Siren Fest ’08

There are times — when the sweat is pouring down your back, the smell of garbage is pervasive, the line for Nathan’s is too long to bother (same for the icky porta-potties) — that schlepping all the way out to Coney Island for the Village Voice’s annual indie rock extravaganza hardly seems worth it. But then you get moments like Broken Social Scene’s genuine, joyous sundown set and it all seems kinda worth it.

I took a fairly casual approach to it all this year, doing more hanging out than anything else. It was maybe the hottest Siren ever (though not the most humid, that award goes to ’05) so I did a lot of staying put instead of running from stage to stage. Film School‘s dark, swirly, Cure-ish sound went over surprisingly well in their early afternoon spot, and The Dodos were good despite some technical difficulties. I then seemed to miss a bunch of bands though I did catch some of Jaguar Love who I’m pretty sure are the worst band ever signed to Matador. But they made for good photography. (Times New Viking and S.M. made up for it though on the Matador front.)

Seattle duo Helio Sequence, who I hadn’t seen play in four years, seemed to impress just about everyone I talked to and were the happy surprise of the day.  And Broken Social Scene just bring a great positive vibe… as well as a full horn section this time, and an audience member up on stage to fill in for Amy/Leslie/Emily on one song.

Regrets: missing Islands entirely and not going to Totonno’s, which was the one thing I really wanted. However; Time Out is right, the Mexican food scene in Coney Island has become pretty impressive. Carne enchilada tacos, Canadian rock, Bud Light Lime (my new guilty pleasure) and a toe-dip in the ocean — that’s a pretty good Saturday.







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