Sunday, April 16, 2006

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @Bowery Ballroom, Apr. 14th

Ok, so I went to see the Robinson Brothers play Friday night. I also went to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Bowery Ballroom later that same night. I figured, what the hell, tickets became suddenly available on Ticketweb that afternoon, and I had to head south on my way back to Brooklyn anyway...

I missed the two openers, but got to Bowery plenty of time before CYHSY was slated to hit the stage. I met up with Julie2 and her friends Natalie and Gina. The floor was packed but we found some room on the left side of the floor. We soon discovered why -- someone was cutting the cheese mighty bad. was so stinky we started worrying about whether s/he would make it to the bathroom in time. Ugh.

As if that weren't a good enough indicator of the crowd, we also ran into a couple locked in an embrace. What made this groping pair particularly noteable was that they wore matching homemade tied dyed t-shirts. Say what?

So in the stinky spot on the floor, I had also had another couple in front of me. They seemed to be on date 2 or 3. They chatted throughout the entire show, so their bobbing heads kept getting in my way -- grrr. And behind us were a bunch of loud drunk frat boy types who repeatedly cracked themselves up by yelling "YEAHHHHH!!!" as they loudly clapped their hands. And strangely, they knew a lot of the lyrics, and you wanna know how I know? Cos they were fucking loud.

But all those annoying people aside, CYHSY were amazing. The Britta and I caught them last summer at a free show at South Street Seaport, where there were a lot of annoying drunk Wall Street types (perhaps former drunk frat boy types?). So I knew they would be good.

I hadn't really listened to their album since last summer, so to hear all those songs performed again live was so exciting. Alex Ounsworth, the lead singer, has got a strange voice that has been compared to David Byrne. In my opinion, he kinda yodels. He sounded good. Seeing the band play together as they built their wall of sound reminded me of the time I caught Arcade Fire. Just listening to their respective debut albums doesn't do them justice. They both have great cds, but both put on live performances that are worth standing amongst the dregs of society.

CYHSY have a simple set up -- your basic drums, bass, guitar(s), keyboard(s). Their five members managed to build a sound so big it reminded me of Broken Social Scene, which needed like 15 people on stage. Most of their songs have an upbeat tempo, some kinda bouncy. I hope their next album explores other moods as well.

So, yeah, I don't know what possessed me to do two gigs in one night, but I really enjoyed the music of both. And I was happy to hang out with Julie2 some more and meet her friends. After CYHSY were done, Julie2, Natalie and I went to Epistrophy for a drink. They're both into seeing gigs more of the $10-12 variety -- meaning more obscure bands -- so I hope to join them for those soon.

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