By Jack Riewe
Brooklyn’s Rock Lottery, a unique event that brings 25 musicians together to create music outside their comfort zone and donate the proceeds to the local non-profit Harmony Program, will mark its fifth anniversary on December 6.
Stripped from their bands, the musicians will be divided up into five groups and given 12 hours to create their own songs and band names. Each musician will have to collaborate (and possibly clash) with others to prepare songs to perform for an audience at 9pm that night.
The experimental event was started in 1997 by Good/Bad Art Collective in Denton, Texas, and has become famous there, as well as in Brooklyn and Seattle.
Judging from the list of the selected musicians, each one is different than the one before and brings a unique sound and artistry to the proceedings. Every musician will act as a unique piece of a brand new ensemble, making this event all the more interesting and building suspense to hear the final product.
This year’s lineup includes members of Au Revoir Simone, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Antony & the Johnsons, Parquet Courts and more. The list of brave souls includes:
Annie Hart (Au Revoir Simone)
Bob D’Amico (Sebadoh / Fiery Furnaces)
Brandon Welchez (Crocodiles)
Brian Chase (Yeah Yeah Yeahs / Drums & Drones / NYC Improv)
Carter Yatsutake (Midnight Magic / Bad Credit No Credit / Played with Macklemore & St. Vincent)
Drew Citron (Beverly)
Jesse Kristin (Jukebox the Ghost)
Julia Kent (Antony & the Johnsons)
Matt Schulz (Holy Fuck)
Mauro Refosco (Forro In the Dark / David Byrne’s Band)
Olly Peacock (Gomez)
Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu / Hot Snakes / Obits)
Sean Yeaton (Parquet Courts)
Teeny Lieberson (TEEN)
Travis Morrison (Dismemberment Plan)
Here are some of the exciting possibilities:
Imagine Brandon Welchez of Crocodiles in a group with Beverly vocalist and guitarist Drew Criton. It would be an ’80s-style songwriting powerhouse if fused together.
Annie Hart, the haunting singer of Brooklyn’s own Au Revoir Simone, will offer a folksy Neko Case-like dynamic if fused with someone such as Olly Peacock of Gomez, who is probably the most invincible drummer of the group.
Heads will roll if Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ drummer, Brian Chase, partners with Matt Shulz of Holy Fuck, who’s known for raucously improvising on stage.
The list is loaded with talented frontmen and women, as well as drummers, but seems to lack bassists, so look for improvement there.
The Brooklyn Rock Lottery’s earnings, which include tickets and raffles, will be donated to the Harmony Program, which provides after-school music education programs in underserved communities across New York City.