STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 01-17-00

Official Nonsense:

Editor and Wax On - Kurt Torster

Wax off:

-Ian McIntosh (AOR Basement - http://www.aorbasement.com)
-Tim Henderson (Brave Words - http://www.hardradio.com)
-Peter Sims (Now & Then/Frontiers - http://www.nowandthen.co.uk)
-Ove Gustafsson (MTM - http://www.pi.se/mtm)
-Mark Alger (Z Records - http://graffiti.virgin.net/zero_option_pro.z_records/)
-Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)
-Marty Dodge ( http://www.lupusandco.com)

All e-mail should be directed to ktorster@yahoo.com.
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Kurt's Krap:

Nothing much to say this time around…

News Bytes:

www.bonjovi.com will offer peeks inside the recording of the next BON JOVI album. According to Jon, he will also offer up another solo disc, maybe by year's end as well as the band playing a show at the soon to be demolished Wembley Stadium.

FRONTLINE has signed with AOR Heaven to release "Right Attitude". The album will feature remixed versions of eight songs from "Heroes" as well as seven songs from the unreleased "Heroes 2" opus (reviewed below).

SAVAGE GARDEN's single for "Truly Madly Deeply" from their debut album has just logged 106 weeks on the Adult Contemporary Singles Chart in Billboard, which is longer than any other single in history. Their latest album, "Affirmation", has already gone platinum and the duo are set to release a new single in "Crash And Burn" (which may be the best song on the album).

Quote of the decade from SHARON OSBOURNE (Mrs. Ozzy) concerning her dropping Smashing Pumpkins as a client, "It was medical reasons. Billy Corigan was making me sick."

Stephen Pearcy has left RATT. Bobby Blotzer on the break-up, “look in the mirror Stephen…fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.”

www.killerdwarfs.com is the website of the once great Canadian band KILLER DWARFS, which will feature all sorts of info and MP3 sound samples.

The next AC/DC may be titled “Stiff Upper Lip”.

Both long lost AOR bands RIVERDOGS and DIVING FOR PEARLS have signed with MTM.

Is Axl going soft? He's suggested that the upcoming GUNS N' ROSES reissues for "Lies" and "The Spaghetti Incident?" won't contain the tracks "One In A Million" and "Look At Your Game Girl" respectively. He's also described the upcoming "Chinese Democracy" album as "Physical Graffitti remixed by Trent Reznor".

Looks like the new THIRD EYE BLIND is starting to catch on as the hyper-melodic "Never Let You Go" is starting to hit bit.

The next single from power poppers LIT will be "Mistaken", who's video will feature Pamela Lee.

JUDE COLE has a new album available over at his website at www.judecole.com. It's called "Falling Home".

SAVANNAH has three dates penciled in for the Boston area. February 11, 2000, Playmakers. Hudson, NH, February 25, 2000, Bleachers. Salem, MA February 26, 2000, Giles. Salem, MA,

Z Records is planning their first US assault for October 14 somewhere in the NY/NJ area with a "Z Fest".

Seems Joey Belladonna won't take part in the upcoming ANTHRAX tour after all. Both sides couldn't come to the proper financial understanding.

BUCKCHERRY will release a new single in "Check Your Head" from their self-titled debut.

'New Country' act LONESTAR is all over radio (pop, rock and country) with their crossover hit "Amazed". The song has been released in different mixes tailored to different formats, and honestly, reminds me a lot of REO Speedwagon circa 1981.

Gene Simmons is saying KISS will tour this year, I guess in support of the studio enhanced "Alive 4".

You can download MOTLEY CRUE's "First Man On The Moon" and "Timebomb" from www.motley.com. The songs hearken back to the band's poppy metal days.

Over at www.chrisgaines.com you can download two new remixes of the latest single from GARTH BROOKS' alter ego in "Right Now".

www.dotmusic.com offers weekly news mailings on many artists including DEF LEPPARD, BRYAN ADAMS and RICKY MARTIN, among others, as well as weekly chart mailings.

Melbourne rockers ALEXANDER AVENUE will play their debut shows supporting STEVE VAI around Australia on his latest tour of Oz, which commences in March. Alexander Avenue guitarist Stevie Janevski is looking forward to the tour as he supported Vai and company last time around the country with his old band Cyclone Tracy in 1995. They are currently in pre-production for their debut album. (thanks John Dokken)

I dunno whether this is cool or pathetic. SMITHEREENS mainman Pat Dinizio is literally playing living rooms and backyards for his upcoming tour to support the album "Stranger On A Refrain". This album is filled with collaborations of Pat with people he's never met before, all done through his website www.psycholaborations.com.

Guitarist Marty Friedman has left MEGADETH. Al Pitrelli is his temporary replacement for the remainder of their tour.

POISON is talking a tour for the spring or summer. And as previously reported in SFK, drummer Rikki Rockett is finishing up his album of glam covers called "Glitter For Your Soul".

The new FIREHOUSE live album is now available over at their website at www.firehousemusic.com. The album will be available soon in Japan on the Pony Canyon label and in the US on Mystic.

The tracklisting for NELSON's upcoming "Like Father Like Sons (A Tribute To Ricky Nelson)": Stood Up, Waitin' School, Milk Cow Blues, My Bucket's Got A Hole In It, I'm Walkin', Fools Rush In, Travelin' Man, Hello MaryLou, Garden Party, I Got A Feelin', Believe What You Say, It's Late

Does anyone actually care that David Crosby supplied the sperm for MELISSA ETHERIDGE's partner Julie Cypher to have their two kids? Thought not.

Added to the DREAM THEATER tour in spots will be openers SPOCK'S BEARD and/or GARY HOEY, along with the previously mentioned THE DREGS.

Tour dates for SEBASTIAN BACH and friends: FEBRUARY 8th, Tuesday Pittsburgh, PA Graffiti, 9th, Wednesday Cincinnati, OH Annie's, 10th, Thursday Cleveland, OH The Agora Ballroom, 11th, Friday Columbus, OH Alrosa Villa, 12th, Saturday Detroit, MI Harpo's Concert Theater, 15th, Tuesday Dubuque, IA TBA, 16th, Wednesday Highland, IN Finkies, 17th, Thursday La Crosse, WI Hollywood Theatre, 18th, Friday Milwaukee, WI The Rave, 19th, Saturday Appleton, WI TCF Center, 22nd, Tuesday Columbia, MO Biggass Bar & Grill, 23rd, Wednesday Omaha, NE Guitars & Cadillac's, 24th, Thursday Branson, MO Planet Branson, 25th, Friday Olathe, KS Roadhouse Ruby's, 26th, Saturday Sauget, IL Pop's Annex, 29th, Tuesday Lincoln, NE Royal Grove. MARCH 1st, Wednesday Clinton, IA Pig Pen Nightclub, 2nd, Thursday Joliet, IL Empress Casino, 3rd, Friday Minneapolis, MN Medina Entertainment, Center, 4th, Saturday Duluth, MN Shrine Auditorium,

Noteworthy New Releases:

BADFINGER - BBC In Concert

MARILLION - Fugazi, Misplaced Childhood and Script For a Jester's Tear (all remastered w/bonus discs)

THE ROBBIE MCINTOSH BAND - Emotional Bends

AARON NEVILLE - The Very Best of

THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY - The Definitive Collection

Kurt's Picks:

BLOCKBUSTERS - POWDER TO THE PEOPLE (A TRIBUTE TO THE 70s), Winjnand, 1999 [Similarities: The Sweet, Poison, Motley Crue]

My first thought when I pulled this out of my mailbox was "oh great, an album full of cover tunes". But, one listen was all it took to hook me in. Now, I have no idea who any of the musicians are on this thing (short of they all are from the Swedish hard rock scene). But these guys whip through 17 tracks from the 70s that are primarily glam classics, yet there are some curveballs as well. And this is such a fun listen. >From their stomping run throughs of The Sweet's "Fox On The Run", "Ballroom Blitz", "Action" and "Wig-wam Bam" to Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and "Elected" to one off's like Queen's "Tie Your Mother Down" or Bowie's "Jean Genie", this is like a course in 'Pop/glam Classics 101", with Blockbusters as the professor. Highlights though are the decidedly non-glam rips of "Hooked On A Feeling" and "Tell Him", which are inspired in their rocked out form. What's cool though is that though they don't stray far from the original formula, they do bring all the songs into the 90s and sound far from dated. With all the tribute albums constantly being released with their stale renditions, this is a breath of fresh air and makes for some spirited listening.

FRONTLINE - HEROES 2, 1998 [Similarities: Journey, The Storm, Firehouse] [ http://www.frontline-music.com ]

The first thing that is evident on this set of songs is that Stephan Kaemmerer is a dead ringer for Steve Perry. So I guess it's no surprise that musically this band takes most of it's cues from Journey, though maybe a touch more rocking. The songs are the kinds of soaring vehicles that make the most of Kaemmerer's superior vocal talents. Though I frequently complain about how stale the genre of melodic rock has become, and there's nothing original going on here, sometimes the right execution can make you forget all that. Frontline take what they do and do it well and they seem very passionate about it (which is more then I can say for most copycats today). They cover all the expected bases, from outright classy arena rock (the unreal "Everything You Do" and "Whole Lot Of Souls") to mid-tempo struts (the driving "Who's Crying Now" and "Time To Dream") to atypical power ballads (the swoon worthy "Shelter Me"). Generic in spots but classy and fresh sounding most of the way through it's ten tracks, if only all AOR being released was this consistent in quality. Though hunting this down can prove costly (as it was only a limited release in Japan), take heart as many of these songs will surface on the upcoming "Right Attitude" to be released through AOR Heaven.

HAREM SCAREM/RUBBER - RUBBER, Warner Japan, 1999 [Similarities: Marvelous 3, Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters]

Look, I'm not even going to get into the whole name/sound change issue. Because as it stands, musically, this is an incredible album and that you're acceptance of this hinges on how adaptive you are to change. If you'd rather that the band keep recording "Mood Swings" ad nauseam, then this is certainly not for you. But if you can appreciate change, for better or worse, than you'll be jamming on this for some time. There is a 'progression' here that it is not too far off the track from what they were doing on there "Big Bang Theory" album, though this is much better as the songs are much more memorable. Songwise, these are some incredibly strong melodies (maybe some of the best the band has put down) and Harry Hess may sound better here than he has in some time. Though overall things are maybe more simplistic than long time fans may be accustomed to (Pete Lesperance seems a bit underutilized), that doesn't make things any less legitimate. Songs like "Who Buddy", "Coming Down" and "Face It" are simply better than anything on radio these days and would fit well in practically any format. The only throwaway comes at the end of the album with the annoying "Everybody Else", which is some sort of psuedo-ballad, and I'm not sure where the band was headed with this one. This is addictive and superior 'modern' radio rock that takes more cues from Cheap Trick than Dokken (man, "Trip" is stuck in my brain like any great Trick song from the 70s), but that's OK by me. Let's put it this way, had I heard this last year then it easily would have found space on my top 10...yeah I like it that much (despite the whole name/sound change monkey business).

TOMMY KEENE - SONGS FROM THE FILM (reissue), Geffen, 1998 [Similarities: Rick Springfield, Kyle Vincent, Glen Burtnick]

This album first came out back in 1986 and seemingly passed by unnoticed, short of the minor hit "Places That Are Gone" (which makes this reissue all the more surprising). But damn if this isn't a marvelous piece of power pop rock. Loaded with nine (!) bonus tracks on top of the twelve already offered. From the thumping rock of "Listen To Me" and "Kill Your Sons" (an old Lou Reed tune) to the pure pop bliss of "Call On Me" and "Run Now" to the somewhat dreamy "As Life Goes By" and "The Story Ends", Tommy has a way with lyrics and melodies that puts him in league with people like Burtnick or Marshall Crenshaw, yet rocks out a little more. The perfectly produced guitars chime nicely with Tommy's gruffly smooth vocals. Lyrically, the whole project has a cinematic feel (hence the title I suppose) and each song seems to somehow relate to the other giving everything a cohesive feel rather than a collection of songs. An excellent release that was criminally overlooked the first time around, now there is no reason not to grab it (the bonus tracks in itself make it worthy).

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

One interesting happening this week that seems to have passed most of the world by, is that Dennis Publishing in the UK has sold four of its titles to Future Publishing. Two of the titles are "Classic Rock" and the yawn-inducing "Metal Hammer" (still rubbish after all these years!).

This could have worrying consequences for Classic Rock. Future Publishing is very much about selling to the spotty-faced adolescent market, so its hard to see how Classic Rock with its clearly older target market could fit into the mix of things. If is any consolation, Future did also buy "Hi Fi Choice" (which has been on the wane for some time), and its another one that is targeted at an older audience.

Another issue this raises, reading between the lines, is that Classic Rock may not be doing that great. I mean if they were pulling in the sales and advertising revenue, Dennis would hardly want to sell them would they? Overall Classic Rock seems to have started to lose its direction and its name would be better being "Oldie Rock" or "Seventies Sounds"! They also don't include a cover CD anymore which could be another indication that they are in some trouble and struggling to get people to stump up the cash for appearing on the cover CD. The rock market needs that publication to be a success, but it needs to keep its direction focused and it also needs to have the right financial backer. I'm not sure that Future Publishing is the right owner, but I guess it's one of those situations where everyone will tell me "time will tell". That's all well and good, but we won't know if they are the wrong type of owner for that publication until its much too late!

Apologies to everyone waiting for new reviews at the AOR Basement site ( http://www.aorbasement.com ) but pressures of work are going to make it unlikely that there is going to be a new set of reviews there until well into February, and possibly even the second half of February.

MP3.COM:

[Found a cool artist on MP3.COM? Let the SFK world know about it!]

Just to let you guys know, the band once known as Mr. Reality has become Samhill and has two tracks on MP3.Com.

Former Crown Of Thorns guitarist Micki Free also has some tracks up on MP3.Com.

Feedback:

From: Oscar Montezuma montezuma@rossello.com.pe

Just a quick note. As far as I knew Gin Blossoms disbanded quite a while a go. I remember you wrote in an SFK something about a band going in the same line, obviously with a different name, that had Gin Blossom's original lead singer and i dont remember if some other member of Gin Blossom's original lineup. Can you tell me please what band was it? I would appreciate your help as I am a big fan of Gin Blossoms!

[That band is called Gas Giants and features Robin Wilson, former lead singer of Gin Blossoms.]

From: Tebotts@aol.com

[Re: Whitesnake's "Ready An' Willing"]

Actually, it already got a reissue on Axe Killer. However, the 4 bonus tracks are nothing new -- good in that they are 4 remastered tracks, but I wish they were either new material or some unreleased live material. I have to say, however, that the remastering of Ready and Willing on the Axe Killer release is FAR superior to what is being sold as "remasters" out of Japan. No discernable difference in sound quality is noted on the Japanese versions, but the Axe Killer reissue is...well, 'killer'!

From: "Peter Edwardson" Peter.Edwardson@ukgateway.net

Anyone tempted by your review last week of The Corrs' "Talk on Corners" really ought to check out their debut album "Forgiven not Forgotten", which has been released in the US. ($11.88 at CDNow). To my ear this is some way better than the follow-up, with both more Irish traditional content and more of a rock edge. I found "Talk on Corners" something of a disappointment, as in comparison it sounds a touch thin and bland, although it does have its moments.

Of course if fiddles and whistles really get on your nerves you'll prefer the second album as they're a lot more muted.

From: Penguino67@aol.com

Hi, I think I had read in one of the earlier newsletters about a various artist compilation called Heaven and Earth (not the Stuart Smith cd) and i have looked all over for it. I was wondering if you had any ideas and could point me in the right direction. Thanks, Tim

[Anyone?]