Lucky Dragons

Pub date November 11, 2008
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

PREVIEW Los Angeles’ Lucky Dragons make music that’s not very musical: many of the sounds Luke Fishbeck and Sara Rara use could come from faked field recordings or electronic noodling, and these ethnographic forgeries are further subjected to intense sampling that reduces the sense of space or regular pacing that usually marks sounds as music in our brains. Still, listening to the chirping, loop-happy compositions found on the pair’s recent album, Dream Island Laughing Language (Marriage), without the aid of Fishbeck’s peculiar brand of new-primitive modern dance or the duo’s stuttering, gentle videos, you only get part of the story.

Lucky Dragons don’t make music to prove that making music is foolish or to exaggerate its narcissism. Their work is radical because it encourages connections between show-goers over the standard-issue connection between a band and their creation and the audience’s emotions. Lucky Dragons’ music may convey a sense of pastoralism, but it works here as a conduit for a futuristic kind of sociability, upsetting the standard band–audience interaction by establishing fragile, temporary human networks that stand in stark contrast to obligatory social networks.

If there were a way to describe the disarming piece that YouTube calls "Make a Baby" without getting into technical details, it would go something like this: in the middle of a rock concert, you suddenly find yourself on the floor with strangers, touching their skin, creating shorts and flows that change the course of a fizzing, neon synth drone. When I saw Lucky Dragons perform at 21 Grand last year, I remember the tentative then bold ways kids’ bodies inched towards each other, this organic sculptural mass of flesh and fabric and finally, at the end, the way those bodies unstuck from one another, not unsweetly and not without some regret. You came to receive and ended up creating, came to stay in your bubble and ended up drawn into a strangely open, nascent community.

LUCKY DRAGONS With Hecuba and Pit Er Pat. Sun/16, 9 p.m., $10. Hemlock Tavern, 1131 Polk, SF. (415) 923-0923, Also with Hecuba, Pit Er Pat, and Chen Santa Maria. Mon/17, 8 p.m., check site for price. Lobot Gallery, 1800 Campbell, Oakl.