Monday, June 23, 2008

Sea Wolf and Make Music Pasadena

Sea Wolf played Thursday night (June 19) at the Echoplex which was thankfully cool that night. I was tired from three concerts in a row earlier in the week but got there in time to see some of The Jealous Girlfriends who sounded good.
Sea Wolf played a solid set, as usual, including some of their best songs, along with a new one called "Song of the Magpie", written for the audiobook "A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father" by Augustus Burroughs about a father/son relationship and quite moving. It's a recurring theme in some of Alex Church's more revealing writing. It was beautiful. Alex's vocals get stronger and more self-assured each time I see them. The whole band was great, but I want to make special mention of Lisa Fendelander on keyboards and Catherine Odell's gorgeous cello. Oddly enought, Catherine was sitting in front of me on the bus on the way to the concert, and I thought she looked familiar. I wish I'd said "hello". Only in L.A. do you ride metro with the band! Cool!

Saturday (June 21) I went to the Make Music Pasadena Festival scattered through Old Pasadena and I fried in the sun. There were five main stages and random smaller stages here and there throughout the city. Had it been 10 or 20 degrees cooler, it would have been perfect, but as it was it was pretty great. My intention was to be there for Division Day at 2 and stay through to Everest at 9. Arriving by 2 just as Division Day was setting up on the Antics Stage on Holly Street, the audience huddled along the storefronts on either side as the street heated up like a frying pan. Each time I see this band the more I realize why they are one of the very best in L.A. Even under the beating sun and heat they still gave me chills. It's not only the perfection of their live performances, but it's easy to get lost in the beauty of the songwriting. They started off with "Littleblood", one of their most beautiful and haunting songs, filled with potent imagery and wonderful harmonies by Rohner Segnitz and Seb Bailey. they played a couple of other of my favorites, "Hurricane" and "Colorguard" and, I think, "Lights Out" and "Ricky". Bravo to them for playing so well in that blazing heat, but, of course, they did the same thing last year at Sunset Junction.

When they finished I thought I'd head over to the El Molino Stage in the Playhouse District to try to see Nordic Collective, but just a couple of blocks away from the Antics Stage I was enticed into an alley by the sound of a good female vocalist and her band. It was a band from Pasadena called Hunter's Point and I stayed to listen to some nice, jazz-infused, Indie-rock. I liked the songs I heard and Tahkus Ekedal is a good singer. Plus this alley was shaded and breezy, albeit a hot breeze, but moving air was appreciated nonetheless. After that I wandered over to the Emerging Artists Stage in the One Colorado Courtyard to see where Everest would perform later. Johnny Rocket's is there so I picked up a burger and headed back to the Antics Stage to catch Autolux at 4. I know this is a good band, I just don't own any of their CD's, but I saw them last year at Sunset Junction and know everybody is impatiently waiting for them to put out a new CD. They played a really good set, but with the temperature hovering around 110, you could see they were suffering, though they, heroically, had no complaints. Carla is a most entertaining and proficient drummer!
The heat was getting to me by now, so I had to walk around a bit to reorient myself, but came back in time to hear most of set by The Raveonettes. This danish band really rocks and they delivered a blistering set that had some in the audience dancing, in spite of themselves, and I saw a band I want to know more about.
Now I needed a milk shake, so back over to the Johnny Rocket's, where I settled into one of the chairs beneath a nice umbrella'd table at the Emerging Artists Stage and watched AM deliver a nice set of pretty Indie-pop tunes. AM is the name the singer goes by and he was accompanied only by a guy on keyboards, but together they had a rich, full sound.
Before long I had to head back to the Antics Stage to see Kinky, but after five hours of baking, walking, standing and hydrating, I didn't think I should drop dead in the street for the love of music, so I opted out. Sorry to have missed Kinky and Everest, but I think I made the right decision (Especially when I stuck my head outside at home around 8 and it was still as hot as hell). I was really glad I attended and hope they do it again next year...and maybe at temperatures more conducive to the human animal.

Next up: the Thailand CD release party at the Silverlake Lounge sponsored by Radio Free Silver Lake and The Fold on Wednesday night (June 25).


No comments: