The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It’s the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.
Recording a Tiny Desk concert at home naturally subtracts a lot of familiar elements: Bob Boilen’s desk, for example; the wooden shelves full of weird ephemera; the crowd of work-shirking news-gatherers and the applause they provide. But when Clem Snide (the three-decade-old project of singer-songwriter Eef Barzelay) and special guest Scott Avett (the Avett Brothers co-founder who produced and performs on Clem Snide’s latest album, Forever Just Beyond) performed together in Avett’s barn, they added a few new features you’ve never gotten to hear at the Tiny Desk — most notably a noisy flock of birds and the unmistakable cries of a nearby rooster.
We’ve had a few disruptive animals at the Tiny Desk over the years, from the occasional dog to Bob Boilen himself, but this had to be our first rooster. As for Barzelay and Avett, they not only maintained social distancing throughout their set, but also rigorously enforced it with the aid of a visible tape measure. Still, their voices blended warmly as they tackled three spiritually searching songs from the (great) new record, as well as an older track that fits Forever Just Beyond‘s themes perfectly: “Jews for Jesus Blues,” from Clem Snide’s 2005 album End of Love.
- “The Stuff of Us”
- “Jews for Jesus Blues”
- “Some Ghost”
- “Roger Ebert”