I am here right now to tell you this: there are a lot — and I mean a lot — of great musical acts in Arkansas. After much discussion and scrutinizing scores of entries, we've got it pared down to the 20 who will face off in the 2012 Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase. There were so many quality bands entering the showcase that last year, the lineup was expanded from 16 semifinalists to 20, and it was damn hard to get it down to just 20 this year.
Anyway, here's how the showcase works: each night, four semifinalists will play 30-minute sets of original material for five judges, who will assess each act based on musicianship, originality, songwriting quality and showmanship. There will also be points awarded from the audience, so bands, make sure to bring lots of your friends with you.
The first round is Thursday, Jan. 26, and the showcase continues every Thursday through Feb. 16, with the last semifinal taking place Friday, Feb. 24. The semifinals are all at Stickyz, and the final show is Friday, March 2 at Revolution.
In the coming weeks, we'll introduce you to the judges and the bands that will be performing, and we'll provide details on the prize package for the winner, so keep an eye on the Arkansas Times and Rock Candy.
After the jump, you can see which bands made the semifinals. Again, I just can't stress enough how many good bands entered this year. Congratulations to everyone who made it in and good luck.
J.D. Parker & The Tin Strings