Siren Festival 2008 Preview

<div> <a href="features/features/siren_festival_2008_preview/"><img src="" alt=" " /></a> <br /> </div> <p> It’s back & better than ever!  Last year, thanks to the impending redevelopment of the classic-but-crumbling Coney Island,...


Broken Social Scene8:00 PM, Stillwell Stage: Broken Social Scene

The granddaddies of the Toronto indie music scene, Broken Social Scene’s sophomore LP You Forgot It In People stormed America in 2002, and introduced the world to the collective-style Canadian sound, with a self-titled follow-up dropping three years later.  Centered around singer/guitarist Kevin Drew, but with an ever-changing line-up that’s included everyone from Jason Collett (QRO interview) to Feist (QRO live review), the band took some time off before last year’s Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew’s Spirit If… (QRO review), and the upcoming BSS Presents: Brendan Canning’s Something For All Of Us….  Look for everything from Something to People when these all-stars return to New York City.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks7:30 PM, Main Stage: Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

This indie-rock icon has been putting out solid record after solid record since the break-up of the seminal Pavement, most recently with Real Emotional Trash (QRO review).  With the full-fledged support of The Jicks, ‘S.M.’ has been playing sold-out shows across the country (QRO live review), not to mention rocking the festival circuit (QRO photos).  The music has tended more towards the jam-band these days (and they don’t play Pavement songs – QRO live review), but Stephen Malkmus hasn’t forgotten where he’s come from, “Church On White”…

The Helio Sequence6:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: The Helio Sequence

Touring on the back of this year’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead (QRO review), wherein singer/guitarist Brandon Summers lost his voice and relearned to sing, this guitar-and-drums two-piece knows how to fill a stage – just keep an eye on drummer Benjamin Weikel’s goofy faces (QRO photos)…

6:00 PM, Main Stage: Islands

One of the grand bands to appear out of Montreal, these Québécois are expansive like many of today’s Canadian acts, but also intimate on their latest, Arm’s Way (QRO review).  This late-add just made Siren that much sweeter.


Beach House5:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: Beach House

Another interesting duo, the guitar-and-keys pair of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally may hail from Baltimore, but there’s a Francophile expanse on their latest, Devotion (QRO review) – so artsy they’ve even played in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts (QRO photos).

Ra Ra Riot5:00 PM, Main Stage: Ra Ra Riot

A QRO favorite (QRO spotlight), this septuplet persevered through the untimely death of drummer John Pike in 2006 to only go to bigger and better places.  Their self-titled EP (QRO review) led to massive touring (QRO live review) and a recent signing to Barsuk.  Look for their great new material from this band, fronted by the oh-so-charming & attractive singer (and now sometimes-saxophonist) Wesley Miles (QRO interview) and singer/cellist Alexandra Lawn (QRO photos).

Jaguar Love4:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: Jaguar Love

Matador Records is getting a very healthy representation at this year’s Siren, not just in long-time staple Stephen Malkmus but also recent signee (and fellow Portlander) Jaguar Love.  This art-punk three-piece will be rocking in the lead-up to their debut release, Take Me to the Sea.

Times New Viking4:00 PM, Main Stage: Times New Viking

Another recent Matador signing, this Columbus, Ohio-based band are bringing the lo-fi sound of this year’s Rip It Off to the wide outdoors.


Annuals3:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: Annuals

Another big QRO favorite (QRO spotlight), this North Carolina six-piece has been delivering great live shows (QRO live review) since 2006’s Be He Me, whether outdoors (QRO photos) or in (QRO photos – dressed up for Halloween).  Having recently put out the split Wet Zoo 7” (QRO review) with everyone-changes-instruments side-project Sunfold, look for this talented act (QRO interview with singer Adam Baker) to give it their all.

The Dodos3:00 PM, Main Stage: The Dodos

Psychedelic folk comes to the psychedelic Coney Island, from the psychedelic San Francisco, thanks to the duo of The Dodos, touring off their recent release, Visiter.

Film School2:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: Film School

Another Matador alum (by way of sister label Beggar’s Banquet), singer Greg Bertens started Film School with ex-Pavement members before line-up changes turned it into a full-fledged group, now touring last year’s Hideout (QRO review).


Parts & Labor2:00 PM, Stillwell Stage: Parts & Labor

These Brooklyn natives will represent the borough with a loud, powerful assault (QRO photos).  Having grown from their noise-rock origins to something grander on their latest, Mapmaker (QRO review), this three-piece will rock Coney Island to its foundations.

These Are Powers1:30 PM, Stillwell Stage: These Are Powers

Another borough-born-band, noise-rock three-piece These Are Powers bring their massive, keening sound to Siren, fronted by a siren herself, Anna Barie (QRO photos).

Dragons of Zynth1:00 PM, Main Stage: Dragons of Zynth

Because two Brooklyn bands just ain’t enough, the new face of Afro-punk follow in the tradition of TV On the Radio and others with last year’s Coronation Thieves (QRO review), produced by TVOTR’s own David Sitek.  Fronted by Bronx-born twins Aku & Akwetey O.T., they’ve played everything from Highline Festival to Central Park Summerstage, so it’s about time they hit Coney Island.



Ted LeoAnd indie-rock vet Ted Leo (QRO photos) will be spinning DJ sets all day at the Main Stage, with DeadHeat spinning at Stillwell. 






A Place To Bury StrangersOfficial After-Party

For all you who aren’t worn ragged by a day at Coney Island, Siren is throwing an official after-party (QRO concert listing) at the not-nearby-but-still-in-Brooklyn Music Hall in Williamsburg (QRO venue review).  It’s not free, but it does feature two A-level Brooklyn bands, A Place To Bury Strangers (QRO photos) and Apes & Androids.


  • Anonymous
  • No Comment

    Leave a Reply