It's no secret that I have a lot of rock and roll crushes. Why, just in the past couple months I've revealed a few--Matt Sharp, Panther, Bobby Birdman... and the actual list is 10 times longer. Ever since I first crushed on Joey Joe McIntyre years ago in my semi-psychotic New Kids on the Block phase, I've been a lost cause--if a guy can dance or sing or play guitar, chances are I'll be, if only slightly, attracted to him. Shallow? Yes, of course. Am I ashamed? Not at all. And I know I'm not alone.

Also having a soft heart for adorable rockers are two lovely girls named Kates and Allison. Kates, who once booked for the Fusion Cafe (Downtown YMCA's all-ages "venue"), and Allison, who currently books for the Fusion Cafe, happily admit to the fact that there are many fine-lookin' bands in this city. Now they're out to find the best, the ultimate, the "Cutest Band in Seattle."

"Kates and I were talking about ideas for a benefit for the Fusion Cafe," said Allison. "Originally we were thinking of having an auction where we would ask bands to donate prizes like 'Go out for dinner with this band,' or 'Get a T-shirt from that band.' Then one of us jokingly suggested having a battle of cutest bands. It just went from there."

"We will be judging on looks, charisma, and musical talent," said Kates. "And we want bands of all musical genres--indie, punk, hardcore, hiphop, rock, and of course bubblegum pop."

Boys, girls, men, women, they're all welcome--just so long as they're cute. And what's the definition of cute?

"Music that makes you happy, with looks that you could bring home to Mom and Dad. Nice attitudes are a plus, too," said Allison. "Asahi, Blur, the Softies, Building Press, Teen Cthulhu in their unicorncore phase... there's a lot of cute bands out there. Clean music + clean looks = cute band."

But worry not, if you don't fit that "clean" description. Allison and Kates aren't the only judges. Also confirmed are Kathleen Wilson, Steve Migliore, Em'ma Gawd!, Anna Rexia, and myself.

Finalists will play the benefit show, set for January 24, and the winner will walk away with the "Cutest Band in Seattle" trophy. To enter, send pictures and demos to 4210 Brooklyn Ave NE, Apt #7, Seattle, WA 98105. The deadline is December 14. MEGAN SELING

megan@thestranger.com

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