With the first round of semifinals for Sound Off! 2010 now complete, it's only a few weeks until this year's winner is chosen. Sound Off! has been a launching pad for local underage bands; some of the most well-known contest alumni--Schoolyard Heroes, Dyme Def, The Lonely H, and Natalie Portman's Shaved Head--were only finalists, semi-finalists, and runners-up. But does actually winning Sound Off! guarantee future success for these young musicians? Here's what a cursory Google search revealed.
The Lonely Forest won Sound Off! in 2006, back when they were still called "John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest."
2004 Winner: Mon Frere
The Mountlake Terrace trio received considerable buzz after their win but disbanded in 2007 after recording a music video. The band's last MySpace blog posts are apologetic but hopeful: "Please continue to support local music, and you can bet your ass we'll be around the seattle music community for a long time."
2005 Winner: The Gruff Mummies
The band hasn't logged into their MySpace page since March 2008, so it's hard to know exactly what they're up to. Their last blog post--in 2006--was about canceling a show on Whidbey Island. In 2005, the band claimed to be recording an album, but there's little internet evidence proving that one was ever released.
2006 Winner: The Lonely Forest
Sound Off! was just the beginning for then-named John Van Deusen and the Lonely Forest. In the past three years, the Anacortes-based band has played Doe Bay Festival and Bumbershoot; they're currently on tour with We Were Promised Jetpacks, playing Neumo's March 2. According to the band's Facebook page, they're also recording the follow up to 2009's incredible We Sing the Body Electric! this year.
2007 Winner: For Years Blue
If you've never heard this band before, it's because they changed their name not long after winning Sound Off! They're now better known as the Globes and are gaining momentum in the Seattle and Pacific Northwest music scene. They've even been in talks with Barsuk. The Globes play the Vera Project on Feb. 19.
2008 Winner: New Faces
2009 Winner: Dyno Jamz
It's been a year since the eight-piece hip-hop outfit won Sound Off!, and they're still going strong. Dyno Jamz has a new EP planned for April, a Facebook page, and a Twitter account. (Just one suggestion: You might want to follow For Years Blue's lead and change your name, because "Dyno Jamz" conjures images of Barney Purple the Dinosaur. Otherwise, keep up the good work.)