Clap Your Hands Say National

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 23, 2005 5:37PM

2005_09_national.jpgThe first time Chicagoist saw The National it was at The Pontiac Café. The ratio of polite humility in contrast with blinding talent was incredible at the time and the group has remained a favorite of ours when we feel one of those torturous dark moods laced with betrayal coming on. As the years have passed the group has moved steadily up the food chain into more respectable venues as the independent press around them has grown into a quiet roar. The band plays dark melancholic music marked by slow burns and rising crescendos that are quite moving. For this tour – one preceded by even more critical praise for their new disc Alligator and that hits Schuba's tonight -- they decided to bring some fellow Brooklynites along to open for them in hopes of giving their pals more exposure.

The band in question? Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Little did either band realize that bloggers everywhere would be falling over themselves to anoint Clap Your Hands Say Blah as the rightful heirs to the Arcade Fire buzz from last year.

The truth is that Clap Your hands Say Bland is a largely unremarkable band marked by a penchant for The Talking Heads. That’s about it. Apparently the critics were in such a hurry to choose this year’s darlings they failed to listen to the band’s debut more than once or twice. Trust us; it grates on your nerves pretty quickly.

This wouldn’t be that big a deal though – since we are always willing to give bands time to grow and can’t fault them for overenthusiastic buzz – but on this tour all the shows are selling out (which is good) but the majority of the attendees are Clap Your Hands Say No’s fans and they’re leaving right after the band plays their opening set (and that is bad.)

So if you happen to have tickets to tonight’s show we have a simple request: Stick around for both bands. Sure, you probably bought your way in based on the buzz of the opener but you really should stick around to appreciate the seasoned brilliance of the headliners.

Of course this whole problem could have been averted if the bands just swapped slots on the bill but what do we know?