Friday, 10 July 2009

Sound the Sirens

Continuing the shameless lauding of this area's free summer shows, the next big, nay elephantine, event is the
Siren Music Festival. This goes down in Coney Island on Sat July 18th and features what for some - myself included - looks to be a who's who of currently hot indie-rock acts. Of course this is always subject to the cynicism and subjectivity that's particularly rife in this region of the musical map, but at the end of the day it's free and there will be something for almost any fan there, so this can only be a good thing, right? Right.

So the reason for this focus is that set times (left) have now been released, which gives everything a very real and plannable feel. It also affords an opportunity to pluck out some of the performers I'm most anticipating......some old hands with whom I've been familiar for some time, others being recommendations that can now be vetted without any significant expense to my moth-inhabited wallet.

Having covered them the most recently, Scotland's Frightened Rabbit is probably the band that I'm most excited to catch live. Quite how the dour feel and downbeat subject matter of the mostly inward-looking songs will go down on what will, hopefully, be a bright summer afternoon is a question mark. I'm sure the music will rise above, however. Also back on home shores, Welsh trio Future of the Left are certain to put in an amusing and hard rocking shift mid-afternoon. Having seen them previously in the UK a couple of years back, it will be interesting to see how the new material comes across.

Moving onto the up and comers, Canadian garage rockers Japandroids have to be one of the most hyped bands emerging from the ether of the last few months. Upon closer inspection, cast with the sceptical eyes (and ears) reserved in particular for flavour of the month indie, they bear out some of the love. With a raw and unrestrained attack on the familiar sound, it feels like there will be something worth seeing. Their excellent showcase track, Young Hearts Spark Fire, is a good intro to the band and seems to be posted over at the wonderful Hype Machine every couple of hours by someone, so no need for me to add to that static. Just head over here for the most recent link......and don't forget to hang around a sec to read the blog post to which it's attached, that's just pleasant like.

Not so up and coming, having been releasing material for over a decade apparently, but certainly of the moment are Thee Oh Sees. More from hearing continuous buzz about their live show than spending lots of time with their music, I want to catch these guys if possible. Another chance to vet and write s'more, should inspiration strike to do so.
MP3: Thee Oh Sees - Ghosts in the Trees
Taken from album 'The Master's Bedroom Is Worth Spending a Night In'

Having heard more first-hand reports about NYC post-rockers A Place to Bury Strangers, this is a live set that I have great faith will be excellent, despite again lacking an intimate knowledge of their releases. What strikes me is that it will be broad daylight when they take the stage, yet their wall-of-noise guitars and moody vocals seem altogether more suited to the cloak of a dark night sky. Nonetheless, this promises to be one of the more deafening sets of the fest.

MP3: A Place to Bury Strangers - My Weakness
Taken from the s/t debut
Buy it at Insound!

And then, of course, we have Idaho's unassuming indie-rock standard bearers, Built to Spill. Their sound has taken a little longer than expected to grow on me, but the winding songs and carefully constructed lyrics have a happy way of creating a place in one's heart. They will certainly be worthy headliners and bring a certain amount of experienced rocking to a fairly newborn, rising line-up of hot shots.

Is anyone going? And recommendations?? Have I grossly overlooked any of the acts? Speak now or forever hold your peace.....until a week Saturday, at least.

Now playing: Japandroids - Young Hearts Spark Fire
via FoxyTunes

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