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The Bad Ends: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

On one hand, this Tiny Desk (home) performance by The Bad Ends is an Athens, Ga., insider's dream, not just because the group features R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry and singer Mike Mantione of the band Five Eight, but because of all the Easter eggs the group placed around the room. There's the cookbook for the much-beloved restaurant The Grit, Jason Thrasher's Athens Potluck — a collection of photos and reflections from local musicians — and paintings by Athens artists like Terry Rowlett, Jill Carnes and even one by Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Mangum.

But this four-song set should feel magical to anyone who loves the loose intimacy you get when a group of friends play in their parents' basement, jamming together while dreaming that it's really for a stadium-sized rock show. The Bad Ends members, all longtime veterans, capture the spirit of their earliest days when anything seemed possible.

The songs they perform here are from the band's debut album, The Power And The Glory, including the closer, a wistful instrumental called "Ode to Jose," which features Bill Berry on acoustic guitar. This is the first band Berry has been a member of — and the first album he's made — since leaving R.E.M. in 1997. Watching him play, lost deep in his thoughts, it's a moment that says, "We've been on this road a long time, but the journey isn't over."

SET LIST

  • "All Your Friends Are Dying"
  • "Left To Be Found"
  • "The Ballad of Satan's Bride"
  • "Ode to Jose"
  • MUSICIANS

  • Mike Mantione: vocals, guitars
  • Bill Berry: drums, 12-string guitar
  • Geoff Melkonian: keyboards, background vocals, shaker, bullhorn
  • Dave Domizi: bass, background vocals
  • Jay Gonzalez: guitar, mandolin
  • John Neff: pedal steel guitar
  • Anne Domizi: harmony vocals
  • Eddie Glikin: djembe
  • Owen Lange: mellotron, purple cowbell
  • Bennett Evans: electric sitar
  • CREDITS

  • Video: Marc Pilvinsky, Philip Wages, Larry Justice
  • Audio: David Barbe, Henry Barbe
  • TINY DESK TEAM

  • Producer: Bob Boilen
  • Video Producer: Kara Frame
  • Audio Mastering: Josh Rogosin
  • Tiny Desk Team: Bobby Carter, Suraya Mohamed, Joshua Bryant, Maia Stern, Hazel Cills, Marissa Lorusso, Ashley Pointer, Pilar Galván, Jill Britton, Sofia Seidel
  • VP, Visuals and Music: Keith Jenkins
  • Senior VP, Programming: Anya Grundmann
  • Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

    Robin Hilton
    Robin Hilton is the Senior Podcast Producer for NPR Music. He also hosts the New Music Friday episodes of All Songs Considered.