The Sound & The Fury

For the last 10 years, the (mostly) New York-based Latin Alternative Music Conference has been the place to meet well-established, up-and-coming Spanish-language bands based in the U.S., Latin America, and Spain. It was there that Manu Chao rocked 9,000 people at a free show at Central Park’s SummerStage, and Puerto Rico’s Circo and Spain’s Bebe made their U.S. debuts. Coincidentally (or not), shortly after performing at LAMC, Circo earned two Latin Grammy nominations, and Bebe five.

But besides the acoustic showcases, panels, and shows at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and other venues, one of the LAMC’s most sought-after byproducts have been the legendary triple-CDs distributed in the conference bags, even though offerings have been dominated by products coming from a single label (Nacional Records) as of late.

In 2011, your band can be one of those featured on an LAMC CD.

The usual Jack Daniel’s/LAMC Battle of the Bands alliance is now the Local Bands We Love campaign. All you have to do is upload your ONE song at and cross your fingers: the 12 winning songs will be included on a CD distributed at Jack Daniel’s events and added to the 2011 LAMC attendee gift bag during the summer conference. Plus, those selected will get a complimentary registration to the 2011 LAMC in the summer.

“This way, it will also get into the hands of labels, radios, managers, bookers, brand managers, other musicians, et cetera,” said Tom Cookman, LAMC’s mastermind and the manager for Argentina’s Grammy-winning Los Fabulosos Cadillacs.

And you can win even if you don’t know a word of Spanish.

“We are focusing on Latino talent — regardless of the language the songs are sung in,” said Cookman. “We already have over 100 submissions and we have had great stuff come in English, in Spanish, and even Spanglish.”

Cookman is also the owner of Nacional Records, the leading Latin alternative label in the U.S., so even if you don’t make it into the final 12, there’s hope.

“Nacional Records is always looking for new artists,” said Cookman. “So it goes without saying that we will be keeping our ears open for everything that is coming in as well.”

You have time until January 31, 2011. Good luck.

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