Lists

10 Best Tiny Desk Concert Contest Entries From Phoenix

The National Public Radio Tiny Desk Concert Contest is really neat because it gives musicians at every level an equal chance to catch the eye of the arbiters and find their way onto the famed web series. Bands from all over the world have submitted their own personal versions of the show with the hopes of getting on, and Valley locals Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra's performance got featured on the NPR website.

Obviously, not every entry got as much attention as PAO, but that doesn’t mean that no other Phoenix acts produced entries worthy of a shout out. Nearly 40 Phoenix-based acts submitted video to NPR for the 2016 contest. These are our 10 favorite. 

10. “Waiting on You” - The Henry Company
Henry Rivera went solo acoustic for his band’s entry into this year's Tiny Desk Concert Contest, and his song “Waiting on You” is probably the most upbeat tune turned in by a Phoenix artist this year. It’s a simple shoot for a simple song, and it comes off soulful as the Phoenix native sings it out.


9. “Anna Lee” - Jake Busby

“Anna Lee” is a tune about a cheating lover's fate, as sung by Jake Busby and his dastardly mustache. The video is shot in a sepia filter and has a good deal of accouterments meant to give the video an old western feel. It’s not the highest quality, but Busby definitely gets an A for creativity and effort.

8. “The Way I feel” - Paris James
“The Way I feel” is a well put together song with insightful lyrics. Paris James doesn’t bring quite as much passion to this particular performance as some of the other entrants did, but it’s still of high enough quality to warrant a mention. He kept the recording real simple and had just one angle through with him in dead center. It may not be the most interesting video, but it’s a really good song.


7. “April Waiting for Spring” - Theron Jenkins
The video quality on Theron Jenkins “April Awaiting Spring” leaves much to be desired, including a desire for Theron’s head to not get cut off in the middle of the song. However Jenkins voice leaves nothing to be desired whatsoever as he soulfully delivers his original tune. With a fairly basic guitar accompaniment Jenkins' voice shines as really delivers a gorgeous song for his contest entry.

6. “Feels Like Trouble” - The Technicolors

It seems like The Technicolors just placed a go-pro in the corner of the ceiling of their practice space and went to work. The production on the video may not have been professional grade but the song, “Feels Like Trouble,” is pretty phenomenal. It’s got a good indie rock sound that probably comes in far clearer when the group is playing it full bore. But they certainly got enough of the raw emotion across in the Tiny Desk version to more than warrant a bump.

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Jeff Moses
Contact: Jeff Moses