By Jim Pace
Song: Plenty is Never Enough
Artist: Tenement Halls
Genre: Indie Pop/Rock
Tenement Halls slipped by me and that makes me want to send the car stereo bouncing across the highway. Let me explain.
I like to think I'm always hip to the latest and greatest when it comes to music. The fact that I just used the word "hip" should clue you into the reality of the situation. But I do try. Because I get bored. So I need new music constantly. And I hate it when I miss something good.
These days if you want to hear something other than Rihanna, you best be Sherlock "Effing" Holmes on the internet or you're screwed.
Tenement Halls is actually Chris Lopez, the former lead singer of the acclaimed or slandered - depending on who you talk to - 1990s Atlanta Indie band, Rock*A*Teens.
I only had a brief encounter with the Rock*A*Teens in the 90s because a) I didn't live in Atlanta, and b) I was on dial up. I thought they were okay, but they never became an obsession.
Then in 2009, I heard The Shins' cover of "Plenty is Never Enough," and I really liked it. So I went looking for the original and found the Tenement Halls' version, which was recorded in 2005. It's much more in your face than The Shins' version - kind of a "noisy" record - and I haven't stopped listening to the thing.
No one is really sure if Chris Lopez is going to record again, or if he even wants to. But the word is the guy has a day job, wife and kid. And those are the three main ingredients of "you ain't making it stew." And this brilliant single was recorded seven years ago!
So if you see a stereo skipping by, you'll understand.
If it is the end of Tenement Halls, at least in my book, he actually did leave while on top of the world.
(Jim Pace is a musician and filmmaker living in NY.)