Show Review: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ The Mohawk (8/11)

Clap Your Hands Say YeahBrave fans braved potentially threatening weather; it smooth poured with tons of lightning out at my house in the hours before I left to head downtown, but The Hawk was spared such drama. Load in, soundcheck, my moles on the inside let me know all was well. Rain dotted the evening, never really coming down in quantity, just a smattering to humidify things to “moist” levels.

Roger Sellers brought along Matt Hines of ATH faves The Eastern Sea to go acoustic, Alec Ounsworth took advantage of a little extra time in the schedule to play some songs solo not often heard live and then piloted the whole band known as Clap Your Hands Say Yeah through a set of folk music disguised as indie dance party classics and new stuff that I actually enjoyed A LOT.

Read on for thoughts and plenty of pics…

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Show Preview: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah @ Mohawk (8/11)

CYHSY Only Run

Date TONIGHT!
Location Mohawk
Doors 6:30 PM
Tickets $22 from Mohawk

Begin a busy show week tonight, and yes, it will be hot, but suck it up. Satan says dance in the 100F courtyard of The Mohawk with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Roger Sellers is opening with an acoustic set, that should be interesting. Alec is in the middle slot with some solo work. We’ll see what that is all about, double duty on a hawt day.

Take a listen to a slice of the new epic stuff with this.

Update: COLD FRONT?

Stream A Clap Your Hands Say Yeah EP

I was on the fence about the last chunk of material from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. I am a fan of this title track from the freshly unleashed EP called “Little Moments”. It is a synth driven builder clocking in at a little over three minutes with a vocal that sounds like it was recorded in a living room. It might be digitally-driven, but it has a bit of the raw nerve that I loved from early works.

Stream the title track right down there and listen to the rest over on Bandcamp.

Friday Top 5: Fx3 Bands To See

Fun Fun Fun Fest starts today, and not like tonight, it kicked off around noon. You’re already late! Some of us are disappointed that the festival was forced to move away from its stomping grounds at Waterloo Park, and now set up at the large landscape of Auditorium Shores. No matter how dusty or crowded it gets, there are so many great bands performing that will keep you bobbin’ your happy little head. Here are the top 5 acts that I am most stoked about seeing.

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New Song from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

It’s hard not to wish the best for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.  They issued a brilliant self-titled debut, but then sort of side-stepped for their second, Some Loud Thunder.  It was muddied down, and didn’t necessarily evoke the same passion as their first release.  But, as the Internet has blown up today, the group are set to release their third LP, Hysterical, on September 20th, again releasing it on their own.  This new track, “Same Mistake,” seems to be a return to form, with string arrangements gently backing the rhythmic movements within the song.  Surely this will catch your ears, preparing us all for the final release in September.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Clap-Your-Hands-Say-Yeah-Same-Mistake.mp3]

Download: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Same Mistake [MP3]

Alec Ounsworth @ Emo’s (2/5)

Alec+Ounsworth

Date 2/5/10
Location Emos
Doors 9pm
Tickets $10 from Ticketweb

Alec Ounsworth, former lead singer of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, and his new band Flashy Python is coming to Emo’s on Friday night.  Ounsworth will be joined on the stage by our very own Michael Kingcaid of What Made Wilwaukee Famous.  Word is the former CYHSY lead singer will perform his own solo material as well as songs from his new band Flashy Python.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/07-Cattles-New-Clothes-1.mp3]

Download: Flashy Python – Cattle’s New Clothes [MP3]

Forty Acres Fest @ UT (4/4)

n55093748052_782_posterThe famous Forty Acres fest is going down this Saturday on the UT campus.  Games will be played, food and drink will be had, and the night ends with headliners Clap Your Hands Say Yeah playing in front of the UT tower at 7pm.  Best of all, everything is totally free.  This is also a good time to post the band’s latest demo/single “Statues”.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/clap_your_hands_say_yeah_statues.mp3]

Download: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Statues [MP3]

Harlem Shakes – Technicolor Health

harlem

Rating: ★★★½ ·

Every once in a while you walk across a band with a little bit of a reputation, and very little else.  This is where you come across Harlem Shakes, a band that has been slowly climbing the indie-pop ladder rung by rung.  Their new album, Technicolor Health, will only encourage more people to climb upon their back as they aim to reach the top.

Opening the album, you’ll find that various electronic elements are crawling all over the first song, much the way that they crawl all over the entire album. But, these little bleeps and blips grab more urgency when the rest of the band kicks in, throwing horns and guitar into the mix.  It’s an eclectic sound to say the least, but they manage wrangle it all together in an effort to create pop gems.

Singer Lexy bares a strong resemblance to the vocal registry of John K Samson of The Weakerthans, especially in “Strictly Game,” though just as you start to hear that in his voice, it changes directions.  This is precisely one of the elements of this album that allows listeners to maintain their interest, as the band takes turn after turn through their pop repertoire, leaving nary a stone unturned.  The entire kitchen sink has been nicely set in this album, and yet it still all sounds remarkably charming.

Some of the songs are downright destined to encourage you to shake your boots, but then there are other moments that seem to show a certain bit of restraint.  “Niagra Falls” appears to pay homage to a bit of classic rock elements, and one might even say shares a missing link with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, back when they were still good.  The piano laden track bubbles gently beneath the surface of your ear drum, drifting off quietly just before it gets annoying.

Such seems to be the story of the band.  What once would be considered overbearing self-indulgence in instrument usage is restrained just enough so as not to appear as such.  Just as you think it all begins to get to be a bit too much, the band pulls it all back in, honing their skills in the craft of restraint. Your left with a great sense of respect, as the combination of such instruments never seems to be entirely too much, though looking at the inclusion of these things would lead you think otherwise.

Everything here is simpler than one expects, which is how this band will win you over.  They’ve created an album full of songs that push your boundaries of listening, yet draw you in with catchy melodies and clever lyrics.  At times, it might be a bit much for the listener due to the overabundance of sounds, but like the band, you should show restraint, and give this album a proper chance, as repeated listening provides for great rewards.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/04-niagara-falls.mp3]

Download: Harlem Shakes – Niagra Falls [MP3]

07/02 Fleet Foxes Show @ Mohawk

Do you believe the hype? I’m not sure the band even believes the hype coming their way: “How are so many people here?” Believe it or not, Fleet Foxes played to a sold out crowd at Mohawk in Austin last Wednesday night and I can’t say I recall anyone selling out the Mohawk recently. The band’s name has recently spread like wildfire across the internet and music world, giving them a whole mess of new fans as evidenced by the mass of people at Mohawk.

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