It was hot. I mean really hot. The temperature did not ward off a large number of people coming out to enjoy a free display of music put on by the Make Music Pasadena organizers. I could only last from 12:00 till the end of the Raveonettes set as I think I came down with mild heat stroke on the hottest day of the year to date.
A touch of France kicked off the festivities at the Toyota Matrix Antics/Filter Magazine stage in the form of The Plasticines. It was like watching the Donnas if they hailed from France and had a dash of Franz Ferdinand. The ladies of the Plasticines had a bundle of energy for it being over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. They did a raucous cover of Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" as they wrapped up an hour set. The ladies of the Plasticines knew their gear opting for a Black Les Paul Custom Guitar along with a Rickenbacker bass.
The "Special Guests" of the day turned out to be The Switches who would be playing later at the Wiltern opening for She Wants Revenge to close out the Nylon Magazine Music Tour. I am sure they couldn't bill the Switches on the program as it would violate contract obligations of playing two shows in the same city. It was a pleasant surprise to see them but most people didn't know who they were. The Switches still turned in a great set playing a batch of tunes such as "No Hero", "Snakes & Ladders", "Lovin' It", "Every Second Counts and "Drama Queen". I was lamenting the fact that I didn't have tickets to their show later in the evening but was glad I caught their show at the House of Blues San Diego.
The festival took a turn to the local as hometown heroes Division Day were up next. I last caught up with Division Day at the Detroit Bar as they were winding down their tour for Beartrap Island. Division Day played "Colorguard" and "Ricky". I was transported back to 1982 with their cover of Roxy Music's "More Than This". "Reversible" closed out their set with its slick jet engine flanging that wins me over every time. Division Day is currently writing a follow up album which I am sure they will road test in a couple of months around town.
The Little Ones
The Little Ones have had me cheering for them since I saw them at the Orange County Museum of Art back in 2006. The Little Ones recently released Fallen Tales & Ferry Gates which has been holding me over until they release their full length album The Morning Tides. "Oh, Mj!" kicked off their sunny batch of songs as a larger crowd had started to formed in front of the barrier. The sun was at high noon and blaring directly on Ed Reyes (Guitars/Vocals) who was still smiling widely as he strummed his Rickenbacker guitar. The sing along chorus of "Unlock The Door!" had a salsa like rhythm with multiple forms of percussion accenting the song. My note taking ability started to wain as the heat was oven like. I did remember that they played "Face The Facts" and "Lovers Who Uncover". The Little Ones are off to England for a few festival dates and will probably be back to push their new album that is due in August or September.
A free Autolux show was a good majority of the reason why I endured the heat. "Audience No 2" is a new song available for download on their homepage and only teases fans who anxiously await their new album Transit Transit. Autolux had to have been melting in the direct sunlight but they managed to melt ears with their hot lava eruption of sound. A new instrumental piece entitled "23 Watt" rang out as Greg Edwards (Guitars) had his silver taped Gibson SG reflecting brightly in sun. Carla Azar (drums) was blinded by the sunlight as she blinded the audience with his expert drum fills during "Subzero Fun". "Blanket" and the characteristic drum shuffle of "Turnstile Blues" were crowd favorites. Eugene Goreshter (Bass/Vocals) had his Fender precision bass at ground shaking frequencies. Even amidst the mind numbing heat and the dehydration, "Headless" was an oasis in the desert as the waves of sound were life saving. Autolux's set was hot in more ways than one.
I was torn that I couldn't catch The Raveonettes at the Detroit Bar earlier this year. Lust, Lust, Lust is an amazing collection of fuzz guitars and blissful vocal harmonies from Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo. I think it is the strongest Raveonettes album to date as every song pleases your ears. Sharin Foo (Guitars/Vocals) was not performing with the Raveonettes as she is pregnant. It took her sister Loui Foo and an accompanying guitarist Lisbeth to replace Sharin as the Raveonettes continue to tour. Loui did a fine job harmonizing with Sune as they worked through the Raveonettes catalog. Sune was playing a shiny Fender Jazzmaster that was a Nokie Edwards reissue from the band the Ventures. I predict the Fender Jazzmaster will make even more waves now that Kevin Shields from My Bloody Valentine is back in action. I would think Sune is due for his own Raveonettes Jazzmaster model the way he weaved sheets of fuzz and feedback. Some of the highlights from their set included "Blush", "Love In A Trashcan", "Lust", "Red Tan", "Twilight" and "Aly, Walk With Me". I staggered back to my car for an emergency Gatorade for rehydration and to increase my blood sugar into a normal range. I hope the weather is more forgiving next year.