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Taken by Trees performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 12, 2012. Lauren Rock/NPR hide caption

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Taken By Trees

Victoria Bergsman's songs seem to come from a place somewhere between a dream state and waking life. There's restraint to the way Taken by Trees' players approach this music, almost as if they're trying not to wake the baby in the other room.

Ray Chen performs at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City Tuesday, Feb. 7. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR hide caption

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Ray Chen

Ray Chen might be the finest current violinist you don't yet know — but you soon will. See this stellar artist perform works by Sarasate and Saint-Saëns in a performance recorded live in New York.

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KCRW Presents: Orbital


When it comes to the history of electronic dance music, few producers loom larger than siblings Phil and Paul Hartnoll. The British brothers visit KCRW to play their very first single, "Chime."

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San Cisco: An 'Awkward' Upstart From Down Under

The Current

An irresistible Australian band, San Cisco specializes in songs you can't get out of your head. They recently visited The Current in Minnesota to play their breakout hit, "Awkward."

Martha Wainwright performs a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 15, 2012. Ryan Smith/Ryan Smith/NPR hide caption

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Martha Wainwright

Wainwright does the opposite of sugarcoating: She roughs up life's smooth spots, then digs her fingertips into the cracks that form. Watch her perform three songs from her new album, Come Home to Mama, in the NPR Music offices.

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The Stray Birds: Young, Weary And Resolute

Folk Alley

The Lancaster County trio is one of the finest young bands on the folk circuit. Watch Maya de Vitry, Oliver Craven and Charles Muench perform their hit single, "Dream in Blue," for Folk Alley.

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KCRW Presents: Regina Spektor


The singer-songwriter and pianist performed an exclusive concert for KCRW listeners at Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio in Santa Monica. Watch her end the special evening with "The Party."

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Sera Cahoone: Sounds Like Home

The former member of Carissa's Wierd and Band of Horses released her third full-length album, Deer Creek Canyon, earlier this year. Watch Cahoone perform that album's gorgeous title track in Portland.

Benjamin Gibbard performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices on Nov. 8, 2012. Lauren Rock/NPR hide caption

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Ben Gibbard

For this, the 250th Tiny Desk Concert, the Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service singer performs solo and unadorned, with just an acoustic guitar to back him up. Hear Gibbard perform a new song, a little-heard track from 2011, and "St. Peter's Cathedral" from Death Cab's Codes and Keys.

Bill Charlap performs at KPLU in Seattle. Justin Steyer/KPLU hide caption

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Bill Charlap: The American Songbook, Handled With Care


There isn't a modern-day pianist with a greater love for Tin Pan Alley than Bill Charlap. Watch him take circuitous routes through "All the Things You Are" and "Sophisticated Lady."

Patrick Watson performs live in concert at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. Mito Habe-Evans hide caption

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Patrick Watson In Concert

Patrick Watson put out one of 2012's most magical records. On Sept. 5, the singer and pianist took his sprawling group of touring musicians to Washington, D.C., for an emotional live set.

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Dayna Stephens Quartet : Live At Berklee


The saxophonist has built up an impressive educational pedigree. But he's really flourished by backing up greats like Kenny Barron and Idris Muhammad, and being a first-call player on both the East and West Coast. He leads his quartet live at his alma mater.

Lost in the Trees performs on KCRW. KCRW hide caption

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KCRW Presents: Lost In The Trees


Ari Picker's melancholy North Carolina collective introduces a new song on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic program. Watch Lost in the Trees perform "Glass Harp."

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Jens Lekman: Positively Negative

The Swedish indie-pop star stopped by in Portland to perform songs from I Know What Love Isn't in the studio. Watch Lekman perform the album's darkly uplifting title song.

Flaco Jimenez and Max Baca play a Tiny Desk Concert on Oct. 3. Lauren Rock/NPR hide caption

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Flaco Jimenez

Jimenez is part of a musical continuum that reaches from 19th-century Mexico all the way to The Rolling Stones. And he does it by playing waltzes on a button accordion.