One band that we really wanted to see play at the Siren Music Festival this year, but ended up missing (it’s hard to leave the VIP area and its free booze/food combo), is Frightened Rabbit. This indie outfit from Scotland currently consists of four members, although this number has grown over the band’s life thus far, starting with just Scott Hutchison on vocals and guitar, adding his brother, Grant, on drums and vocals, and later Billy Kennedy and Andy Monaghan, who both play keyboards, guitar, and bass.
One reason why I like them is that their name sounds suspiciously similar to one of my favorite bands, Modest Mouse. The other is that they’re making some pretty great music right now: their second, and most recent, release Midnight Organ Fightscored over an 8 rating from Pitchfork last year, and their live sound is so good that in May they released a live album, Quietly, Now, that is basically the same as Midnight Organ Fight only live, and mostly acoustic, and really really good.
Just so you don’t think I’m making this up, and also since we missed their set during Siren, here’s a video of Frightened Rabbit performing their song “Fast Blood” live at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago two days later. Can anyone else hear a little Braid in there?
Tomorrow the 9th Annual Village Voice Siren Music Festival will take over Coney Island with a free concert that includes a lineup of about 15 bands, culminating in sets by Built to Spill and Spank Rock at the Main Stage (on W. 10th St. off Surf Ave.) and the Stillwell Stage (Stillwell Ave. off Surf Ave.), respectively. There’s a great group of bands playing this year, so grab some sunscreen, your friends, and a beachball (these were a must-have item whenever the above picture from beatcrave.com was taken, apparently) and kick it in Coney Island all day. And given that Budweiser is sponsoring the Official After Party, I’m sure there will be lots of boozing in addition to the dancing. Doesn’t sound like a drag at all.
Here at ev2bk we’re especially excited to see/party with one of our favorite bands, and longtime buddies, Bear Hands, who are playing on the Stillwell Stage at 2:30pm sharp. Even the New York Metro is psyched (thanks Betsy)!
Bear Hands was formed back in 2006 when Dylan Rau was living in Brooklyn and asked Ted Feldman, Val Loper, and TJ Orscher to play on some demos that he was recording. Dylan was going to school with Ted at Wesleyan at the time, and already knew TJ and Val from the CT music scene (Val and TJ had been in CT hardcore band In Pieces, and had – if I remember correctly – played some shows with Dylan’s old band Building a Factory, but in any case, they knew each other well enough to have at least shared a bowl or whatnot). The general band-mythology is that during the recording sessions, all four guys sort of realized “hmm, maybe this could be a pretty kick-ass band” and so now they’re “doing the best they can” (from their myspace page).
But just in case you think this implies some sort of lack of ambition or luster, it should be noted that already in 2009 alone the boys have toured Europe twice:
Totally killed it at a show with Passion Pit at Bowery Ballroom back in June:
Bear Hands at Bowery Ballroom (6/19/09)
And for the rest of the summer are all set to play Hartford with Airbourne Toxic Event, Boston with We Are Scientists, and both the Leeds Festival and Reading Festival in the UK later this August. Oh and did I mention that they are currently in the studio recording their first full-length record? Last week when I spoke with Dylan he told me that it was sounding pretty great so far; I’ll post an update after I listen to some of the tracks with him tonight in the studio.
We love this band, and think you will too! Each and every member of the band is the sweetest of dudes and would probably love to get to know you. So come join us and get your dance on with Bear Hands and the rest of the bands tomorrow at the Siren Music Festival. Here’s a little preview of the remix of the hotness from Bear Hands. The song, “What a Drag,” can be purchased as a 7″ import from Rough Trade Shops and Too Pure Records.