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Internet Success Story: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
March 8, 2006 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah are a band that, less than a year ago, were making music without the help of a record label, pressing CDs themselves and selling them at concerts and on the Internet. Then the following happened: June 9: Dan Bierne writes about the band on his MP3 blog, June 14: Pitchfork Media posts a review of the song "In This Home On Ice", June 15: Blogger Gothamist posts an interview with the band, June 20: Blogger Stereogum announces the band's show at the Knitting Factory, June 21: Gothamist reports that David Bowie was in the audience at the Knitting Factory show, and June 22: Pitchfork posts one of a slew of reviews of Clap's first album. Now, they've been named to dozens of critics 'best of' lists, they're playing Conan and Letterman, and are about to embark on a new tour. Why choose today to post an article about a band blowing up written in November you ask? Because their tour kicks off tonight at the 9:30 club in DC, and you can listen to it live.
posted by ND¢ (140 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
My indie friends have been raving about them for a while now. Guess they can stop liking them now that they've 'made it'.

And god bless the internet.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2006


They rock
posted by elquien at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2006


your favorite band Talking Heads tribute band sucks
posted by matteo at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2006


And they're fantastic. You forgot to mention that, I think. I've been slowly converting friends over to them since I first got hold of the album last year. Definitely a grower, these guys - some people seem to struggle to get past the 'singing' of the lead. Not a problem for a Malkmus fan like myself.
posted by StuMiller at 6:49 AM on March 8, 2006


I disagree.
posted by drezdn at 6:51 AM on March 8, 2006


I agree.
posted by Capt. Bligh at 6:57 AM on March 8, 2006


I care.
posted by slimepuppy at 6:58 AM on March 8, 2006


your favorite band sucks.
posted by empath at 6:59 AM on March 8, 2006


bah, beaten to it.
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on March 8, 2006


I can't wait until this happens to my band.
I can already taste the success!
posted by zonkout at 7:11 AM on March 8, 2006


CYHSY are great. so much better than the UKs version of the music blog internet success story, the Arctic Monkeys.

The AM are ok but thats about it.
posted by ClanvidHorse at 7:17 AM on March 8, 2006


I'm seeing them tomorrow night at the Cat's Cradle in NC. Nothing like a seeing a band you love for $12, 4 blocks from your home.
posted by hupp at 7:20 AM on March 8, 2006


Looks like the Tour kicked off last night in Philly.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:21 AM on March 8, 2006


Their album has been on iTunes for a while, not sure why everyone thinks they're so underground.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:24 AM on March 8, 2006


You spelled Dan's name wrong! :)

I agree with him that the album's pretty darn good, and "Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" was one of my favourite songs of 2005, but when I saw the group live in Edinburgh last month, they were dreadful. "I did not clap my hands. I did not say yeah."
posted by Marquis at 7:26 AM on March 8, 2006


Saw them at the same show Bowie did. The lead singer surely deserves to be played 24/7 on the soundtrack IN HELL. Seriously, they are just awful. I left the show during their set, even with two bands left to play, because I couldn't stand listening to them for 5 more seconds.
posted by falconred at 7:28 AM on March 8, 2006


Looks like the Tour kicked off last night in Philly.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:21 AM EST on March 8

Whoops. When an article says "tonight", I really need to look at the date that the article was written, in order to see what date that the article meant by "tonight". It would appear that "tonight" doesn't continue to be accurate when you are reading an article that was not written on the day that it was written. At least I didn't make any other errors.

You spelled Dan's name wrong! :)
posted by Marquis at 10:26 AM EST on March 8

I will now commit seppuku.
posted by ND¢ at 7:29 AM on March 8, 2006


Big record labels are so last year.
posted by spock at 7:30 AM on March 8, 2006


Can someone explain why I don't like this band? I'm quite serious. Their style is, for me, a close-to-perfect mesh of every band I liked in college. It's all right there. Yo La Talking Thom Malkmus, etc.

Listening to this album is like finding your freshman dorm crush, a decade later, and she's better than you remember, curing cancer at her day job, driving a Maserati, can out kung-fu Jackie Chan, and is about to publish a complete takedown of every philosophical work, major and minor, and all you can think is, man, what did I ever see in her?
posted by suckerpunch at 7:34 AM on March 8, 2006


I prefer bands where the lead singer can, well, sing.
posted by patricio at 7:36 AM on March 8, 2006


...not sure why everyone thinks they're so underground.

Maybe they meant underwater.

Clap Your Hand Say Zen!
(Crap Your Pants Say Yecch?)
posted by pracowity at 7:43 AM on March 8, 2006


Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
posted by sourwookie at 7:50 AM on March 8, 2006


Clap Your Hands Say Yawn.

(Taste my ironic detachment!)
posted by S.C. at 7:51 AM on March 8, 2006


I prefer bands where the lead singer can, well, sing.

Define 'being able to sing'.
posted by StuMiller at 7:51 AM on March 8, 2006


I like them, but the lead singer does sound A LOT like David Byrne.
posted by justkevin at 7:52 AM on March 8, 2006


I don't know them personally (they might be jerks), I've never seen them play live, and I enjoy their album but I'm not gaga over it., but I for one think this is a pretty cool deal.

Speaking as someone who is in a small band trying to make a go of things without being on a label, though, I say good on them. It's not like popping out of nowhere and selling 50k copies of an album is an easy thing, otherwise everyone would be doing it and nobody would need labels. They got some well-timed press, they played some gigs, and their album is fun enough for the word-of-mouth to spread and sell them some more copies.

Heck, even I've took some potshots at them (probably a bit of jealousy mixed in there somewhere), but I genuinely think it's pretty sweet that they've managed to do so well for themselves. It gives people like me just a little glimmer of hope that we can crack through the consciousness of a fickle (obviously still quite so, after reading many of the above comments) music buying public.
posted by almostcool at 7:54 AM on March 8, 2006


This thread is essential.
Clap Your Hands Say Meh is just about dead on. For a while, when the '80s revival was in its post-punk infancy, I wondered when someone would revive the Talking Heads as an influence. Funky polyrhythms, short agitated and angular melodies, neurosis... Nope. We got a band that rips off the sound without taking it further. They actually managed to be quite a bit less interesting than the Talking Heads. So why, exactly, should I see them instead of listening to old TH albums?
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 AM on March 8, 2006


This band is clearly derivative of some band from the 70s/80s that I didn't really like that much, therefore they are beneath my notice. Let me also work in a comment that they are vastly superior to some current hipster band that you've never heard of.

I prefer bands where the lead singer can, well, sing.

I resemble that remark. I don't think I've ever been in a band that had a vocalist (myself included) that could "sing". I presume by sing, you mean someone that conforms to some version of Paul Rodgers, Glenn Tilbrook, Neil Finn or James Taylor. To me, I love guys like Elvis Costello, Kurt Cobain, Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell and even Tom Waits and Bob Dylan. Guys that can't really "sing" per se, but can emote and move an idea along vocally.
posted by psmealey at 8:07 AM on March 8, 2006


matteo wins!

I was in love with the CYHSY album (found on a torrent site that shall remain nameless) for about a month last year and haven't listened to it again. It was a brief dalliance.

In other indierthanthou news, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness released their first full length on Secretly Canadian yesterday. (mp3)
posted by shoepal at 8:07 AM on March 8, 2006


stereogum posted one of their mp3s in February of 2005, for Valentine's Day, so it's not like they just got huge in June
posted by paul_smatatoes at 8:09 AM on March 8, 2006


I have their album, and it's pretty good, but it wasn't on my best of 2005 list.

It's sort of strange how much hype this band has when they put out a fairly acceptable album, but apparently sound like ass live.

In fact, it would probably be fair to say that CYHSY's tragectory will define indie rock band hype for generations to come. Or maybe a few months. Whatever.
posted by sayitwithpie at 8:10 AM on March 8, 2006


eh, that's what I get for relying on the live preview. meant to say the CYHSY bandwagon started before june.
posted by paul_smatatoes at 8:11 AM on March 8, 2006


Guys that can't really "sing" per se, but can emote and move an idea along vocally.

And that guy in the Ponys. And John and Exene. And Jeffrey Lee Pierce! I'm with psmealey--tune-carrying ability not required, nor is ability to stay on pitch. It's egalitarian and therefore DIY.
posted by scratch at 8:12 AM on March 8, 2006


The Strokes ripped off the Velvet Underground. CYHSY rip off the Talking Heads. Everybody rips off everybody. So what? The Talking Heads are gone, and Lou Reed now sucks. So somebody should definitely bite their styles, and then see where it takes them. That's how most artists work. (Surprise!)

This is more about a band making it without a label than whether or not you like them. Yeah, they're on iTunes. But they didn't rely on Sony BMG or Atlantic or even Sub Pop to put them there. That takes a lot of work.

So why, exactly, should I see them instead of listening to old TH albums?

Because you shouldn't, ya old coot. Lock yourself in the closet and never listen to anything new again.
posted by fungible at 8:14 AM on March 8, 2006


Worst. Band. Name. Ever.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 8:18 AM on March 8, 2006


Thanks paul_smatatoes! I knew I had heard CYHSY before June. (A year ago) February makes much more sense (for a variety of reasons).
posted by shoepal at 8:18 AM on March 8, 2006


Bullshit, fungible. Everyone bites styles, but the ones worth listening to do something new and unexpected with it. Like, say, The High Strung biting Mott The Hoople, but bringing an incredible sense of place and character to it, along with rockin' it the fuck out. Or the Great Lakes Myth Society putting a decent bite on the Pogues and the Kinks, but centering themselves in the concrete (and writing amazing pop songs to go with it). Or Actual Birds biting on bands like Sunburned Hand of the Man (who, in turn, bit off of the No Neck Blues Band and The Godz) as well as campfire songs. Or The Avatars messing around in Blondie's backyard, but running it through the MC5. Or Destroyer playing with Beatles idioms while constructing incredibly dense webs of pop reference and melody. Or Nomo biting John Coltrane and Tower of Power, Fela Kuti and Archie Shepp, but bringing an incredible sense of timing and composition.
Every band has to be more than just the sum of their influences, otherwise they're boring after two or three spins. There's got to be something more there.
Unless, of course, you only go and see cover bands. Because, you know, that seems to be the argument you're making.
posted by klangklangston at 8:37 AM on March 8, 2006


Any poopooers out there are elitist snobs. Free concerts on the net by anyone is cool. These guys just happen to have enough approval to make listening to said free concert a less dicey proposition.
posted by furtive at 8:47 AM on March 8, 2006


I bought their album during my research of this year's Coachella and its dozens of bands I've never heard of... I really really like it. It definitely took a few listens, and I'm still in the process of converting friends.

Their show here is in about 2 weeks, and I'm going.


It's funny: people have more memory of history repeating itself in music than in world politics...
posted by blastrid at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2006


Anyone who doesn't love coverbands and listening to kareoke is an elitist snob! Anyone who doesn't like everything in the world without any sense of criticism is an elitist snob! Disagree? You're an elitist snob for not seeing my argument as valid!
posted by klangklangston at 8:51 AM on March 8, 2006


Deep breaths buddy. Its okay.
posted by ND¢ at 8:59 AM on March 8, 2006


I don't think they put on a very good live show but the album's good. They don't sound very much like the Talking Heads to me but I can hear some similarity, they remind me more of Neutral Milk Hotel. Their album is still among my favorites from last year. If you're the kind of person that loves to dismiss musicians for sounding kinda like earlier musicians I wonder if you are able to like new music? I'm actually kind of curious, having built this wall of credibility around the "rip-offs" of yesteryear.
posted by I Foody at 9:01 AM on March 8, 2006


I prefer bands where the lead singer can, well, sing.
...
Define 'being able to sing'


Ok, how about... The lead singer of CYHSY makes Billy Corgan sound like a classicly trained opera singer.
posted by falconred at 9:02 AM on March 8, 2006


Is the FPP really claiming a good review on Pitchfork can get David Bowie at your gig a week later? Bullshit marketing hype ahoy!
posted by cillit bang at 9:08 AM on March 8, 2006


Free concerts on the net by anyone is cool.

And, to paraphrase billysumday, anyone who shits on free concerts deserve a good, long hard look in the mirror.
posted by suckerpunch at 9:08 AM on March 8, 2006


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah could have been anybody, really. There were (and still are) a shitload of bands who sounded just like them when their record broke, and a few of them weren't even from Brooklyn and didn't have such an insipid name.

I am both amazed and slightly disgusted by Pitchfork's ability to impact record sales so heavily on the basis of one overwritten review (see also The Arcade Fire). I am also not sure when they became the arbiters of taste for such a persuasive portion of the record buying market.

(Full disclosure: I am a former Pitchfork reviewer.)
posted by thivaia at 9:11 AM on March 8, 2006


That first sound you heard was a million internet-hipsters clamoring to be the first to hype up an uninteresting band.

The second sound was a million A&R reps simultaneously realizing that blogs are a marketing tool and bumrushing myspace.
posted by plexiwatt at 9:13 AM on March 8, 2006


Look, the album is a lot of fun. It sounds great. The good songs make you want to dance in your cubicle. And for everybody who keeps saying "Talking Heads," I would offer that I'm getting more of a Television vibe.

The worst thing about the internet + blogging software is the exponential number of unoriginal, nonthinking fools who have somehow come to the opinion that they are brilliant rock critics. You could blame Pitchfork but I think it's just human nature. If everyone read novels, then you'd have a bunch of asshole self-proclaimed literary critics. Sadly, this is not the case. So we have an army of young men who, without critical training, knowledge of the art form, or writing expertise inflict their boring opinions across the blogosphere, repeating blandisms they picked up earlier that week and passing it off as wit. Expressing genuine enthusiasm for a band becomes a shell game, shuffling approval around to unknowns so as to protect the self-annointed critic from the horror of "joining the herd," which risks revealing himself as less than special. And as a bonus he might just share his political opinions! Or at least the opinions of the Daily Show sprinkled with references to the Onion, Family Guy, and that viral video on YouTube. Hooray for culture. Hooray for art.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:13 AM on March 8, 2006


XMU has been playing these guys a lot recently. At first, I was happy to hear something that wasn't of the She Wants Revenge-stealing from-Interpol-stealing from-etc ilk, but then they kept playing that song over and over again.

Less yowling, more Architecture in Helsinki, please.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:14 AM on March 8, 2006


Ok, how about... The lead singer of CYHSY makes Billy Corgan sound like a classicly trained opera singer.

Okay. Now explain to me how this:

a) matters
b) adds anything to the argument for and against the band
posted by StuMiller at 9:19 AM on March 8, 2006


Every band has to be more than just the sum of their influences, otherwise they're boring after two or three spins.

Klangklangston nails it (not necessarily with this band, but bands in general)...


Drezdn's advice for young bands...

1) Rip off people that no one else is ripping off (Say "Skillet Lickers meet Dj Spooky"). Unfortunately there's a string of bands that have been ripping off Television lately.

2) Never apologize. (this is borrowed from Corrin Tucker). When I was young, my mom cut some cantalope up, and I tried a few pieces. I really liked it. Then my mom tried it and she said it was rotten. I didn't try Cantalope again for several years. In music, if you think you played a shitty show, there's the chance the audience didn't notice, and pointing it out to them might make them resent you.

3) Own your mistakes (borrowed from Robyn Hitchcock). If you fuck up, make it look like you took the song in a brilliant new direction and that you're having the time of your life doing it.

4) Burn your guitars. Guitars are now inherently boring.
posted by drezdn at 9:23 AM on March 8, 2006


So, what's the point, here? If you get a really outrageous run of good luck and by that token make it big, then....what, exactly?

($.02 on the band: Meh. I listened to some of their stuff, liked it just alright but no more than that, and decided to pass up a chance to see them at Iceland Airwaves and see The Rushes instead. I walked home afterward floating on waves of bittersweet harmony.)

The cool thing about free concerts is that if you don't want to be there, you just leave -- you haven't wasted any money, and by leaving you're preventing the waste of your time and other people's attention. Upside for all.
posted by lodurr at 9:23 AM on March 8, 2006


Metafilter: Less yowling, more Architecture in Helsinki, please.
posted by shoepal at 9:28 AM on March 8, 2006


The value of a music thread on metafilter is that it reminds me that we wouldn't get along in person. You are either too cool or not cool enough.
posted by srboisvert at 9:32 AM on March 8, 2006


Ok, how about... The lead singer of CYHSY makes Billy Corgan sound like a classicly trained opera singer.

Although that's true, I wasn't saying that clear diction and musicality are all important. I much prefer Costello, Cobain, Dylan etc to Finn and his ilk. As psmealey said, it's not necessarily about vocal purity in the slightest. What I do mean is that the success of CYHSY is despite, not because of, his irritating singing style. FWIW I'm a humungous fan of the Arctic Monkeys and must be just about the only self-confessed goatee-stroking-muso-snob who hasn't joined the backlash.
posted by patricio at 9:40 AM on March 8, 2006


But srboisvert, comments like klangs make these threads worth the noise.
posted by shoepal at 9:41 AM on March 8, 2006


"Catch the Clap!" TM
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:45 AM on March 8, 2006


Worst. Band. Name. Ever.

I like the band name, wish I could say the same for the band. Didn't like the album, didn't see them when they came to town, won't bother seeing them when I'm at Bonnaroo this year.
posted by rollbiz at 9:48 AM on March 8, 2006


I'm totally not buying the 'it were the weblogs what made them famous!' angle, mostly because an 'old media' music journalist told me about them months before any of those weblog posts. (As for the music, well, they're less shit than a lot of bands knocking about at the moment.)
posted by jack_mo at 9:48 AM on March 8, 2006


klangston is onto something, but he's also illustrating why I don't try to participate in these threads very much. For him, much as it's about much more than the "sum of their influences", that web of influences still gets presented as though it's what's important. Now, I have no idea if that's what klangstonklangston really thinks, but that's what it looks like he thinks -- and that how it looks like a lot of other folks think, too, when they talk about this stuff.

Ultimately, it's got to be about whether the music works for you or doesn't, regardless of the influences. Geeks like us need to know where it came from and how it works, and that's cool -- but if they don't deliver on the music (as a local sometime-producer put it to me), then the influences don't matter.

drezdn, I got a kick out of that Robyn H anecdote. I've seen him three times (fortunately, in clubs), and he did that more than once on each occasion. He has to be one of the best one-man-on-stage performers I've ever seen.
posted by lodurr at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2006


I love CYHSY. They're quite bland live, and The National blew them out of the water at the same gig. Still, they produced one of my favorite CDs last year.

But speaking of marking trends, I happened upon the demos of this one band and started hyping them up in my mp3 blog. And they quoted me on their myspace as their first review. So now I can just sit back and hope they explode on the scene so I can revel in the dominance of my indie cred.
posted by Mach3avelli at 9:57 AM on March 8, 2006


Re: The sum of influences idea...

Sometimes, the best bands come from trying to sound like other bands, failing in the attempt, and instead creating something new and original by accident. For example, someone said that Radiohead had tried to sound like other bands (I want to say it was the talking heads, but I'm probably wrong about that) and ended up creating something new and original.
posted by drezdn at 10:05 AM on March 8, 2006


that web of influences still gets presented as though it's what's important.

I'm kind of curious if that's true of many music fans. It used to be that if I really liked something, I'd read the interviews and track down who they said infleunced them, but I did that more as a musician than as a fan.

For the band I'm in, every time someone tries to peg our "influences" they usually get it really wrong in that we're not really pulling from one or two sources. For example, we've been compared to The Decemberists. I know our main song writer doesn't listen to them, and we're way darker. The Tiger Lillies, while I like some of their stuff, the only thing we have in common is that the singer sings in a slightly odd voice (and I know the main songwriter doesn't like them). The Ditty Bops was one I saw, but they're mining stuff that we don't touch on at all, like say The Andrew Sisters.
posted by drezdn at 10:11 AM on March 8, 2006


someone said that Radiohead had tried to sound like other bands

I doubt the premise of that, particularly that a band as talented as Radiohead would take the approach. I think uniformly, unless you're in a tribute or cover band (or playing in a very narrow genre like speedmetal, for example), I don't think ANY band makes a point to sound like someone else.

I'll admit that every band I've been in has been compared to Television sound, given my tendency to work with offbeat vocalists, and the fact the Richard Lloyd was a huge influence on me when I was learning to "get good" at playing guitar... but I know huge Television fans that have heard us play and don't hear any resemblance at all. I frankly don't hear any at all either... though I'd still donate a vital bodily organ to be able to play like Richard Lloyd.

It's all in the ear of the beholder, I guess.

As for what klangklangston said, I am totally on board. When I first heard Interpol, for example, they sounded like dead Joy Division rip offs (though a little more "rock"), but when I listened and listened some more, it was quite apparent that though the influence was definitely there, but they took it someplace totally new and different and really had "place".
posted by psmealey at 10:25 AM on March 8, 2006


Bought the album ages ago. It's way overrated. Just another example of the current, "let's take a sampling of a bunch of No Wave and Post-Punk influences and churn out a lukewarm take on it", group. The record is almost okay at best.
posted by Decani at 10:25 AM on March 8, 2006


Caveman #1: Hey, I got a great idea. I am going to create sound as a way of expressing emotion. You know, I'll bang sticks together, blow into reeds, something with animal skins maybe, it will be great. I can't wait to make a joyful noise, and create something wholly new, and just have fun.

Caveman #2: That sounds great. I just invented something too.

Caveman #1: That's a coincidence. What is it?

Caveman #2: It is a kind of time machine, where I can look at internet discussions from the future. You want to look at it?

Caveman #1: Well, I am a little busy inventing music, but yeah, I guess I can take a peek. Let's see... here is an internet discussion from the future about this great, happy, fun thing I am about to create. Let me skim it real fast...

Internet Discussion of music from the future: underground post-punk infancy... Funky polyrhythms... short agitated and angular melodies... neurosis... derivative hipster... indierthanthou... tragectory will define indie rock band hype for generations to come... Everyone bites styles... playing with Beatles idioms while constructing incredibly dense webs of pop reference and melody... you only go and see cover bands... elitist snobs... Bullshit marketing hype... insipid name... amazed and slightly disgusted... a million internet-hipsters... A&R reps... exponential number of unoriginal, nonthinking fools... She Wants Revenge-stealing from-Interpol-stealing from-etc ilk... my mom cut some cantalope up... waves of bittersweet harmony... too cool or not cool enough... self-confessed goatee-stroking-muso-snob... 'old media' music journalist

Caveman #1: You know what? I think that I am going to pass on inventing music and just go to Caveman law school.
posted by ND¢ at 10:32 AM on March 8, 2006


Deep breaths buddy. Its okay.

Hear, hear. Klangston: It's their first album, man. You may not hear anything going on besides their influences, but obviously a lot of people do. It takes time for these things to develop - this band just found its popularity early on.

Plus, I guarantee you people were saying the same thing about the Talking Heads when they put their first album out.

PS Thanks for the list of your favorite bands. I'm always keen to hear what other people are listening to, without telling them how much they suck.
posted by fungible at 10:36 AM on March 8, 2006


Watch out, hipster trash. The Black Dahlia Murder are coming to eat your souls.
posted by baphomet at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2006


Making fun of Billy Corgan is always awesome.
posted by S.C. at 10:38 AM on March 8, 2006


Also, exactly what decani said. I was born in the 80s and I'm glad I was too young to remember them- why is it that my generation's "underground" pop fans (read: suckers) have to be obsessed with rehashing the shitty music from that period (Franz Ferdinand, The White Stripes, et al)? It's a curse, a bloody curse.


4) Burn your guitars. Guitars are now inherently boring.


Nah, keep your guitar, just change your tuning.
posted by baphomet at 10:42 AM on March 8, 2006


Really, Mach3avelli, you have an mp3 blog? I hadn't yet noticed that you post a bit o' spam for it in every music thread you see.

As far as the influence game, I do think that drezdn and psmealy have made good points (especially about it being in the ear of the beholder, as while I can get along just fine with people who like Interpol, they just don't do a damn thing for me and I was annoyed at getting suckered by the hype there too, but I love TV on the Radio who I realize can be hit with a lot of the same criticisms, especially their Peter Gabriel-aping vocals).

ND¢, I don't think the caveman would be much happier in the world of intellectual property tort or McDonald's scaldings. Also, beware the "all this rock 'n' roll is just noise" argument.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 AM on March 8, 2006


I'm glad I was too young to remember them

Utter blasphemy.

Some of my favorite bands (Killing Joke, Joy Division, Gang of Four, the Cars, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pretenders, and on and on) are from that era!

Some of my favorite bands suck, I guess.
posted by psmealey at 10:47 AM on March 8, 2006


Fungible— Those are mostly local bands who are starting to get national attention despite having fairly obvious influences (Saturday Looks Good To Me would be another good example). If you're really interested in what I've been listening to lately (some good, some bad, some Dolly Parton "Here you come again"), it's not too hard to track down the blog where I talk about music or my last.fm stream... All of those bands I mentioned are ones that I've been enjoying a lot lately though, even though I didn't think I'd like Destroyer at all.
posted by klangklangston at 10:47 AM on March 8, 2006


Well, I like them. But not Arctic Monkeys. But I like I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. And Architecture in Helsinki. Etc.
It's all right here!
(shameless self-mp3 blog link, but it does have lots of this music)
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:47 AM on March 8, 2006


people were saying the same thing about the Talking Heads when they put their first album out.

Funny, I don't remember that at all, and I was eighteen and an avid music fan at the time. What I remember is a huge number of people raving about what a fascinating and exciting new direction it was - myself included. I also remember rushing out and buying it and being impressed by how - like the best music - it took its influences and blended them with some actual originality to create something really rather different. You would be extremely hard-pushed to point to an earlier recording that sounds much like "Talking Heads 77". You would not be extremely hard-pushed to point to an earlier recording that sounds much like CYHSY.

The CYHSY album is in no sense "really rather different". At all. Neither is it unoriginal in a particularly arresting or exciting way.
posted by Decani at 10:49 AM on March 8, 2006


Psmealy— Do you remember when it was cool to hate music from the '80s, when it was seen as this giant sucking hole of terrible taste and bad fashion? Heh. Now I even like a lot of disco.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM on March 8, 2006


I prefer CSNY
posted by thejoshu at 10:51 AM on March 8, 2006


Really, Mach3avelli, you have an mp3 blog? I hadn't yet noticed that you post a bit o' spam for it in every music thread you see.

If I can keep it topical, it's fair game, no?

I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness is a stellar band, yes.
posted by Mach3avelli at 10:56 AM on March 8, 2006


I just can't wait for the grunge revival. By my estimation it is due any day. About 5 years ago the 70s thing was getting big. Indie rawkers in tight denim, murderer mustaches, wailing at the top of their lungs. Around 3 years ago people got bored of the 70s and moved on to the 80s. Any day now the hipsters will tire of the 80s revival and the next logical step is the 90s revival. We'll see flanel and docs everywhere. Mark my words, it's right around the corer. I've already started practicing my dropped-D chords for my band.
posted by afx114 at 10:58 AM on March 8, 2006


clap your hands graffitti
posted by the jam at 11:08 AM on March 8, 2006


I like this band, however legend has it that others do not.
posted by mcsweetie at 11:15 AM on March 8, 2006


The '90s have yet to die. See: My Chemical Romance, Nickleback, Train, Hoobastank etc.
(And remember, the point of a revival is to target the bands that everyone else missed. There might be a Mudhoney surge, or kids who suddenly love Mr. Bungle, but most of the best overlooked bands from the '90s were already influence mining. See: Brainiac, Six Finger Satellite, Dog Faced Hermans, Jesus and Mary Chain, Spacemen 3 etc.)

What I want to see? A revival of bands who make music to take drugs to make music to take drugs to. America needs a new psychedelic revival, with lots and lots and lots of acid. The central thesis for why so much music is so bland is that not enough kids are blowing their minds anymore...
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on March 8, 2006


What the hell is up with these hipster bands and their long ass band names? "Clap your hands say yeah?" "this bike is a pipe bomb?"

WTF?!
posted by drstein at 11:44 AM on March 8, 2006


Thanks, Shoepal. Those guys are pretty fucking good.
posted by Tlogmer at 11:45 AM on March 8, 2006


Props to klangklangston for the Spacemen 3 reference.

If we're about to revisit the 90s, I'd like to put in for some of my favorites from the Seattle scene get the recognition that they never got because they were overshadowed by the whole Pearl Jam soundalike brigade. Most of these bands still kick the living crap out of what passes for "new Grunge" today, to wit: Monomen, Gas Huffer, Love Battery, the Supersuckers, Alcohol Funnycar, the Gits (RIP, Mia) and so on.
posted by psmealey at 11:45 AM on March 8, 2006


I forgot to mention that while you are visiting the 'NPR Live Concert Series' website (which I have pimped before) to enjoy the CYHSY show tonight (or to glare at it ominously, whatever you are into), be sure to check out not only the streams, but also the MP3's, of the New Pornographers and Belle and Sebastian show that they recorded at the 9:30 club two days ago.
posted by ND¢ at 12:13 PM on March 8, 2006


I like 'em, but damn the concert I caught on their last tour was unimpressive.

*shrug*
posted by Jezztek at 12:14 PM on March 8, 2006


The Mono Men and Supersuckers were important for that garage revival/panflash a couple years ago. Love Battery? Man, I liked one album from them, but blah... The Gits are a band that I still need to investigate though.
posted by klangklangston at 12:16 PM on March 8, 2006


What the hell is up with these hipster bands and their long ass band names?

Godspeed You Black Emperor
Do Make Say Think

It's like the TLD thing, all the good short ones are taken.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:17 PM on March 8, 2006


What I want to see? A revival of bands who make music to take drugs to make music to take drugs to.

Amen. Whatever your opinion of drugs, they're closely correlated to great art.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:18 PM on March 8, 2006


yeah, nice Spacemen 3 ref. Brainiac evolved into Enon, no?

Glad you like ILYBICD, Tlogmer. There EP is really effing good too. Here's an MP3 from the EP (When You Go Out - from the band's site, btw). And here's a review of the According To Plan 12" from 2005. [disclaimer: I am involved with Drawer B, but I didn't write the ILYBICD review]
posted by shoepal at 12:19 PM on March 8, 2006


Their EP, or The EP, not There Ep. Damn.
posted by shoepal at 12:20 PM on March 8, 2006


Thanks ND¢ for the B&S link. I tried to get tix to that show at the last minute but failed miserably. I'll listen to the stream and remind myself that I saved $50.
posted by shoepal at 12:22 PM on March 8, 2006


What I want to see? A revival of bands who make music to take drugs to make music to take drugs to. America needs a new psychedelic revival, with lots and lots and lots of acid.

Check out these guys (who are great): The Black Angels.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:32 PM on March 8, 2006


Brainiac's main man (Tim?) died, I believe in a car crash. Some of the remaining members, most notably John (who hadn't been with the band that long) hooked up with members of Skeleton Key (who are criminally overlooked) to put out a fantastic album called Believo under the Enon name. Then the Skeleton Key guys kinda went back to Skeleton Key (on and off) and some folks from Blonde Redhead joined, and then Enon went to putting out kind of boring albums.

Another criminally overlooked band from the late-'90s, early 2000s was El Guapo, who also kinda went weak once electroclash was annointed as a genre, but their Super/System album is fucking genius. Like a Need New Body only with some jazz and dub chops.
posted by klangklangston at 12:32 PM on March 8, 2006


I like the ideas on that Super/System album so much better than the actual execution, but "Miracle" has got to be one of my favorite songs of the last year or two...

klangklangston: what'd you think of Antelope?

I think my problem with bands being little more than a pastiche of What's Come Before is that many are so unashamed and unaware of it. I'm fine with bands being pointedly unoriginal, as long as they know their role. For example, the guys in Franz Ferdinand would be among the first to list who they're ripping off, and it'd be a great list of things to go listen to. How many of those who hyped the shit out of them could do the same? How many are content in their ignorance?

Would anyone approve of or expect some contemporary jazz musician to stare at you blankly when you tell him he sounds like Coleman Hawkins? I guess I have a somewhat ridiculous expectation that my favorite musicians be greater music scholars than I am...oh well.
posted by hototogisu at 12:49 PM on March 8, 2006


Brainiac's singer was Tim Taylor. He died in a car wreck in 1997.

Skeleton Key is truly awful. Enon I like.

El Guapo was tedious, but I like their new incarnation as Supersystem.

Trying to "keep up" with indie music taught me to trust only my ears and the ears of friends who had taste. But I still enjoy pitchfork and splendid mag, because they have good writers, and they're consistent (much more so than they were a few years ago).

Heh. This is too fun.
posted by bardic at 12:51 PM on March 8, 2006


Check out these guys (who are great): The Black Angels.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 3:32 PM EST on March 8 [!]


Hey _sirmissalot_
Thanks, i just checked them out and bought their ep based on your comment.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:51 PM on March 8, 2006


Oh yeah, I couldn't make it through more than three songs of clap your hands say yeah. I'm gonna file them in the half of North Brooklyn is crazy drawer.

TV on the Radio on the other hand. Sheeiitttt.
I got a sampler of the new album and it's fucking good.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:53 PM on March 8, 2006


Would anyone approve of or expect some contemporary jazz musician to stare at you blankly when you tell him he sounds like Coleman Hawkins?
posted by hototogisu at 3:49 PM EST on March 8 [!]

I think that is a bit of a false comparison. There is (almost) no band that you could say "You sound like the Talking Heads" to, and have them look at you blankly. I think that is a rough translation to telling a jazz musician that they sound like Coleman Hawkins. However, if you told a band that they sounded like Enon, it would be the equivalent of telling a jazz musician that they sound like Georgie Auld; maybe they should know who they are if they really want to make a living making this type of music, but it is not criminally negligent for them not to.
posted by ND¢ at 1:04 PM on March 8, 2006


Any poopooers out there are elitist snobs.

As opposed to people who simply make baseless, opinionated, blanket statements about others. Or maybe we just have much better taste than you.

In any case, I heard these guys months ago on NPR, so any indie cred they had is long gone. I didn't notice anything startlingly original but they're OK. I wouldn't buy the album.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:12 PM on March 8, 2006


If you haven't heard of them before (and if you're not college age and from New England you probably haven't), give Gruvis Malt a listen.
posted by rollbiz at 1:21 PM on March 8, 2006


To add to my comment above, "With the Spirit of a Traffic Jam" is by far their best album. I haven't heard the newest one yet.
posted by rollbiz at 1:23 PM on March 8, 2006


I was just talking to somebody last night about how NPR is a definite sign that you're no longer really cutting-edge or new. You have to be big enough to get on NPR's radar, but also accessable enough that they can wax about it and not offend older listeners. They pick such obvious choices that make most indie kids feel warm and fuzzy. I hear the Fresh Air interview with Stuart Murdoch and the review of the new Jenny Lewis record the other night, and well... it made me feel sorta sick. It's like they're trying to be more legit than college radio, yet also so square.
posted by kendrak at 1:25 PM on March 8, 2006


I don't think that NPR is doing what they do for indie kids. I think they are doing it for people like me: the indie yuppie. I like 'new' music, but nothing too different. I like to 'keep up' with what is going on in music, but not so much so that I know every local band in every city, just to the extent of skimming pitchfork's mainpage most mornings while I'm at work, and looking at the major MP3 blogs at night before I go to bed really early. Indie kids tend to hate us indie yuppies, but I am not sure why. Sure we like Arcade Fire, Bright Eyes, Interpol, and the Decemberists, and think that makes us hip, but we aren't hurting anyone. Who will stand up for the indie yuppie?
posted by ND¢ at 1:32 PM on March 8, 2006


I like this band, however legend has it that others do not.

As this comment is so brilliant that it could work in any music thread, I shall make it my goal to post it in each music thread from now on.
posted by drezdn at 1:36 PM on March 8, 2006


Hototo: I'm listening to the new Supersystem album right now, streaming it. It seems OK, but not nearly as crazy as it should be. I really liked their Geography of Dissolution album, which had a lot of the same ideas they'd explore on Super/System rendered as a weird clarinet jazz band. Haven't gotten to Miracle yet. And still haven't heard Atmosphere.

Bardic: Skeleton Key, especially live with the whole wall of percussion, is a more interesting band than anything Enon have put out in years. And from what I've heard so far from Supersystem, they're far less interesting than El Guapo were, and sound like they've retreated to a fairly safe and bland point. In fact, they sound like they're jockin' some of the same buzz that CLYHSY is.
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on March 8, 2006


Um, kendrak, Belle&Sebastian were on NPR back in like '98 or '99. I remember waking up to a short piece on them and thinking WTF?! are B&S doing on NPR. NPR clearly employs a lot of IndieYuppiestm. I suppose I'm just an indigeezer, I guess, since I chose to see The Wedding Present in lieu of New Pornographers + B&S. Sigh.

OT: Does anyone else HATE Terri Gross?
posted by shoepal at 1:51 PM on March 8, 2006


OT: Does anyone else HATE Terri Gross?

More than 3 or 4 seconds of her voice and I fucking well hulk out and walk out of the building through a structural wall, all tying bows in the gun barrels of tanks and swinging cars around and around and shotputting them over the horizon.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:59 PM on March 8, 2006


Psmealy— Do you remember when it was cool to hate music from the '80s, when it was seen as this giant sucking hole of terrible taste and bad fashion? Heh. Now I even like a lot of disco.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM PST on March 8 [!]


God, I wish I hadn't seen that. That's it. You are officially dispwn0xxed.
posted by beelzbubba at 2:07 PM on March 8, 2006


Italo owns your soul, beelzbubba...
posted by hototogisu at 2:35 PM on March 8, 2006


I like their cute lil' indie rock uniforms and hairdos- where can one buy that?
posted by mrblondemang at 2:47 PM on March 8, 2006


Your (possible) breath of fresh air: songs from all the bands playing SXSW 2006, in torrent form. That's close to 1000 songs.
posted by chrominance at 3:34 PM on March 8, 2006


I just can't wait for the grunge revival. By my estimation it is due any day. About 5 years ago the 70s thing was getting big. Indie rawkers in tight denim, murderer mustaches, wailing at the top of their lungs. Around 3 years ago people got bored of the 70s and moved on to the 80s. Any day now the hipsters will tire of the 80s revival and the next logical step is the 90s revival. We'll see flanel and docs everywhere. Mark my words, it's right around the corer. I've already started practicing my dropped-D chords for my band.
posted by afx114


I thought the 70s revival started around the time of Urge Overkill's revival of Gary Puckett & the Union Gap.

Me? I'm waiting for the revival of angry black jazz.
posted by beelzbubba at 3:49 PM on March 8, 2006


Who will stand up for the indie yuppie?

You have my sword.
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:12 PM on March 8, 2006


My very expensive, designer sword.
posted by I Love Tacos at 4:12 PM on March 8, 2006


Who will stand up for the indie yuppie?

You have my ax Moleskine.
posted by drezdn at 4:20 PM on March 8, 2006


shoepal, last night i lamenting about NPR and b&s with a self proclaimed indiegeezer at a college radio station meeting of all places. he'd just come from a record buying binge. there were lots of future yuppies at the meeting, and it was sad. "the kids" wouldn't seem to know who the wedding present are these days.

and terry gross is irritating as all hell. her "flirting" with stuart murdoch made me uncomfortable.

OT: i only like the new pornographers because their bass player is in the evaporators- i'm not very indie i guess.
posted by kendrak at 5:07 PM on March 8, 2006


I really like CYHSY, and I don't mind Arctic Monkeys. But these Internet success stories won't be real stories until a really strange band hits it big via the Internet. CYHSY are another manifestation of the postpunk revival; AM sound like every other next-big-thing britpop band. When aliens come down from outer space and sell a gazillion copies of the sound of slaughtered cows (on vinyl!) with nothing more that a MySpace profile and a PayPal account, then I'll be interested.
posted by lunalaguna at 5:30 PM on March 8, 2006


The New Pornographers have a few GREAT songs (which is more than most can say) and more than a few throwaway songs, but far and away, their most endearing quality to me is how they look. Did anyone see the cover of their most recent EP? These cats are definitely NOT ready for MTV. CYHSY has a similar "look". At least their recent photo shoot in Magnet (or was it Time Out) indicated as much. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on that basis at least until I hear them.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 5:38 PM on March 8, 2006


Btw on the flipside of the same token the Strokes get no quarter from me. They are not strong enough musically to be a significant upgrade from the VU (who they shamelessly rip off), and they are just too pretty for rock. Sorry, had a few drinks already and decided it prudent to take a shot at the Strokes in an indie rock thread.

If anyone cares, the most fun "new" music I've seen lately is the Electric Six.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 5:49 PM on March 8, 2006


I liked New Pornographers when they were called Zumpano and didn't take themselves too seriously. Though, I must admit that one of my all time fave songs is Letter from an Occupant, but the rest of their stuff has never really moved me, even with Neko Case around.
posted by shoepal at 6:21 PM on March 8, 2006


I lurve "Jackie" on Mass Romantic. I had a pretty solid sense of what the song meant to me, then I read the actual lyrics. I like my version better. I'm meaning to pick up Fox Confessor soon. Twin Cinema still hasn't clicked for me. I get the sense Neko is making a clean break, so good for her.
posted by bardic at 6:34 PM on March 8, 2006


having skipped around in this thread a bit (and being quite late to the party), I'll just throw in that I like CHYSY because their music makes me want to sing at the top of my lungs, and because they attend their email personally and politely (or at least they used to). when my CD was delivered it got rained on, and when I told them, they sent me another one with the t-shirt I ordered.

I get the sense Neko is making a clean break, so good for her.

how do you get that sense? when I saw NP on the last US tour, it was Bejar that came off as being disinterested. well, not that that's so out of character for him. but Case seemed pretty into it. then again, maybe she just likes hometown shows.
posted by carsonb at 7:56 PM on March 8, 2006


I liked New Pornographers when they were called Zumpano and didn't take themselves too seriously.

the only connection between Zumpano and the New Pornographers is AC Newman. also, considering the collaborative nature of NP, and many of the members' excellent solo acts (where they seem much more serious), I don't think the group takes themselves very seriously at all. listen to Fancey or Streethawk or The Slow Wonder or Canadian Amp and then go back to The Electric Version and see if you still have beef with their relative seriousness.
posted by carsonb at 8:06 PM on March 8, 2006


carsonb, I was just being snarky with regard to NP being a serious version of Zumpano. Though, I did like Zumpano as well as a couple tracks on AC Newman's solo release.
posted by shoepal at 8:47 PM on March 8, 2006


Who will stand up for the indie yuppie?

You have my sword.


Now all you have to do is fall on it.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:59 PM on March 8, 2006


1. The only thing good about CYHSY is their name.
2. You blaspheme Talking Heads! No, CYHSY blasphemes T.H.! No, you all do!
3. I first heard about CYHSY on NPR, and have since decided that either NPR is a tool, or I'm now old enough to start watching FOX news and making amends for the erroneous ways of my youth. (Who was it that said something along the lines that it's stupid to be conservative when you are young and stupid to be liberal when you are old?)
4. Terri Gross: Worst. Interviewer. Ever. I've no problems with the sound of her voice (compare her to Dianne Reams, eh?), but my god, I've no interest in 70% of the guests she interviews, and of the 30% I am interested in, she never asks the questions I would ask them. How did she get that gig anyways? I rejoiced when my local public radio station dropped her.
posted by Zendogg at 11:56 PM on March 8, 2006


oh, and:

5. I want to take you to a Gay Bar, Gay Bar, Tommy Gnosis!
posted by Zendogg at 12:02 AM on March 9, 2006


They're not usually my type of music but I got that 'yellow country teeth' song stuck in my head last year and it still won't go out. They're not particularly original but I found myself humming their songs inadvertently.

And I thought there already was a grunge comeback years ago with Puddle of Mudd/Godsmack/Nickleback doing the Nirvana/Alice in Chains/Pearl Jam thing respectively.

And Tommy Gnosis, I think the fact that CYHSY aren't particularly photogenic is a good thing, let the music stand for itself.
posted by bobo123 at 12:59 AM on March 9, 2006


I think the fact that CYHSY aren't particularly photogenic is a good thing,

I probably wasn't being too coherent last night, but I agree. That's partly the point I was trying to make. As a fat ugly rocker myself, I am very encouraged to see people of my ilk make it, as it were. Bob Mould and Black Francis were heroes of mine for more than just the music they wrote.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 3:57 AM on March 9, 2006


Right on, Zendogg. Where it will be... Nuclear War!!! On the dance floor!!!!
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 4:47 AM on March 9, 2006


listen to ... Canadian Amp ...

I'd love to, but I can't get my hands on a copy.

I did recently (briefly*) have access to The Virginian, though -- holy shit! That might just be my favorite Neko Case album. Especially her cover of "Boling Green". I'd love to hear what she does with "Wichita Lineman" or "By the Time I Get To Phoenix".
--
*I scored it off Usenet, and listened to it probably five times in a three or four day period, before the hard drive I had it on died an ugly, ugly death.

posted by lodurr at 9:46 AM on March 9, 2006


yeah, Canadian Amp is pretty hard to find these days. she usually has some with her at her shows, though, which is where I picked it up.

also, it looks like you can stream 7 of 8 songs from the ep off of Neko's website.
posted by carsonb at 10:20 AM on March 9, 2006


hm. 7 songs from any of her albums, as a matter of fact. kick ass!
posted by carsonb at 10:22 AM on March 9, 2006


7 songs from any of her albums

dang, make that every track from all her albums save The Virginian.
posted by carsonb at 10:36 AM on March 9, 2006


Especially her cover of "Boling Green"

IMO, her covers are usually much better than her original stuff. Her writing, which is fine but not great, is no match for her voice, which is exceptional.
posted by Mid at 11:02 AM on March 9, 2006


All my favorite singers couldn't sing
posted by defenestration at 11:02 AM on March 9, 2006


KlangKlangston, if you don't know them, you might want to check out Brian Jonestown Massacre. Sounds like you might did them. They're shoegazer/psychedelic with some pretty decent pop hooks thrown in... As well as a very entertaining live show. Their front-man is a crowd-baiter par excellence from the Stiv Bators school.
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 5:09 AM on March 10, 2006


Tommy— I've known and loved Brian Jonestown Massacre for years now, and have just recently introduced my dad to 'em (after getting him to watch Dig). They were fantastic, though Anton is now doing solo stuff (since he can't keep anyone with him for long). His Myspace page is one of the funniest on the internet.
posted by klangklangston at 9:00 AM on March 10, 2006


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