So by now, you’ve probably already heard that Tank and the Bangas won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Their submission video was incredible and I freaking love their sound. Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the group’s lead vocalist, has a real command of diction and flow and I’m completely nerding out over her ability to spit ridiculous lyrics over some crazy rhythms. NPR received thousands of submissions and the competition for every genre was fierce. NPR included GGO in their official wrap-up video and I’m over-the-moon at the thought of Bob Boilen seeing my video work and listening to our music. #fangirling
There were over 100 Colorado submissions to the contest. Colorado Public Radio chose their favorite 11 submissions and Gora Gora Orkestar was chosen as one of the top Colorado videos. We were thrilled to be included in the list, especially considering that our video was filmed last minute and submitted right before the deadline. Wrangling a group of nine musicians to record a video, outside in the snow on a Sunday morning, was no small feat. Somehow, we were able to pull it all together and crank out a video that properly captured the original composition and our eclectic mix of personalities. I don’t recommend mastering audio and editing video on a deadline, but it sure as hell got the juices flowing!
The song, “Killer Robot,” was written by GGO’s sousaphone player Ben Fausch. I might be a little biased (I am married to the dude), but I really love the song. These musicians love a complicated Balkan tune and this track is the perfect combo of Funk, Balkan, and pure chaos. Between takes, we poured some morning whiskey and these folks let me snap some images. I love getting my subjects to shake off their insecurities and let loose. I know exactly how awkward it is to be in front of the camera. There is a reason I prefer to stay behind the lens… These shots showcase the sense of humor and earnest joy that these folks absolutely embody. I’m proud of what we were able to accomplish in a day and I’m so lucky to be able to make music with these delightful weirdos.