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September 07, 2005 - Image 43

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-09-07

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Wilco
This band finally caught up
to itself, putting on a great
show at Hill Auditorium in
October 2004.
PAGE SD
* Fall 2005

cJbr 3kbigan &zij
ARTS
NEW' STUDENT EDITION

Top Model
America's Top Model: Cycle
One came out on DVD and
earned four and a half stars
for the show.
PAGE CIN
SECTIOND

No. 1trait
o successful
people: rock
music
o you're here. The
parents have vanished,
your roommate's
stuff is lying on his bed, the
sun is baking the room in
an August heat and you've
got hours till you have to do
anything important.
At this point you should
probably just throw on a
record and watch everyone
scurry around trying to move in before sundown.
You're a freshman and among other things
that will happen during the next four years:
you're going to go to a football game, you're
going to sit in a gigantic lecture and question
your role in the universe, you're going to eat in
a dining hall and you're going to meet someone
with whom you've got nothing in common.
This person will also live next to you for your
first academic year.
My point is that all of these experiences - no
matter all the universality - will be, in a very
profound way, awesomely personal. The weather,
the people around you, your feelings, your feelings
for the people around you - all of these color our
emotions and drench them in permanence.
Please, please pick a good soundtrack.
Though you're going to hear different things
from people (and I'm one of them), personal-
izing your music taste is probably one of the
more important things you're going to do in
the next few years.
Along with learning a foreign language you
have never heard of, thanking your lucky stars
you're an American college student and not a
premature child born in a developing country,
and showing up for an exam, developing and
expanding your music taste is simply something
you have to do in the next few semesters. If we're
being taught to cultivate our precious, precious
individuality (a hard enough task at a huge uni-
versity where everyone wears the same thing on
Saturdays), why eat the same spoon-fed musical
slop you listened to three months ago?
Don't take this as the "college is so amazingly
different" argument - you'll hear that enough
from sleazy upperclassmen trying to hit on you.
Just open your eyes and come to your senses:
you've got a clean fucking slate.
The twangy-historical textures of The Band,
unfettered, aggressive rap monologues from
Rakim, the formative thrash and napalm of The
Stooges. Each a flavor separate, and someone,
even someone on this campus, thinks one of
these three artists is the single greatest achieve-
ment in American pop music history.
If you can't recognize one of those names,
it's cool. Chances are you'll meet someone who
does, and chances are they'd play you the record
if you asked. You don't need to know these
groups yet, but find bands like these, bands of
ungodly talent who perfectly execute their music,
and make them necessary to your life. Start your
life again.
Whether we like to admit it or not, art satu-
rates our lives, from what we say, to how we talk
about our lives; art controls the flow of human-
ity. You're going to explore museums, the very
roots of literature, and discuss everything in drab
rooms early on Wednesday mornings.
This is called learning.
The other stuff: our boundless energy,
our constant rebellion, our furious sculpt-
ing into adulthood, becomes the language
of rap and rock.
You're young; your parents have been feeding
you a steady dose of the music they like since
your days in a bib and blanket. Choose your
music; choose something dangerous, out of what

you know. That's all music worshipers want,
to know that everyone explores, everyone finds
their lives connected to something previously
unknown. To find that someone's artistic life has
turned the corner thanks to a band like the Pix-
ies, Public Enemy or Spoon.
I firmly believe that at the end of life, the final
conclusion won't be who you knew, what you
owned or where you lived; the art you ignored
becomes the barometer of your life. You're
spoiled with time and resources as a college kid,
you've got no excuse not to get your hands on
as much music as possible. No matter how old
- Chopin or Marvin Gaye - music never dies.
Like Tinkerbell smashed into a flat, black and
circular shape, each time a listener believes, an
audible universe is recreated. Lord knows that
sticking to the same 20 albums for the whole of
your adult life is probably worse than eating the
same 20 meals and seeing the same 20 people
every damn day.
Decades of music history are staring you in
your face. Ann Arbor and the whole Detroit
area is filled with musical rule breakers - Iggy
Pop, Madonna, Berry Gordy, Jack White, the list
ctretche can.

Tally Hall
LOCAL BAND EARNS NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT

ALEXAINDER DZIADOSZL/Daily

Tally Hall became semifinalists in mtvU's "Best Music on Campus Contest."

By Aaron Kaczander
APRIL 7, 2005
Daily Staff Writer
The five men of Tally Hall sit in a half circle in the
dark, musty attic bedroom of guitarist Joe Hawley.
Their topic of discussion: proper necktie procedure.
According to Hawley's 1985 copy of Dick Clark's
Easygoing Guide to Good Grooming, completing
the half-Windsor is far harder than it appears. And
as Dick Clark has realized the trials of necktie-tying,
Tally Hall knows the difficulties of songwriting.
"Joe is a perfectionist, he's very meticulous, he
envisions songs months before he's completed them,"
gushed guitarist and vocalist Rob Cantor said.
Now, seeing how integral neckwear is to the multi-
colored performance of the self-proclaimed "wonky"
Ann Arbor pop-rock outfit, it's pretty important that
they each understand the vital stylistic procedure
of tying their ties. No, these aren't the skinny-tied,
scorning rock snobs most associated with the clothing
accessory. Rather, they are the scrupulously color-
coded, inanely well-spoken band of college cronies
that have staked iconic status around Ann Arbor with
their brand of deliciously catchy rock music.
The Tally Hall train has gathered so much national
and even international steam that they have found
themselves semifinalists in mtvU's "Best Music on
Campus Contest." That is, they have managed to land
a spot as one of the top-10 best college bands in the
country. The contest, which features an open online
voting system on mtvU's website, ran until April 17.
Snippets of Tally Hall's song, "Good Day," which
also won keyboardist Andrew Horowitz the grand
prize of the John Lennon Scholarship Competition at

the 2004 BMI Pop Music Awards, ran on mtvU until
the contest was over. The top-five campus bands
moved on to the finals, where they were judged by
industry professionals and artists like G.Love. The
grand prize was a $25,000 recording deal with Uni-
versal Records.
From their first performance at a 2002 Basement
Arts showcase in the Frieze Building to a sold-out
show at Ann Arbor's legendary Blind Pig, Tally Hall
never thought this musical venture would land them
at the potentially career-changing seriousness they
face today.
"That show convinced me that we had something
more than just being a way to keep yourself busy,"
drummer Ross Federman said.
Even though Cantor says they'll devote a couple
years to their project, they remain grounded to the
fact that this strange trip may come to an abrupt end.
"We all have all these different career paths that could
possibly happen, and all these people know that,"
Horowitz said. But Hawley is optimistic: "We're feel-
ing like we're onto something."
And on to something they are. Tally's website has
suffered a slowdown due to an overpowering num-
ber of visitors, and the Hawley-directed video for
the Caribbean-fused "Banana Man" was broadcast to
millions on Albinoblacksheep.com.
This limelight has garnered fan mail from Tally-
Hallniks as far as Japan, Belgium and Germany. This
international exposure, combined with the devoted
following of University students, has led Tally to the
point where they can step back from their tri-harmon-
ic, shared vocal duties and let the crowd sing.
Yet fans unfamiliar with lyrics don't bother bassist
Zubin Sedghi.

"Even worse than nobody knowing your words is
we've played in places where you really don't feel
welcome," said Sedghi said.
This obstacle isn't really an issue for the close-knit
group. "We're pretty confident with our product,"
Horowitz said, on the eve of a Cancer Awareness
Week performance on the Diag.
When it comes to scrutinizing the fine line between
Tally's lighthearted performance style and prolific
songwriting, Cantor drops the silly shtick.
"With five tough critics working on each song, we
can usually come with a pretty fair balance," Cantor
said.
The writing process for Tally Hall is fairly simple;
Hawley, Cantor and Horowitz individually pen the
lyrics and melodies, and then show the product to the
rhythm section of Federman and Sedghi.
"I think we try to achieve some level of profun-
dity in an accessible fashion," said Hawley, reflecting
on the incredible variance in the songstyle of Tally
Hall's Catalog.
A proposed short spring tour would "wonkify"
crowds in states from New Jersey to Illinois. But for
now, Tally Hall is content inhabiting the dual roles of
campus and band life.
"We're college kids and we use the resources we
have," Cantor said.
Those resources must be working, because Tally
Hall's opportunity to take "Best Music on Campus"
award was anything but local.
"It's basically gonna be a ride, and we're takin' it,"
Cantor added.
Quite the ride for the profound, banana slingin',
megaphone rockin' harmonies of Ann Arbor's favor-
ite group of friends.

'ith'marks
magic ofori*j
By Adam Rottenberg
MAY 23, 2005
Daily Staff Writer
MOVER EVI E W
After three of the most wildly popular
films of all time and two of the most loathed,
George Lucas has finished his work on the
theatrical "Star Wars" films. Fans will debate,
for years whether or not the prequel trilogy
tarnished not only the "Star Wars" name, but
also Lucas's own legacy. But now that the final
chapter is playing across the country, "Star
Wars" fans can breathe a bit easier.
That said, "Revenge of the Sith" is not the
best movie in the series, but it recaptures the
magic that was absent from the previous pre-
quels. In other words: It doesn't completely
suck. From the beautiful computer-generated
imaaerv that nermeates the film to the breath-

return to
~Inal trilogy
young Jedi into the villainous Sith lord Darth
Vader.
The plot picks up a few years after the
events of "Attack of the Clones" and throws
viewers right into the action. After all the
political diatribes and ramblings about midi-
chlorians, Lucas finally remembers what his
fans really want: action. Unfortunately, he's
still unable to completely throw the plodding
themes away, and the film suffers greatly from
these moments of "deep" political thought.
The rhetoric is laid on thick in the film's
dialogue ("Either you're with me, or you're
my enemy"), but it's not clear whether or not
Lucas intends his film to be a comment on
the current political landscape. Either way, it
makes the movie lag and is often cringe-wor-
thy, but it merely mires down "Revenge of the
Sith" instead of crippling it.
Worse yet, there is no chemistry between
Christensen's Skvwalker and Natalie Port-

- I

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