Now living in Montgomery County, CYHSY
founder celebrates anniversary of first album
WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Even Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s Alec Ounsworth gets sidetracked with errands to run.
In addition to normal ones — like day care and car maintenance — the Whitemarsh resident has pre-tour loose ends to tie up, like making sure merchandise for his indie rock band is ready.
“Now is the time to scramble. Everything starts to move a little faster,” he said in a Monday morning phone interview.
After a stint performing with side project groups and as a solo artist, Ounsworth has reformed Clap Your Hands Say Yeah with a different lineup in honor of the 10th anniversary of the album “Clap Your Hands Say Yeah” — a Do-It-Yourself debut album, supported by frequently playing live, that generated such a buzz online that rock legends David Bowie and David Byrne were spotted at their concerts. The U.S./Canada tour, which begins with a hometown show May 26 at Johnny Brenda’s in Philadelphia (a second show on May 27 is sold out), will feature the album performed sequentially in its entirety.
“Doing these songs in that order isn’t something that I’ve done before. I feel like it’ll be one of the more interesting shows I’ve done,” Ounsworth said, expressing enthusiasm in recalling why the 12 tracks — from “Clap Your Hands!” to “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood” — were put in the order they were.
After being out of print for a time, the album has been remastered for vinyl and will be available on transparent gold vinyl. “I practically only listen to vinyl,” he said.
Both the CD and LP reissues will come with a custom download card that includes solo, acoustic, cassette tape recordings by Ounsworth, done on the heels of a “Living Room Tour” where he performed stripped-down versions of his songs in exceptionally intimate settings.
“To me, it was very important to signal the appreciation for the people that stuck with (the band) the last 10 years,” Ounsworth said, recalling that he was living in the Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill area when “Clap Your Hands Say Yeah” was recorded, while the other members of the band at that time were based out of New York.
Since then, the band made three more full-length albums, and appeared in the 2008 film “The Great Buck Howard” and twice on “The Tonight Show.” “He’s very energetic,” Ounsworth said of Jimmy Fallon. “I like him. I think he’s doing a great job.”
IF YOU GO
What: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in concert with opener Teen Men.
When: 9 p.m. May 26.
Where: Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia.
Info: Call (215) 739-9684 or visit www.johnnybrendas.com.