A Tribute to Tally Hall

by criticalhit009

It is time to give a tribute to a favourite band of mine, Tally Hall. The band crafted great pop confections, earning them a small but dedicated fan base. They are usually compared to They Might Be Giants, and its hard not to argue for it, considering the intensity of the fanbase. I first heard of the band watching Late Night with Craig Ferguson sometime in high school (probably August 2nd, 2006, according to Wikipedia.) I scribbled down the band name, as I loved the song they performed, “Good Day”, now one of my favourite music videos.

Being an unemployed youth at the time ignorant of the possibilities of the internet, I never took the chance to learn more about them. I hadn’t encountered them again until college, where I dug out the small notebook that held their name. By then I had my own computer, and listened to a few tracks on YouTube. By the time their second album came out in 2011, I had a job on campus, and took the opportunity to see them live in Grand Rapids.

It was a great night. I met a student who first compared made the They Might Be Giants connection for me, and we had a good time hanging out together, despite her attendance at a rival college (her dad was there too). I regret not reaching out to her after the concert.

This concert was also where I first encountered the band SPEAK, who was one of the openers. it helps that Rob Cantor, one of the members of Tally Hall, reminded me through his Facebook page that they were still working. And then there was Tally Hall. Their set was primarily their latest album, Good & Evil, which I immediately bought after the show, along with a vinyl copy of their first album, just for the cover art.

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum Album Art by Tally Hall


I don’t have much to say about the show itself, except that it was a lot of fun and really good. I remember Bora (the 6th member, so to speak) beginning the show like an airline steward, signalling what to do in case of emergency as pre-recorded audio played. It was little touches like these that really made the band something special.

I listened to Good & Evil on repeat for the rest of the summer, and eventually shared it with my partner next summer as a structured music exchange. I came late to the fanbase, discovering all the wonderful things the band did after then happened (such as their Internet Show) that helped them gain such a devoted following.

And now with the 10th anniversary of their first album, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, comes a tribute album from many of the people who toured with them. You can download it on band camp, pay what you like. I don’t particularly care for these covers, but this release got me started why I value the band’s work in the first place, for their quirky and utterly charming presence both in their music and online.