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Embrace The New.
Encourage The Impractical and
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and El Presidente - Kurt Torster
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Tim Henderson (Brave
Martin Hennessy III (80's
Ian McIntosh (AOR
Mark Orsted (Heavens
Alex Richter (Hard N' Fast)
George Thatcher (Heart
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we’re back. I’m tired as shit…but SFK is back. This issue may be a little
sloppy and I only had time for a couple of reviews but we’ll be back in full
effect next week as I got a TON of music over the past two weeks.
I got a cable
modem last week…WOW! I’ve been hitting speeds of upwards of 900k…compare
that to a 56k modem.
Wanna throw a
quick plug for a program called Baby
Type, which turns
the PC into an activity center for your toddler. It’s very cool and has
entertained my 2 year old to no end. Check
Kurt’s Kause Of The Week:
why not get a little political (or even politically incorrect)? There are loads
of issues I believe in or support, and this little bit is not meant to get too
deep into anything controversial.]
A cause close
to home and slightly music related…The fight to Erase
MS as I had an uncle who had MS for over 20 years. Though his case was mild
(he died from unrelated causes), when it did flare up, you can see how much pain
he was in. MS can and will be cured, and this website, with VH-1’s assistance,
The new Kyle Vincent album is all
but completed but before that sees release, look for an album filled with
unreleased songs from pop metal legends Candy.
The graves of two members of Lynyrd
Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, have been vandalized. Yikes…
planned a Behind The Music for Tesla.
The episode will feature footage of Bar7,
the new band
featuring Jeff Keith and Tommy Skeoch.
for a Behind The Music is Faith
SFK fave Michael
moved his website. He has signed
with Koch records to release his new album, due in September.
actually added Bon Jovi’s “It’s
My Life” to their playlist. Their “Crush” album has hit the new
European platinum award for sales of over 1 million in Europe. Here’s the
setlist from their opening night in Japan: Livin'
on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, It's My Life, Say It Isn't So, Just
Older, Living in Sin, Blood on Blood, Next 100 Years, Love for Sale (acoustic),
Someday I'll Be Saturday Nite (acoustic), Bed of Roses (acoustic), Lay Your
Hands on Me, Keep the Faith, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, Bad Medicine, Mystery
Train, Wanted Dead or Alive, One Wild Nite, Never Say Goodbye.
be opening for AC/DC in the US.
Robbie Williams has
smashed sales records for his shows at the London Arena, selling 75,000 tix in 6
Hootie & The Blowfish will
release an album of covers, b-sides and soundtrack tunes in October before
releasing a new proper release in the new year.
Check out a John
Waite giveaway at
“Cub” Koda passed away last week. Cub was the leader of Brownsville
Station, the band
that recorded “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”.
stores you can grab freebies for both the new albums from Motley
Crue and Everclear
(which is REALLY
band Dragonheart has MP3s of their demo available on their website.
You can grab
a download of “Stay” from the upcoming Velocity
from the band’s website.
tracklisting for the new Radiohead album
“KID”, due out October 3: Everything
In Its Right Place, Kid A, The National Anthem, How To Disappear Completely,
Treefingers, Optimistic, In Limbo, Idioteque, Morning Bell, Motion Picture
TV show Freaks & Geeks has been picked up by the Fox Family Channel,
where they will air all 18 episodes of this 80s based comedy/drama.
A2 has picked
up the awesome “Leap Of Faith” album from New Jersey rocker John
over to John’s website for a
discount on merchandise.
titled film Metal God has changed it’s title to currently something
untitled due to the band’s insistence that all Judas
be removed. The band will now be known as Steel Dragon.
Portnoy of Queensryche backing
out of a tour with DreamTheater, “at
the LAST MINUTE, those lame pussies Queensryche backed out of the tour because
they said they didn't want to tour anymore for this album and wanted to go back
in the studio. I think that they just realized that after we played, their fans
would realize how much their new album sucks! Well, this totally fucked us and
the plans that we had penciled in for August and left us without a tour. Then
after this all fell through, we pursued the opening slot on the US Maiden tour.
It was looking real possible until all of a sudden, we found out that
Cheeseryche was lobbying for the slot. And what do you know? It looks like they
got it!! It's real unfortunate, because a DT/QR tour would have been a real
treat for the fans, and a DT/IM tour would have been real beneficial to us. And
now because of those slimey Seattle lame-asses, we don't have either tour! We're
still playing in Europe with Maiden which'll be cool. Well, now the plans are
for us to do another headlining US leg in August with SPOCK'S BEARD as our
opening act which will be a great tour and alot of fun for everybody that didn't
get to witness this great bill in Europe.” Yikes…
John Corabi has joined Ratt as a
September 12 will see the release of “The
Best Of” Soul Asylum.
House Of Lords, with
James Christian and Gregg Giuffria, has reformed. More as it comes in.
Way Records will be reissuing many melodic rock classics including: The
Babys (Babys, Broken Heart, Head First, On The Edge/Union Jacks), Missing
Persons (Rhyme & Reason, Color In Your Life), Poco (Live), Producers
(Producers/You Make The Heat), Red Rider (Anthology) and John
Waite (Ignition, No Brakes, Mask Of Smiles, Rovers Return).
Tonight you can chat with the “Dream
Weaver” himself, Gary Wright at Yahoo!.
How cool is it that Vertical
Horizon’s “Everything You Want” is the number 1 song in
Le Roux has
issued “AOR Live”, a live collection recorded during their AOR-ish
“So Fired Up” period.
Noteworthy New Releases:
EVERCLEAR - Songs From An American Movie
KANSAS - Somewhere To Elsewhere
STEVE MORSE - Major Impacts
MÖTLEY CRÜE - New Tattoo
BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA - Vavoom!
THIN LIZZY - One Night Only
[What’s kicking old school on the SFK
Deck O’ Death this week:]
Styx – Edge Of The Century, REO Speedwagon – The Earth…, John Talieri – Leap Of Faith, Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want, Grateful Dead – American Beauty
Everclear – Learning How To
[Similarities: Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters, Enuff Z’nuff]
I was not prepared for this at all. I’ve always liked Everclear’s singles but their albums always struck me as a little dark (and filler laden to be honest). But Art Alexis and his trio have whipped up an infectious and classic collection of twelve songs, all potential singles. Songs like the incredible “Am Radio”, “Unemployed Boyfriend” and “Wonderful” have ruled my car stereo since the day I got this and their cover of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” has to be heard to be believed. In the best cover song tradition, the band has broken down the original and rebuilt it in their own signature and the result is pretty spectacular. Think back to any of Everclear’s recent hits (like “Father Of Mine” or “Santa Monica”) and then picture an entire album filled with songs like that. Brilliant…
Of Shakira – III, MTM,
[Similarities: Journey, Styx, Pretty Maids]
I must admit that even before I spun this disc, the song titles sort of threw me as they are odd and don’t quite fit the songs sometimes. But considering that’s about the only complaint I can register here, things are good. Filled with a nice mixture of arena anthems, mid-tempo AOR and even some pretty heavy hard rock, the variety goes far to keep this interesting beyond the initial spins. Though the straight ahead arena rock of “In Your Head”, “Unspoken” and the monster “Miracle” are my faves here, songs like the Zep-like “Black And Blue Skies” or the acoustic ballad “Splitted [sic] Hairs” are also tasty and round out the experience. With huge choruses and equally as big melodies, this borders on essential. Pick this up along with their recently released “Best Of 2” and you may need no other CDs for quite a while…
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Then And Now,
[Similarities: .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws]
I’m at a loss to explain the rationale behind this release. It’s simply a compilation of the two live albums they released in 1998 and 1999. Yeah, musically this sounds and plays great (Johnnie Van Zant has proved he can do the job vocally) but really…this is nothing more than a cheap cash in attempt. All the typical tracks are here and fans probably have those mentioned live shots. Casual fans probably have one of the hits discs and don’t need this. This reeks on Kiss/Harem Scarem levels of screwing the fans.
Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
– Live 12.23.78, Phoenix
[Similarities: Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, John Eddie]
Having had the fortune to see this act live a number of times all I can say is that this live platter perfectly captures the band in their element. They are easily one of THE best live shows I can remember…100% blood, sweat and tears rock and roll. Packed with Jukes classics like “This Time It’s For Real”, “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town” and “This Time Baby’s Gone For Good” this is Jersey bar rock at it’s finest recorded at the Paradise Theater in Boston. Bon Jovi fans, right here is everything Jon wishes to be and where he draws 99% of his inspiration. One minor complaint, the horns seem to be a little too loud in the mix but other than that, everything is perfect.
(Re)Views From The Hill:
Samantha 7: s/t, Portrait
[similarities: Guns & Roses, Quireboys, LA Guns]
CC Deville has recovered from his heroin addiction with his sense of humor in tact. Because S7 is a trashy humorous romp through the streets of LA. The self-titled album by his 3-piece is by far the best thing CC has been remotely involved with since the second Poison album. He sings and plays guitar on his 11 track, perky CD, lasting on a bit under 30 minutes. Funny thing is, CC does not have a half-bad voice. Because of its brevity, there is no filler, no fluff and no also-rans. Night Ranger’s Jack Blades produced this album, and he did a great job at giving it that fun feel.
From the cheeky opener "Framed"
you know this is gonna be something different. It is nothing like Poison. The
punky glam attitude is infectious. "I wanna be Famous" is another
corker about the quest for fame and fortune, the lyrics are pretty damn humorous
for this brief romp. "Slave
Laura" is a punked up Cheap Trick-like tale of one perverted chick.
Things slow down for "Cover Girl" , they get a bit distorted as
well. While its not a ballad, its haunting guitar solo reminds me of LA Guns
"Ballad of Jayne." I have
to point out that this stuff is damn catchy as well, reminding me of the reason
I liked the first Poison album. These
songs seem to permeate the mind and stick there.
"Golden Days" reminds me of
Weezer at their best. Punky edges but very accessible for the non-punk fan. In
the solo, midway through the track you can see some signs of the CC of old.
"Good Day" is a great laugh, with hilarious lyrics, and one
that I will remember next time I am suffering from writers block. It has that
"recorded" in the bedroom feel that gives a goofy charm. "Bury
Me" is a bit modern sounding, with a lot of yelling, and whinny guitars. It
is probably one of the weakest of the tracks.
"Bonnie Bradley" is pure Cheap Trick, as sung by a bunch of
teenage brats. Another funny track. "Seane Girl" is a rather amusing
trick-like track, mentioning the hip playground of LA, Silverlake.
The CD ends with song featuring famous rock & roll streets in LA:
Hollywood & Vine and of course Sunset Boulevard. It’s another ode to fame
and the movie business. H&W is
a great way to end the album, including its "Somewhere over the
It is clear from this outing that Samantha
7 would be one hell of a blast to see live.
If CC gets time away from his other gig to tour, make an effort to these
guys. I am willing to be it will be
a hell of a lot more fun than Poison 2000.
S7 is pure LA summer fun, might not have the legs of
some other albums, but you surely wont hate it after the summer is over.
Fair Warning: 4, Frontiers
[similarities: Jekyl & Hyde, Savannah, TNT, Zeno]
The perennial "big in Japan" these guys have been the darlings of fans of Scandi-Hard Rock since their debut. This talented quartet of guys don’t really push the boundaries of rock music, but they do what they do damn well. I defy any AOR fan not to be hooked by most of the tracks on the 13 song CD. Sing along choruses, reaching guitar, and heart felt lyrics, don’t you just love it?
The first song to really leap out at the
listener is the simply awesome "Break Free", which will have you
singing the choruses by the end of verse two. Soaring guitar and vocals combine
for a power ballad extraordinaire. "Dream"
starts right from the beginning with group nah-nahs, before the guitars,
keyboards and vocals kick in to a
great effect., with another great sing along chorus.
"I fight" is a keyboard laden
rocker, that has Whitesnake and Bon Jovi vibes, but retains some originality.
Very much the anthemic rocker, it is sure to go down great live. As would expect
from this sort of track, there is a great duel between the keyboard and guitar
at the midway point. Keyboards fill the next track as well, a song with a very
House of Lords feel. This track has a nice acoustic guitar that plays along with
the vocals at first. "Time will Tell" is a great mid-tempo track, that
really grabs your ear.
"Eyes of Love" is a great rock
track, with sweeping vocals and a great chorus. More of the keyboards of the
former three tracks, but more for depth that in the front.
Yet again Andy Melecek adds his solo in the right spot at the right
moment. "Find my Way" has
a distinct new country feel to it, you could almost imagine Shania Twain turning
it into a hit. A big chorus, catchy melody, and great back-up vocals, give it a
bit of a Queen like feel. There really aren’t any clunkers on this one.
This is a great album, that is well worth
the price of admission. It takes a few tracks to kick into gear (they aren’t
bad just not as good as the rest of it). Fair
Warning continue their track record of damn good albums. - Marty
Basement (Ian McIntosh):
Place where you live:
Stockport, Cheshire, England
41 (it may seem f*ckin' ancient, but it's still younger than Madonna or Sharon
More Than a Feeling - Boston
Listen to Your Heart - Roxette
10 Albums You'd Bring If Stranded On A
(in strictly alphabetical order of artist)
Reckless - Bryan Adams
The Crossing - Big Country
Boston - Boston
Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
Heart - Heart
Broadsword and the Beat - Jethro Tull
Four Symbols - Led Zeppelin
Look Sharp - Roxette
Signals - Rush
90125 - Yes
(covers various topics besides music, but please take a look)
[If you’d like to be featured in SFK’s
Reader Profile, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Subject: Good news and bad news
The good news is you made my day with your review of Sister Hazel's Fortress. I had heard the single, "Change Your Mind", and really liked it. Your review prompted me to pick up the CD. It's great. Quite a mix of song types, from pure pop to southern rock. There's even an honest to goodness guitar solo in the song "Surreal". I haven't heard one of those in a mainstream album in quite a while. As an added bonus, I picked up my copy at Best Buy and it included a second CD with two live tracks. The tracks were a crowd sing-along version of "All For You" and "Wanted It To Be", both from the first album.
Now the bad news.
Like you, I thought Hey Album! from Marvelous 3 was one of the best, if
not the best, album of 1999. I was
eagerly awaiting the new album, "ReadySexGo".
I had downloaded MP3 samples of some of the early demos and they sounded
great. After reading SFK last week,
I went to the Elektra site to listen to three of the final tracks in RealAudio.
Two of the tracks were just average, but since it was my first time
hearing them I didn't think too much of it.
It was the third track, "Grant Park", that really disappointed
me. This was a great demo track,
but the final version has lost much of the kick.
The sound mix has really been muddied, and the vocals have been redone to
downplay the harmonies. In
addition, Butch now sounds like he is trying to growl his way through the song
as opposed to singing it. Don't get
me wrong, I still think these guys are better than 99% of the bands out there
today. I just think they may have
gotten some bad advice from their record company or some of the "special
guests" on the new album. We
certainly don't need another Lit or Buckcherry clone.
I'll reserve final judgment until the whole album comes out.
Hopefully, I'm jumping to the wrong conclusion.
|From: Mark A Pyskoty email@example.com|
Subject: Mitch Easter Site
Hope you don't mind my brazen ways...just thought that you guys might be interested in my humble endeavor at this web-page thing....it's been a HELL of a long time comin' and WAY overdue...I LOVE THE GUY!
Thanks for keeping up with all the music
like you do...I'm sure that burnout can come easy, esp if alot of the stuff you
hear is just pompous crap. But, fortunatly, there is alot of good music out
That brings me to Storyteller...I got this
CD last week, adn haven't had it out of the CD player in my car.....incredible,
and amazing are the two words that come to mind! I have heard people make the
comparisons to Giuffria, or House of Lords (gee, wonder what's the connection
between those two bands?!?!?!)....and I have to agree that much of the keyboard
work could have easily fitted into HoL's debut....but then in comes Jerome
Story's vocals, and I, too , have been trying to figure out who he resembles.
Well, the best that I can come to, is that he is a cross between a mellower
Johhny Giolli (sp?) of Hardline (and various other projects), and Iva Davies for
Icehouse. Jerome definitely has the vocal range, and can certainly give feeling
to the songs. The only disappointment of the whole CD, is the fact that there
are no true AOR radio stations out there to give this masterpiece it's due on
the airways. We're too inundated with overproduced, poorly written crap anymore,
that people have forgotten what music is...it's become, as so many items in our
society, disposable. Fortunately, a group like Storyteller comes along for those
of us who enjoy the real aspect of music, the melody.
Cudos to Mr. Story and Mr. Teller, et al.,
for a most wanted CD.....I look forward to more of their work!
|From: "80schild" firstname.lastname@example.org|
Subject: Courtney love article on
the recording industry
hey kurt, this article is awesome.. http://www.salon.com/tech/feature/2000/06/14/love/index.html
|From: "80schild" email@example.com|
Subject: Poison in Massachusetts
I saw Poison in Massachusetts at Great woods last night and they rocked! Heres the skinny:
Parking lot: had a few beers and some
burgers with some cool people. This is always the best part of the show. I also
got a tye dye Poison shirt for 15 bucks. The shirts inside were 32
Bucks!!!!!!!!! (hint: go to their website: www.poisonweb.com
and shirts are 19.95..) We had seats in row 22, center..
Slaughter: It was like my 8th or 9th time
seeing them. The best part about this time was that they finally started playing
electric versions of their ballads. Every time I have seen them since 92 they
have done parts of all their ballads as 1 acoustic song. I really like Spend my
life on electric. They did seem to drag out fly to the angels a little bit but
the rest of the crowd didn't seem to mind.
Dokken was next. They never did anything
for me and they didnt do anything for me last night. I guess the guitarist from
Winger took over for George Lynch. 2 people next to us only came to see Dokken
and left when they found out he wasn't playing. They played for about a half an
Cinderella: They were awesome. They stuck
to their hits and played the same set that they did 2 years ago when I saw them
at a small club in mass. They aren't the most energetic band but their southern
brand of glam rock is all right with me. I always wonder how tom keiffer still
has a voice after hearing him sing..They played for an hour.
Poison came on and the place was packed.
All the seats were full and the first few rows on the lawn was full. There were
more people at the show this year than there were last year! They opened with
Look what the Cat dragged in and all kinds of pyro. What an opener. CC was
totally awesome. He totally hams it up and doesn't stop moving. I also have to
say that as a drummer I become more and more impressed with Rikki Rocket every
time I see them. They played 2 new songs: Power to the People and I hate every
bone in your body but Mine. CC plugged his solo act: Samantha 7 during the show.
He said: "please go out and by the album cause poisons not paying me a dime
for this tour, Just kidding.." Bret screwed up every rose halfway through
and started over, then his guitar went out of tune and he went backstage to get
a new guitar. He was saying how bad he sucked and he would apologize for it by
coming back next summer and playing longer. He also mentioned something about
doing a home video. I just wish Poison would play longer. 1 hour and 20 mins
just isn't enough..During rock and roll all nite about 100 people got on strage
and ran around. There was no security. It was crazy. They then closed with Talk
dirty to me. Here is the setlist that I can remember:
look what the cat dragged in, Your mama
dont dance, power to the people, Rikki solo, something to believe in, CC Solo, I
hate every bone in your body but mine, Fallen Angel, Let it play, Every rose has
its thorn, Unskinny bop, Nothin but a good time, Rock and roll all nite, Talk
Dirty to me
All in all, it was awesome. It's nice to
hear 5 consecutive hours of bands I like rather than some of the other festivals
going around. If you do buy a shirt, get the red Poison one that says: Best hair
metal band in the world. Do you have a fucking problem with that? That about
sums it up for me...