I had a dream that I remembered before this, but I forgot it after failing to record it soon enough after waking up.
This dream involved a fictional version of the old BP School Board Maintenance Shop that my dad used to work at until they moved to a new building, I briefly worked there too during a summer break from college.
Bob Boilen | August 5, 2022 Regina Spektor sat in her hotel room waiting as we tuned the piano behind my desk. In those idle moments, she whipped up a “Tiny Song,” and she opens her concert singing this sweet, funny and tiny ditty. “Took a train from New York to D.C. / And everyone was coughing on me,” she sings, “But I wore a real tight mask / And got myself a negative COVID test.” I won’t spoil the rest, except to say that what unfolds over the course of the next five songs is the humor and passions I’ve loved in Regina Spektor’s music since receiving an early release of her Soviet Kitsch CD in 2004.
Now 18 years later, Regina has made what I believe is her most astonishing record to date, Home, before and after. We hear two songs from this 2022 release, including the album’s opening track, “Becoming All Alone.” The story has Regina walking home alone when she hears God call out her name: “And He said, ‘Hey, Let’s grab a beer / It’s awful late / We both right here,’ ” she sings, “And we didn’t even have to pay / ‘Cause God is God / And He’s revered.” Their conversation ensues, and Spektor wonders just why life and loneliness don’t improve with time. It’s the type of truth and whimsy that makes for such heartbreaking music, including old favorites “Fidelity” and “Samson,” performed here simply on piano with charm and conviction.
SET LIST “Tiny Song” “Loveology” “Becoming All Alone” “Après Moi” “Fidelity” “Samson”
MUSICIANS Regina Spektor: piano, vocals
TINY DESK TEAM Producer/Creative Director: Bob Boilen Director: Kara Frame Editor: Michael Zamora Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin Series Producer: Bobby Carter Videographers: Kara Frame, Michael Zamora, Josh Bryant Audio Assistant: Natasha Branch Production Assistants: Jill Britton, Joby Tanseco Tiny Desk Team: Suraya Mohamed, Marissa Lorusso, Hazel Cills, Ashley Pointer, Maia Stern VP, Visuals, and Music: Keith Jenkins