If the mere sight of the words "experimental" and "music" in close proximity to each other sends you sprinting toward the nearest pillow and set of earplugs, then you might want to keep away from downtown Santa Ana on Saturday night. Or perhaps you could just grow a pair and suck it up, if only out of respect for the months of planning and preparation (and talent!) behind this weekend's ambitious experimental-music project, Sound Downtown. The product of a partnership between the Downtown Santa Ana Business Council and Artists' Village residents (and commendable-idea guys!) Dennis Lluy and Christopher Hall, Sound Downtown takes place along the divine, brick-laden promenade that marks the Village and is slated to be the first in a hopefully long list of events intended to attract new visitors to the downtown area and celebrate the city's (and county's!) uniqueness and diversity.
Beginning at 7 p.m., there'll be an opening set by Bassland utilizing synthesizers, drum machines and analog electro beats, and then at 9:30 p.m., there's a closing set by the Just in Case Mantra Orchestra, an improv jam session including everyone from percussionist Steven Hodges to guitar whiz Ray Barbee to rhyme guy Busdriver to the Locust's Joey Karam on keys to Breakestra's Todd Simon on horns to Hella's rhythm section and—breathe—a few other sound manipultion guys and MCs. But in between, from 8:30 to 9 p.m., is when the "experimental" part of the evening truly sets in: the Carchestra, a collaboration between the White Elephant Ensemble and Long Beach-based artist collective FLOOD, is a hybrid performance piece featuring live music from the Definiens Project that will be remixed in real-time and then transmitted to the FM radios of 10 customized low riders parked along the promenade. Of course, the low riders will also be chiming in—or, rather, honking in—at different times, and there'll be dancers dancing and a monstrous video projection of an elephant graveyard (something to do with the death of SUVs), too. Not quite "experimental" enough for you? Try this: the remixed music will also be able to be picked up by any FM station within a quarter-mile radius. Door-to-door, car-to-car, chair-to-chair—wherever you are, there will be music in your ears. And hopefully, it will sound like music to your ears.
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Sound Downtown: An Experimental Music Project on the Downtown Santa Ana Promenade in the Artists' Village, 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana; www.sounddowntown.com. Sat., 7-10 p.m. Free. All ages.