Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Jam of the Indeterminate Time Period: Hallelujah the Hills

Well, it only took me 17 months for a second entry in a series that I originally hoped to update weekly. I have soft spot for myself, so I’ll cut me some slack and call that “ahead of schedule”.

Not entirely sure how Hallelujah the Hills came to my attention, but nevertheless they’re my current jam.

And they’re playing the better part of the Northern Eastern Seaboard in the next few months, including a date in Philly this Sunday.

After the jump, a list of reasons to love them, a few clips, and the aforementioned tour dates.

The List

  1. There’s a lot of ‘em in the band. If having numbers is good enough for parking lot situations, then it’s good enough for me.
  2. They have a hard sound to describe. I hear elements of fun., in that a lot of their songs veer wildly from one tempo/style to another.  But they’re less poppy, more rocky, and entirely devoid of piano. They have some shout-along energy like Titus Andronicus and The Hold Steady, but they’re more tuneful than the former and less so than the latter.
  3. They wear suits whilst performing live (at least some of the time).
  4. They use the horn(s) just enough to so as to be effective (see Lucero’s 1372 Overton Park), but not so much as to be gimmicky (see Ska).
  5. They have a guy whose instruments are listed as “Tambourine, Hollerin’” That gives me hope that someday I could be in a band.  Except for the tambourine part.
  6. They’re on the same label (Misra) as the lovely and talented Centro-Matic.
  7. They allow me to use one of my favorite adjectives to describe their sound. Shambolic. 
  8. They have songs with long titles (e.g. “It's All Been Downhill Since The Talkies Started To Sing”, “Raise The Flag Of Your Sibling's Favorite Daydream”) that are actually used in the lyrics.
  9. Like Titus Andronicus, They Might Be Giants, and Bad Company before them, they have an awesome song named after the band.

The Goods

After a bit of dissonance to start, they start cooking with gas on the aforementioned eponymously titled song about 2 minutes in:

Hallelujah the Hills at Great Scott from Nicole Prowell on Vimeo.


An acoustic version of “It's All Been Downhill Since The Talkies Started To Sing”:


Playing on a hill for some reason.

NUMBER ONE JAMS: Hallelujah The Hills from James Patrick Robinson on Vimeo.


And (presumably) the inspiration for their name is some weird Lithuanian cinema:

Adolfas Mekas, Hallelujah the Hills, 1963 (excerpt) from RE:VOIR on Vimeo.


The Gigs

Full list:

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