World Music Day, or the Fête de la Musique as it is called in its country of origin, is this Monday. On it, musicians all over France will take to the streets and play, jam, rock, shred and otherwise produce the noises that we have come to classify as music. The Fête has spread to nearly 30 countries and probably twice as many cities, including Pasadena. We are not French, however, despite the best efforts of the Alliance Française. So instead of a weekday musical free-for-all, we have a Saturday musical free-for-all as well as a structured (but awesome) festival (also free, for all): Make Music Pasadena.*
As in France, music makers (and dreamers of dreams) will be flooding the streets and filling the air waves with euphony. This is cool enough in and of itself, but it gets better: our fair city is sponsoring some 50 “official” sets on six main stages and nine secondary ones, featuring Grammy winners, Platinum sellers, up-and-comers, radio and indie favorites, and one MTV Video Music Award winner. Our cool friends tell us we should be most excited for The Antlers, a Brooklyn dream-pop trio playing the main Main stage at 5 p.m., right before the headliners: Matt & Kim, the VMA-winning dance-punk duo, also from Brooklyn. Other notables include chanteuse Natalia Lafourcade, a four-time Latin Grammy nominee, ten-piece L.A. funk orchestra Breakestra and jazz great Barbara Morrison. A little something for everyone, to put it mildly. And we’d be remiss not to mention Warpaint, Voxhaul Broadcast and Monte Negro, three young Angeleno bands making a name for themselves and building a following (Warpaint’s debut EP was mixed by former Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante; Voxhaul Broadcast has been plugged by KCRW’s taste-making former music director, Nic Harcourt). It would be an impressive lineup for a ticketed event; that it’s free is all the sweeter. And that’s without digging around through the other 40-some acts, surely full of gems. What beautiful music you make sometimes, Pasadena.
The 15 sponsored venues are clustered around Old Town and the Playhouse District, from Fair Oaks to South Lake—check the website for details. Look for roaming musicians in parks, alleys, buses, courtyards, closets, refrigerators and trees.
Make Music Pasadena
Saturday, June 19, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Main Main Stage: 36 E. Holly St.
See other venues here.
Free, Free, Free
* Fun fact: “Make Music,” the festival’s name in the English-speaking world, is a translation of the French faites de la musique, which is a homophone of fête and the catchy slogan they use in France.**
** Disclaimer: I don’t actually speak French so this might not be true. The Internet tells lies, sometimes.