Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – ST

One of the best things about digging is finding new things. Sometimes these are good things…sometimes these are strange things, but they’re always new and they’re always out there.  Take the other day for example.

DJ Andrew and myself were sifting through the stacks at one of our spots, assaulting the 45 section from opposite ends when I found a cardboard record from the 1940’s.  Back in the day they would print out promotional pieces like this and insert them into magazines.  This one was for the Norelco electric razor and was aptly titled “Music to Shave By.”

I was immediately struck by the realization that I had no music to shave too, and since the record featured Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby, I had to buy it.

I can now say in all honesty that you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Louis Armstrong sing ‘Baby, I’ll shave myself for you!’

Awesome…and mildly creepy.

One of the best surprises I had in the last few years though was the discovery of the internet phenomena: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.  You gotta love any band who sold 20,000 copies of their first album over the internet with out the benefit of a major label.  The first pressing sold out and they were forced to press up more.

Formed at Connecticut College and based in Brooklyn, CYHSY made their name and their fame mostly through enthusiastic responses from MP3 Bloggers and other denizens of the internets before getting some Hot List Action from Rolling Stone Magazine.  But all statistics aside, this is a great band pure and simple. Drawing inspiration from such artists as David Byrne and Jonathan Richmond, the band plays it fast and loose with their production…riding almost completely on the sheer energy of their songs.

And it works too.

The only downside to the album is that you can barely understand what front man Alec Ounsworth is singing.  And the thing is…you want to understand.  You want more.

The group recently release their second album “Some Loud Thunder,” that while different from the first is just as good and they seem to be slowly building in maturity and depth as they head toward the future.  They may not be the second coming, but they sure do sound good.



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