Rock geeks across the county have already shuffled (real rockers don't run or flock) to check out MoCA's superhip summer exhibition, "Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967." But the whiz-bang opening, featuring bands in a soundproof box, and free "What Would Neil Young Do?" was just the opening of a series of events. This Thursday marks round one of MoCA's summerlong Battle of the Bands, with one show a month. At each performance, five preselected bands each play a 20-minute set, and the chosen audience favorite scores a free Epiphone guitar and a session at JamRock Studios in Hollywood (Florida).
The contenders: First up, This Heart Electric, a dark, psychedelic, goth-y visual-kei kind of outfit. Next, Captain Speedbanger — pretty self-explanatory sound here — and then Outereach, with its funky, expansive, Police-and-Rush-in-the-'00s vibe. After that comes the tropical-rock freakout of the Down Home Southernaires, and finally, Lemon Hill, on the Latin-jazz-rock tip. We're not playing favorites, but Down Home Southernaires, with their superfresh sound, fiery live show, and fierce local following, will be hard to beat. May the best band win.