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"The bands have just submitted lyric sheets to the board of directors, to make sure there's no cussing and stuff."

Lori Wiar is the coordinator of First Night Escondido's third annual Battle of the Bands, held New Year's Eve.

"All styles, all ages are welcome," says Wiar. There's even a junior-high band.

"Have you heard of the Fijis? They were on KUSI a few days ago. The singer is 14 and sings like Jonny Lang. The voice that comes out of that kid is not natural."

Twelve bands have been chosen: False Image, the Knife of Iris, Somewhere Closer, Parkhurst, F Zero, Arliss, Dead Fallacy, Craze, Damcyan, Trip&Fall, Elenchus, and Tempernoi.

Starting at 6:25 p.m. and ending at 11:15 p.m., these new acts will be presented on dueling stages at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, each playing 20-minute sets. Grand prize is a ten-hour recording session at Don Lithgow's DML Recording Studio in Escondido. Lithgow has recorded blink-182 and Unwritten Law.

Two past winners, Mercy Flood (an alt-Christian band) and Offtrack (a teenage band that calls itself "San Diego's only tubesock pop-rock" band), have yet to be signed.

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