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Archive for the ‘Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: THE FREE NATIONALS-Tiny Desk Concert #969 (April 20, 2020).

The full name of this concert is The Free Nationals Feat. Anderson .Paak, Chronixx & India Shawn, but that’s too many “featurings” for a headline.

Whenever you look for Tiny Desk Concerts, the top picture is always from the Anderson .Paak show (which was pretty great).  I never really gave it much thought as to why that picture is up there.  But the blurb here says that “Anderson .Paak’s Tiny Desk concert with The Free Nationals, filmed in 2016, is the most popular in the history of the series.”  Who knew?

It was a special return when The Free Nationals arrived in the nation’s capital to showcase their new tunes on March 4, before the coronavirus crisis had set in. Lots of NPR staffers showed up in the hopes that a surprise guest might be in store.

They play four songs.  First is “Beauty & Essex” It opens with opens with Ron Tnava Avant using a voice box on the keys: “Ron Avant invoked Roger Troutman of Zapp on the talk box”, followed by  some slow funky bass lines from Kelsey González.  India Shawn, radiant in a red jump suit, crooned Daniel Caesar’s “Beauty & Essex” in a sultry register.  Midway through, José Rios plays afully distroetd (but slow and very Prince-like) guitar solo.

India, formerly a background singer for .Paak and now an emerging solo artist, also sang lead on the second song,”On Sight” which is about catching the fade (punch across the face).  The end of this song features and even faster ripping guitar solo with some walloping drums from,  Callum Connor.  As the solo ends, Rios says, “It’s crazy to play so quiet.  I want to jump on this table.”

Then “Cheeky Andy,” aka Anderson .Paak, surprised the audience with his signature smile and spunky energy.  I like him a lot–he always has a mischievous smile.  He tells everyone

We spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on big budget videos just to have our biggest video be in front of a Tiny Desk.

I don’t know Anderson .Paak much aside from his Tiny Desk, but i can tell it’s him instantly by his drum beat, his drumming style is quite unique.  . “Gidget” is “a song with a groove so catchy that it makes you want to two-step in your living room.”  This song’s about another one of Rios’ exes (see the last concert for the setup to this joke).  Rios asks, “Whys it always got to be about me?” .Paak sings the song and then Avant plays a wicked talk box solo.

.Paak wasn’t the only special guest. Jamaican roots reggae singer Chronixx returned to the Desk to perform his “Eternal Light,” a song he recorded with The Free Nationals on their album.  Btu first Anderson .Paak runs out “you got my phone man?”  Connor passes it to Rios who pretends to throw it.

Chronixx seemed stunned at the number of fans in the audience this time,  “last time I was here there was like five people.”

This song has a reggae feel about positive vibes.  It’s a the most chill song for sure.

It’s fascinating to have seen this band take off from four years ago.

[READ: May 3, 2020] “The Wish for a Good Country Doctor”

This was a totally gripping story.  One that I was not expecting to hear probably as much as the narrator was not expecting to hear it.

It starts with an unusual sentence

Most kids lose or beak their toys.  I curated mine.

In 1976, the narrator was at the University of Iowa in an America Studies program.  Every month, the narrator and “some other hippie Ivy graduates” blanketed the state to find “existing folk manifestations.” They traveled to thrift shops, junk stores and Salvation Armys for tools and dolls and then wrote over-interpretive essays about the items.

They were given $100 a month to purchase things and they set off on a Friday full of caffeine.  On this particular Friday the narrator had gotten a rural mailbox made in 1946 shaped like three Scottish terriers.  And an ironic iconic Find of the Week “a handsomely lettered five-foot-long sign explaining, ‘You’ve Got to Be a Football Hero to Get Along with the Beautiful Girls.  THEREFORE, GO TECH!'” (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: TINY DESK PLAYLISTS (2019).

As on October 1, NPR has started the Tiny Desk Playlist page.

As of today there are 9 Playlists on the page.  I’m not going to comment on them, as I’ve already posted about all of these shows (except CHAI as of now).  I might disagree with some of these lists, but whatever the case they are a good introduction to Tiny Desks if you haven’t already seen one.

5 Tiny Desk Concerts That Will Literally Make You Cry
• Julien Baker (read more)
• Yusuf/Cat Stevens (read more)
• Bernie and The Believers (read more)
• Rev. Sekou and The Seal Breakers (read more)
• Barbara Hannigan (read more)

The 5 Most Uplifting Tiny Desk Concerts
• Lizzo (read more)
• Superorganism (read more)
• Fragile Rock (read more)
• Dan Deacon (read more)
• Mucca Pazza (read more)

The 5 Wildest Tiny Desk Concerts
• Gogol Bordello (read more)
• Red Baraat (read more)
• The Cristina Pato Trio (read more)
• George Li (read more)
• Dirty Three (read more)

The Best-Sounding Tiny Desk Concerts, Vol. 1 [selected by “the guy mixing the performances and bopping his head along just off (and sometimes on) screen” Josh Rogosin].
• Monsieur Periné (read more)
• Andrew Bird (read more)
• Nick Hakim (read more)
• Tedeschi Trucks Band (read more)
• PJ Morton (read more)

The Best Of The Very Beginning Of Tiny Desk Concerts
• Laura Gibson (read more)
• Vic Chesnutt (read more)
• Tom Jones (read more)
• Thao Nguyen (read more)
• Dr. Dog (read more)

The 5 Best ‘Before They Were Stars’ Tiny Desk Concerts
• Brandi Carlile (read more)
• Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals (read more)
• Adele (read more)
• H.E.R. (read more)
• Mitski (read more)

Tiny Desk Trick Or Treat: Our 5 Favorite Concerts In Costume
• Neko Case’s Halloween Special (read more)
• Blue Man Group (read more)
• Mucca Pazza (read more)
• CHAI (read more)
• Preservation Hall Jazz Band (read more)

#ElTiny: The Best Latinx Tiny Desk Concerts, Vol. 1
• Natalia Lafourcade (read more)
• Jorge Drexler (read more)
• Juanes & Mon Laferte (read more)
• iLe (read more)
• Café Tacvba (read more)

Lianne La Havas’ 5 Favorite Tiny Desk Concerts
• Tank And The Bangas
• Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals
• Noname
• Tamino
• Mac Miller

[READ: October 28, 2019] “God’s Caravan”

This story opens with boys crouching in the dirt shooting marbles.  I assumed it was set in the 1950s, so I was surprised to see that the boy knew of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk.  But it is set in Memphis, Tennessee–“Soulsville the black part.”

Earl was kicking butt and winning marbles left and right when the boys heard an ice cream truck trundle up.  But this was no ice cream truck.  Rather it was a van and it was playing “I’ve come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.”  On the side of the van, painted in “blood of Jesus” red were the words “God’s Caravan.”  The speakers then broadcast “When I say, ‘Ride or die’…you say ‘Amen.'”

The voice said “Ride or Die” and Earl and the other boys all shouted back “Amen.”

The door opened and there was the pastor, dressed in black judge’s robes.  He said he had sweets for their hearts. (more…)

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