Started in 2008 by All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen, the video sessions feature musicians throwing down in and around the cramped confines of Boilen's (yes) workspace, and the results are spontaneous and crucial viewing. Sort of a spiritual successor to BBC DJ John Peel's iconic Peel Sessions, hundreds of artists have played the Tiny Desk, from the Wu-Tang Clan to Taylor Swift and Weird Al Yankovic. And again, musicians making the best of a cramped space, stripped-down sound, and playing to an online audience seems suddenly very prescient.
This year's contest has taken an unintended importance, with stages for musicians all around the country – be they physical or online – scarce. NPR has extended the deadline for entering the national competition to Monday, April 27. Which means there's still plenty of time for local musicians to record a video and enter.
The guidelines are simply that you, a local musician, send in a video performance to NPR of an original song. More information on submission guidelines for the national contest can be found on the WMFE Tiny Desk page. They've also collected a small handful of the local entries thus far on a playlist (including Blackberry and the aforementioned Beemo).
Helpfully, NPR has created a very handy page on their website with some nuts & bolts tech and sound tips for filming your video.
Now, turn on your camera and let rip. We'll be watching.
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