Had a weird week, with an unexpected late night occurring Wednesday following some beer drinking and dominoes. Followed that up with the free Superchunk / Versus show at South Street Seaport on Friday and was hoping to have a decent-size crew assembled for the Siren Festival on Saturday, which frustratingly didn't happen... some folks had (legitimate) prior commitments while others decided to just flat out fucking blow me off. So, long story short, as it turned out my only company at the festival would be my own peen in my hand. Meh.
Got to Coney Island about quarter to five and walked around, getting the lay of the land (not going to harp on this too much, but going to festivals alone is a straight BEATING any way ya slice it), walking past the Stillwell Stage where Future of the Left was performing. Didn't stick around for much of their set, but I liked what I heard... kind of mathy and alty and shouty. Walked up onto the boardwalk and back around before settling on a large lemonade and some BBQ Pork with pad Thai, which I wolfed down while waiting for A Place to Bury Strangers to take the stage. 5:30 sharp, they ripped into their first song, one of the newer ones not found on their self-titled record from '07. I stuck around for the first few songs before heading over to the W 10th Ave stage to catch The Raveonettes' set.
Wormed all the way up to the front, hoping to hear some of the new songs the Raves have been working on for their new album, which didn't happen... a few songs in Sune mentioned that since the new album was just recently completed they didn't have enough time to practice the new ones. Minor bummer, but whatevs, live Raves is always rad, no? Not exactly. This turned out to be one of the least enjoyable sets I've ever seen by them, hindered by Sune's guitar being practically inaudible as well as some real jackass hecklers behind me. Or maybe the Raves are just vampires and they wilt in the light (first time I've ever seen them outdoors, and a friend of mine who saw them at a Euro festival in the day last summer said the same thing). Never mind. Decent, but not up to their usual awesomeness. Here's the set list:
Hallucinations Dead Sound Let's Rave On Here Comes Mary Young and Beautiful Attack of the Ghostriders My Tornado Expelled From Love Black/White Love in a Trashcan Red Tan Lust Blush Aly, Walk With Me Twilight
By this point, my back was pretty trashed and, I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't looking forward to Built to Spill's headlining set in the least. I'd seen them once before in '06 atWarsaw on their tour for You in Reverse, and walked the fuck out because it was so boring. At the show my pal Sluggo commented that "Built to Spill is the ultimate cock-tease band because they get so close to rocking out but they never do." After the Warsaw show I had to agree.
Anyway, by this point I had the choice to head back home possibly in order to see another show elsewhere (La Otracina at Union Pool or Oxford Collapse's final show EVER among them) or stick around for the BTS set. I came to the conclusion that the hour-plus trainride would only further my embittritude, so after futilely chewing on a $2 shish kebab made of an undeterminable meaty substance, I walked back to the W 10th St. stage. Weaseled my way up as far as was comfortable and parked myself. Awesomely, the first song I caught was probably my favorite BTS song, "Strange," which led into a cool jam. Mood improving!! As the set went on, it became pretty obvious that BTS is, in fact, totally fucking awesome, a notion I wish I'd realized years ago. Seriously, riffs galore, sick solos and plenty of sweet jamming. Highlights for me during the 90 minute set were "Virginia Reel Around the Fountain" and a tripped-out version of "Conventional Wisdom," although to be perfectly frank I'm not familiar with anwhere near the entire BTS catalog. There was a ton of great shit I'd never heard before which I'll have to make myself familiar with tout de suite.
OK, laundry time. A quick scan of Oh My Rockness reveals few interesting shows until the amazing Harvey Milk/Torche double-bill at MHOW next Sunday, which is going to be frickin' unreal. Jalepzzz.