Clap Your Hands Say Yeah Releases Album News, Tour Dates

After a long wait, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah will release their newest record, Hysterical, on September 12th. This album will also be self released by the band and this time around they worked with producer John Congleton who has worked with Modest Mouse, St. Vincent, and The Walkmen. Impressive roster to say the least. The band will re-release their debut album on vinyl, June 14th. CYHSY has also announced a handful of tour dates for the time being. Time to get excited folks.

12-14 – San Francisco, Calif. @ Outside Lands
27-28 – Los Angeles, Calif. @ Sunset Junction Street Fair

2 – North Dorset, England @ End of the Road Festival
6 – Sheffield, England @ Queens Social Club
7 – London, England @ Scala
9 – Berlin, Germany @ Airport Tempelhof
12 – Paris, France @ La Maroquinerie
13 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
14 – Cologne, Germany @ Gebaude 9


Sufjan Stevens @ The Orpheum Theater, Boston – November 11, 2010

Opening the Thursday-night show among the ornaments and frescos of the historic Orpheum Theatre was DM Stith, who released his first album Heavy Ghost on Asthmatic Kitty in 2009, and who later on in the night played upright piano in Sufjan’s orchestra.

Using only an acoustic guitar and a few pedals—including the all-important looping pedal—Stith rocked back and forth in his chair crooning and layering plaintive vocals over improvised mic-tapping percussion and heavy strumming to create a surprisingly commanding cloud of sound. The sight of him playing under single spotlight in the darkened theater made it all the more affecting.

Watching him perform reminded me of Shara Worden (aka the force behind My Brightest Diamond) and Annie Clark (St. Vincent), who’ve both toured with Stevens and gone on to launch successful solo careers. Given access to a band like Stevens’ or Worden’s, I’m sure Stith could do great things headlining his own tour.

After a short half-hour of set up, during which a crew of camera men prepped for filming (tour DVD?), the Age of Adz band trickled onto the stage. Horn players, pianists, guitarists and back up singers preceded Sufjan as he quietly strode in and counted off the first song.

As “Seven Swans” came into focus, the dimness of the auditorium was lit quietly by star formations that curved and twisted into living constellations on the large, trapezoidal screen behind the band. On a semi-transparent screen in front of the band, projections of snow slowly brightened to accompany the wandering stars behind. By the song’s first crescendo, the band was fully enveloped in lights and sound.

Illuminated visuals, costume changes and synchronized dancing continued throughout the night, helping transport the audience from the inside of a fiery volcano for “Vesuvius,” to a futuristic space landscape filled with white and purple spirograph formations for what Stevens called his “slow jam” (“I Walked”). All of this, interspersed with acoustic songs like “Enchanting Ghost,” made for a show that was varied, well paced and fresh for a full two and a half hours.

The only part that I can honestly say dragged a bit was the latter half of the 30-minute “Impossible Soul” jam. (I liked the auto-tune part, but didn’t care much for the hip-hop/vocoder part.)

The simple green, orange and pink highlighter-like stripes the band wore were a lot of fun. Small touches like these added to the sensory medley, and helped articulate the musician’s skeletal movements while they danced to songs like “Get Real Get Right”—a feel good “reality check” dedicated to artist Royal Robertson, who’s art was animated on the trapezoidal screen throughout the night.

Leading into the song, Stevens set aside a few moments from the musical marathon to formally introduce the audience to this unanticipated spirit guide. With the aid of a small slide show (yes, you read that right), he narrated the tale of his recent identity crisis, wherein soon after releasing The Avalanche he rejected traditional instruments and journeyed into electronic music, where he said he nearly got lost among sonic landscapes.

During this phase, a friend introduced him to Royal Robertson’s art and his unique story: the story of a gifted painter who was overwhelmed by mental illness in his later years, whose life came to an end in the grips of artistic madness. Studying the artist’s work, Sufjan said he was both inspired by and heedful of the story and the lesson it offered. He credited and thanked Robertson for helping him find his way back to an artistic center, where electronic music would eventually come to harmonize with instruments like his trusty banjo for The Age of Adz.

The set as a whole was again made all the better by stories and commentaries like these.

Like the best truly performance-minded artists, Stevens is well aware of how to present and contextualize his music, as well as the identity that gave rise to it. Like many of the great musical stylists, from Bowie to Byrne, Sufjan has a talent for creating sequence and narrative through song, story and show, which allows him to successfully harmonize and manifest his multiple personalities on a single stage in a single set.

Somewhere near the beginning of the show he said, “I know this is all a little mixed up,” pointing around the stage. Laughing with the audience, he declared, “It’s a little orchestral, a little folk, a little rock, sort of 80s and sort of in the future…but it’s all me. Don’t worry though, I’m in therapy and I’m working it out.”

Though the setlist was mostly filled with new material, the crowd was more than happy to stand for the uplifting finale—which was of course “Chicago,” accompanied by a couple hundred balloons.

The encore was also filled with satisfying Illinoise classics. “Concerning the UFO Sighting…,” “Casimir Pulaski Day” and “John Wayne Gacy, Jr.” closed the show. I think many audience members were surprised by the bold choice of final finale, but, despite being one of Sufjan’s simplest songs, it still remains one of his most nuanced and powerful.

Songs to Keep You Cool in the Summer Heat

In NYC it is currently 102 degrees out. To keep you cool from the obsessive heat, we put together a few songs that have to do with “Summer.” Oddly enough they all use the word in the title as well. From Pavement to The National to Neon Indian, we have it all. We hope these songs will keep you cool today, along with your air conditioner. Enjoy!

Pavement- “Summer Babe”
Pavement- “Summer Babe” by ModernMysteryBlog

Neon Indian – “Deadbeat Summer”
Neon Indian – “Deadbeat Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

Magic Kids – “Summer”
Magic Kids – “Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

The National with St. Vincent – “Sleep All Summer”
The National with St. Vincent – “Sleep All Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

The Drums – “Saddest Summer”
The Drums – “Saddest Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

Unouomedude – “Island Summer”
Unouomedude – “Island Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

Vietnam – “Summer in the City”
Vietnam – “Summer in the City” by ModernMysteryBlog

Wild Nothing – “Summer Holiday”
Wild Nothing – “Summer Holiday” by ModernMysteryBlog

Cymbals “Summer Job”
Cymbals -“Summer Job” by ModernMysteryBlog

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – “Face Like Summer”
Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – “Face Like Summer” by ModernMysteryBlog

Laura Veirs – “Summer Is The Champion”
Laura Veirs – “Summer Is The Champion” by ModernMysteryBlog

Modern Mystery Holiday Party Part Three

Welcome to the third installment of our Modern Mystery Holiday party! Today our list is filled with our favorite up and coming indie bands that will be making huge waves in 2010. Sit back with your glass of eggnog and enjoy reading!

Joe Paolucci-Modern Mystery Writer
Top Albums of 2009


Neko Case-Middle Cyclone
Grizzly Bear- Veckatimest
Kings of Convenience- Declaration of Dependence
Atlas Sound-Logos
Phoenix- Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
Camera Obscura- My Maudlin Career
Yeah Yeah Yeahs-It’s Blitz!
Yacht- See Mystery Lights
Wye Oak-The knot
M.Ward-Hold Time …
Sparklehorse and Danger Mouse-Dark Night of the Soul
Black Moth Super Rainbow- Eating Us

Krista De La Rosa-Modern Mystery Writer

Top 10 Albums of 2009

1. Reservoir – Fanfarlo
2. The First Days of Spring – Noah and the Whale
3. Hospice – The Antlers
4. Actor – St. Vincent
5. Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
6. Mean Everything to Nothing – Manchester Orchestra
7. Hold Time – M Ward
8. Aim and Ignite – Fun
9. 2.0 – The XX
10. My Maudlin Career – Camera Obscura

Ivy Weir- Modern Mystery Writer

The best albums of 2009 (in Ivy-Noelle’s humble opinion)

5. God Help the Girl- s/t
I love Belle and Sebastian…so of course I love this weird indie-musical written by Stuart Murdoch. Catherine Ireton’s voice is absolutely beautiful, especially when giving new life to an old Belle & Sebastian staple, “Funny Little Frog”. Plus, the eponymous track is essentially the themesong to my entire life, haha.

4. Handsome Furs- Face Control
I’m in love with Dan Boeckner. And his wife, too! Handsome Furs have a truly unique sound and they’ve perfected that on their second album. It’s different enough from Boeckner’s other band, Wolf Parade, to be interesting- but similar in the repetetive guitar hooks and almost yelped vocals. Seriously great.

3. The Duchess & The Duke- She’s the Duchess, He’s the Duke
I almost didn’t give this album a chance, but boy am I glad I did. It’s raw, lo-fi, garage acoustic indie rock goodness. The male vocals are purely rock-n-roll, and meshed with the female back-ups it’s a great, vintage, 1960s feel. The lyrics are blunt and honest and work extremely well with the overall sound.

2. M. Ward- Hold Time
In my mind, M. Ward can do no wrong (well…She & Him. But that’s just because of my irrational hatred for Zooey Deschanel). “Hold Time” is classic M. Ward at his best- soaring melodies that somehow still seem as simple as the Appalachian folksongs from which he draws influence. Production value on this album is much higher than his past works, but it works- and Ward’s raspy, unique voice still shines through. Indie superstar collaborations make this one of the best albums of the year, and certainly of M. Ward’s career.

1. Matt & Kim- Grand
This is the album that broke Brooklyn’s Matt & Kim onto the mainstream scene- with “Daylight” featured in a Bacardi commercial, many of their hardcore followers accused them of selling out. But who cares? They are making unique, perfect pop music and if they’re also making money, good for them! This album is fantastic- there’s not a bad track on it. The whole thing flows like one crazy dance party from beginning to end. I also had the pleasure of seeing the duo in concert in July, and it was one of the craziest experiences of my life. I hope these two keep making music for a long time.

5. “All We Want, Baby, Is Everything”- Handsome Furs
4. “Good Ol’ Fashioned Nightmare”- Matt & Kim
3. “Insane Lullaby (ft. James Mercer)” -Dark Night of the Soul
2. “Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z and Alicia Keys
1. “Two Weeks”- Grizzly Bear

Tucker Riggleman-The Demon Beat

Top 10 Albums of the Year

1. Japandroids – Post-Nothing
2. The Pains of Being Pure at Heart – The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
3. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – It’s Blitz
4. Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion
5. Bon Iver – Blood Bank EP
6. Dandelion Snow – It’s Just A Bad Dream
7. Lucero – 1372 Overton Park
8. Dead Weather – Horehound
9. Stephen MacDonald & The Okay Win – We Are Bound
10.Kevin Devine – Brother’s Blood


1. This record had such a huge impact on me that I braved it to D.C. to catch them at a small club, which is hard to do since I hate D.C. – my car was broken into and I had some valuable things stolen. I was barely upset because their show was so awesome.

2. I played the fuck out of this record at work last year. I was a hall security guard type of a thing and I would just blare this stuff. Probably didn’t make me seem any tougher. The hooks are monumental.

3. Took a while to grow on me, but the slow pretty songs are gorgeous and abundant.

4. Great summer record. “Summertime Clothes” is one of my favorite songs of the past 5 years.

5. Justin Vernon could shit on a CD and I’d buy it.

6. Good friends of ours. Myself and BIG BULLET RECORDS helped put this out. I love the way Roger can take a song and make it so everyone feels something.

7. Their most well-rounded album to date, though I’ll still prefer the old classics.

8. Raunchy as fuck. Love it.

9. Another BBR artist, this one from Massachusetts. Steve is heavily influenced by Kevin Devine and I think his record is better than the one Kevin put out this year.

10. I still liked “Brother’s Blood”, but the demos that KD put out all year leading up the the album are more intimate and better overall in my opinion than the final versions.

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

I’d say going to NYC and making a record in basically a day. It was surreal, and we are overwhelmingly happy with the results. Also, our first trip to NYC in late January was interesting. Jordan had a girl run on stage and stick a vial of weed in his shirt pocket while we were playing. Insane.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Seasonal alcoholic beverages.

Jordan Hudkins-The Demon Beat


1. Surfer Blood – “Take It Easy”

2. Henry’s Dress – “Zero/Zero/Zero”

3. Flake Music – “Sue Defender”

4. Kid Cudi – “Pursuit of Happiness”

5. The Who – “Tattoo”

6. Librarians – “Hard to Unwind”

7. Hammer No More The Fingers – “Nobody Knows”

8. Royal Bangs – “Poison Control”

9. Weezer – “Let It All Hang Out”

10. Enigma – “Return to Innocence”

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

The craziest thing that happened to ME this year was a wild rickshaw ride I took in Raleigh, NC. The driver took me and two friends up into a parking garage, and then we sped down the spiral exit ramp. It was like a ROLLERCOASTER. Apparently, this kind of behavior is forbidden for a rickshaw driver, thereby exponentially increasing the thrill-index of our lil’ adventure.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Cranberry Sierra Mist…but I think that is always available now. C’est la vie!

Adam Meisterhans- The Demon  Beat

1. i didn’t like any records that came out this year. especially not kevin devine records.
2. i started taking anti-depressants.
3. egg-nog.

Jason Meeks-Binary Marketing Show

cass mccombs — catacombs
grizzly bear – vecktimest
antony and the johnson’s — the crying light
tUnE yArDs — bird-brains
jim o’rourke — the visitor
micachu and the shapes — jewellry
animal collective — merriweather post pavillion
bill callahan — sometimes i wish we were an eagle
st. vincent — the actor

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

i guess it was breaking down in the middle of nowhere ohio while we were on tour and staying with complete strangers that told us their life stories. not to mention, some really weird secrets that we really didn’t want to know about..

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

i suppose the terrible holiday food to be consumed. it’s always fun to eat a 7 course meal that’s probably worth 5000 calories.

Abram Morphew-Binary Marketing Show

ennio morricone – la storia vera della signora dalle camelie
marissa nadler – little hells
thinguma*jigsaw – (awakeinwhitechapel)
blair harris – watercolor
bachelorette – my electric family
dead man’s bones – dead man’s bones
circulatory system – signal morning
bill callahan – sometimes i wish we were an eagle
two eyes meet redux – pop songs on illusions and tragedies
cass mccombs – catacombs

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

seeing a naked gentleman painting himself white in a field of burning trash.

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

the silence that follows snow.

Bethany Carder-Binary Marketing Show

Sun City Girls- Napoleon & Josaphine
Alela Diane- To Be Still
Mount Eerie- Winds Poem
Castanets- Texas Rose,the thaw and the beast
Woods Family Creeps- Woods family creeps
Dear Olive- the ocean the sea
Diane Cluck- black with green leaves
Larkin Grimm- Harpoon
Orion Rigel Dommisse- What I want from you is sweet
Bacherlorette- my electric family

Craziest Thing that Happened to You This Year?:

Newton Falls Ohio. Being lifted atop a flatbed, while sitting inside a jeep watching the rapid lights, strange feeling…yes

What do you love the most about the Holidays?

Sharing a few moments with the ones ya Love, however far they may be..or near. it’s a swell feeling