The joke's on us

Since 1993, Denton's Good/Bad Art Collective has made the unexpected part of its routine. From its one-night-only installation policy to its constant stretching of the definition of art, Good/Bad has created art that not only involves viewers, it depends on them.

The collective's methods extend to the concerts that help fund its exhibits. "Basically, what we do in a lot of our benefits is, we force conflict," says Good/Bad's benefit and fundraising coordinator Chris Weber.

Past benefits have ranged from silly (a wrestling match between Denton bands Cornhole and Dooms U.K.--complete with costumes and self-aggrandizing interviews, with the outcome deciding who would headline the post-match concert) to ingenious (a rock lottery that randomly teamed local musicians into five-member bands). The charm of the events is that the G/BACpresents them with a straight face, leaving us to decide whether it's a joke. For example, the collective staged a faux-space rock vs. roots rock war so convincingly that the Denton newspaper published two cover stories on the matter, never realizing it was a put-on.

G/BACs latest benefit, Dueling Bandos: Benefit #36, is another experiment with the standard rock-concert experience. Two bands will be set up on opposite sides of the room, with the audience in between, and will take turns performing. The lineup pits Corn Mo against The Dutch Treats, The Chop-Sakis vs. La Cheenies, and Centro-matic against Stumptone.

"When you're watching one band, you're at the front of the audience. The next band starts, you turn around, and now you're in the back," Weber says. "It does a lot of things. One, it completely destroys the rhythm of a band's performance. It also is just confusing to the audience itself, because they're not used to that kind of thing."

The next Good/Bad concert, a 5th birthday party, is already in preparation. Tentative plans call for a penalty box and audience members performing with the bands. The most unconventional thing that Good/Bad could do now is to stage a normal concert.

Dueling Bandos: Benefit #36 happens on Friday, April 17, at the Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios, 411 E. Sycamore in Denton. Doors open at 9:30 p.m.; the show starts at 10 p.m. Admission is $5. Call (940) 387-7781.

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Zac Crain
Contact: Zac Crain

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