New Music | Chuck Prophet - Castro Halloween


[I] want to describe this album for the initiated as one that wears it’s influences on it’s sleeves, but Chuck has been doing this so long I don’t want to suggest that he doesn’t have a “sound.” It’s just tough to describe because it sounds so familiar. It’s so tightly wound into the lexicon of rock & roll, & his musical vocabulary is so extensive, & his original contributions are of such quality that it’s easy to just assume that the Kinks or the Ramones or Tom Petty, or SOMEONE must’ve done that before, when in fact it may very well be all Chuck. I dunno if Chuck would take that as a compliment or not, but from me that’s the utmost compliment. A lot of my favorite heros are the unsung ones.

Temple Beautiful is a dozen love letters to his native San Francisco, California. And Castro Halloween, which begins “When the shots rang out & two men died, you took off your mask just to see me cry,” (can you think of a better opening line to a song?) reminisces about the annual Halloween block parties in Castro, one of the city’s more colorful neighborhoods, which were brought to an end with gunfire in 2006. “Halloween was here, but now it’s gone.” And while the track has a strong Petty vibe throughout, it’s distinctly Chuck, in both the swagger & the Chuck’s signature creative Telecastering, like that chunky series of muted guitar strums at 1:45 dropping into the first guitar solo. Speaking of solos, they make up approximately half of the song, which could be a metaphor for the extravagant, late night parties, or could just be Chuck showing off how much of a badass he is. Either way, I’m not complaining… the world needs more awesome guitar solos.

You can buy the record via Yep Roc Records.