Take 25 musicians, a magic hat and 12 short hours and you've got the recipe for one of the most innovative rock-and-roll ideas ever born. Rock Lottery returns to Dan's Silverleaf in Denton tomorrow, full of suspense and surprises for patrons and participants alike. The fast-paced crossbred concert/social experiment challenges the idea of what a band should be by randomly grouping musicians who may or may not know (or like) each other. The resulting bands are each forced to work at breakneck speed to develop a new identity and three to five original songs, which they will perform 12 hours later to a waiting audience.
In Seattle, Rock Lottery attracted members of Built to Spill, Pavement, Pedro the Lion and The Long Winters, among others. But its heart lies in Denton, where, in 1997, Chris Weber, former events coordinator for the Good/Bad Art Collective, first imagined it. "I wanted to see people who would normally not even talk to each other work together to create something," he says. Soon everyone wanted to take part, as each subsequent installment delivered unforgettable moments and phenomenal performances. As proof of the event's time-tested tenacity, one of the bands at Rock Lottery 6 cashed in their one-cover-only card to perform "Lord of the Pit," a song created during Rock Lottery 1 by the "band" Magic Johnson: The Gathering that included Centro-matic's Will Johnson.
This year's participants, as eclectic a bunch as you might imagine, include Chris Considine (Bridges and Blinking Lights), Wes Darrin (Faux Fox), Mark Pirro (Polyphonic Spree) and Mauve Oed (Corn Mo & Mauve Oed). For $10 you can see a one-night-only performance like no other, and for $5 more, Rock Lottery 8 offers you access to the 10 a.m. band selection and breakfast, plus early entrance to the evening's finale. --Darci Ratliff