Credit: Jennifer Noll and Thomas Forrest (cameras); edited by Jennifer Noll; photo by Abby Verbosky/NPR
Being the All Songs Considered intern involves doing many cool things disguised as work. One of my personal favorites is helping with our Tiny Desk Concerts. I have to talk with really interesting musicians. I have to take a one- to two-hour break from whatever else I'm doing to watch a concert six feet in front of my desk. (Tough life, right?) Perhaps the only "unfortunate" side effect of this task is that my desk, even tinier than the Tiny Desk, gets swallowed up amidst all the action.
(Note the close proximity of the two desks. Little-known fact: The camera that films Tiny Desk Concerts sits where the All Songs Considered intern and her chair normally sit.)
Jokingly, some of my coworkers have referred to my workspace as "comically diminutive" and "Mini Desk." I adopted the latter term, and at one point mentioned it to Bob Boilen in passing. We then had a conversation about having a concert at my desk, featuring teenagers — as in, smaller people at a smaller desk.
What resulted was a "Tinier Desk Concert" series using local middle- and high-school students (teens) as the musicians. Ladle Fight was our first band, and I came across the group at the "under 25" showcase of this year's Takoma Park Folk Festival. Though its members may seem young, they've been together for five years — outlasting many rock acts twice their senior. As the four eighth-graders began setting up their gear, a swarm of teenage girls gathered around, discussing which songs they thought would be in the set list. It was almost surreal.
But once the group started, I too was won over by these young indie darlings. Ladle Fight plays a sweet kind of simple, no-frills rock. Lead singer Ben Miller has a strikingly innocent and honest voice, and sings about things the young band actually spends time considering, like global warming.
Just give 'em a couple years so that touring won't interfere with prom, and they can grow the appropriate length of hipster beards, and they'll be all over the indie circuit like white on rice.
Check out Ladle Fight's debut appearance at NPR, and check back to NPR's Intern Edition website for another Tinier Desk Concert soon.