Make Music Pasadena – Wide Spectrum of Musical Talent
By Harriet Kaplan
Make Music Pasadena is a free, all-day, all-ages music celebration. More than 150 bands, featuring diverse music, including seasoned performers and emerging homegrown talent, came together last Saturday, June 6, from 11 am to 11pm, for one day to celebrate the spirit of music and community. This annual music festival was held on five main stages and 30+ additional venues that spanned 20 city blocks throughout downtown Pasadena, California.
Black on the Canvas arrived in the late afternoon to watch and review some of the bands’ music and do an on-site interview. The Playhouse District featured Hundred Waters, Kaleo and How To Dress Well. Each of the groups were well-received with big crowds gathering to watch their sets. The anticipation and buzz around each act went beyond people wandering over out of mere curiosity. The bands had their own followings through the social media outlets, too. At the Old Pasadena – Colorado Stage, Avid Dancer performed.
Hundred Waters is an American band formed in Gainesville, Florida in 2011. The group blends electronic and organic sounds together and have been called future-facing” pop. They have released two albums, their self-titled debut and second album – “Ring Like a Bell.” In 2012, Hundred Waters became known with the release of Hundred Waters and working with Skrillex’s OWSLA record label. The band features Nicole Miglis (vocals, piano, flute), Trayer Tryon (production, electronics, bass), Paul Giese (electronics, guitar), and Zach Tetreault (drums, percussion, trumpet).
Nicole Miglis spoke with Black on the Canvas about her influences as a singer/songwriter: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Miglis believes the music informs the words of her songs. She also draws inspiration from books and poetry including Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath, T.S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg.
Hundred Waters played a moody, hypnotic set at Make a Music Pasdena and their show really caught fire toward the end with a rousing jam session that captured the mood of a rave.
Iceland’s Kaleo, the four-piece band which includes Jökull Júlíusson on vocals and guitar;
Davíð Antonsson on drums and vocals; Daniel Ægir Kristjánsson on Bass and Rubin Pollock on lead guitar, blend the sounds of traditional American music folk, blues, country, and rock. The band has released two albums: Kaleo and Glasshouse. They signed to Atlantic Records. Kaleo is currently on a U.S. tour. Kaleo drew the listener with a familiar sound and that has a commercial vibe with an exciting bite to it. The band delivered a solid set of good, memorable material.
How To Dress Well is the stage name of American singer-songwriter Tom Krell. Krell took his project, including supporting musicians, to Make Music Pasadena stage. The musical genres that band dab in include ambient, experimental, alternative R&B, lo-fin and electronic. His studio albums include Love Remains, Total Loss and What Is This Heart? Krell is a captivating and intense frontman with a magnificent, otherworldly voice. He was born to perform and stormed the stage. Krell lit it up with his fiery persona that was compelling and unique.
L.A.-based Avid Dancer, featuring L.A.-based singer/songwriter Jacob Dillan Summers, Osvaldo Fabio Carmona, Brian Andrew Marquez, Leif Robert Davidson and Adrian Rodriguez, offered up psych-pop from the 60s, some pop and quieter acoustics to full-on rock numbers. In 2015, the band released 1st Bath, and in 2014, I Want to See You Dance.
Photos by Caren Spitler