Row 1: Nico Vega, Sweethead, The Shakers
Row 2: Pu$$y Cow, Pu$$y Cow, Dead Country
Row 3: Rob Z Program/Z/Schnee and the Bleeding Livers, Stab City, Walking Sleep
Row 4: Spider Problem, Spider Problem, Kissing Cousins
Row 1: Eastern Conference Champions, Pollyn, Thee Hundred Days
Row 2: Tomorrow’s Tulips, The Dollyrots, The Dollyrots
Row 3: Captain Danger, Lucy Schwartz, Lucy Schwartz (Mona Tavakoli and Lucy’s Father as support band)
Row 4: Vanaprasta, Gliss, Red Cortez
Row 1: Pity Party
Row 2: Best Coast, The Mo Odds, The Slow Death
Row 3: Don Juan y Los Blancos, Local Natives, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists
Row 4: Amanda Jones and the Sugartits 3, Eastern Conference Champions (ECC), ECC
Row 5: Warpaint, Mad Planet, Mad Planet
THE GROWLERS and CULTS
from left to right : Growlers (pictured left and center) and Cults (pictured right)
VETIVER and WARPAINT
from left to right: Vetiver (pictured top left top) and Warpaint
TITUS ANDRONICUS and WAVVES
1:00 The Oak Stage: Magic Kids
Del says: I missed them when they toured Spaceland and the Bootleg so I’ll be rectifying those errors on Saturday. I really wish I saw them at those tiny venues because I’m going to guess that this band is going to have the biggest daytime gathering of all the bands in the lineup. They’re the local darlings out of all of these local darlings, David Byrne has given them his seal of approval, and they’re only going to get bigger.
It was off to Make Music Pasadena on a recent Saturday afternoon. After having spent my vacation (a future column) using public transportation, I decided to head on out to Pasadena on a metro bus. It wasn’t a mistake, per say, but it took an hour to get to Pasadena from Glendale. If I was a skilled marathon runner, I would have gotten there in less than half the time. If I had driven, I would have gotten there in less than half the time. Sometimes, public transportation just isn’t worth it in Los Angeles County, I say. You may disagree with that, but let’s just leave it at that, a friendly disagreement.
But that is beside the point, because I did arrive at Make Music Pasadena in time to catch Warpaint on the Main Stage. I’ll describe their sound as finding yourself in a sonic heaven that sends you into a wonderful trance. As is often the case unfortunately (I am learning) at these music festivals, Warpaint had some equipment problems. The guitarist was having to fiddle with knobs throughout the set and eventually said, “Oh no, our bass is cutting out.” The band had a core group of fans. One of the sound guys on the stage seemed to be getting his flirt on with one of the guitarists. And after just a couple chords into their last song, I could hear screams from the crowd. I must say that the band members really know how to use their hair.
Comment: “Let’s hear your best call of the wild.”
After Warpaint, I walked across to Kendall Alley (a smaller outdoor venue) to catch Eliza Rickman. I was first introduced to Eliza Rickman sometime last year when she was playing with Aaron Beaumont over at Hotel Café. Her instrument of choice? A toy piano — though she also had a small drum set behind her. She used her right heel to kick the bass drum. Before starting her set, she handed out toy musical instruments to a trio of individuals in the audience. At the start of her fourth song, she said, “People with the toys, this is your time to shine. This song gets me tips at Farmers Markets from kids, because they love it.”
After saying hi to a couple friends that I noticed in Kendall Alley, I went back to the main stage to catch The Antlers. The main stage audience section was packed so I headed to the sidewalks on the opposite end of the street. At this point in the day, the sun was shining directly into the eyes of the band and so the lead singer eventually said, “I’m going to put on some sunglasses, because I can’t see you.”
For Matt and Kim, the next band on the main stage, I moved back into the audience section. I started out perhaps twenty rows from the stage. Matt and Kim came running on stage, throwing a couple t-shirts into the audience, and with that I surged forward ten feet. After their second song, I couldn’t help but notice that; first, they both had huge smiles (they smiled during their whole set); second, they jumped atop of their stools constantly. Their fun and energizing attitude carried over into the audience. Folks were crowd surfing throughout and there were at least three audience surges toward the stage. By the end of their set, I was four rows out and couldn’t help but wonder how I got there. As for those outside the audience section, they had also found their way into the street, but the security guards came over and asked that everyone move back to the sidewalk. The security guards behind the barricades also were dealing with crowd surfers who were deposited in the photography-only section.
Comment: Matt, “We made a video of this song in Time Square where we got naked. During Coachella, a guy jumped onto the stage and got naked, showing his penis to everyone. He’s now a registered sex offender in the state of California.” Someone from the audience, “It was worth it.”
all photos by Jessy Plume for TRAffIK
The darlings of our Summer Soundtrack, Silverlake based Robotanists enjoyed a whirlwind season full of sunshine, radio airplay (KCRW), and lots of new friends. Two of the band members Sarah Ellquist and Daniel de Blanke have taken a few moments to bring you firsthand some of the highlights of their summer, as well as how they feel they’ve grown as a band. They even let you us in on what songs they wish they had written.
Daniel de Blanke – guitars, keys, songwriting
Sarah Ellquist – vocals, keys, songwriting
Preston Scott Phillips – percussion, drums, iphone
Keith Boyarsky – bass
TRAffIK: Where can we learn more about your band?
DANIEL: Google “robotanists” or go to http://robotanists.com
TRAffIK: How did you come together?
DANIEL: We were all in other bands, and then left those bands and formed this one. The social lubricant was alcohol and a fondness for screaming at the television. That, and Dostoevsky.
TRAffIK: How would you describe your sound?
DANIEL: Up-tempo sad music for amoral intellectuals
SARAH: Make-up sex
TRAffIK: How does the songwriting process work for you? Where does the inspiration come from?
SARAH: Dan and I are a song writing team, but every song is born in a different way, from a different place. I write all of the lyrics, but sometimes, I write the melody and Dan builds harmony from there, or vice versa. If either of us ever thinks that we’ve written a complete song, the other is there to edit and refine. We take everything to the rhythm section for the final seal of approval… and the rest is history. Lyrics come from a very personal place, but I try to craft them in a way that the listener can interpret as they choose. Music is a personal thing, I want listeners to make our music theirs.
DANIEL: I have three thousand song ideas that are half crafted at any given time. I generally force Sarah to listen to them until she starts singing melodic material.
TRAffIK: Lately you’ve been performing acoustically a lot more than we’d seen previously. Do you have a preference for either performing unplugged or plugged in?
SARAH: I think we all prefer the energy of playing as a full band, but performing with just an acoustic guitar is a great way to really showcase our songwriting. It’s liberating to strip things down and just let the melody and harmony dance with each other.
TRAffIK: What started this trend for you?
SARAH: I suppose you could say that most of our music starts out “acoustic” during the demo phase, but we started performing them that way after some friends of ours (the band Vanaprasta) asked us to come to the Bond St. Lounge at the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills over the summer and play a few songs. The next thing we knew we were getting weekly invites to perform all over LA. (more…)