Denton's historically-popular Good/Bad Art Collective, an artist-run co-operative studio and gallery that was active from 1993 to 2001, comes out of the woodwork each year to organize its Rock Lottery event, and has recently announced that its eleventh one will take place at Dan's Silverleaf on Nov. 17.
The Rock Lottery concept first came from Good/Bad Art Collective's Benefit and Music Programming Coordinator Chris Weber, and has a simple yet creative premise: 25 hand-picked musicians are organized into five bands through a lottery-based selection, then released to practice at different locations for exactly 12 hours before returning to the venue to perform what they have created in front of an audience. The rules are that each band must create a band name and three to five songs, with a limit of just one cover song. The groups are allocated one drummer per band.
Each year the Rock Lottery hand-picks new musicians, and in the past has featured more than 250 people from some of the area's most acclaimed acts, including The Baptist Generals, Brave Combo, Centro-matic, The Polyphonic Spree and The Toadies. This year's batch of musicians are as follows: Aaron White, Chris Welch, Daniel Zeigler, David Saylor, Ginny Mac, James Washington, Jeremy Buller, Justin Gray, Mike Forbes, Paddy Flynn, Rachel Yoder, Ryan Becker, Bill Dodds, Cody Garcia, Darcy Neal, Doug Burr, Issac Hoskins, Jeff Barnard, Judson Valdez, McKenzie Smith, Nicole Estill, Petra Kelly, Rob Buttrum, Taylor Kimbrough and Tex Bosley.
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Local musician James Washington, of Forever Home and Peopleodian, is the king of synth gadgetry in all of his music projects, and was subsequently invited to perform in this year's Rock Lottery. In most of his sets, Washington uses instruments such as the Korg DS-10 (a software synthesizer for the Nintendo DS), two MicroKorgs for lead and incidental synth parts and a Korg KP2 "kaoss pad" for effects processing. He says that as an untrained musician, he is incredibly nervous about performing in the Rock Lottery.
"I'm going to try to be open to most things, but I really want to do something fun like make some tape loops or play the saw," he says. "I guess it will depend on who I get teamed up with. If the band wants to do some smooth R&B, I will not play the saw."
In 1998, a small group of Good/Bad artists, including co-founder Chris Weber, moved to Brooklyn and opened a small arts space that operated simultaneously with Denton's collective until 2001. "After Good/Bad folded in Brooklyn, I moved to Seattle and have been living here for 10 years," says Weber. "I am still putting on art and music and other crazy events as the multi-disciplinary arts programmer for the event company One Reel, so, in a lot of ways, I am just continuing the work I started with Good/Bad in Denton. My main goal is still to make cool shit happen."
Denton's Rock Lottery 11 will be held on Nov. 17 at Dan's Silverleaf. General admission tickets cost $15, or you can pay $20 for the 10 a.m. selection ceremony, breakfast and evening program. All proceeds will benefit Communities in Schools of North Texas. More info can be found at cinst.org.