Tell us a little bit about yourself! I've lived in Virginia Beach, VA my entire life. I just turned 30 over the summer, which wasn't as much of a total shock as I expected it to be. In my free time, I'm found buried in my records, playing guitar, or traveling for a show. I also love animals - especially cats!
Favorite album: More Than You Think You Are by Matchbox Twenty, even though it still remains to be pressed on vinyl!
First album: If memory serves me correctly, it was either Seal by Seal (his second album) or the Friends soundtrack when I got my first CD player, though my first vinyl record was Shout at the Devil by Mötley Crüe. I was a bit of a metalhead back in high school!
Favorite Enjoy The Ride or Enjoy The Toons release: Without question - We're a Happy Family: A Tribute to Ramones on red, white, and blue vinyl.
Favorite album artwork: Tough one! I have to give the nod to Ghost, who knock it out of the park every time. Meliora is my favorite.
What are your favorite record shops in Virginia Beach, in case any readers are traveling through your town? I pretty much pay the light bill at AFK Books & Records on Shore Drive. Not only is it the cleanest shop I've been in, but the staff is beyond amazing. They've managed to find almost every record I've ever looked for, and their preowned offering is second to none. They're practically my second family at this point.
What have you been listening to more frequently lately? Both Prequelle by Ghost and Sleepwalkers by Brian Fallon are getting weekly spins from me as far as 2018 releases go. My brother and I recently discovered a love for Fleetwood Mac, so there's a lot of that these days. Oh, I'm apparently also a Taylor Swift fan now, so I'm slowly going through her discography too. The neighbors love it.
What are some of your favorite albums you have in your collection? The first album that comes to mind is Yourself or Someone Like You by Matchbox Twenty, an album I contemplated spending hundreds on before a repress finally happened last year. Next to that would be my signed copy of their greatest hits compilation, Exile on Mainstream. I'm also partial to my Queen studio collection box set, and More Than Just a Dream by Fitz and The Tantrums on hot pink vinyl, which took me over five years to find (but finally found a signed copy)!
Any specific albums you wish you had on vinyl? My Discogs wantlist is never empty. Defying Gravity by Keith Urban is definitely up there. Dirty Diamonds and Live from the Astroturf by Alice Cooper as well. I'm also trying to hunt down Skid Row's self-titled and Slave to the Grind currently. It also wouldn't hurt to have L.A. Guns' self-titled and Cocked and Loaded too.
What album would you like to be pressed on vinyl? The rest from Matchbox Twenty! Rob Thomas too! (Seeing a trend?) Steve Perry's For the Love of Strange Medicine is overdue for a repress. So is SpiceWorld by the Spice Girls for that matter. Yes, I saw the tour in 1998. It's a solid pop album!
What was the best album(s) you discovered this summer (can be anything, doesn't have to be a new release): I've been on a mission to flesh out my collection of 80s/90s new wave and rock albums. In doing so, I've come across some albums I've previously overlooked but was completely shocked by, namely Mosaic by Wang Chung, Cherry Pie by Warrant, and After the Rain by Nelson. We know the hits, but the albums as a whole are spectacular! I might be a few years late on these though...
What upcoming albums are you excited about? I may or may not have shed a tear of joy over Steve Perry finally announcing his new solo album Traces in October. I've waited years for this one! I'm still waiting on The Struts to follow up with their sophomore album (hopefully later this year) and I've heard that Rob Thomas turned in his new album to his label. Other than that, Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers' debut Bought to Rot has my attention too!
What else (besides record related things) are you excited about doing this fall? Watching the Dallas Cowboys go back to the Super Bowl! I'm also looking forward to seeing The Struts in September, Tesla in October, and The Psychedelic Furs in November. Catch me on Instagram (@captainchrismo) to follow my adventures.