"We who are about to play salute you." This paraphrase of the gladiators' pledge may be an overly dramatic way of introducing Band to Band Combat, but it gets the point across without spilling blood.
With your Isthmus this week comes the Madison Music Project supplement, an excursion into local music from the bands' point of view. The backbone of MMP, both the supplement and the online version, is the band registry. With well over 200 local bands listed, we've catalogued the vast majority of Madison's working musicians for your reference.
MMP is about the performers, not the audience. In her "Ask a Musician" series, contributor Jessica Steinhoff polls the players on such weighty matters as who their favorite musicians are and what they would like thrown at them on stage. Rich Albertoni goes anecdote-collecting when he queries bands about gigs gone haywire. Emily Mills tells you what's behind the green door.
And then there's Band to Band Combat. Thirty-eight ensembles answered the call to register for the competition by Oct. 16. It works like this. The bands are profiled in the supplement, in their own words, with photos, and have uploaded an original song at TheDailyPage.com/bandtoband. These are arranged on an electronic ballot. Go to the site, listen to the music, vote for your favorite band (or bands in the early round) by the deadlines. Be quick - this contest moves right along. The first round ends Nov. 1, and then it's the Sweet 16 until Nov. 4, the Great Eight until Nov. 9 and the Final Four until Nov. 11.
At that point the field will have been reduced to two bands, who will face off in a live show at the Frequency on Nov. 19. There will be a $5 cover; the winning band gets fabulous prizes. Let the games begin.