Ten years — Clap Your Hands!

Indie-rock act Clap Your Hands Say Yeah celebrates its decade-old debut at Casbah on Friday

Ounsworth (in the hat) is the only original Clap Your Hands’r, morphing the band and its sound to challenge his audience.
  • Ounsworth (in the hat) is the only original Clap Your Hands’r, morphing the band and its sound to challenge his audience.

Dude, you are old. One of the first underground hits born of the internet is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Slap those palms together in honor of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s debut album tour!

So, a decade down the road, how does CYHSY mastermind Alec Ounsworth feel about his band’s sudden success via internet chatter?

"The Skin of Country Yellow Teeth"

Off of Clap Your Hands' debut and performed live.

Off of Clap Your Hands' debut and performed live.

“To me the blogs are even more natural and honest because it’s relatively unfiltered,” Ounsworth told the Reader via phone. “Nobody has to make sure that they please ‘powers that be’ — they speak for themselves more often. You don’t have to go through the whole political ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ game, which I don’t particularly care for. I imagine in the past there were bands that were positively reviewed in newspapers — that doesn’t necessarily tie them to the newspapers that spread the word. I would be surprised if anyone said this particular publication made my life what it is — it just helps.”

The band has stayed busy over the past ten years, though Ounsworth is the only player remaining from the group that recorded the debut. The group is his beast, though, and on the three albums CYHSY has released in the interim, he has continuously sought to morph the band’s sound and challenge his audience. It’s a trait that he equates with many of his favorite bands, most notably Radiohead, who he says “have been rewarded for it.”

Perhaps the most impressive feat is that the band has self-released their albums in the U.S. They have avoided record labels in this country, but Ounsworth isn’t certain every band should go this route.

Past Event

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

  • Friday, June 12, 2015, 8 p.m.
  • Casbah, 2501 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $20

“I think it’s worth a shot, but it’s really case by case. It’s not easy. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes things that need to happen that labels would be helping out with. On a solo album called Mo Beauty, I worked with a label from beginning to end. It’s amazing how they organized everything. I was just surprised at how little I had to do. For me, for better or worse, it has probably been more confused and political as time has gone on because, I think, everything has become a little more cluttered...you might need some help cutting through all the noise.”

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah play Casbah on Friday, June 12.

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