Thank God for the Village Voice. Not only do the provide me with ample subway reading fodder, but they’ve got excellent taste in music. Which is good because every summer, the hold a free music festival know as the Siren Music Festival at Coney Island, and this year is going to be big. Usually, they don’t ask bands who have already played to come back. They’re forward thinkers over at the Village Voice. But this is going to be their tenth anniversary, so they’re calling in the big guns.
The big headliners are Matt and Kim and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists. I saw Matt and Kim at a free show last summer, and it was a blast. they’re a synth/drums duo who are out on a quest to have an endless amount of fun. And they’re succeeding. Don’t see them without your dancing shoes, or you’ll regret it. When it comes to Ted Leo and the Pharmacists, I’ve been quoted as to calling Ted Leo my generation’s punk-rock super-hero. Their shows are always energetic and full of blisteringly good musicianship.
All that being said, I got a lot more excited than I really should have when they announced Ponytail was playing. I had never listened to them before until I saw them last summer at the Williamsburg Waterfront. Never before had I been so surprisingly filled with joy ad glee. The lead singer, Molly Siegel, hopped and bopped all around onstage, yelping her lungs out while the guys were weaving a musical tapestry of textures behind her. I remember at one point specifically, the instruments were building up and up and up into a climax until Siegel screams into her microphone “KAAMEEEHAAAME … HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!” sending the band behind her into a frenetic whirlwind. I was in love (If you don’t get it, a “kamehameha” is a reference to a cartoon called Dragonball).
The festival is on Saturday, July 17, starting at noon. But get there early. It gets really crowded. It also gets really hot, so dress appropriately and bring LOTS OF WATER.