CHRISTOPHER MCGUIRE IS not only the whiz-kid drummer of such bands as 12 Rods and Oxygen Cocktail--he's also a media-savvy DIY workhorse, as gig ads trumpeting the banner "Christopher McGuire Presents" will attest. Sunday at the Fine Line, McGuire outdoes himself with Meat Raffle, an eight-hour, all-ages, 15-band music industry blowout, which could also be named "The Midwest Music Universe According to Christopher McGuire." It brings in several bands 12 Rods crossed paths with on recent regional tours, such as Green Bay's Decodering and Milwaukee's Dorian Gray and The Virgins. Some of the visitors were huge inspirations for 12 Rods back in their native Ohio, such as Chicago's Vambo Marble Eye and Cincinnati's Oyster. The latter is descended from a band called Lizard 99, who, McGuire says, "If there was ever a band that planted the seed for (Rods mate) Ryan Olcott and me to play rock, it was them."
Local Rafflees include Oxpecker--new 12 Rods allies and Chicago transplants about whom I'm hearing countless raves--and Swoon, a great new texture trio led by singer Karen Kopacz and featuring Olcott. The bill fills out with locals Lifter Puller, Steel Shank, Gusto Busto and Hot Karl; Louisville's Elliot; and Michigan's Calliope and Walk On Water. The order is unspecified, but 12 Rods will kick it off at 4 p.m.
Meat Raffle is also the rare artist-created event that actually flaunts itself as "A&R hog heaven." McGuire says nine major-label scouts are slated to attend, along with publishers, entertainment lawyers, and managers. Hence the name Meat Raffle? "You know, a lot of these bands would love to have an audience like that, and I've tried to create it," says McGuire. "12 Rods have definitely talked to our share of A&R people, so a lot of them are just people I've called back and invited down. A&R people are really weird, but at the same time I believe every band on here is amazing." (Groebner)
Meat Raffle is Sunday at the Fine Line. $6/$8 at the door. All ages from 4 to 9 p.m.; ID required from 10 p.m. to midnight. Call 338-8100.
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