WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble
Rock & Roll Rumble 2013 logo, designed by Blake Ink United
|Location(s)||Greater Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Genre||rock and roll, pop, alternative rock, power pop, punk rock, metal, harcore, Americana, synthpop, folk rock, hip hop|
The WBCN Rock 'n' Roll Rumble, begun in 1979, is a Greater Boston "battle of the bands" competition co-sponsored by WBCN (digital only, as of 2009) and its local music show Boston Emissions (now airing on WZLX).
Its predecessors were the Bicentennial Tournament of the Bands held in 1976 at The Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts and co-sponsored by WBCN and Inn Square Men's Bar, as well as 1978's First Annual Spring Rock 'n' Roll Festival co-sponsored by WBCN and the Boston Phoenix.
The Rock 'n' Roll Rumble was held in Boston at the Rathskeller in Kenmore Square for its first two years and was often referred to as "the Rumble at the Rat." Steve Morse of the Boston Globe called the 1979 debut competition "nine nights of exhilarating grass-roots rock." Since then, the competition's venue has changed several times but remains a means for New England bands to gain visibility.
While there was no Rock 'n' Roll Rumble in 2010, due to the reorganization of CBS Radio's Boston stations and the loss of WBCN's FM broadcast, the Rumble returned in April 2011, organized by current Boston Emissions host Anngelle Wood, and held at TT The Bear's Place in Cambridge.
In 2011, Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents made Rumble history by becoming the first band to drop out of the competition, due to a scheduling conflict, after winning their preliminary night. This allowed a previously eliminated band, OldJack, to re-enter the competition in the semifinal round, having been the runner-up on the night that Jenny Dee won. In 2012, The Grownup Noise withdrew from the Rumble (prior to performing) due to an injury sustained by one of its members; they were invited back as the non-competing guest band to play at the finals.
The 2013 Rumble began on April 7, 2013. In yet another Rumble first, night two of the semifinals was postponed due to the lockdown of the city during the April 19 manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects.
Format of the Rumble
The Rumble in its current form begins in April with a week of preliminary rounds of 24 total bands, as selected by Anngelle Wood. The prelims take place on Sunday through Tuesday and Thursday through Saturday, with Wednesday as a traditional "Day of Rest." Each night, four bands play a 30-minute set and are judged by a rotating selection of representatives from the Boston music industry. A winner is announced at the end of the night.
Each night's winner moves on to the semi-finals the following weekend, with two wildcard bands rounding out the top 8. The two semi-final winners are joined by one wildcard band for the final round the week after that. A special guest, often a national touring band or a previous Rumble winner, headlines the finals while the judges come to their final decision.
Prizes include cash, studio time, legal services, album production, bragging rights, and more.
Eligibility for the Rumble
While no band applies to play the Rumble, there are certain requirements for consideration. They include, but are not limited to:
- Band/artist must have sent music to, and received airplay by, local music director
- Band/artist should be established in the music community and actively playing out in the area.
- Band/artist must have released a recording, EP or full length, within the past calendar year.
As of 2012, The Rumble uses 45 judges (barring unforeseen circumstances), five for each night for the nine nights of competition. Each evening there are representatives from the music business, local media, and on-air personalities from local radio judging the bands. The judges observe each band and numerically score each 30-minute set. At the end of the night, the judges' scores are tallied two ways: 1) a straight tally of all judges' scores; and 2) a tally throwing out the high and low scores, using the middle scores as a backup in case of a tie or in the rare case of extreme bias in either direction. This method is intended to protect the bands against judging anomalies in the long run.
1. Material/Songwriting: Is the songwriting predictable or innovative? (possible 1-10 points)
2. Playing Effectiveness: How well did the band play? Was the overall sound tight? Innovative? Intriguing? (possible 1-10 points)
3. Vocal Effectiveness: How well did the vocals contribute to and enhance the band? (possible 1-10 points)
4. Timing: How well did the band pace its set? Did the songs flow well? Did the set build in intensity, or start strong and then fall off? (possible 1-10 points)
5. Bonus (Optional): This category is available as a special reward if for any reason the judge feels the band deserves a bonus. The judge must designate what prompted the assignment of bonus points. (possible 1-5 points)
History of the Rumble
|2013||Eddie Japan||Glenn Yoder and the Western States *, Twin Berlin * ‡||TT the Bear's Place
|The New Highway Hymnal, Camden, Lifestyle, White Dynomite, The Daily Pravda|
|Other Participating Bands: blackbutton, Cancer Killing Gemini, Coyote Kolb, The Deep North, Endation, The Field Effect, Herra Terra, Jack Burton vs. David Lo Pan, Mount Peru, The Okay Win, Parks, Ruby Rose Fox, The Suicide Dolls, Supermachine, Velah, Whitcomb
Non-competing Guest Band: The Dogmatics (1985 Rumble participants)
|2012||Bow Thayer and Perfect Trainwreck||Garvy J. and The Secret Pockets of Hope and Resistance, Motherboar ‡||TT the Bear's Place
|The Rationales, Ghosts of Jupiter, Cask Mouse, Thick Shakes *, Sherman Burns *|
|Other Participating Bands: Animal Talk, BrownBoot, The Bynars, Cooling Towers, Endless Wave, The Fagettes, Grey Valley Ghost, The Grinds, The Grownup Noise x, Letterday, Never Got Caught, Parlour Bells, Pray For Polanski, Streight Angular, The Susan Constant, The Tin Thistles
Non-competing Guest Band: The Grownup Noise
|2011||John Powhida International Airport||Spirit Kid *, OldJack § ‡||TT the Bear's Place
|Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents x, Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, Mellow Bravo, Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling, Sidewalk Driver, Black Thai *|
|Other Participating Bands: The Acro-brats, The Autumn Hollow Band, The Blizzard of 78, Cradle to the Grave, Cult 45, Full Body Anchor, Keep Me Conscious, McAlister Drive, Static of the Gods, Stereo Telescope, Tijuana Sweetheart, Tired Old Bones, TRiPLE THiCK, A Wish For Fire, The Year Million
Non-competing Guest Band: The Shods (1999 Rumble finalists)
|2009||The Luxury ‡||Gene Dante and The Future Starlets, The Dirty Truckers||The Middle East (Cambridge, MA)||Gravehaven, Sarah RabDAU and Self-Employed Assassins, The Lights Out, Have Nots *, Destruct-a-thon *|
|Other Participating Bands: Angeline, Logan 5 and the Runners, The Deal, The Minus Scale, Apple Betty, Eksi Ekso, The Fatal Flaw, The Motion Sick, Anarchy Club, Dead Cats Dead Rats, Muy Cansado, Thick As Thieves, The Mystery Tramps, Trucker Mouth, The New Alibis, Gozu|
|2008||Girls Guns and Glory||The Great Bandini, A.K.A.C.O.D. ‡||Harpers Ferry (Allston, MA)||Andrea Gillis, HUMANWINE, The Men, Jason Bennett and the Resistance *, Clouds *|
|Other Participating Bands: MEandJOANCOLLINS, Cherry S/T, Cheater Pint, Wild Zero, Daniel Bon and Future Ghosts, Cortez, Dirt Mall, The Shills, The Murder Mile, Watts, On The Drop, Medicated Kisses, Hel Toro, Forgetful Jones, Genuflect, Disappearer
Non-competing Guest Band: The Neighborhoods (1979 Rumble winners)
|2007||Township||Baker, The Indefinite Article ‡||Harpers Ferry (Allston, MA)||The Silver Lining, Protokoll, Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Aloud *, Age Rings *|
|Other Participating Bands: Octave Museum, The Appreciation Post, Larkin Brigade, Cassavettes, Ark Royal, My Little Radio, Strictly for the Birds, Six Day Slide, UV Protection, The Self-Righteous Brothers, The Welch Boys, Meet The Day, KID:NAP:KIN, My So-Called Friend, The Vital Might, Hepburn
Non-competing Guest Band: Sick Puppies
|2006||Campaign for Real-Time ‡||Scamper, The Rudds||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Appomattox, We're All Gonna Die *, Harris, Eyes Like Knives, Taxpayer *|
|Other Participating Bands: Alchemilla, A Hero Next Door, Cocked 'N' Loaded, Mach 5, Plan B, Say When, Casey Desmond, Certainly Sir, Sucka Brown, Tiger Saw, The Coffin Lids, The Sharking, Jonas Complex, Rooftop Suicide Club, Random Acts of Violence, Faces On Film
Non-competing Guest Band: Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders
|2005||Reverend Glasseye ‡||Furvis, Robby Roadsteamer *||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Fluttr Effect, The Hidden *, Beyond the Embrace, The Marvels, Muck and the Mires|
|Other Participating Bands: Lock & Key, The Bon Savants, Spitzz, Emergency Music, Baby Boy H, Stray Bullets, Car Crash Show, Endway, The Turpentine Brothers, Antler, Sudden Ease, Aberdeen City, Mass Hysteria, Rubikon, Violet Nine, Sand Machine|
|2004||Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men||The Dents,
The Brett Rosenberg Problem * ‡
|The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Seemless, Jabe, The Information *, The Model Sons, Stoic|
|Other Participating Bands: Black Helicopter, The Charms, Every Forty Seconds, Fooled by April, Ad Frank and the Fast Easy Women, Iluminada, Meat Depressed, Orange Island, Paranoid Social Club, Raymond, Redletter, Roxie, The So and So's, The Spaceshots, Sugabomb, Throe|
|2003||The Dresden Dolls||Baby Strange, Apollo Sunshine ‡||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Blake Hazard *, Kingsize, The Downbeat 5 *, Favorite Atomic Hero, The Good North|
|Other Participating Bands: Absolve, Blackstone Valley Crew, Boxingwater, Donnybrook, Elcodrive, Godboxer, The Halogens, Heavy Stud, Kimone, Labb, Placer, Read Yellow, Reverse, Rocktopus, Suspect Device, Three Day Threshold|
|2002||The Gentlemen||Quitter, Mr. Airplane Man ‡||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Lost City Angels, The Damn Personals, Give, Milligram *, The Jaded Salingers *|
|Other Participating Bands: All the Queen's Men, Auto Interiors, Averi, Calendar Girl, Chauncey, Crash and Burn, Hazie Maze, House of the Almighty, Loveless, Major Major, Mappari, Mishima USA, Munk, Spookie Daly Pride, Throne, The Meghan Toohey Band|
|2001||Bleu||Cracktorch, Kings of Nuthin' ‡||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||The Decals, Freezepop, Lamont, AM Stereo *, Diecast *|
|Other Participating Bands: Banjo Spiders, Euonym, Flynn, Francine, Gage, Garrison, The High Ceilings, The In Out, Jericho, Johnny Wishbone, Junction 18, The Kitty Kill, Pennywheel, Reach the Sky, Say Hi to Lisa, Slater|
|2000||Darkbuster||Waltham, Rocketscience ‡||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||Colepitz, The Big Bad Bollocks, Helicopter Helicopter, The Dubnicks, Random Road Mother *|
|Other Participating Bands: Caged Heat, Dragstrip Courage, Every Second, The Fly Seville, Godboy, Long Distance Runner, Missing Joe, Mission, NOK, Psychotic Larry, Rock City Crimewave, Scarlet Haven, 7th Rail Crew, There, Wide Iris, The World Is My Fuse|
|1999||The Sheila Divine||The Shods, Halfcocked ‡||?||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Baby Ray, Big Lick, Brass Monkeys, Canine, Cave In, Cheerleadr, Control Group, Drexel, Fastbreak, Gangsta Bitch Barbie, Honeyglazed, Jumprope, Kicked in the Head, Lunar Plexus, Ms. Pigeon, Quick Fix, Raging Teens, Red Eye 9, Señor Happy, Seventeen, Superhoney|
|1998||The Ghost of Tony Gold||Vic Firecracker||?||American Measles, Tugboat Annie, Wicked Farleys *|
|Other Participating Bands: Betty Goo, Betwixt, Big D and the Kids Table, Big Wig, The Ducky Boys, Full Powered Halo, Inhale Mary, January, Lockgroove, Max, Mindflow, My Favorite Relative, Piebald, Pistola, Racketeers, Sameasyou, Shyness Clinic, Star Ghost Dog, Ultrabreakfast|
|1997||The Amazing Royal Crowns||Ramona Silver||?||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Boy Wonder, Bright, Cast Iron Hike, Cherry 2000, Chevy Heston, Count Zero, Delta Clutch, Eight Ball Shifter, Five Seconds Expired, Laurie Geltman Band, Lincolnville, Mudhens, One of Us, The Pills, Rosemary Caine, Scissorfight, Red Time, Splashdown, Standing on Earth, The Sterlings, 3½ Girls, Verago-go|
|Other Participating Bands: Bald Guys, Bison, Blauzur, Chelsea on Fire, Deliriants, The Gravel Pit, Honkyball, Jabbering Trout, Jack Frosting, Jocobono, Pie, Plank, Red Telephone, Roadsaw, Skavoovie and the Epitones, St. Chimaera, Thought Junkie, Turkish Delight, Ukla, Underball, V-Card, Jules Verdone|
|1995||Doc Hopper||Pooka Stew||The Middle East Downstairs (Cambridge, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Angry Salad, Crawl, Curious Ritual, The Curtain Society, Elevator Drops, Expanding Man, Fly Spinach Fly, Groovasaurus, Little John, Mistle Thrush, Nana, Otis, Planet Be, Planet Jumper, Quivvver, Rippopotamus, sirensong, Slide, Still Home, Syrup USA, Vehicle Birth, Waiting Kates|
|1994||The Dirt Merchants||6L6||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Blair's Carriage, Cold Water Flat, Courage Brothers, Gingerbutkis, Groove Butcher, Hartwell, Headcleaner, Kudgel, Machinery Hall, Merang, Mung, Opium Den, Pods, Scotch, Sextiles, Slughog, Smackmelon, Squid, Stickmen, Tacklebox, Thumper, Jennifer Trynin Band|
|1993||Cobalt 60||Malachite||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Augusta Furnace, Brave New World, Chloe, Chuck, Dante's Grin, DDT, Dreams Made Flesh, Facts About Rats, Fleshflower, Flying Nuns, Grind, Jigsaws, Laurels, Mercy Beat, Mr. Stone's Country, Pipes, Restless Souls, Sextons, Tree, Sidewalk Gallery, Thinner, Twisted Roots|
|1992||Big Catholic Guilt||The Concussion Ensemble||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||Fighting Cocks, Letters to Cleo *, Orangutang, Sam Black Church, Stomp Box, Morphine *|
|Other Participating Bands: The Barnies, Braindance, Burnbox, Crazy Alice, Hotbox, Paper Squares, Parade, Powerman 5000, Sexploitation, Subterraneans, Swinging Steaks, Trojan Ponies, The Uninvited, Vision Thing, Wadi Trip, Zouts|
|1991||Seka||Uncle Betty||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Bulkhead, Cliffs of Dooneen, The Dambuilders, The Derangers, Divinity School, Eletrichka, Fertile Virgin, Grand Theft Auto, Hellcats from Outer Space, Jon Finn Group, Laughing Academy, Lazy Susan, Left Nut, Maelstrom, Miles Dethmuffen, Mindgrinder, Nisi Period, Pact, J. Rubin and Bohemian Love Fest, Still Life, Storm Window, Wrecking Crew|
|1990||Slaughter Shack||Talking to Animals||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||We Saw The Wolf *|
|Other Participating Bands: Border Patrol, Daisy Chain, Delusions of Grandeur, Drumming on Glass, El Caminos, Ex-Girlfriends, Gigolo Aunts, Gingerbread Men, Green Magnet School, Hollow Heyday, Immortals, Joe, Miranda Warning, Nor'easters, Scatterfield, Voodoo Dolls, Vow of Silence, We Saw the Wolf, Who Be Dat?, Whoville, Miss Xanna Don't, Zug Zug|
|1989||The Bags||Ultra Blue||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Anastasia Screamed, Big Barn Burning, Big Train, Blake Babies, Blood Oranges, Busted Statues, Circle Sky, Common Ailments of Maturity, Happy Campers, Hell Toupee, Hullabaloo, Idle Hands, Johnny and the Jumper Cables, The Joneses, Kid Crash, Garr Lange and the Big Rig, Pieces, Premiers, A Scanner Darkly, Slapshot, Two Saints, Well Babies|
|1988||Heretix||Tribe||Paradise Rock Club (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: As Is, Bim Skala Bim, Bullet LaVolta, Citizenz, Class Action, Dharma Bums, Dixie Cinema, Dogzilla, Forever 19, Great Divide, Incredible Casuals, The Lemonheads, Matweeds, Neutral Nation, 1.4.5, One Life, Pat on the Back, Plate o' Shrimp, Raindogs, Runaway Dan, Slaves, Think Tree, Titanics|
|1987||Childhood||The Rain||The Orpheum (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Ammo, Big Dipper, Catalinas, Cavedogs, Dr. Black's Combo, Gotham City, Al Halliday and the Hurricanes, Tom Keegan and the Language, Moose and the Mudbugs, Moving Targets, Nova Mob, Powerglide, Rapture of the Deep, Shake the Faith, Struggle, Tom Hambridge and the Wreckage, Taint, Tears, Treat Her Right, Unattached, Vasco da Gama, Wickermen|
|1986||Gang Green||Hearts On Fire||The Orpheum (Boston, MA)||Volcano Suns|
|Other Participating Bands: Bang, Beat Surrender, Blockyard, Body English, Bristols, Buddy System, Capture the Flag, Children of Paradise, Condo Pygmies, Cut 299, Eighth Route Army, Expose, The Five, Loose Ties, Not, Oysters, Pulse 8, Semper Fi, True Blue, Visigoths, Volcano Suns, World at Play|
|1985||Down Avenue||Adventure Set||The Orpheum (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Ata-Tat, Bamboo Gang, Band 19, Blaros, Chain Link Fence, The Dogmatics, Dumptruck, Fingerpaint, FUs, Holy Cow, Last Stand, Life on Earth, Lowgistics, MX, New Man, O Positive, Rash of Stabbings, Scruffy the Cat, Sons of Sappho, Souls, Underachievers, Vandykes|
|1984||The Schemers||Dub7||The Metro (Boston, MA)||Rods and Cones, Athens, Gluons, Those Upstarts|
|Other Participating Bands: Athens, Axminster, Ball and Pivot, Blackjacks, Breakfast in Bed, Drive, Gluons, Going Graffiti, Judy's Tiny Head, Pink Cadillac, Push Push, Red, Reflectors, Rods and Cones, Ron Scarlett, Skin, SSD, Those Upstarts, 1 Three Hands, Turbines, 2,000,000 B.C., Wild Kingdom|
|1983||'Til Tuesday||The Sex Execs||The Metro (Boston, MA)||MIAs, Digney Fignus|
|Other Participating Bands: Mickey Bliss, Catch, Christmas, Primary Colors, Del Fuegos, Digney Fignus, Drezniak, Jeff and Jane Hudson, Jerry's Kids, Lifters, Lizzie Borden and the Axes, MIAs, Nebulas, New Romance,Phantoms, Prime Movers, Psycho, Radio Novena, Salem 66, Smegma and the Nunz, Stickball, Mike Viola Alliance|
|1982||Limbo Race||The Hi-Beams||Spit; finals at The Metro (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Angry Young Bees, Dangerous Birds, Dream, Enemy, Fire Dept., Foreign Legion, Jackals, Johnny A's Hidden Secret, Last Sacrifice, Chris Martin Group, Mighty Ions, Native Tongue, New Career featuring Audrey Clark, Primary Colors, Primitive Romance, Proletariat, Puppet Rulers, Red Line, Gary Shane and the Detour, 21-645, Wild Stares, Zodio Doze|
|1981||Someone and The Somebodies||The Dark||Spit; finals at The Metro (Boston, MA)||Young Snakes, Face to Face, ...|
|Other Participating Bands: Art Yard, Balloon, Creamers, Death in the Shopping Malls, Extremes, Face to Face, Freeze, Future Dads, Junkmail, Tennie Komar and the Silencers, Lines, Modes, Neats, Outlets, Planet Street, Runes, Satellites, Stains, Suade Cowboys, Swinger's Resort, V, Young Snakes|
|1980||Pastiche||France||The Rat (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: American Teen, Boys Life, Darling, Peter Dayton Band, Eggs, Ground Zero, Harlequin, Hot Dates, Hot Tips, Loners, Make, Mirrors, MPC and the Instigators, Names, Nationals, Peytons, Remakes, Shades, Slow Children, Sonics, Third Rail, Trademarks|
|1979||The Neighborhoods||La Peste||The Rat (Boston, MA)||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Arion Deuce, Charge, Classic Ruins, Dawgs, Harlequin, Hits, Jets, Kid Morocco, Lazers, Lyres, Maps, Meltdown, Mission of Burma, Phobia, Reckless, Rings, Streets, Marc Thor, Thrills, Unnatural Axe, Vinny Band, Zoo Types|
|1978||La Peste||The Mechanics||Inn Square Men's Bar||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Baby's Arm, Lazers, The Stompers, Marc Thor, Thrills, Unnatural Axe|
|1976||Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band||The Club in Cambridge||?|
|Other Participating Bands: Back Alley Band, Boize, Fox Pass, High Heels, Infliktors, Marshalls, Pep's Energy, Third Rail|
* = wildcard from preliminary round
‡ = wildcard from semifinal round
x = withdrew from competition
§ = runner-up in preliminary round; re-entered competition after Jenny Dee withdrew from competition
- Morse, Steve (30 Jun 1984). "Schemers Triumph In Rock 'n' Roll Rumble". The Boston Globe. Arts/Films p. 1.
- Sullivan, Jim (28 Jun 1984). "Rumble Final Tonight: Providence's Schemers vs. Boston's Dub7". The Boston Globe. p. 65.