Make Music Pasadena 2016

Make Music Pasadena 2016

The 9th annual Make Music Pasadena festival kicked off on Saturday with cloudy skies, a far cry from their usual always-sunny placement. While clothes were dampened, spirits were not as Pasadena locals and out-of-towners converged to explore over 150 bands spread out over six main stages and over 30 additional venues spread out over twenty city blocks, like a smaller version of a SXSW where you could potentially find yourself discovering a new artist in a dentist's waiting room.

Funded by sponsors and donations (hint, hint), Make Music is entirely free and with it brings more diversity to its festival from attendees to performers. It was modeled after the Parisian Fête de la Musique, started in 1982, as a way to bring community and music together. Without the hassle of steep ticket costs or battle of who's-who for VIP treatment, the focus of the festival is able to remain simple: it's about music and people.

We caught up with a few of our faves at the fest to talk unexpected tastes, where else music could infiltrate and some not-so-visible friends.

L.A. GIRLFRIEND

MMP is modeled after a Parisian festival intended to celebrate all varieties of music. What is the most surprising genre or artist you listen to?
It's no secret I'm a big fan of 80's and post-punk, but I do love me some old school Latin Pop and Latin Big Band stuff, a la Eydié Gorme. I remember hearing all sorts of Latin music at my Nana's house when I was a kid, so hearing it definitely takes me back to my childhood. "Sabor a Mí" is my jam.

Pasadena isn't the typical place you think of when you think 'music festival.' If you could plan a fest in any city, where would you choose and why?
If I had the choice, I'd probably go for a place with an incredible setting. Tokyo would be cool for the lights and the energy, or even The Blue Lagoon in Iceland because it's unexpected. Plus, it looks like something out of a storybook. Seeing my favorite band in a place like that would put the experience on a whole other level.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? What was he/she like?
Haha! Honestly, I don't think I've ever had an imaginary friend, but I have talked to inanimate objects as if they were friends, like my guitar for instance. If I did have an imaginary friend, I hope it would be like Jake the magical dog from Adventure Time.

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HUNNY

MMP is modeled after a Parisian festival intended to celebrate all varieties of music. What is the most surprising genre or artist you listen to?
Jason, guitars/vocals: Well, keeping with the Parisian bit, we all love us some good Serge Gainsbourg of course. We're also huge Babymetal fans. The Pillows from Japan are one of my favorite bands of all time. I wouldn't really say anything we listen to is too "surprising" though. It's easy to find a handful of different influences in any one of our songs. Did I mention Babymetal?

Pasadena isn't the typical place you think of when you think 'music festival.' If you could plan a fest in any city, where would you choose and why?
Jason: I don't know if one exists already but Tokyo would be very sick. Or on a space shuttle or something. Or in Newbury Park.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? What was he/she like?
Jason: I guess when I was a young lad I had an imaginary friend that I very creatively named "magic jay" who I would blame for all the bad shit I did. I recently found in storage a portrait of sorts that I drew of him from back then and he had giant spiked green hair and a huge sweater with a "J" on it like Alvin from The Chipmunks. I don't remember those days too well but I'm sure we had some good times.

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THE DEAD SHIPS

MMP is modeled after a Parisian festival intended to celebrate all varieties of music. What is the most surprising genre or artist you listen to?
Devlin, vocals/guitar: Most surprising artist is probably The La's, they had that one album with "there she goes" on it and I think the dude just went off the deep end. I read something where one of the Gallaghers was telling Kanye he no longer has songs and that Kanye needs to go back and listen to the La's. I took the advice Kanye wouldn't. That and a lot of 90's r&b and hip hop.
Chris, drums: As a band–okay, just me and Alex–we pride ourselves on listening to what most snobby bands would consider "bad music" or "uncool," so our drunken go-to singalong has always been and will always be Less Than Jake's "Hello Rockview." Surprised? Doubt it. I'll also put on some RuPaul to get the party started.
Alex, bass: As a young lad, growing up with a father who was deeply rooted in the country music scene for a time, my paternal rebellion began with a lot of European dance music. It was the furthest thing away from the pickin' and grinnin' ways of the south, and it has stuck with me, in a very closeted fashion, through my adult years. Particularly the likes of German industrial and the deep house addiction of Spain.

Pasadena isn't the typical place you think of when you think 'music festival.' If you could plan a fest in any city, where would you choose and why?
Alex: Music festivals deserve character and atmosphere over budget and mainstream talent, I believe, and history of a geography plays a huge part in how I enjoy an event or concert. I'd choose a small, slightly abandoned, hillside ghost town in Northern Arizona named Jerome, where they still have a hotel converted from a forgotten mental hospital and a dilapidated biker bar named The Spirit Room.
Devlin: I love Valencia. My great-great-great-great-great-waaaay back grandfather was a crazy person who went around Ireland telling everyone that he was crowned the king of Spain. And it kind of feels that way the few times I've been there with my dad.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? What was he/she like?
Chris: I always wanted to have one but none of them wanted to hang out with me. :(
Devlin: I have imagined illnesses and disorders. They always keep me company and on my toes.
Alex: My cup runneth over with dreams and imaginations, but I've never had a friend that didn't physically exist... besides the two friends of whom I spend almost every waking moment with, who are real, but they're more family than friends. Christopher, Devlin, if you're reading this, I love you.

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HAMISH ANDERSON

MMP is modeled after a Parisian festival intended to celebrate all varieties of music. What is the most surprising genre or artist you listen to?
As a blues artist, I listen to a lot of different genres and styles of music, since the blues is really the foundation of everything. So I listen to everything from Mozart through to Frank Ocean. I’m not sure what the most surprising genre of music I listen to is but I definitely like to listen to a lot of instrumental film score music; scores by composers like Bernard Herrmann and Ennio Morricone I find really inspiring.

Pasadena isn't the typical place you think of when you think 'music festival.' If you could plan a fest in any city, where would you choose and why?
I always thought it would be cool to see a festival right in the middle of Venice, Italy, because it would just be so out of the ordinary. Venice is such a cool and crazy city that it would be so awesome to just stumble across an awesome festival surrounded by all the gondolas passing by.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? What was he/she like?
This question makes me wish I had! I loved the film Drop Dead Fred as a kid so that always made me wish I had an imaginary friend growing up in Australia.

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PR0FILES

MMP is modeled after a Parisian festival intended to celebrate all varieties of music. What is the most surprising genre or artist you listen to?
Lauren, singer/keyboardist: I think it's pretty funny that you'd find my Spotify lists consist of both the Allman Brothers and hardstyle.
Danny, synths/guitars: You might be surprised to find a bit of Earth, Wind & Fire as well as Marilyn Manson throughout some of my playlists.

Pasadena isn't the typical place you think of when you think 'music festival.' If you could plan a fest in any city, where would you choose and why?
Lauren: I'd put more festivals in suburbs and rural areas. I grew up going to lots of underground festivals out in the woods of Pennsylvania where you'd have to sleep in your car or camp out. It was so fun and like MMP, free! I think there's a need for festivals that stretch their arms beyond major cities and are affordable, especially for younger people that don't have jobs but love to support music.
Danny: The fact that Make Music is free and so accessible is amazing. I’d love to do something similar in this town called Hood River, Oregon. I spent many summers there as a kid with my family. The liveliness along with the small town feel of this city, not to mention the fact that it’s right on the Columbia River, would make this such a perfect place for a similar music festival.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend? What was he/she like?
Danny: I have an imaginary cat named Petuna that hangs out at my studio. She’s really sweet, but sometimes gets a bit needy. Strangely, she prefers chicken flavored cat treats over the tuna flavored ones. I know, not what I expected.

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Photography by Robiee Ziegler

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