Monday, December 14, 2009

Say Yeah!

I don't suppose it will come as any surprise that I love Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. When I get in a certain mood they're all I want to listen to, and they sound so perfect. Today was a day like that. I was listening to them in the car when I stopped to buy gas, and the fellow pumping gasoline was SHOCKED by them. He couldn't get his head around them. He leaned half his body in the car window trying to figure out what they were saying, and his final judgement was that any money spent on singing lessons was wasted on this band.

Here's why I like them...

1. They are very adventurous musically. Every song changes up frequently, and sounds very accomplished and complicated to me. (Chris - don't disillusion me!)

2. Their lyrics, while frequently abstruse, are often very beautiful and evocative.

3. They're quite strange, but I think honestly so, I don't think it's a pose. And there are some bands I find depressingly strange, but I find them upliftingly strange.

4. Well, I like the voice a lot.

5. It just all comes together somehow. Many disparate, strange, cacophonous moments somehow come together to be very pleasing to my ears

I suppose many of you are familiar with them, but I was looking at their website today, and it had these embed-able playlists for their two albums, so I thought I'd share them here. Some Loud Thunder is quite playful sonically, so don't adjust your speakers. My favorite song of all is Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth. The song I'm currently obsessed with is Mama, Won't you Keep Them Castles in the Air. (You know, if you only want to listen to one song from each album. But I'd suggest listening to them ALL! ALL!)

Anyway...





















17 comments:

steenbeck said...

Hey, Blimpy - if they have embed links for these players they don't mind if we put them on our blog, right? I'm supposing they can trace the places they're embedded and tell us if they don't want them here. Don't you think?

Blimpy said...

It's fine Steenbeck, nothing to worry about.

I'm listening to this with fresh ears, I had checked them out way back when with the initial wave of blogger buzz, but not got interested - I think I may have a 7" somewhere...

I'm listening to them straight after listening to the Meursault album, and there are similarities there - unhinged vocals mebbe. You'd probably like them.

Seemingly I have their debut 7" - "Is This Love" - which is the song I recognise from the playlist.

steenbeck said...

I listened to a bit of Meursault this week because of one of your posts, and I did like it. Right now I'm listening to part 3 of the 'Spillcast, though. Freakin brilliant! Bootielicious.

saneshane said...

I was in the kitchen
cooking up a shark
sally's out preparing
witty remarks

saneshane said...

I love both these albums..
but only have two songs on the computer - country teeth and tidal wave - they really do split listeners.. lent them to friends who I usually can just about judge odd taste.. but one just didn't want to listen at all.


comment above is from
'gimme some salt'
found the idea of preparing witty remarks an oddly lonely thought...

lambretinha said...

Hi, there...

Ounsworth's voice was what caught me first time, it reminded me Spencer Krug's. A few songs in their first record I found really interesting, like "... country teeth" or "Details of the War", but I rarely stop to listen to a record thoroughly now, so when I thought I got them more or less figured out I moved on. For their second, I trusted the reviews a bit too much (basically they were the "more of the same, but more polished, etc, etc" kind, which usually reads like meh-ish to me. Besides, "Underwater" left me a bit cold, really, so I thought, well, that's it. Next!)
But now I'm finding out how wrong did they get it (and how wrong did I get it too...)

Btw, are they still together at all? Ounsworth has just put two records out I haven't heard anything at all about (one of them, with New Orleans musicians, looks really interesting on paper)

steenbeck said...

Hey Lambretinha - I'm not sure. That's partly why I visited their website. I'd heard they were going to start on a new album soon, but then I heard they'd broken up, then I heard it was all just rumors, either way. If you go to their website there's a link to one of Ounsworth's solo albums, but I haven't listened yet.

Here it is. Looks like there's even a free mp3 on there...

http://www.pythonspalace.com/

It DOES seem like a lonely thought, Saneshane. I'm glad you like them, too.

sourpus said...

Im listening to them early morning right now, and they sound excellent to me. Thanks again Steen - I think you have a convert on your hands.

Chris said...

I'm halfway through the first set and liking it so far. I agree with the 'sounds very accomplished' bit of your first point, steen, but.. (shut up! - Ed).
His voice is obviously made of Marmite but I'm OK with it. Generally, I agree 95% with point 5. Fantastically infectious enthusiasm.
How do you fare with Pavement, steen? There's a certain similarity with the rag-bag of sounds and words, although Malkmus is rather more laid-back.

steenbeck said...

Thanks for listening Sourpus and Chris. Chris, I'm ashamed to say the only thing I know by Pavement is that haircut song. (That's them, right?) I'll check them out, though. A boy at work was talking about them, too, recently.

ejay said...

I tried to check them out when they first came out and had a bit of hype around them. I listened to the first song on the first album and gave up after hearing his voice, because I thought he was trying too hard to sound like David Byrne (musically I wasn't much fun back then) so dismissed as another derivative hyped band. Fast forward to 2008 and you posted "... country teeth..." which I really liked, and then Emily Jean Stock which I love. I've found that he doesn't sound that much like David Byrne (I was only being pretentious, I barely knew the Talking Heads' music at the time). Will listen to this with fresh ears.

Chris said...

There's a fair amount of Pavement on Spotify, steen. They're the kind of band that you can play pot luck with: I can't quite define a typical Pavement song. The sound is more lo-fi on the earlier albums and the later ones are more mellow. -ish. (Don't worry: no extended jams!)

Japanther said...

thanks for this Steen. - like others I bought an early 7" when the hype came out, but soon forgot them/dismissed them, but I like what i'm hearing here..shoulda stuck with them!

i'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere, i'm not quite sure what it is though..

steenbeck said...

Ejay - I had this moment when I heard Fanfarlo in the car...I didn't know who it was, I thought...hmmm, CYHSY or David Byrne? And I was convinced it was one of the other of them, and I finally understood completely your comparison, which I'd always understood in theory, but...it suddenly all made sense. Start making sense!

steenbeck said...

Lambretinha (and shane, and anybody else interested....) Mo Beauty, Ounsworth's solo album recorded in New Orleans with a bevy of New Orleans musician (including the bassist from the meters...is on spotify!! I'm listening now and so far I love it...

http://open.spotify.com/album/55PQiaDoUJWr8SkSszjiYs

Hooboy.

lambretinha said...

Oh, great! I'll be able to give it a listen over the weekend, then (I'm only spotified on Saturdays and Sundays, long story...) Ty, Steenbeck.

steenbeck said...

I hope you like it Lambretinha. I'm sort of obsessed.

Here's a preview...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POM4yLpOwaE

It's the prettiest song on the album.