WHAT’S SO FUNNY? Who says a band named Batmanhalen can’t make some serious rock?

Last Saturday, for the third consecutive year, Boston Band Crush's Ashley Willard and Richard Bouchard hosted One Night Band, recruiting 40 musicians from a cross section of area bands and creating eight new acts with only a few hours to prepare before performing live later that night at the Middle East.

>> PHOTOS: "One Night Band at the Middle East" by Kyle Carrier <<

In an attempt to balance instruments, boys/girls, and scenes (rock, roots, indie, and so on), the musicians were assembled Saturday morning, placed via lottery into one of eight bands, and given the day to come up with three original songs, one cover, a name, and even a publicity photo. The rock carousal once again benefited the East Boston-based non-profit Zumix, which offers music enrichment and after-school programs to teens, such as the show's opening act, Annual Snowfall. After logistical headaches were dispensed with at the morning draw, the show was off and running.

With band names like Batmanhalen, Walk of Shame, and Mötörböat (yes, three umlauts), the theme of the night was humor. What else can you do but laugh when you have an afternoon to come up with four songs in a "new" band? The Star Trek-inspired Golden Owl (featuring Evan Shore of Muck and the Mires and songwriter Ryan Schmidt) fused the iconic Star Trek theme into their mighty "Beam Me Up, Scotty." Wagon Battle (the Dirty Truckers' John Brookhouse, the Spoilers' Chrissy Vaccaro, among others) even invented their own genre — Pioneer Core (dysentery and the Oregon Trail, for starters). Cover versions tilted towards the cock-rock-able too, such as Makeitso's "Working for the Weekend."

But beyond the laughs, participants managed to put together some pretty tidy original songs. Like Mötörböat, whose Leesa Coyne (Naked on Roller Skates), Rod Van Stoli (Brownboot), and Meff (Walter Sickert) worked out some amazing harmonies. Or Walk of Shame, led by Al Polk (Streight Angular), who wiped the stage with the mega-catchy refrain of "I don't know if I should stay or go."  

>> PHOTOS: "One Night Band at the Middle East" by Kyle Carrier <<

Although most One Night Bands should indeed disappear into the æther, you can't help but think that some should stick around.

  Topics: Live Reviews , One Night Band, Ashley Willard, Zumix,  More more >
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