If you haven't heard of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah by now (or haven't seen this photo which has accompanied pretty much all of their press), then you must be reading this from the past. Sometime in early '04 perhaps. Let's hope so at least, because this band has been stockpiling buzz from every credible source in this fair city and beyond for months now. They are on the verge of something big.
The sound is one that certainly channels David Byrne, but a bit more melodic and with a more subdued anxious tick. The Talking Heads comparison is overused when describing them, but with good reason, they all come from the art school of rock. Similar roots, different branches.
You know, sometimes we just want to say things like: this band is just really f-ing good.
And if that's not enough, just yesterday Pitchfork compared their songcrafting to the Arcade Fire, so you know - once that album gets reviewed it's getting a pretty good score. Check them out at our Movable Hype show on Monday the 20th [more details after the interview].
CYHSY are Alec Ounsworth, Lee Sargent, Robbie Guertin, Tyler Sargent, and Sean Greenhalgh. This week they took some time to answer our questions. Most of their answers are shorter than their band name.
Let's get this out of the way, where did your band name originate?
AO: The name was uttered by The Great Fish Claude shortly before expiring atop the mighty Schuylkill river.
What is your first conscious memory of living in New York?
LS: Hearing a different kind of loud sex next door and wondering whether to call the EPA or go downstairs to unload the truck. I
unloaded the truck.
What is your favorite/least favorite memory involving New York?
LS: The blackout was ok / All winters ever.
What is your favorite place to drink in NYC, and what's the best night to go out?
AO: Deep in the woods of Prospect Park. Tuesdays.
What is your favorite/least favorite thing about playing shows in New York? Is there a difference between shows in Manhattan and Brooklyn?
LS: Playing music/Wresting shoes. No not really. shorter buildings.
Do you think your New York connection shows in your music? If so, how?
LS: Maybe from a long time ago. But now, absolutely not. So no.
Now its time for some fill-in-the-blank action
"You know you've made it when..."
AO: the medication kicks in.
LS: That question stops landing you in Beth Israel.
"It'll be time to pack up the gear for good when…"
AO: the medication kicks in.
LS: New, prettier, more expensive gear comes in.
"I'll never forget the first time I…"
AO: took the medication.
LS: This ink blot is a little too upsetting.
"I'll never forget the first time [insert another band member's name here]…"
AO: THE HEAT.
And finally, lets have some fun with word association. Give me your immediate feelings on the following (if you've got no discernable
feelings, make something up that won't embarrass you in the morning)
LS: Red Coats.
LS: Art Garfunkel
AO: a large fork with short, widely spaced
prongs for pitching hay and breaking ground.
LS: Advances in agriculture.
Bridge & Tunnel
AO: structures which inspire
LS: Advances in going.
AO: se habla espanol
Questions inspired by movies...
If you will, a brief justification of the ontological necessity of modern man's existential dilemma (in less than 10 words). (Reality Bites)
LS: Thesaurus please.
What came first, the music or the misery? (High Fidelity)
AO: do whistles blow for cows in the meadow?
LS: Music, in the face. A lot.
A few quickies on the music tip
Who would be in your ultimate music supergroup, your all-star Olympic team of rock?
AO: Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind
Willie Johnson, Blind Joe Death, The Beatles.
What was the first/last album you bought on the day it was released?
LS: Too embarrassing and incriminating.
And finally...If Josh Schwartz, creator of the OC, asked your band to perform on his tv show (as Modest Mouse, the Killers and the Walkmen recently have) would you?
AO: no, thank you
LS: Right now, yes.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah play at our Movable Hype show on Monday June 20th. They go on at 9pm. Buy a ticket now and save 2 bucks!
And give them a listen if you haven't already: Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood.mp3