Village Voice Siren Festival: 2005

Despite traffic setbacks on the BQE, and pass setbacks due to untimely arrival, I made it to (and through) this year’s Siren Festival at Coney Island.

It’s always deja vu going to this event every year. I always see the same people without fail. The same people shooting the official photos, the same guy shooting from the stage, the same writers hiding in the VIP tent, the same crew sitting on the grassy area behind Stillwell Stage, the same bloggers clicking away. I can always count on spotting certain people who I normally don’t get to see as much. I kinda love it.

But there are things I hate every year–the heat, the sunburn, the long day. This year I escaped with a mild sunburn on my right side. (Damn you setting sun!)

This year the lineup wasn’t bad. There were some great performances throughout the day. Here’s the basic rundown of my day:

12 Brett picks me and Joc in my neighborhood.

12:40 Oh shit. I think I forgot my cell phone at home. Can you try calling me? “I’m calling you now. Your phone should be ringing.” It’s not. I guess I left it at home. Oops. Remember that time I went to Siren Festival without my cell phone? Crap.

12:50 Brett on cell phone: “Doug, did you just wake up?”

12:58 Stuck in traffic on the BQE.

1:15 Escape the BQE and start taking local streets.

1:40 Arrive at Coney Island.

NINE BLACK ALPS I was sitting on the grass behind the Stillwell stage while this band played. Of course since I was behind the speakers, the sound was kinda sucky, but I heard enough to figure out that Nine Black Alps sounds like a Nirvana rip-off band.

SOMETIME AFTER 2PM Go over to where they are giving out Press/VIP bracelets. I go up and tell the lady with the list that I have a Press pass. She says, “Well the Press list closed at 1…but let me check.” She flips through her papers and then says, “The Press list is closed.” I make internal frowny faces as I see green Press bracelets sticking out of the box by her feet. As I walk away bracelet-less Joc says, “You know what she did, right? She looked at the list to see where you were from. If you had been with Rolling Stone or something she would have been like, ‘Here you go miss.'” I make more internal frowny faces.

2:20ish I’m so bummed about getting shot down by the list lady that Joc and I go get some hot dogs and hit the bathrooms. By the time we are done, we head over to see Be Your Own Pet…

BE YOUR OWN PET Ok, so I didn’t get to catch Be Your Own Pet at all. By the time I got all the eating hotdogs and bathroom business out of the way, Be Your Own Pet was over. They were supposed to go on at 2:30. We got there around 2:45 and they were already gone. What the f-ck?!?! Did they play a 15 minute set or something? If anyone actually caught them, can you tell me how they were?

Lonely here in Coney Island

3:00 Run into the Surefire boys by the near empty Stillwell stage (see above). Complain about the heat. Later we go meet up with Brett by the grassy area and then head over to see Morningwood…

MORNINGWOOD Luckily for me, the Stillwell stage area was still kinda sparse by the time Morningwood is playing. I stand off to the left by the chainlink fence and watch. Turns out I really like Morningwood quite a bit. Lead singer Chantal Claret jumped all around the stage like a hyperactive singing banshee, but in a good way. Songs are very catchy and poppy. I had no idea they were so much fun. Definitely impressed!


3:50ish Joc and I head over to the boardwalk, and walk ourselves to that same line where I was so sadly denied a Press pass in the hopes that Doug has actually arrived in the general vicinity of Coney Island so I can use his +1 VIP. Run into some folks like Scott, Jen C., Jessica, and some other folks who don’t have Web sites, so who cares about them. (I kid, I kid!) Doug finally arrives, wearing almost the same exact outfit he wore at last year’s Siren. Oh dear! But success is mine! I get slapped with the much wanted VIP bracelet, and I’m off to the races! Since it’s on the way down the ramp, I head over to catch a few songs of Q and Not U before heading over to see Diamond Nights…


Diamond Nights

Diamond Nights

Diamond Nights

Woah! Diamond Nights totally rocked! I’ve seen them a handful of times and sometimes they’re all sorts of awesome, and sometimes some of the songs fall flat. But lucky for me, I get there just in time for all of their amazing songs (“The Girl’s Attractive,” “Saturday Fantastic,” etc.). Black “DIAMOND NIGHTS” beach balls are being tossed around the crowd. A real solid performance.


Spoon at Siren Festival

Tired right now. More summaries/photos to come. Visit later.

MORE AT Brooklyn Vegan, Last Night’s Party, Central Village, Coolfer, Village Voice, Ice Cream Man.

6 replies on “Village Voice Siren Festival: 2005”

  1. BYOP was quick fun. Lead is a blast. Nothing that’ll change the world, musically, and they don’t have a lot of material, but they certainly have a lot of energy.

  2. What’s not to like? they look like kids who are rockin it for FUN, making some noise, putting out their own records on their own label even. they looked pretty cool to me. how about twice as many songs tho.

  3. a mild sunburn on my right side was what I got too. But the only people I saw were two Surefire boys and the guy from Last Night’s Party. (also, the members of some band called Haunted Pussy, but I think EVERYONE saw them. they paraded themselves around.) damn it. I tried chasing him around the boardwalk in pursuit of a picture of him but he walks too fast.

    at least you’re a VIP though. the rest of us, who aren’t, we’re fucked. our pictures sucked, we couldn’t SEE any of the bands, and we had nowhere to duck out of the sun but underneath the corners of the concession stand things.

  4. Be Your Own Pet stunk. Karen O has nothing to fear. That band needs to be in their local dive bar polishing things up…and of course getting ready to start the 10th grade…not being a touring/ signed band.

    It was insanely hot, I left during Saul Williams because I feared I was going to pass out.

    I’m not going again unless I’m VIP. VIP-ness shall be mine.

    Thank you thank you for The Diamond Nights pics!!!

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