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The 5 Most Uplifting Tiny Desk Concerts

We've hosted roughly 900 Tiny Desk concerts, so it's a challenge to pick just five to match any superlative you can name. But "Most Uplifting"? In a field that includes Sesame Street Muppets and brass bands, Halloween costumes and Christmas sweaters, Tank and her assorted Bangas, desktop dancers from Macklemore to the guy from Gogol Bordello... look, it's basically impossible, OK? But for the purposes of this list, let's stick mostly to delicious, fantastic spectacle: Dan Deacon's wild dance competition, Mucca Pazza's record-setting 23-person cyclone of horns and costumed cheerleaders, Superorganism's sweet-and-silly commitment to playthings and sound effects, Fragile Rock's emo-puppet extravaganza and... well, Lizzo. I mean, come on.

Tiny Desks In This Playlist

• Lizzo (read more)
• Superorganism (read more)
• Fragile Rock (read more)
• Dan Deacon (read more)
• Mucca Pazza (read more)

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)