Knack Factory and Hot Trash team to spotlight Portland music’s “Tiny Desk" potential


A group of Portland bands and musical acts will have an opportunity to record professional videos to then submit to a National Public Radio contest designed to give home-grown bands a chance at national spotlight. The effort has been made possible by a Portland production company, music blog, and photo studio.

The contest, based on NPR’s Tiny Desk Series, encourages musicians nation-wide to submit their own performances to be considered for featured spotlight in the series. One winner will also be awarded support for a nation-wide tour. Digital production firm Knack Factory is volunteering its efforts to make possible a session in which 8 musicians will record professionally produced submissions for the contest. The endeavor is made possible due to organizational help from Victoria Karol of the music blog Hot Trash Portland and with help from High Output Studios.

“Victoria brought the contest to our attention and we thought it would be great for as many Portland bands as possible to submit their music” said Alex Steed, a partner at Knack Factory. “While I think there is a high probability that one of these great bands will win the contest, even if they don’t it will be great to record and highlight a session of some of Portland’s great musicians.”

“It is a rare opportunity for independent artists to have access to the caliber of video production that Knack Factory offers - more than just a submission for the Tiny Desk Contest, each artist's video also becomes a valuable asset for marketing and social media.” Said Karol, who, as a substantial favor to the endeavor, organized the sessions. “I'm incredibly excited about the artists participating in this project; some of my favorite local acts are among them. It will be amazing to see how the talented team at Knack Factory will translate their big sounds to this small, desk-sized stage.”

The sessions will take place at High Output Studios, which is helping to make the day possible by making their facilities available at a considerable discount. Bands and musicians will include Jargon Party, SeepeopleS, Sara Hallie Richardson, Oliver Waterman, Five of the Eyes, Joel Thetford, Lovers of Fiction, and Jeff Beam.

“This is going to be a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to doing it,” said Steed. “Since the submission deadline isn’t until February, if there is interest and someone out there who wants to offer material support for another round, we’d love to start planning for another session.