When the Star Tribune purchased City Pages in 2015, it smartly retained the best-new-band franchise belonging to Vita.mn, its since-axed weekly newspaper. Which is why we're talking about the curiously named Are You Local? contest today.
The eighth edition of AYL? launched last week, and its purpose is resolute: using an open nomination process to unearth Minnesota's freshest musical talents. Prizes remain a key incentive. This year's class is battling for $2,000, plus the opportunities to perform at the Turf Club and First Avenue.
You wanna talk logistics? Let's talk logistics.
-- You can nominate new (be honest with yourself) acts through January 16; the public-voting period then goes down January 18-26; submit nominees here, and yes, you can nominate yourself.
-- From there, "up to five" finalists will score ink in the Star Tribune; they'll do battle live at the Turf on February 6, culminating with a mysterious panel of Strib judges picking one winner from a (potentially) smoke-filled room.
-- The grand champion then gets a victory lap on February 17 at First Avenue as part of the "Are You Local?" concert spectacular; the 2017 bill is TBA, but last year's winner, Holidae, scored opening duties for Allan Kingdom, KING, and Kill the Vultures.
In tangential news: First Avenue recently announced its yearly showcase of Best New Bands. Picked to Click, City Pages' 26th annual poll to discover the Twin Cities' best new acts, arrived last November.
Back to Are You Local? news: Twenty-six '17 hopefuls already submitted songs, including First Ave BNB winner Sleeping Jesus and P2C finalist Finding Novyon. Check 'em all out here.
Past AYL? winners include: Holidae (2016, the same year they also placed 9th in P2C), Baby Shel (2015); Black Diet (2014); Carroll (2013); Prissy Clerks (2012); the 4onthefloor (2011); Bight Club (2010).
Past Vita.mn editors (full disclosure) include me.