CD Review: Jonny Two Bags “Salvation Town”

“Salvation Town”
Jonny Two Bags
Isotone Records
Produced by: David Kalish
Tracks: 10

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Former U.S. Bombs and current Social Distortion guitarist Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham has just released his debut solo album titled “Salvation Town”. The album features 10 stripped down originals that were produced by veteran producer David Kalish. The album is being released via Isotone records and along with Wickersham features guest appearances by David Lindley, Pete Thomas and legendary singer songwriter Jackson Browne.

I really enjoy when guys like Jonny Two Bags are able to step outside of their comfort zone and in to the lime light. Not only does it show tremendous character but for me it elevates them to whole new level of musicianship. A good example of this is “Salvation Town”. Though this may be Jonny’s debut release it’s as if he is a seasoned pro. Half Cash and half Dylan Jonny’s voice is familiar yet fresh while the instrumentation is catchy and keeps your attention throughout all 10 tracks. Tracks such as “One Foot in the Gutter” and “Hope Dies Hard” were personal favorites as each was stylistically different yet seemed to be well crafted and thought out. Other notable tracks worth checking out were the accordion backed “Clay Wheels” and “Then You Stand Alone” which features a guest performance by none other than Jackson Browne.

Though very different from the hard and fast punk music Jonny is normally associated with “Salvation Town” does a great job showcasing a completely different side of Jonny’s musical style making this album certainly worth checking out.

Track Listing:
1.) One Foot In the Gutter
2.) Avenues
3.) Then You Stand Alone
4.) Clay Wheels
5.) Forlorn Walls
6.) Wayward Cain
7.) Ghosts
8.) Hope Dies Hard
9.) Alone Tonight
10.) The Way It Goes

Blu-ray Review “John Carpenter Presents Body Bags”

Actors: Tobe Hooper, Robert Carradine, Stacy Keach, David Warner, Mark Hamill
Directors: John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, Larry Sulkis
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: November 12, 2013
Run Time: 95 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3 out of 5 stars

“Body Bags” was a made-for-TV anthology that aired on Showtime. Originally it was planned to be a television series, similar to HBO’s “Tales from the Crypt” but never panned out. The film is jam-packed with great genre talent including Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”), Robert Carradine (“Revenge of the Nerds”), Tom Arnold (“True Lies”), Sam Raimi (“Evil Dead”), Stacy Keach (“Up In Smoke”), David Warner (“TRON”) Deborah Harry, Sheena Easton, Twiggy (Member of Marilyn Manson), David Naughton (“An American Werewolf In London”), John Agar (“Tarantula”) and great cameos by Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper and Roger Corman. Overall, this may not be the best anthology but it is still a blast to watch and a must have for any true horror buff.

Official Premise: Two Masters of Horror John Carpenter (“Halloween”, “The Thing”) and Tobe Hooper (“The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”, “Lifeforce”) come together to create a chilling anthology of terror. Alex Datcher (“Passenger 57”) stars as a woman working the late shift at The Gas Station while a killer is on the loose. Then, Stacy Keach (“Road Games”) can’t stand the thought of losing his Hair and he’ll do anything to keep it. And finally, Mark Hamill (“Star Wars”) portrays a baseball player that submits to an Eye transplant after he loses an eye in a car accident.

Shout! Factory delivered this film as a Blu-ray + DVD combo pack. The 1080p transfer looks decent for a made-for-TV film and the DTS-HD Master Audio track works with the film’s suspense and score. In terms of special features, there is some great content here for horror fans. There are three audio commentary tracks included, the first is with director John Carpenter and actor Robert Carradine on “The Gas Station”. The second is again with director John Carpenter and joined by actor Stacy Keach on “Hair”. The last with with producer Sandy King on “Eye” and is moderated by Justin Beahm. There are some some great new interviews with John Carpenter, Producer Sandy King and actors Stacy Keach and Robert Carradine. Lastly there is a trailer included as well.