Originally conceived in Denton, Texas, in 1997, Rock Lottery is the brainchild of Chris Weber and Rob Peters. Last year, Weber relocated to Seattle, bringing his rad idea with him.
"I moved to Seattle because I needed to live in a creative, vital artistic community again," says Weber, who currently works at Consolidated Works as the program director and director of music. "In a weird way, Seattle is a perfect balance between tiny, vital college town and huge, bustling metropolis."
For the Northwest's first stab at this game, Weber enlisted Stranger staffer Sean Nelson and Yeti editor Mike McGonigal as the project's "curators." They filled the musician pool with some of Seattle's finest, which includes Eric Corson, John Roderick, and Michael Shilling from the Long Winters, Jim Roth from Built to Spill, Scott Kannberg from Preston School of Industry and Pavement, and Barrett Wilke from Kinski. Even the Smoosh girls Asy and Chloe are getting in on the fun.
For the performers, the day will start at 10:00 a.m., when they meet at ConWorks on Sunday, July 18, to find out who their new bandmates are. The five groups of five will then be taken to private rehearsal spaces to spend the entire day writing three to five songs (one cover song is allowed, should they choose that option) and come up with a band name. At 10:00 p.m., they'll return to ConWorks to share the fruits of their labor with the waiting audience.
"Every Rock Lottery has special moments," says Weber. "What I always enjoy is watching the band that makes the least amount of sense work through their set--those bands that you can tell right away that in the real world they would never even talk to each other, let alone start a band together, and yet they somehow put aside their social or creative problems and write some songs and put on a show."
The results could be chaotic, hilarious, terrible, and/or amazing, but it'll be entertaining no matter what.
"In 1998, the band Pan Fried, which had two lead singers, ended their set with one singer doing an interpretive dance/striptease while the other (Mike Wiebe of the Riverboat Gamblers) sang and read the lyrics straight from a picture book of the movie Tron," remembers Weber.
I don't know how you could possibly pass something like that up. Doors open at 9:00 p.m., show begins promptly at 10:00 pm, and tickets (available at www.ticketwindowonline.com or any Sonic Boom location) are $10. MEGAN SELING