1.Great Bands in Intimate Performances from SPIN's NYC Office

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Last January, SPIN moved to a new loft space at one of NYC's busiest downtown intersections: Broadway and Canal. Soon after, we launched our revamped SPIN Sessions, which saw great bands like Noisettes, Phoenix, and Metric (left to right, above) stopping by to play intimate acoustic sets for staff and a few lucky friends. Here, we collect video from our 12 favorite performances for your enjoyment.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH >>

2.Great Bands in Intimate Performances from SPIN's NYC Office

2/14

Share

Last January, SPIN moved to a new loft space at one of NYC's busiest downtown intersections: Broadway and Canal. Soon after, we launched our revamped SPIN Sessions, which saw great bands like Noisettes, Phoenix, and Metric (left to right, above) stopping by to play intimate acoustic sets for staff and a few lucky friends. Here, we collect video from our 12 favorite performances for your enjoyment.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH >>

3.Phoenix, "1901"

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Recorded Live on December 2, 2009
Click here to watch the whole set >>
There weren't many songs in '09 bigger than the French foursome's ubiquitous, Cadillac commercial gracing track -- in fact, only the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Zero" bested it on our 20 Best Songs of 2009 list. So watching the quartet breeze through "1901" in our office foyer was a treat. "It's a song about Paris," explained frontman Thomas Mars. "Paris in 1901 was better than it is now. So the song is a fantasy about Paris."

4.Metric, "Twilight Galaxy"

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Recorded live on February 19, 2009
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They impressed us in 2008 by taping an unplugged performance of "Gimme Sympathy" in our Coachella backyard. So when we moved into our new office, we wasted no time extending an invite to Jimmy Shaw and Emily Haines of Metric to perform our first SPIN Session. This was one of two songs they sneak-previewed from their 2009 album, Fantasies, which was unreleased at the time.

5.Noisettes, "Never Forget You"

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Recorded live on August 4, 2009
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A name to know: Shingai Shoniwa. The spellbinding Noisettes singer's sheer enthusiasm wasn't deterred by the unplugged setting of her band's SPIN Sessions taping. In a barely-there sequined jumper, Shoniwa delivered this sultry number off the excellent Wild Young Hearts with sass and style, and turned it into a perpetual office soundsystem fave.

6.Brendan Benson, "Tiny Spark"

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Recorded live on August 18, 2009
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Badass Raconteurs guitarist Brendan Benson christened our rooftop space for the series' first outdoor show. In addition to cuts off this year's My Old Familiar Friend, Benson dipped into his back catalog, including this romp through the leadoff cut from 2002's Lapalco.

7.Manchester Orchestra, "I've Got Friends"

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Recorded live on March 4, 2009
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After being photographed by Laszlo Konrath for a feature in SPIN's May issue, Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull stopped by the SPIN office to uncork subdued versions of songs from Mean Everything to Nothing, the band's hard-rocking sophomore record. In contrast to the album version's supercharged swagger, Hull offered this passionate but delicate take on "I've Got Friends."

8.Kings of Convenience, "It's My Party"

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Recorded live on September 10, 2009
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We always ask our SPIN Sessions performers to play a cover, and the results are sometimes amazing. In this case, Norwegian folk duo Kings of Convenience showed off a lighter, far less serious side than you'd expect from listening to their albums when they played Lesley Gore's '60s girl-group classic, "It's My Party" -- complete with faux trumpet solo by KoC's Erlend Øye!

9.Panic! At the Disco, "Don't Stop Believin'"

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Recorded live on September 14, 2009
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When Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco stopped by, his band was emerging from a rough patch after two longtime members moved on to start their own project. So there was something life-affirming in watching Urie belt out the Journey classic without the faintest tinge of irony. Okay, you're right -- whenever Journey's involved, it's just a little ironic. But that didn't stop us from believing: This was one of our fave SPIN Sessions moments.

10.Jemina Pearl, "Heartbeats"

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Recorded live on November 20, 2009
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Spunky Jemina Pearl had never played an acoustic version of this song for an audience before visiting us this fall. With bandmate/boyfriend John Eatherly strumming a borrowed guitar, the ex-Be Your Own Pet singer spontaneously figured out how to strip down her sound -- with a few false starts and giggles. While the unplugged version of her single "I Hate People" was great, we loved watching her and Eatherly trade-off vocals on this song's chorus even more.

11.Lou Barlow, "Bulletproof" (La Roux)

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Recorded live on October 5, 2009
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Here's the third of our favorite covers from the SPIN Sessions series. Dinosaur Jr./Sebadoh/Folk Implosion man Lou Barlow stopped in to play cuts from his Merge-released solo album, Goodnight Unknown, but also surprised us with his cover choice: La Roux's "Bulletproof," one of the year's biggest indie dance hits. Before playing his somber version of the typically bubbly tune, Barlow explained how he discovered the song while watching on-demand videos with his daughter.

12.The Swellers, "This is My Everest"

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Recorded live on October 22, 2009
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SPIN's staff wasn't the only crowd these Michigan-born pop punkers charmed in '09. Somehow, their decision to vandalize Hayley Williams' car with a Swellers bumper sticker endeared them to the Paramore singer, and they spent a big chunk of 2009 opening for her band's North American tour. Here, brothers Nick and Jonathan Diener duet on a plaintive original ballad.

13.Hockey, "Too Fake"

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Recorded live on October 24, 2009
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During this fall's CMJ Music Marathon, a celebration of all things indie rock in New York City, we invited up-and-coming dance rockers Hockey to play on our roof. While the free beer flowed, the funky Oregonians worked the crowd into a rump-shaking frenzy with their breakout single.

14.Ian McCulloch, "The Killing Moon"

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Recorded live on December 4, 2009
What better way to wrap our first year of SPIN Sessions than with a rare unplugged set from the Echo & the Bunnymen frontman. We'll be posting the entire session from this recently-recorded taping in January, but here's a sneak peek at McCulloch's stripped-down version of Echo's biggest hit, "The Killing Moon."