NPR Music

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.

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, NPR Music presents four very special Tiny Desk (home) concerts recorded especially for this week.

Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Nathan Apodaca's truck had already logged some 320,000 miles. One morning last month, it couldn't go a mile more. The truck broke down on a highway in Idaho Falls, Idaho, about 2 miles from the potato warehouse where Apodaca has worked for nearly two decades.

Luckily, he had a skateboard in his truck, along with a bottle of Ocean Spray's Cran-Raspberry juice.

This week's Saturday Night Live musical guest was supposed to be Morgan Wallen, before the country singer got himself disinvited.

Imagine being able to lay down your burdens and fly away from Earth — to a place of harmony, where discrimination is left behind. That dream is the basis of the song "Blackstronauts" by Britton & The Sting, a standout entry in this year's Tiny Desk Contest. Britton Smith, who wrote the song, tells Weekend Edition he wrote "Blackstronauts" while thinking about one particular burden: the need for affirmation.

Tiwa Savage was already turning heads with her music — a deft fusion of Afrobeat with pop, R&B and hip-hop sounds — for years when she was handpicked by Beyoncé to appear on The Gift, the soundtrack album for the 2019 remake of The Lion King. Now, the Nigerian artist has returned with her third studio album and American debut, Celia. She spoke about the record's themes and featured collaborations with All Things Considered; hear the radio version at the audio link, and read on for an edited transcript.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Eddie Van Halen spent a lifetime chasing the sounds that he heard in his head. The encomiums that have proliferated since Van Halen's death on October 6 have made comparisons with Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and others who comprise the pantheon of rock's fabled "guitar heroes." A more revealing comparison is with Les Paul, a pre-rock guitar virtuoso who set the template for much of what followed.

The Thistle & Shamrock: Biomimicry

Oct 9, 2020

Nature often inspires scientists to create technologies that benefit humanity with innovations known as "biomimicry." Fiona Ritchie follows this notion with music that also takes a leaf out of nature's book, turning towards the natural world for inspiration and sometimes even echoing the sounds of nature. Artists featured include The Bothy Band, Nickel Creek, and John Doyle.

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.

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