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NPR Tiny Desk Contest Coming to Sonoma County

Posted by: on Feb 21, 2018 | Comments (0)

Calling all North Bay musicians, NPR’s massively popular Tiny Desk Contest is on for 2018.  Now in its fourth year, the nationwide contest for unsigned bands and artists is an opportunity like no other. Simply make a video of yourself performing an original tune while sitting at a desk in the style of NPR’s longrunning Tiny Desk Concert series, upload it to YouTube and submit it as an entry. Winners will have the chance to tour the country, and this year, the tour stops in Sonoma County for the first time with a performance at Lagunitas Tap Room in Petaluma.

Now, maybe it’s just me, a humble North Bay native; but how cool would it be for a local band to be on that stage when NPR comes to town? Tiny Desk contest winners in past years have gone on to perform for sold-out crowds around the world, and Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito even picked up a Grammy Award after winning the contest in 2015.

If you don’t win the grand prize, submitting artists have still been featured on NPR Music’s All Songs Considered blog as well as Tiny Desk supercut videos and the like. If you’re a band that has submitted in past years, you can do it again, just pick a new song. Also, creativity is encouraged, so the concept of a “desk” to perform at can be stretched in any number of ways.

Unsigned bands and musicians can submit videos now through Sunday, March 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET at NPR.org/tinydeskcontest. Please see website for official rules.

Lagunitas & NPR Are Searching for Tiny Desk Talent

Posted by: on Jan 20, 2016 | Comments (0)

Attention music makers in the North Bay and beyond. NPR’s popular music performance series, Tiny Desk Concerts, is once again looking for the next best band to feature live in the intimate office space. And, once again Lagunitas is fueling the fun.

Hosted by Bob Boilen from NPR’s “All Songs Considered,” the Tiny Desk Concerts feature all kinds of musicians playing folk, rock, pop, soul, hip-hop, and more from the confines of Bob’s desk. Every year, Boilen sets his eyes on discovering new, untapped talents by offering the Tiny Desk contest to any unsigned musicians. Simply record a video of yourself playing an original song, preferably at a desk, then upload it to YouTube and fill out the form by the Feb 2 deadline.

A longtime partner of Tiny Desk, Lagunitas Brewing Company is once again involved in the fun. You can view their favorite entries from years past by clicking here. If you’re interested in submitting a video for consideration, get all the contest details by clicking here. Below, check out Sonoma native and popular North Bay performer Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra’s entry from last year.

Built To Spill Contest Winner Revealed!

Built To Spill Contest Winner Revealed!

Posted by: on Feb 22, 2012 | Comments (1)


A few weeks ago, we announced out Built to Spill Cover Song Contest. Today, we’re pleased to announce that we’ve chosen a winner: Thomas Gonzalez, from Windsor, with his lovably bizarre version of “Carry the Zero.”

Listen: “Carry the Zero,” by Thomas Gonzalez

I admit—listening to Thomas’ version, about 15 seconds in I was like, “This is the worst thing I have ever heard.” We had some pretty funny debates around the Bohemian office about it, actually. What was up with Thomas’ voice? Why did it sound like an acoustic Matisyahu outtake? How was he going to handle the climax, where 5,000 guitar tracks smash into the mix all at once?

But hang in there and keep listening, because a certain atmosphere is created—one that definitely doesn’t exist on the original. Every ridiculous thing about Thomas’ version of “Carry the Zero” is what makes it special. Rather than a straight replication of the Built to Spill style, he truly inhabited the song and made it his own. For this, he wins two tickets to Built to Spill this Saturday night at the Uptown Theatre.

Picking a winner wasn’t easy, because the two runner-up entries are good, too. Here’s Kirana Peyton‘s version of “In Your Mind”:

Listen: “In Your Mind,” by Kirana Peyton

…and Ben Guerard‘s double-vocal version of “Big Dipper”:

Listen: “Big Dipper,” by Ben Guerard

Both runners-up win high-fives, and the affirmation that they are awesome.

Thanks for entering, everybody!