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Tiny Desk Concerts Make Big Noise

It’s funny, I really enjoyed NPR while living in Chicago, but it’s not until I left and put down a few roots in Toronto that I have truly come to appreciate NPR more fully. Maybe this is because since I resided in the Windy City npr.org has become a news and media juggernaut. They have adopted social media like few others, and one of the real winners from that is the music “department.”

All Songs Considered, and the music programming in general, gets way more exposure and can be shared in amazing new ways. I have subscribed to the All Songs Considered podcast and Concerts podcast for a while now. Awesome stuff. And I’ve gone to the website and added things to the online playlist to listen to them more than any other music site. Also awesome stuff. Great way to hear artists you love and discover other artists you didn’t know you loved.

But yesterday was the first time I discovered the Tiny Desk Concerts. Bob Boilen gets a musician (or group) into the NPR offices – his office, specifically – and sits them down behind a small desk and gets them to play a few songs for the NPR staffers who take a break to come listen. It’s videotaped and put online for us to just sit in awe of what an awesome office NPR’s must be to work in!

Well, anyway, the first two sessions I’ve watched are town of my favourite musical groups. The first, Swell Season, better known as “that guy and girl from Once who won an Oscar for their unbelievable music” insisted on playing 6 or 7 songs instead of 2 or 3.

Naturally that video made me want to check out who else stopped by the Tiny Desk, and I quickly noticed that the Great Lake Swimmers made an appearance. Maybe you don’t know them, their music is soft and folky but sweet and beautiful. They’re also from Toronto, so may get some more airtime here, although they tour (and sell records) widely. The music in the video is representatively beautiful; that guy has one amazing voice.

And a bonus below the jump: Falling Slowly video from the movie.

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