By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Yanni DiFranco, Megaforce Five and the Weapons of Mass Destruction, The Pink Bullets, Wombstone Pizza, The Kim Jong Illness. That's not a list of code names for the next American military operation, but rather the bands that played the sixth installment of Rock Lottery. Confused? Here's the summary: Last Saturday, 25 Denton musicians were randomly grouped into five bands and given 12 hours to write at least three original songs. That night, the bands played at Dan's Silverleaf to raise money for Denton's Good/Bad Archive Project. Of course, they also had to come up with names, and if you think those monikers are fun and amusing, you should have seen the show.
After an overdramatic intro by hosts Colin Carter and Mike Wiebe, Yanni DiFranco (with members of Jackson 8, Mugzu and more) capitalized on the goofy mood with a self-aware blend of classic rock and death metal. Most of their set was laid-back and carefree, but they also snuck in an unexpectedly amazing midtempo cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Pink Bullets followed under the leadership of Echo Lab co-owner Matt Barnhart; his sharp guitar work made the brand-new band sound years-old, and he screamed like the devil through their house-raising closer, "Lord of the Pit." Later, Megaforce's hard-rock set suffered from sound trouble, and KJI brought the entire Lottery cast onstage for a boisterous, hoedown sing-a-long at night's end, but it was Wombstone Pizza's 15-minute epic that won the Lottery. Fishboy's Eric Michener, armed with toys and kazoos, led his brigade through a zany, Who-like musical smorgasbord. The multi-genre song ended with Record Hop's Ashley Cromeens cutting a rug alongside Michener in a disco dance-off, and the crowd's reaction was proof that at the Rock Lottery, everyone wins.
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