Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I have an unhealthy obsession with hand-clapping.

...in music, I mean.
I don't just go around clapping my hands at strangers.

Listen to "Penelope" by Pinback. Then read.

I was about to go to bed, but I decided that I needed to post this song because it's been in my head all day. It's been lingering there, in the back of my mind, resurfacing every so often when my brain isn't occupied with some other immediate function. Despite the coming and going, that haunting presence hasn't driven me crazy yet...so it must be good, right? Hah, that's not really a valid reason, since I have a pretty high tolerance for things that don't agree with some peoples' ears. But this doesn't fit that category, because, in the name of all things catchy, who doesn't love hand claps?!

I should probably clarify though. The hand claps that I'm obsessed with happen to be more of an important supporting rhythmic theme than a cheesy addition to the beat. It's kind of funny, because I will hear a new song that really strikes me, and later realize that it's got the claps. Heh.

Great example of the flamenco-inspired style I adore: "Boy With a Coin" by Iron & Wine
(combined with the guitar style, "Penelope" falls into this category as well)

Less constant, but still good examples: "Stars and Sons" by Broken Social Scene, "Left & Right in the Dark" by Julian Casablancas

Syncopation is great!

Here are some songs with syncopated repeating clap-beats: "Starlight" by Muse, "The Tallest Man, the Broadest Shoulders" by Sufjan Stevens
Syncopated beat mostly all the way through: "15 Steps" by Radiohead (I'm a sucker for 5/4 time).

More standard beats, but still decent clapping (real or fake): "Clark Gable" by the Postal Service, "We're From Barcelona" by I'm From Barcelona (the pattern borders on being pretty standard and boring, but the song is cute), many Ratatat songs

I made this creepy digital art just for you!
Guess what else I've made?: Click here to go to a Grooveshark playlist of all these songs.

Can anyone add to these categories? I know there are some songs I'm forgetting.
If anyone actually reads this, and you know of a good song with hand claps, post it in a comment please!

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