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The Contestants

Demerit, Samuel

Category: Indie, The Contestants


Music: http://demeritsamuel.bandcamp.com

Bio: A blend of bedroom pop and “folktronica,” my most recent album Halfhearted is a collection of homemade demo recordings.

“A latchkey orchestra’s ode to cardboard fortresses composed on golden pages, poorly bound. Catcalls and dogdares of hindsight held up by thumbtacks, five times fast into a tattered tin can.”

Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin

Key Songs: Organic Robots, Off and Running
, Double Knots

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Grygiel

Category: Indie, The Contestants

Music: http://grygiel.bandcamp.com/

Bio: A supporter of the It Gets Better Project, Grygiel writes about love, painful experiences, and things that piss her off. The lead track on her latest EP, 5:30 am, is a result of nights spent lying awake prior to a break-up, while “Drive Me” is a hopeful track that captures those excited moments after finally meeting a “sweet girl.” With the help of Woolly Mammoth Sound, she will be releasing a single this fall, “Make it Out,” which is a song-ified version of her It Gets Better story.

Location: Somerville, Massachusetts

Key Songs: Reckless Woman

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The Wine Thieves

Category: Rap/Hip-hop, The Contestants

Music: http://www.myspace.com/thewinethieves

Bio: The Wine Thieves have performed at universities, clubs, coffee shops, and — most notably — on the mtvU/EA Games Rock Band Tour.

Don Libido of New Orleans said Party.Picasso’s beats “resemble something like Prince Paul and DJ Premiere collaborating with Bob Dylan and Danny Elfman for a French midget porn infomercial.”

Hype’s rhymes were then compared to “jazz music making love to the slick, gravity-defying moves of famous male dancer Nijinsky!”

Location: Pennsylvania and New Jersey

Key Songs: Tits & Trips, 32 Bullets, Jake the Snake, Do Drugs

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Mayhem of EMS

Category: Rap/Hip-hop, The Contestants

Music: http://www.reverbnation.com/mayhemofems

Bio: Mayhem’s music is a mix of ’90s and early ’00s hip-hop. Mayhem learned valuable lessons about hardships and struggle with his family coming from Nigeria to settle in America and pave a way for themselves. That in itself shaped Mayhem into the man and MC he is today. This 28-year-old’s smooth flow, combined with a mixture of poetical fluidity and a rapid-fire rhyme scheme, put him in place to be Boston’s next voice of the youth. Mayhem compares his sound to the likes of Tupac, Nas, Pharoahe Monch, and Masta Ace.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts/Providence, Rhode Island

Key Songs: I Ain’t Lyin’ by Mayhem ft. Craig G and The Symphony by The Legendary Juice Crew

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MaG

Category: Rap/Hip-hop, The Contestants


Music: http://www.myspace.com/mrmag

Bio: I love making music I believe in. My music is like “hip-hop soul” music.

Location: Bronx, NY

Key Songs: Paper Airplanes (Freedom), Rich & Famous feat. Zach Berkman ($5 Cover), Blinder’s (I Ain’t Goin Back to Retail!”)

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Twin Guns

Category: Garage, The Contestants

Music: http://twinguns.bandcamp.com

Bio: New York’s Twin Guns features Andrea Sicco (Oscura, Rockethouse) and “Jungle” Jim Chandler (The Cramps, The Makers). Despite being just a duo, Twin Guns has the power and chops to really bring it. Drenched in reverb, fuzz, and an overdose of atmosphere, Twin Guns combine parts Jesus & Mary Chain, the Count Five/Seeds vibe, and the New York “No Wave” scene into its own dark stew.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Key Songs: Safe (Playing with Fire), The End of the Ride, Druggy & Suicidal

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Mieka Pauley

Category: Acoustic/Folk, The Contestants

Music: http://mieka.bandcamp.com, http://mieka.bandcamp.com/album/live-at-rockwood-nyc-nov-12-2010

Bio: I’m like a Jeff Buckley/Patty Griffin hybrid touring the country constantly.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Key Songs: All The Same Mistakes, Colossal, Marked Man

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Broken Umbrella Academy

Category: Acoustic/Folk, The Contestants

Music: http://brokenumbrellaacademy.com

Bio: From the combination of classical instrumentation including cello, trombone, classical acoustic guitars, piano, and glockenspiel, to the dual male/female vocals and choral effect, BUA has the dynamic range to blow socks while laying you gently down.

Location: Austin/San Marcos, Texas

Key Songs: Wrecking Ball (single) and Taste the Clouds (B-side)

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Ben Carr

Category: Acoustic/Folk, The Contestants

Music: http://www.reverbnation.com/rasbmusic

Bio: My music is a mix of meters and emotions conveyed through toe-tapping melodies atop a solid rhythmic base.

Location: Saxtons River, Vermont

Key Songs: Apple Dance, Funky Uke, Lemon Drops

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Megan Ochoa

Category: Acoustic/Folk, The Contestants

Music: http://www.reverbnation.com/meganheavlinochoa

Bio: I like to think that my music is sensual. I ride on waves made by the likes of Amy Winehouse and The Black Keys, as people all over the world are showing that they are not slaves to auto-tune and house music.  I have been told after a performance several times by members of the audience (male and female) that they are “turned on.” Now if that is not cool, I don’t know what is!

Location: Los Angeles, California

Key Songs: Crazy

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John Vournakis and the Petty Thieves

Category: Acoustic/Folk, The Contestants

Music: http://johnvournakis.bandcamp.com/album/j-v-the-petty-thieves

Bio: My music draws on a wide variety of influences to create something that I think is truly accessible to almost anyone. I’m influenced by the folk/country traditions of American music, but my music also has the DIY blue collar attitude of punk rock.

Location: Austin, Texas

Key Songs: 22, Bloody Ground, Around

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The Edwardo Show

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://edwardo.bandcamp.com/

Bio: My songs represent an attempt to meld classic songcraft from the last 100 years to modern storytelling. Show tunes, ’20s/’30s standards, ’60s pop, glam, punk, and current indie rock are all referenced in the mix.

All the musicians in The Edwardo Show are very skilled players, and the music uses primarily acoustic instruments recorded live in the studio.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Key Songs: Another Song, Masterplan, Maybe Next Time

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Condor

Category: Electronic, The Contestants

Music: http://soundcloud.com/condordubstep

Bio: Our music is considered dubstep with mixes of a little bit of everything.

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Key Songs: Optimal Performance, Tax Man, The Gunslinger

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Home Body

Category: Electronic, The Contestants

Music: http://home-body.bandcamp.com

Bio: Home Body is a sonic adventure exploring the joys, challenges, and magic of being human. We pair synthesizers and drum machines with vocals to create experimental pop music that animates time and space and amplifies reality. We sound like lightning mixed with warm apple crisp. We make music from our edges and perform it from our hearts. We care about your ears and we think they deserve some fun!

Location: Northampton, Massachusetts

Key Songs: Fire, Hustle Bustle, Jungle, Kamikaze

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Dividing the Masses

Category: Metal, The Contestants

Music: http://www.facebook.com/dividingthemasses

Bio: Dividing the Masses are four posi dudes playing some of the angriest-sounding music in the Midwest. A fan recently commented on DTM’s new EP, More Than This, saying that “if Emmure and Oceano had a baby that went to church, this would be it.”

While staying true to Dividing the Masses’ deathcore roots, the new EP showcases influences from hardcore and beatdown genres with bouncy riffs, two steps, and, of course, hard-hitting breakdowns. But don’t let all this talk about heavy music fool you. It’s not uncommon to catch members of DTM blasting bands like The Story So Far, Take It Back!, Such Gold, Defeater, or City and Colour. In a world of heavy music full of hate and gore, isn’t it time for someone to change it up?

Location: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Key Songs: Three Years Deep, More Than This, Unworthy, Blink Theory

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Chix N’ Dix

Category: Punk, The Contestants

Music: http://cndmtl.bandcamp.com/album/zebras-in-reverse

Bio: Chix N’ Dix consists of two chix and two dix playing highly energetic punk that gets the crowd going every time. The music is fast and heavy with a good balance of high guitar tones and tricky bass lines that make for a unique sound. Kryztera’s loud, incredibly distorted vocals put the icing on the cake. This is a band that puts life back into the underground music scene.

Location: Montreal, Quebec

Key Songs: Egyptian Song, Virus, Pigs

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The Cathy Santonies

Category: Punk, The Contestants


Music: http://thecathysantonies.bandcamp.com/

Bio: “By the way, which one’s Cathy?”
No one. That’s a rarely-seen character from the old ’80s T show “Full House.”

The Cathy Santonies are a subversive mix of riot grrrl and cock rock…now don’t you wanna hear what that sounds like? Classic rock riffs, basslines, and a kick-drum that pounds a message of girl rock revolution into your soul. We’re cocky, loud, full of wild energy and catchy as hell!

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Key Songs: I’m Your Friend, I’m Your Revolution, Dance Real, 21st Century Girl, Living Free

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Alexa Borden

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://www.facebook.com/alexabordenmusic

Bio: I am a self-taught pianist. I produce all of my own work, and write honest and unique music, delicate and intricately composed, with poignant/haunting vocals and lilting melodies.

Location: Calgary, Alberta

Key Songs: Will Love Ever Grow, Lungs, I Want To Be Near To You, Gold Rush, Skyscrapers, Nightwish

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Kimono Draggin’

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://kimonodraggin.bandcamp.com

Bio: We’ve been around for more than eight years and have always been a “self-released” band. We play some very odd/off-kilter rock that Germans
 really dig…hence why we were invited to play Zappanale in 2007. We’ve
 heard plenty of references from Zappa/Beefheart to Stooges, Big 
Black/Shellac to Talking Heads.

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Key Songs: You Never Die Twice, Allan Sherman’s Father Was A
 Racecar Driver, Super Jew, Pete and 
Repeat

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Alabaster

Category: Alternative, The Contestants



Music: http://www.facebook.com/alabastermusic

Bio: Alabaster sounds like if Rise Against and Paramore got it on with Anberlin.

Location: Seattle, Washington

Key Songs: Overcome

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The Suicide Dolls

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://thesuicidedolls.bandcamp.com/

Bio: We’ve developed our own sound — experimental jams inside of catchy rock/punk structures — and have played well over 100 live shows over the last five years. Our new album was recorded by Justin Pizzoferrato (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr, The Hold Steady) at the legendary Q Division Studios in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Location: New London, Connecticut

Key Songs: Drive, Smash, Pretty Lie, Senses

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Becca Riter

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://soundcloud.com/becca-riter

Bio: I am a student at SUNY Purchase where I study music (studio composition major). I’ve been writing music my whole life. I play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, piano, and even ukulele. I also sing all of my songs. I’m very influenced by classic rock, jazz, and pretty much anything else I hear.

Location: Purchase, New York

Key Songs: Selfish Boy, Apollo’s Lyre, Erase My Mind

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Fereshta

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://fereshta.bandcamp.com/album/global-citizen

Bio: I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion. My family escaped the country at the risk of being captured by the Soviets and the Afghan militia. When we came to America and settled in Virginia, I fell in love with the raw power and expression of rock n’ roll. Having been born to war and seeing the atrocities it brings, I felt my time was most useful as a spiritual activist. I decided to blend my love of western music with socially conscious lyrics and a poetic and powerful image. I am determined to liberate my people, especially the women, with my music. I am equally determined to show the world that Afghan women who are educated, self-expressed, and powerful do exist!

My songs blend my influences and my Middle Eastern roots.  I’m a big fan of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, PJ Harvey, Heather Nova, Collective Soul, and many other bands from the ’60s and ’90s.

Location: Los Angeles, California via Kabul, Afghanistan

Key Songs: Amends, Motherland, Untie My Hands, Global Citizen

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Cole Williams

Category: Soul/neo-soul, The Contestants

Music: http://colewilliams.bandcamp.com/

Bio: My music is a complete hybrid of my culture and influences. Its sound is true to the melting pot of Jamaican culture that rules the East Flatbush area of Brooklyn where I am from. There are remnants of old soul reminiscent of Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder blended together. I give 200 percent to every music line written, every vocal sung, and every lyric…it’s me, not a compromised version of me. I make no excuses for my music, my performance, or my fashion sense, and believe in bridging the gap of fashion and music. I love to sing, I love to compose, I love to perform, and I love to win.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Key Songs: Good Thing, Little Me, Selfish, Part 1

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The Absolute

Category: Alternative, The Contestants

Music: http://www.facebook.com/theabsolutemusic

Bio: If we’re forced to compare our music to anyone else, I like to say “classic Radiohead meets the Foo Fighters.”

Location: Los Angeles, California

Key Songs: Glass’em, No Respect For Author

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Run Dan Run

Category: Indie, The Contestants

Music: http://rundanrun.bandcamp.com/

Bio: Our music is reminiscent of the indies Broken Social Scene, Say Hi To Your Mom, Bright Eyes, Death Cab for Cutie, and Yo La Tengo. It is a bit of a melting pot and can change a bit from song to song and still remain cohesive. Our latest album, Normal, released October 19, 2011, demonstrates this best.

Location: Charleston, South Carolina

Key Songs: Box-Type Love, Cut-Outs, Gestures & Patterns

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Good Night, States

Category: Indie, The Contestants


Music: www.sonicbids.com/goodnightstates

Bio: Guitars erupt over vintage synths as Good Night, States fuses familial indie quirks with steady rock and roll sensibility. Three-part harmony, homemade guitar pedal white noise, and warbly vintage synths augment standalone songwriting to craft a memorable, melodic listening experience.

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Key Songs: Sometimes I See You On The Lawn, I Am The Loser

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Laura Vall

Category: Indie, The Contestants

Music: www.lauravall.bandcamp.com

Bio: Nominated for “Best Pop Artist of the Year” and “Best Rock Artist of the Year” by All Indie Music Awards 2012, Laura Vall is an indie pop artist from Barcelona, Spain based in Los Angeles, California with more than 10 years of experience as a singer and songwriter. Vall’s lyrical, warm, soulful, and hypnotic voice has brought her to work with several renowned artists like Stevie Wonder, Rhonda Smith, and Michael Bland, and with Grammy-winning producers such as Jeff Weber and Michael Clark.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Key Songs: Real, Little Star

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The Tweeds

Category: Indie, The Contestants

Music: www.thetweeds.bandcamp.com

Bio: The Tweeds emerged out of the Main Line of Philadelphia’s suburbs and the campus of Penn State University. Coming together after lineup changes and band mergers, The Tweeds create a sound akin to such greats as Ghosts and Vodka, My Bloody Valentine, and The Beatles: dance-y gaze-pop, to psychedelic drone rock with soaring vocal harmonies that will hypnotize the ear of the musician and everyday music fan alike.

The Tweeds have recently recorded and released their first full-length album Goliath and were named the Philadelphia and National Artist of the month for The Deli magazine in May 2011.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Key Songs: Christmas Time, We Can Fly Too, Weakend Guest, Goliath, Shut In Dark, Dreaming in Distortion, This Love of Mine, 90 in the Afternoon

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The Novel Ideas

Category: Indie, The Contestants


Music: www.thenovelideas.bandcamp.com

Bio: We write romantic folk-rock pop music about books, girls, summertime, and the ambiguous hours between night and morning.

Location: Boston, Massachusetts

Key Songs: On Fire, Artichoke Heart

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