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Dinosaur Jr.: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

The Tiny Desk is working from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and the world. It's the same spirit — stripped-down sets, an intimate setting — just a different space.

In the year-plus that we've been recording Tiny Desk (home) concerts, artists have worked hard to reproduce the Tiny Desk vibe through special effects ranging from Phoebe Bridgers' Oval Office backdrop to clipping.'s tininess-enhancing miniature set. For Dinosaur Jr., the spirit of the Tiny Desk can be found in an under-appreciated facet of the series: the ever-evolving array of tchotchkes, promo pieces and other bits of pop-cultural detritus that line the shelves behind Bob Boilen's desk.

Dinosaur Jr.'s own home concert — "home" in this case being the stage of an empty Shea Theater in Turners Falls, Mass. — is set amid its own enviable assortment of oddities, from stuffed animals to a Mork action figure to a copy of the album A Christmas Together by John Denver & The Muppets. And you don't stick around as a band for all or part of five decades without knowing a little something about product placement: Dinosaur Jr.'s terrific new album, Sweep It Into Space, is prominently located near the wee plastic desk that sits front and center onstage.

Naturally, that album dominates this five-song set, which finds the trio of singer-guitarist J Mascis, singer-bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph sounding as fluid and forceful and gnarly as ever. Mascis gets to unleash a few shredding solos, Barlow gets to take the lead in "Garden" and Murph gets to do his thing in close proximity to a pair of large dinosaur-shaped balloons. Plus, longtime fans get treated to two towering classics from earlier in Dinosaur Jr.'s excellent career: "Feel the Pain," from 1994's Without a Sound, and "Freak Scene," which opens 1988's Bug.


  • "I Ain't"
  • "Garden"
  • "Feel the Pain"
  • "I Ran Away"
  • "Freak Scene"

  • J Mascis: vocals, guitar, bass
  • Lou Barlow: vocals, bass, guitar
  • Murph: drums

  • Director: Joe Salinas
  • 1st AD: John William Moloney
  • Camera Operators: Chris Hillen, Robert Thomas, John Moloney, Joe Salinas
  • Editor/Colorist: Joe Salinas
  • Assistant Editor: Chris Hillen, Justin Pizzoferrato
  • Art Director/Set Design: John William Moloney
  • Sound Mixer/Sound Design: Justin Pizzoferrato
  • Lighting Technician: Wyatt Andrews
  • Production Assistant: Marc Seedorf
  • Executive Producers: Amy Abrams, Brian Schwartz
  • Producer: John William Moloney
  • Filmed at the Shea Theater in Turner Falls, MA

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Maia Stern
  • Audio Mastering: Alex Drewenskus
  • Associate Producer: Bobby Carter
  • Tiny Production Team: Kara Frame, Josh Rogosin, Gabrielle Pierre
  • Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)