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Wild Nothing at Mount San Jacinto for a Field Recording, recorded in April 2013. NPR hide caption

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Wild Nothing: Nuanced Pop At 8,500 Feet

KCRW

With freezing hands and an adventurous spirit, Wild Nothing performs a stripped-down version of its song "This Chain Won't Break" on the side of the Mount San Jacinto peak near Palm Springs, Calif.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra performs live at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2013. Lizzie Chen/NPR Music hide caption

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Unknown Mortal Orchestra: NPR Front Row

Watch the band perform "No Need for a Leader," a tremendous cocktail of riff-rock and Black Sabbath-style psychedelia, recorded live at the Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C.

Daniel Zott (left) and Joshua Epstein of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. perform live on KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.

KCRW

The dance-happy Detroit pop duo gives Morning Becomes Eclectic a preview of its upcoming album, due out in the fall. Watch Daniel Zott and Joshua Epstein perform "War Zone" live in the studio.

Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo performs live on KCRW. Larry Hirshowitz/KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Yo La Tengo

KCRW

Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew visit the Morning Becomes Eclectic studios to perform songs from their most recent album, Fade. Watch the venerable indie-rock trio play "Two Trains."

The National performs live at The Cutting Room studios in New York City. WFUV hide caption

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The National: Falling For 'Graceless'

WFUV On-Air: Music Discovery Starts Here

The band performs a special studio session for New York City's WFUV in advance of its new album, Trouble Will Find Me. Watch The National perform "Graceless," live from The Cutting Room Studios.

M R Shajarian performs a Tiny Desk Concert in March 2013. Marie McGrory/Marie McGrory/NPR hide caption

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Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Joined by three excellent collaborators, Shajarian gives what amounts to a brief master class in the art of singing. In the course of this love song, titled "Az Eshgh," the Iranian icon unleashes torrents of swooping, soaring, goosebump-inducing sound that's still perfectly controlled at age 73.

Chris Tomson (left) and Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend perform at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. Brenda Janario/KCRW hide caption

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Vampire Weekend, Live In Concert

KCRW

For this performance, recorded for KCRW, Vampire Weekend took a night off from a West Coast tour to play for a small audience of eager fans at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica.

Buddy Miller and Jimmy Lauderdale perform a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 19, 2013. Gabriella Demczuk/NPR hide caption

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Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale

The veteran country players mix corny humor, musical merrymaking and timeless vocal harmonies. With three songs from their album-length collaboration Buddy and Jim, Miller and Lauderdale perform an endearing set at the NPR Music offices.

Steven Bernstein performs at 92Y Tribeca with Sexmob. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Sexmob: Live In Concert

WBGO

The quartet specializes in a distinct strain of improvised music: jazz that aims at fun by bouncing off the walls. Led by slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein, the band parties to the themes of Nino Rota.

Allison Miller. John Rogers for NPR/johnrogersnyc.com hide caption

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Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom: Live In Concert

WBGO

A go-to choice for jazz heavies and arena-level singer-songwriters alike, drummer Allison Miller made time to cultivate her own working band in the past few years. Hear her quartet perform live.