About halfway into Of Montreal‘s Tiny Desk Concert in the NPR Music offices, I showed a friend a Post-It note on which I’d just scribbled, “Was I wrong to expect more of a decadent, pan-sexual carnival?” I’d thought we were going to need to throw plastic sheeting over our desks, like at a GWAR concert, and there we were, watching a miniaturized Of Montreal — just Kevin Barnes solo, albeit with the assistance of singer Rebecca Cash and guitarist Bryan Poole for “Feminine Effects” — as it strummed its way through three stripped-down songs.
So if you’re looking for another side of Barnes’ music — for comparison, check out the April 2012 Of Montreal concert we recorded for NPR Music, the description of which includes the words “wildly theatrical,” “flamboyant,” “synchronized dancing” and “strange, wandering creatures that look like amoebas” — you’ll get it here. The singer told us that he’d been working on quieter, more personal material in recent months, and figured the intimate surroundings would be an ideal setting to try it out. The result is a rarely heard side of a band and a frontman for whom theatricality has long been a means of expression rather than an end unto itself.
- “Feminine Effects”
- “Imbecile Rages”
- “Amphibian Days”
Producer: Robin Hilton; Editor: Christopher Parks; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks; photo by Christopher Parks/NPR