By Julie Lawrence Special to Published May 14, 2009 at 2:35 PM

As Summerfest continues to announce its 2009 lineup, one stage slot remains open until the final two contestants in the Up & Under Pub's Battle of the Bands duke it out Friday, May 15 at 9 p.m.

Milwaukee bands The Last Rhino and Jake Jendusa & The Dead Men have battled hard over the last nine weeks of musical competition, but only one will emerge victorious Friday night as not only the champion, but also with a guaranteed gig at Summerfest and Summer Sousltice Music Festival on Saturday, June 20.

The second place band wins a spot at Riversplash, June 5-7.

Here is a quick look at the contenders:

Band: Jake Jendusa & The Dead Men

Members: Jake Jendusa -- vocals / guitar
Joe Martinez -- percussion
Dave Gruentzel -- bass

Years active: 1.5 / 2 albums

Sounds like: Acoustic pop under the influence of '60s and '70s rock and roll, with a blues edge.

How they plan to win this thing: "Our game plan for the finals is pretty simple. We plan on playing sets that show the whole range of our sound, and to play our hearts out and leave it all on stage," says Jendusa.

Band: The Last Rhino

Members: William R. Gardiner -- guitars, piano, synth, noises
John Keller -- drums, percussion
Ryan Nofsinger -- guitars, synth, noises
Chris Schwab -- vocals, guitars
Travis Thorp -- bass

Years active: 1 / 2 EPs

Sounds like: Accessible, poppy alternative rock with indie street cred.

How they plan to win this thing: "We plan on winning this thing by just doing what we've been doing to get to this point: putting on the best show possible and making it an event that fans of ours won't want to miss. Hopefully people who've been to the last two battles are as excited about the finals as we are and will bring out more friends so they can also take part in The Last Rhino experience. I'm sure it'll be a competitive battle and we're just totally stoked to even be at this point," says Schwab.

Listen to the Battle of the Bands organizers discuss the event with 102.9 The Hog's Mindy Novotny here.



Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”