Are The Lucky Dragons artists or are they musicians? Who cares. This cross-genre, Los Angeles-based duo is spending nearly a week in town, with a full schedule of concerts, talks and workshops and a warm-up band in tow. Harvard graduate Luke Fishbeck and compatriot Sarah Rara, along with friends from the electronically driven band Hecuba, aim to deliver bite-sized increments of their grand art vision all across town. Fronted by the musical irony of their cheeky yet cerebral chums from out west, the Lucky Dragons have a subtle, but accessible, art assault planned for us that shouldn’t be too hard to swallow.
Starting on August 29 with a concert at High Concept Labs, and then moving onto Fulton Street’s dual-purpose venue AV-aerie on Saturday, the bands will perform and offer an array of interactive, musical treats ranging from situation-based activities to homemade instruments provided for audience participation. While Hecuba’s approach is more straightforward—sometimes sounding like Peaches if she hadn’t cheapened her act with sophomoric, sexual one-liners—The Lucky Dragons interact directly with spectators and encourage them to become part of the performance. Providing objects like ropes with embedded microphones and rocks whose minerals transfer frequencies through human flesh to produce theraminesque sounds, Fishbeck and Rara invite willing participants to explore their vision of art and music as ends in themselves.
Their charming, wacky act and art-worldview will continue on August 31 at the Golden Age Bookstore in West Pilsen. There, the two will unroll a huge piece of fabric, upon which art folks and unassuming locals will paint their asses off, producing the latest in an ongoing project that they call the Sumi Ink Project. Sumi calligraphy, originally based on East Asian wash painting in black ink, might serve as a nice basis for their would-be hubris project, if only they were egotistical enough to force their vision into an ego-based project. Instead, The Lucky Dragons focus on all-ages venues and develop artworks and performances that give access to earnestly curious people. (Andrew Loughnane)
The Lucky Dragons perform at various venues August 29-September 2. Visit www.hawksandsparrows.org for complete details.