As far as solo debuts go, Alec Ounsworth‘s Mo Beauty (Anti-) is impressive. The Philadelphia-based Clap Your Hands Say Yeah frontman travelled to New Orleans to record the album with producer Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and a host of the city’s notable musicians, including bassist George Porter, Jr. (Meters), drummer Stanton Moore and keyboardist Robert Walter (Greyboy Allstars). The result is a mature, confident, 10-song collection that Ounsworth had only hinted at being capable of with his work in Clap Your Hands. He also has a second solo album, Skin And Bones (credited to Flashy Python and available online only), that features members of the Walkmen, Dr. Dog and Man Man. While all this new music is good for Clap Your Hands fans, you get the impression that the band (now on hiatus) is no longer a priority for Ounsworth, who became a father last year and is enjoying family life at home. Ounsworth is guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with him.
Ounsworth: I am writing this in and, in a way, about my dining room. David Hockney’s Hockney’s Pictures: A Definitive Retrospective is on the dining-room table. I had the good fortune to meet Tetsu Inoue in New York soon after he released 2001’s pict.soul with Carl Stone. Years ago, I met his wife at a dog run in Riverside Park, and we talked music and dogs, I guess. She mentioned her husband and gave me pict.soul. I listened to it often then; these days, less (preserve). It remains perfectly curious and beautiful. This beauty was enhanced by taking pict.soul to the Smithsonian Museum in D.C. during a tour. At the Smithsonian, I stumbled upon Hockney’s Snail Space With Vari-lites: Painting As Performance (pictured). The first day, I don’t recall it having any accompaniment. The next two days, it did. One doesn’t necessarily ask for the other, still. Video after the jump.