February 16, 2005

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A battle is brewing
Organizers hope to leave one band standing
By Richie Victorino  rvictorino@hippopress.com

The winner of last year’s Lowellrocks.com Battle of the Bands was not the type of winner you’d expect in the northern Massachusetts/southern New Hampshire area.

The Brew, a band known for jams and improvisations, beat out a number of pop-rock and hard-rock bands to become champion of the six-month-long battle.

The battle’s organizer, Triana Wilson of 13 Music Entertainment, hopes this year’s battle, known as the 2006 New England Battle of the Bands, will result in as much variety in music as last year’s.

“We’ve had an orchestra, a jam-band won last year. We’ve had a lot of punk. I love that,” Wilson said. “I want that same flavor as last year.”

For those familiar with last year’s Lowellrocks.com battle, there are a few changes this time around (other than just the name change).

This year’s battle, which is still held at Reflections Lounge in Chelmsford, Mass., will be four months long rather than six.

The shorter time period means that 50 bands will compete, rather than 64. Slots are still open for bands interested in competing.

Also, Wilson stresses that this year she really hopes bands from throughout New England will come to compete.

The competition
There is no entry fee to compete, and every band will be paid to play, even if they don’t move on to the next round. Exactly how much they get paid isn’t determined yet.

There is one requirement for bands to participate: they must be from New England.

Bands should send some type of demo (video, audio) to Wilson at 13music@gmail.com or to 13 Music Entertainment, P.O. Box 1313, Lowell, Mass., 01853. Bands that don’t have a proper demo need not worry. Wilson is willing to come to your practice space, to a gig, or to a recording studio to check you out.

“Some bands change members or are between demos,” Wilson said. “I fully understand, and I want everyone to have an equal opportunity.”

The competition begins on March 10 and runs through the end of June. There is no solid deadline for entering your demo, though you should try to get something to Wilson as soon as possible. Those bands who don’t make the deadline, or who aren’t chosen for the battle, still could get a paying gig out of all this. Wilson listens to everything sent to her and books bands for various local gigs she helps organize.

The competition will begin with 10 weeks of preliminary rounds, where five bands will battle each night and only two winners will proceed.

Next there will be an eight-week second round, a four-week third round and then the final night, where four bands will compete for first place.

Every band that makes it to the final round will win at least $1,000.

Comments? Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com

Where?
The battle begins on March 10 at Reflections Lounge. Reflections Lounge is located at 67 Parkhurst Road, Chelmsford, Mass., (978) 934-9325. Bands interested in competing should e-mail a music sample to 13music@gmail.com or send a demo to 13 Music Entertainment, P.O. Box 1313, Lowell, Mass., 01853.
Prizes are still being finalized. However, every band will get paid something for their performances. The four finalists will walk away with at least $1,000.