Tiny Desk Intimate concerts, recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen.

Yva Las Vegas plays a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices. Lauren Rock/NPR hide caption

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Yva Las Vegass

The New York street performer's songs feel like deep primal screams, each accompanied by a traditional Venezuelan cuatroa small stringed instrument similar to a ukulele. At the NPR Music offices, Las Vegass weaves magic with her presence, her playing and especially her voice.

Amanda Palmer and The Grand Theft Orchestra during Tiny Desk at NPR. (Kainaz Amaria/NPR) Kainaz Amaria/NPR hide caption

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Amanda Palmer And The Grand Theft Orchestra

Theatre Is Evil is genius, savvy pop filled with storytelling that won't let go. Watch Palmer and her band perform "The Killing Type," "Want It Back" and the appropriately titled "Ukulele Anthem."

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Avi Avital

Avital has the long, slender fingers of a concert pianist. Yet instead of stretching chords out wide on a Steinway, he squeezes those lengthy digits onto the tiny fretted fingerboard of a mandolin. The instrument today is associated with bluegrass and western swing, but in Avital's hands, the mandolin sings with the sounds of J.S. Bach, Ernest Bloch and contemporary composers.

Renaud Garcia Fons performs a Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR Music offices. Michael Katzif/NPR hide caption

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Renaud Garcia-Fons

The renowned double bassist from France demonstrates his love of classical, jazz and flamenco while performing solo behind the Tiny Desk. Watch Garcia-Fons thump, strum and loop his way through three mesmerizing songs.

Rufus Wainwright performs a Tiny Desk Concert, at the NPR Music offices on July 24, 2012. Claire O'Neill/NPR hide caption

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Rufus Wainwright

Somehow, we managed to fit a glossy black Yamaha upright piano behind the Tiny Desk. Then we tuned it and waited for some glorious moments. By the time Wainwright reached the middle of his final song, "Montauk," there were few dry eyes among the NPR employees and guests.

The Zombies perform a Tiny Desk Concert. Ebony Bailey/NPR hide caption

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The Zombies

Predicting music that will survive the ages just isn't possible. In a stripped-down performance at the NPR Music office, founding members Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone still have the chemistry that began 51 years ago, playing classics like "She's Not There."

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Beth Orton

Known for mixing folk and electronic music, Orton unveils three new songs with just an acoustic guitar. Her next album, Sugaring Season, doesn't come out until Oct. 2, so consider this a sneak preview — alongside a lovely, spare version of 1999's "Sweetest Decline."

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The Walkmen

Singer Hamilton Leithauser may wield an acoustic guitar in these three songs, but this is no awkward attempt to shoehorn booming rock anthems into arrangements that don't suit them. It's clear that these guys were making the Tiny Desk accommodate their sound rather than the other way around.

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Janet Feder

Guitarist Janet Feder marries classical technique and folk song structures with a curiosity and imagination that lets her custom nylon-string baritone electric take on otherworldly textures and sounds.

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The Milk Carton Kids

Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale get a lot done with subtle gestures, but there's real sophistication to the three gorgeous, harmony-rich folk-pop songs they recently performed in the NPR Music offices.

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Souad Massi

A soulful yet steely singer-songwriter from Algeria charts her own course, from withstanding death threats in her native country to selling hundreds of thousands of records around the globe. Watch her perform four songs in the NPR Music offices.

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Laura Marling

In this performance at the NPR Music offices, two pieces from Laura Marling's newest record, 2011's A Creature I Don't Know, bookend a gorgeous new song called "Once." She'd never even recorded "Once," let alone released it, so consider this performance a premiere of sorts.

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Brandi Carlile

In the tradition of the best bluesy folk-rock singers who preceded her (think Janis Joplin or Melissa Etheridge, but with less bluster than either), Carlile sings with restrained power and from-the-gut force. Here, she and her band perform three tremendously assured songs from Bear Creek.

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Exitmusic

The songs of Exitmusic are so romantically rich, they could envelop a cavernous hall. Luckily, the band didn't defang its cinematic power and anguish in the intimate confines of the NPR Music offices.

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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.