And In This Corner ...

I've explained many times in this space why I think local battles of the bands are contentious, divisive, pointless bullshit, so I won't go into it again. Emergenza, however, is a bit different. The competition - which grew from its 1992 origins in Italy to include most of Europe and Canada before coming to the United States for the first time in 2004, and will put 8,000 American musicians onstage for 392 showcases this year - is more like your average label/soft drink/songwriters' association national talent search than your average four-week battle for gift certificates and free studio time.

There seems to be a real (albeit) small chance for next-level exposure via the organization's many international sponsors and contacts, and the national finalists will play one of Germany's largest outdoor festivals.

Boomerz Boiler Room hosts the four-day regional semi-finals, beginning today, in its big, sweet hall; those bands that move on to the June 11 regional finals at Masquerade will do so on audience vote, which means everybody who attends will have a say. So get your asses out in droves, already. The lineup appears below. Each night's acts are listed in order of appearance, according to www.emergenza.net, where more information is available.

Thursday, May 5: Stuk; Society's End; Cuban Sandwich Crisis; Deshrived; Sobriety; Soulfound; Cemetery; Rambler

Friday, May 6: A New Way Down; Squirrels Gone Wild; Left in Ashes; Resurfaced; Buyusuk; 5Story; Built By Design; Orpheus

Saturday, May 7: Maelin's Dream; New Season; Knowing Stu; Inviolet; Dreamzfate; Fable; Last Sabbath; Shift

Sunday, May 8: Strange Brew; Unexpected Guest; Moneyshot; Desolite; Hmoong; Primate 46; The Proper Villains; Hollowgreen

The Emergenza Regional Semi-Finals, Thurs., May 5-Sun., May 8, Boomerz Boiler Room, Seminole. All shows begin at 9 p.m. sharp; a pass for all four days is $12.

-Scott Harrell

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