Tenement Halls : "Knitting Needles and Bicycle Bells"
If you've never heard of Chris Lopez, you've probably never heard of his last band the Rock A Teens and their melancholy melodramatic psychobilly all tied together with some sorta Brian Wilson esqe somethin'ruther. I was lucky enough to see them for the first time on my twenty first birthday, and have loved 'em ever since. Their 2000 album Sweet Bird of Youth gets almost more playing time on my turntable than anything else five years later. Unfortunately, it was to be their last record, and the only thing I've heard from Chris since then was that he got married, and has something like 27 cats.
Then last week I finally got my stubby little hands on the new Tenement Halls record. It's Chris and a couple of the guys from his former band, but they've prettied things up a just a tad.
It's absolutely the best platter I've come across this year. I was ready to bag the whole Year of our Lord 2005, conceding to the internet and agreeing that the 'ol trip to the record store just might not be worth it anymore. But it's funny how One Great Record can change everything, and this one's it.
Now everyone that knows me, thinks I'm this loud guy that laughs alot and listens to equally annoying music, but I've got range in spades, and this record touches and speaks to parts of me that have been neglected.
Lopez is the greatest songwriter of our time, and he doesn't need to hear his songs on commercials, or marry Gwyneth Paltrow to prove it. His is the stuff of the real, and the south. Really mess yourself up, and read a Truman Capote book while you listen.