Not So Silent Night: Which One Of These Local Bands Should Share a Stage with the Smashing Pumpkins?

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Caleb Kuhl
They are IAMEMPIRE.
Live 105 recently announced a shortlist of local bands vying to perform at Not So Silent Night, the radio station's annual holiday concert, alongside the Smashing Pumpkins, the Black Keys, Phoenix, and some other band no one cares about. Ever since the announcement, our e-mail and Twitter feed has been under assault (in the form of very nicely worded hellos) from vote-courting bands and their fans. Apparently not everyone is as cynical about the Smashing Billycorgans as we are! Anyway, since this is sort of a big deal (for the bands anyway), and since voting starts tonight, here's a bite-size guide to your candidates:

IAMEMPIRE (San Jose): Emo-y agit-metal, mall-safe and with cocksure guitar solos.


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Sentinel: She's one of them "I like art-" type girls
Sentinel (Oakland): "Sweet indie dream music for your ears," according to Myspace -- as opposed to that sweet indie dream music for your armpits, we guess. Female vocals, twinkling pianos, and, uh, sweetness.

New Cadence (San Ramon): No music online that we could find, but, like us, this group is from San Ramon, so take that how you will.

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Northern Son
Northern Son (San Jose): Radio-friendly pop-folk-rock with effusively sincere lyrics.

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Finish Ticket
Finish Ticket (Alameda) Melodic indie-pop with hooks to spare, rabid vocals, and songs that move faster than a sexually frustrated 15-year-old can bounce his leg.

The Trophy Fire (San Francisco) Gleaming, carefully crafted pop-rock with piano aplenty and emo lyrics.

Mister Loveless (San Francisco) A brooding, goth-y take on modern rock. (For full disclosure, read our feature on the band.)

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Beta State
Beta State (Los Gatos): More adolesecent angst/insecurity melded to loud-quiet-loud dynamics, hugely growling guitar chords, and yelping youngster vowels.

Kid Savant (San Francisco): Like Coldplay, but with more synths and even more girly vocals -- at least on one song. Other songs remind us of Interpol and Hot Chip, which is a lot of territory to cover. Also: props on the use of auto tune, guys.

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The Soft White Sixties
The Soft White Sixties (San Francisco): It's still 1969 where these guys live, and Altamont hasn't happened yet.

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