An appearance on NPR’s in-office Tiny Desk Concert series—the intimate musical performances recorded live at host Bob Boilen’s desk—has become one of those signs that you’ve made it in the music world since the video series launched in 2009.
Now welcome Tiny Bathroom Concerts.
They’re a lot like the Tiny Desk Concerts except, you know, recorded in bathrooms around here.
“My band applied to do the Tiny Desk Concert two times with no luck,” explains Alec Hutson of Somerville, the mastermind behind the new music video series. “This is kind of my tongue-in-cheek response to that.”
Hutson has performed music with Joe Froeber And The Drunk Monkeys and, until a few months ago, he says he was part of an eight-piece band called the Alec Hutson Trio. His experiences in music have given him a desire to highlight local musicians and bands “that I feel are underappreciated.”
“Our mission is to put a spotlight on Boston bands—but expanding out to New England,” he says. “Giving bands that deserve to be seen a chance to be seen in a way that is memorable, and is also high quality, that takes a bit of seriousness from the music. A lot of bands forget that music is a thing that is not always something that you have to take deadly serious.”
The project began as a promotional thing. “I have a product in the making called Dick Picks, guitar picks shaped in ways that you might expect,” Hutson says. But the videos “kind of became the primary focus, more than the product, much more than the product.”
So far he’s filmed “acoustic, stripped-down sets” performed by local friends of his—the pop rock of Strains Of A Sunflower (pictured at top), pop singer-songwriter Anders Olson, the “quiet and eerie” indie folk of Strawberry Machine, the soul/funk of Ali McGuirk.
The first two videos were recorded in bathrooms in his Somerville place. The next three have used bathrooms in the Moishe House in Boston’s Brighton neighborhood. He’s been “picking houses with multiple bathrooms to make the most of our audio engineers and camera crews.”
“We’re always looking for new venues,” he says. “I’ve always thought it would be good to gat a public restroom with a big band with all the different members in a different stall.”
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