Last Saturday, while one tattooed mass gathered in New Jersey for
Ozzfest, a paler shade of rock crowd trekked to Brooklyn’s Coney Island for The Village Voice’s 2nd Annual Siren Music Festival. If the event was any indication, indie rock is past the earnest mania of Fugazi and the disinterested rock of shoe-gazers and has moved into a brave new garage, where rawk reigns. Bob Log III and Detroit’s Von Bondies opened with punk-blues a la the White Stripes. The extroverted fun rock of Les Savy Fav and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs was served by a bearded, bald fat man and a skirt-hiking punkette, respectively. The Shins mixed fresh guitar pop with humor (“I just rode the Cyclone and almost lost my world’s famous hot dog,” said keyboardist Marty Crandall), while the Donnas trotted out their jailbait-punk act, which, after four LPs, is wearing thin. Riot grrrl vets Sleater-Kinney (above) closed with a welcome set reminiscent of the old days–like, 1997.