The joy of Tally Hall

Joe Hawley (red tie), Ross Federman (grey tie), Rob Cantor (yellow tie), Andrew and Zubin all attended college at the University of Michigan and began playing music together in 2002. Their band bio has their lives linked through mutual friends as far back as their middle school days. Their album is named after an existing extensive collection of mechanical games and animatronic dummies located in Farmington Hills, Mich., in a mini-mall the band titled themselves after. They share song writing responsibilities, which accounts for the eclectic selection of songs on MMMM. From emotive to philosophical to witty and silly they each bring an appealing quality to the Tally Hall table.

I met with these creative souls again on my last trip to New York. I separated from my crew and braved the subway alone to meet Andrew, Zubin, and Joe in Williamsburg. We walked to Union Pool for some beers and a beseeching place to conduct our interview. I learned they moved there to be around more culture and artistic happening. Joe missed the Earthen Jar's delicious food, professors talking about interesting things and the nature in Michigan, but relocating to New York seemed to be the band's natural progression. Details on the brainstorming process for their next album would not be shared (Andrew feared I might steal the ideas). Fans can, however, look forward to a highly collaborative reinvention of the fabloo rock we're used to.

We also chatted about magic, cursing, and how you'd have to be dumb not to vote for Obama (the interview was held the date of the first debate). Joe has gotten into The Parlor Mob's classic 60's/70's rock sound recently as well as Spinto Band's latest, Mookwink. He also shared with me later that he was star struck when stumbling upon the girls of the Ditty Bops. Andrew is big fan of Blitzen Trapper. Zubin has been listening to a lot of Girl Talk and Fleet Foxes. No one is listening to Ludo. I chose to protest against The Jonas Brothers and TH's instinct to interview kicked in. Zubin took the reins of the camera man and I shit talked the Disney-funded teenage heartthrobs. Andrew wanted to know if I'd seen their internet show. I continuously and selfishly misinterpreted this as his misunderstanding of what The Merry Andrews show is all about. I was distracted by Joe asking if I would go on a date with all of them. These men are dangerously charming.

Once I slipped out of dodo mode, I realized I was being informed of a series of sketch comedy internet episodes that would bring me great joy in the coming weeks. This being news to me garnered a reprimand from Andrew for not doing my research, which stimulated a slap to the ear from Zubin for speaking harshly to me. The ear suction slap is the worst. I sympathized as he whined about still hearing a buzz and rushed over to lend a magical healing kiss. "You owe me" blurts Zubin.

I end the interview and agree to a date that night. We then headed to Ross and Rob's apartment for an evening of wine, cheese, and various friends popping in. Joe's birthday was celebrated, he got a fancy juicer (he related to me earlier he visits Juice Bars daily, so I knew how satisfactory this gift was) wrapped in paper adorned with half-naked buff men. Zubin created game pieces out of the squares that contained the men and we played a round or two of "Who is hotter?". I lost. The night was the highlight of my short stay in the city.

Besides the jovial content of the Tally Hall Internet Show, one of the best parts is that the episodes are all available to watch on the band's website. So you need not fret that you've missed the first eight of the 10 -- you will not be lost. Each episode is around ten minutes, so catching up won't take you long. They describe the show as one about everything. Kind of the opposite of Seinfeld, a show about nothing. Music videos are debuted in a handful and you will be pleasantly kept on the edge of your seat as they bring you an intense variety of stories and skits. Watch the THIS trailer below, then visit to be fully amused.

I woke from a night of Irish whiskey drinking to a throat that was pained to swallow. My dear friend, Toby, sent me along my way with two packets of Emergen-C to drink with in my day. He also asked me "Do you want a banana?" I knew it was going to be a good day. Friends that care about and influence your well being are beneficial to have around. Friends that unintentionally push your play button and endure your raspy, slightly hung-over, under the weathered version of the whimsical Tally Hall song "Banana Man"- I would say you should try to keep them around as long as they'll stand you.

Tally Hall (pictured above) is responsible for a bulk of my amusement. Whether I am serenading the empty pub in the morning when I sing along to their album, Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum (MMMM) as I open, or I'm locked into the latest episode of the Tally Hall Internet Show (THIS), I'm always entertained. When Twitter notifies me the band has posted a new blog, you better believe I jet right over to check it. The peeks into their personalities that they provide are playful and clever. They are that gelastic in person too. Fellow Merry Andrew, Aly, and I were instantly drawn to them when we first met at Lollapalooza in Chicago this August. Two gentlemen in black slacks, white button up shirts and solid color coded ties approached us in the media area. Toting a Blender microphone and camera, they asked us what we thought of the band Ludo, which we responded "Ludo who?" This pleased the young men. Then we insisted on turning the tables and interviewing them, demanding to know more about the secret society their uniform obviously suggested they belonged to. Andrew Horowitz (green tie) and Zubin Sedghi (blue tie) informed us there were 3 others that completed the "Marionette quintette". They then invited us to watch them play their instruments and sing their songs on the BMI stage the next day at 1:45 p.m.

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