I Love Me Some Siren Festival: Part 1

I was so excited to attend this year’s Village Voice Siren Festival due to the AMAZING lineup. So excited I was up and running at noon in order to meet up with Jeff and get to Coney Island right when the festival was going to start. Getting up and outside before 2pm is an unheard of activity for one of my weekends.

We got to Coney Island right on time, and straight out of the subway station we ran into Ben from Surefire. I was so happy because I’ve hung out with Ben at many a Siren Festival together, so it was good to follow tradition. I ended up heading over to the Stillwell stage around 1:30 to catch metal rockers from Montreal, Priestess.

Holy mother of God! During Priestess’s devil horn-inducing set of sheer rock noise, I spotted hipsters covering their ears left and right. Not because the band’s music was horrible, but because it was SO LOUD that you’d be a fool not to try to save your hearing. Check out these concerned concert-goers:

Concert-goers covering their ears during Priestess

SOE! Save Our Ears!


On the way over to the Main Stage, I ran into my friend Greg, who was DJing at the Stillwell Stage all day long with his Misshapes cohort, Leigh. He gave me some Blue Steel while wearing his Alexander McQueen scarf:
greg k

While walking along the boardwalk, I saw Tapes ‘n Tapes being interviewed by a woman in a ridiculous tiara for New York Noise:

tapes n tapes

Finally made it over to see Brooklyn-based The Rogers Sisters, which shockingly not composed of all girls–bassist Miyuki Furtado is obviously not a sister in the biological sense.
the rogers sisters

During the midst of the set I glanced into the crowd and groaned a little when I saw THIS DUDE:

rogers sisters

Yeah, that’s right. THAT DUDE WENT THERE. He’s sporting a Cobra Snake tshirt.

Around 2:30 I headed back to Stillwell Stage to catch some of the very kooky Man Man. Do you know how the saying for mullets goes, “business in the front, party in the back”? That perfectly describes Man Man‘s chaotic, frenetic set. As singer Honus Honus sat at the keyboard pounding away, his band members huddled around him like a back of wonderfully deranged mad scientists, tinkering away at their instruments, the stage filled with all sorts of unidentifiable knick-knacks and doo-dads.

man man

Around 3pm and I was STARVING. So I got on line to get a hotdog at Nathan’s thinking I had plenty of time before Dirty on Purpose went on Stillwell Stage at 3:30. WRONG. When 3:30 rolled around and I heard the first song of DOP playing off 50 yards away, I was helplessly standing on the line as it lightly rained. I was so hungry and I’d already stood there for 30 minutes, I had to wait until I got my hot dog.

I finally got to order my dog around 3:50, and when the guy handed it to me, I mustarded up and BOLTED, running over with a hot dog in one hand, and my camera in the other–quite a sight to see. These are the types of quality shots you get while eating a beef weiner:

dirty on purpose

dirty on purpose


It was so great to see DOP doing their thing at such a huge event. They’ve come so far from the first time I saw them downstairs at the Knitting Factory in 2003. Congrats guys on rockin the fest!

Now that I finally had some food in my stomach (I didn’t eat breakfast–hey, I’m not used to waking up so early!) I could partake in some free beer courtesy of the VIP tent. I headed over to Main Stage to catch half a second of Tapes ‘n Tapes.

tapes n tapes

I stayed long enough to remember that the drummer wasn’t my favorite member of Tapes ‘n Tapes–it was the keyboardist / tuba player/ dude who does nothing that sorta looks like Hamilton from The Walkmen. “I totally forgot, HE’S my favorite!,” I exclaimed to everyone and no one, then I headed back to the free alcohol/ bathroom/ and shade–the trifecta of joy at Siren.

After a few minutes of that, I ran back over to Stillwell Stage to check out a Norwegian band I’d heard so much about, Serena Maneesh. Their brand of distortion rock and Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired outfits were.. uh.. interesting. I quickly realized that anyone who had told me I’d “really like Serena Maneesh” really meant I would “really not get Serena Maneesh”. I totally respect the decision of other people to like them, but they just were not for me. And it was freaking me out that they sorta looked like the long lost ragamuffin gypsy cousins of The Raveonettes. (Oh you KNOW that’s true!)

serena maneesh

According to the photos I took, I must’ve ran back over to the Main Stage for some reason (I think to go to the bathroom) and I stopped and saw litterally 50 seconds of The Stills onstage before leaving because the pit was super crowded and I had to head BACK over to Stillwell to catch The Cribs at 5:30. BTW- I thought I remembered the lead singer of The Stills being super hot, what happened????

Anyway, back at Stillwell I was SO excited to see The Cribs. When I got there they had already played a song or two and my friend Cameron was FREAKING OUT the entire time because I guess he loves The Cribs something sick. I totally wigged out when they played “Hey Scenesters!” because that song is brilliant. It’s also the song that tells me I’ve been in Forever 21 too long because I’ve heard it twice.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Cribs, then I’m here to tell you that they sound like straight up pop rock. And they put so much into their live show… the term “sweat blood and tears” is not lost on them, seeing as how midway through the set Ryan Jarman started BLEEDING around his mouth. He must’ve knocked his lip something awful on his mic or something because I don’t recall anyone running up on stage and punching him in the face. I just remember watching and all of a sudden seeing bright red blood streaming down his chin. It was seriously a “what the HELL just happened” moment.

the cribs

Now read Part 2 of the Siren Festival roundup…

Published by Laura

I run The Modern Age.org

12 replies on “I Love Me Some Siren Festival: Part 1”

  1. Ryan busts his lip open A LOT! It’s a really old wound and is kind of his trademark.

  2. The Stills have 2 singers now. The singers form the last album only sang 2 of the songs on their new album. So, you probably saw the second singer singing.

  3. ehhh I know the quality of the pics has to do with your actual skills than the equipment, but what kind of lens/flash do you use? ( i know you use canon 20d)
    they are awesome

  4. I really like the DoP shot, the way the wire — so close but noquite the same color as his shirt — draws your eye back.

  5. great pics! i’m sure i must have been standing so close to you at a bunch of the sets. my unexpected highlight was priestess. never thougth so loud, so early could be so good!!

    seeya next siren!

  6. yes yes yes. i got to see man man,tapes n tapes,the cribs, and art brut. couldnt make it to the end shows. guess it was those 24oz beers i was drinking. during the cribs someone decide it might be a good idea for me to drink some very warm vodka. which in turn made me puke. but i didnt feel bad because one of the cribs was bleeding from the mouth. art brut rocked in a badass way. last time i saw them i was unable to stay to see the whole show. i hear they are co- headlining a tour with w.a.s. i will be there for sure.

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