Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Siren 08 - Dodos, Times and Jicks

Remembering last weekend and Siren:
The Dodos: This was easily the stand out performance, even after missing a few of the songs in favor of beer and fried whatever they've got at Coney Island. Coming from the boardwalk we ended up right next to the stage and watched Meric Long sitting down playing 'Jodi', with Meric rocking back and forth on a shitty plastic folding chair. I thought that it's just two members, singer/guitarist Meric Long and drummer Logan Kroeber, but they must have wrangled a friend for random percussion duties and for most of this song he was hitting a metal trash can, then switching to xylophone.
A couple of guys were standing behind me talking about how their friends girlfriend was taking them to see these weird shit bands and to expect more like this. 'well any band playing a trashcan can't be too bad.'
Live, they reminded me of New Neutral Milk Hotel, (not that I ever saw him live) in the obscure lyrics and off melodies and watching Meric commit to just yelling out these lyrics from Visiter only reinforced that...or more recently the Bowerbirds feel, the faraway sleigh bells and bass drums played with mallets, but all sped up and pop full of strange rhythms and even stranger percussion sounds. Tom heavy and hitting the edge of the snare which I feel like I rarely heard. By the end Meric got up out of the chair and was destroying the miked garbage can, finally falling off the stand and they ended the set way too soon.

Times New Viking: I waited for TNV who were going to be on next, and as much as I love a free show, and even coney island, knowing that it's all about to change...this might even be the last Siren for all I know, but it brings out the crazies. The friends who have to dance like idiots, determined to get attention, and this bad ass old drunk biker/punk crazy bald fuck heard about 5 seconds of the opening song and started pushing his way through to start moshing I think, but then he looked on stage and saw the band and threw up his hands 'Oh fuck this', and just shook his head making his way back to the half dressed girls handing out Devry college fans.
Jared, the guitarist came out first, already in the middle of a party with a bottle of jack in hand, tucked in shirt, like some kind of shitgaze Townes Van Zandt.
Drummer Adam Elliott was the voice of the band, talking to the crowd inbetween songs, asking Jared for a cigarette and saying 'this song is untitled # whatever'...nice.

I think the thing with this live versus recorded is he songwriting is essentially there, no matter what it's hiding behind or under...they are plain fun...and you could see that from them onstage. It's very different, but the energy is there. They might have even been the only band to possibly sound better from out on the strip with all the sound reverbing around.
Beth Murphy on some kind of tiny Alesis, adds that super fuzz.... really...we've all heard guitars distorted, but I think she's playing the simplest piano sound at 11, through a tiny amp behind her so through a PA is just gets that messed up tone that's always there.
I knew they were going to blow the speakers out and they didn't dissapoint, luckily afterwords I took a long hiatus in the ocean becuase my ears were most definitely ringing.

The Jicks: It wasn't as hot and after lots more beer and walking around in the ocean, I mean really where else can you do that... I made it back over for the Jicks, through the Broken Social Scene crowd and after an insane wait for the bathroom which always make you think, you know what there are worse jobs out there and I'm glad the one I have isn't dealing with any of this tomorrow morning.
I just can't get over the classic rock jam sound on Real Emotional Trash, songs are even more drawn out live and gave me the creeps in this fairground crowd, like I was stuck at some awful has been band at the county fair with my parents and I just want to get the fuck out of there. I'm not saying it wasn't good, they must have played everything from their latest and it was good, but I couldn't shake that feeling. Their renditions were new, they kept them interesting, changing the breakdowns and Malkmus is just plain funny, a true perfomer, great to just watch. I'm just not in the same place musically as Steve lately.
They did rock a cover of 'Two tickets to paradise' which wast pretty rad.

The entire live show is available
from NYCtaper here.

The Dodo's 7" 'Red and Purple' is still available from Witchita or can be had somewhat locally from Modlang.

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