The Messthetics: Tiny Desk Concert The bassist and drummer from D.C.'s pioneering punk band Fugazi join guitarist Anthony Pirog for a set of thrilling, sometimes loud and frenetic instrumentals.

Tiny Desk

The Messthetics

It was Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day when this somewhat loud and sometimes frenetic band came to play at my desk. I couldn't help but wonder if The Messthetics would inspire some eight-year old child in the office to one day become a musician, one who'd go on tell the tale of seeing these D.C. legends at an office when they were a kid.

For me it was exhilarating to see musicians I've known and loved for years be invigorated by younger talent. That's what happened when the bass and drums from D.C.'s pioneering punk band Fugazi crisscrossed with the brilliant, skillful and younger guitarist Anthony Pirog. It's only fitting that this Tiny Desk Concert happened on D.C. turf.

I've seen Anthony in a number of settings around town, including the brilliant duo he has with his wife, cellist Janel Leppin called Janel and Anthony. His playing can be understated and over-the-top all at the same time. It never feels self-indulgent and his music always serves the song. Drummer Brendan Canty saw the guitarist perform once and they eventually formed a band. Together, Brendan and bassist Joe Lally are a brilliant pulse of energy and that allows Anthony the freedom to fly. The music they create is like no other. The instrumental music they make is memorable, relatable and transcendent.

Set List

  • "Radiation Fog/Crowds and Power"
  • "The Inner Ocean"
  • "The Weaver"

Credits

Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan; Production Assistant: Stefanie Fernández; Photo: Morgan Noelle Smith/NPR.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Pedrito Martinez performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 16, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

The Pedrito Martinez Group

The Afro-Cuban percussionist mesmerizes with his almost otherworldly talent on congas.

Scott Mulvahill performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 30, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Scott Mulvahill

Scott Mulvahill has been trying to win the Tiny Desk Contest for each of its four years. And while he's never won, we all loved him so much we had to invite him to play.

Mountain Man performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 23, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Mountain Man

The voices of Amelia Meath, Molly Erin Sarlé and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig come together behind the Tiny Desk, with songs that conjure a simpler life: dogs, friends, moonlight or skinny dipping.

Lau Noah performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Jan. 10, 2019 (Amr Alfiky/NPR). Amr Alfiky/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Amr Alfiky/NPR

Lau Noah

There's a magical aura that surrounds Lau Noah as she sits behind the Tiny Desk and unspools thought-provoking story-songs.

Cat Power performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 17, 2018 (Jenna Sterner/NPR). Jenna Sterner/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jenna Sterner/NPR

Cat Power

Chan Marshall and her band perform a brisk and beautifully orchestrated medley of Cat Power songs: "Wanderer," "Woman" and 2006's "The Moon."

Blood Orange performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 10, 2018 (Heeather Kim/NPR). Heather Kim/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Heather Kim/NPR

Blood Orange

This Blood Orange Tiny Desk is a beautifully conceived concert showing off the craft and care that has made Devonté Hynes a groundbreaking producer and songwriter.

Stella Donnelly performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 22, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR/Cameron Pollack/NPR

Stella Donnelly

Watch the Australian singer-songwriter perform three new songs from her upcoming full-length debut, Beware of the Dogs.

Nate Wood "fOUR" performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2018. Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Nate Wood - fOUR

The multi-instrumentalist says he only wishes he had more limbs; but Wood still manages to simultaneously play a bass guitar, keys and drums, all while singing into a wearable microphone.

Aaron Lee Tasjan performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 12, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR). Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Aaron Lee Tasjan arrived in an ascot and mustard-colored shirt, sporting red, round sunglasses and mutton chops. It was a fashionable nod to the psych-pop and rock sound he brought to the Tiny Desk.

Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen perform a Tiny Desk Concert on Dec. 3, 2018 (Cameron Pollack/NPR)/ Cameron Pollack/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Cameron Pollack/NPR

Carolina Eyck and Clarice Jensen

Carolina Eyck, the first artist to bring a theremin to the Tiny Desk, plays the air with the kind of lyrical phrasing and "fingered" articulation that takes a special kind of virtuosity.

Back To Top