By Maureen Post Special to Published Nov 05, 2008 at 12:42 PM

David Silbaugh and Roger Jansen have been promoting, auditioning and working for months to bring MOBFest to Milwaukee. The time is finally here.

MOBFest, a Chicago original, is a one-day event highlighting local and regional musical talent. Over the last few months, bands were encouraged to submit demo tapes and participate in the selection process of six significant bands.

There is no doubt the selected finalists bring personal style, original sound and varied experience to the table. Each is viably recognized in a subset of the music industry, and MOBFest may very well be there ticket into the mainstream world of large rock bands and international superstars.

"We're choosing performance order the day of the event. This way, performing bands are sure to be at the event from start to finish. We really want all of the bands to see all of the performances. It's about everyone supporting everyone else," Silbaugh explains.

Even after a short listen, its clear that strong talent runs deep in all six of these bands. However, that alone may be there only similarity. With contestants drawing on folk, rock, metal, ska and pop influences, determining a winner in this contest will be no small feat.

David Silbaugh and Roger Jansen, MOBFest organizers and veterans to the Midwestern music scene, are far from newbies in the areas of industry management and album production. Barring bands they personally manage from the contest, Silbaugh and Jansen spent the last couple months emphatically urging industry executives and marketing reps to come on board with MOBFest Milwaukee.

The result? An incredible panel of representatives including Mollie Moore of Atlantic Records, Dave McGilvray of Island Def Jam, Gary Reynolds from GMR Marketing, Bonny Dolan at Comma Music, Sarah Gallenberger from Banshee Music and Peter Strand, an attorney at Holland and Knight.

"We've got some really significant people coming in, including the Chicago Grammy contingency hosting the evening's dinner," Silbaugh says. "We've just had an incredible response."

Saturday's event at the Miramar Theatre includes a panel discussion showcasing performances and networking opportunities. Covering nearly every aspect from agency to marketing to legal, the information available at Saturday's event will be virtually priceless.

"We're planning on an onsite post party; which will be a great chance for networking. Aside from the panel, there will be lots of other industry execs in the audience. It's such an inexpensive opportunity for musicians in the city," Silbaugh says.

There's no question Silbaugh and Roger's intentions were to create an affordable way for local bands to be heard. Admittance to the event is only $10 and for any band who submitted a demo, that fee is waved. Tons of literature and information will be available as well as some great raffle prizes.

"Each of the highlighted bands will walk away with some gear. Whether its mics, affects or industry reference materials, this is really going to benefit anyone who shows up," Silbaugh explains.

For one lucky band, the prize is going to be a bit more than gear. Following the evening's showcase, one band will be chosen by representatives from Atlantic Records to receive a demo deal including recording at Johnny K's Groovemaster studio, mixing at Smart Studios and mastering at Mastermind studio.

Participating bands come from both local and national venues. Fans are encouraged to attend Saturday's show and check out some new, unheard music.

A sneak peek at MOBFest's chosen ones:

Mike Mangione: Born in Chicago and residing in Milwaukee, Mike Mangione performs at MOBFest at the end of a year packed with shows across the United States and Australia. The acoustic folk rock singer/songwriter recently released "Tenebrae", his first full band album, to rave reviews and international acclaim. "Tenebrae" reveals Mangione's appreciation for live experimentation as well as a fluidity of tone and theme.

The Felix Culpa: Born and raised Midwesterners, The Felix Culpa join the MOBFest after the release of one album in 2002 and several EP's. A combination of indie flavored vocals with rock infused guitar and drums, The Felix Culpa channels the complexity needed for great genre combination.

Jayk: Regularly playing at local venues like Yield and Jackalope Lounge, Jayk is no stranger to the Milwaukee show scene. Due to release his first album "Everything Ever" in 2008, Jayk's west coast style pop and deep vocals have demanded a following before the album's release.

Elusive Parallelograms: Based in Milwaukee, Elusive Parallelograms come prepared with one album complete and another in the wings. A combination of psychedelic and new age jazz, their sound is unlike anyone else in the competition and begs to be heard.

Status Green: As one of two out of region competitors, Status Green comes to Milwaukee from Asbury Park, New Jersey. With a big band sound, Status Green bridges ska rythyms and fast-paced vocals as they permeate the Jersey and New York music scene.

An Early Ending: By far the hardest group of the night, An Early Ending's hardcore metal sound resulted in the recording and release of their first self-titled album. Currently represented by Pennsylvania based Decadent Suite Records, MOBFest will give this East coast band Midwestern and industry exposure.

Maureen Post Special to staff writer Maureen Post grew up in Wauwatosa. A lover of international and urban culture, Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

After living on the east side of Madison for several years, Maureen returned to Milwaukee in 2006.

After a brief stint of travel, Maureen joined as the city’s oldest intern and has been hooked ever since. Combining her three key infatuations, Milwaukee’s great music, incredible food and inspiring art (and yes, in that order), Maureen’s job just about fits her perfectly.

Residing in Bay View, Maureen vehemently believes the city can become fresh and new with a simple move across town.