A Hodgepodge Reward of Music

Locally you tend to see some band mixing on the stages when they share shows. However, it usually is to tracks those bands already perform.  What if you took twenty five members of twenty five local bands, put them into a lottery to make five bands, and had them write and perform three songs plus a cover? You get what Steve, of Psyko Steve Presents, has put together in its fourth year, the Phoenix Rock Lottery. This awesome blend of local talent, music, and genre comes together for a fun and a funny night with proceeds going to charity from it.

I’ve been coming out to it for now three years. What I like is that I get to see talent from bands I have not listened to before, discovering more in a lengthy list of music I try to make out to. Because of the nature of this event, I chose to keep with a sentence for each band listing out members and bands they play in. This way, if anyone is curious they can go check out their bands on social media, Bandcamps, and live.

Speaking of humor, the first band Snack Time brought it. This band made up of Austen Mack, of Captain Squeegee, Dave Marquez of PAO and Mariachi de Grand Ave, Jake Arrington of There Is Danger and Underground Cities, Jared Geyer of Weslynn, and Corey Gloden of Wyves and Dry River Yacht Club. They opened up appropriately with a song about food, and then went more into songs of similar styles of the bands of these guys reckon from. I’ve now learned that Austen, of Captain Squeegee, a man of many talents as he took on drums. Snack Time closed their set out on a good Marcy Playground cover “Sex and Candy,” the one non-pop cover of the night.

Following them was a great put together Americana band, calling themselves Yank Williams. This band persists of Marty Welker of El West, Amber Johnson of .decker, Mark Sunman of Haymarket Squares, Zach Zimmerman of the American Longspurs, and Jon Rauhouse of Neko Case.  I might go out on the limb to say this band had the most consistent genre base of members of any of the randomly put together bands. Mark Sunman alternated between his banjo and mandolin song to song too. Of course, it isn’t Americana without a cover of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks” to close out their set on a lot of laughter and smiles.

The best dressed band and hair had to be the Wet Delicates. This band made up of Pat McCarthy of the Stiletto Formal, Alex Benson of Okilly Dokilly and Man Cat, Holly Pyle of House of Stairs, Austin Rickert of Jerusafunk and Playboy Manbaby, and Joshua Hill of the Hill in Mind. Holly has an amazing voice, and used loops for parts of the songs. We had this Austin balancing double saxophones for the first song of the set. Alex and Austin danced around that stage a lot too. There was a great chemistry up there, and they closed out on a cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.”

Up fourth in this showcase of randomly assorted bands was Nasty Woman. Although I heard it also pronounced Nasty Women through the night, checking what I found in text said singular so that’s what I will type in here. This band made up of two talented women, Cassidy Hilgers of Sister Lip and Taylor Upsahl of Upsahl, plus the three talented guys, Jef Wright of Roar and Treasure Mammal, Caleb Daily of Bear State and Flower Festival, and Jacob Lauxman of Twin Ponies. Cassidy and Taylor, with their amazing voices, had a hand in lead vocals in all four songs. First song had Caleb singing in it too. Jacob was clearly rocking out and having fun, especially by the end of that set. In case you were wondering, they did a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and were the one band that didn’t finish on the cover. It felt like each one of the original songs touched a little bit on the sounds these guys normally play, a little bit jazz and a little bit of an indie alternative sound.

As with many good things, the night had to come to the end with the band amazingly named Massive Flame and the Mega Lemons. This band consisted of Ryan McPhatter of the Black Bottom Lighters, Chelsey Louise of Fairy Bones, Aldy Montufar of PAO and Fatigo, Tom Tom of Bear Ghost, and Cori Rios of the Hourglass Cats. No way I could single out any individual voice, this band was made up of a couple of the best vocalists in our local scene. In addition, we had our one trumpet player of the night with Aldy Montufar. They gave me the last laugh and the “am I really hearing this being played” moment of the night when they closed their set on “MMMbop” from Hanson. This is an excellently fun experience every year, and the 2017 version was no slouch. I can’t wait to hear the random assortment in next year’s Phoenix Rock Lottery.

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