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Claire O'Neill/NPR

Video: Year-End List-Making Is A Battlefield

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise: Year-end list-making is a war waged on and between music nerds everywhere. What you didn't know: Sometimes the lists make themselves.

Suz Slezak and David Wax of David Wax Museum. Erik Jacobs, Anthem Multimedia/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

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Video Premiere: David Wax Museum

The joy and energy of Mexican folk music guides this American band. You can feel those uplifting rhythms in this debut video from the duo's soon-to-be-released album Everything Is Saved.

Abby Verbosky/NPR

Luisa Maita

Maita's music combines crisp staccato guitar licks, a subtle Brazilian pulse and vocals as soft as a late-afternoon ocean breeze. Yet without the electronic touches of her studio recordings, Maita glides, floats and sprinkles notes onto just the right places in this engaging Tiny Desk Concert.

Courtesy of the artist

Belle And Sebastian's Holiday Spectacular

For the group's last show of the year, frontman Stuart Murdoch and the rest of Belle and Sebastian dig deep into their archives to share popular classics, fan favorites and a few festive surprises. Watch the show, recorded live from Glasgow.

Belle And Sebastian's Holiday Spectacular

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Abby Verbosky/NPR

Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O

With a pink tinsel tree and an animatronic singing Santa hat, the extraordinary jazz drummer clearly embraces the campy side of Christmas. His band's look may be a bit hokey, but as it proves in this performance, their musicianship isn't.

Chris Otepka of The Heligoats performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices. Abby Verbosky/NPR hide caption

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The Heligoats

The Heligoats' Chris Otepka is the star of NPR Music's 100th Tiny Desk Concert. In many ways, he's the perfect act to mark that milestone: His music is best heard in an intimate setting, where his words can unfurl clearly and he can hold a small room rapt — which he does here, to say the least.

Abby Verbosky/NPR

The Red River

The 10 members of The Red River normally play with guitars and violins, French horns, keyboards and drums. But they rose to the challenge and re-arranged their songs for a stripped-down performance.

Low Anthem video screenshot

Video Premiere: The Low Anthem, 'Ghost Woman Blues'

A new song by The Low Anthem was filmed at an abandoned pasta-sauce factory and shot using old cameras and film stock. Watch the premiere of this new song from The Low Anthem's upcoming album, Smart Flesh.

Yolanda Kondonassis plays the harp for a Tiny Desk Concert on October 12, 2010. Abby Verbosky/NPR hide caption

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Yolanda Kondonassis

Harps are something of a curiosity, even to the other members of the orchestra: They're huge and difficult to tune. So when Kondonassis parked her giant and distinct Art Deco-inspired instrument behind the Tiny Desk, it had a powerful presence in the room.

Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez of Buke and Gass play a Tiny Desk Concert October 7, 2010. Abby Verbosky/NPR hide caption

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Buke And Gass

Buke and Gass' homemade quality is what draws you in at first. Arone Dyer plays a modified baritone-ukulele run through effects that squeal with delight while bandmate Aron Sanchez runs his guitar-bass hybrid through two amps. Watch the duo play a joyfully pummeling set from the Tiny Desk.