The process of creating a band can be such a gravely serious endeavor. Emma Crane and Andy Lyman organized an antidote to that often bleak, overanalytical musical process with Band Lottery: The Show(down). They held the lottery this month at Lyman's gallery in Barelas, The Tan. At the drawing, a die was cast to determine the number of members in each band, and 27 people dropped their names into a metaphorical hat, which was actually a chair. Seven bands emerged. The first and potentially only chance to see these groups—with names like More-Door, Broom and Butterfly Eggs—happens this weekend.
Singer / songwriter Crane has performed for around three years as Javelina. “It's about how much I love to wallow, but also how much I love to share that with people.” (Read more about her project in this week's Song Roulette on page 36.) Lyman plays in three bands, The Happiness of Lovemaking, Dallas and Fort Hobo. He expresses devotion to his other projects, but says, “Fort Hobo is just a constant, hilarious great disaster. ... It's like we're in a terrible relationship and we have great sex.” And all other projects are taking a backseat as the seven randomly organized bands’ members get to know each other and frantically devise and practice their sound.
Not separated by instrument, the drawing could have resulted in an all-bass combo—but didn't. “They weirdly got fairly standard combinations of instruments,” says Lyman. One group almost ended up with two drummers, but one of them was agile on bass, too. “So, it's bands.”
Participants are encouraged to create and distribute flyers touting the powers of their act above the others. “These people don't tend to be competitive,” says Crane. “It's so relaxed and warm here. It's all a big joke.” The bands span different genres, and Lyman says a fun, trumped-up feuding aspect is organically developing from the experiment.
When I talk with Crane and Lyman about the lottery bands and their upcoming concert, the excitement is palpable. Sorting through the participants' identities, Lyman interjects, “They're gonna be fun” a couple of times. He admits thinking that about every participating act. While he’s psyched about non-band band Super Republican Nude Beach, Lyman’s also visibly excited at the prospect of practicing with his lotto lineup, Night Snake. That group includes Crane, Fort Hobo bandmate Adrian Toto, Austin Morrell and John, with whom Lyman is still on a first-name basis. He calls John a wild card.