The deadline recently passed for entries into the Tiny Desk Contest, a contest run by NPR that will reward one lucky winner with an appearance on their famous video series, Tiny Desk Concerts, and a spot on Lagunitas’ Couchtrippin’ show in Austin.
It probably won’t shock you to know that, when all was said and done, there were a pretty large number of applicants are from right here in our Bay Area backyard. While the pool is somewhat limited to more cerebral, folk-minded styles that resonate with the NPR crowd, the Bay Area contingent still exhibits an impressive range of musical (and cinematographic!) skills. This event also turned up a surprisingly number of bands we’ve never covered at The Bay Bridged. Get in touch, folks!
With the ball now squarely in NPR’s court, let’s take a sec to celebrate some of the Bay Area bands that threw their tiny desk into the ring. Check out the videos below, then try and tell me you don’t feel a little prouder to live here when you’re through.
Disclaimer: This list is presented in no particular order. This also likely isn’t every single Bay Area submission—if we missed your video, please feel free to leave a link in the comments!
John Miller, Morgan Hill
Since we know you’re about to ask: Morgan Hill is slightly south of San Jose, and yes it still counts as the Bay (it’s admittedly pretty close to the geographic cutoff, though). Miller’s rustic tunes and antique-store-sourced desk are a perfect pairing for Morgan Hill’s dusty agricultural environs.
Forrest Day, Oakland
What is it with burly, bearded dudes delivering gorgeous harmonies? Oakland’s Forrest Day sings out a stunning, slightly subversive chorus.
Sharp Press, Oakland
And now for some electronics: Sharp Press make big noise with just a Korg and a guitar.
Curious Quail, San Jose
You already know all about Curious Quail. Watch them pack all five members into their friend’s home office and produce the surprisingly sublime “Reconstruction.” Keep an eye out for inventive use of on-hand office supplies.
Seth Lael, San Francisco
“But wait,” you say. “I’m not into all this hipster nonsense. Got anything else for me?” Why yes (also, it’s not nonsense). Here’s Travis Lael, who plunks out a “Watching the Detectives”-style funk and is so damn cool he can pull off wearing sunglasses while indoors.
The Lady Crooners, San Francisco
The Lady Crooners are not all ladies, nor are they doing strictly crooning (they’re pretty good at it, though). Check out their song, “Good One,” accompanied by some dance moves executed with classic girl-group precision.
Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra, Santa Cruz
The Old Soul Orchestra is appropriately experimental for Santa Cruz. Check out the antique-sounding “Letters.”
Travis Hayes, San Francisco
We love us some Travis Hayes here at the Bay Bridged. We’re pulling for him and his performance of “Night Swimming” below.
DonCat, San Francisco
We’ve devoted several posts to DonCat (also known as Duncan Nielsen) and his various projects in the past. Here he is, barefoot and performing “Smoke.”