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EXECUTIVE DECISION:

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Interview With Edu (AKA Andrew Horowitz)

Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

Andrew Horowitz, Tally Hall’s “Green Tie” has released his first solo album under the name Edu, a childhood nickname.  The 9 song compendium was released on cassette tape, which presented a problem for many fans. The first music video has just been released for the song “At The End” and it, too, harkens back to the days of magnetized tape recording by duplicating (or actually being recorded on) VHS.

 

So, why cassette tape? We’ll get into the reasons behind that decision and more in this interview exclusively on Hiddeninthesand.com.

 

HITS: The record player popping can be heard in a number of songs throughout the album. What’s the significance of it?

Andrew: i just liked the sound and intimacy it adds to the recording. it’s as simple as that.

HITS: How did you record it? (tools used, who helped & their roles)

Andrew: i recorded most of it in my apartment on my laptop. i have basic recording equipment that anyone with a small budget can put together. “nowhere else” was co-produced with ryan brady, and for that one we did some recording at his place. on “hey you,” i recorded some rob guitar and vocals at his apartment. after recording, i had some help mixing and mastering the project. this wasn’t my original plan, but i’d spent so much time on it that i figured, why not? “sketches” is basically a diy project i recorded whenever i had a window of time.

HITS: With the exception of Lemons & Pears which is at least 8 years old, are all the other songs fairly new?

Andrew: yes, most of the songs were written in the last couple of years.

HITS: By the way… gun shots? In Lemons & Pears? Totally changed my interpretation of the song. Did you always know they’d be there for when you recorded it?

Andrew: no, that’s the beauty of the recording process. i start recording with a general idea of what i’m going for, and as i record, new ideas pop up.

HITS: What are your desires for this release? Was it done out of a need to create or are you hoping the recordings go somewhere?

Andrew: ”sketches” was done mostly as a desire to create. with tally hall, it sometimes takes years for songs to be released. and most of what i write never sees the light of day. so i wanted to get away from that and just record something independently that i could release under my own timeline. that said, i hope people like it/relate to the music, and the audience grows.

HITS: Tell me more about the inspiration behind recording them on cassette.

Andrew: i’m actually somewhat surprised this isn’t more common. why release a cd? our primary method of ingesting music is digitally. at least with a tape, it’s warm, personal, handmade by me, and something that can’t just be ripped and trashed.

HITS: You once debated with Joe Hawley on what makes a good singer. Could you tell me your final stance on the issue?

Andrew: did i? ha. i’m guessing i said it was about conviction and tone, feel and originality.

HITS: What are the future plans for edu (touring the songs, more recordings, etc.)?

Andrew: i’m working on my second release. the tone will be darker, more baroque. i have no timeline at the moment, and like “sketches” it’ll be done when it’s done. i hope to do some focused touring if the right opportunity comes along.

(EDITOR’S NOTE:  A song that perhaps may end up on that 2nd release called “Tomorrow & Today” was included in a German music blog’s mixtape.  You can read more about it here.)

HITS: Please tell of any other interesting facts you wish to share about this EP/experience.

Andrew: hmm…i’m really happy i took this step. it’s opened some doors and helped me grow as a producer and songwriter. i encourage anyone even thinking of recording a song or filming a documentary or starting a new adventure to just DO IT. because in the end, the worst that can happen is failure, and failure is better than nothing at all.

 


You can listen to a couple other songs and purchase a copy of Sketches on Andrew’s BandCamp page, and yes, he provides a digital copy for you, too.

Edu Debuts “Tomorrow And Today”

Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

Andrew, I mean Edu, released a brand new song today called “Tomorrow And Today” by way of the Italian music blog www.ondarock.it.

But the song isn’t actually brand new.  In fact, it was intended to be on Tally Hall’s “Good & Evil” (notice this has the recurring “And” in the title, as well).

Here’s my translated version of the Google-translated version of the blog:

If you say “Tally Hall” here in Italy it means nothing, but go across the ocean to discover that in the U.S. this sweeping pop quintet of colored ties, active since 2002, is the subject of a good bit of devotion. While the band is in the midst of a pause for reflection, the “green tie” Andrew Horowitz, keyboardist and composer of songs of the group, has embarked on a solo career with the moniker of “edu” (pronounced ee-doo). The same sense of intimacy and sweet innocence that emanates from what was the childhood nickname of Andrew is reflected now in the music of Horowitz, a lo-fi pop in pastel shades on which occasionally light a vaguely uneasy psychedelia. All of this is found in the atmospheres of “Today And Tomorrow”, a song originally written for the second work of Tally Hall (“Good & Evil”), but never appeared on that album. ”I tend to treat the songs as matured meat,” he admits Andrew. ”I let it rest until they become soft and ripen.” And the right time to taste the best delicious “Tomorrow And Today” has finally arrived with OndaDrops.

More is coming down the pike from Edu, including music video(s), and we’ve still got that interview with him which we’ve got saved up… and hope to publish along with the first video debut.

For now, here’s Tomorrow And Today!

    Tally Hall: Animatronic Tales V

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

    The other Tallies tested their instruments and everything went well enough with them.  It’s not important to know the details of these tests since none of the other instruments were guitars.  But since a bass at least looks like a guitar, the reader is permitted to know that Zubin’s black Fender Jaguar had a bit of a hiccup when it was played.

    Having not generated any Sound Gates in the month Tally Hall had rested from touring, Zubin’s bass was less than cooperative when it was prompted to make a shield.  But again, a bass is not a guitar and is therefore less relevant, so no more shall be said about it.  Zubin only wished that no more would be said about the plan to rescue Casey.  Joe had whipped out a tactical map and for the past hour and a half had been yammering on about what could possibly go wrong, in this dimension and in alternate ones.

    Zubin glanced wearily at Rob who was trying to remain attentive, but the slight twitch in his eye gave away his impatience — that and the fact that he’d been incessantly popping his fingers since the first half hour rolled by.  Ross stood next to Joe, his arms crossed and his eyes tired, as if staring at the tactical map for so long was making his pupils do pushups.

    Every fifteen minutes or so, Coz’s voice would sound out from one of their phones (and one of the rooms in the fan base) testing their communication and checking to see if they’d gone to find Casey yet.  After awhile, Andrew took to walking out into the hall and shouting that they were still there, not just to silence Coz but also to get a break from Joe the Perfectionist.

    “And here,” Joe said as Andrew walked back in with hunched shoulders, “would be a tight fit for anything but a Deaf Rider.”  He pointed to a niche in the hologram, a small corner of the warehouse Casey was last seen in.

    “Shouldn’t we be going soon?” Ross said lightly.  “You know, before he’s eaten or something?”

    “My dear Ross, you know that Deafcaps don’t eat people.  They only maim them, and steal their voices, and leave them emotionally scarred for life.”  All this Joe said with a bright smile.

    “All the same,” said Rob, “I don’t think any of those things are on Casey’s bucket list, so can we…?”  He made a swirling, wrap-this-up-or-I-will-cut-you gesture with his hands.

    Joe frowned, because now they would not have a course of action planned in case the Deafcaps had nerve gas leaking out of any warehouse corners.  He turned off the projector and straightened his tie in his most dignified way, letting the others know he was going to finish up with something very important to say.  With his tie smoothed out, his shoulders back, and his curly hair as tidy as it could be in the morning, he said in his most impressive manner, “I’m gonna use the bathroom.”  And he walked out.

    As he went up the steps and into the hall, the others just stared blankly at him, still not through defragging their brains of Joe’s plans.  Ross, who was constantly defragging his head of all the things the others said, was the first to return to his senses, and he called after Joe, “Do we need to do anything?”

    “You could get a voice thingy out of the junk room,” Joe called back.  Yes, Joe thought, a voice modifier would help if they ran into a cloud of nerve gas.  An added bonus of voice modifiers was their ability to filter not only voices, but also air.  Another bonus was that it could freshen your breath after a day at the onion farm.  The down side was that breathing through a voice modifier was like breathing through a harmonica, and the metallic taste in your throat usually left you gagging worse than any nerve gas would.  One might also gag just by sharing one voice modifier with several people.  Joe had quite forgotten about the existence of saliva when he said to get just one.

    “I’ll get one for each of us,” Andrew volunteered.  Ignoring Zubin’s slight about being a helpful little elf, Andrew made his way to what Tally Hall and their fans referred to as the junk room.  It was the largest room in the base, filled with innumerable oddities that were classified as junk in the junk food sort of way — magical, marvelous, and detrimental to your health.  Only two steps into the room and Andrew had immediately set off a box full of small mechanical monkeys that hissed and spat at his foot.  He bent down and carefully set them on top of a cubicle contraption filled with clocks, hoping he wouldn’t step on a box of combusting marbles next.

    Many of the things Andrew passed in the junk room were kept in glass cubicles like the clock machine.  He liked to think of the glass containers as the type of jars in candy stores to hold things like jellybeans, but really they was more like the glass used to hold lab specimens (as several things in the junk room really were).

    With no one around to call him an elf again, Andrew skipped merrily through the aisles the glass boxes made, trying to find what he was looking for.  Electric rocking chair…love tester…ellipsis maker… Ah, the odds and ends shelves!  Crammed between a stack of floating music boxes and a vending machine for spray tans were the vertical rotating shelves where one could find small gadgets that, out of everything in the junk room, were the most useful and the least likely to electrocute you.

    Andrew scrolled through the waterwheel of shiny objects before stopping at the small pile of silver lip-shaped mouthpieces.  While swiping a handful of them off the shelf, his elbow knocked one of the music boxes, making it spin like a top.  As it slowed, he could more clearly see the face painted on the top of the box: the face of Marvin Yagoda, a gray-haired man on whose broad shoulders he wore red, white, and blue striped suspenders.

    Most of the things in the junk room were castoffs from Marvin’s own assortment of oddities, a collection which was by far more vast than that of the junk room’s.  With all the dangerous knickknacks that he sent over, Andrew suspected Marvin actually made novelty weapons for a living.  At this Marvin would always insist that he was just a collector of odd things, and that the Tallies should just enjoy his gifts and let him get back to polishing his ray guns…er…Potato Head figurines.

    Resisting the urge to stop and dance to the tune coming out of the Yagoda music box, Andrew stuck the voice modifiers in his pockets and beat a hasty retreat from all the bleeps, whirs, and pops of all the junk room memorabilia.  “No, we haven’t left yet,” he shouted as he got into the hall, not bothering to wait ‘til he passed Coz’s door, and he returned to the monitor room where he joined the others in their merrymaking.

    Soon after, Joe also returned and walked up behind the others, who were all focusing on a screen where they had a video up.  “All right, fellows, ready to be the big dang heroes?”

    No one responded.

    “Guys?  Guys!”  He tapped Andrew hard on the shoulder.

    “Shhhh!” Andrew hissed, holding up a finger and not looking away from the cartoon mermaid onscreen.  “Not now, woman!  This is my song!”

    Joe frowned once more, not because the others were now wasting time with princess sing-a-longs, but because he couldn’t decide on a course of action to take just in case the aliens did plan on eating Casey.

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

    “Catching up” with Rob is hard to these days. In fact, I had fully planned on posting a combo review/interview of Andrew’s solo project “edu” by this point, but I’ve been too busy tracking the skyrocketing success of Rob’s solo endeavors over the last week. Even before I got a chance to write up a blog entry about the “Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf” internet meme he created, I receive word of another huge project of Rob’s in the works.

    So, rightfully so, let’s first take care of the Shia business. Although, if you follow HITS on Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, I don’t need to tell you much at all. So I’ll keep this brief.

    Rob, being the independent musician than he is, now that Tally Hall is on unofficial hiatus, put together an online portfolio of music he’s written. He uploaded songs to a SoundCloud profile and streams them through www.robcantor.com.  But he didn’t say anything about it.  So when it was brought to my attention by Billy Vaughn, I quickly posted a link on HITS’ Facebook & Twitter, and well… through a series of actions, he ended up being interviewed by The Washington Post, created an internet meme, and has been talked about on tons of music and humor blogs, big and small.  I’m sure the craze is not close to over, either.  You can read more about how it all happened on KnowYourMeme.com.

    But for those of us who are die-hard fanatics, we’ve also been wondering about the other songs on Rob’s portfolio.  Today, we now know.

    OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo DRUM ROLL OoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

    Rob has been working with Rick Lax on a musical!  Rick, being an author is penning the script, and Rob is writing the music and lyrics.  Rick says they’ve always envisioned it being a web miniseries.  So, when Amazon announced yesterday that it was beginning to accept proposals for original programming to be distributed via Amazon Instant Video, they uploaded everything they had.

    What do they have?  It’s called

    “Mr. President, There’s an Asteroid Headed Directly For the Earth: The Musical”

    and you can read Act 1 of the Pilot script here: http://studios.amazon.com/projects/9984

    Series concept:
    In every disaster movie, some guy bursts into the Oval Office and says, “Mr. President! There’s an asteroid headed directly for the earth!” This is that guy’s story.

    Pilot logline:
    Calvert, our geeky hero, meets Kayla at an astronomy lecture. She misread a flyer and thought it was an astrology talk. Her mistake will prove to be the most devastating event in the course of human history.

    If you go to http://asteroidmusical.com (password:calvert) you can listen to the music as you read the script.  But it’s important to download, rate, and comment on the Amazon project page if you wish to show Amazon your support of this project.

    Rick says Amazon may not get back to them for at least a month or two, so we probably won’t hear much more about this anytime soon.

    Tally Hall: Animatronic Tales IV

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

    “I think you’ll find our request to be more important than a soap opera,” said Rob.

    “You say that with such indifference, but Giselle came back from the dead again.  This is serious business!” said Bora.

    “Dude, calm down.  You’re on speakerphone.”

    “Is Kate Beckinsale standing nearby?”

    “No.”

    “Then it matters not.”  It then sounded as though Bora held the phone away from himself for a moment, and he shut off his television using voice command.  After bringing the phone back to his ear he said, “What can I do for you fellows?”

    Andrew tucked the model of the panther-like Deaf Prowler under his arm and walked up to the speaker.  “We’re in need of a man with an accordion,” he said.

    “Accordion?  This must be a big job.”

    Indeed, though there were those who scoffed at it, the accordion was one of the most powerful instruments known to musiciankind (along with the ukulele and kazoo).  More than once had Bora’s accordion been used to get Tally Hall out of a bind.  One such incident was when Joe, Rob, and Zubin’s singing had attracted some Deafcaps.  Not only was Bora able to singlehandedly ward off the aliens with his accordion, but he was also able to soothe everyone’s posttraumatic stress from the ordeal by playing a polka ditty.

    “Put me on a projector,” Bora said, and Rob consented, finding a port on Coz’s keyboard to place his jPhone.  As it clicked into place, light rays from the phone’s small screen scurried together to form the hologram of Bora Karaca, a man around the same age as the Tallies who had dark curly hair, five-o-clock shadow, and some kind of visual impairment.  He was taking a pair of thick-rimmed glasses out of his shirt pocket as he simultaneously put his own jPhone into a hologram port.

    “This is about Casey isn’t it?” he said casually once his glasses were on.

    “How did you — ?”

    “Don’t ever doubt my ability to find things out,” Bora said darkly.

    Andrew crossed his arms in an unimpressed manner — the manner in which keyboardists tend to react to everything other musicians say.  “Are we the only ones ever in the dark about these things?” he said.

    “It’s not that we’re in the dark,” said Joe.  “It’s just that everyone else is in the light.”  (Joe was very philosophical, i.e. a lot of the things he said were confusing.)  “Speaking of which,” Joe continued, “I’ll just bet Al knows what we’re doing this very minute, and it won’t be long ‘til he takes a teleporter here to stop us.”

    “Ew, I hate teleporters,” said Bora.  “I prefer planes.”

    “Yeah,” Coz said, “always comfortable.”

    Don’t encourage him,” said Zubin, suddenly straightening himself up in his seat.  “We had to suck it up and teleport here.  Don’t you dare take a plane.”

    “You know, Zubin,” Bora said as his hologram strolled around the room, “you can be a real jerk when you haven’t had your coffee.”

    “I did have my coffee.”

    “Did I say coffee?  What I meant to say was you can be a real jerk when you breathe.”

    “Just around friends,” Zubin said, relaxing back into a slumped posture and not worried at all about getting a bad back later in life.  “I only insult the people I really like or the people I can’t stand.  You guys are on the positive end of the spectrum.  Most of the time,” he added under his breath.

    “Oh, I feel so honored,” Andrew said in a monotone.  “I’m just drowning in your ocean of brotherly love.”

    “That’s nice, Horowitz — ”

    Drowning,” Andrew went on, “as in death by submersion in liquid.”

    “Speaking of death,” Coz interjected, again grabbing everyone’s attention by being blunt as a month-old razor, “we need to help Casey before anything happens to him.”

    “We?” said Rob.  He tucked Casey’s message in his pocket and sighed.  “Coz, I’m sorry, but you can’t come with us.  We know you’re a keyboardist and all, but the Music Industry has regulations.  It’s difficult enough bringing Bora without him being registered as a band member.”

    “It is not difficult in the slightest,” said Bora, which prompted Ross to jab the jPhone’s mute button like an ugly mosquito.  The other band members had seen this flyswatter imitation, but they said nothing.   The last thing they wanted to bring with them on such a dangerous mission — besides an adorable little chinchilla — was one their fans.

    Now, it wasn’t unheard of for a band to bring a fan with them on a mission.  In fact, Tally Hall did this more than most other bands would.  It looked unprofessional, but with ninety-nine percent of their fans being able to play at least one musical instrument and with Deafcaps roaming around like free-range chickens…well, why not?

    But this mission would be a perilous one, and there was a big difference between bringing a fan and bringing in someone like Bora.  Bora was a professional.  More importantly, he had signed a pretty piece of paper.  This particular pretty piece of paper that Bora had signed for Tally Hall said, in essence, “If I am attacked by an alien on one of your band’s missions, I solemnly swear that neither I nor my family will sue you for your mortal soul.”

    Of course, Coz was also trained in the Music Industry, and he probably wouldn’t have been averse to signing some kind of contract.  Really the reason why Tally Hall was unwilling to bring him was because the band only had one extra tie, for Bora, and it wouldn’t look right if they had a party member who wasn’t wearing one.

    “You know,” said Coz, who was facing away from Bora and completely oblivious to his frantic hand waving, “I don’t have to actually go with you guys to help.”

    “Holograms aren’t a good idea either,” said Rob.  “Sure, your Sound Waves will be able to get to the Deafcaps, but then theirs will be able to get to you.  We can’t risk that.”

    “I mean there are things I can do from here at the base,” Coz offered.

    Without waiting for another rebuttal, he leaned over Zubin’s slumped shoulder and tapped a few buttons on the keyboard.  On the massive screen before them, the 3-D map of the world twisted and turned in correlation with Coz’s finger movements.  The next instant had the map protruding out of the screen as a globe-shaped hologram, looking like a large man’s stomach after a long day in the buffet line.

    Once removed from the screen, it zoomed around the left side of the keyboard, passing through Bora’s hologram and making him flinch as their pixels clashed.  The globe hologram minimized just before sliding into a frame propped up on the keyboard, right next to where Joe was leaning his elbow.

    He looked upon the frame with curiosity as Coz plucked it from the keyboard and held it at arm’s length.  The little globe spun like a carousel within the boundaries of the frame, and Andrew instantly felt an insatiable desire to poke it.

    “With this,” Coz said while tactfully keeping the frame out of Andrew’s reach, “I can keep track of y’all and direct you to Casey’s exact location.”  He paused to zoom the screen in on America, then Pennsylvania, and finally Glenside.  “That is, if you don’t see any danger in it.”

    Rob rubbed his chin and considered any accidents that could occur with such an arrangement.  The worst possibility was Coz getting carpal tunnel from moving the map around, which would mean they wouldn’t have anyone to answer fan questions.  That didn’t sound so bad to Rob, though.  They could always con Ross into doing it.

    “It certainly would be helpful,” Rob said finally.  “You wouldn’t mind doing that?”

    “I’m here to help.  That’s what people in fan bases are paid to do after all.”

    Rob looked guilty.  “But you’re not being paid.”

    “I know.  I just wanted to hear you say it.”  And with that, Coz turned and walked out of the room with his handheld computer screen.

    As he walked into one of the foyer’s adjacent rooms and his footsteps died away, everyone left standing in the monitor room looked to one another for what to do next, except Andrew, who returned his attention to the Deafcap models.

    “Great, so we have a means of tracing Casey when we do this thing,” Joe said to the others.   “We should have codenames for this.”

    “Right, I’ll be Gray,” Ross said dryly.  “You can be Red.  Zubin’s Blue…”

    “Your vat of creativity astounds me.”

    Meanwhile, Bora had stopped silently mouthing at the others and began instead to use violent hand motions to get their attention.  Zubin stared with a vacant expression at the jPhone’s mute button as Bora frantically pointed at it.  Growing weary of having a transparent hand so close to his personal space, however, Zubin eventually turned the volume back on.

    When Bora spoke, it was as if he had been gagged the entire time the volume was off, for he immediately took a deep breath of air and his eyes bugged out like a stress toy’s.  “At the risk of being muted again,” he said in an exasperated tone, “may I make an observation?”

    “You may,” said Rob.

    “Your instruments,” said Bora, “are indisposed.”

    “No, we just got them back,” Joe corrected.

    “And those new Effects?”

    “We were just about to check them.”

    Joe and Rob then proceeded to withdraw their jPhones from their pockets and locate their spacesaver apps.  The other members of Tally Hall held back for the time being, because Joe and Rob both had guitars, and everyone knows that the world revolves around guitar players.

    Joe braced himself for the weight on his shoulder as his Stratocaster materialized, already strapped.  Rob, however, preferred to grip his Les Paul by the neck as it reformed, and he then put the strap over his shoulder manually.  This time a few other things also appeared with the instruments.  At their feet, both had a metal board with pedals, knobs, and other shiny things on it.  These were called pedal boards, because pedals-knobs-and-other-shiny-things boards didn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

    By their sides, both had a square screen suspended in mid-air next to them.  Looking at the side of these screens, one would see they were completely flat, and yet from the front they appeared to have what looked like a hotplate stuck inside them.  These screens, however, did not serve microwavable pizza, but they received sound from little magnets called pick-ups, added current to the signal to greatly increase volume, and then played said signal out of a loudspeaker.

    These were called amps.  A simple name for a simple device.

    With one final piece of equipment left, Joe and Rob brandished them — their trusty guitar picks — from their pockets.  They looked at each other; the others looked at them; and Andrew looked at the Deaf Flyer model he was clenching in his hands.

    “After you,” said Rob.

    Joe nodded and positioned his foot over one of the pedals.  Placing his fingers on the proper frets, he strummed his guitar, and a Sound Wave emerged from the amp, a transparent mass making ripples in the air like smoke from a fire.  The Sound Wave, ironically, made a sound — the deep, rich tone of an E chord.

    Joe then began tapping the pedal with his foot, and the Sound Wave undulated like rolling hills.  The sound of the chord changed along with the motion of the Wave, now sounding uncannily like an obese toddler trying (and failing) to pronounce “water” over and over and over.  Despite that somewhat disturbing description, the sound was not unpleasant.

    The Sound Wave faded away just before colliding with one of the monitor screens.  When Rob conjured Sound up, however, it not only collided with a monitor screen, but also the keyboard, the ceiling, and Bora’s hologram.  He hadn’t stepped on his pedal board so much as stomped on it, and the resulting Sound Wave had blasted around the room like sparklers on crack.

    “Oops,” Rob muttered as the fireworks of his guitar’s Wave dispersed.

    “Oops indeed!” Bora exclaimed.  Some bits of Sound that nicked his hologram were still fading away into the depths of his apartment, not revealed on the projector.  He walked around the keyboard and snatched something in the air.  When his hand made contact with the object, the holographic system revealed the orange tie he was grabbing from a shelf in his room.

    “I’m gonna get my stuff ready while you finish testing your instruments.”  He picked some lint off his tie.  “Don’t you guys just love all this traveling we do without sleep?  I do.  I like to pretend I’m the vessel of an ancient power when my hands shake from all the coffee I drink.”

    “Whatever, just don’t take a plane to get here,” said Zubin.

    You could use a little more coffee, Zube.”  Bora began reaching for his jPhone to switch it off.  “I’ll see you guys in a bit.  And Andrew…”

    Andrew looked up from the figurine in his hands.

    “Next time, don’t eat right before teleporting.  I may very well wind up using the port that you threw up  in.”

    Before Andrew could again respond in an unimpressed manner, Bora vanished, leaving them all with feelings of bewilderment and slight indigestion.

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. You can comment here or there.

    Suburban Sprawl Music, the other indie label from the Detroit area (Livonia, actually), who merged with Quack! Media back in 2007, released their annual holiday compilation.  ”Every year, various friends (from Michigan and beyond) use the SubSprawl Holiday comp as a way to have fun, write some totally sweet holiday songs, and collaborate.”

    On it, Tally Hall’s own Joe Hawley has a short little ditty. It’s his take on the Christmas classic “Sleigh Ride.”

    Short and sweet, it is, but I’m glad to see Joe’s not hanging up the proverbial music jacket in his proverbial closet.

    You can learn more about the other tracks on the album here:
    http://www.suburbansprawlmusic.com/xmas/

    Thanks to Zach Curd for the heads up on this! He works for SSM/Quack and ALSO has a great tune on the compilation.  If you live in the Detroit area, you may have heard his work already in various commercials.

    Happy Holidays, everyone!

    Andrew Horowitz Debuts Solo Project: edu

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. Please leave any comments there.

    We’re aware the future of Tally Hall is fuzzy.  Surely, from the information gathered, we probably won’t see much action from the band for awhile.  But that doesn’t mean the 5 guys are retiring their musical ties (pun intended).

    We also know that Andrew Horowitz has been working on a solo project, has played a couple gigs in the NY area, and teased us recently by stating he’s working on a new track and debuting it soon.

    That time has come.

    Andrew will be making a full announcement probably tomorrow, but we’ve got a jump on the news. So here ya go!

    His new project is called “edu” and he’s releasing his first demo on BandCamp of a song called “miss melody”.  The description implies this song will be on a collection called “cassette tape 1″ and reads:

    “made by me for you. it’ll contain a few demos. i realize not everyone has a tape player. for the time being, however, i’d like to keep my music non-digital. this will mail out at the beginning of january.”

    I had a chance to speak briefly with Andrew this evening:

    HITS: Are you releasing your first demo album on cassette only?

    Horowitz: Yup. I don’t want my music circulated in disposable format and I want to release quickly and make it personal. I like to think my music is intimate.

    Indeed, this song definitely sounds intimate, not unlike the song “You” on Tally Hall’s recent Good & Evil.

    We can’t wait to hear more.  But it seems like if you already threw away your old tape deck, you might wanna go scoping out those garage sales around town soon if you want to hear them!

    Listen to “miss melody” here:


    Link to Andrew’s BandCamp page: http://adhorowi.bandcamp.com/
    Link to edu’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/edu/152719221491762
    Link to the song’s page on the Tally Hallmanac: http://www.hiddeninthesand.com/wiki/index.php?title=Miss_Melody

    Tally Hall: Animatronic Tales II

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. Please leave any comments there.

    Teleportation is basically when something is pulled into small pieces and put back together somewhere else, and when a person’s stomach goes through this process, the result is a mystifying feeling called nausea. Coming out of the teleporter, every member of Tally Hall swallowed their breakfast for the second time that morning. Everyone, that is, except Andrew, whose stomach contents hadn’t rematerialized as fast as the rest of him and so were sent back into the face of some poor bystander in Pittsburgh.

    The Tallies were all still shaky from the vibrations felt in the warp, and for the next several yards none of them could walk in a straight line. To add to this, the bright blue lights from the warp tunnel had put a deer-caught-in-headlights look in their eyes. They looked like a group of newborn fouls tromping through the teleporting station.

    Unfortunately, they were not yet in Glenside, but in Philadelphia. This was because Glenside was not significant enough to have direct teleports from large cities such as Pittsburgh. Two or more teleports were required to enter the town, so two or more teleports later, the Tallies were in Glenside’s quaint empty station with Andrew dry heaving into a nearby garbage can.

    After making a gagging noise not unlike the call of a velociraptor, Andrew raised his head from the trash bin and said, “I feel like my stomach wound up where my lungs should be. I am never going to be happy again.”

    “Don’t say that,” Zubin said while trying to blink out the spots in his vision. “Someone around here has to be happy when no one else is, and I refuse to fill that position.”

    Ross smiled at Andrew and Zubin’s cross-eyed expressions before he checked his watch. They’d made pretty good time, and the base was only a fifteen minute walk away, that is, if they were all still capable of walking after that last teleport. Ross himself was still rather dazed and had to look at his watch five times before correctly seeing the time. Meanwhile, Rob had tried to steady his legs by supporting himself on Joe’s shoulder, and the two fell against the wall like a couple dominoes.

    Joe didn’t seem to have energy enough to be annoyed by this, but he was a bit uncomfortable with the lack of personal space. He tried to shrug Rob off when he felt the side of his face being scraped against an odd texture. “Hey, is this brick?” he said with his mouth smushed against the wall. “Oh, wow, I’d never even noticed ‘til now what these walls were made of.”

    “Well, we just haven’t been here in awhile,” Ross said as he helped Rob and Joe regain their balance. “It is nice, though, since we didn’t see many traditionally made buildings like this on the tour.”

    “If by traditional, you mean ancient,” said Andrew. “Did you see how long it took for this garbage bin to recycle and filter everything out?”

    “No, I’m glad to say I didn’t see that,” Ross replied.

    There was something else that Ross would’ve been glad not to have seen if he had been paying attention, but he was too busy now trying to keep Rob from using him as a crutch. What Ross and the others had failed to notice was that through one of the old-fashioned window frames and across the train tracks was an emaciated man with a shock of brown hair wearing a dark suit, and he was staring at them.

    Of course, the members of Tally Hall would not have been bothered had they seen him. They were used to people staring at them, if not because of their snappy dress style but because of their random bouts of beatboxing. They were also used to people who were either odd or completely eccentric in appearance. It also didn’t bother them that the man across the tracks was plotting their ultimate doom. After all, none of them even saw the man before he walked out of sight, let alone read his mind. The only reason they would’ve been disturbed if they had actually seen him was because he had a large booger hanging out of his nose.

    And like a booger being blown into a hankie, Rob flew out the doors of Glenside station and into the open air, dashing over what he was certain was solid ground until he woke up to see the others staring down at him with amusement. With a typical smirk on his face, Zubin reached out his hand to help Rob up off the train tracks.

    “We might want to just sit for awhile before we try walking to the base,” Zubin said, “unless you’re trying to lose another body part to a fast metal object.”

    Rob squinted as the metal part of his hand reflected sunlight into his eyes, and Zubin hoisted him back up with a grunt.

    The group was traipsing back to the terminal with Ross in the lead when he finally noticed the thin man watching them from the street corner. When their eyes met, the man opened his mouth slightly, and for a moment Ross thought he was going to say something to him, so he stopped walking to give his full attention.

    The man held his mouth agape for a moment. He then unleashed a powerful sneeze that sent a snot rocket onto the pavement and made Ross recoil in disgust. When he had finally looked away from the wet spot on the concrete, the man was gone. Ross looked to the others to see of they’d also seen the man, but they had all been listening to Joe who was going on about how lovely brick walls were.

    ~&~

    Glenside, being a suburb, did not have as many lights and noises as large cities, but compared to other towns, many aspects of Glenside were very old-fashioned. The cityscape only went up to seven levels, and some of the gas stations were so primitive they didn’t have pay-at-the-pump.

    The Tallies walked casually down the street, which was odd because in most places mechs shook the ground too much for sidewalk travel to even be possible. There didn’t seem to be any mechs at all in Glenside, however, so there were actually cars travelling on the roads. The particular road Tally Hall was walking down, one might add, was very much like a movie series.

    That is not to say that the road was cheesy and full of hams like modern movies; having ham and cheese all over the road would have made any passing cleaning droids commit suicide. But like a movie series, the beginning of the road was good: lined with the ritzy sort of houses typical of suburbs with bits of foliage here and there that Zubin quickly pointed out (“Happy, Joe?”).

    Like movie sequels, unfortunately, everything appealing began to disappear as they continued onward. After the Tallies had crossed some railroad tracks, there was an immediate drop in class. Past a rusty fence on their left was a parking lot full of used cars, mechs, and droids for sale. On their right was a ramshackle bar/pizzeria behind which was a very conspicuous pile of scrap metal, perhaps where all the used cars and mechs had been taken from.

    Eventually the Tallies strolled up to their destination. The shopping plaza before them consisted of food stores stacked lopsidedly one on top of the other. The highest level, by some epic architectural failure, happened to be the largest and required hoverpads at each corner to keep it from crushing the floors below.

    The top level was a party favor company, and it advertized itself with a hologram meant to look like confetti streaming from the roof and onto the ground. It would’ve looked like confetti too if its holographic projector hadn’t conked out ten years previously. Now the pixels were too small, and it had gone sepia toned, looking like a waterfall of sand over the front of the plaza.

    Because all the stores jutted out at odd angles anyway, no one complained about this hologram obscuring any part of the plaza from view. What many people did not know, however, was that there was a level directly below the party favor company, and it was the only floor completely covered by the hologram of sand. But Tally Hall knew. They knew because it was their fans’ headquarters.

    Now, usually when a band walks into their fan base, they are swarmed by whatever multitude is present. This has led to many an agoraphobic musician and caused most to never even step foot in their fan base during their careers. Tally Hall’s fan base, on the other hand, wasn’t lucky enough to even have a tumbleweed blow through it. They were perfectly safe from agoraphobia.

    The plaza elevator took them to their floor, and they stepped into the fan base foyer that had walls like circuit boards. It had been so long since they had been in the fan base, they’d forgotten how very much like a blogger’s basement it was, what with its cold hard floor, dim lighting, and quick Internet access. Albeit, if it was the basement of a blogger, it belonged to a blogger with cash to burn.

    Their boots squeaked over the sleek floor into the main hall, and Joe called out for Coz. There was no reply.

    “We are on time, right?” Andrew asked, and Joe nodded. “And why’d he close off the monitor room? He usually leaves it open.” He gestured to the large metal doors shut tight at the end of the hall.

    Somewhere close by came a female voice that said, “I think Coz got tired of hearing me be awkward.”

    The Tallies scanned all the doors lining the hall, looking for the source of the voice they’d recognize anywhere. Suddenly, a wispy girl with messy brown hair came bounding out of one of the doorways, holding what looked like a can of tuna in her hand.

    “Hiya!” she said.

    “Hi — ” Rob lost his balance momentarily as the girl threw her arms around him. The two of them hugging looked oddly like a cat attacking a scratching post.

    “Sorry,” she said as she pulled away, “I got a little overexcited.”

    “You just kinda surprised me,” said Rob, regaining his footing. “I wasn’t sure at first if you were actually there, or if you just came here as a hologram.”

    “Yeah, my dad decided last minute that we could come in person since you guys were as well,” she said.

    “Don’t I get a hug too?” Andrew said with a puppy pout.

    “Of course.”

    The girl continued, “We got all your Effects up to date,” and she handed the tuna can to Joe over Andrew’s shoulder. “All except your Rickenbacker. Ol’ Whatshername did something to the computer, and we had to restart the download. We’re working on it.”

    “That’s okay. Thanks for doing all this,” Joe said with a smile. “Is there anyone else here besides the two of you?”

    “Just us and Coz, but I expect more people will be coming later via holograms.” She went on to hug Joe and Zubin. “So, did Coz explain what was so important that he asked you to come here? ‘Cause he didn’t say anything to me, and I’m just…” Her voice trailed off as she made to hug Ross.

    “Oh, you look terrible,” she blurted.

    Ross looked down at the bleach stains on his tie and vest. “Yeah, thanks for noticing.”

    “I’m sorry!” she said, clapping a hand to her mouth, and the others laughed.

    “It’s fine,” Ross said calmly. “There was just a little mishap this morning at the hotel.”

    The girl looked accusingly at Zubin. “Why are you always picking on him?”

    “‘Cause it’s easy!” Rob interjected. The girl rolled her eyes.

    Zubin stared back at her and said frankly, “I’d like to take credit for it, but you can blame Ross’ appearance on the wonder of cleaning droids. Unless you weren’t talking about his clothes, in which case you can blame genetics.”

    Ross chuckled slightly and gave the girl a brief hug.

    In the meantime, Joe had used his thumb to flip a switch on the side of the “tuna can” and a mist leaked from the top before materializing into a Stratocaster guitar. Joe caught the neck of it with his free hand before it completely solidified and fell to the ground.

    “Yeah, you guys should try out the new Effects,” said the girl. “I should probably check on the download for your other guitar and make sure Jillian’s not messing with the computer again. Can you tell me what Coz says when I get back?”

    Andrew answered affirmatively, and the girl turned tail for the door she came out of, trying to walk and dance at the same time and looking rather goofy doing so. “See you, guys,” she said over her shoulder.

    “See ya, Jennie,” said Rob, and the Tallies headed for the monitor room.

    HITS Is On Google Plus

    Originally published at HITS Blogs. Please leave any comments there.

    Hiddeninthesand
    on Google+

    HITS is now on Google+!
    “But what does that mean?” you say. “That remains to be seen!” I say.

    In case you’re not aware, Google+ is a new social network by Google which takes the best features of Twitter, the best features of Facebook, nothing from Myspace, and combines them.  Moreso, it’s deeply integrated with all of the other Google products around the web, from Blogger to YouTube to Google Docs and more.

    It’s really quite a great network, however it still needs people using it and no one wants to use it if they’ve already got Facebook going.  That’s ok.  I think because of the intergration with the rest of the web, Google+ will succeed.

    Nevertheless, they’ve just launched Pages for businesses and brands.  Naturally, I had to jump in and create a Page for HITS.  It’s just another way you can stay on top of Tally Hall news, no matter what network you prefer to use.  So if you’re on Google+, add HITS to your circles!

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