Lucky Dragons Want to Perform with You, Not for You

L.A. Experimentalists Bring Their Sound Project to the Gallery

Lucky Dragons

A short free-download sesh away exists the world of Lucky Dragons. Well, a peek into it anyway. Inside the duo’s bright yet starkly minimalist online presence, Los Angelenos Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara have offered up nearly all of their “officially released” sound projects for the taking. No Amazon. No Bandcamp. No iTunes. Of course, this is just one of an endless number of ways these two don’t resemble most modern bands. Take a listen to their sonic offering “We Made Our Own Government,” and you’ll find another. There, castanet-like percussion gives way to a growing cacophony of computer blips and electronic loops. The “drums” are a mix of scratchy dissonance and tribal beats; the vocals, a barely enunciated, electro-infused repetition of the song’s call-to-arms title. Elsewhere on the site, you’ll find even more evidence of the pair’s egalitarian endeavors: free ’zines and visual art offerings, email links encouraging folks to help them make “shows real and imaged” happen, and videos of performances that turn the idea of a “concert” on its head entirely. On Thursday, February 3, Fischbeck and Rara will bring Lucky Dragons back to Santa Barbara for a free show at the Contemporary Arts Forum (721 Paseo Nuevo) at 7 p.m. Call 966-5373 or visit for info. And for a few more reasons to check it out, read on below.

1. Come Together: Stepping into a Lucky Dragon performance is as much about stepping onstage as it is about the band stepping off. Together with their audiences, Rara and Fischbeck attempt to break down the barriers between performer and audience and often end up creating something far greater than the sum of its parts. “At the heart of it all is playing together—building up social collectivities, reengaging the wonder and impossibility of technological presence,” the pair explains. “It sounds—and looks—like simple and ancient patterns coming together and falling apart in a sincere attempt to let wires and screens and words become clear and crystal.”

2. Get Inspired: While the duo has many visions for their art, the number one is to send participants home inspired, whether it’s to make their own music, pick up a paintbrush, or start a performance project of their own. It’s all about being moved into creative action.

3. Make a Baby: Well, not really. But the band’s signature invention—which Fischbeck has dubbed “Make a Baby”—will surely play into Thursday’s performance. The instrument, a homemade synthesizer with octopus-like tentacles, is able to convert human touch into musical sounds, and makes for one of the coolest songwriting experiences around.


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