The Phoenix Rock Lottery is happening on Saturday, January 17, which means we are only days away from draft day. On Saturday morning, 25 of Phoenix's finest musicians will convene at Crescent Ballroom and be randomly placed into a five-piece band. Then they will spend the day writing three original songs and learning one cover to be performed at the Ballroom later that evening.
So with three days to go, it is time for all the prospects to scope out the competition, while at the same time learning about their possible bandmates. With such a wide assortment of talented musicians playing the show, the possibilities for the bands' instrumentation are many.
Now, the Phoenix Rock Lottery will be chosen at random. But, in the spirit of the NFL playoffs and the impending draft, what if bands were chosen fantasy football-style? As in the NFL draft, everyone is tremendously talented, but you've got your first-round picks and seventh-round picks. Naturally, evaluating talent is extremely subjective and a sixth-round pickup can shock the world and win it all, or the number one overall pick can totally bust out. But I am still going to do my best Mel Kiper Jr. impression here with my Phoenix Rock Lottery fantasy round one draft board.
Of course, Zach Lind and Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World seem to be the best options for the number one overall pick. They are the only two artists performing who have gone platinum, and Adkins may be responsible for the single best moment of last year's show, when he stood before the crowd and proclaimed "Hi, we're Bitch Choir."
All that withstanding, Bob Hoag is still the highest-rated player on my draft board. He's a multi-instrumentalist who performs in a few of the best bands in town, including The Love Me Nots, Samuel L. Cool J, and Gospel Claws.
Hoag is also one of the premier producers in town and has been responsible for recording acts like The Format, Gin Blossoms, The Ataris, Bogan Via, and Scary Kids Scaring Kids, as well as IAMWE, Captain Squeegee, Fairy Bones, Black Carl, Jared and the Mill, and Bears of Manitou, all of whom have members participating in Saturday's event.
Adkins and Lind are numbers two and three on my board in that order. It's hard to place two members of a platinum-selling band any lower than that. They are both extremely talented musicians from a well-established band who bring the confidence of experience playing in front of millions of people with them.
My number four overall pick is Captain Squeegee frontman Danny Torgersen. The psychedelic extraterrestrial can play the trumpet, the guitar, and keys, as well as sing, write phenomenal songs, and bring some of the biggest energy in town to the stage. Even if the music his band makes isn't terrific, Torgersen's involvement definitely will be fun.
The last pick of the first round would have to be Emma Pew. Huge voice, talented on keys, and an excellent overall performer. The group that winds up with her has the issue of who will sing lead solved immediately and will have a singer who can elevate the entire performance.
Jason Roedl of Mergence, Josh Carlson of IAMWE, Mike Bell of Lymbyc Systym, Ian Metzger of The Gentle Hits / Dear and the Headlights, Chan Schulman of Harper and The Moths / Dead Eyes Of London, Illya Riske of There Is Danger / The Whisperlights, David Cosme of Playboy Manbaby, Wayne Jones of Twin Ponies, Steff Koeppen of Steff and The Articles, Matthew Foos of Fairy Bones, Gabe Williams of Bears of Manitou, Mickey Pangburn of The Prowling Kind, Alex Kling of Slowpoke / Flying Scorpion, Justin Weir of Celebration Guns, Micah Bentley of Wild Earth, Trevor James Tillery of Brotherun / Raining And Ok, Megyn Neff North Brother Island/Jon Rauhouse Orchestra, Robin Vining of Sweetbleeders / Jimmy Eat World Aaron Went of Source Victoria, Ehren Stonner of Treasurefruit / Snaketown are the rest of 2015's draft class.
All of the proceeds from Saturday night's show will be donated to Rosie's House.
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