Sunday, December 30, 2007

the Zombie lists: so good they make you clap edition

Sometimes a song comes along that just lifts your spirits, and often when you stop to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes you smile, you realise that it comes down to the handclap.

The poor much-maligned handclap, at once a symbol of celebration and joy, is all too often scorned as being frivolous and a cheap substitute for serious musicianship. But it needn't be that way; if used well, a handclap can lift a song to new heights, it can engage us and draw us into a rousing good song.

This year, two people in particular have helped me to truly appreciate the beauty of a great handclap song. Allison, the handclap queen, never fails to showcase a deserving handclap. In fact, I'm pretty certain she has showcased at least one of these songs in the past. And recently a friend of the Resident Offspring demonstrated how he embodies the spirit of the handclap in his everyday life with the admission that he used to "
cycle around town, looking like I was an extra in a Smith's video, singing along to Belle and Sebastian, and stopping to handclap at the appropriate moments".

Bless their furry little hearts, both of them.

For all you handclap lovers, and for those of you who don't yet know that you are handclap fans, here are my Favourite 07 Handclap Songs of 07. They weren't necessarily released in 07, in fact only one of them actually was, but they made me smile and sing along a little louder or push a little harder on the elliptical whenever I heard them, and that's what counts.

7. Citizens Of Tomorrow - Tokyo Police Club
- it's the gleeclub-inspired clapping at the start of this song that kickstart this high energy piece
6. You're Just a Baby - Belle and Sebastian
- if anybody knows the power of the handclap, it has to be those twee hearts that make up B&S
5. Barbed Wire Love - Stiff Little Fingers
- surf-sound handclaps are not usually what you would expect to hear in a SLF, but this is no ordinary song
4. Hello Kitten - Hefner
- Hefner are criminally unrecognised, but deserved far more recognition for their subversive pop ditties

3. The Magic Position - Patrick Wolf
- I have to admit that I was disappointed that Mr Wolf didn't dance around more vigourously in the video for this song, because I sure think it called for it
2. Wind Driving Dogs- Chad VanGaalen
- although this song only came out last year, it became an immediate favourite of mine, by one of my favourite local musicians

1. The Boy With the Arab Strap - Belle and Sebastian
- trust Belle and Sebastian to win two places of honour on this list. They know how to clap their way into a girl's heart. And they do a group handclap right through the entire song. Pure bliss.

I do hope that you enjoy these finest of handclap songs. And if you have some favourites of your own that I have woefully overlooked, I would love to have you set me straight.
More lists, coming up!


Splotchy said...

This is such a wonderful idea for a collection of songs. I am still thankful for you putting Arab Strap on a Monkey Mix.

I'm looking forward to hearing some of the other songs when I get home. If I manage to find some worthy handclap songs in my collection, I'll upload them in tribute to you.

Allison said...

Thank-you for the shout out! Oh titles are much fun, but I think you share the crown.

Fine list! That Patrick Wolf always puts me in a good mood, and thanks for the reminder of Barbed Wire Love. Not your typical handclap song, but certainly does not disappoint.

I just may have to steal this idea soon and put together my own list. I look forward to the rest of the lists!

phlegmfatale said...

I believe in miracles.
Where you from, you sexy thing?

Glad yer back is feeling better, dahling!

MY favorite handclap song is Gay Bar by Electric Six.

Good shit. Hell, I'munna post it on my blog right now. It thrills me.

Happy new year, m'dear!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

That would be so sweet, Splotchy! I loved the great Monkey Mixes that you coordinated (remember those days when we were all so young and carefree?) and I would love to hear some of your favourite handclappers.

I don't know if you can call it stealing the idea when you were the crown, Al, but I would love to see your list. Bet it's boffo!
Happy list making day!

You got your groove on with that one, Phlegmfatale! I'm heading right over to your place to check it out.
Happy New Year to you as well!

justacoolcat said...

The beauty of a handclap song is if you take away the clap the song usually seems to fall apart.

What would Jack and Diane be without it?

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Yes, poor old Jack and Diane, you are absolutely right, Just A. Without the handclaps it would be just another little ditty.

Joe said...

The first handclap song that came to my mind was "Car Wash". And then some other disco songs I can't remember the names of. Thanks for giving me some rockin' handclap songs to hum to.

Happy New Year!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

They were playing a bunch of disco songs on my venerable old CBC radio today, Bubs! Scared me, it did.
Have a wonderful new year!

jim dandy said...

Thanx again for influencing me with your eclectic musical taste that is so similar to mine.
Love ya.
Happy New Year.
Let's Rock!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

We are obviously separated at birth,Jim Dandy. Have a wonderful year!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Thanks for the new songs!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Enjoy them, Dr M!