My girlfriend, after listening: "It was worth meeting you just so I could hear that."
March 11, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Tally Hall is the best new band I've heard in years, hands-down. They're an American rock band best known for the excellent Good Day video and the cult Albino Blacksheep hit Banana Man. They've released two albums, each masterpieces; the first one is exuberant and youthful and, sometimes, utterly cryptic, while the second is stripped down but astonishingly contemplative and even spiritual, easily one of the best-written pop albums I've ever heard. If you're in the mood for something smart and warm and wonderful, there're...

...a few other songs I think you'd really enjoy.

From the first album, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum:

Spring and a Storm, which is the only children's song I know of that describes having an existential crisis;
The Bidding, which is funky and has some great harmonies and breaks out into full-on musical theater in the end;
13/Ruler of Everything, which is both the darkest and the silliest song on the album, and here's where I mention that all their music videos were directed by one of Tally Hall's band members;
and Two Wuv, which seems cheesy at first but wait till the chorus!

From their second, Good & Evil, there's:

The Trap, which combines so many beautiful lush sounds it's almost uncanny;
You & Me, a single whose lyrics are unexpectedly deep and whose structure is unexpectedly compact (pay attention to how the chorus mutates);
A Lady, quiet and haunting;
You, a tender and earnest love song;
and the closer, Fate of the Stars, which brings the band's output to date to a magnificent, powerful conclusion.

Plus, a few bonus songs:

Their cover of Just a Friend, with which they end their shows;
a live cover of Pure Imagination, which I think perfectly suits them;
and their hit Good Day performed in Simlish for one of the the Sims 2 expansion soundtracks.

I'm so glad you even really truly came!
posted by Rory Marinich (25 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
Oh ELO how are you.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:52 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have some really happy memories listening to them in my girlfriend's car while it rained when we were first dating a few year ago.

Thanks (´・ω・`)
posted by p3on at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2012

I keep expecting them to sing about free credit reports.
posted by unSane at 6:54 AM on March 11, 2012 [4 favorites]

Serious answer: I like many of these jams. Some are little too Weenish and/or Johnathan Coultony for me, but those acts have many many fans so I hope they reach the same folks and become famous.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:00 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Tally Hall is a parking structure in Ann Arbor. This is the first band I've known named after a parking structure.

I'm naming my next band "The Big Blue Deck" (after the parking deck at Metro Airport).
posted by HuronBob at 7:05 AM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

After all that I forgot to include my very favorite song of theirs! It's Misery Fell, off their second album.
posted by Rory Marinich at 7:12 AM on March 11, 2012

If you needed, say, to psyche yourself up before a big scary presentation, you couldn't do better than to close the door and march around your office listening to The Whole World & You (exuberant link). Not that this is something I have done. I'm saying this is something you could do.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:40 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Marvelous Marvin's is also a place in farmington hills, MI. My grandmother used to take me there as a child.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:42 AM on March 11, 2012

You know, I remember hearing about them several years ago, but I don't actually recall the song.
posted by Samizdata at 7:52 AM on March 11, 2012

Their videos are quite inventive --- really interesting stuff for clearly no budget, which, props to them.

One thing, though, maybe I'm alone in seeing it this way, but the makeup in the bananaman video is a little reminiscent of golliwogs. Which is not very cool when combined with a calypso number. I mean, I'd hope that's not deliberate, but it's a little off-putting.
posted by Diablevert at 7:58 AM on March 11, 2012

I kept waiting for their songs to start, but then they were over.
posted by scruss at 8:44 AM on March 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

Tally Hall was also a mall, and Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum was across the road from it, if I remember correctly. Coming up next, that fabulous song from Tel-Twelve.
posted by 41swans at 8:57 AM on March 11, 2012

For a few weeks last year I was addicted to their first album. These days I’m just bummed it’s not available on rdio.
posted by stilist at 10:46 AM on March 11, 2012

Hands down the best college band in Ann Arbor when I went to school there (2003). Excited to find out how much they've upped their game since then!
posted by subdee at 11:07 AM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just downloaded some from eMusic. I'm a big Jason Falkner fan, so it wasn't a huge leap. Thanks!
posted by aesop at 12:40 PM on March 11, 2012

I remember walking home after dinner and heading down Washington St. on a pleasant evening. There was a long queue of people starting at the Blind Pig, wrapping around the entrance of the Kiwanis building, and down to near the railroad trestle, people still adding their bodies to the line as we walked past.

To a person, everybody seemed neat and clean, dress shirts with plain-colored ties about as common as Think Geek style teeshirts. There were some dates among the males, most of whom looked like they were being dragged along.

Some days later, the son of a friend told me that it was a great show.

This is about the extent of my knowledge of Tally Hall, the band. From it I have learned two things:
1. Nerds are finally standing up for themselves on the music scene. After a fashion.
2. Oh god I'm old.
posted by ardgedee at 12:45 PM on March 11, 2012

My favorite music is always in the center of a three-way venn diagram of "happy" "smart" and "weird." This hits the spot nicely.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:21 PM on March 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just wanted to say that I love Tally Hall! Saw them first when they toured with Guster - I did some research and decided that the opening band was worth showing up for. So much fun!

I've seen them several times since then. My favorite was when they decided to end their set by coming out into the audience and siting in a circle with us (kumbaya-style) and playing their last few songs acoustically.
posted by hopeless romantique at 6:31 PM on March 11, 2012

They also share a name with Houston Dynamo's badass goalkeeper.

You know, if you're into soccer.
posted by The Giant Squid at 7:05 PM on March 11, 2012

Grrrr. "No available on mobile."
posted by uberchet at 7:23 PM on March 11, 2012

I'm disappointed they went with gray for their 5th Power Ranger Color Tie.
posted by straight at 8:39 AM on March 12, 2012 Can't stop listening to these guys since yesterday
posted by Actively Avoiding the Noid at 5:13 PM on March 12, 2012

Sartorial quibbles aside, this TMBG /Coulton fan gives them a provisional thumbs up. Thanks, Rory!
posted by straight at 9:12 PM on March 12, 2012

OK it's been a week and I'm still listening to them nonstop. thanks!
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:08 AM on March 20, 2012

Yeah, but.... QUEEN, dude.
posted by armoir from antproof case at 9:58 PM on March 23, 2012

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