The Linda Lindas went back to a sacred space to film their brand new NPR Tiny Desk (Home) concert: the library. While plenty of middle- and high-schoolers used to log countless hours in the stacks doing research, for the teen punk quartet, the Dewey Decimal system is more than just numbers: it could also be used as a measurement of how far they’ve come in just one head-spinning year.
After becoming viral sensations with a performance at an L.A. public library in early 2021 that got them signed to legendary punk label Epitaph Records, sisters Mila de la Garza (11) and Lucia de la Garza (15), their cousin Eloise Wong (14)and their family friend Bela Salazar (17) returned to the comfy confines of the L.A. Public for a show at the Los Angeles Central Library for the NPR gig.
The show begins with the pummeling pop-punk of “Growing Up,” the title track from the group’s just-released full-length debut, snarled by guitarist Lucia de la Garza as her bandmates rock out amid shelves of books. “We’ll dance like nobody’s there/ We’ll dance without any cares/ We’ll talk ’bout problems we share,” she sings in a perfect deadpan through braces as the band churns behind her.
And, because they’re still kids, in honor of their Tiny Desk show, the LL’s folded up some colorful construction paper to form a tinier, tiny desk. “We’re super-excited, we’re so happy to be here,” Lucia says at the beginning of the 14-minute blitz. “Just [a] cool space, we’re playing in the library once more.”
Drummer Mila de la Garza takes over for the pogo-worthy pop gem “Talking to Myself,” grabbing lead vocals on the bouncy tune, with bass player Wong totally missing the planned funny stage banter setting up her doomy lead vocal on the teen lament about the perils of young love, “Why.” Mila’s drum teacher, Bleached member Spencer Lere, joins the ladies for the bubbling, wistful Spanish-language tune “Cuántas Veces,” which shows off their versatility, with Salazar taking taking lead vocals on the song about being “tired of feeling this way.”
The set, of course, ends with the song that helped the group explode into stardom last year, the biting blitzkrieg “Racist, Sexist Boy,” about a racist incident from early in the pandemic that Mila turned into their signature song. “Here we go — let’s blow the roof off,” Lucia says with a smile. “I live for danger.” And, as advertised, they bring the hammer down on a boy who says “mean stuff” to them with Mila and Eloise trading off lead vocals.
In addition to dropping Growing Up last week, the band recently dropped the spooky video for “Talking to Myself.”
Watch the concert below.