The Linda Lindas: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert
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.
A library might not be the first place that comes to mind when you picture a suitable venue for a punk band — unless, of course, you're thinking about The Linda Lindas, who shot to viral stardom after aperformance in the Los Angeles Public Library's Cypress Park Branch last year. For the band's Tiny Desk (home) concert, the teen punks returned to the library — this time, playing at the Los Angeles Central Library — with several members even sporting buttons that pledge love to the LA library system. "We're playing the library once more," guitarist Lucia de la Garza says with a smile, in awe of the "cool space." (It feels fitting — after all, having artists perform an intimate, powerful set under daytime office lights is kind of the Tiny Desk's whole thing.)
The four members of The Linda Lindas – sisters Mila de la Garza and Lucia de la Garza, their cousin Eloise Wong and their family friend Bela Salazar – first played together in 2018, as members of a new-wave cover band put together by Kristin Kontrol of Dum Dum Girls. Soon after that, they formed their own punk group, going on to open for artists like Bikini Kill, Alice Bag and Best Coast.
In the band's Tiny Desk (home) concert, each of the members — all between 11 and 17 — take turns singing, starting with "Growing Up," the title track to the band's debut album, sung by guitarist Lucia. After a couple upbeat tracks sung by drummer Mila and bassist Wong about friendship and frustration, the band is joined by an additional percussionist. "We put an advertisement in the library a few days ago," Lucia jokes, before introducing Spencer Lere of the band Bleached (who is also, Mila points out, her drum teacher) for a surfy track sung in Spanish by guitarist Salazar. The band ends its set with the scorching "Racist, Sexist Boy." Co-written by Mila and her cousin, it's the song that first caught the internet's attention with its powerfully righteous anger about a racist incident Mila experienced in the early days of the pandemic. "Here we go — let's blow the roof off," Lucia says dryly just before the final song — but given how hard these four rock, you'd be forgiven for thinking she's not joking at all.
TINY DESK TEAM
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