Built to Spill, APTBS rock Siren Fest 2009

20 07 2009

By Jill Menze (@jillmenze)

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Ah, Siren Fest. When too many sort-of music fans flock to Coney Island to get sunburnt and drunk (sundrunk?) on the boardwalk. What’s not to love! We personally had a great time, tucked away backstage, eating candy in the artist lounge. Sure, this was my second trek on the Q train this week, but it was worth the agony for some fun in the sun at the Village Voice-sponsored event on Saturday.

This year was much like the past few years — lots of booths with free shit, lots of megaphones hollering about circus freaks, lots of people in line for the Cyclone and 32 oz Coors Lights and hot dogs. Much of the afternoon was spent catching up with friends/publicists/general music folk and waiting on interviews (we talked with Frank Black and Violet Clark of Grand Duchy, A Place to Bury Strangers, the Raveonettes and Monotonix .. video coming!), but I still managed to catch a bit by Micachu & the Shapes and Scotland’s Frightened Rabbit. The former were scrappy and energetic, blending elements of pop, electronic and garage rock into a blast of funky noise, while the latter offered a somber contrast, with songs like “Keep Yourself Warm” off last year’s excellent “Midnight Organ Fight” highlighting the emotive power singer Scott Hutchison brings to the band’s songs.

Later New York’s APTBS (who earlier accurately described the taste of Bud Light Lime as “drinking a Wet Nap”) pummeled through a set of feedback-drenched rock that left ears rattling. To hear these guys play live is a sheer sonic thrill (though preferably in a dark, indoor venue), which is why I was pleased to learn the band’s forthcoming Mute effort has more of a “live feel.” As a thank you to fans at the end of the set, bassist Jono Moffo grabbed a camera from the crowd to snap photos of fans in appreciation. It was a nice touch, and I’m interested to see where those pictures eventually end up …

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Built to Spill's Doug Martsch at Siren Fest 2009. Photo by Jillian Mapes.

Indie rock heroes Built to Spill closed out the night on the main stage to a mob of music fans (which I stupidly fought my way through to get upstage rather than walk around from behind. Guess I wasn’t thinking straight thanks to the day-long open bar. Lesson learned). It was a safe choice as opposed to the dirrrty beats of Spank Rock over at the Stillwell Stage, but I stand by my decision to watch Doug Martsch and co. knock out favorites like “Sidewalk,” “Strange” and “Carry the Zero.”

With two trips in one week, I’ve officially met my Coney Island quota for the year. It’s been fun; so long ’til next summer …

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “untitled“, posted with vodpod

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