Great Songs: "The Skin of my Yellow Country Teeth" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
Listen to it at the band’s MySpace page. I can be hung over and full of chocolate, you put me on a treadmill and play this song and by the time the first chorus kicks in I will be actively engaged in trying to make my heart explode, it’s that rockin. A song about the neverending incremental change of life, the fact that a single continuous “I” that persists through time is really nothing more than a useful working model of what consciousness is. There’s the boy with the shotgun shooting down honeybees that sting, but the boy could use a little sting, which is a perfect metaphor for resisting painful positive change, which seems to belong to the earlier, West Virginia part of the protagonist’s life. Immediately after he’s asking to go to a party, talking to someone who ‘looks a bit like coffee’. I take this to mean that in New York the country boy has been exposed to people he never would have met back home.
All crappy analysis aside, this is a perfect song. All the more shocking is that a band which nearly always sounds like a cross between Pablo Honey-era Radiohead, The Violent Femmes and Rufus Wainright sould some up with something so perfectly perfect.