Updated on August 6th with video of "Strange". More pics after the jump
Once a year we are obliged to take the long and arduous subway ride to the furthest reaches of South Brooklyn to do two things: eat hot dogs and see the Siren Music Festival. I have to admit that its been a few years since my last experience at Siren. It’s tough endeavor; usually you are mad hungover from the night before (which I was), and the diesel ass subway ride hardly helps. Moreover, the concentration of hipsters and plethora of young bucks with small t-shirts makes any college graduate feel like they are way too old for this crap.
Of course if you're gonna make the trip all the way to Coney Island, you gotta take in all the sights and sounds that this place has to offer. Such as this cruel carnival game known as “Shoot the Freak”, an affront to disfigured people everywhere. The premise is simple: a “live human target” runs around in an urban wasteland littered with beer bottles, dirty wifebeaters, and apparently shields (since the freak is allowed to use shields which is tantamount to cheating) all while having a paintballs shot at it.
After mercking a few freaks, we only had time to see the last two sets at the main stage. Second to last was The Raveonettes, who are apparently Danish. Danish cookies are average, but these guys are somewhat more exciting. They have a distinct vintage rock sound that isn’t particular inventive or technical, but quite catchy at the same time. Hit up their Myspace page and check out the single from their last album, “Love in a Trashcan.” Not the best songwriting by a longshot (“If you kiss that girl you won't be caught dead, She's the coolest girl you think you ever met”), but that bass line is seriously mad catchy. We have two videos from the Raveonette’s set coming soon, including “Love in a Trashcan”, so check back later this week.
Of course the main reason to come to Siren this year was for Built To Spill. These guys are truly grown ass men, and have been playing in one incarnation or another since 1992, back when yours truly was a strapping young 2nd grader with big dreams to one day hold a gigantic camera over his head. Props to BTS though for being so consistent over the years. Since their first album for Warner, Perfect From Now On to their latest, You in Reverse, BTS has held it down with quality, sometimes quirky tunes that that hold up after countless listens. During live performances, the band frequently goes on extended deviations, all while exploring the main theme in new and interesting ways. We are still getting the audio ready for that day’s rendition of “Strange,” which lasted a full seven minutes during which this cameraman almost collapsed trying to handhold a very heavy apparatus. Two songs from this set should make its way out to the intertubes later this week as well.