Music News

Steve Hammer

Six months and 100-plus bands later, the's Battle of Birdy's ended Saturday night with hard-rockers Xero Sum taking home the top prize. Metal band Mercy Kill finished in second place, trailing by only 27 votes. Third place went to Fallen, who finished 66 votes behind the winners.

The bands knew they were competing for a $2,500 prize, but IMS Webmaster Ryan May unexpectedly sweetened the pot to include a total of $8,200 in cash and more than $2,000 in prizes. To hear Xero Sum's music, visit

Speaking of winners, the music video network Fuse has announced the victor of its video talent search contest. Local pop-rockers Kids in the Way have won, gaining them exposure on the video channel, its video-on-demand service and its Web site, The band's next album will shortly be released on Flicker Records; plus, look for a profile on the group in these pages soon.

Beloved electronica-pop band Lunar Event will head into the studio later this month to record four songs with producers Vess Ruhtenberg and LonPaul Ellrich. Demo versions of the songs can be found on the band's site. Says LE's Derek Osgood, "We finally have some label interest so these songs will be used to shop around. There's still no release date for the next record, but if things go as planned, we might be looking at a spring release."

The band also wishes to announce the addition of a new member, an Akai Z4 sampler, which will make live shows easier - once the band figures out how to use it. "None of us like reading manuals," Osgood says.

The Tip-Top Tavern, located at 14th and Capitol streets, is under new management and is doing its best to help the local music scene by booking shows. They've got a good one this Friday, starting at 10 p.m. Brian Deer and the Achievers will kick off the show, followed by the great Jessica Benge, who possesses perhaps the most powerful and emotive voice in the city. Best of all, it's free.

Another newish venue dedicated to featuring local, original music is Deano's Vino, located at 1112 S. Shelby St. in Fountain Square. On Saturday, guitarist Daniel A. Young will perform there. Young performs jazz and pop standards from Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and the like, along with 1960s and 1970s pop songs.

The date of the Dark Star Orchestra's upcoming show at the Music Mill has been changed to Jan. 24, two days earlier than originally announced. DSO, as fans know, recreate famous Grateful Dead performances note-for-note.

Remember, Thursday night is the kickoff show of metal-noise band Lafcadio's national tour. The show, at Locals Only, will feature the performance of the band's new concept album.

Last week was the 25th anniversary of the death of John Lennon, and Capitol Records has commemorated the event with the reissue of two Lennon solo albums, Some Time in New York City (1972) and Walls and Bridges (1974). Both albums are remastered and feature bonus tracks and new liner notes.

The nominees for next year's Grammys were released last week. There are so many categories that it seems anyone who's picked up an instrument is eligible, but a full list is available at