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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in the Basement of the First Unitarian Church

Aug 18, 2005, 3:05 AM EDT

I just spent 20 f@#@ing minutes typing up a nice little review I was rather happy with and then I hit some stupid godamn link and it all got deleted.  I want to break shit.  Anyway, here is my half assed second attempt:

What the hell is the title of my post?  Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is a band.  Rock and Roll and shit.  The basement of the First Unitarian Church is, well, the basement of a church on 21st and Chestnut.  It was an absolutely horrible venue to see a show.  Perhaps the worst venue/setup I have ever been to.  It was about 120 degrees, no ventilation, sweaty people, etc.  My bro seems to think the Wetlands was hotter, but I disagreed.

So CYHSY is a pretty hyped up indie band.  They got a stellar review from Pitchfork back in June and their Internet buzz started off from there.  I think I first heard about them on Stereogum.  You can download some free mp3s from their website.  Their CD is rather great, I’ve probably listened to it 40-50 times over the last month or so.  I read it described somewhere as perfect for playing really loud while driving in your car.. that is exactly how I’ve listened to it.

The venue was hot as shit and rather packed for Clap Your Hands.  They opened up with my favorite track off of their self titled CD, Let the Cool Goddess Rust Away.  They are definitely a lot less polished live and the opening bass didn’t have the same effect.  A nice opener none the less.  The crowd was rather odd, no one was really dancing, but the biggest crowd pleaser was The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth.  The crowd reacted rather well to this one.  I enjoyed Details of the War (I am always a fan of a nice harmonica) and the song they closed with Upon this Tidal Wave of Young Blood.  I think they played 2 songs which weren’t on the album.  One of which sounded like "Satan" in which they tried to get some crowd participation to no avail.  They almost had the place rocking at a few points, but I think the heat was oppressive.  For such a small venue, I couldn’t really see much of anything unfortunately.

Lead singer Alec Ounsworth constantly gets David Byrne comparisons and it is easy to hear.  He sounds a lot less polished live and a bit harsher than on the album.  I don’t think this is bad, just a different feeling.  If you think his lyrics are hard to understand on the album, good luck trying to decipher them live.  I would like to check these guys out again, but in a much nicer venue.

Clap Your Hands was actually opening up for Magnolia Electric Company which I only stayed for about three songs.  I do have a job which requires me to be up at the crack of dawn, believe it or not.  There was also a band two guys called Grand Buffet who were rather hilarious.  I have no idea how to describe them so I’ll tell you what r5productions has to say:

A swashbuckling hip hop mess-up from Pittsburgh’s goofball Ritalin kings. Heavily styled in the vein of immature-era Beastie Boys, with shit-eating moog beats and catchy, nerve-rattling vocals. An audio carwreck you can’t turn away from.


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