Oct 19 2005
Clap You Hands Say Meh
Yes, I am reusing the DCist headline, because I came up with it and I am officially trademarking it. You have to pay me a
penny nickel every time you use it.
Now, about the concert. Let me first query WHY THE FUCK IS NYC GOING GA GA OVER THIS SHITE? I will stop short of calling Clap Your Hands Say Meh the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked, but only just. Seriously, what is this mountain of hype about? Is it because they can barely play their own tunes? That it takes them 5 minutes to tune guitars in between songs? Their complete and utter lack of stage presence? That the singer sings like a stuck pig (and that's being kind)?
Now I REALLY wish I could have seen the tour they did with The National (but I didn't because The National HATE Washington DC for some reason. I sent an email to their manager asking why they hate DC, but she hasn't gotten back to me), because I'm positive they would have wiped the floor with these hacks. The next Arcade Fire? They aren't even the next Sea Ray. And yes, I'm STILL bitter they broke up.
The Black Cat was sold out but I've never seen such a lack of buzz in a packed room. Some people were dancing and were really into it, but it seemed like they were doing so because they felt like they were supposed to. There was a flock of disinterested patrons near the back of the venue.
Buzz is a powerful thing and the band has used it well, but it also places very high expectations on them wherever and whenever they perform. I likened it to going to see a movie that EVERYONE has told you is the greatest. movie. ever., but when you see it, you're all like "Ummmm....what's the big deal? Vince Vaughn has played this character four times before and it was funnier when he was Double Down Trent." I expected big things, but I went to see Clap Your Hands Say Meh and all I got was an under-rehearsed bunch of dorks riding this young tidal wave of undeserved hype. Purchase tickets to see them at your own risk.
Whew, I feel better now. Thanks for listening.
New Blur EP this year? First of all, let me applaud the band for thinking about releasing an EP. EP's are a great tactic for bands in between major relases and not enough bands take advantage of them, instead tacking on crappy songs to make an worthy EP a lackluster album. u2 and the Super Furries are two examples of bands that have put some of their best work on EP's. That live Radiohead EP wasn't too shabby either. That being said, Blur still sucks without Graham!
The Delays are gearing up for their upcoming record.
Torr has an Elbow radio session from XFM that looks tasty.
Delonte West has the early lead in the race to be the Celtics starting point guard.
i'm glad i didn't miss anything by not going to see CYHSY. it's good to know that my initial "i am so not getting the hype" reaction wasn't far off.
i'm looking forward to those beck remixes, though.
Posted by: seeking irony at October 19, 2005 11:25 AM
You were being sarcastic about the trademark thing, right?
Posted by: Nate at October 19, 2005 11:38 AM
Amusing review. I thought it was a good show, primarily because they have good material to work from. So, yeah, they seemed a bit overwhelmed by headlining a sold out show in a club five states from home, but I was impressed nonetheless. I even wrote a blog about it? Wanna hear it? Here it go:
Posted by: Jamie at October 19, 2005 12:32 PM
I don't know why NYC is going nuts for the band. Maybe because they're the musical equivalent of a Neighborhoodie? They're indie to a fault, ironic, kinda plain, simple. Indie kids love it. They'll never have to share this band with the masses. Damn Garden State for turning kid sisters across the country into Shins fans! No more sharing! They're ours!!
I'm certainly not sold on them. I agree with your comments. Seen them twice and wasn't very impressed with either show. They're OK. That's it. The problem comes from the hype. No band, not even one that can play instruments, could live up to that kind of hype.
Posted by: Glenn at October 19, 2005 2:01 PM
Thank you for saying that. I downloaded the CYHSY CD a while back, couldn't even get through it once, and immediately deleted it off my computer. Like you, I can't understand the hype on this band, because it really doesn't seem deserved in the least. I mean, great, they're indie. Great, they make $8 a CD and refuse to sign to a major, preferring to rock out on their own. But what really matters any day of the week and twice on Sunday (props to Lt. Sam Weinberg) are songs, and they ain't got none.
Posted by: Dan at October 19, 2005 4:02 PM
CYHSY can't hold a candle to CSN&Y. Bow! Nice smackdown, Leaf. I'll know to skip them when they roll through The D in 2007.
Also, that Beck remix album sounds pretty fly.
Posted by: Uncle Grambo at October 19, 2005 4:27 PM
"Some people were dancing and were really into it, but it seemed like they were doing so because they felt like they were supposed to."
wow, never seen you have such disdain for your fellow concertgoers. Dorks? dude, these guys play music because they love it, and i enjoy and appreciate their efforts. did you go up to them after and tell them you found them to be under-rehearsed dorks? i doubt it. whatever you think of their material and performance, and the hype (as well as the nearly-as-trendy backlash bandwagon that is easy to climb aboard), i think insulting the audience and calling the artists dorks is a bit much.
Posted by: conrad doucette at October 19, 2005 11:45 PM
how's mr. pink these days?
Posted by: Melina at October 20, 2005 12:05 AM
I love reading "reviews" like this one! We now know who the dork is. Especially if you're lamenting the oh-so-much-more-original Sea Ray. Thanks for enlightening us.
Posted by: egg at October 20, 2005 9:05 AM
Thanks for writing honestly about CYHSY. It's refreshing to hear contrary opinions, crying out in the jungles of "me too" hypesters.
Posted by: Jason at October 20, 2005 10:50 AM
hmmm, that sucks that the show didn't flow very well in DC. I saw them open for The National up in NYC at the bowery ballroom in sept and I enjoyed them more than i thought i would (wasn't into the album that much)...and just saw them last night up in baltimore and they put on an amazing show. did two encores, played so hard he broke his harmonica, and ended on a neil young cover...last night = success!
don't give them the axe just yet...i have had the cd since july and every time i see them, they are better and better, and i like the cd more and more (and that is coming from the biggest skeptic of them)
Posted by: ryan97ou at October 20, 2005 11:01 AM
Please, I tell everyone what a big dork I am weekly, if not daily, on this site. So this is hardly the pot calling the kettle black.
Connie, I hear what your saying, but I feel like if a band is going out on a headlining tour of clubs across the country, they owe it to the people that are paying money to see them to actually rehearse and know how to play their own songs. I would never fault a band for starting and stopping a tune that was getting out of control (Radiohead does it lots when they play live), but it was woefully apparent that these guys needed more time to whip themselves into shape.
As for the audience, I obviously didn't do a good job conveying the lack of energy in the room. But the band looked lost on stage and it carried over into the crowd.
Posted by: information leafblower at October 20, 2005 11:07 AM
I'm not surprised at all by this "they're overrated" backlash coming from you people. I've seen this band now 5 times and they've gotten better each time. Nobody hits a home run every time at bat but these guys at least know how to put the ball in play. When are DC fans gonna get the hands out of their armpits and just learn how to enjoy a band for a change? In the above "review" the writer mentioned how the crowd starting talking in the back half of the club, well that's nothing new and is less representative of the quality of the band and more demonstrative of the general disinterest by the audience anyway. The talking is a trend I've noticed at many Gato Negro shows I've been to.
Given the lateness with which the show actually sold out I have a feeling most of the people there went into with a Clap Your Hands Say Meh mentality and were going just to say you were there.
If this band had exactly the same sound and stage show but happened to be signed to Dischord, Desoto or Southern everybody would be singing a completely different tune.
How can a band that makes good fun poppy music with a name like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah hope to win over a crowd whose mentality is more often than not Fold Your Arms Say Nothing? I really do love this city but I think we're too cynical for our own good, lighten up people!!!
Posted by: NotoriousREG at October 23, 2005 9:10 AM