three essential Commandments:
Respect The Elders.
Embrace The New.
Encourage The Impractical and
Improbable, Without Bias.
Editor and Vice Presidential
Candidate - Kurt Torster
Other members of the SFK
Carrie Borzillo (All
Star Daily News)
Marty Dodge (http://www.lupusandco.com)
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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Last week I
mistakenly attributed “Transition” to Talk
Of The Town. Their
album is titled “The Ways Of The World”. Street
Talk put out “Transition”.
Check out the
SFK site for the all-new “Rare MP3
of the week”. Details below.
Kurt’s Kause Of The Week:
grew up in the early 80s, men especially, probably has very fond memories of
arcade video games. To this day I would still rather play a game like Defender,
Robotron or Sinistar over the high gloss new console games. Well,
over at the newly redesigned Shockwave
you can play games like those and dozens more…for free!
It’s a blast…
The first two singles from Journey’s upcoming
“Arrival” album will be “Higher Place” and “All The
Way”. A little war of words seems to be brewing between producer Kevin
Shirley and Andrew over at Melodicrock. Check it out at Kevin’s
The songlisting for the new Japanese Mr.
Big ballad compilation, “Deep Cuts”: Where
Are They Now?, I'll Leave It Up To You , Had
Enough, Promise Her
The Moon, Just Take My
Heart, Superfantastic, You Don't Have To Be Strong, Anything For
You, Wild World, Ain't Seen Love Like That, Dancin' Right Into The Flame, The
Chain, Goin' Where The Wind Blows, If That's What It Takes, To Be With You, My
New Religion (live).
Some new singles to keep your ears out
for: Matchbox Twenty “Angry”, Savage Garden “Hold
Me”, Fastball “You’re An Ocean”, Third Eye Blind “Deep
Inside Of You” and my personal pick hit to be HUGE, Brian Setzer “Getting
In The Mood”.
German melodic label MTM has started their
own online radio station.
Matchbox Twenty will
be touring The Jayhawks this fall.
will be splitting their time opening for both Kiss and Hanson.
There are rumors making the rounds that Judas
Priest is on the verge of reuniting with Rob Halford.
has an article on that other supposed reunion of Van Halen, calling it
Trans Siberian Orchestra is
busy writing material for the soundtrack to The Grinch, the new Jim Carey
Look for a new compilation from Freddie
Curci & Alias titled “Then And Now” through both EMI and
Frontiers. It will contain two unreleased tunes as well as a live version of the
Sheriff classic “When I’m With You”.
Frontiers has signed Kelly Hansen and Hurricane.
Also joining up with Frontiers is Brit
rock legends Praying Mantis, who will issue their latet album “Nowhere
To Hide” in September.
The next Heaven & Earth album,
“Windows Of The World” is almost done and ready for release. Tracks
recorded include Prisoner, Windows To The World, Years Gone By, Through Your
Eyes, Politician, Pain Where There Once Was A Heart, Worlds Apart, I Don't Need
No Doctor, Toccata, Gone By Morning, Away From Harm and Moderation.
Also almost done is the debut from AOR
supergroup The Sign. Possible tracks include I’m Alive, Crossed The
Line, Aryon, Forever Again, Stranded, All Your Life, Wait, I’ll Be There Fore
You, Love Is Alive, Nothin’ But A Heartache, Wine, Desperate Heart and
Signs Of Life.
Look for a late 2000 release of “Stranger
From The Past”, the latest from David Glen Eisley.
Helping out the songwriting on the solo
album from Night Ranger drummer/vox Kelly Keagy is Kevin Chalfant and Jim
Green Day’s new
single “Minority” is the first off their upcoming “Warning”
album due October 3.
The new album from the Bee Gees will
be titled “This Is Where I Came In” and is set for a late 2000/early
August 29, Cheap Trick will release
yet another collection, this one titled “Authorized Greatest Hits”.
It will contain the usual tunes as well as their version of “Out In The
Streets” from Fox’s That 70s Show and a live version of “The
Flame”. The band will also play an acoustic set on August 3 at City Hall
Also out August 29 will be the 2 CD “Anthology”
from George Thorogood. Tracks: Disc 1: Madison Blues, One
Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, Delaware Slide, Move It on Over, The Sky Is
Crying, I'm Wanted, Nobody But Me, Bad to the Bone, Willie & The Hand Jive,
I Drink Alone, Gear Jammer, Long Gone, Reelin' & Rockin' (Live), Bottom of
the Sea (Live), Night Time (Live) Disc 2: Who Do You Love (Live), Born To
Be Bad, You Talk Too Much, I'm Ready, Shake Your Money Maker, If You Don't Start
Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave), Hello Little Girl, Long Distance Lover, Get a
Haircut, Howlin' for My Baby, Christine, Let's Work Together (Live), Johnny B.
Goode (Live), Rockin' My Life Away, I Don't Trust Nobody
Forget about Napster…over at Tapster,
you can download the latest single from Spinal Tap, “Back From The
Classic rockers Nazareth plan a DVD
release of concert footage next year.
Members of the U2 fan club will get
an exclusive live CD titled "Hasta La Vista Baby! Live From Mexico City".
Tracklisting: Pop Music, Mofo, I Will Follow, Gone, New Years Day, Staring At
The Sun, Bullet The Blue Sky, Please, Where The Streets Have No Name, Lemon (The
Perfecto Mix), Discotheque, With Or Without You, Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill
MTV is using Kyle Vincent’s “Somewhere
Between Hello And Goodbye” as filler music in their series Undressed and
will be using at least five more songs of his on the animated series Daria.
The Who will
be opening the Jimmy Page/Black Crowes shows at New York’s Madison
Square Garden. Both acts have albums available on MusicMaker.
Club Records is reissuing the classic and long sought after debut from pomp
Gods White Sister.
Chris Goulstone, guitarist with long lost
UK pompsters Bronz, advises the release of a new Bronz album, as well as
a reunion featuring all the original members, including vocalist Max Bacon, last
seen touring the Northern UK playing clubs and singing to backing tapes!! The
new album is called 'Unfinished Business', details of which can be found on Chris'
From the folks at Blue Car Records, the
team that bought you the excellent Mark Allen Band (6 Interlocking Pieces) comes
a new band featuring the very man Mark Allen, as part of a new power trio called
Promises Promises. They are an out and out AOR band, playing in a very
smooth style. Check them out.
Heres the latest from Finnish AORsters Urban
Tale. They have added a new song to their
site. This song is a well-worked demo version of 'Still Strong'. They have
still yet to confirm a record deal after some recent communication issues with
one particular label who shall remain nameless. More to follow..
Fans of ex Styx mainman Dennis De Young
can check out a series of MP3 format interviews over at MP3.COM.
Rare MP3 Of The Week:
This week’s Rare
MP3: Night Ranger’s “Wild And Innocent Youth”, from the
soundtrack to the 1986 movie Out Of Bounds.
Live In Your Face:
Sat 10/21/00 Hamburg, GER Docks Konzerte
Sun 10/22/00 Rastatt, GER Baadenerhalle
Tue 10/24/00 Zurich, SWI Volkshaus
Wed 10/25/00 Stuttgart, GER Congresscentrum
Thu 10/26/00 Cologne, GER E-Werk
Fri 10/27/00 Offenbach, GER Offenbacher Stadthalle
Sun 10/29/00 Dortmund, GER Soundgarden
Mon 10/30/00 Munich, GER Cirkus Krone Bau
Tue 10/31/00 Furth, GER Stadthalle Furth
Noteworthy New Releases:
Various Artists - Bat Head Soup: A Tribute
[What’s kicking old school on the SFK
Deck O’ Death this week:]
Donnie Iris – Out Of The Blue, Rick Springfield – Rock Songs, Mike & The Mechanics – Hits, Loverboy – Get Lucky, Glass Tiger – Air Time
Corrs – In Blue, Atlantic,
[Similarities: Shania Twain, Faith Hill, Heart]
Stunning set of female oriented pop/AOR that’s rightfully topping charts worldwide. With nary a song out of place, this is some very dreamy yet spirited music that has touches of AOR, new country and typical radio pop. Gone are much of the Irish flourishes that were on their previous sets, with the help of Mutt Lange, the sound is tighter and quite immaculate (and owe more than a passing nod to the “Shania” sound). Songs like “Somebody For Someone”, the monster ballad “All The Love In The World”, “Radio” (a different version of the one from their “Unplugged” set) and “All In A Day” should be smash hits in due time and honestly, any song from this album could be plucked as a single. About the only thing I would have wished is more real drums (as the drum machine sounds do leave you wishing at times for the human touch). This should make fans out of those few that still aren’t.
– Bring ‘Em Out Live,
[Similarities: Winger, Def Leppard, Night Ranger]
Firehouse is an odd band. On one hand, they can craft some of the most brilliant melodic rock around. On the other, they can also flip out the passionless generic rocker with little difficulty. Unfortunately, the first half of this disc relies on those very songs. Though the sound is decent (though the crowd sounds fake at times) and performance flawless, songs like “Overnight Sensation”, “Lovers Lane” and “Hold Your Fire” never did much for me first time around…and things haven’t changed (and where the hell is “Sleeping With You”?!?). But things pick up starting with “Dream”. After that, it seems to be one hyper-melodic track after another. Songs like “Acid Rain” and “I Live My Life For You” sound good but it’s just not enough to sway my overall opinion that this is just a speed bump on the road to their next proper album.
Maiden – Brave New World, Portrait,
[Similarities: Rush, Queensryche, Dream Theater]
Well, it’s about bloody time! Finally, the kings of melodic metal have regrouped (along with third guitarist Janick Gers) and put forth one hell of an album that recalls their glory days. Whether your tastes run from the quick hits of the ripping “The Wicker Man” and “The Mercenary” or the epic, almost prog-like “Dream Of Mirrors” (ranks right up there with their classics) and “The Nomad”, this is the finest and most consistent Maiden album since “Powerslave”. With three guitarists now filling in the sound behind the huge drumming of Nicko McBrain and the thumping bass of Steve Harris, this leaves no doubt in my mind. Iron Maiden is back, older…wiser and maybe better than before!
Crue – New Tattoo, Beyond,
[Similarities: Poison, AC/DC, Van Halen]
Getting back to their roots, Da Crue’s latest is an exercise in over the top sex and drugs rock n’ roll. Thank God! Though Vince still can’t sing and Mick still can’t play the guitar worth shit, Nikki’s songwriting saves the day as the band puts forth an album on par with “Dr. Feelgood”. Songs like “Hell On High Heels”, “Dragstrip Superstar” and “Hollywood Ending” have punch and bravado that is usually the result of a band being young and hungry. Sure, the band can still pump out the filler too, as evidenced by “First Band On The Moon” or “Fake”, but overall this is classic Crue through and through and longtime fans will not be disappointed.
– The Man Who, Sony,
[Similarities: Oasis, The Beatles, Radiohead]
Pleasant if rather boring Brit pop that feels like it is crying out to be louder or crunchier. Nothing here is irritating like Oasis (though the vocals are 1000 times better), yet nothing also inspires any passion like Radiohead. I did like songs like “Driftwood”, “Turn” and the brilliant “Why Does It Always Rain On Me” but not enough that I would keep going back for another listen. Decent background music but desperately left me wanting to rock.
(Re)Views From The Hill:
Pink Floyd: The Wall Live:
Pink Floyd 1980-1981, Columbia
[similarities: Marillion, Dream Theatre]
Pink Floyd fans have been waiting for this set for many a moon. The two CD set contains the full concert (recorded over several nights) from Earls Court, London. It is one of the limited numbers of times (29 in all) that Floyd played The Wall in its entirety. Be warned, this two CD set is more of an musical outing than most CDs, you will find it very hard to concentrate on anything else while you listen to it. It is very much a lights down/candle and wine affair.
All your favorites are here, as you can
imagine, plus enough extra to make you feel a part of the gig. The really
expensive set comes with a 64-page booklet that would keep even the most ardent
completist happy. It contains sketches of the original set, and includes a large
number of photos of the show and the band. The most interesting part of the
non-music content is the section, which contains reflections on the gig from
each member of the band. The deluxe hardbound box set, is an incredibly well put
together package and well worth the premium you will have to pay for it over the
plain set. There is definitely a
lot for your money here.
‘Comfortably Numb" is simply
bewitching, a tour de force, this version will stick in your head for a long
time to come. The solo and vocal performance is simply breath taking. "Run
like Hell" is another highlight of collection, complete with Waters asking
if there are any paranoids in the audience for an intro. "Another Brick in
the Wall, Part 2" was the big hit from the album, a song that defined
teenage school days angst in a very few words.
As The Wall is a concept album, it is very
hard to take one song as a highlight. Put
simply this album is essential for any hard rock fan, whether they are really
into Floyd or not. The Wall Live is simply one of the best live albums every
recorded, an amazing achievement. If you can possibly afford it, get the
hardbound 2 disc set, well worth the premium.
Basement (Ian McIntosh):
week at the moment, someone in Europe seems to decide it’s time to set up a
“new”, dedicated melodic rock magazine. Ignore the fact that we’re in the
21st century: all the new magazines are paper based and display barely a
schoolboy level of writing proficiency!
I don’t get
why people persist with such plans. But then again most of the people behind the
magazines are not in it because they want to write about music. Rather they have
some other interest (like being involved with a label or a mail order outlet)
and the pretext of a “magazine” is just a paltry excuse to make an extended
marketing tool available filled with articles that would be just at home in an
advertorial. Most of them carry such similar articles (just how many interviews
with Danger Danger could one person want to read?) that it smacks of cronyism.
light, consider that it’s virtually impossible for any printed melodic rock
magazine to come anyway close to making any money. They simply cannot reach a
big enough audience. They have no money to throw at true promotion (like proper
magazines do) and don’t understand anything about how the publishing industry
works at all.
With so many
similar labels, promoting so many similar releases, editorial independence is
going to be a major issue at some point, as the listener is going to get fed up
wasting hard-earned cash on substandard releases that are nowhere near what they
purport to be. The attitude that’s currently being displayed makes me worry
that very few people are in it for the long-term, and they’d put sales ahead
of reputation any day.
really is what can be done with a publication that really moves rock music
forward? Right now everyone just covers the same ground in the same way. It’s
only a matter of time until all the current printed publications disappear and
are replaced by new titles making exactly the same mistakes. It’s a lovely
viscous cycle that does no one any good and keeps melodic rock looking like
people out of step with musical reality surrounded by industry amateurs.
Place where you live:
Edgware, London, England
Keith Caputo/Guns N Roses
Guns N Roses - I Think About You
Keith Caputo - Home
10 Albums You'd Bring If Stranded On A
Pump – Aerosmith
Southen Harmony - Black Crows
Died Laughing - Keith Caputo
Proud Like A God - Guano Apes
Appitite For Destruction - Guns N Roses
Use Your Illusion I - Guns N Roses
Soul Searching Sun - Life Of Agony
Like A Prayer – Madonna
End Of Silence - Rollins Band
Troublegum - Therapy?
have one yet, but one is on it's way!
[If you’d like to be featured in SFK’s
Reader Profile, drop me a line at email@example.com.]
|From: Don Nafe firstname.lastname@example.org|
Hi Kurt, Time for a little rant on my
For the last six months I have been
waiting patiently for a review of Chapter 23's CD in Powerplay Magazine in
England (I'm sure fans of AOR/Melodic Rock are familiar with the Mag and their
I tried on several occasions to ascertain
whether or not one was forthcoming and got squat in reply. By sheer luck they
hired a new webmaster who actually replied to my email and went hunting through
past issues to look for a review of our CD...and lo and behold there it was in
issue #15. (Thanks Charlie)
Oh and what a review...totally scathing...
The problem I have with the review is not
one of content but of the choice of author...it appears they had lover of 80's
hair bands (who's obviously pissed off at the world for not continuing to
embrace the genre) review our CD...I equate that to letting a Death Metal-head
review a Back Street Boys CD (okay that's a tad exaggerated)...not a fair
assessment of the CD.
My beef is simple get people who are into
the genre review the genre, that way the readers get a fair assessment of the
Here's the review for your dinning and
Chapter 23's - Flying in the face of conventional wisdom, Independent Release
I hate music like this: it is the
antithesis of everything that first hooked me on to rock music. Whilst Chapter
23 may be adequate musicians, if this album is anything to go by they cannot
write a tune and have zero attitude.
Lyrically they steer clear of well-worn
clichés, although at points this seems forced, as in "Catch 22" for
instance. The crux of the matter is they are promoting themselves as musicians,
not poets, and thus need strong melodies.
I cannot help but contrast this to the
Poison Debut, where catchy songs overcame dodgy production and musicianship, or
Skid Row's "Slave to The Grind", which still kicks. I know Chapter 23
are not these styles, more prog rock wannabies, but the only emotion produced is
to reach for the stop button. Bluntly if music such as this died tomorrow, I for
one would not care in the slightest. Second opinion, Mark?
Brutal...trust me this will be put on our
web site and highlighted so that Matt gets equal air time...
Don Nafe - Drummer - Chapter 23
Subject: House of Shakira
Hello fellow AORster's!!
Here's a little review of my own that I
want to add about a group that I read alot about, but until recently didn't get
the pleasure to listen to. And that group is House of Shakira.
It seems that their own record label
discontinued their first two CD's, but hot on the heels of their latest release,
House of Shakira III, was the release of their Best of Two. I am awaiting the
arrival of "III", so I will review Best of Two here.
I will not go song by song, but will
instead tell you that if you love AOR music, and you like a lead vocalist that
has a full range, then House of Shakira is for you. They have included a couple
of unreleased tracks, and one of them, "Susan", is a true AOR song,
full of pounding rock....and, they have also included a live version of
"Separate Ways",...yes, the Journey tune, and they are very true to
the original, and the lead vocalist can cover Perry well.
They hail from Scandanavia, and as far as
I'm concerned, could teach so many American bands about how to write, compose,
and play a song.
This is not a CD to be missed....everyone
who loves good music, soaring vocals, wonderful Queenesque harmonies, and pure
driven rock, should own this CD....this ranks up there with Journey, Queen,
Hugo, Kansas and Styx as one of the great musical journeys you could encounter.
All I can say is, go buy it!!!