Clap Your Hands Say Yeah/Bob Mould/Final Fantasy @ Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC 12/31/06

Happy New Year, y’all! Glad to see you guys made it into 2007, like us, at our computers and in need of war-story swapping and diversion from post-holiday pain. And like us you probably only exacerbated that pain with a more-insane-than-necessary NYE — but worth every second, right? Well, every second you can remember, anyway. For us, it was Owen Pallett, Bob Mould, and the Clap kids on the Hammerstein stage for a few hours of booze, tunes, and a random, midnight hug from a gregarious David Byrne. (OK, we accosted him again.) Now that’s what we call a ball drop.

Final Fantasy opened the show with his loops and trusty violin (complete with over-the-shoulder holster of violin bows), but a mild flu kept him from being in full Poo mode. Between swigs of water and calling audience members on stage to fill out harmony lines, though, Owen knew how to handle his ailment and was a suitable appetizer to our first course: umlauts, Sugar, and Mould.

Bob’s trio was straight distort-guit fire, no bullshit, minimum banter. Mould gave us solo tune “See A Little Light,” along with Sugar cuts “Hoover Dam,” “A Good Idea,” “If I Can’t Change Your Mind,” and “Changes.” Closing with a tune titled perfectly for the state of affairs in ’07, Bob ended with Hüsker Dü classic “Makes No Sense At All,” after which we waited patiently for our Hammerstein hosts. And drank.

[All photos by Abbey]

The Clap’s set got going with “The Skin Of My Country Teeth,” the “I’ll try New York City” line met with a drunken roar of approval. The show was a good mix of old and new, as smuggled champagnes made their way around in toasts to “In This Home On Ice” and “Is This Love?” as well as Some Loud Thunder tunes “Underwater (You And Me),” “Goodbye To Mother And The Cove,” and “Emily Jean Stock.”

But someone forgot to set their watch before hitting stage!

Alec sidled up to the mic with megaphone in hand for a “Clap Your Hands!” that was probably meant to time with the ball drop … but it came up a little short. So as the crowd began random cheers for a midnight that was never announced, Ounsworth handled it in typical DIY fashion: “Since we’re in here together, we figured we’d party by our own time!” And so while the rest of NYC got their hugs out, we began our own little countdown, a few minutes after the fact but every bit the party: balloons, confetti, and much more yeah saying.

So, welcome to 2007! Here’s hoping your resolutions are in tact and your hang over is over. Now we get to work.