiny Desk contest earlier this week. This sweet ode to domestic bliss was filmed in the common room of Anito’s apartment building, with percussion by Jeff Goodwin and Lou Black providing the toy instruments. The books and Fisher Price lady at a tiny desk are nice touches. Don’t miss this one NPR Music interns!

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