Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Battle of the Bands: Monday Night

I'll be judging the battle of the bands all week here in Provo, Utah. Four bands will be performing each night at Muse Music, with the five best playing at the finals this Saturday. What makes me qualified to be a judge of local music talent you might ask? Well, I'll tell you.

Venues: I managed two different venues where bands performed on a regular basis: Sonic Garden, and my own place, Supercords. (both now closed down)

Promotion: Besides booking shows for the above mentioned venues, I also put together several special shows, such as The Don't Go Back To Skool Show and
Superskunk 2000.

Management: I managed three Utah bands back in the day: Honeysuck, Super Corduroy Leroys, and
Chump. And in case you're wondering, the name Supercords did come from Super Corduroy Leroys.

On to the show. I was one of seven judges tonight scoring the bands--five guys and two gals. I'd only met one of them before, one of the girls who had come to my store. In fact, she was wearing the shirt she bought there this evening, which pleased me very much. We were supplied with score cards and grading criteria... plus, complimentary pretzels and a bottle of
Weinhard's premium soda. I had black cherry.

Maxfield came on at 8:30. I immediately liked the singers voice, but the lyrics left me wanting. I'd classify these guys as indie-pop with some potential. I heard this was their first club show and it showed. One guy played a trumpet, which was a nice touch, but not used nearly as effectively as

I filled out my scorecard as follows:

Musicianship: 6
Song Writing: 5
Crowd Response: 5
Stage Presence: 3
Vocal Performance: 6
Total Score: 25

Next up was The Weakmen. They are of the moody, dark, slow, and depressing variety that I'm not too keen on. Use of a bow by the singer on his electric bass was cool, but nothing much else excited me.


Musicianship: 6
Song Writing: 3
Crowd Response: 4
Stage Presence: 5
Vocal Performance: 4
Total Score: 22

The band
Hender had a loud and animated crowd. I was expecting something above average from them, but instead they came off like a poor mans Third-Eye Blind. The best part of their show was laughing at two doofuses in the front air guitaring to the chorus. Sad.


Musicianship: 4
Song Writing: 3
Crowd Response: 8
Stage Presence: 5
Vocal Performance: 1
Total Score: 21

It was now the final bands show to lose. Anything half decent was going to take it tonight. Allred, the final band, was exactly that. Half decent. I didn't have any real complaints with this band except for an off-key back-up singer who should have had his mic turned off. Solid
emo sound, if you're into that kind of thing. My sister, who's a big Dashboard Confessional fan would have liked them.


Musicianship: 8
Song Writing: 5
Crowd Response: 6
Stage Presence: 8
Vocal Performance: 6
Total Score: 33

Most of my fellow judges agreed with me. After we counted the audience vote, we felt a bit relieved that they agreed with us as well. It's always nice not to have to walk to your car amid pissed off stares and insults. Allred was announced the winner and I got to go home at 11:30. The remaining 15 bands have got to be better than tonight's lineup. I'm praying they will be.

Worked on my paper until 1:00 am and saved it to two different discs, just in case. Will print it out before class tomorrow, leaving me with only one more paper to turn in.

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