Are You Local? 2013 finalists announced

Are You Local? 2013 finalists announced
Photo By Zoe Prinds-Flash

The fortunes of one of three burgeoning Twin Cities bands are about to change dramatically, as just announced the trio of groups that won this year's Are You Local? contest. Bad Bad Hats, Carroll, and one of our Picked to Click standouts, Audio Perm, have been selected out of hundreds of applicants to compete for the honor of being named the "best new local band" in the Twin Cites.

In addition to that prestigious title, the winning group will get a chance to play on the big stage at Mill City Nights as part of's Are You Local show, alongside Solid Gold, Sims, Wiping Out Thousands, and L'Assassins. They will also receive some travel money to assist them while they head down to Austin, Texas to take part in this year's SXSW music festival, where a coveted spot on the Smith Minnesota Music Showcase awaits them.

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Are You Local? 2013 showcase lineup: Solid Gold, Sims and more!

The high-energy hip-hop collective, Audio Perm, have had a great run of late. In addition to coming in at the #10 spot on this past year's Picked To Click poll, the group also led a stellar lineup at the Permed Out Showcase 3 at the Cabooze in December, as well as a high-profile opening slot at P.O.S.' memorable record release show at First Avenue back in October. And while the group continues to garner more attention around the Twin Cities, the opportunity to play SXSW would really bring their dynamic sound and style to a much wider audience.

Gimme Noise also just recently profiled Bad Bad Hats, a catchy young trio from St. Paul who just released their second EP, It Hurts. And while the group continues to blossom, recently adding bassist Noah Boswell to the original lineup of frontwoman Kerry Alexander and drummer Chris Hoge, their simple but striking songs have definitely captured the attention of local music fans as well as those of well-known local label, Afternoon Records, who have put out their new EP. Making it this far in the Are You Local? contest will surely bring the indelible sounds of Bad Bad Hats to a much wider audience, but no matter what happens in the finals, we will definitely be hearing more from this group in the future.

Unsigned Minneapolis quartet Carroll rounds out this year's trio of Are You Local? finalists. The hazy but polished electro-pop featured on the group's new EP, Needs, should certainly find an audience in the Twin Cities, and rightfully won over voters in the poll. Their ethereal single "Lead Balloon" has already been featured as the Current's Song of the Day, and the momentum and buzz surrounding the band will certainly continue to build as 2013 progresses, especially if they win the competition and find their way down to Austin for SXSW.

Your chance to catch all three of these breakout bands is Friday, March 1. The three finalists will all be performing at the Nether Bar in the basement of Mill City Nights, and the winning band will then join headliners Solid Gold, Sims, Wiping Out Thousands, and L'Assassins up on the Mill City Nights main stage. For more info on the event and for tickets, head here.

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