Star Tribune keeps Are You Local? best-new band contest alive

Last year's AYL? winner Baby Shel performing his victory lap at First Avenue.

Last year's AYL? winner Baby Shel performing his victory lap at First Avenue.

When the Star Tribune acquired City Pages last year, it torpedoed its in-house weekly magazine — "But what will happen to Are You Local?,'s strangely named annual contest to discover the best new band in the Twin Cities?," at least one person might have wondered.

Fear not, you hypothetical/hyper-specific weirdo: Are You Local? will live on through at least 2016 under the Strib banner. Officially announced Friday, the 7th annual contest seeks submissions from any/all upstart Twin Cities musicians.

Nominations are being accepted through Jan. 28; click here to nominate yourself, your friends, your singin' mailman, whoever. Submitted songs and bios, the latter of which will likely include the word "eclectic," will be available for readers to check out throughout the contest. 

Sixteen acts will ultimately be culled from the entry pool and submitted for a public vote Feb. 1-4. From there, "up to five" finalists will enter a death-match live battle Feb. 20 at 7th Street Entry to determine who's most local of all. Finalists score profiles in the newspaper ahead of the show, thrilling affiliated aunts and uncles across the metro. 

And for the winning act? A slot in the Strib/First Avenue concert showcase March 18 during South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Plus cash. Sweet, sweet cash ...

Past AYL? winners include: Baby Shel (2015); Black Diet (2014); Carroll (2013); Prissy Clerks (2012); The 4onthefloor (2011); Bight Club (2010). 

Past editors (full disclosure) include me.