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Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

Reggie Watts

Comedian and musician Reggie Watts recently visited the NPR Music offices with a simple setup of loop and delay pedals and a microphone.

Regina Spektor, performing live at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City, May 31, 2012. Gisel Figallo-Florez for NPR hide caption

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Regina Spektor In Concert

The warmly eclectic singer-songwriter Regina Spektor played old favorites and introduced fans to highlights from her lovely new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.

Claire O'Neill/NPR

Mariachi El Bronx

Even though its members started out as the L.A. punk band The Bronx, Mariachi El Bronx isn't faking it. They play with just right amount of passion and pathos, strum as if they've studied the masters and don't look out of place in those pants and little jackets. Watch a fun set at the NPR offices.

Metric performs for a Field Recording backstage at Sasquatch! Music Festival at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, WA on May 26, 2012. KEXP/NPR hide caption

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Metric In A Non-Synthetic Situation

KEXP

Stripped of an electric guitar and moody reverb, Metric singer Emily Haines and guitarist James Shaw perform a version of "Synthetica" pretty enough to challenge the sweeping sunset behind them.

Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

Jeremy Denk

Jeremy Denk sees his apartment as his own "piano boot camp." Except for books, a coffee pot and a laptop, there's not much to do there but practice. We eavesdropped as he worked on complex etudes.

Mito Habe-Evans/NPR

Jonathan Biss

A building demolition inadvertently helps pianist Jonathan Biss discover the perfect practicing solution. Moving the piano out of his apartment away from the commotion allows him concentration.

New York Polyphony perform Renaissance songs for an In Practice recording session. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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New York Polyphony

New York Polyphony sings ancient music built for big spaces. But cathedrals aren't easy to come by for every practice session. That's when the group falls back on a modest-sized living room.

Emily Bogle/NPR

Glen Hansard

While the new Rhythm and Repose feels like a low-key '70s singer-songwriter record (think Cat Stevens or Van Morrison), this five-song set gives Hansard a chance to flex his neck muscles a bit, as he lends blustery force to an assortment of new songs and deep cuts.

Christian McBride (right) with Peter Martin at KPLU. Justin Steyer/KPLU hide caption

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Christian McBride: The Bass Boss

Jazz24

Among early bebop musicians, Ray Brown was king of the bass. He mentored Christian McBride, and today, McBride is jazz's "go-to" bassist. While visiting KPLU, he performs with pianist Peter Martin.

Kimbra performs on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Kimbra

KCRW

Known for her hit collaboration with Gotye, Kimbra is only 22, but she already has everything it takes to become a huge success. Watch the New Zealand pop star perform "Come Into My Head."