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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Self-Released

Rating: 9/10 ?


July 1, 2005
A band name like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah is honestly terrible. One would think they were going to be the next in the series of Rapture dance-punk rip off bands, but rest assured they are not - they are much more creative than that. Influences like the Smiths, the Modern Lovers and even a little Joy Division come out in different songs at different times. They tip their hats to new wave acts from the 80s, but they don't beat it to a pulp. They let the influences suffice with just a light peppering in their songs, and because of this, their efforts shine. It's refreshing and delightful.

It's been noted this band came up with their name on the way to their first gig. They walked past a tagged wall with "Clap Your Hands Say Yeah" spray painted on it and thought they should name their band in kind - not only is it the band name, but the album title and the label, since they do it all themselves at this point, the poor guys. Nevertheless, their fidelity to the cause is not lost here; they have made one heck of a great album.

To be personal for a moment, I myself enjoy the Talking Heads, but I don't know how big a fan I am. I own their live album and have downloaded a few songs here and there, but overall I have never gone out of my way to get their merchandise. They seem like a creative and influential band, especially considering when they were around and how many of today's indie-rock favorites mark them as an influence. That being said, upon first listen to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah's debut, I couldn't help but hear David Byrne come out in the lyrical stylings of Alec Ounsworth and company.

In this collection, the instruments are varied and the tempo is usually upbeat but not needlessly punky. Heck, they even provide a song called "Details of the War" which could be a more dramatic conclusion to the Talking Heads' "Life during Wartime", though the two songs sound nothing alike. Listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah makes me want to hunt down the Talking Heads collection and see if I'm right about the sound comparison.

After "Details of War", the song "The Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth" takes the spotlight and hits everything home. This close-to-six-minute selection - is what piqued my interest in this band in the first place. With cool guitar plucking an up-tempo beat sustaining the entirety of the song and fun lyrics shouted, this is feel good music, and it feels good to listen to it.

Blending right into "Is This Love?", the middle part of this album is packed with beautiful songs, filling the listener with sunshine, reflection and fun. The rolling keyboards and backing vocals keep the song in constant motion, answering its own question. Is this love? Indeed it is: Summer lovin', in fact and I hope it will last. Clap Your Hands Say Yeah gets my pick for summertime album of the year.

Reviewed by Bob Ladewig
Having been introduced to good music by his sister in the early years, Bob Ladewig has been searching out all the best in indie music ever since. He also rides a skateboard and performs/directs comedy shows and, like all great men, he\'s afraid of really growing up.

See other reviews by Bob Ladewig

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