One week left …

January 26, 2016

2016 NPR Music Tiny Desk Contest fueled by Lagunitas
A lot can happen in a year, especially when you’re a musician. Last week, we asked you to shoot us a note if you submitted this time last year and were entering again. Many of you did. You sent us links, new and old, but in the process you all answered the same question: What’s happened to you and your music in the past year?

Here’s a story from Brendan Dalton, a.k.a. Fox In The Fold:

“Last year around this time, I was alone, recording myself at the tiny desk in my Florida hotel room (I was in Orlando for nine months for work). I was lonely and missing home something fierce. And it was so inspiring to see the submissions of everyone getting together and playing with their friends. It brought me hope that I would be doing the same the next year,” he wrote. “Though I’m still playing alone in the new submission, I’ve got my best friend behind the camera and we feel like we’re creating something together … Thanks for encouraging us all to keep at it and keep finding ways to come together.”

We’re so humbled that coming together can mean coming back to us. Another example: A year ago, River Whyless was in an airstream trailer recording their Tiny Desk submission. They didn’t win, but Bob Boilen saw them again at Americana Fest and invited them to come play in the office. In the past week, we’ve shared their actual Tiny Desk concert and a goofy video we shot with them about the Contest, too. We put many of the videos we’ve seen so far on a new browsing tool  (if you don’t see yours up yet, don’t panic, we still haven’t watched them all), and we know a lot of you are still hard at work. But what we’ve loved most is seeing all the growth in every act we’re meeting again, and all the potential in every act we’re seeing for the first time.

Take, for instance, Andrea von Kampen. Her spare video and heartbreaking voice blew us away from far off in Nebraska. We featured her on the blog and were glad to see her video get picked up in some local press, too. Thomas Piper brought us enough grooves and sunshine to outlast a blizzard with his excellent “Requiem For A Sunny Day.” Latin jazz act Piano Flamenco Quartet threw down the gauntlet when they put a Thelonious Monk fake book on their desk … and then completely delivered.

We have high hopes for what’s to come this week. We’re at our computers and ready to watch everything you send us. We’re ready to hear your stories, too – by email or song. We want to see how far you’ve come, and we want to help with where you’re going.

From the Tiny Desk,
Ben & Rachel

Fueled by Lagunitas Brewing Company

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