Coming soon: Bands prepare for battle at the Ritz Ybor
Every year during the dog days of summer, the Ritz Ybor throws its "Ultimate Band Series," a multi-week battle of the bands involving both original music and fun covers. It also offers some of the best prizes of any local band battle.
This year's grand prize bag includes a slot opening for a national act at the Ritz, a paid performance at the "Rooftop Eve" party in Hyde Park Village on New Year's Eve, studio recording time and $500 cash. And you never know who'll be watching -- the battle's first winner, Mighty Mongo, above, was also picked as one of tbt*'s 2011 Ultimate Local Bands. And last year's winner, The James-Lange Theory, was later highlighted as an Artist of the Day. (Soundcheck's own Carole Liparoto is a judge this year, and she'll have her eye out for new local talent.)
This year's Ritz band battle will take place across three weeks -- July 12, 19 and 26 -- but the deadline to enter is this Saturday, June 30. There's a $20 entry fee, and you'll need to submit a bio, photo and demo CD fo two original songs. Drop them off at the Ritz box office or email the materials (substituting mp3s for the CDs) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here and here for details.
The most fun part of each show might be the fact that each artist is assigned a cover version of a song by a particular national artist -- maybe Prince or Madonna or Mariah Carey or Elvis Presley. You never know who's going to come up with what.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*