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Girl In A Coma

Girl In A Coma is known for crunchy guitars, seamless musical interplay and Nina Diaz's alluring voice. But here, the San Antonio trio deftly gets back to basics to explore not just the form of its songs, but also the soul of its lyrics.

Cristina M. Fletes/NPR

Anna Calvi

The slow build that takes place in just three short songs performed at the NPR Music offices — from a guitar instrumental to the final primal cry of "Jezebel" — is nothing short of astonishing. Calvi plays three songs from her self-titled debut in this powerful performance at the NPR Music offices.

Mallory Benedict/NPR

Glenn Jones

Jones' most recent album, The Wanting, is a compelling work of American folk music that tells stories without a single word. Watch the masterful guitarist perform a lovely set at the NPR Music offices.

Alicia Olatuja of Olatuja Project. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Olatuja Project: Live In Concert

WBGO

A husband-and-wife team makes genre-crossing music which reflects the West African diaspora in sound, from talking drum to gospel music and keyboard synthesizer. Hear a live concert recording from New York.

Exitmusic: Live on KEXP from the Cutting Room Studios NYC David Andrako/KEXP hide caption

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Exitmusic: A Ghostly, Brooding Soundtrack

KEXP

Though Aleksa Palladino plays a beaten-down, soft-spoken character on Boardwalk Empire, she sounds passionate and longing with Exitmusic, which performs at the Cutting Room Studios in New York City.

Mallory Benedict/NPR

Screaming Females

Don't let the size of the amps at the NPR Music office fool you: Screaming Females' music is louder than bombs. Pared down at the Tiny Desk, the band's keen sense of song stays front and center — especially in "It All Means Nothing," a new song from Screaming Females' next album.

The Vijay Iyer Trio performs at Le Poisson Rouge for the NYC Winter Jazzfest on Saturday, Jan. 7. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Vijay Iyer Trio: Live In Concert

Full of stutter steps and snare claps, power chords and low end, Iyer's group turns new lenses on jazz's big-picture history. Hear a live performance, recorded at the 2012 NYC Winter Jazzfest.

David Wax Museum performs at Fort Adams in Newport, R.I. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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David Wax Museum: Folk Among The Ruins

Complete with a rousing horn section and spirited handclaps, the band performs an infectious rendition of "Born With a Broken Heart" in the ruins of Fort Adams during the 2011 Newport Folk Festival.

Mantra performs at Lowe's for a Field Recording Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Mantra: Post-Minimalist Percussion In Aisle 12

For composer Michael Gordon's mesmerizing Timber, written for six two-by-fours, Mantra set up a public performance of the piece in the lumber department of a big-box hardware store in Alexandria, Va.

Cristina M. Fletes/NPR

Le Butcherettes

Le Butcherettes' Teri Gender Bender can transform from a soft-spoken musician into a rock 'n' roll beast on a dime. Watch the haunting, spectacular performer as she howls, bangs on her guitar and stares into the eyes of individuals assembled at the NPR Music offices.