STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 03-06-00

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

Official Nonsense:

Editor and Heavyweight Champion- Kurt Torster

The Other Contenders:

-Ian McIntosh (AOR Basement - http://www.aorbasement.com)
-Tim Henderson (Brave Words - http://www.hardradio.com)
-DJ Klaus Brandlhuber ( http://www.rocktracks.de )
-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)
-Alex Richter (Hard N’ Fast)
-Martin Hennessy III (80's Nuts - http://www.80snuts.com)

All e-mail should be directed to ktorster@yahoo.com.
Snail mail address for press kits & CDs, porno tapes,DVDs, Star Wars toys, money, etc.:
SFK c/o Kurt Torster
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Kurt's Krap:

I've been toying around with a message board for SFK. Check it out at: http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/mbs.cgi/mb1009591

I am totally addicted to DVD's. Just wanted to give a quick plug to what I think is the best hang-out for addicts like me, www.dvdtalk.com.

News Bytes:

The top 5 CD's of 1999 as voted by shoppers at www.aorheaven.com:

1 Steelhouse Lane - Slaves Of The New World

2 Survivor - Empires

3 Harlan Cage - Forbidden Colours

4 Bobby Kimball - All I Ever Needed

5 Bob Catley - Legends

Looks like the next DEF LEPPARD album will be a compilation of leftovers and B-sides from the "Euphoria" sessions, in other words called "Contractual Obligation Album", as this will probably be their last for Island/Def Jam.

Did you know that the SHANIA TWAIN 'Behind The Music' has been shown 74 times? It's also their most popular episode to date. Meanwhile, the Canadian babe singer has been keeping busy with her husband penning tracks for the upcoming second album for teen pop sensation Britney Spears. As a personal aside, I just wound up with a great concert of hers on CD that was transferred from the DVD.

LONESTAR has become the first country group/duo since Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton to score a number one hit on both the Country 100 and Hot 100 simultaneously. Their next single, "Smile", is already climbing both charts as well.

LITTLE STEVEN is saying that the current BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN & THE E-STREET BAND reunion is permanent and they will record another album after the current tour is over.

Supposedly there will be another DAMN YANKEES album without Tommy Shaw.

RATT sans vox is still with Portrait.

BRITNY FOX, with vocalist Tommy Paris, will be playing a show in PA in early April.

The upcoming PAUL MCCARTNEY tribute album looks to be pretty cool. It will feature artists like Foo Fighters ("Jet"), Neil Finn, XTC w/ John Cleese ("Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"), Ben Folds Five ("Listen To What The Man Said"), Fountains Of Wayne ("Baby's Request"), Squeeze ("Junior's Farm"), Brian Wilson with the Wondermints ("Dear Boy"), Barenaked Ladies ("Junk"), Matthew Sweet ("Every Night"), the Merrymakers ("No More Lonely Nights") and other lesser known artists from the world of pop.

In related news, the FOO FIGHTERS along with BRIAN MAY will record a cover of PINK FLOYD’s “Have A Cigar” for the upcoming ‘Mission Impossible 2’ soundtrack.

Another week, more VAN HALEN rumors...this one places DLR and the band doing a ten city stadium tour. Yawn...hasn't anyone had enough of all this yet?

Got a note from the AOR Mafia's John Dokken about a new website for an Aussie club: "hey toaster, we've just launched the cat club website and wonder if you can give it a mention in sfk..it's basic..but a start..as you know I'm new to this web design schtuff.. we recently had a huge night with the original singer of ac dc dave evans getting up with australias premier ac dc tribute act thunderstruck..the place filled to the rafters...hot as it could get!!! with lots of beer being drunk!! they filmed the night for a video release and will also be releasing a cd of it on a live album : http://www.wwjd.net/cat-club/"

Axe Killer has cancelled it’s planned re-issue of GIUFFRIA’s “Silk + Steel”.

EMI will be remastering and reissuing the entire WHITESNAKE back catalog. Each album will be packed with b-sides, live tracks and outtakes.

All those stories about the upcoming IRON MAIDEN release are apparently bullshit as the band has set the record straight. www.ironmaiden.com has said there is no title or tracklisting yet for the reunion disc.

Now apparently the new BON JOVI album is to be called “Crush”, not “Sex Sells” or “One Wild Night” as previously reported.

You can grab a listen to the MOTLEY CRUE tribute disc over at www.hardradio.com. The album features Heaven, Babylon A.D., PC69, Paul Shortino, KrunK (with Tommy Lee's sister Athena), Mother Mercy and Heaven's Edge.

Look out for this summer’s tour package of headliner POISON being supported by UNION, SLAUGHTER, DOKKEN and CINDERELLA. Poison’s “Crack A Smile And More” will be out on March 14 preceded by the single “Shut Up Make Love”. Meanwhile the guitarist from that project, BLUES SARACENO, has a new band called GORGEOUS GEORGE.

JOE LYNN TURNER has returned to the studio to record a new album for MTM.

The RIVERDOGS new album featured a guest spot from Def Lep guitarist Vivian Campbell, who was once a member of that band.

KIP WINGER's forthcoming album, “Songs From The Ocean Floor”, is slated to have the following tracklisting: 'Cross', 'Crash The Wall', 'Sure Was A Wild Flower', 'Two Lovers Stand', 'Landslide', 'Faster', 'Song Of Midnight', 'Free', 'Only One World', 'Broken Open', 'Resurrection' and 'Everything You Need'.

May 27 and 28 will be the first annual Ultrasound Showcase and Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Alexis Park Hotel and Resort. Performing participants include LEATHERWOLF, PAUL SHORTINO and JIMMY CRESPO (of the new band RHYTHM JUNKIES), KEN TAMPLIN, MICHAEL MORALES, VELOCITY, CAGE, GUILD OF AGES, ENERTIA, and TOWN CRYER XXI. As well as poolside unplugged sets featuring bands like MAD MARGRITT and ROBIN BROCK. Aside from the performers, there will be panels and vendors including record companies, jewelry and clothing designers, tattoo artists and Todd McFarlane Productions, which will donate rare action figures as door prizes. If you book on or before April 17, you can secure a room rate of $105 per night, and attendees are urged to make arrangements via Worldwide Vacations at (702) 697-8800 (especially if you are a party of 10 or more) to get the best rates and avoid no-Saturday-check-in rules. Those who wish to purchase vendor space, advertise in the Registrant's Directory, or take part in the CD Sampler must do so by April 1. E-mail musicfest2000@aol.com or visit  http://www.egotripent.com/ultrasound/ for more information.

Tonight on America On-line at keyword ROCK CHAT you can talk live with Ronnie James DIO at 9PM EST. Here are the band’s NA tour dates: March 21st, Tuesday Ventura, CA Ventura Theater March 23rd, Thursday Bellevue, WA Ballard Firehouse March 24th, Friday Bellevue, WA Ballard Firehouse March 25th, Saturday Portland, OR Roseland Theater March 28th, Tuesday San Fransisco, CA Maritime Hall March 29th, Wednesday W. Hollywood, CA House of Blues March 31st, Friday Yucaipa, CA  Crossroads April 1st, Saturday Las Vegas, NV House of Blues April 2nd, Sunday Alpine, CA Dream Catcher April 3rd, Monday Phoenix, AZ Alice Cooperstown April 4th, Tuesday Tucson, AZ Rialto Theater April 6th, Thursday Albuquerque, NM Midnight Rodeo April 7th, Friday Colorado Springs, CO Colorado Music Hall April 8th, Saturday Denver, CO Ogden Theater April 11th, Tuesday Amarillo, TX Midnight Rodeo April 12th, Wednesday Lubbock, TX The Library April 14th, Friday Dallas, TX Canyon Club April 15th, Saturday San Antonio, TX Sunken Garden Amph. April 18th, Tuesday Indianapolis, IN 8 Seconds Saloon April 19th, Wednesday Milwaukee, WI The Rave April 21st, Friday Chicago, IL House of Blues April 22nd, Saturday Detroit, MI Harpo’s April 29th, Saturday New York City, NY Irving Plaza

The latest RICK SPRINGFIELD tour dates: 3/24 - St. Louis, MO (Chase Park Plaza Hotel - Khorassan Ballroom) 3/25 - Springfield, MO (Hammons Performing Arts Center) 3/30 - New Orleans, LA (House of Blues) NOTE DATE CHANGE 3/31 - Orlando, FL (House of Blues) 4/1 - Myrtle Beach, SC (House of Blues) 4/8 - Raleigh, NC (Embassy Suites Hotel Ballroom - G105 Second Chance Prom) 4/10 - Laughlin, NV (Rio Vista Amphitheatre) 4/15 - Kesleyville, CA (Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa) 4/22 - Los Angeles, CA (Universal Amphitheater) 5/6 - San Jacinto, CA (Soboba Casino) 5/11 - Concord, NH (Capitol Center of the Arts) 5/12 - Verona, NY (Turning Stone Indian Casino) 5/13 - Arlington, VA (Hyatt: Crystal City) 5/19 - DeMoines, Iowa (Val Air Ballroom) 5/20 - Jackson, TN (Forked Deer River Festival) 5/26 - Robinsonville, MS (Goldstrike Casino - Millennium Theater) 5/27 - Depere, WI (Voyaguer Park - Celebrate Fest) 5/28 - Chicago, IL (Navy Pier - Skyline Stage) 2 Shows 6/4 - Blue Ash OH (Blue Ash Town Square) 6/9 - Atlanta, GA (Chastain Park) 6/10 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Hawkeye Downs Fair) 6/16 - Harris, MI (Island Resort and Casino) 6/17 - Harris, MI (Island Resort and Casino) 2 shows 6/23&24 - Bossier City, LA (Horseshoe Casino - The Riverdome) 7/21 - Vernon Hills, IL (Summer Celebration) 7/25 - Costa Mesa, CA (Orange County Fair) 2 shows 7/28 - Apple Valley, MN (Music In the Zoo) 7/29 - Waukesha, WI (Riverfest) 7/30 - Chicago, IL (Chicago Ridge) 8/10 - Columbus, OH (Ohio State Fair - The Celeste Center) 8/11 - Cleveland, OH (Cain Park) 8/12 - Lula, MS (Lady Luck Casino) 8/15 - San Diego, CA (Humphrey's) 8/18 - Beaver Damn, WI (Dodge City Fair) 8/24 - Westbury, NY (Westbury Music Fair) 8/26 - Beverly, Mass (Northshore Music Theatre) 9/1 - Kansas City, MO (Spirit Fest) 9/2 - Las Vegas, NV (Sunset Station Hotel and Casino) 9/4 - Denver, CO (Taste of Colorado) 9/23 - W. Springfield, MA (Eastern State Expo) 10/27 - Robinsonville, MS (Millenium Theater/Goldstrike Casino) 11/4 - Atlantic City, NJ (Atlantic City Resorts)

Some dates for ENUFF Z'NUFF:  Mar 17-18 Lemont IL Pablo Escobar's March 24 Chicago IL Double Door March 25 Kenosha WI Brat Stop March 30 Cincinnati OH Rhythm & Blues March 31 Lorain OH Flying Machine April 1 Detroit MI I-Rock May 5 Nagoya Japan Bottom Line May 6 Osaka Japan Umeda Heat Beat May 8-9 Tokyo Japan On Air East

Tour dates for BRYAN ADAMS: 3/31 Minneapolis, State Theatre. 4/1 Milwaukee, Riverside Theatre. 4/3 Detroit, State Theatre. 4/4 Buffalo, N.Y., Shea's Performing Arts Center.  4/5 Cleveland, Palace Theatre. 4/7 Boston, Orpheum Theatre. 4/8 Philadelphia, Tower Theatre.

Australian tour dates for SAVAGE GARDEN: Friday, 28 April - Cairns Convention Centre Saturday, 29 April - Townsville Entertainment Centre Tuesday, 2 May - Melbourne Melbourne Park Thursday, 4 May - Adelaide Entertainment Centre Saturday, 6 May - Perth Entertainment Centre Wednesday, 10 May - Canberra Royal Theatre Saturday, 13 May - Sydney Entertainment Centre Tuesday, 16 May - Newcastle Entertainment Centre Wednesday, 17 May - Wollongong Entertainment Centre Saturday, 20 May - Brisbane Entertainment Centre Wednesday, 24 May - Launceston The Silverdome Thursday, 25 May- Hobart Derwent Entertainment Centre

Noteworthy New Releases:

DEEP PURPLE - The Very Best of

TIM FINN - Say It Is So

OASIS - Standing on the Shoulder of Giants

ROXY MUSIC - catalog reissues

STEELY DAN - Two Against Nature

STEVE STEVENS - Flamenco a Go-Go (instrumental album)

Out Of The Closet:

Oldies on the Deck O' Death this week:

Todd Rundgren - The Very Best Of, Utopia - Anthology, The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend, Michael Jackson - Thriller

Kurt's Picks:

DAKOTA - LITTLE VICTORIES, 2000 [Similarities: Michael Stanley Band, .38 Special , Night Ranger] [ http://damall.com/home/dak.shtml ]

Here's an album that's about as textbook definition AOR as you're likely to find. Built upon a classic sound, this whole disc puts me in the mind of late 70s/early 80s AOR that comes across as rather timeless. And on each subsequent listen, this album just grew on me more and more. After a week of listening, it's turned itself into quite a monster. Everything here is played and produced perfectly (the harmonies are to die for) and is exactly the kind of music that dominated FM radio 20 years ago. But does it still fly in 2000? Well, when the songs are as good as "Don't Count Me Out", "The Deep", "Let Go" or the MASSIVE "Wish" (is it too early to nominate a song of the year?) the answer is an unresounding YES. And songs like the uplifting title track or the jazzy "Rescue Me" are not that far behind. A small quibble though, a couple of tunes are rather average (like "Brother To Brother" or their cover of "Friday On My Mind", which is good but their originals are SO much better) but not entirely bad. This band has a pretty impressive track record and only adds to it with this release, a monster indeed.

EXTREME - AN ACCIDENTAL COLLICATION OF ATOMS, A&M, 2000 [Similarities: Van Halen, Queen, The Beatles]

For my money, Extreme is one of the best bands to ever walk the earth. They had it all, the talent, the songs, the look, whatever. Hell, they even had a couple of number one tunes. Unfortunately though, their career only lasted four albums before calling it a day (I guess they were never able to shake that 'ballad band' tag). This collection (which was already released in Japan and Europe last year or so) highlights thirteen of their most well known songs as well as some of their better album cuts. And the trip it takes you through ranges from the full on hard rock of "Decadence Dance" and "Play With Me" to the supercharged funk rock of "Get The Funk Out" and "Cupid's Dead" (in an unreleased horn remix) to the always poignant balladry of "Stop The World" and "More Than Words". But for me, the band never got better then when they took on an almost Beatle-like sound on the 'should have been a huge hit' "Tragic Comic" and the epic "Am I Ever Gonna Change?", both of which show that this band was so far above all the other hair metal bands they were always unfairly lumped in with.  The guitar playing of Nuno Bettencourt are the things that heroes are made of and Gary Cherone's vox are dead on, showing that Eddie Van Halen wasn't all that crazy when he selected him for VH3. Are there songs I wish were here as well? Sure, but considering this thing tops out at the 70 minute mark, there wasn't room for much else. Pretty much a perfect set, now if they would only release an album with all their B-sides (so of which were hit worthy in their own right).

KID ROCK - DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, Lava, 1999 [Similarities: Anthrax, Beastie Boys, Run DMC]

I have a confession to make. I think that some of the rap from the 80s wasn't all that bad. Looking back, I actually remember hearing things from Run DMC, Beastie Boys or Public Enemy and enjoying them as they seemed to share more with the world of hard rock and funk than the streets (or 'da hood'). Kid Rock and his crew seems to pick right up where those acts left off and mixes hard driving metal with a party rap that is actually entertaining. The metal music backing Kid Rock is played pretty well and sounds a bit like early Motley Crue, Raging Slab or Anthrax. And depending on whether the Kid is singing or rapping, some of the songs become better than others. Whether it's the southern fried rap of "Cowboy" or the actual melodic "Wasting Time" or the total 80s power balladry of "Only God Knows", you may be just as surprised as I am to dig this. And it doesn't hurt that KR keeps things light and doesn't take it all too seriously. Granted though there are moments that things are either too 'street' (like on "Welcome 2 The Party" or "Fuck You") or too metal (like on "Fist Of Rage") but overall this is simply good time disposable party rock where the names may change but in the end the song remains the same (besides, the midget makes me laugh). I hate to say it, but this is pretty damned good.

3RD WINDOW - TELL ME WHY, Twindow, 1999 [Similarities: Dave Matthews Band, Alannah Myles, ] [ http://www.3rdwindow.com ]

You know, this is a tough one to review because this wasn't at all appealing to me in the least, yet I can't really knock it because I'm sure it's good if this is what you're into. This EP mixes coffee house folk and jazz and reminds me of those kinds of bands you see on your local public access cable channels that you tend to surf right by. Out of the six songs, nothing here sticks so maybe the less said, the better.

VARIOUS ARTISTS - MONSTER 80S, Razor & Tie, 1999 [ http://www.musicspace.com ]

Yup, those people who were responsible for those three excellent 'Monster' hard rock compilations are at it again. This time they take on 80s pop with equally excellent results. Basically, you can file almost this whole set under 'guilty pleasures', but not for nothing it made me realize how great some of this music was. Even the songs I originally dismissed back then I have grown to love (or at least can admit it now). Across the two discs styles range from AOR (Rick Springfield, Mr. Mister and Corey Hart) to Euro pop (Tears For Fears, Duran Duran and Wang Chung) to all those one hit wonders (Kajagoogoo, Til Tuesday and Spandau Ballet). I was probably 'too cool' 20 years ago to admit liking a lot of this, but damn if A Flock Of Seagulls or After The Fire doesn't sound pretty good these days. This is the single best and most complete 80s collection I've come across and of the 35 songs here, the only one that I still cannot listen to is Tony Basil's "Mickey" (all I can see in my mind are those fat ugly cheerleaders from the video!). Perfectly captures the decade that was the 80s and short of watching a John Hughes flick you won't get much closer (come to think of it, 'Ferris Bueller' was just on the other night!). [Here's the full tracklisting: Everybody Wants To Rule The World - Tears For Fears, What I Like About You - The Romantics, Bette Davis Eyes - Kim Carnes, Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield, One Thing Leads To Another - The Fixx, Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners, Cars - Gary Numan, Hazy Shade Of Winter - Bangles, Too Shy - Kajagoogoo, Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant, I Ran (So Far Away) - A Flock Of Seagulls, Voices Carry - 'Til Tuesday, Working For The Weekend - Loverboy, If This Is It - Huey Lewis And The News, Our House - Madness, I Melt With You - Modern English, Everybody Have Fun Tonight - Wang Chung, You Spin Me 'Round (Like A Record) - Dead Or Alive; Hungry Like The Wolf - Duran Duran, Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club, Take On Me - A-ha, Sunglasses At Night - Corey Hart, Hold Me Now - Thompson Twins, She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby, Who Can It Be Now? - Men At Work, Broken Wings - Mr. Mister, Der Kommissar - After The Fire, Dancing With Myself - Billy Idol, Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run) - Billy Ocean, Mickey - Toni Basil, Tainted Love - Soft Cell, Stray Cat Strut - Stray Cats, True - Spandau Ballet, Come Dancing - The Kinks, Always Something There To Remind Me - Naked Eyes]

(Re)Views From The Hill:

TRADIA- "3" (Advance CD-R, Revolver UK release due April 2000) [ http://www.revolver-records.com ]

It’s more than ten years since New Jersey’s Tradia debut album “Trade Winds” emerged, but they’ve now concluded recording of their third album. The band’s members might have been involved in discrete projects over the years, but they still seem to come home to Tradia!

Enough preface, “Didn’t Lie” is the first of the nine songs on offer and is unforeseen. Their previous work has always been very Journey-influenced, but this couldn’t sound more unlike Schon and his cronies, instead it’s more organic and idyllic midwest rock like some of Brett Walker’s material. For this track the band still sound AOR, but they’ve updated the format to sound (slightly) contemporary as well. The vocals are also mixed in a modern, upfront, dry way while the drums are somewhat dug in and small sounding. The keyboards, meantime, are the obvious connection with the two previous releases. In some ways I was reminded of the modern-ish sound adopted by Tommy Shaw on its recent solo album, but it’s better and less conniving.

“Portrait in Blue” follows and would have made a much better opener to these ears. There’s still a slight Journey influence there, but it’s rougher and harder, attacking you on several different levels. The hook is also cleverly worked out rather than being enforced on the listener. Throw in a jazzy bass line that Dave LaRue (Steve Morse/Dixie Dregs and solo) would be proud of and you end up with a sound that’s as if the Steve Morse Band were playing a Journey song and taking no prisoners in the process. You’re also hit by the band sounding like a more cohesive single unit, after the bityness of the “Welcome to Paradise” album.

Track three, “Loving Arms”, sees the band falling back to what they know best: a big power ballad. As a male/female duet it also works surprisingly well and is the sort of thing that if it was covered by Mariah Carey or Aerosmith (isn’t surprising those two can be mentioned in the same breath these days!) or used in a film, you can imagine it rushing up the mainstream charts! To be perfect though, the lyrics could do with a little tweaking to make their succession a little less obvious.

“I’m Gonna Tell you a Story” is next and actually creates quite a quandary. It totally overloads itself with ideas and lacks any central moment. Playing wise there’s lots of clever things going on, but its modernity is forced, the horns are furtive and sound like they belong in a blaxplotation movie, and overall you feel like you’re listening to a bad drugs trip! In places is sounds like Sonia Dada or the forgettable Fredriksen/Phillips album, but in other spots it sounds like Tom Jones!!! I’ve lived with the track for the best part of a year and it can grow on you a little, but I can only imagine that most listeners reaction is going to be “ehh?” The band did have another similarly modern track they demoed at the same time, but thankfully it’s been dropped from the final album.

Mercifully, “Now She’s Gone” gets things back on the right track. While not strictly speaking a power ballad, it is a slow stinger and the lofty hook reminds me of Saga. The mix of the vocals is also much more “wet” allowing you to hear more room around them and, if I’m not totally mistaken, the vocal phrasing has a candour very similar to Elton John!

The stomping guitar dominated verses of the next track “Jefferson High” are straight out of the Journey “Frontiers” songbook, while the chorus is pure 1970s Styx. Interestingly this is actually a very old song the band first did way back in 1986 and recently rediscovered on a video of them playing live at a school – Jefferson High, funnily enough! Original guitarist Mark Durgett also contributes the solo on this one. Another old song – “Exiles” – follows. This track goes right back to their mid-1980s incarnation (Rapture) and was also recorded on “Trade Winds”. This time around, it’s captured in a very different way, almost unplugged with piano and strings really the only backing to the vocals. I prefer the original’s see-through openness, even though this is a strident, heart-beating-against-the-ribcage rendition. It’s such a great song to start with that I think the first version you hear is the one that really sticks with you….

Track eight is “Standing in the Shadows” and a lot of Europeans are going to lap it up with its guitar dominated Giant-like sound. It could even fit in on the second Prophet album “Cycle of the Moon”. Keyboard player Scott Madsen is very muted on this one, as he seems to be for much of the album, but on final track “Never Fell in Love Before” he cuts lose in archetypical Tradia fashion. Admittedly this is a track that also appeared on “Welcome to Paradise”, but that version used a very mediocre, early mix and it’s given its full due here with its powerful and vivid structure and just the right elements of Toto’s sound. This one really needs to be moved up the running order, rather than languishing at the end, if anything the perplexity of “Gonna Tell you a Story” would be better served to round off the album.

The wild mixture of material on offer might surprise some listeners. As an overall album there are a lot of different aspects flying around and its hard to isolate a key, defining element. In a effort to sound more contemporary, a couple of the tracks perhaps end up sounding a little underdeveloped (including opener “Didn’t Lie”). However, what is clear is that Tradia are not afraid to renovate their sound and are not keen to just churn out apathetic, passé albums that would have sounded average in the 1980s – strangely that’s just the sort of album many of the current European labels like to release! Tradia are clearly not going to pander to that easy option but are prepared to try and reach fresh audiences as well. In some ways a dicey strategy, but nothing ventured…. There’s enough of their older material to please their older fans as well, and if you can approach it with a reasonably open mind you’ll find a pretty good album.- IM (AOR Basement)

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

First off, all your (very) patient readers of the AOR Basement web site will find that a whole slew of new reviews have been uploaded in the last week. Jump to the reviews index page at http://www.aorbasement.com/aorb-03.htm to see what the latest ones are. Also in a, minor, break for traditional my review of the advance of the new Tradia album is also included in this issue, as it should make some interesting reading.....

In other news, New Hampshire's 8084 who only recently released the CD "So Far" through GB Music are looking to have an all new album out towards the end of the year. The recording of four new songs has already been completed and the album is tentatively titled "Shoot from the Hip". Get more details on them at the website http://www.8084.com.

Also as a follow up to my comments last week that Cinema Face had completed a new album: the album is indeed complete, but the band are without a record deal and are currently looking to hook up with someone that get it out to the public at large.....

If you're into 1970s US hard rock, you could do a lot worse than check out the band No Brass. While a little dated, their debut CD has some OK moments, and fans of the style of Starz and harder melodic rock might find a lot to like on it. Surf into http://www.nobrassmusic.com for more details on them.

MP3.COM:

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

From: Timothie timothie@iname.com

Check out "Sounds Like Sara" from Sweden. It reminds me of Alanis Morrisette. Truly amazing and very good. A quote from a review on their site (which is very cool as well): "When it comes to good competent singers one can only say that Sara Heurlin has a voice that ought to make every talent scout get the taste of dollar bills in their mouth. The rest of the band is also worth mentioning. Incredibly tight and well played, in my opinion." Go and listen!

- http://artists.mp3s.com/artists/27/sounds_like_sara.html - http://home.swipnet.se/sounds_like_sara/index.html

Feedback:

From: JrnyMyLove@aol.com

I Thank you for All the info I would otherwise not have. And really weather or not I buy a CD from what I read here!! A BIG THANKS.

[Awww shucks...I'm blushing. Thanx for the kind words.]

From: Oscar Montezuma montezuma@rossello.com.pe

[Re: my Grammy comments]

Well, as for Latin music i consider this Grammy edition finally rendered tribute to Latin Music and the potential market it is for music manager's $$$ eyes $$$, Latin music deserved this, let's face it! As for Ricky Martin i agree, it was repetitive and the performance was just crap!

Great candidates, i agree with you on Rosie O'Donnell moments. I even found her a bit of unpoliteness at many times

It was also a surprise for me that Christine Aguleria beat Britney Spears in the same category with just one low quality song on the charts. About Santana, I disagree, i consider this great musician deserved a recognition for his 30 year work and all the effort invested in his SUPERNATURAL album, it was not just a simple duets albums but a well done one. I consider this a recognition to a career and a musician not only to an album, i enhance Clive Davis words!! BTW did you thought the same about Michael Jackson back in the 80s winning it all? I hope next Grammys will include all the great 2000 releases such as Bon Jovi, Journey and so.

[I still think "Thriller" is an album for the ages. I really don't think that highly of "Supernatural". "Smooth" is the only song I liked on it and though I guess the album was bound to win some, I just don't think it should have won every category it was in.]

From: Eddy M edrock@connexus.net.au

Hey Kurt As well as and oldi (not that there's anything wrong with that!) Santana cleaning up, how about some of the other winners. Lenny Kravitz - American Woman (cover of the Guess Who song from the early 70's), Sheryl Crowe - Sweet Child o Mine (GNR 1987), Black Sabbath - Iron Man (another song which is 30yrs old) and I'm sure there was another but I'd going senile ~haha~

From: "Tim Ash" tlash@peoplepc.com

Kurt, I just recently saw Rick Springfield in concert in Evansville. The show was even better than the one that I saw a few months ago. His set list was a bit different. He did Sylvia, Christina, and Free. I had not previously heard him do those. They all sounded great. He was very energetic and so was the audience. Rick seemed to really be enjoying himself. The addition of Matt Bissonette really gave the songs and extra "kick". He also said that his new live cd will be out in a couple of months and that it would include "revved up versions of his songs." Alot of people say that Rick doesn't rock and can't really play the guitar. These people need to see Rick live.

[Agreed...I have seen Rick a number of times and never came away disappointed. I hope I have that much energy at 50!]