Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah / LIVE / Chapel Hill, N.C. / Local 506 / Oct 17th

Its hard to say who the bigger schmuck is here: the couple standing behind me at the show who paid 50+ $ apiece for their tickets on EBAY or me who drove two and a half hours to see a band I don’t really like just to make sure I wasn’t missing something amazing live. The cost of my trip was 28$ in gas, one can of Red Bull was $2.40, .80 for cheese and crackers from a vending machine that tasted like tart and smoky packing material, I was fortunate enough to have guest list action so zero $ there, and 8$ for two beers plus $2.00 tip = grand total $41.20.

The couple seemed really stoked to there so I think am the biggest loser here.
Eh, what else is new.

This is officially my final word on Clap Your Say Yeah. Let us never speak of this average band again.

Pre game show:

Maybe you retired band people have had this happen to you? I pulled over at a rest stop and had a total sense of deja vu. The last time I was at this very same rest stop was in 1996 on the way to play a punk house with a skate ramp in the backyard somewhere in N.C. I can’t tell you what I wore yesterday yet I never forget a rest stop.

The show:
The total room capacity sold out is roughly 250. It was very sold out. One hundred some people had to wait in line for a venue membership and that means two things. 1) A private club membership card you have to purchase in advance to attend bars that serve hard liquor is totally nuts* and 2) Over half the crowd had never been to this venue to see a show before. It was obvious that once I stood among the crowd a good portion of them don’t attend shows with any regularity. How / why did they all find their way to this band over a million others? I think we are all sick of debating this particular subject.

I understand that all college communities have their share of hippies but Chapel Hill seems to have an extra dash. The last place I expected to smell even a hint of patchouli was at this show yet there it was lurking beneath the typical bar smog.

A packed show at Local 506 reminds me of a crowded L train at peak hours minus the smell of urine and people trying to read newspaper to create the fa├žade of personal space.

The initial CYHSY pre show warm up noodle included bits from the movie Deliverance (Dueling Banjos) and The B52’s "Planet Claire". Color me intrigued.

By song 5 I was over the Peter Brady puberty stricken voice cracked over flavor of the year dance beats, the couple making out in front of me, the guy on his cell phone trying to share the moment with a friend who couldn’t be there, the older dudes who created a verbal thesis on why humans rely on scenes, the kids who weren’t happy standing in the mid to back of the room, who chose to ignore the properties of over saturation, and pressed forward regardless of there being nowhere to actually go, the girls who said they “would totally break curfew” if one of the band members wanted to hang out and lastly the digital camera people whose armpits happen to be at perfect level with my face. The bummer of going to a show alone is not having a person to distract you from this kind of show environment.

CYHSY’s affinity to David Bowie resonates loudly in a live situation but the true awakening for me came when the harmonica and harness was put into place. It all makes sense now! As a non Bob Dylan fan, this was the final straw. Harmonica plus marble mouth equaled time for me to stand in the other room at the bar. It was then, watching the band on a static filled TV that I noticed one last thing. Alec Ounsworth suffers from the same bobblehead issues that Anthony Roman the singer from Radio 4 does. Who are these boys shaking their heads at all set long???? Is there something in the Brooklyn water? Careful people, I hope whatever it is, that it isn’t contagious.

I spent the rest of the show discussing the grim similarities between Twin Peaks and the recent murder of a local college student with the bartender. He hated CYHSY more than I did so you know how the saying goes, misery loves company.

What I'm saying is:
This whole night felt like a blind date gone horribly wrong; the one where your date (in this case CYHSY) doesn’t just leave you cold but takes off with somebody else (in this case the rest of the room ) who fell head over heals for them the minute they walked in the room.

At least somebody went home happy.

Actually that isn’t true. I went home happy because I realized something; CYHSY is like a fly strip. They can distract, collect and trap all these diehard fans and this in turn will free up the rest of the scene for those of us with taste. Ba dum bump. (Thank you, I will be here all week.)

Post show wrap up:
The side of the road animal carcass extravaganza count was 1 deer, 3 raccoons, 2 possums, and 1 questionable.

I forgot all about shooting stars. It’s amazing what a little time on a road with no lights will do for you.

I finally had a chance to really listen to the new Ladytron and Boards of Canada so reviews of both of these records should be up by the end of the week / early next week.

* Could one of you NC locals tell me more about this private club membership phenomena?