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Queen City Music Lottery puts bands together from scratch

Luck of the Draw

Forming a band is no easy task. If you’re lucky you know three or four other people who all play different instruments and are willing to commit the time and energy it takes to produce a crowd pleasing sound. Otherwise it’s off to open-mic nights, looking over social media in hopes of finding your new band mates. Participating in the Queen City Music Lottery is one way to eliminate this dilemma and get down to creating music. “Essentially it’s a opportunity for people of varying music skills or none at all to form a band with total strangers or maybe some friends, it really all comes down to the luck of the draw,” said event organizer Matto LaQue.

Now in it’s second year, the Queen City Music Lottery puts together ensembles of five musicians, regardless of skill level, instrument, or style of play. “It is a total luck of the draw. It’s completely possible to end up with five-guitarist in one band,” said LaQue. “Last year my band had a drummer, myself on guitar and two guys who were computer-based and did a lot of digital music, with a lot keyboard heavy stuff, so that was really interesting to mash that all together.”

Once the bands are formed they have one week to come up with a band name, and ten weeks to put together 15-minutes of original music. While providing weekly updates of their progress the bands are showcased with a live show on June 6, tentatively at Sugar City on Niagara Street in Buffalo. Last year’s inaugural music lottery had 14 bands play in the showcase held at The Foundry. “14 bands is a lot of bands to play all in one night, but the turn out was great, and I’m hoping to have a bigger turn out this year,” said LaQue.

The 2015 lottery, held on March 28, produced 15 bands (75-musicians) that are currently hard at work creating music for the June showcase. Some of this year’s band names include: Mountain Doohickey, Womb Temp, Miniature Van Damme, and Karl Palidino and the School Bored.

“We have people from all walks of life, from all levels of musicianship, to non-musicians, and that’s what I love about it. Bringing together all these different people, from all these different music scenes and all different walks of life, ages, and races. All of them coming together and doing something totally for the love of music, and for the sake of doing something creative and meeting new people. I think that is what is most exciting about it and that’s why people are drawn to it,” says LaQue.

For more information about the showcase and updates on how the bands are coming along visit the Sugar Citizen Facebook page, or the Sugar City webpage,

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