Suddenly, Knoxville's music scene is swarming with band battles. No, not the kind that involve personal feuds and snippy Facebook comments, but rather contests of musical performance skill.
• The Shed (at Smoky Mountain Harley-Davidson in Maryville) has teamed up with i105.3 WFIV for the 2011 Rock-Off. Six bands are competing in this fund-raiser for Second Harvest, with Cream Cheese winning the Oct. 8 battle over Dirty Jenkins Brothel and After Life. Coming up this week on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. is Quartjar, Temper Through Tears, and Stonemosis; that show is free, but the Thursday, Oct. 22 finale is $5. Proceeds for Second Harvest are also raised with the Rock-Off's unusual voting process: audience members vote for their favorite band by donating pennies in marked voting jars. One penny is equal to one vote, while $1 is equal to 100 votes. The band with the most pennies wins. (Yes, cash is accepted, too.)
"I think everyone can appreciate the economic situation we are in and there are a lot of people who are just looking for something to eat," says WFIV's Joe Stutler. "Second Harvest has such an unbelievable program set that we thought this could be another way to help as we get closer to the holidays."
WFIV will also be simulcasting the showdown on October 22 at 8 p.m.
• The Smoky Mountain Blues Society is looking for a local band to send to the International Blues Competition in Memphis, held Jan. 31-Feb. 4. (For complete rules visit blues.org.) Consequently, they're holding band battles at Brackins Blues Club in Maryville. On Tuesday, Oct. 18 at 8 p.m., the competitors will be Rick Rushing Band, Killing Floor, Bob Knapp Duo, and the Austin Crum Band. On Thursday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., Jaystorm, Jenna and Her Cool Friends, and Stella Vees will duke it out. Winners of the first two rounds will go to the finals on Oct. 23. The cover charge is $2 for all shows, and will go to a good cause—to help defray the cost of sending our band to Memphis. Knoxville represent!
• Over at Relix Variety Theatre, a rather unusual Battle of the Bands will be conducted on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. More than 20 local bands will be performing as part of a real band competition and in scenes for Jeff Joslin's upcoming indie movie The Girl Across the Room. Each artist will be playing two songs as part of their performance; tickets are $15 advance/$20 door.
• At Roosters, two bands face off against each other every Wednesday night in the month of October. Check them out starting at 10 p.m.
• Finally, at the first round of this year's Sound Off competition at the Square Room on Wednesday, Oct. 5, Jaystorm Project, Valley Young, Brimstone Treehouse, Lipliplip Hands, and Standing Small battled it out. Lipliplip Hands was crowned the winner by judges Matthew Everett (the guy with all the fan mail), Benny Smith (WUTK), Chyna Brackeen (Attack Monkey Productions), Olivia Scott-Smith (AC Entertainment), Eric Nowinski (Rock Snob Records), and Katie Cauthen (WUTK/Radio Bonnaroo/Disc Exchange).
Be prepared for round two on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 8 p.m. at the Square Room with competitors Dark Hollow Band, Stewart Pack, Tuatha Dea, King Super and the Excellents, and Sounds of Sirens.