Xenia Rubinos: Tiny Desk Concert On Black Terry Cat and in the NPR Music offices, Rubinos' music uses her Afro-Caribbean roots as a jumping-off point for inventive, provocative songs.

Tiny Desk

Xenia Rubinos

Xenia Rubinos has learned a valuable lesson — "You have to know where you come from to know where you're going" — and applied it to her remarkable music. Rubinos' work contains traces of her Afro-Caribbean roots, but when she and her band do things like use two bassists to play a counter-melody in her song "Lonely Lover," they defy classification.

That's what brings me to her music: the surprises, like the unexpected change-ups she brings to the way voices are presented. It all sounds heady, even heavy, but underneath it all, she and her band lay down serious grooves designed to move both your body and your intellect.

Black Terry Cat is available now (iTunes) (Amazon).

Set List

  • "Lonely Lover"
  • "Mexican Chef"
  • "Laugh Clown"

Credits

Producers: Felix Contreras, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Nick Michael, CJ Riculan; Editor: Claire Hannah Collins; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Foxing plays at the Tiny Desk on May 1, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Foxing

Foxing is at the forefront of an emo revival, heavily influenced by late-'90s and early 2000s groups like Sunny Day Real Estate and American Football.

Sesame Street plays a Tiny Desk concert on May 10, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Sesame Street

Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Elmo, Grover, Rosita, Count von Count, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and other surprise guests gather at NPR's headquarters to celebrate 50 years of love, learning and joy.

Tomberlin performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 23, 2019 (Emily Bogle/NPR) Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Tomberlin

Tomberlin is the daughter of a Baptist pastor, grew up singing in the church and, since her teens, has questioned her own beliefs in God and faith. Her songs are delicate and vulnerable.

Quinn Christopherson performs a Tiny Desk Contest on May 28, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Quinn Christopherson

Quinn and his musical partner, guitarist and singer Nick Carpenter, arrived from the cool of Anchorage to the swelter of D.C. and performed with remarkable confidence and grace.

LADAMA performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 11, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

LADAMA

The group unites sounds from Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, with a dash of New York City thrown in.

Lucky Daye performs a Tiny Desk Concert on March 25, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Lucky Daye

Hailing from New Orleans with a love of sticky, bass-bumping funk, Lucky brought along a 10-person band, including a quartet of horns, to capture the full flavor of his debut album Painted.

Jeremy Dutcher performs a Tiny Desk Concert on April 22, 2019 (Michael Zamora/NPR). Michael Zamora/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Michael Zamora/NPR

Jeremy Dutcher

There is no one making music like this 27-year-old, classically trained opera tenor and pianist. Watch and see why.

Ensemble Signal performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 25, 2019 (Claire Harbage/NPR). Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Ensemble Signal Plays Jonny Greenwood

Watch members of the New York-based group give the world premiere video performances of two recent pieces by Radiohead guitarist and composer Jonny Greenwood.

Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider perform a Tiny Desk Concert on March 6, 2019. Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Magos Herrera and Brooklyn Rider

Watch what happens when the smoky-voiced jazz singer from Mexico conspires with an adventuresome string quartet for songs steeped in Latin American traditions.

Ohmme performs at a Tiny Desk Concert on April 18, 2019 (Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR) Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Laura Beltrán Villamizar/NPR

Ohmme

These classically trained artists fill the NPR Music offices with shrieking, rhythmic noise that redefines what an electric guitar can do.

Back To Top