1MM: Ducking Carnies, Assaulting Ears and Flipping the Bird at the Village Voice’s Siren Music Festival

Words and Photos by Aaron Richter

Coney Island is disgusting. A sweltering Coney Island packed with half-naked people and loony-bin carnies is heinous. Every year, we make the trek to the Village Voice’s Siren Festival for the promise of free beer (the press gets treated right) and to deepen the creases of our farmer’s tan, and every year we remember catching no more than one band. But this year’s fest was better than most thanks to the Voice booking a ton of dirty, noisy rock bands instead of the take-it-or-leave-it buzz fodder with which they typically stick. It was almost too much grimy guitar shredding to digest completely. Japandroids held their own on the main stage, despite admitting to being out of their element in front of such a huge crowd. A Place to Bury Strangers proved you don’t need to be blinded by strobes to enjoy the weighty oppression of their massive sound. Future of the Left pitched out free ass-warmed candy to the audience. And John Dwyer of the Oh Sees showed off his oral fixation, drooling spit all over his chin, deep-throating his mic and chomping on his guitar (its body actually has gnaw marks all over it). At times, listening to the scuzzy shift in Siren’s aural curation felt like a wicked joke on the Coney audience, which is usually filled with just-’cause attendees rather than rabid fans. But hell, this year we sure dug the shit out of it. Check out more photos after the jump.

[Micachu and the Shapes]


[The Oh Sees]

[Grand Duchy]

[Future of the Left]

[A Place to Bury Strangers]