Siren Festival 2006

Siren Festival 2006

On Saturday the hipsters made their annual pilgrimage to Coney Island. We know the comments section is gonna turn into a big bitchfest — terrible sound! lame bands! it rained! where was Haunted Pussy?! — so we’ll concentrate on the positive … even though, yes, we left early.

Don’t know Deadboy or Priestess well enough to give you song titles (but who cares, really). We’ve heard Priestess described with reference to Wolfmother (by fans and publicists alike), but that’s just lazy. Both bands are bringing heavy rock to the bloggers, but where Wolfmother is Sabbath and Zep, Priestess is Sabbath and Metallica (except for the masturbatory, stick-to-the-heavens drum solo; Bonhamesque in length and puffery, not in quality!). Their riffing was a pleasant surprise, though we left before the fear of (gasp) repetitiveness set in. Gotta love the Cliff Burton look alike, though.

Faves on the day were Serena-Maneesh and Man Man (of course). Both acts were among the best suited to come across well despite the bad sound, but for different reasons.

Man Man are just so much fun to look at, with tons of toys for improv antics, animated faces, beards, glasses and their Tom Waits-meets-Zappa-meets-a-ship-of-drunken-pirates carnival of sounds. Their set kicked off with “Engrish Bwudd” and included “Black Mission Goggles,” “Hot Bat” and “Young Einstein On the Beach.” If you knew their material, you could forgive the heaps of bass just by watching Honus Honus and Pow Pow lock eyes and crack each other up. If memory serves, PFork once called them the best live act in America (can’t find that link).

Serena cuts an arresting image as well, what with a neo-Nico on bass and Steve Tyler scarves on the mic stands. They were able to combat the poor mix through sheer showmanship; that their sound is bombastic — with shoegaze elements yielding to passages born of direct melody — could only help. Still, this is definitely a band you want to see indoors (and in the dark). And they dutifully destroyed their equipment after the encore. Our favorite pic is of guitarist Sondre’s feedback explosion with three dudes in the back plugging their ears…







How were Scissor Sisters? We heard there were — surprise — sound problems. I guess you get what you pay for!

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