Review: Make Music Pasadena 2014 featuring Saint Motel, Run River North, Yuna and The Record Company

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At Make Music Pasadena 2014, the free arts & music festival in Downtown Pasadena, California, I saw about 5 or 6 musicians, about 4 of which definitely kept my attention and were a pleasure to see live. Read my review on Saint MotelRun River NorthYuna and The Record Company. We get there at about 4:15, just in time to catch the last few songs from LA indie pop band Saint Motel. I didn't watch much of the performance as we wanted to walk around and see what free stuff we could snag from vendors like Amoeba music, LA Weekly, McDonalds, KCRW and much more. What I realized about Saint Motel is they have some of the best instrumental intros to their songs, most notably the horn on "My Type" and the piano on "Puzzle Pieces". Their sound is almost indie alternative cinematic mixed with a fairly catchy pop sound that's accessible. I enjoyed what I heard from them and below listen to my favorites "My Type", "To My Enemies" and "Puzzle Pieces". Saint Motel- "To My Enemies" (Official Video) from London Alley Entertainment on Vimeo. Next we walked up to the park to see indie folk-pop band Run River North. This was my 2nd attempt to see them  live, getting too late to a free performance they did at Amoeba months back but this time I caught most of their set which was a delight to see since I had been blasting their debut album the last few months. They had good energy although the lead singer talked too much in between songs but maybe I felt that way because I couldn't find shade in the sweltering heat they were performing in. However I loved their performance and it was a joy to be able to sing along to tracks like "Fight To Keep", "Growing Up", and "Lying Beast" (Calling Me Home). Stream those three below and sing along to those harmonious vocals! Next we at a diner where 1-2 forgettable rock bands performed and then walked around and stumbled upon Yuna, a Muslim pop star who I could easily see snagging a hit along the lines of Corinne Bailey Rae's "Put Your Records On" or anything from Michelle Branch or Vanessa Carlton, this chicks got talent. I only heard a few songs but the one I remember was "Live Your Life" which is such a smooth song that sounds like a track John Legend could've recorded for a male version. Lastly I saw blues rock The Record Company for the 3rd time. They just straight up jam out with tunes that get folks of all ages dancing (perfect since this was an all-ages festival) and have music easy to enjoy! I always enjoy seeing them live and hope more people learn they are a great band to see live. Here's a 7 minute video of some of their performance at Make Music Pasadena plus my favorite song, "Don't Let Me Get Lonely". Overall this was a really good free music festival and I wish I'd gotten there a little earlier to catch some acts I've heard of like Moses Sumney, Andy Allo and Surfer Blood (who I passed on over eating dinner).

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