Sound Seekers by Fateema Sayani is published weekly at OttawaMagazine.com. Read Fateema Sayani’s culture column in Ottawa Magazine and follow her on Twitter @fateemasayani.
“The one of the three people on the couch is what happened after rock lottery in 2013,” says organizer Samantha Everts. “Complete exhaustion!”
What? The sixth annual rock lottery takes place Saturday, May 17 at Babylon Nightclub. 8 p.m. $10. Bring a non-perishable item for the food bank. Tickets available at Vertigo Records or at the door.
What happens? The day before — on May 16-25 Ottawa musicians of all stripes throw their names into a hat and are randomly regrouped into five new bands.
How does it work? The new bands have 24 hours to create a half-hour set of all original music, which is performed on the night of May 17 in front of a live audience.
What ensues? Uneven pairings, like having three drummers in one band, say. Hilarity. Awkward moments. A lot of fun. (Last year’s event sold out).
Who are the players? Band participants for the 2014 Ottawa Rock Lottery (ORL) include members of BlakDenim, Old Whiskey Road, Cold Capital, The Goodluck Assembly, The Strain, and Kalle Mattson.
Who else? Samantha Everts is head organizer of the ORL. She also runs an artist consultancy company called You Rock Red. “I’m basically like a freelance manager and promotions expert,” she explains. She started as a grant writer for artists, and has since expanded her business. “When a band has no idea how to fund and record their dream album, I can step in and guide them.”
Love! There have been at least two couples that have fallen in love at the rock lottery. One pairing happened in the first year when burlesque performers opened the show and one of the participants fell pretty hard for a dancer.
Roomies. The band Pony Girl, performing at this year’s Ottawa Jazz Festival, formed out of the ORL. Most of them are roommates and they started the business Log Creative Bureau as a result of meeting at the event.
Er, Let’s Try That Again. Everts recalls falling off the stage one year after introducing a band. She hit the hi-hat on her way down.
Lyrical Gangsters. Last year, Kalle Mattson’s ORL band was called Nicolas Cage in Con Air and every song was about a Nic Cage movie. In 2008, another band decided to just use comic book story lines for their lyrics.