Coming up at the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach: look for Story of the Year on Fri. Jan. 20. Check the full season’s schedule at www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/myrtlebeach.


On Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 24, The Map Room at the Village Square in West Ashley will host a two-month series of thematic showcase events called “Battle of the Covers.” Local acts can sign up to play a 20-minute set that concludes with a rendition of an assigned artist (this week’s band is The Beatles). Winners will be decided by “audience applause.” Co-sponsored by 98X, Pecknel Music, and the Cats/Monster record shops, cash prizes, gift certificates, and guaranteed bookings at local studios and the Map Room itself shall be awarded to the winners. Check www.themaproom.net or call 769-6336 for info.


Club agent/soundman/musicologist Stuart Johnson of A Dough Re Mi is putting their first “Battle of the Bands” together. Local acts can sign up to play 20-minute sets on certain weekend dates through Feb. and March leading up to a grand finale. Each event will be judged by local scene characters. Cash prizes, studio time, gift certificates, and club bookings are to awarded. Drop a line to Stuart at A Dough Re Mi at 1220 Ben Sawyer Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant, or check out www.adoughremi.com.


A newly-assembled Charleston pop-rock band make their debut this week. The Hearts — comprised of singer/guitarist Taylor “Texas” Williams, guitarist Mike Sivilli (who also works as a City Paper graphic designer), bassist Geoff Bradshaw, keyboardist Seth Goodman, and drummer Travis McCann — play an original set of twangy, melodic Americana-rock. The band opens for The Fire Apes at Cumberland’s on Sat. Jan. 21.


Slow Runner, the local pop-rock project led by singer/guitarist Michael Flynn, play a special in-store CD release set at 6 p.m. on Tues. Jan. 24 at Monster Music & Movies (at 946 Orleans Rd. in West Ashley). The trio’s “Break Your Mama’s Back” — available on the remastered No Disassemble, appeared in a TV ad during an episode of Grey’s Anatomy last week. Check www.slowrunnermusic.com for more. —T. Ballard Lesemann