Music News & Reviews

Today, we celebrate the release of our 500th Tiny Desk concert. It's amazing that something that started as a bit of a wisecrack has been so widely embraced by artists and fans. In 2008 at SXSW in Austin, NPR Music's Stephen Thompson and I met up to see singer Laura Gibson. Laura was so quiet, and the crowd was so loud and rude — something about a March basketball game — that Stephen jokingly asked her to come play at my desk so we could hear her.

Musician Brooke Waggoner was on a 6 a.m. coffee run when she got a worrisome text from a friend, whose husband was apparently dealing with a life-threatening heart problem. The news gave her a shiver — and an idea.

You know the X-Files theme. For nine years, that music had an almost Pavlovian effect on TV junkies addicted to the paranormal adventures of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. But in the beginning, it was just a job for composer Mark Snow.

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