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Bright Eyes: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

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.


It's been about a month since the release of the new Bright Eyes album. It's right about now that I likely would have seen Bright Eyes at the 9:30 Club here in D.C. Knowing that wasn't going to happen due to the pandemic, I'm thrilled to have Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis and Nate Walcott join "together" for a taste of live Bright Eyes. They recorded this Tiny Desk (home) concert with Conor and Mike at ARC Studios in Omaha, Neb., while Nate sits 1,500 miles away at Lucy's Meat Market, a well-equipped studio in Los Angeles filled with sweet-sounding vintage keyboards. Singing and seated behind him is Becky Stark, better known as Lavender Diamond, along with their daughter.

Despite the distance and the almost 10 years since their last record, the three songs they perform from Down in the Weeds, Where the World Once Was, are intense, with lyrics that are not always decipherable, filled with struggle and hope — in other words, the way I like them.

Conor has visited the Tiny Desk twice: first in 2014, when he brought his family and we invited kids for a memorable concert; and then in 2019 for a concert with Phoebe Bridgers as part of Better Oblivion Community Center. For this Tiny Desk (home) concert, he and the rest of Bright Eyes channeled that stripped-back rawness, and I think these songs shine for it.

SET LIST

  • "Mariana Trench"
  • "Pan and Broom"
  • "Persona Non Grata"
  • "Shell Games"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Conor Oberst: vocals, keyboard
  • Mike Mogis: pedal steel, Marxophone, electric guitar
  • Nathaniel Walcott: piano, organs, Casio, drum machines
  • Becky Stark: vocals
  • CREDITS

  • Directed by: Nik Fackler
  • Directors of Photography: Brent Scott Maze, Aaron Gum and Jon Bass
  • Production Assistant: Katy Baker
  • Audio by: Mike Mogis
  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Audio Mastering Engineer: Josh Rogosin
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    In 1988, a determined Bob Boilen started showing up on NPR's doorstep every day, looking for a way to contribute his skills in music and broadcasting to the network. His persistence paid off, and within a few weeks he was hired, on a temporary basis, to work for All Things Considered. Less than a year later, Boilen was directing the show and continued to do so for the next 18 years.
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