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      Clap Your Hands Say Yeah in Maquoketa

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      August 25, 2019

      Sunday   8:00 PM

      5013 288th Avenue
      Maquoketa, Iowa 52060

      Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

      with Danielle Durack, Driftless Sisters
      American indie rock band founded in 2004 in Brooklyn, New York.Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaLike previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah records, The Tourist nods to Ounsworths musical heroesa group that includes artists such as John Cale, Robert Wyatt, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. However, this album also shows a natural progression from previous records. Better Off and The Vanity Of Trying are lush, keyboard-augmented songs, while A Chance To Cure and Ambulance Chaser are rhythmically askew, and the sighing Loose Ends is delicate, acoustic-based folk-rock.The Tourist emerged from a period where Ounsworth was doing a lot of intense soul-searching, and processing personal events that irrevocably shaped his life and future. But although most of these songs came together during this time of reflection, he considers the record to be cathartican exhale of sorts, rather than a collection of songs where he was indulging in self-pity or letting things stagnate or fester.Appropriately, The Tourists lyrics reflect how complex upheaval can be (We can beat around this bush together/Sometimes its all I think of/Other times I can forget) and explore the imperfect nature of blame (The car left the road and was found without its mirrors/You play the victim/And Ill play the blind man). Other songs try to make sense of the present time (Now that the past is on fire/How can I look around and find I cant remember who I was) or employ clever wordplay Black cat lets not split hairs/Im tethered to the weather/I assure I dont care about no lucky streakfor effect.Ounsworth spent about a week recording The Tourist at Dr. Dogs Philadelphia-based studio with a drummer and bassist. After that, he and engineer Nick Krill spent a few months tidying things up and recording additional embellishments: backup vocals, keyboards, guitars and more percussion. That gives The Tourist more of a band feel than the last album, and contributes to why the record possesses a musical lightness. The dreamy opening track The Pilot especially has a lilting edge, courtesy of Smiths-reminiscent acoustic guitars strums and Ounsworths hiccupping, conspiratorial vocals.The Tourist was then mixed by Dave Fridmann, who also worked on two previous Clap Your Hands Say Yeah albums, 2007s Some Loud Thunder and 2014s Only Run. Ounsworth says he and Fridmann are on the same musical wavelength, which makes their long-time working relationship an anchor of sorts. Dave and I dont necessarily stick with whats easiest which is fine and anxiety-inducing, in a good way, he says. He challenges me to do something a little bit different.I am a relatively solitary person and seem to work best alone, he says. I do count on others to help the project as the process of making and releasing an album moves forward, but if it doesnt match what I have in mind, its hard for me to really be there for it. I guess this is one reason why the project has been independent all this time. Trust me, I understand that thinking this way is both an asset and a liability.However, this stubborn independence also reflects Ounsworths commitment to musical integrity. Clap Your Hands Say Yeahs career arc is all about building on previous successes while staying true to a core artistic vision. And although The Tourist may have emerged from challenging times, it reflects Ounsworths uncanny ability to move forward, no matter what the circumstances.Id rather not say that it was a dark time, but it was a difficult time in my lifeamong the most difficult, he says. But I needed and need to try to let it go. And this is how I let things go. Though its the same for any albumthis one probably more than the others.But I have to try to do something each time thats new and engaging for me, he adds. I mean, I could very well just write songs the way they were early on. But I dont think that people would appreciate listening to someone just going through the motions. We have to build something to last, rather than just build it because it looks good at the moment. Annie Zeleski

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