Dirty Three: Tiny Desk Concert One of the loudest performances ever captured in the NPR Music offices, Dirty Three's set alternately seethes and rages in a flurry of high kicks, prolific hairiness and dramatic yelling.

Tiny Desk

Dirty Three

Dirty Three: Tiny Desk Concert

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/162727599/162940383" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Every member of Dirty Three has a highly respectable career outside of the band: Violinist Warren Ellis works closely with Nick Cave, drummer Jim White is a sought-after collaborator with an instantly recognizable sound, and guitarist Mick Turner has released a string of gorgeous instrumental solo albums when he's not working as a visual artist. But when the three musicians share a stage as Dirty Three — as they've done on and off for 20 years now — the result can be both beautiful and bonkers, as the opening moments of this Tiny Desk Concert amply demonstrate.

One of the loudest performances ever captured in the NPR Music offices — and it's got some competition from any number of brass bands — Dirty Three's set alternately seethes and rages in a flurry of high kicks, shambolic rumbling, prolific hairiness and dramatic yelling. Standing atop Bob Boilen's desk, Ellis cuts a stooped, lanky figure, but there's real physicality to his performance here, as he leads Dirty Three through three stormy songs: "Rain Song" and "The Pier" (from this year's Toward the Low Sun) and "Last Horse on the Sand" (from 1998's Ocean Songs).

Set List

  • "Rain Song"
  • "The Pier"
  • "Last Horse On The Sand"

Credits

Producer: Stephen Thompson; Editor: Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Christopher Parks, Ryan Smith; photo by Lauren Rock/NPR

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jenny Lewis plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Jenny Lewis

A consummate storyteller, going as far back to her days with her band Rilo Kiley, the words of Jenny Lewis comfort and inspire.

Chris Dave & The Drumhedz perform during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 9, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Chris Dave And The Drumhedz

Chris Dave, your favorite musician's favorite drummer, takes listeners on a journey through a virtual record store, picking up different genres along the way and putting them in your bag.

Elisapie performs during tiny desk on November, 26, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Elisapie

The Canadian singer-songwriter gives a deep, soulful performance against a sometimes moody backdrop of bass saxophone and bowed guitars.

Snoh Aalegra plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Snoh Aalegra

The Iranian-Swedish singer draws her musical cues from Brandy and Sade while racking up a list of collaborators such as Vince Staples, James Fauntleroy and, most recently, Pharrell Williams.

Laura Stevenson performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2019. (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Laura Stevenson

Backed by a small string section, Stevenson performed three songs that sounded so gorgeous, an actual marriage proposal broke out shortly after her set ended.

Mount Eerie plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR). Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltran Villamizar/NPR

Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron

Phil Elverum shares his open wounds — of death, love and the loss of love — in close harmonies, accompanied only by electric and nylon-string guitars.

Baby Rose plays a Tiny Desk Concert (Kisha Ravi/NPR). Kisha Ravi/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Kisha Ravi/NPR

Baby Rose

At 25, she mixes the bluesy melisma of Nina Simone and the deep register of Sarah Vaughan — two of her influences — with songwriting as devastating as her delivery.

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra performs during tiny desk on December, 4, 2019. (Photo by Mhari Shaw/NPR) Mhari Shaw/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Mhari Shaw/NPR

Jonathan Scales Fourchestra

Here's a first: Steelpans at the Tiny Desk. It's true. Nearly a thousand performances into the series and the instrument has never been featured, until now.

Another Sky performs during a Tiny Desk concert, on Dec. 5, 2019. (Catie Dull/NPR) Catie Dull/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Catie Dull/NPR

Another Sky

The strength of this London band is matching message with music. There's intensity and clear intention in their use of rock as an art.

SiR plays a Tiny Desk Concert bob boilen/NPR hide caption

toggle caption bob boilen/NPR

SiR

The R&B singer from Inglewood, CA made his performance a family affair, dedicating it to his late godson, with his mother and older brother on backup vocals.

Back To Top