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Monthly Archives: June 2011

People have been asking me to make monthly mixes of my current jams. Well, I’ve finally decided to put some together. Every month, I will release a link to download my top ten songs for that specific month. You can download June’s mix by clicking the image below.


You may recall an article I wrote earlier this year about Tally Hall. You may also recall how tumultuous a time they seemed to be having. Well boys and girls, here you have it. They have resurfaced, and they are more alive than ever! In the past month, Tally Hall’s Facebook page has become active again, along with their website, Twitter, and fan site. Their new and upcoming album, titled Good & Evil, looks to be the comeback they need to re-enter the music world after their long hiatus.

Click on the above image for a free download of Tally Hall’s new single, You & Me.

Tally Hall has something most bands don’t have: a color scheme incorporated into their appearance, (see: ties). But in reality, what set them apart in their first album, (Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum) was how much fun they seemed to have both lyrically, and rhythmically.  Their sound was extremely fun, and different from anything out there. Often times, it’s difficult for a band to play around with a fun sound, because they run the risk of sounding corny. That is not the case with Tally Hall. Equipped with all normal components of a band, (guitars, bass, keyboard, and drums) Tally Hall plays around with rhythm and vocals in a way that is almost always sure to make you groove in one way or another.

Good & Evil is a collection of intuitive, unique, and delicious tracks. There are highs and lows. And I don’t mean high points and low points, I mean songs that make you feel high and giddy as ever, and then songs that bring you back down to earth to deal with reality. While these tracks may not have the same zaniness we heard in Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, they do present a very organized, well-rehearsed sound that Tally Hall will forever be known for.

The last time we heard from Tally Hall, they were still in the middle of, for lack of a better word, a large musical pickle. There was definite hope for their future, but there was uncertainty. After listening to this album, there’s not a doubt in my mind that Tally Hall will make the long anticipated comeback that we’ve all been waiting for.

I want to say that all of my favorite tracks on the album have a similar dancey sound, because that is what I’m usually prone to choosing as favorites. However, with Good & Evil, this is not the case. Never Meant to Know introduces the album with a solid guitar beat that lures us in with a sweet story-song, lyrically. It makes me happy to know that while their sound has changed a little,(more composed and unified) their lyrics still stay true to their storytelling ways. There is a lot of poetry in their music, making it fun to listen to because their songs are often times up to your own interpretation.

A couple of my other favorites include Cannibal, which is a straight up dance tune about a crazy woman lover. Hymn for a Scarecrow is another poem in my opinion, laced with acoustic guitar and beautiful but bold underlying bass lines. A Lady graces the ear shortly after with a soothing harp transition, which eventually calls out to the album title, Good & Evil. Turn the Lights Off and Misery Fell are all-time favorite tracks off the album. They embody the quintessential Tally Hall sound that we’ve all fallen in love with from the beginning: a cute singer (vocally and visually) paired with quick rhythms and sexy bass. Misery Fell is totally Beatles inspired though, which I would normally consider overdone, but it happens to work really well in this scenario.

Good & Evil is set to release on June 21st in all formats: digital, CD, and limited edition deluxe vinyl. I know that I’ve urged you all to go out and support all sorts of bands, but I think we can all come to agree that Tally Hall deserves your support. And, guess what else? They’re going on tour this summer. So check them out wherever is most convenient to you, because they’ll be all over.

For more info about Tally Hall and when they’re in your town, follow them on Facebook, or check out their website!

One never knows what to expect from Terminal 5 as a concert venue. It attracts a strange crowd almost every time. On Wednesday, April 27th, I found my fellow dubsteppers to be very rowdy and rambunctious to say the least, but that didn’t deter from the music. Doorly, Destructo, and headliner, Rusko, had come to Terminal 5 to make the rowdy bunch get down and dance…and that is exactly what happened.

“Did that girl just puke on us?” A friend of mine said in absolute confusion and terror. I stood not too far from the bathroom at Terminal 5, with my three girlfriends. It was very true. Our shoes were covered in puke. One of my friends had some on her camera. “Come on!” she said, rushing us to the bathroom as quickly as possible. We cleaned with fervor and disgust, while I somehow managed to make small talk with the bathroom attendant.

“How do you deal with this?! Seriously. You’re amazing,” I said. We were kind of clean at this point. My friend Casey was being tempted to go help a chick crying in the sink nearby us, who had apparently lost her friends.

We managed to exit the chaos that was Terminal 5’s bathrooms. Bass entered our ears and crazy lights appeared from every direction of the stage. Five letters lit up the backdrop of the stage, spelling out RUSKO. On stage, was none other than the bass-master himself. Sporting a white t-shirt and some gold chains, he spun and pushed buttons like a pro. He was a sight, bouncing around, dancing and head thrashing.

To know Rusko, you have to know dubstep. And to know dubstep, you have to know Rusko. His biggest hits, Woo Boost, and 2 N A Q, have put him at a top spot for ravers and electronic music lovers. For this particular show, a HARD NYC event, Doorly and Destructo were the openers.

I’d be lying if I said I was wary of what to expect of this show. Having been to a HARD NYC event two years ago, (a great show too, but I managed to get my phone stolen…) I knew that the shows had a reputation of being…well, to put it bluntly and excuse my French, a total shit-show. The music was always excellent, because Terminal 5’s sound system is phenomenal. But the crowd tends to be, for lack of a better word, retarded. Never know what to expect there.

Needless to say, I danced and had a totally memorable concert experience despite having been puked on earlier in the evening. As long as we stayed towards the middle of the crowd, we had enough room to dance, which was all I wanted to do. I was also surprised to hear Rusko’s versatility on stage, because he provided us with tunes that I’d never heard before. My favorite part had to be the encore, which was short and sweet.

“They’re really strict here, so I’ve got literally five minutes…” Rusko said, as he re-entered the stage. All of a sudden, we were being given latin beats and a dance flair that I would have never associated with Rusko. Alas, the best may as well have been saved for last.

So yes, Rusko delivered exactly as I’d hoped. And you know what? My friends and I didn’t even remember being puked on until we were on the subway home. All we could talk about was the show while we sang parts of Woo Boost that would be stuck in our heads for the upcoming days.

You can buy Rusko’s latest album on iTunes, and if you want to know more, go to his Facebook, Myspace or website.

*Rusko is a graduate of Leeds College of Music with a degree in Music Production

Why is it that whenever we hear new music, we feel the need to classify it into a genre? I’m not trying to go on a personal rant here, but it kind of frustrates me that a lot of music these days needs to be classified into a genre. Music is a language that is interpreted differently by different people.

Gestalt (Ceeda Remix) – Christoph Andersson

Christoph Andersson has been able to embody that musical idea to no avail. His music is electronic, in the sense that it is produced electronically, but there’s something unique about it. His latest EP, Getaway, is a great example. It’s a bit of a journey through four songs. There are two original songs, and then two remixes of the same originals. The originals are well crafted, catering to your ear’s happy needs, while providing you with jazzy rhythms and beats. They are also majorly danceable. The thing about Christoph’s music is that it sounds happy. It feels good to listen to, and it embodies no other musician’s style. It is entirely his own.

My favorite track on the album is Gestalt (Ceeda Remix). It’s a progression from start to finish. The beginning is full force to begin with; you know it’s going to be a banger. From there, new sounds are built and added in to the existing main beat. There’s never a dull moment, and I found myself wondering exactly what would come next. At 2:35, he reintroduces the “chorus” if you will, after fading out, and it serves as a really pleasant surprise.

The entire album is diverse, and unexpected to say the least. Christoph certainly works his magic by experimenting with different sounds and styles, before we can even try to classify him into a specific genre.

Getaway can be found on iTunes, and if you haven’t already checked out his other singles, please do so now. This guy is on his way to big places. And you can monitor that by following him on twitter…seriously; he’s in a different state for a show like every week.

The fourth floor of the New School for Jazz serves as a café for New School students, typically during the day. On this particular evening, it is where I sit before the three gentlemen that make up a band known as Moon Hooch. After some time, we eventually get to the interview, but not without interruptions and getting sidetracked with rather entertaining stories.

Low 4 – Moon Hooch

“We do music all the time. The set up is really unlike any other band, pretty sure we’re the only band with this kind of setup out there,” Wenzl McGowen says. Wenzl plays one of two tenor saxophones in Moon Hooch. The other saxophonist in the band is Mike Wilbur, a student at the New School for Contemporary Jazz. The rock steady force that is responsible for Moon Hooch’s drums, is James Muschler, another student at the New School for Jazz.

Chances are if you are a New School student, you’ve probably jammed to Moon Hooch’s music at one point or another. Whether it was at Bedford Ave, (where they first originally started playing in the subways) Union Square subway, Washington Square Park, or swanky loft parties, there’s a high possibility you’ve heard about them by now. But for all you non-New Schoolers, Moon Hooch is a growing phenomenon in New York City.

Their music, to me at least, can only be described as jazz house music. As in, the fun and dancey-ness of electro house, minus the electro, but with the same steady beats, thanks to the James’ drum talents. Yeah. You heard right. It’s a strange combination, one that’s hard to imagine unless you hear it. Luckily, we’ve taken care of, because you can listen to their music and download it for free off their website.

The three spent the summer of 2010 playing free jazz together and jamming for fun, but it eventually became more serious. They had a knack for playing together, especially in front of strangers. According to them, the band totally formed on a whim.

“I’ve been playing on the streets since I was about 13. My Dad used to bring me up to Boston, and I’d be playin’ the blues in the Boston gardens. I’ve gotten used to playing fun music in front of random people,” Mike said. “Rhythm plus harmony equals dance.”

The best part about Moon Hooch is that they don’t need a manager. I was totally fascinated by this. According to them, their self-created publicity, (thanks to performances in the subway, and occasional gigs like the New York City Pillow Fight in New York City…) is all the help they need.

“When we play on the street, the people who like us stick around and the people who don’t, get to keep walking. It’s like a filter,” Wenzl said. “We have an unusual way of getting exposure, so management is unnecessary.”

For them, the best part of performing is seeing people react to their music. They have a reputation for starting massive dance parties. “If the audience isn’t into it, the gig is horrible. We just feel awkward,” Wenzl said.

Moon Hooch plans to stay in New York City for a while and build their fan-base. But the prospects of a tour in the states don’t seem too unlikely.

Their advice to other college bands is rather simple: “It depends on what you want. Enjoy playing music always, because the world is coming to a fast end,” Mike said.

For more information about Moon Hooch, check them out on Facebook, and on their website.

An audience at Bowery Ballroom stood still with quiet chatter and anticipation on a warm March night, almost exactly a year ago today. The audience consisted of primarily older high school kids, with the exception of the few outliers who may be in the lower to mid twenties. The band they all await is known as Tally Hall, and they have become well known not only for their exceptional harmonies and catchy tunes, but also for their immaculate appearance. Each member of the band can be seen wearing a white dress shirt, and either a yellow, red, green, blue, or silver tie. On that particular evening of March 4th, 2010, everyone expected the full band to come out on stage and play a killer show as they are known for their exceptional live performances.

BY ASHLEY HEFNAWY

What the audience did not expect was for an entirely different man to come out in place of the band’s lead singer, Joe Hawley. In front of the audience stood Tally Hall, and a tall shaggy-brown haired man dressed in Joe’s normal band attire with a small exception: a white dress shirt, black tie, (as opposed to Joe’s red tie) and black dress pants. With no explanation as to where the band’s front man was on that particular evening, Tally Hall started to play their usual repertoire of songs. While the audience was still excited to see the band play, there was certainly an air of confusion and mystery due to the lack of explanation regarding Joe’s mysterious disappearance from the band.

Then all of a sudden, one of the band members quietly mentioned, “Joe was not able to make it to tonight’s show, so we have asked our good friend Casey Shea to temporarily step in.” But he was not stepping in for just that particular show at Bowery Ballroom — Casey had replaced Joe for the entirety of the tour.

For many, Tally Hall’s March and May tours were the last time the band was seen in the public eye. They performed once more at a show with Matisyahu in Brooklyn, late November 2010. Through all the shows and ticket sales, not a word was mentioned from the band to their fans with regards to a new album, or their rumored record deal with Atlantic Records. The fact was, that they were not doing interviews, and they were not releasing any news on possible progress they were achieving with recording a second album. A long period of time has passed since their first album, and their fans were, (and still remain) thirsty for knowledge.

For a band that had so many fans from the get go, one might imagine that their lack of public display or lack of effort to be in the public eye was a potential marketing strategy. Several bands have done it before, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if perhaps they were holding out on publicity so that they could build up hype.

That didn’t seem to be the case. When Tommy Siegel, (lead singer from Jukebox the Ghost, and a personal friend of Tally Hall’s) was asked to comment on the band’s current condition, he replied: “I don’t really feel comfortable answering questions about Tally Hall, since I am friends with them and I’m not sure how much information they want to give right now.”

This was a recurring trend with those that seemed to be closest to them. David Lizmi (bassist and synthesizer of Via Audio, another friend of Tally Hall’s) responded similarly when asked about Tally Hall.

However, the one thing that many people close to the band seem to agree on is the new album that is set to release this year. “Something I can tell you: The second record will be coming out. I’ve heard it and it’s really great. Definitely get pumped for that,” Tommy said.

Andrew Horowitz, Tally Hall’s keyboardist, was able to shed some light on some of the biggest mysteries surrounding the band’s name. As it turns out, the band’s sophomore album, titled Good and Evil is recorded and technically ready for release in the coming months of 2011. The album was recorded in a month and a half, as opposed to their first album, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, which took four months in studio.

“The first album came about organically, because none of us were musicians per se. We created music for fun. No expectations for ourselves, no plan in studio. We only spent four months in studio because we did a lot of experimenting,” Andrew said.

Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum [MMMM] could be described by some as an immaculate sound rehearsed and perfected by each member of the band–one hundred percent effort on every track. That was, essentially, how the band got its reputation for being so put together. While listening to their first album, one could hear catchy tunes and rhythms, humorous lyrics, and theatrical voices. While the same could be said for many other indie bands, all trying to be unique and truly individual, Tally Hall established themselves with their own sound. They were truly unique.

Good and Evil on the other hand included a plan, budget and a label. Since a lot of people were involved in the production of the album, they didn’t have as much experimental time.

“The producer who helped us out also worked with Phoenix, Belle and Sebastian, and Beck. We also tracked the entire album live, which gave the entire album more character,” Andrew said. “But it required a lot more planning on our parts, because recording with a record label requires a lot of different people’s approval. Luckily, there were no real roadblocks in the actual recording process.”

Coz Baldwin, Webmaster of Hidden In The Sand, (Tally Hall’s fan site) had nothing but promising expectations for Tally Hall’s latest record. “My speculations are very high. They had a multi-platinum selling, Grammy-nominated producer working with them to create a stellar sounding record and their songwriting has evolved 10-fold from their last album,” Coz said. “From what I’ve heard (live performances), some of these songs are even more addicting than those on [MMMM] and I know the production will bring them to a whole new level.”

The truth was that over the course of a couple of years, Tally Hall became signed with major record label, Atlantic Records. After they recorded the entire album, they were no longer faced with a record label that was all about the music, but an actual business, just trying to make some money.

“The music industry isn’t doing too well right now; not all labels know exactly how to make money. With Atlantic, there was a lot of stalling. Once we were done with the album they wanted a single,” Andrew said. “It was just a really long tumultuous process, that we learned a lot from.”

Nothing was actually said with regards to whether or not Tally Hall remains to be actually signed with Atlantic Records. However, as per the Atlantic Records website, Tally Hall is no longer listed as one of their signed artists. In addition, Tally Hall was listed as signed with Quack! Media  (their primary indie label) on their booking agent website, Red Ryder Entertainment.

Interestingly enough, it can also be seen on the Red Ryder Entertainment website that Tally Hall is looking to tour from July 22nd, 2011-August 22nd, 2011. Andrew confirmed this speculation, saying that Tally Hall was looking to potentially tour in the summer of 2011.

A couple other questions remained, one of them being, the story behind Joe Hawley’s disappearance from the tour in March 2010. Coz said that the band,  “was suffering from some creative differences in the past, which may or may not have played a small role in Joe’s absence.” Andrew could not comment on this, however, he was able to say that all band relations are fine as of now.

According to Andrew, the explanation for the bands’ mysterious disappearance from the public eye is simple: “When we have nothing to promote, we can’t put out publicity. We’re not a famous band or anything so there’s no reason for our mystery, aside from what’s actually been a tumultuous time.”

It seems safe to say that Tally Hall has essentially been to hell and back. Andrew made it apparent that the band felt terribly about how they haven’t been able to relay any information to their fans. “We all like performing, and we all like being able to create, but these past couple of years have been so complicated that we haven’t been able to communicate to our fans,” Andrew said. However, the band seems to be safely moving forward in an attempt to regain their status and fans within the music world. They are certainly aware of how their lack of news has affected their fan base, and while they are still building new management and relationships, they are certainly headed in a positive direction.

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