A lot of things have changed for Tally Hall, whose members banded together while students at the University in 2002 and recorded their debut album, Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum, in 2005. Having graduated, relocated to Brooklyn and recorded a second, yet-unreleased album, Good & Evil, the bandmates haven’t played a hometown show since March — an unfortunate truth that will change after their concert this Friday at Church and Willard Streets, by the ongoing South University Art Fair.

Tally Hall

Friday at 8 p.m.
Ann Arbor’s 107one/Sesi Mazda stage at the South University Art Fair
Free

But one Tally Hall constant stands out: the guys’ color-coded ties.

“They’re eternal in theory, I suppose — I don’t know what the shelf-life of a tie is,” said silver-tied drummer Ross Federman in an interview with the Daily. “They give and they tear and we’ve gone through slight color modifications, but really nothing too different from what we started with.” And, although Federman can’t promise that the defining garment will always be a necktie in the future, “we want to maintain at the very least the color element.”

Bass player Zubin Sedghi, of blue-tie persuasion, explained what distinguishes Tally Hall’s post-college Brooklyn life from the band’s Ann Arbor days.

“We didn’t necessarily stick to a specific genre,” Sedghi said of Tally Hall’s 2005 album. “I think our newer album is less all over the place; it has more of a sound” — a quality Sedghi attributes to growing up and moving to the big city.

“There’s a very different environment in Ann Arbor, on a college campus, than there is in Brooklyn, not on a college campus,” Federman added. “I think there’s a general older vibe, you’re around more people who are working day jobs and heading on to the next stage of their life after college.”

The band’s setlist has also gone through some modifications. Naturally, thanks to a host of new material, Tally Hall has more songs to choose from. But on the flipside, with Good & Evil still waiting for an official release date, most of its tracks have not yet been heard by fans.

“For us, it’s really wonderful to play the new songs … it’s just more exciting,” Sedghi said. “That said, I know as a fan when I go to a concert, I enjoy listening to songs that I know, so it’s going to be kind of a mix.”

“We’ve sort of retired ‘Just a Friend’ as a cover,” Federman said of the Biz Markie tune to which the band used to pay winking tribute at the end of some shows. “It’s maybe still in the repertoire, but not officially. It’s ‘retired,’ but … in quotes.”

So will the cover make an appearance this Friday?

“It’s a secret,” Sedghi said. “Well, it may be a disappointing secret … (but) if the crowd wants it, then…”

Much of Tally Hall is indebted to the crowds it draws — even, to some degree, the band’s continued existence. As students at the University, the Tally Hall members weren’t counting on making it big in the music biz.

“(Tally Hall) gained popularity, and we were like, ‘Let’s do this!’ “ Sedghi said. “We didn’t really set out to become a professional band.”

Nowadays, all five tie-wearers are career musicians in New York City. But they still enjoy a return trip to their alma mater now and then.

“Brooklyn’s a great place, New York’s a great city, but there’s a lot that you miss about Ann Arbor,” Federman said.

“Ann Arbor is just such a cultured and great town — I mean, the Art Fair is a perfect example of that,” Sedghi added. And as the bandmates continued to reminisce about reading the Daily during lectures in the Chem Building, 500 miles away from their new home base the Art Fair stalls rose and stages were hammered into place — preparing for their homecoming.

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