My first lesson of day two of Bonnaroo was that if you’re sleep deprived enough, sleeping in a car can feel like a featherbed. I awoke feeling surprisingly rested, though about three hours before anything was actually going to happen. Thankfully our tent neighbors, Tim and Dustin, were two big music geeks who happily chatted with us to kill the time. Now, when I say “big,” I mean that literally; they were both over 6’6″ Luckily they also had press passes, so when it was eventually time to go, we left to go to the same place:
The Alec Ounsworth (Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) Solo Show
This was a special performance in the press tent, in addition to the many panels they put on through the weekend. I’d never seen Clap Your Hands Say Yeah before, and wasn’t going to be able to later that day because I would be catching Elvis Costello and Beck while waiting for Radiohead.
I’ve heard mixed things about Clap Your Hands. My friends who saw them in Newport, KY swear they were blown away, while my “big city” friends (ie: New York) say that they’re hit or miss, with an emphasis on miss. And though I’m not quite of the opinion that John Roderick had about the show, I certainly wasn’t won over. I knew from the start that it probably wasn’t going to be as life-changing as I might like to have thought. It seems to me that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah would draw their strength from numbers. My favorite tunes, ones like “Satan Said Dance” and “Upon This Tidal Wave Of Young Blood,” would be boring if done solo (I was right–the only one he did that I really liked was “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth”).
After the end, Tim and I left to go meet up with Dustin, who had skipped the event to grab us a good spot for Radiohead. Next I’ll be explaining to you the hilarity of standing in the front row with two people that are 6’6 and 6’10.