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Everyone Will Win

At Phoenix Rock Lottery

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Twenty Of Phoenix’s Biggest And Best Musicians Prepare For A Concert  Swap With Randomly Selected Bandmates With All Proceeds Going To Musically-Centered Charity, Rosie House


By Jeff Moses

Modern Times Magazine

Feb. 7, 2014 — A “rock lottery” is coming to Phoenix, and unlike traditional lotteries, everyone wins, even if you don’t play.

The Phoenix Rock Lottery public concert will be held Sunday beginning at 8 p.m. A pool of 20 of Phoenix’s best and most well-known musicians from a variety of local bands and genres will be evenly divided and will form four “one-off” bands at random beginning Sunday morning. Each band will then be responsible for writing three original songs and learning a cover over the next 10 hours in preparation for a show at Crescent Ballroom at 8 p.m. that evening.

The event is being put on by Psyko Steve Presents and the musicians are Jason Roedl (of Mergence), Henri Benard (of Dry River Yacht Club), David Cooper (of Snake! Snake! Snakes!), Mike Bell (of Lymbyc Systym), Michael B. Alexander (of Emby Alexander), Rob Kroehler (of Lady Like, The Love Blisters, Fun.), Danny Torgersen (of Captain Squeegee), Mariah Deraet (of Avery), Matt Noaks (of Black Carl), Illya Riske (of There Is Danger, The Whisperlights), Tobie Milford (of The Tobie Milford Quartet), Aaron Wendt (of Source Victoria), Maria Sais de Sicilia (of Her & Gold, Bears Of Manitou), Sean Silverman (of This Century), Jim Adkins (of Jimmy Eat World), Robin Vining (of Sweetbleeders, Jimmy Eat World), David Moroney (of Wooden Indian), Lindsay Cates (of Pick N Hollar), Jamie Woolford (of The Stereo, Let Go), and a Mystery Musician.

“I've worked with most of these artists before in some way. Never quite like this. I can imagine any combinations are going to be interesting,” said participant Michael B. Alexander of Emby Alexander.

“I love the idea and I was waiting for someone to take it on here in Phoenix. I had friends participate in the Rock Lotto in Tucson and Los Angeles, both of which had a blast. I also had a theater troupe in my hometown that used to do a 24-hour extreme performance night where they would gather actors, screenwriters, musicians, and prop people and would have to write and perform an original piece in the span of a day... I always thought the outcome was cool and super spontaneous, and wondered what it would be like for musicians to do something of that sort,” said participant David Moroney of Wooden Indian.

While similar show have been done in other cities in the past, this will be the first time that Phoenix will host a rock lottery, and the mystery musician adds an extra layer of intrigue to the event. Moroney guessed it could be Neko Case guitarist Jon Rauhouse or The Format’s Sam Means. Alexander is also hoping for means, saying “I would like to see Sam Means come out as the Mystery Musician! I have faith in whomever Psyko Steve gets.”

Besides just putting on an interesting show for local music fans, the Phoenix Rock Lottery also affords the musicians a chance to play with their peers, and possibly fulfill some years-long collaborative hopes.

“I really want to work with Tobie Milford. I've tried over the last 5 or 6 years, and it's just never happened. Hopefully, our names are drawn together, and he'll have no choice but to make music with me,” said Alexander.

Another fun aspect of the endeavor is that not every musician will wind up playing their primary instrument.

“I think the fact that I was chosen to participates goes hand in hand with what instrument I will play. Psyko Steve and I have been friends for a long time, and he knows through several of my projects that I am a multi-instrumentalist who can fill a number of different positions confidently, be it stringed instruments or percussion, or piano and vocals,” said Moroney.

Alexander had a similar sentiment saying, “I'm being really open and will be ready to play anything that fits. I'm going in with a collaborative mindset. I am comfortable playing guitar, bass, piano, or singing. I'm bringing my bag of percussion instruments that I love and rely on: glockenspiel, jingle bells, tambourine, castanets.”

Just to spruce up the event a bit, Psyko Steve and Crescent Ballroom made it so all of the proceeds from the $10 tickets will go to Rosie House, which brings music programs to children in the Phoenix area.
“So, come out and see all of the best musicians in Phoenix forced way out of our comfort zones,” said Alexander, While Moroney added, “I’m definitely pumped in anticipation to see who my crew will be on Sunday.”

Jeff Moses a senior contributor at Modern Times Magazine. He can be reached at
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