It’s super cliché by now to call First Avenue an institution of the local music scene and the Twin Cities as a whole. It’s a given. But there’s a reason it got that way—it built itself up by its roots and the lore that lives today sprouted as a result of its cultivating diverse lineups of rising talent both local and abroad. Tonight, the institution showcases its picks (presented by Radio K and City Pages) for the best new local bands of 2011—featuring Haley Bonar-led spazzy-punkers Gramma’s Boyfriend, Bob Seger-ly-named electro-rockers Night Moves, Atmosphere collaborator and tour buddy MaLLy, three-piece hip-hop-cum-girl-power-art-rockers Sexcat, bass-heavy rocking metalheads Bloodnstuff, instrumental supergroup Dream Crusher, and distorted art-punkers Fire in the Northern Firs. 7 p.m. $7.

First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775, first-avenue.com