It’s hard to stay focused during the dog days of summer, especially when spending an afternoon wandering around the unruly Brooklyn coastline of Coney Island for its eighth annual indie music fest, Siren. So it’s not that hard to understand why the next morning, while flipping through the latest, insipid Vogue article on Kate Moss as business mogul, I started seeing flashbacks from Village Voice Siren Music Festivals gone by: a ghostly pairing of The Kills’ sun-un-loving VV and Jamie Hince tucked under the shady awning of a clam stand, or me, staggering through a side lot after my first attempt on the Cyclone, just in time to find the well-heeled Dolf Datsun and his Kiwi rocker crew handing over their point and shoot to pose for a sweet group snapshot to send to their moms.


Jaguar Love

It’s probably more than conjecture that July 19th’s Village Voice Siren Music Festival 2008 was the last to be held in the dirty, bawdy sprawl of Coney’s amusement park. It’s a shame that the area’s development plans, (and hundreds of new condos, or “condoms”, as Broken Social Scene’s Kevin Drew cutely called them), may force Siren to find a less beachy new home, but so it goes.


Ra Ra Riot

If there were any diehards who were able to withstand Saturday’s ferocious heat wave and witness all 14 bands on two stages in the open air, that was a true feat. Those of us who found shelter under the back tent with lots of water and assorted stronger beverages may have had it easier. Thank you, press credentials.


Siren Festival fans

Quite a few blogger types couldn’t understand how Beach House singer Victoria Legrand’s hymn-like vocals and the band’s lovely, lovelorn, narcotic sound would would translate in the open air Siren frenzy, but they were a welcome respite, playing mid-point during the rock-heavy fest.



Bartender silhouettes (top), Broken Social Scene (bottom)

One look at the blissed-out front rows of fans proved that this relaxed, reverie-inducing Baltimore band was needed indeed. Though there’s no denying the power of Broken Social Scene, the ever-frolicsome Islands, the Belle & S-rich, bittersweet Ra Ra Riot with strings, or the creative legacy of Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Beach House were our standouts of the day. Likewise, guitarist Alex Scally was quite jazzed with his band’s set, saying, “I love playing in the heat…I get delirious. It feels good and…everybody sticks together because of the heat, you know?”–MVW/photos by Tim Salty Nestor

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