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Tally Hall: Animatronic Tales I

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

Once upon a time, there were alien creatures that wanted nothing more than to suck out human voices like chocolate milkshakes.  Fortunately, groups of people called “musicians” had stopped screaming and running around in circles long enough to realize how they could combat these aliens.  One such group was a five-man band called Tally Hall.  And like many others whose line of work required sweating profusely, the men of Tally Hall wore ties.

Rob Cantor’s yellow tie stuck out like a big, fat, annoying ray of sunshine.  Although it is a cheerful and friendly color, certain people can be annoyed with yellow after awhile, if for no other reason, because it is so bright.  The tie that most rivaled Rob’s when it came to sticking out in a crowd was the tie of Joe Hawley, which was a loud shade of red.  It had once been even louder, but the color had mellowed after too many tumbles in the wash.  This fading of red, however, did not disassociate the color from love, warmth, or clown noses.

Gray, the color of Ross Federman’s tie, is thankfully not related to clowns at all.  A calm color, it is not extreme in one way or another.  It is neither black nor white, neither catlike nor doglike, neither peanut butter nor jelly.  It’s just gray.  And there’s never any harm in making fun of such a color because, again, it’s just gray.  The same could not be said for the color tie of Andrew Horowitz.  His tie was green, which for some may bring grapes to mind, and most people don’t feel a need to belittle food.

Grapes, for the most part, are sweet, but you come across a sour one every once in awhile.  Of course, Andrew’s tie was not actually grape green but grass green, and grass cannot be used as a metaphor for someone’s personality, unless that someone is a corpse.

Then there was Zubin Sedghi who, being unable to find “sarcasm” on a color chart, decided that blue was sensible enough.

“Sensible,” however, was definitely not the word one would’ve used to describe what Zubin looked like at 6:00 in the morning.  Shuffling into the hotel room kitchen with bleary eyes and messy hair, he looked like he’d just been shot with a tranquilizer.

Joe stood at the window across from Zubin, aware of his presence but not of his struggle to stay awake.  Gazing through the glass drowsily, Joe took in the sights of the city.  He wondered why the tall, metallic buildings before him seemed so out of place.  This was Pittsburgh after all.  It shouldn’t have struck him as odd that there were cars zooming past the windows of every story.  The artificial lighting and holographic billboards shouldn’t have looked so foreign.  Even the mech that stomped past the window shouldn’t have phased him.  None of these were new sights to him, but it seemed that more and more mechanized things like these could be found in “rural” areas.  Since teleporting out of Michigan the day before, Tally Hall hadn’t seen anything green.  Joe sighed.

“Hey, Zubin,” he said wearily, “you ever get tired of all this?”  Initially he received no response from behind him, but after a moment there was a rhythmic thumping noise followed by a robotic voice repeating, “Denied.  Denied.”

“Zube?”  Joe turned around.  Zubin was trying to stick a Hot Pocket into a rather agitated toaster.

By then Rob had returned from the breakfast hall with a cup of coffee in his hand, and he was just about to ask what Joe was laughing at when he saw Zubin.

“Here,” Rob said, handing his friend the Styrofoam cup, “you need this more than I do.”

Zubin attempted to give a grateful smile, but he only succeeded in making it look like half his face was falling off.  Rob held back a chuckle and walked over to watch TV.  Ross had left it on and, for whatever reason, had thought that the news was going to wake him up.  One of the others would’ve changed the channel, but Ross, apparently power-hungry, had taken the remote with him into the bathroom.

Rob “fwumped” onto the couch in defeat and Joe took the cushion beside him.  On the TV screen was a woman far too chipper to look at so early in the morning.  All her teeth showed as she enthusiastically greeted the audience, telling them about a popular band she was interviewing.  Her hand shook with the fuel of black coffee as she held a mic towards the group’s designated speaker, their one and only girl.

“So, tell me,” the woman asked her, “what’s it like being in a teen rock band?”

As the girl went on to talk about the difficulties of touring while still finishing high school, a montage played of her and the other band members using their musical abilities.  The first few clips were of her singing into a mic, sending Sound Waves out to re-stitch an opening in the Divide separating the human world from that of the Deafcaps.  The rest of the band soon came into view, their instruments at the ready.  It didn’t take long for the girl’s voice to attract the aliens toward the portal suspended in midair, and the band quickly began strumming up a tune.  The Sound Waves produced by their music blasted the creatures backwards in a rather sloppy fashion, the guitarists having not waited for their drummer to properly stabilize the attack.  Still, it was a decent performance.  The Deafcaps were gone and the Divide was mended.  Thus ended the montage, and the screen returned to the band being interviewed.

“I see.  That’s quite impressive,” the woman said.  Rob noted that she was talking more to the singer than the whole band, and he gave an irritated sniff.

“I’m sure everyone’s excited for the tour,” the woman went on, all her teeth gleaming in the studio’s spotlights.  Joe got up from his seat with a bored glaze in his eyes.  “It’s amazing how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time — ”  The screen went black as Joe hit the power button, not that this seemed to bother the others.  Rob merely got up to stretch while Zubin continued sipping his coffee.

It was as he was popping his back that Rob turned to see the look of tranquil fury on Zubin’s face.  Rob furrowed his brow.

“I hope you’re not irritated that band got famous so fast?” he said uncertainly.

Zubin swallowed a mouthful of coffee and shook his head.  “You know this is just my default expression before caffeine’s kicked in.”

“That’s your default expression period,” Joe said with a wry smile.

“No, be fair,” said Rob.  “Zubin’s default expression is more one of apathy or incredulousness.”

Zubin was somewhat less than amused.

“Is Andrew up yet?” he said coolly.

“I dunno,” Rob said as he stuck his hands in his pockets.  “Probably not.”

He and Joe made their way to the bedroom to investigate, and Zubin remained in the kitchen to stare at his frozen Hot Pocket.  Walking in, the only light in the bedroom was coming from the crack under the bathroom door where Ross was finishing his attack on one of man’s worst enemies: bad breath.  In the bed closest to the window was either a sleeping human or a chainsaw trying to pass as one.  Rob was leaning towards the chainsaw idea, but Joe had his money on there actually being a bear under the covers.

“Andrew, you awake?” said Joe.

“Lights,” said Rob, and their hotel room’s interface system kicked in, shedding light over the bedroom and the bear sleeping in it.

Now would be a perfectly reasonable time to use a grass green tie to describe Andrew.  It was stated before that only a corpse could be compared to grass, and although Andrew was probably not dead, he most certainly looked like it.  Joe and Rob stepped closer to him to see a tie laying haphazardly over his eyes (which must’ve blinded him from some attack), his limbs were wrapped tightly in the sheets (which was probably why he couldn’t get away), and his mouth was agape (evidence of a dying scream).

“Oh, God, Ross killed him,” Rob said flatly.

It was then that Ross emerged from the bathroom, checking to make sure the spacesaver app on his jPhone would have enough room for a drum set.  “What’d Ross do?” he asked as he put his phone away.

“You killed Andrew,” Joe said nonchalantly, “but don’t worry.  With his insurance we can pay for your bail money.”

Andrew groaned.

“He’s alive!  It’s the miracle of money!” Rob exclaimed.

“Come on, Andy, we got a teleporter to catch,” Ross said as he shook Andrew’s shoulder.

“Yeah, seriously, man, you need to get up,” said Rob.  “We need to pick up our instruments, and Coz has something to tell us in person.”

Andrew tried rubbing his eyes, but since there was a tie covering them, he didn’t accomplish much.  He settled on pulling the covers up to his chin to make himself more comfortable.

“Get up!” Rob said as he ripped off the covers.

Upon hearing his band mates’ squabble, Zubin walked in the room and joined the group around the bed.  He then promptly dumped the remainder of his coffee on Andrew’s face, set the empty cup on the nightstand, and exited.  Andrew had shot out of bed like a drowning sailor: soaking wet and swearing loudly.

“What is wrong with you?!” he snarled.

“I’m in a band that needs to be in Glenside today, and our keyboardist still isn’t out of bed,” Zubin called back.  “And you might wanna wring the coffee out of your tie before we go.  There’s a wonky cleaning droid at the front desk that’ll scrub your face off if there’s so much as lint on your clothes.”

Ross looked at the wet piece of fabric in Andrew’s hands and said bleakly, “That’s my tie.”

Turn The Lights Off – Music Video

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

As we all may know by now, Tally Hall’s video for “&” was cancelled due to a lack of resources.  I’m considering starting a Kickstarter fundraiser up for them, but I’m still waiting to find out if it would be worth it.

Luckily, Drew Mokris (AKA Drewmo) of spinnerdisc.com and lefthandedtoons.com is a friend of the band and has been waiting a long time for the chance to direct/animate a music video for the band.  He finally got his chance with Turn The Lights Off which was released last week!

 

Today, Drew gave us a little inside look at the development of the video with this animatic, which is a rough sketch of the concept of the video, given to the band for their approval before the real work on the video began.

Help Design New Hall Monitor Shirt

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

Hey y’all! So the tour is over and while we still have the “&” video to look forward to, I’m not aware of any future plans for the band and neither are you.  This has caused much speculation about the future of Tally Hall and if they’re breaking up, etc.

It’s true that Zubin and Ross are going back to school and Andrew appears to be embarking on some sort of solo project, but this does not mean the end of the Tally Hall.  If anything, this is the start of a hiatus; a much needed hiatus.

By the way… nothing I write here is official news.  In fact, the point I’d like to make here is that Tally Hall is not broken up until they say they’re broken up.

So sit back, relax, enjoy Good & Evil, and do everything you can to help spread the word and request your local stations to play songs from the new album.  Because I’m pretty sure that if they are indeed taking a hiatus, the length of it would probably be cut short if the band’s popularity sky-rockets.

ANYWAY…

Official Hall Monitor Shirt from 2006

I posted a video of the adventures a bunch of fans and I had at the final show of the Good & Evil tour.  We called it TALLYCON 2011.  In it, I referred to the fans as “Tally Hall Monitors” which was a term some of you had never heard before, even though I coined it back in 2005.  In 2006, an official “Hall Monitor” shirt was made by Quack! as a limited edition for street-teamers who helped promote the band during an April 2006 tour.

It got me thinking about making a new, unofficial Hall Monitor shirt. But seeing as HITS is a community effort and not that of just one man, I thought I’d give you all the opportunity to come up with some designs!  I may not decide to go with anyone’s suggested idea, so I’m not really calling this a contest.  Just a call for help.

It doesn’t have to be anything print-worthy, just give me at least a rough sketch that I can go by and I will re-interpret it full-scale.  If I end up using your idea, I will make sure you get one for free.  For everyone else, they’ll be available in the HITS Schwag Shop as soon as possible.

Please make sure it does NOT include the Tally Hall logo or the image of any band member.  This is unofficial merchandise and their image/logo is not licensed to me.

I’ll give ya a week to send me whatever ideas you got!  Email them to me, please.

 

UPDATE:  I haven’t gotten much response to this, which is OK, but literally everyone who’s sent in ideas so far has had the same idea.  A design to look like one is wearing a “hall monitor sash” diagonally from the shoulder to the waist.  I should have mentioned before that, since these are going to be made available through CafePress, the printable area on the shirts is only in the chest region.  So, if you’re still planning on sending me ideas, keep that in mind.  Thanks.

Printable Area

A Truly Special Experience

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

There are few things in life that are more important than music, and there is no better way to enjoy music than at a live performance.  So when I heard that my very favorite band was playing a few hours away, naturally I was very excited.  But it came with a sort of guarded optimism; much as was the case with Good & Evil itself, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, as there was no way it could live up to my unrealistic expectations.

And exactly as with the new album, expectations were exceeded and left in the dust.

But before I begin blathering (as my wife and I have been doing since the other night) I’ll look at the evening chronologically.  First on stage was the extremely talented Casey Shea, who as you probably know stood in for Joe during his absence.  While it’s probably not the sort of music I would listen to on my free time (to each his own), there was no doubting this man’s skill as a writer and performer.  Each of his songs, which I might describe as sort of a bluesy-classic rock, were wonderfully composed and expertly played.  The best aspect of Casey’s set however was undoubtedly his stage presence.  It was apparent after about a minute that this man was born to be onstage; his own banter, his animated tendencies, his audience participation segment—all proved his prowess as a performer and made me constantly think of how, while he’s perfectly entertaining on his own, any group of equally-talented musicians could benefit enormously by having him in the band.  I don’t know if he’ll eventually get a group together (or already has) or continue going solo, but whatever he chooses it’s clear that he’s got the potential to go places.

 

Next up was Speak, performing a set which honestly took me off guard.  My first reaction when they got onstage was surprise at how very young the four guys looked, but I was soon blown away by how much they rocked.  The energy they exuded was incredible, and they had no problem finishing up the crowd warm-up and psyche-out process that Casey started.  The band was incredibly tight, always in perfect rhythm amidst their blazing fast synth-laden pop melodies.   And while in my opinion the impact is significantly lessened in their studio recordings, the most fun and interesting parts of the set were whenever the three singers harmonized in their awesome falsetto.  The heavily vocal sections were what set this band apart from the rest of the genre (for me, at least), adding a rare kind of spirit to the performance.  Also fun to watch was the guitarist’s proficiency in making adjustments to his various effects pedals on the fly, which was a feat in itself.  Altogether I was surprised and delighted by the band, and it was the perfect set up for what was to come.

 

Finally the Guys In Ties started trickling in and after a comically, feedback-riddled sound check, they went backstage and returned with their outfits.  They then proceeded to blow me away with the most awesome performance I’ve ever witnessed.  Every concert I’ve attended I’ve looked at the people in the very front and wondered what it would be like to be right there, practically at the band’s feet as they rock pretty much to your face.  Well I’m very glad to report that my wife and I were first in line and thus first to the very front of the stage… and the opportunity couldn’t have come on a better night.

The band played every song on the new album but “Fate of the Stars” (which is understandable, it being a long and complicated song), along with a fair share of MMMM and concert staples.  I was personally hoping to hear one of MMMM’s Joe Hawley epics, but the set was already much too packed full of goodness.  Good & Evil is without a doubt one of my favorite albums of all time (and quite possibly my absolute favorite, the more I listen to it) and hearing the songs live was an experience all its own.  Being there, hearing them sing, watching them with their instruments, witnessing the chemistry between the members — it was an experience that was easily worth the measly twelve bucks it took to get in, many times over.

Those who were sad to find the easygoing goofiness of MMMM absent in G&E will find all the solace they need at a live show.  The band interaction was a joy to witness, with plenty of humorous goofs to keep the whole affair lighthearted and fun (such as needing to start a song over because one of the guitars wasn’t on, and Zubin reprimanding an audience member for shouting a longwinded message at an inopportune time).  And of course, a lucky soul by the name of George was allowed to rock out on the theremin during the “on” outro of “The Trap” (much to my intense jealousy).  I was surprised to see Bora up on stage with his own orange tie, and I thought his introduction at the beginning was particularly funny.

It was all over much too quickly, as is the case with anything as wonderful as a concert, but the greatest part of the evening came after the show.  After every concert I’ve been to the band members either retreated immediately to their bus or only met with fans reluctantly a few hours after the show, and only long enough to sign a few autographs on their way out.  It’s very fortunate, then, that this show was the exception.  Right when the lights went up the band gathered in the back to meet and greet every single fan.  There were certainly crowds to get through, but I got the opportunity to meet every single tie-clad fellow, even sharing pleasant conversation with many of them.  It was a dream-come-true to finally chat with the members of my favorite band, and certainly the best thing that’s happened to me since getting married.  Most of the artists I’ve met, while perfectly nice people, have sort of a “high and mighty” thing going on, or at least a “crap, another annoying fan” thing.  Not so with the good men of Tally Hall.  Each one seemed genuinely pleased to talk with me, repeatedly thanking me for making it to the show.  I packed a box filled with a random assortment of items I thought they might find somewhat amusing (the contents of which I’ll post somewhere else sometime) and Zubin seemed honestly curious as to what it might hold.  While I was a tad star struck (as is natural), talking to these guys was more like hanging out with old friends.  They were so welcoming and I’ve seen them so many times in sketches and THIS that it honestly felt like I’ve known them for a long time.  And that is a very special experience to have with people whose music is so important to you.

I could go on for hours.  Suffice to say, it was the greatest concert experience I’ve ever had, and it’s definitely a memory I’ll carry with me forever.  So if you like Tally Hall and live anywhere close to where they’re going to be playing, you have no excuse.  Grab some extra cash for a few shirts, head on over to the venue and have the time of your life.  You’ll always be glad you did.

Hi fellow Tally Hall fans, I’ve never made a post to this community, but I thought I’d share my photos from the Minneapolis concert on July 24th, at Seventh Street Entry.

A little background: I actually live in Michigan, but I am visually handicapped and can’t drive. I live too far away from Grand Rapids to have gone to that show, and I don’t navigate well at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor which is about an hour away – so instead of doing a Michigan show, I flew to Madison, where the friend of mine who got me into Tally Hall met up with me and we drove to Minneapolis together for the show and to stay a couple days.

About a month ago, I’d e-mailed Rob just to say hi and to say I’d be coming to Minneapolis’s show. He wrote back that he was “excited to see me” there and that it would be a “more intimate gig” than the Michigan ones, and he told me to “come say hi” after the show.

This got long with all the pics, so I’ll put it behind a cut to spare your friends pages. :D

”CaseyCollapse )

Sorry that got so long and embarrassing. XD I hope you enjoyed my pictures anyway!

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

TALLY HALL at THE TROUBADOUR!


FIRST CONTACT
(you can totally skip this part if you want to, as it is merely anecdote. stuff about the show itself is down there.)

This was actually my first Tally Hall concert ever, despite being a fan since around 2005 or 2006… I think. A combination of being in high school without a car, having parents with strict vehicular rules (no one my age could drive me), and not having any TH-fan friends made it difficult. BUT THAT WAS ALL IN THE PAST, and when Tally Hall announced their Good & Evil Tour I was set on going.

I should note here that when I spotted part of the band, I was a little starstruck/disoriented because this was the first time I’d ever see them in real life. Thus, the interaction I had with them was brief and a little awkward (at least on my part). The pedestrian construction bridge/walkway separating us didn’t make it any less awkward. My conversation skill dropped to the level of a middle school girl who has just learned sarcasm. And I never introduced myself.

My best friend and I arrived on the scene at around 7:30. (Doors were opening at 8.) Whilst walking towards the venue, I saw some of Tally Hall & Co. unloading their U-Haul and yelled, “TALLY HALL!” Rob shouted back, “GIRL!” When I got closer, Rob asked me if I was here for them.

Me [brain fumbling with words]: UH, why WOULDN’T I be?*
Joe: Well, why WOULD you be?
Me [mouth fumbling with words]: Uh…ah…er…you have me stumped there.
Then Joe Joe-smiled at me from behind his small, round sunglasses (reminiscient of John Lennon’s).
*See what I mean about the middle schooler who just learned sarcasm?

Rob then noted that I was actually the first person to arrive, which was a little embarrassing.** I asked if there was a prize; Rob said there was a PUNISHMENT. “Oh no,” I said, “Well, I’m not actually here!”
I think I feigned running away but it turned into actually running away because at this point, people who knew the guys were coming up to them and introducing THEIR friends.
**I wasn’t actually the first one there. A small line had formed around the corner of the Troub’s block (where they were instructed to wait).


NOW ONTO WHAT YOU ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT: the show!

SETLIST
&
Cannibal
Welcome To Tally Hall
Greener
Sacred Beast
The Trap
Who You Are
Turn The Lights Off
You
Good Day
Out In The Twilight
Misery Fell
A Lady/Never Meant To Know/Pure Imagination
Hymn For A Scarecrow
You & Me
The Whole World And You
Just A Friend (ENCORE)

NOTABLE HAPPENINGS

  • TH came out in plainclothes to do their soundcheck. When they finished and began to leave the stage, Andrew thanked us all for coming out. After a few minutes, some people in the crowd started to chant “ONE MORE SONG! ONE MORE SONG!”
  • Bora joined the band on stage for most of the night. He was the first one out and stood behind a microphone while his pre-recorded voice greeted us. This recollection totally lacks the awesome Bora-ness that was the introduction…it was just so…Bora!
  • Zubin broke a bass string after the first or second song. This has never happened before. Rob: “We’ve been bringing a back-up bass for FIVE YEARS for TONIGHT!”
  • Some people danced Joe’s Greener dance during “Greener”. The guys slowed down for each chorus and it made me feel like I was at a high school dance.
  • Josh (?), who won a theremin performance for that night, was invited to the stage to play “The Trap”. At this point, the drunk girls to my right and my tininess convinced me to move from the floor to the balcony. It was a good choice. Rob called for a theremin solo at the end of the song, but Josh missed it. Rob mentioned this. Zubin said, “Next time.”
  • Bora played the accordion in “Who You Are”!
  • Ross lost a drumstick towards the end of a song (forgot which song, but I was up on the balcony already) and deftly pulled out a spare while playing! Afterwards, Joe threw it into the crowd.
  • “You” almost immediately became one of my favorite songs in G&E, especially when juxtaposed with a livelier, heavier song. It was the perfect follow-up to the bass-heavy “Turn The Lights Off”. Rob, Zubin, and Joe took a seat stage left so all eyes were on Andrew and Ross (but probably mostly Andrew since he sings)! It was a sweet moment.
  • After “Good Day”, Zubin briefly talked about the release of Good & Evil and how happy they are that it’s finally reached us. I think Zubin described it as “wonderful”—then Joe added, “and horrible.” Zoob totally lost his train of thought.
  • Bora filmed Ross’s powerful drumming part towards the end of “Misery Fell” with what looked like two cameras!! BORALOGUE?!?
  •  A Lady/Never Meant To Know/Pure Imagination was executed beautifully! The crowd cheered in between each song, and though I kind of wish everyone had kept quiet in a reverent, OMG-this-is-so-beautiful-we’re-waiting-with-bated-breath-for-what’s-next kind of way, LA’s enthusiasm was a very good thing.
  • “Hymn For A Scarecrow” is so, so good played live. Bora sang Ross’s part at the end, but I saw Ross singing along anyway. Put a big grin on my face.
    I loved seeing the guys getting into the big build-up in the instrumental. I know that Tally Hall loves playing their music, and I saw it especially in this song, I think. I always feel warm and fuzzy inside when I see musicians doing their thing unhindered.
  • “The Whole World and You” was the last song in the official setlist, I think. (Yay, an Andrew song to close!) Zubin, Rob, and Joe huddled around Zubin’s microphone to sing the la-la-las, which was so cute.
  • Rob came out first a few minutes later, took his mic, and said that this was technically the second encore. “Let the record show.” Then he began to rap?/sing?/speak? “Just A Friend” and everyone, naturally, went nuts.  In the breakdown before the last verse, Rob came forward and said, “Thaank you El-Aaaaayy” in a way I could only describe as… bashful. And cute. Then he said some more words before Zubin or Joe reminded him that they still had to finish the song. Which they did. Brilliantly.

In closing, Rob looked pretty tired last night; in fact, I’m sure all the guys are a little tired now that they’re about halfway through their tour. But they performed excellently and had as much fun as the audience did—proof that these guys are great musicians and people. SPEAK (who’s with them until the 10th) and Casey Shea are worth listening to as well. SPEAK sold their EPs for $1; my friend and I bought them immediately after their set. If Tally Hall’s coming to your town soon and you’re still on the fence about going to their concert, HOP OFF OF IT and join the band!

I hope we treated you well, Tally Hall! ONE MORE SONG!

This Week In Tally Hall News

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

There’s been a lot going on in the world of Tally Hall as they prepare and subsequently embark on their Good & Evil tour.  In case you missed something, here’s a wrap-up of what’s gone down.

On July 20th, the band sat down with Martin Bandyke of Ann Arbor’s 107.1 for an interview and broadcast of some songs from Good & Evil. You can hear that broadcast with and without songs in the HITS Galleries.
http://www.hiddeninthesand.com/gallery/v/audio/07202011_aa1071/

Later that night, on July 20th, they held an Open Tour Rehearsal and answered some questions using StageIt. Fans could donate whatever they could to be allowed the view it live. The band received about $250 in gas money, which is a big help, since they’re doing it all on their own, now. After they wrapped up the broadcast they hit the road for their kick-off show in Grand Rapids, MI. For those who missed it, here it is!

 

July 21st, the band found themselves on the set of ABC13 WZZM in Grand Rapids, MI, where they sat down with Catherine Behrendt to take some questions and performed an acoustic version of Sacred Beast.

 

Without much of a warning, the band joined FearlessRadio in studio for a lengthy interview and the broadcast of a few songs including Cannibal, Hymn For A Scarecrow, and Fate of The Stars. A recording of this broadcast was posted on HITS Galleries, but has since been taken down at the request of FearlessRadio. They will have a recording of their own up on Monday, July 25th.

Also in the news, the band’s cover (with Casey Shea on lead vox) of Flo Rida’s “Club Can’t Handle Me” got some buzz on MTV Buzzworthy. There’s been a little bit of displeasure coming from some fans who don’t hear the classic Tally Hall spin on this like they hear in other classic Tally Hall covers. Personally, I feel that if this garners them some publicity, then it doesn’t matter. I believe it was really only done for fun and to try and stir up some attention to the tour. Listen to the song here and put your hands up:

 

Finally, as the tour is still in its beginning stages, allow me to remind you once again that the HITS Blogs are open to everyone to write up and share their own concert reviews as many have done in the past. All you need is a Twitter account or register a new account on HITS Blogs.

The HITS Galleries are also open to anyone to add concert photos (or other TH-related pics/audio).

P.s.  If you don’t follow HITS on Twitter, you should.  If you tweet anything during the concerts to me or with a #tallyhall hash tag, I may retweet it so everyone can enjoy each show together.

Tally Teens Pt. VII

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

“Where exactly are you taking us?” Joe asked as the five boys crossed the lake to where the drum graveyard was.

“It’s something I just found last week while searching through the woods over here,” Zubin answered.  The boys continued on in silence as they approached the shore.  Zubin led them through the woods for quite some time before they approached a two story, abandoned house.  The windows were broken in, the paint was faded and peeling.  It had a mysterious feel to it, as if it were haunted.

Zubin continued into the house without hesitation, while the other four were cautious.  They followed Zubin into the house, not wanting to lose track of him, down a creaky set of stairs into the basement.  Looks of awe spread across their faces when they saw what was in there.  There were umbrellas, blankets, flashlights, a WWII sleeping bag, an upright bass, an old record player, and a stack of about ten vinyls.

“This is… awesome,” Rob said, stunned, “how exactly did you find this?”

“I got bored looking through the drum graveyard and decided to walk around and found this.” The boys ventured around the rest, having fun trying to scare each other before meeting back in the basement.

“This place is really cool,” Ross said, settling himself on the stiff sleeping bag.

“Hey, be careful.  That was my granddad’s,” Zubin pleaded.

“Hey, has anyone seen Joe?” Rob questioned while looking around the room.  Joe was nowhere to be seen.

“You mean he didn’t come back?”

“Do you see him?”

“No.”

“Then he obviously didn’t.” The boys frantically searched for Joe.  Half an hour later, they had searched everywhere.  Well, everywhere except for the attic.  They shoved each other to go up until Andrew offered to go up first.  The stairs that led up were very creaky, as if they would break at any moment under the boys’ weight.  They all made it up safely and looked around the cobwebbed attic.  It had the creepiest stuff you could imagine: colorful wigs, insane hats, creepy masks, innately carved statues, and the likes.  It was freaking the boys out.

“Booh!” Joe said from behind the boys.  They all screamed as they turned around.  They screamed even louder when they saw him wearing a creepy red bird mask.

“What the hell, Joe?” Zubin exclaimed.

“You should’ve seen your faces.  They were hilarious,” Joe said while laughing.

“Yeah, hilarious,” Zubin said sarcastically while swiping the mask from Joe’s hand, “where did you find this?”

“Follow me,” he said while taking the mask back and turning the other way.  There was small box filled with the same masks, but in blue, yellow, gray, and green.  The boys grabbed their respective colors and began fooling around with them.

“Who would have these?” Rob asked as they left the house.

“I don’t know, but they’re badass,” Joe said while holding his mask to his face.

“Yeah.”  Nightfall was approaching, so they quickly skuddled into the boat and rowed home.

Good & Evil Is Upon Us

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

Perhaps the biggest day in Tally Hall’s history is upon us.  A day many have waited quite a few YEARS for.  Yes, years.  I remember within a month of the release of their first record in 2005, people were wondering what they were going to do next.  Then, when the first of the new songs “Turn The Lights Off” debuted in June of 2006, the frenzy began.  They didn’t start recording the next album for another 3 years, during the autumn of 2009.  Then, more delays struck.

But finally, 572 days (Or 1 year, 6 months, 26 days… or 49,420,800 seconds… or 823,680 minutes… or 13,728 hours… or 81 weeks) since they finished tracking the album, Good & Evil, Tally Hall’s 2nd full-length album has hit shelves.

And the best part is, they didn’t disappoint. As many of us suspected all along, this was going to be quite an awesome album. They’ve outdone themselves. But don’t take my word for it… they have made the album FREE to stream for the next 2 days. You can also enter to win a theme song written and performed by the band. http://www.tallyhall.com/goodandevil/

But remember to BUY the thing. At the time of writing this, they’ve already broken into the top 10 on the iTunes Alternative chart. This must go higher!
Buy it. Tell your friends to buy it. Enjoy a new type of musical goodness; embrace the duality and coexistence of Good & Evil.

Tally Hall’s Ustream Wrap-up

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

Tally Hall recently hosted two little listening parties on Ustream. They took questions and played some songs from their album, Good & Evil, which is finally being released on June 21st, almost 6 years after their last (and first) album was initially released. On Tuesday, June 14th, Ross, Rob, and Andrew broadcasted from Andrew’s apartment in Brooklyn. Some of the things they talked about were:

  1. In a nutshell, the reason it took so long to release Good & Evil is that after they recorded it, they thought it sounded good, Atlantic thought it sounded good but they just wanted to hold on to it for a bit.  In the end they decided they didn’t want to release it after all and they gave it back to the band and took it to Quack, with whom they’re happy to be back with.
  2. The “?????” item in the Deluxe Edition is dependent on what number you were in the pre-order, so you will receive more or less gifts depending on what number you were.
  3. Andrew thinks La Roux’s “Bulletproof” was the best single of the last year.
  4. Grinnell College had streakers when they played there.
  5. “I’m Gonna Win” was the song that JUST BARELY missed the cut.
  6. Rob once again answered the question of “Whatever happened to [his song] Time Machine?” with “Gone. Sometimes you have to kill your babies.”
  7. Andrew reiterates a question and answers it:  ”Is this gonna be our last album?  Maybe…… maybe NOT….” and cites The Office as the inspiration for his answer.  Do you get the reference?  If so, comment below.
  8. A question was asked about live drums.  Ross says “Pretty much, yes.  Everything was done live with a few exceptions.”
  9. Rob got a voicemail in the middle of the broadcast from a man dialing a wrong number and wants the callee to know his boat is ready to be put in the water.
  10. “Why is the tour 18+?” Andrew says they TRY to play All Ages venues, but venues don’t make money on alcohol if it’s All Ages, so they can’t always play All Ages venues.  But if you can organize a show while they’re in town, and it makes sense for them to play (ie. they have the time & they won’t lose much money), maybe they’ll do something.  You can contact them through Twitter or email band@tallyhall.com or through Facebook.  They will try to figure something out.
  11. They don’t hate Florida!  Unfortunately, it’s kinda far to get to on tour sometimes.  (During the 2nd night, Joe also addressed this by saying he specifically tried to book a show in Florida… but it just didn’t work out.  ”The resources associated with this situation are not aligning in a way that may or may not be considered desirable. Trying to be diplomatic.”)  Rob brings up a good point by asking Floridians if THEY ever thought about moving.
  12. They would consider writing a broadway musical (we have heard rumors that they may have already worked/will be working on such a thing).
  13. Will there be a 2nd season of THIS?  There may or may not be.
  14. They advise asking Joe about his disappearance on the 2nd night of the Ustream, which the people did.
  15. “Fate of The Stars” was specifically not played.  They’re leaving that as at least one surprise for when we have the album in hand.
  16. Ross picks Team Zombies over Team Unicorns.
  17. Andrew does do lead vocals on a couple songs.
  18. Why is Ross’s hair grey?  Ask Zubin and Joe.
  19. Andrew wants to know if anyone actually LISTENS to vinyl or is it just a collectors thing.
  20. Joe designed and did all the artwork throughout the album.
  21. They half-seriously suggested that if you play a weird or unique instrument, to email them and they might let you play on stage with them while they’re in town.
  22. “Stationary Love” will probably not be on the next album (or any album after that).
  23. Andrew supports Tracy Morgan’s freedom of speech.  Rob agrees.

Throughout the broadcast, they played three songs from Good & Evil; Never Meant To Know, Misery Fell, and Out In The Twilight. Here are the recordings of those songs, as we heard them… which was not too clean to begin with. (Apologies for the missing beginning of Never Meant To Know) Never Meant To Know:

Misery Fell:

Out In The Twilight:

Joe and Zubin helmed the second night of the Ustream listening party on June 15th from the offices of QuackMedia in Ann Arbor. Oh, Bora was there too, via Skype (or something like it). Some of the things they talked about were:

  1. Zubin says “Cannibal” is about being very hungry and having no other options.
  2. Joe was asked why he wasn’t on the last tour.  ”Seems like a question that should be addressed.  Basically… my personal life and my professional life intersected in a way that may have been considered unsavory.  So given that conflict, I was unable to tour.  I will be on the tour at the end of July into August.”
  3. “What happened to THIS?”  Zubin says THIS died.  But it’s still alive.  So that answers that.  (He later says there’s nothing planned for THIS season 2.  Joe adds they had a lot of ideas for it.  But Atlantic still owns THIS so they’re still affiliated with them in that regard.)
  4. Joe:  ”There is sort of a story to this album [Good & Evil].  It’s the story of mathematics, or a paradox.  There’s a scene in Labyrinth that kind of references this album , or vice versa.  It’s the scene involving the two guards.  ’One of always tells the truth and one of us always lies.‘  It’s a riddle.”
  5. Zubin is pretty confident that Andrew had the longest beard but Joe thinks Ross’s had something going on during the album.  Bora had a halloween party at his house and Ross dressed up as a convincing Moses.
  6. Zubin would love to go to Ireland or anywhere abroad.
  7. They are currently talking about music videos.  It’s still in the works, so they don’t really know.
  8. This tour will have some Marvin’s content played but mostly focusing on their new album.
  9. “Why is Ross’s hair grey?”  Genetics.
  10. This will be the only planned tour of 2011.
  11. Aside from Bora who whistled, there were no other guest musicians on the album except perhaps Tony Hoffer (producer).
  12. To record MMMM, they visited the Music School of Michigan to record all sorts of things;  they went outdoors, did some field recordings, had big groups of friends sing & clap, etc.  Good & Evil was a much more pared down album and it focused more on their instruments and kind of keeping it simple, especially relative to Marvin’s anyway.
  13. Joe has played Shadow of Colossus.
  14. “Do you guys mind when people record your live shows?” Zubin:  ”Yeah, why not.  Have at it.  It’s not normally the… the recorded version of the song is kind of what we’d prefer people to hear, but there’s also an element of live that you can’t get anywhere else. So… go for it.”
  15. “Have Mary-Kate and Ashley heard Two Wuv?”  They don’t know.
  16. The first album Zubin every bought was Ini Kamoze’s ”Here Comes the Hotstepper” followed by Green Day’s “Dookie.”  Joe doesn’t recall his first album.  But remembers his dad bought him a lot of Beatles albums in one go.  To impress a cute girl on his bus, Zubin said The Beatles were his favorite band (even though he didn’t know much about them at the time).
  17. Zubin’s a fair-weather fan of “Weird Al” Yankovic.
  18. “I was wondering if you’d ever make older, rare songs available for download.  I’d love to pay for them.”  Zubin says:  ”That’s an interesting thought.  I don’t think we’d ever make them available but they’re probably floating around out there if you wanted to get your hands on them.”
  19. Zubin currently is listening to Fleet Foxes and Al Green.  Joe’s current faves are a secret.
  20. Zubin is very weary of consuming baked goods from fans because he knows they’ll have a show the next night and doesn’t want anything to go wrong.
  21. There will be new Tally Hall swag on the website soon.
  22. Zubin’s favorite venue might be The Blind Pig, not necessarily for the sound but for the atmosphere and energy of the Ann Arborites.
  23. Neither of them have had a McBeastly.  (A McChicken, a McDouble, and a double quarter-pounder… one unit, three sandwiches.)
  24. Bora will hopefully be coming along on the tour and documenting the whole thing and adding his signature Bora flair.

They also played three songs; Cannibal, Sacred Beast, and You. Here are those recordings. Cannibal:

Sacred Beast:

You:

Thanks to David Thom and Joe Jakubowski for the audio recordings – and to “bbgun” on LiveStream for archiving the streams for our re-viewing pleasure.

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