Now in its fourth installment, Vita.mn’s “Are You Local?” best-new-band contest has opened up voting for its 2012 competition. The democratic process allows bands to nominate themselves, and there are already 125 bands and artists entered into this year’s go-round. Three nominees will be battle each other at the SXSW Sendoff party at the 7th St. Entry (while Astronautalis, Peter Wolf Crier, the Blind Shake, Pink Mink, and Fort Wilson Riot perform in the First Ave Mainroom), and the winning act will get a slot at Vita.mn’s SXSW day party and a free trip to the festival.
Voting opens today and will only last about a week, so it’s a good time to head over to the nominees page and start perusing the acts. Conveniently, all 125 nominees have tracks available for streaming, and there’s a lot to take in. Not every band is going to blow you away at first listen, but one thing that struck me was just how diverse these selections are; sure, there are plenty of singer-songwriters and indie rock bands in the mix, but there are also quite a few rap tracks, synth-pop songs, dance bangers, metal anthems, R&B slow-burners, and jazz ballads. And I’ve only gotten through the first quarter of the submissions.
Pore over the nominees here, and cast your ballot by next Tuesday, February 13.