Batalla de las Bandas

The third annual Latin Rock Battle of the Bands could prove to be more than a day-long romp in Latin alternative sound and hot Houston sun. One of the 15 international and local bands and DJs competing could be the next victor in Banda Elastica's Budweiser Battle of the Bands, which will conclude in Los Angeles this December. Banda Elastica -- Latin music's equivalent of Rolling Stone -- will give a semi-finals slot in their contest to the winner of this Houston event. Other prizes include a $750 gift certificate from Mars Music and $500 in cash.

On the band front, competitors include Houston's Chango Jackson (formerly known as Mosca) with its mix of Latin ska and hard rock ballads, the more pop-driven La Deidad and international entries such as A Todo O Nada from Buenos Aires and Caneza from Mexico City. At the turntables, fans will find more local competition -- five of the seven DJs are from Houston. The two outsiders are DJ Denigris from Mexico and DJ El Victima from San Antonio. The locals include DJ Vampiro, known for his aggressive mixing of Latin rock and his chupacabra-like fangs.

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Brandon Cullum