Thursday, October 18, 2012

so give it up and smile

our last time together
i think it's safe to say that i've listened to tally hall's first album more than any other album i've ever owned. between my car and my computer, i'm sure i've played it more than tmbg's flood (my very first cd, i think) or the eels' electro-shock blues or... i can't even think what might come close to it. i feel in like with them from their first harmonies of "welcome to tally hall" the night that they opened for guster and bought the disc from them after the show (at a discounted price.)

we listened to it on the way home that night, falling in love with them after the concert like the after effects of a great first date. they were eclectic and creative; every song sounded different, and while they had recognizable influences ("'sgt. pepper' era beatles meets the barenaked ladies," i'd tell peope), they were completely unique and refreshing. there were fun and bold songs that i liked from the start, but over time the quieter songs grew on me and became my favorites. it's the only album on my itunes where i have genuinely rated every song at five stars.

i would give copies of their cd to any friend who would take one. at each concert, we were bringing new friends who had also become fans. i'd reference their lyrics in texts with other tally hall fans. the great laurie jayne would leave me voicemails of her playing their songs on her ukelele. i learned all the words to the fast part in "ruler of everything." heck, i even got them to play a concert at an elementary school. when i mused about what i would do if i could only have one movie to watch for the rest of my life, i had a hard time deciding. but i knew without question that i'd choose tally hall if i could only have one album.

i went to their show every time they came to town and could die happy there. i danced and just soaked up the music and the energy. not only did i know every song by heart, i knew the band. and they knew us. if not by name, they knew we'd be there after the encore, waiting for their signatures on our newest shirts and to take our traditional picture. and they were always good sports about it.

then, life went on. i moved to texas. they released a second album and it was actually pretty good. yet i kind of just stopped listening to them. not abruptly; i didn't get sick of the album or them. it was just one of those times where i realized one day that it had been a while since i'd listened to them. that's how things go sometimes, i guess.

since i first heard them in 2007, marvin's marvelous mechanical museum has always been in the first slot in my car. and it still is. i reached the end of my general conference cds and so when it cycled back to number one today, i let it play. it's been months, but i still know every word and sang along with all my heart. because the fact remains: there's no one better than you.

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