Ben Gibbard: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

Apr 4, 2020
Originally published on April 13, 2020 1:29 pm

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.


"Hello, this is Ben Gibbard, welcome to Tiny Desk, Seattle style."

And with that, the heavy-hearted Death Cab for Cutie frontman performs his newly written song from America's first coronavirus hotspot, Seattle. The song is called "Life in Quarantine," and it's not only portrait of his city's current state; it's a gift to that city. Ben is donating money from streaming and purchases to Aurora Commons, a self-described "welcoming space for our unhoused neighbors."

And as if there weren't enough sadness, Ben performs an homage to songwriter and musician Adam Schlesinger of the band Fountains of Wayne, who passed away on April 1 from complications due to COVID-19. Ben was a long admirer of Adam's music and sings us one of his favorite Fountains of Wayne songs, as well as a song Ben wrote for The Monkees' Good Times album, a record that Adam produced.

All in all, I found this to be profoundly moving, and a fitting trio of songs that mark a unique and troubling time in our history.

SET LIST

  • "Life In Quarantine"
  • "Me & Magdalena" (The Monkees)
  • "She's Got a Problem" (Fountains of Wayne)
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