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David Duchovny's 5 Favorite Tiny Desk Concerts

For Tiny Desk Playlists, we ask musicians, creators and folks we admire to choose the Tiny Desk concerts they've come to love. For this edition, we asked actor, director, author and musician David Duchovny to pick his favorites.

Although the name David Duchovny may bring up some welcome nostalgic memories of watching The X-Files in your best bud's basement wrapped in sleeping bags while eating cheese curls, Duchovny has been hard at work lately exploring other creative avenues such as writing multiple books and recording music of his own.

Duchovny just released a new album, Gestureland, which includes tracks that explore our relationships within the digital world — something that feels quite relevant to those of us who have gotten used to working remotely and videochatting with our friends over the past year. Duchovny enjoys performing live, too, so we wanted to hear which Tiny Desks he's been inspired by lately while we've leaned into appreciating music more from home. —Maia Stern

Jon Batiste — The versatility is amazing and infuriating, both in the musicianship and the songwriting– and to think that it was their first time playing together. Watching Jon go from the Wurlitzer to piano to guitar effortlessly, and watching him and the other musicians communicating with one another through the music, really exemplified how music can be this great communicator.

Tame Impala — It's really interesting to see Tame Impala in this setting, joined by a couple musicians and sort of jamming to the songs. You can tell how much fun they are having, staying true to the songs with some added experimentation, showing off the true musicianship.

The Hold Steady — I know these guys, and it's great to see them in this type of space — to focus on the songwriting and the lyrics and truly hear the stories in each song. It was great hearing the songs off Open Door Policy, and seeing how the group's sound has evolved without losing any of what makes the band great.

Tom Jones — I've always loved Tom Jones, and it's always nice to hear him in an intimate setting. I especially enjoyed hearing him covering Dylan. Hearing a voice like his — so powerful and full of feeling — brought to a Dylan track gave me a whole new understanding of the song. Stripping it all down to just his voice and the piano to finish off the performance with "I'm Getting Old" felt like one of those musical moments that will just stick with me.

The Flaming Lips — Good to hear the group's songwriting underneath all the crazy production that it does on its albums. There was something oddly fitting about how this performance all came together during COVID — the musicians separated from one another, songs with lyrics like "all your friends are dead," some technical difficulties — something that could only be accomplished by these guys. Plus I like bubbles.

Tiny Desks In This Playlist

Jon Batiste
Tame Impala
The Hold Steady
Tom Jones
The Flaming Lips

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