Two-Night Showcases at the Happy Dog Features Lottery League Participants

Fri 12/13 @ 9:30PM

Sat 12/14 @ 8:30PM

Since 2007, when it was founded, there have been five iterations of the triennial Lottery League. The event starts with a drawing at which the names of a group of local musicians, mostly from the indie rock scene, are drawn from a hopper to form completely new bands with musicians they have never worked with or been in a relationship with. These random groups of musicians spent two months writing material and rehearsing a ten-minute set to be performed at “The Big Show.”

While the earliest events tended to feature bands doing slapped-together generic punk rock, as the event matured and drew in more musicians from different scenes, these ad hoc groups ranged farther afield to try new things, ranging from country to thrash metal to cabaret to electronica. And there was another unintended (?) effect: a handful of bands clicked and stayed together once the event was over.

Local musician/artist/poet Robert Olexa aka Robert Darkmatter has organized a two-night showcase of bands formed in the Lottery League, taking place at the Happy Dog in Gordon Square. The first night will also feature a record release party for 2019 Lottery League bands who went so far as to go into the studio to record and release the results. Saturday will feature a reunion of past Lottery League bands, going back to its beginning.

Olexa himself has been part of four of the five Lottery Leagues.

“The Lottery League means so much to me,” says Olexa. “It’s a whole universe within itself and the day after The Big Show is over it is a relief that so much work is done, but also feels a little sad. I wanted to give bands an opportunity to do it again with less pressure and to try to capture some of the magic from the past seasons again.”

He goes on to say, “The last big endeavor I took on like this was having all four of the bands I was gigging and recording with play on the same night for my 44th birthday in 2018. The show was packed and it was a blast. However, after the brutal tragedy of losing my partner [local writer/journalist Nikki Delamotte, pictured with Olexa, who was murdered in November 2018] to an unthinkable act of violence, my priorities changed. The desire to help other bands and other people come together took precedent over doing my own things. I am looking forward to bringing some of the Lottery League excitement and atmosphere to the Happy Dog during what would normally be the off-season.”

Friday will feature performances by Terrycloth Mothers, Deathsperado and Lobster Howl. Saturday’s lineup features IsThisArt?, These Swords Are Real and the Vengrance Space Quartet and friend Lottery League all-star psych freakout, with former Lottery League participants getting together for an “improvised soundscape.”

Admission is $5 each night.


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