IF YOU GO

What: 4th of July Battle of the Bands

When: Starting noon Thursday

Where: The White Cup Coffeehouse, 12 E. Main St. in Cortez, Colo.

Farmington — When the Cortez Chamber of Commerce was looking for a new Fourth of July attraction, it approached Wayne Reichert, owner of Wayne's World Class Instruments and co-owner of White Cup Coffeehouse.

Reichert suggested an idea that he'd been considering for years -- a battle of the bands competition.

On Thursday, this idea will become a reality when 10 Four Corners bands face off in the first Cortez Battle of the Bands at White Cup Coffeehouse.

Reichert is no stranger to the battle of the bands concept. When he was in a band years ago, he competed in one. However the band was eliminated quickly, partly due to problems it had with electronics.

Reichert said he always intended to go back and do better, but the band split up.

He described Battle of the Bands as being like "American Idol," but with bands. Judges look at the same elements a record label would look at when selecting a band, like originality, professionalism and interaction with the audience.

After announcing the Battle of the Bands, Reichert said the coffeehouse had a great response and quickly had 10 bands lined up.

BANDS

Arsenic Kitchen: Indie-Alternative Rock from Cortez, Colo

Not Quite Day

Psyality:Metal from Cortez, Colo.

Paranormal Slaughter: Metal based from Farmington

Lights on for Safety: Melodic Hardcore/Pop Punk from Shiprock

Togkte: Metal from Towaoc, Colo.

Morbid Justice: Metal/Thrash from Durango, Colo.

Incide: Melodic metalcore from Farmington

Skull Theory: Heavy metal/hard rock from Durango, Colo.

Yearning for Yeti: A Blues/Jam from Durango, Colo.

Arsenic Kitchen, a Cortez area Indie-Alternative Rock band, heard of the event while hanging out at the coffeehouse. They signed up to be part of the battle.

Guitarist Blake Miller said Arsenic Kitchen has played at the coffeehouse before.

"It's a really welcoming place," Miller said.

Reichert said he and his wife, Beth, originally opened the coffeehouse seven years ago. Since then, they've tried to encourage the local music scene by providing a venue for shows. Every Monday, the coffehouse hosts "Metal Mondays." On Thursdays, Blues music fills the building. Fridays provide open mic opportunities for everybody. Then, on Saturdays, a paid professional act performs.

Arsenic Kitchen was formed a little over a month ago, making it a newcomer to the music world. Arsenic Kitchen will face well-established bands like Farmington-based Paranormal Slaughter and Incide.

Miller is hoping to make an impression by providing something different. Many of the bands playing are metal bands and, while Arsenic Kitchen will be playing a few covers, the majority of songs will be original compositions.

"We've got a really good set list," Miller said.

While there is a wide-variety of genres represented, Reichert said no genre has a particular advantage.

"It's not really an apples and oranges comparison," Reichert said.

And the winning band will be given the chance to return next year and play after next year's Battle of the Bands.

"I hope we can continue to do it annually," Reichert said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover.