Every year, NPR Music participates in the SXSW music festival, whether it’s curating a stage or simply attending hundreds of shows at the annual event in Austin, Texas. Last year, the festival was canceled due to the pandemic, but it returned this March as an online festival. We programmed a ‘stage’ of Tiny Desk (home) concerts and presented them on the final day of the festival. Now, we present to you Tiny Desk Meets SXSW: four videos filmed in various locations, all of them full of surprises.
We’ve posted close to 200 Tiny Desk (home) concerts in this insane pandemic year. Few have made me smile and laugh out loud as much as this one from Steady Holiday. I’ll stop with the spoilers now.
Steady Holiday is the music of Dre Babinski. This video, filmed for our virtual SXSW showcase, finds her by the fireplace, a dog at her feet, an acoustic guitar in her arms. Steady Holiday is singing “Living Life,” a tune about a favorite topic of mine: the everyday, the mundane, and living in the moment. All the songs in this Tiny Desk (home) concert are from Steady Holiday’s 2021 album Take The Corners Gently, a top record of mine this year. Laughing while her dog grabs a chew toy, she performs the album’s opening track, “White Walls,” a song about self-reflection and how doing the same thing over and over (“painting white walls white”) won’t make life better.
As her printer cues the last song, (oops, small spoiler), Steady Holiday takes us out on a lovely tune, “Love Me When I Go To Sleep”: “Fragile aren’t we, who would guess / Here today, tomorrow’s taking bets.” Her refrain amplifies that fragility with a reminder to appreciate the gift of life. “Love me when I go to sleep / Love me with no certainty / Love me when I go to sleep.”
- “Living Life”
- “White Walls”
- “Love Me When I Go To Sleep”
- Dre Babinski: vocals, guitar
- Derek Howa: keys
- Brijesh Pandya: drums, vocals
- Video: Isaac Ravishankara, Drew Bienemann, Derek Hansen, Zack Hetlage
- Audio: Chris Hackman, Dave Pizzimenti
- Color: Derek Hansen, Zack Hetlage
TINY DESK TEAM
- Producer: Bob Boilen
- Video Producer: Maia Stern
- Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
- Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
- Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame
- Executive Producer: Lauren Onkey
- Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann