Begin the Beguine
by Dan
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


Last week I saw Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! in Montreal. I taped the show (for all of us) and here's what I found.

first the show itself: my jaw did drop (see these songs), but not as much as I would have liked. they seemed tired. if you've ever seen Bob Dylan live, you know he sings the songs way different from how you recognise them, but that's because he's been touring for nigh on 3000 years, and it's pretty easy to cut the guy some slack. But CYHSY were doing the same, although not so extreme. Just not doing all the wails and yelps we love so much (when he did do them, the crowd went insane - maybe that's why he doesn't). I passed up seeing Sunset Rubdown to see them, and I can't help wondering if I made the right decision. However, these two songs are incredible, and performed incredibly well (they, like Frog Eyes, who I saw tonight - fucking amazing - I'll get to that later, seem to much prefer performing new stuff, with which I sympathize).

Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - "Graceful Retreat (live)"

I will start by apologizing for the quality of the recording. What can I say, I'm not a professional.

It starts out normal enough, like a nice letter to an old lover. But then while writing it, reading the words just written and thinking of the ones to come, it all comes flooding in at once. It turns from replayed niceties into a yelling match with the page. The song just steadily blooms into swirly paint, and then back into a straight line for the second verse. But the feeling isn't all gone. We're all changed, and we're all bouncing. And bouncing. It never has to go away, it can come back every time you write a letter.

They go right into "Is This Love?" at the end there (this was there first song), but I faded it out, despite how energizing it is. We don't have all day!


Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! - "Satan Said Dance (live)"

Next, a slight departure. The distorted synth is a very exciting character to have entered this song. It is the biggest difference I saw from other songs by this band, but here are a list of the friendly familiar elements that, combined with their friendship of the new character, make for a fabulous play:

1. the beat from Yellow Country Teeth.
2. the repetition from Tidal Wave of Young Blood (it sounds like both 'stay tuned, stay tuned' and 'satan, satan'. guesses?)
3. the delicious pap-pap from Is This Love.

I think we're all excited for what comes next, but I know that still not all of you have bought what is out already.

They played other new stuff, too, including a slow song that I really hope makes it on the radio, because I want high school dances to play it, that's its home.


Now, Frog Eyes. After tonight's show, I think they are currently my favourite band in the world. I didn't tape it (highly unfortunate, I left my house in a stressy way) so I can't share anything, but it probably wouldn't have turned out anyway, it was so loud. They just had so much power and frenzy, yet on this leash of melody, so that their heads were suspended right out over the audience, so they couldn't quite bite our faces off, though we knew they wanted to. I think they should call the next album The Monster King, or The Crowned Beast or something, because that's what the new stuff evokes in me; such insane destruction, but all for the betterment of us, like devastation for a genuinely good reason.


Posted by Dan at September 7, 2005 1:34 AM

they've been playing a new song called "satan said dance" live, which goes "satan, satan" in the chorus and then (yelling) "said dance!" great, catchy tune.

Posted by kathryn yu at September 7, 2005 2:02 AM

listening again, it is indeed "satan said dance." excellent!

Posted by kathryn yu at September 7, 2005 2:21 AM

thank yu kathryn!

Posted by dan at September 7, 2005 8:00 AM

I'm going to see CYHSY in about a month and now I'm anxious to hear "Satan Said Dance." It's kind of disappointing to hear that they're already tired sounding despite the fact that they're still somewhat of a novelty item.

Thanks for the recording!

Posted by Kate at September 7, 2005 8:29 AM

I'm glad that the Frog Eyes live show has been transformative for you. As I seem to say ad nauseum to everyone I know who isn't all that into Frog Eyes, they must be seen live to be appreciated!! If only Coldplay would ask Frog Eyes to join them on their next tour, we might get to see Carey Mercer performing on the next grammys or something. Thanks for the post.

Posted by ian at September 7, 2005 8:43 AM

Thank you! as a live music phanatic, I have been looking forward to some live CYH. Do you plan on posting the rest of the show? :)

Posted by winston rodney at September 7, 2005 9:25 AM

i really find CYHSY incredibly tedious

Posted by kevin at September 7, 2005 9:53 AM

i just made a website dedicated to frog eyes. it's a little sparse, but a good start. if you ever do record any live frog eyes, please let me know! (and if you do have anything to donate, contact me as well)

i'm so excited to see 'em tomorrow in toronto. do you think they'll play a full set, even though they are technically opening for xiu xiu?

Posted by dan at September 7, 2005 10:04 AM

the untitled song is Graceful Retreat, methinks. and the slow song to which you refer is likely Cigarettes.

Posted by a Cigarettes smoking man from astoria (+ kensington and ste. catherine) at September 7, 2005 11:44 AM

winston rodney - sorry, no.

dan - yes, great idea. their web support is pitiful (until now!) everyone go, and see when they're playing in your town (ottawa tonight).

well, I saw them opening for xiu xiu, and they played enough to sate me, so I would call it a full set. I think it was close to 16 songs.

Cigarettes - thanks, we'll call it that for now, and if we're wrong, we're wrong.

Posted by dan at September 7, 2005 11:44 AM

Nice one on the unreleased songs. I got a bit of video from Satan Said Dance which were just a little too dark and muffled to post, but to suffice it to say I was hoping someone taped it. Great song.

I've got a review over at the blog if anyone is interested.

Posted by Andrew Rose at September 7, 2005 1:09 PM

I saw CYHSY in Ottawa the other night, and I have to say, it was pretty terrible. I really like the album, although I find that the singer's voice is a bit too yelpy on one or two songs (maybe just too high in the mix). Seeing them live, it was like that on pretty much every song. To make matters worse, the vocals were really loud and the guy kept trying to improvise vocal gymnastics, which is not advised if you don't really have much singing talent.

And what?!?? Satan Said Dance was the worst part by far. That song was unbearable.

Posted by PatrickD at September 7, 2005 2:35 PM


thanks a lot Dan,
I was at that show as well.

apparently they were tired because they got held up at customs for 2 hours...which really took a lot out of them.

so that also explains the very bad sound at the beginning of the set...they got there late and the first 4-5 songs were basically their soundcheck...

satan said dance is amazing, I love that song.

thanks a lot dan.
(what did you use to record the music?)

Posted by Raphael at September 7, 2005 4:29 PM

Thanks for the Frog Eyes plug Dan! As soon as those guys get back from the Xiu Xiu dates, they'll be working on some more new material for the next record. Expect something quite a bit different from The Folded Palm (but very Frog Eyes).


Posted by Cory Brown at September 8, 2005 1:41 PM

i thought he was saying shasta. you know - like the soda. granted, i found it to be a little odd.

Posted by Anonymous at September 8, 2005 4:42 PM

I guess there won't be a new Frog Eyes album this year, though? Also, what guitar is Carey playing live now? I saw a picture of him with some kind of hollowbody thing that looked great.

Posted by honk jr at September 8, 2005 6:53 PM

Alas, I have to agree with PatrickD. It might have been fun to be in the middle of that crowd, but listening to Satan Said Dance from this distance, and... *makes raspberry*

(Hey Kathryn!)

Posted by Anonymous at September 8, 2005 9:38 PM

Hmm, that was me. Hi Kathryn.

Posted by rodii at September 9, 2005 9:01 PM

i took pictures at the frog eyes show in toronto last night, i'll post them here in a few hours:

Posted by dan at September 9, 2005 9:12 PM

anyone still have these files... id really like to get a hold of satan said dance.. email me if you can hook a brother up

Posted by callmemickey at September 20, 2005 10:35 AM

I am dying to find SATAN SAID DANCE! Please tell me someone still has this!

Posted by Rachel at September 27, 2005 9:59 AM

what is the problem with the mp3 link for Satan Said Dance?
is it going to be fixed?

Posted by Todd Arneson at November 6, 2005 5:03 PM

Can you please email me the MP3 or Satan Said Dance or tell me where I can find it online? Thanks!!

Posted by Deirdre at March 29, 2006 3:25 PM

Damn people i you just read above : "Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more."

I agree it's a shame we can't dowload SSD anymore though

Posted by Bas at June 29, 2006 10:42 AM

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