By David Downs. Photos by David Downs and Paul Quitoriano
5:09 p.m. Saturday Sept 15. Treasure Island
San Franciscans enjoy an eminently humble, modest festival with two stages and under a dozen bands at Treasure Island today. Bright sun, a swift breeze and about 10,000 people on a narrow strip next to the beach greets incoming visitors. The view of the City is extraordinarily beautiful, as well as the collection of men and women presenting some skin but keeping jackets nearby for when the the cool air moves in off ...
the nearby Pacific.
MIA hops onto the mainstage with a backup singer and DJ at 3:55 p.m. It's incredibly low volume with high ambient light for a dance set, it's also incredibly early in the day. She is without dispute the hottest newest thing at TIMF and her she looksgood: dark, lithe, playful in a captain's cap and extra large MIA T-shirt and gold leotards.
Jungle riddims for an aerobic workout at a late night coke club thump above the breeze. MIA's UK twang is all treble not unlike Lady Sovereign's but less about rhymes and more abuot banging hooks and choruses. "We usually do this song in the club," she says. "Are you hot enough?" Um, not really.
Her thrusty hip movements probably would get her jailed in Sri Lanka, but the crowd mimes her pump for pump, and the set closes with an entire backstage mob dancing onstage. It wasn't all that, and it's one of those examlples where context is as important as the music itself.
MIA Under Flag:
6:30 p.m. -- Flosstradamus kills with their 30 minute, shame-free, House of Pain set
More Floss, more Boss
Thievery Corporation is wrapping up their set, concluding day one of the TIMF before 10 p.m. Residents nearby have to sleep, and so does the 34-ish crowd, who seem pretty tuckered after their extended garden party. Cigarettes ran out at 8 p.m. Except for those who've rationed. The long lines to the bus await. One wonders when we'll get off this island.
What we have here is a quintessentially San Francisco event. Upscale, white, gorgeous, and ultimately harmless in its effete little corner. Everyone had fun. We'll probably be able to do it again next year. Meanwhile, around the bay, the after parties warm up. The real action always begins after midnight, kiddies. Time to go home and hit the old reset.
Sunday, September 16, Day II
The day of rock is upon us. Yesterday's laptops and sitars and shit give way to the Rock Ness Monsters of Spoon and Modest Mouse. Both have respectable 2007 albums out, and can be counted on to bring the ruckus.
The last time Isaac Brock's Modest Mouse rolled through the bay, he simply said "We're a rock band," and then detonated a rendition of "Custom Concern." San Jose's show included mosh pits, crowd surfing, and unsavory tweenyboppers alongside Sublime-hatted Dude-bros. But hey. When you rock hard, some lame people inevitably show up. Even lops love some rock.
I missed the Spoon show just a while back, but if they did at least three songs off of this year's Gagagaga then it will be better than the entire career of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Maybe I'm being too harsh, but the ball in is that stupidly named band's corner. Ditto for Earlimart and film School. Bands need to have professional namers. It's indisputable.
Here's what the schedule looks like:
I'm not going before 2 p.m. Sorry, Two Gallants. You wouldn't be there that early if you weren't getting paid. Wait a minute ...
P.S. To day we will play a game. Back Tattoo Treasure Hunt. Readers with the most pics of back tattoos, win a DVD of their choice from our personal Critic's Stash. and let us assure, We Have the Best Stashes. Here's an example:
"Modern Mouse? Mod - Modest mouse?" says one of the few black attendees reading the schedule. Suffice to say, everybody saw bands they knew nothing about today, and many came away surprised. Early break-out: definitely M. Ward. Neil Young is looking on approvingly from some hill nearby. Here's some pics of the day.
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