Magic Hat's "The 9," a new sort of Battle of the Bands competition. First up: Jim Morey Band, Mogul Street Reserve and Higgins Brothers Band

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[image-1]Third, it’s not some random unknowns doing the judging — a panel of music-savvy locals with varying tastes and the audience in attendance decide the winners based on material, performance, presentation and turnout. An additional criteria, informally dubbed “shit-togetherness,” also looks at how well the band has done establishing a web presence, promoting their shows, networking, getting press and getting gigs.

The competition plays out in a series of three showcases featuring three bands each at Skipper’s. The first kicks off this Tuesday night and includes vagabond neo-jazz foursome Jim Morey Band, fiery prog-jam rock trio Mogul Street Reserve (both recent Best of the Bay awardees), and soulful blues rockers Higgins Brothers Band (Josh Higgins pictured).

The three top-scoring bands from the prelim shows on Oct. 6, Nov. 17 and Dec. 22 move on to the Jan. 9 finals. Morrissound awards $2,500 in studio time to the top ranking winners: 10 hours for first place, five hours for second; third gets a Magic Hat prize package of clothing, beer and assorted goodies. Go out and support your local favorite.

The 9 Music Series & Competition, Round One, Tues., Oct. 6, Jim Morey Band (8-8:40 p.m.), Mogul Street Reserve (9-9:40 p.m.) and Higgins Brothers Band (10-10:40 p.m.), Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa, $5.

Three rounds, nine bands, one fatty recording studio package for the winner. Yes, it’s a battle of the bands competition. Yes, I generally think these things are bullshit maneuvers staged by sponsors with questionable motives to get the word out on bands that no one really knows or cares about.

But “The 9” isn’t your run-of-the-mill band vs. band playoff.

First, respected Vermont craft brewery Magic Hat — known for its support of emerging acts across the country — is staging the affair, and in association with Skipper’s Smokehouse, Creative Loafing and Morrisound Recording.

Second, the competition isn’t meant for young unknowns, but for bands that already have a buzz going and can really benefit from the chance to record at Morrissound.

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