"Without music life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

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Editor and Grammy Award Winner - Kurt Torster

The Other Grammy Nominees:

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-Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)
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Kurt's Krap:

Some random Grammy thoughts...

-Kid Rock tore the roof off of the place. And who knew he could sing? Well sort of... I'm almost tempted to pick up the CD.
-Jennifer Lopez and that dress. Nuff' said.
-The Backstreet Boys, with and without Elton John, proved that they can sing...and quite well. So shoot me but I dig them.
-Britney Spears. Thank God she's 18 or I would feel so dirty right now.
-The Roots winning that Best Rap Group award. Not that I even know who they are, but that acceptance speech was one of the most unintentionally funny things I ever saw...know what I'm saying...yo yo yo...peace.
-Santana's performance was pretty killer and showed the world not to be afraid to play a guitar.

-Too much Latin music. And after last year's killer performance, why was Ricky Martin so boring this time?
-Rosie O'Donnell. She had her moments of funnies but overall was pretty lame. Next year, how about Chris Rock or Norm McDonald hosting?
-Best new artist...Christine Aguleria? Are you fucking kidding me? Is it me or does she look like she should be doing porn? Come to think of it, when her fifteen minutes is over ya never know.
-Santana winning everything. I mean, c' was a good song but does it and the album deserve all of this?
-Where was the rock? C'mon...not even a nod for the Foo Fighters?

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News Bytes:

Last issue someone wrote in asking about info on STRYPER. Mike Peterson dropped me a line with this web info:,,, The original lineup will be reuniting soon at the Stryper Expo 2000 in New Jersey. I can't check from here, but I think it is, or

Also last issue I mistakenly printed that the MARILLION reissues were coming out through Spitfire. Actually, they will be released by Sanctuary (ditto with the HELLOWEEN reissues). Thanks to Jason Merito for the tip.

Here’s an interesting thought on the whole VAN HALEN saga. Chew on this…the band is without management (and has been for a bit). How in the world would they book a stadium in Baltimore, much less plan out a tour with DLR without some sort of representation. Anyways, I heard from a friend of SASS JORDAN’s that she has indeed been contacted late last year about the open vocal spot but is most likely going to turn it down. According to the female powerhouse singer, “singing some of those old songs just wouldn’t sound right from a female perspective.”

NJ's Star Ledger has just started a BON JOVI spotlight on their website at

There's a great interview with NIKKI SIXX over at that is, like every interview on their site, highly recommended reading.

The new METALLICA song, for the John Woo directed 'Mission Impossible 2' soundtrack, looks to be called "Dead Days". They release a new 3-part single for "No Leaf Clover" on March 13. Each CD will contain various video and computer enhancements.

DAVID GLENN EISLEY is returning to his melodic roots with a new album due later this year on Frontiers. The album will include performances by Lanny Cordola, Earl Slick, Craig Goldie, Chuck Wright and Pat Torpey.

Ex-KANSAS and current THE SIGN member Billy Greer has a new project called SEVENTH KEY. The album includes help from Steve Walsh, Mike Slamer, Steve Morse and Richard Williams.

The weekend of May 5-7 will see The Midtown Music Festival hit Atlanta, GA. Among those performing are OASIS, SPONGE, BLACK CROWES, NELSON, PETER FRAMPTON, EVERCLEAR and RICK SPRINGFIELD.

The new IRON MAIDEN album will be called "Majesty Of Gaia" and includes the following tracks: 'Heaven's Gate' (first single), 'Cardinal Sin', 'Everyone's Illusion', 'Seraphine', 'Equinox', 'Fallen Empire', 'King Of The Desert', 'Conveyer Of Truth', 'He Who Laughs Last' and 'Majesty Of Gaia'.

Pics of TED POLEY at the recent Gods Festival can be seen at

LEATHERWOLF and SAXON have been added to the Ultrasound festival in Las Vegas. More info at

Noteworthy New Releases:

ERIC CARR - Rockology

MARILLION - catalog reissues

THE RUBINOOS - The Basement Tapes (1980-'81 recordings)

UNION - The Blue Room

Kurt's Picks:

DANGER DANGER - THE RETURN OF THE GREAT GILDERSLEEVES, MTM, 2000 [Similarities: Whitesnake, Van Hagar, Cheap Trick]

While I'm not quite yet sure if this bests their last disc, "4 The Hard Way", it's at least as good. In fact, out of the eleven tracks here, only a couple fall short of excellence. One, the aptly titled "Dead Dog" is, as my wife termed, "really annoying" and pretty bad. But after that, it's all uphill (so to speak). Kicking off with the somewhat average rocker "Grind", the album slips nicely into the first of two tracks re-recorded from "Cockroach" in "When She's Good She's Good" (the other being the glammy "Walk It Like Ya Talk It"). This album also contains two absolute gems in the mid-tempo ballad "She's Gone" (where Paul Laine lays down some frighteningly good vocals) and the huge pop rocker "Cherry Cherry" (which is like vintage Cheap Trick). Other highlights include the gutter rocker "Dead Drunk And Wasted", the dramatic and romantic rocker "I Do" and the incredible acoustic pop of "My Secret". This is pure rock that doesn't feel dated in the least and is about as strong as an album as I've heard of this kind in a long time. Grab this disc, put the top down, hit the highway and crank it up...

JASON FALKNER - CAN YOU STILL FEEL?, Elektra, 1999 [Similarities: Matthew Sweet, Todd Rundgren, The Police]

You know, a lot of what I'm listening to these days is built upon the 'AM Gold' sound of the 70s and one of the reasons for that was my discovery of a little band known as Jellyfish. Jason was a member of said band and is continuing their tradition of creating gorgeous pop rock where melody comes first and foremost. Kicking off the disc with the lush beat of "Author Unknown", this collection weaves it's way through twelve nuggets that are all equally as tasty as the next. Whether it's the driving rock of "My Lucky Day" or "I Already Know" or the smooth and silky "Revelation" or "Eloquence", Jason straddles the fence between pop genius and madman poet. And this is one of those discs that simply gets better with each listen, opening up a new set of favorites every time (at the time of writing this, "Holiday" is stuck in brain). If your musical fix requires hooks, melody and lyrics that avoid clichés then this comes highly recommended.

TOMMY KEENE - ISOLATION PARTY, Matador, 1998 [Similarities: Rick Springfield, Cheap Trick, Gin Blossoms] [ ]

Tommy is one of those artists that, for whatever reason, just never really broke out like he should have. His songs have a timeless sort of quality and can transcend genres quite easily yet even one-hit wonder status even eluded him. On this latest album, everything that made his previous work essential pop listening is in place. From the pure power pop magic of "Long Time Missing" and "The World Outside" to the edgier "Getting Out From Under You" or "Battle Lines" to the blissful jangle pop of "Never Really Been Gone" or "Tuesday Morning", there's really something here for everyone, wherever your tastes fall on the melodic map. Tommy has a knack for crafting instantly memorable and catchy pop songs that are on par with the works of Marshall Crenshaw or Glen Burtnick. There's not a song out of place here, meaning while there are no surprises, there are also no letdowns either. This is a classy album from one of the true classy artists.

AMANDA MARSHALL - TUESDAY'S CHILD, Sony, 1999 [Similarities: Patty Smyth, Melissa Etheridge, The Hooters] [ ]

Reading the liner notes of this album is like reading a who's who of melodic pop and rock. From Desmond Child and Richie Sambora to members of Jellyfish and the Hooters, it shows in the overall sound that although she is from Canada, there is a whole Jersey/Philly vibe here. Opening with the killer one-two punch of "Believe In You" and the soaring "Love Lift Me" the album just keeps on chugging through eleven more superb melodic rockers that can all be huge hits with a little push. From "Why Don't You Love Me?" (with it's whipping lead break) to the rolling "Ride" to the gorgeous ballad "Giving Up Giving In" there's not a song here that's anything short of excellent. Vocally she sounds a lot like Patty Smyth (but maybe a bit stronger) and I guess musically that's also the best comparison I could make. After spinning this set I'm actually a little surprised that Ms. Marshall isn't yet a worldwide household name (and a touch surprised I haven't discover her sooner either). Get in now while the getting's good because I have no doubt she will be huge one day and we can all say we were there first.

(Re)Views From The Hill:

BLIND GUARDIAN: TALES FROM THE TWILIGHT WORLD, Century Media [similarities: Helloween, Iced Earth, Gamma Ray, Dragons & Wizards]

We are finally getting the back catalogue of this major European techno/prog metal band. This album was released back in 1990 but it is a great example of why Blind Guardian are so popular on the European circuit and such a big hit with the festival crowd.

Blind Guardian is also a source for members of the various prog metal super groups that pop up now and then, with members lending their talents to both the recently released Demons & Wizards and Iron Saviour (Hansi Kursch:vocals & bass) albums. I  would recommend BG over Iced Earth, the source of the other half of D&W: Jon Schaffer, as BG are much easier on the ears and tend to show more talent that Iced Earth This album features several members of the elite of Germen prog metal including Kai Hansen ex-Helloween/Gamma Ray/Iron Savior and Piet Sielck Iron Savior/ex-Helloween/sound engineer for Blind Guardian. BG drummer Thomas Stauch also played in early version of Iron Savior.

Seeing as BG come from the scene that is so incestuous as seen above, it is not a shock that these guys are pretty damn talented. This is highly technically adept music, played by guys who know their instruments and make sure you know it.

Much of the music on the album was inspired by the Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien. The cover art features various stylized scenes that could be taken from the books. The character on the back looks to me like Bilbo Baggins. There are other literary references here, including one named after a Stephen King book: Tommyknockers. Highlights include "Welcome to Dying" a catchy little number that will have your head down singing along in no time flat. "Lord of the Rings" is another great  track that is as epic as the book that inspired it. The song features some interesting vocals, keyboards and guitars. It of course features those constant key changes that are so prevalent in this genre of music. Far from making the song annoying they lend a great texture to the song. "The Last Candle" is another highlight with its choral like vocal outro.

All in all this is a great album from a talented band that will keep people happy until the release of the eagerly anticipated new Iron Maiden album coming in June. On the strength of this album and other work from the lads, I would recommend any of BGs albums, but the thing that made this so interesting is the inspiration for much of it. - MD

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Back to full health this week and just heard the good news that Canadian pomp rock kings Cinema Face have just completed the recording of their third album. Band leader Frank Lamanga already thinks it's their best yet. Full details of the release date will follow shortly....

Just quickly glancing down the up-and-coming Japanese releases for the next two months, there's some new stuff on the way. Amaze Me have both their albums ("Dream On" and "Wonderland") re-issued on March 23rd and each one features a bonus track; TNT guitarist Ronni Le Tekro has a solo album coming about March 23rd called "Extra Strong String"; Artension has a new album coming out on the same day, and likewise it will have a bonus track; slightly earlier in the month - March 15th - Brad Gillis and Praying Mantis release new albums. In April fusion guitarist Frank Gambale will issue his new album "Coming to your Senses" on the 5th, another cool fusion release will be the new, self-titled album from Japanese band T-Square which comes out right at the start of the month. Leatherwolf (are they still around?) issues "Wide Open" on April 26th with a bonus track, and the tedious Ten's new album is due on the same day for anyone so inclined!

Am I the only person in the world that can see that the "clever money" is getting involved in e-commerce left right and center just so they can make a quick buck. Seems to be rather like the Florida property boom of the 1920s and 30s all over again!

In that vein, EMI struck a deal this past week with "Supertracks" of the US to be its "preferred provider of solutions for the digital distribution of music". EMI will take a minority stake in Supertracks as part of a deal which EMI, puffing out its chest for no good reason, says will help it "become the world leader in the online distribution of music". Here we go again, say the magic "E word" and the stock market will throw a load of money at you in the finest tradition of "throwing good money after bad". Too many people think that the big labels feel threatened by digital delivery methods, I don't think they do - if they can control it (as they like to control everything) they can actually cut out the retail middle man and some manufacturing costs and make even more money....

You know what's even more interesting about this whole music/e-commerce deal? Labels are quietly, and occasionally not so quietly, putting money into web companies backing MP3 while their trade association sues them at the same time. Earlier this month, the Recording Industry Association of America sued and Napster because it claims they are helping pirates make illegal copies of recordings. Simultaneously, the five bid labels are all investing money in which is a San Francisco based company that categorizes the 50,000 tracks on its web site all of which are downloadable and are mainly free. If anyone can see the sense of this, or prove to me that this isn't some bizarre dichotomy, please let me know....  Then again, sense doesn't usually enter into the equation of the current music industry....


From: Oscar Montezuma

Just wanted to share with you some reviews regarding the "Festival International de la Cancion - Viña del Mar" currently being held in Chile, precisely in the beautiful seaside of Viña del Mar. By the way this festival has years of tradition and is considered as one of the most important ones in this part of the globe, just like the Saint Remo festival in Italy.

The teenypop folks of Abba Teens were very acclaimed, they just kicked ass and sang almost all of Abba's greatest hits, they even spoke some little phrases in Spanish. [Ed. Note: I actually own their album and enjoy the hell out of it. A total guilty pleasure.]

Duran Duran played too, the lead vocalist (cant remember his name) told in press conference that he was taking care of his children in London and he was almost driving nuts so when he was told he had this chance to perform in Chile it became a sort of relief. They played almost all of his hits, such as "Hungry like a Wolf" and "Ordinary World" providing an excellent performance.

Enrique Iglesias was one of lowest points in the  festival though the great expectations he created. I will be as fair as i can in my opinions, even though he is a representative of Latin music in the world. Apart from his nice face he has not got any particular talent and has not changed at all since his first album, apart from the fact he sings now in English. His voice has always been total crap, i have my doubts whether he sang with playback the higher notes on "Rhythm Divine" and "Bailamos", i am 95% sure. If he hasnt got the support of such great musicians and composers such as goddess Diane Warren among others he would just NOT BE where he is. His music is catchy and groovy but his vocal limitations are considerable. When he received the statue for the 0000000,00000 albums he sold he threw it to the crowd hitting a woman in the crowd, hurting her lips as the statue was made of solid metal. He then apologized and said it as an emotive reaction as he was devoted to his fans.

As for boring Lou Bega, i think he and his "Mambo # 5" were both the worst of the worst. Bega showed his tremendous vocal limitations on the stage (even worse than Iglesias) people were just very disappointed.

Just that for now, hope you liked it.

From: "Craig D. Conley"

Hopefully you or someone on your mailing list can help. I am in search of some sheet music from the album, Tim Feehan/Pray for Rain. Specifically, the song "When you think of me" is what we we are trying to find. My fiancee and I are getting married in September and we wanted to play that song at our wedding as a tribute to her father who passed away last year. So if there is anyone that knows a contact of Tim Feehan or has any information, please let me know at