West Coast Town & The Warriors

Comin' atcha via the internet! Hope all of you have had a great Easter and those of you that attended the Midwest Gaming Classic - glad you could make it! It was actually my first year there - I have meant to go for a number of years but could never commit. This year I figured my kids were old enough to enjoy it, plus I really wanted to play some Robotron 2084! Mission accomplished! Also, I hear there was some music stage there or something?? Some great acts were there - I hear Tigernite were awesome as well as The Zelda Routine. Let's face it, they all were awesome - next year I will plant myself there to see them all. Kudos to Joel for getting that put together! Anyways...lets get down to it, boppers!

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Chris Shiflett West Coast Town : For those of you not in the know, Chris Shiflett was once a member of the mighty No Use For A Name and is currently the lead guitarist for the Foo Fighters. Not bad work if you can get it. In the meantime, he holds down a guitar slot in Me First & The Gimme Gimmes as well as several other projects. Amazingly, he finds the time to release solo albums as well, but instead of the punk rock that is his usual wheelhouse, here he explores country sounds - specifically Bakersfield country. This is his third solo record, and it's a solid batch of tunes that wraps itself up in a little over a half hour. It's a good mix of upbeat pieces with some room for the weepers as well. A good all around effort. If there was a weakness to this record, it would be that for me, his voice isn't quite where I would like it to be. I'm a big fan of country records like this where the voice has a little more gravel to it. A good example of this for me is Mike Ness' Cheating At Solitaire record. That's not to say it's bad, I just wish it had a little more grit. That aside, there are some standout tracks on this album, including "West Coast Town", "I'm Still Drunk" and "Room 102". "Goodnight Little Rock" is probably my favorite, and it includes a tasty fuzz guitar solo, something you don't hear a lot of on a country record. Recommended if you like: Old 97's, Mike Ness solo, Buck Owens

The Warriors Original Motion Picture Soundtrack : Our second album this week is going to be a throwback special. I'm going to spotlight some older albums now and then because, really, it can't just be about the new stuff. With that in mind, I give you The Warriors. Hopefully you are familiar with the film, but if not, the short version is this: Released in 1979, The Warriors tells the story of a street gang that is wrongfully accused of killing a rival gang leader and has to fight their way from the Bronx to their Coney Island home. It's based on a book by Sol Yurick, and I highly recommend it. Seriously, this is probably in my top 5 movies of all time. Go watch it, but try and see the original version if you can. There is a director's cut out there that really ruins parts of the movie. (I believe you would have to get the DVD version of the movie, and it has to be the zone 2 version - it used to be on Netflix, but hasn't been there for the past several months. The director's cut is okay, but it ruins some of the pacing of the original cut. But I digress.) The record is a product of it's times, and there are a few cuts that are kind of cheesy, but it's a solid listen. There are three tracks by Barry De Vorzon that are instrumentals that really feature the synth in a band setting. There is the one and only Joe Walsh singing "In The City". You have future hit making writer Desmond Child singing "The Last Of An Ancient Breed". It really does a good job of evoking particular scenes of the movie. My only complaint is they are missing some of the musical cues that are used a lot in the movie. However, I believe that they are releasing this on vinyl with all of the extras added. Can't wait to hear that.

On a quick side note: Record Store Day is this Saturday! Get out and visit your local record store and help keep them in business. I know there are complaints about a lot of the special releases, price gouging, yada yada yada. It's still a good time to show your support for small business. Now go buy some licorice pizza!

Current Listening: Lou Reed Mistrial; Robert Palmer Riptide; The Heliocentrics World Of Masks; John Lee Hooker Whiskey & Wimmin