The First Siren Festival

I attended the first Village Voice Siren Music Festival on New York's famed Coney Island in the summer of 2001.

My siblings and I plus Todd drove all night from Ohio to reach Coney Island by the morning. We had doughnuts in New Jersey before we landed on the boardwalk at Coney Island, way before the free show began.

To kill time, we walked the beach. I noticed that the sand on the beach sort of hurt my bare feet. That's when I saw some riding mower-like machine go by, picking up all the glass bottles littering the beach, except that it crushed more bottles than it actually picked up.

After taking a picture of my brother lying next to some puke, we looked in as Jon Spencer, his Blues Explosion, and their significant others set up shop backstage. Throughout the morning, several other bands shuffled their equipment in for the day's festivities. Man or Astroman parked their very-obvious van and trailer made to look like a Hazmat mobile center. We also caught a mini-set by JSBX for their sound-check.

Finally, the real music began.

We came to support Enon and Guided By Voices with their Ohio roots. Todd received several compliments for his Brainiac t-shirt. We grew very annoyed with all the hipsters pumping fists to this version of GBV. This show was way past Pollard's prime and his schtick was sort of tired.

Peaches was a highlight, in her Wal-Mart langerie and hairy armpits. No DJ. No Feist (before she was Feist.) It was just the teaches of Peaches and her sampler.

Rainer Maria seemed sort of silly to me.

I saw Quasi for the first time. Coomes and Weiss are the perfect duo of ex-spouses featuring a roxichord ever.

Superchunk put on an inspired set. This show would mark the last time I saw Superchunk, which is too bad. It was crowded and stunk of BO.

JSBX closed the show with what seemed like a 3 hour set, but it could have been the sun poisoning.

We made it as far as New Jersey that night before crashing in a hotel.

On the way home that Sunday, Todd became a vegetarian and I rediscovered Wowee Zowee. My sister and I later discovered that we were in one of the random crowd pictures from that day.

I never made it back to the Siren Festival.

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