STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 05-22-00

”There are three essential Commandments:
·        Respect The Elders.
·        Embrace The New.
·        Encourage The Impractical and Improbable, Without Bias.
 -David Fricke”
 

Official Nonsense:

 ·        Editor and head head - Kurt Torster
 Other body parts:

      ·        Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News) 
·        Marty Dodge (http://www.lupusandco.com) 
·        Jason Grubbs
·        Tim Henderson (Brave Words) 
·        Martin Hennessy III (80's Nuts)
·        Ian McIntosh (AOR Basement) 
·        Mark Orsted (Heavens Smiling)
·        Dave Reynolds
·        Alex Richter (Hard N' Fast)
·        George Thatcher (Heart Of Rock)
·        Mike Waugh
All e-mail should be directed to ktorster@yahoo.com.

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SFK c/o Kurt Torster

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Bloomfield, NJ 07003 USA

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Kurt's Krap:

I got a couple of letters that I had planned on printing taking stands for/against my comments on Metallica vs. Napster. Instead of printing the whole letter, I snipped to leave only the prime material and resisted the temptation to editorialize their comments. My feelings are well known (I am not anti-Napster, but let’s face it…the artists are right in not wanting their material available for free. Simply, because you can’t afford a CD gives you no right to take it. What’s the difference between shoplifting a disc or downloading MP3s and burning the disc yourself?). Anyways, I got a whole bit on the issue this week with comments from many artists both pro and con.

I received them too late to write up proper reviews, but both “Crush” by Bon Jovi and “Mad Season By Matchbox Twenty” are very very good. Look for them next week.

News Bytes:

The music industry, Metalica and Napster…seems musicians are chiming in everywhere. Some choice quotes on both sides of the issue:

"It's still stealing when you're not paying for something, just like if it was a grocery store.” – Scott Stapp, Creed

“I still think Metallica have turned into a bunch of fucking corporate pigs. You sold out to your record company and lawyers with this lawsuit. In fact, you sold out years ago. Suck my dick." – Nikki Sixx, Motley Crue

"Those guys worked hard for years, they wrote those songs, they've been through tragedy with their band, they tour, why shouldn't they enjoy the fruit of their harvest? Nobody's gonna make 100,000 copies of a cassette and then give it away. Napster is piracy for idiots, right? With the Internet and the new technology, it's just a few clicks of the mouse and you have this wealth of information. You know, if you want to trade music for free, write your own music." – Krist Novoselic, ex-Nirvana

"Whoever put my shit on the Internet, I want to meet that motherfucker and beat the shit out of him, because I picture this scrawny little dickhead going, 'I got Eminem's new CD! I got Eminem's new CD! I'm going to put it on the Internet.' I think that anybody who tries to make excuses for that shit is a fucking bitch. I'm sorry; when I worked 9 to 5, I expected to get a fucking paycheck every week. It's the same with music; if I'm putting my fucking heart and all my time into music, I expect to get rewarded for that. I work hard … and anybody can just throw a computer up and download my shi-t for free. That Napster shit, if that gets any bigger, it could kill the whole purpose of making music. It's not just about the money … It's the thrill of going to the store; you can't wait till that artist's release date, taking the wrapper off the CD and putting the CD in to see what it sounds like. The Internet is taking the whole fucking thrill away from that."” – rapper Eminem (who’s new album can be downloaded from Napster though it hasn’t been released yet)

"There are kids buying our records that weren't born until 1990 and they were born with a laptop and the Internet in their hands. If I make music for fans and I make music for me, why would I alienate my fans for embracing this technology? It's a way to have free marketing and promoting of your record." – Fred Durst, Limp Bizkit [anyone else find it a little scary that 10 year olds are listening to Limp Bizkit?]

"I believe the artist should be compensated. If the artist complains about it, I agree. If the record companies complain, I think that after they complain about that, they should also ... give the artist a fair deal ... I know a lot of people like to use the word 'business' as an excuse to screw people, but let's treat each other fair. Let's be human beings."  - LL Cool J

"I have two words ... 'Give up,' ...There is no way they are going to stop these technologies. They are trying to plug holes in a dam that is about to burst." – Ian Clarke, creator of Napster clone, FreeNet

“By all measures, when you consider how long people have the music and how often they can go back and get "re-entertained" CDs truly are an incredible value for the money.” – the RIAA website

And finally, The Onion has this alarming news on the starvation death of Kid Rock being tied into Napster piracy…(read with a grain of salt).

Anyways, on to other things…

Geffen will release “Heat Of The Moment: The Very Best Of (1982-1990)” from Asia on June 6. Tracks taken of course from their four Geffen albums.

The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has announced that Journey, Heart, Eric Carmen, Ambrosia, Angel, Pablo Cruise, Andrew Gold, Little River Band, Ian Hunter, Rainbow, The Tubes and Peter Gabriel are all eligible for the class of 2001 inductions.

Eric Ragno from Equinox dropped me a line that his buddy Tony Franklin has posted some news on his website concerning rumors of a Thin Lizzy reunion involving him, along with John Sykes and Carmine Appice. Says Tony, “Carmine and myself may well be doing the Thin Lizzy tour, but it has NOT been confirmed yet.”

Here is the track listing for The Black Crowes’ A Tribute to a Work in Progress...Greatest Hits 1990-1999”: Jealous Again, Twice As Hard, Hard To Handle, She Talks to Angels, Remedy, Sting Me, Thorn in My Pride, Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye, A Conspiracy, Wiser Time, Good Friday, Blackberry, Kickin' My Heart Around, Go Faster, Only a Fool and By Your Side. The band hit the road with Jimmy Page and Philly act Marah on June 24.

Check Feedback for a contest involving Venice, where you can grab yourself some free band stickers to help promote the band.

Also in Feedback is the latest update on UltraSound 2000.

You can catch Steven Tyler singing background on the new single from Lit, Over My Head”, from the soundtrack to Titan AE.

Rewind/Song Haus will be reissuing the classic AOR album from i-Ten, Taking A Cold Look”. This is the band that featured legendary songwriters Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who have had their songs covered by Madonna, Heart and REO Speedwagon, among others.

Drugplan is a new Canadian band featuring ex-Coney Hatch singer Andy Curran along with guitarist Simon Brierley and drummer Randy Cooke (both ex Lee Aaron) and keyboardist Virigina Storey. The band are currently shopping around for a deal.

John Eddie’s What’s Left Of My Heart” is starting to break on radio stations on the West Coast, including KRSH in Santa Rosa and KPIG in Santa Cruz. June will see the NJ rocker take on a mini-tour of California. More info at his website.

Vocalist extraordinaire Terry Brock has signed with Frontiers to release an album. “Back To Eden”, named from a song co-written with Jim Peterik, will include performances from Jason Bonham, Kenny Aaronson, Randy Jackson, Mark Mangold, Billy Golub and members of Kansas. He’s also trying to get some of his friends like Steve Morse, Hugo, Joe Lynn Turner, Johnny Van Zant and John Fiore to help out.

Stuart Smith has hit the studio to start recording the follow up to his “Heaven And Earth” project. It’s to be produced by Howard Leese of Heart. Unfortunately, Kelly Hanson had to decline the vocal duties due to previous commitments.

The official David Lee Roth website has been reopened. And for those still keeping score on the Van Halen saga, another supposed “big announcement date” came and went last week adding another big no show to the endless stream of promises from rumormongers (to refresh memories…Grammy Night announcement, July 4th Stadium Show, 15th Anniversary of DLR’s departure, Wolfgang’s birthday, etc.).

Rock For Life is once again attacking Pearl Jam for their pro-choice views. They are urging a boycott of the band’s cds and concert tickets. Says director Erik Whittington, “purchasing a Pearl Jam CD or concert ticket is similar to voting for a politician who supports and defends killing children in the womb. Abortion is murder and continuing to support Pearl Jam allows them to raise money for abortion causes and their anti-life agenda." [Not to get too political, but fucking a’…can we all give this topic a rest already?] Anywhos…they will also play a show at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC tomorrow night for a VH-1 taping.

Huey Lewis & The News has recorded an album that they’ve been shopping around to labels both major and indie. Tracks include: Let Her Go and Start Over, I Ain't Perfect, But I'm Perfect For You, Plan B, 60 Minute Man, Little Bit Of Soap, I Never Think About You, Ain't Here For A Long Time But A Good Time, My Other Woman's Got Another Man, Rhythm Ranch and Thank You 29.

Universal will be remastering the back catalog of Peter Frampton including his legendary “Frampton Comes Alive” set.

The album from Melodica is almost done. There’s an interview with singer Ted Poley at Hardknockz. He also has an official website now (well official domain name now).

A new mailing list has been set up that will be in German that deals with the AOR matters of Germany. To subscribe send an email to germanyrocks-subscribe@egroups.com.

The Artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince formerly known as some symbol has now decided that he is to be known as Prince again. There are some really bad jokes in here somewhere just dying to get out.

Prog/fusion legends Tangerine Dream have released “Best Of” with the following tracks: The Dream Is Always The Same, Phaedra, Rubycon Part One (Excerpt), Stratosphear (Excerpt), Choronzon, Cherokee Lane (Live), Cinnamon Road, Kiew Mission, Ricochet Part Two, Cloudburst Flight, Force Majeure, Tangram Part One, Beach Scene, Logos Part One (A), Logos Part One (B), Logos Part Two, Dominion, White Eagle and Love On a Real Train.

June 12 sees the release of a new album from Peter Gabriel titled “Ovo”, a conceptual piece written for the Millennium celebration about three generations of family coming together. He will have a more commercially accessible album released next year.

Kiss has been sending out warnings that any backstage passes purchased from eBay are worthless.

Tomorrow the debut from Samantha 7, the band featuring Poison guitarist CC Deville, hits stores. This quote from CC pretty much sums up the musical direction of the disc, "When Nirvana came out, it proved that you could really just do what you do and people are gonna get it. And up until then, I wasn't sure if you can just do the music and people were gonna get it. And it was almost overkill. But Nirvana was like, 'Man, shut the f**k up. Sing the song, man.' And that changed my life." Uh, OK…

AOR Heaven has the new album from Street Talk, “Transition”. The band’s website has clips and info on the album. Tracks include: Someday (I'll Get Over You), Need Someone, If Anybody Breaks Your Heart, Let Me Be The One, Always Stand By You, Ye Gods And Little Fishes, Everything I Do Is Just For You, Energizer Bunny, Don't Give Up On This Love, When You Lose The One You Love and I'll Always Remember (Bonus Track For Japan).

A new site for you to check out is the West Coast Rendezvous Daily News.

Noteworthy New Releases:

PETER FRAMPTON - Live In Detroit

JOE JACKSON - Summer In The City

PEARL JAM – Binaural

Moldy Oldys:

[What’s kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]

Vaughn – Soldiers & Sailors On Riverside, Don Henley – VH-1 Storytellers, Howard Jones – Best Of, The Replacements – All For Nothing/Nothing For All, Earth Wind & Fire – Greatest Hits

Kurt’s Picks:

Bad Habit – 13 Years Of Bad Habits, Virgin, 2000

[Similarities: TNT, Fair Warning, Fate]

Having never heard anything from this band other than the essential and more pop grooved “Adult Orientation” CD, I must say this is a disappointment. It’s not that it’s bad, but I never found much to get excited about as far as this type of sound is concerned. It just feels too clean and sterile. These 17 tracks are taken from their “After Hours” album as well as the long out of print “Young And Innocent” EP and some B-sides. For every song that catches my ear, like the mid-tempo “Rainbow” or the balladic “More Than I”, there’s just utter crap like “Don’t Stop” or “Coming Home” to follow it up. Bax Fehling, who sounds amazing in the lower end is almost painful to listen to when he tries to stretch his upper range. Overall though there is more good than bad and most AOR purists, especially those into the Swede sound, will get more out of it than I did (I guess I cannot get past how different and arguably better they sound currently). Once again though, like their great Gary Moore and American Rock collections, Virgin has put together an excellent package of liner notes and all compilations should be this extensive. Shame the music wasn’t better.

Enuff Z’nuff – Live, Spitfire, 2000 reissue

[Similarities: The Beatles, Poison, The Loveless]

For a live album to be worthy it has to do one of two things: either capture the moment and become a piece of history or compile tracks that are different enough from the regular version to make it more than just a dry run. It is the rare live disc that does both (and to my mind, the only ones that ever mattered are UFO’s “Strangers In The Night”, Thin Lizzy’s “Live And Dangerous”, Scorpions “World Wide Live”, Dan Reed Network’s “Live At Last” and Iron Maiden’s “Live After Death”). This album comes close at times, but ultimately falls short. The performances are great and much more raw than their studio counterparts, which actually makes them stronger. The song selection comes entirely from the band’s first three proper albums when they straddled the glam/power pop fence like no one else ever has. There are some killers here as well as some songs I could have done without. On the plus side, the always rocking “Baby Loves You”, “In Crowd” and “Fly High Michelle” are at least equal if not besting their studio flips. But on the downswing, the dragged out jam of “In The Groove” or the plodding “Takin’ A Ride” drains the energy from the set a few notches. And I would have preferred some other songs (especially from “Strength”) to such choices as “Social Disease” or “Runaway” (no neither are Bon Jovi songs). But all in all, while not a classic, it’s certainly a worth listen for those handful of songs that show that when the band hit their live stride, no one could touch them. [Spitfire has reissued five of the band’s albums including Live, Seven, Tweaked, 1985 and Peach Fuzz.]

Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music – More Than This, Virgin, 2000

[Similarities: Duran Duran, Sting, Peter Gabriel]

I have to admit that I know very little of the legendary Roxy Music other than a song or two. This ‘best of’ collection mixes songs from both the band and Bryan Ferry’s solo days and is a hodge-podge of quirky pop that can be either captivating or annoying, depending on your mood. There’s no doubt that the new romantic rock of “Love Is The Drug”, “Let’s Stick Together” or the ultra smooth and suave “Slave To Love” can be a fascinating listen. Unfortunately, songs like “Same Old Scene” or “Virginia Plain” do very little to convince me that their appeal is anything more than cultish. Mixing the sounds of a lounge act with art rock and glam is either a sign of genius or insanity, and I’m still not sure which is it. So unabashedly British, this band really grows on you with repeated listens and after living with it for over a week now, I find myself enjoying immensely. While you can make up your mind about most of the material here almost instantly, some of it also requires a little time spent and this compilation makes a nice primer I’m sure.

Kharma – Wonderland, MTM, 2000

[Similarities: Styx, Foreigner, Kansas]

My initial thought on this disc was “TOTALLY unoriginal Styx cloning”. But that was only because I wasn’t paying that much attention at first. When I gave this album it’s proper due I noticed that my first comment wasn’t entirely fair. They sound like Styx, no doubt, but where they sound like it the most is on the glorious choruses (which is usually helps form the first impression). Beyond that, throw some huge helpings of early Foreigner, Kansas and even some Stryper and the end mix is mostly a monstrous piece of arena rock surrounded by some drab “by the numbers” melodic rock fillers. Singer Goran Edman is in fine form and complimented nicely by the beautiful keyboard work of Atilla Szabo. Of the thirteen songs, bits like “Free Yourself”, “Knowing You”, “Standing Alone” and “Ray Of Sunshine” are an AOR purists’ wet dream and are some of the most instantly likable tracks I’ve heard (and will have you singing for days on end). At times though, like on the title track (which apes “The Grand Illusion” to a tee), that feeling of unoriginality hits pretty hard. Here and there a few tunes are also pretty average (the plodding “Part Time Lovers” or the dated “Spell On You” springs to mind) and probably could have been left out without a care. This is an album that sets the bar pretty high for AOR (and actually suffers from it as well) for when the band is on the music is spectacular. When they are off (even by the slightest bit), you cannot help but feel a little let down.

Prisoner – Blind, Z Records, 2000

[Similarities: Dokken, Pretty Maids, Emerald Rain]

This is your “basic, nothing new but sounds good” MR disc that neither bores nor gets you all that excited either. With the standout guitar work of Tommy Denander and the vocal double threat of Piere Wensberg and Geir Ronning driving the set, the ten songs put forth are decently written and executed but not terribly memorable. This is the kind of disc that when it’s good, it’s REAL good (like on the catchy “Don’t Wanna Waste Another Minute” or “Give My Heart A Home”). But otherwise it’s just neither here nor there. Songs like “Starry Eyes” or “Stop Playing Games” remind of those filler songs that clogged up so many hard rock releases of the past and go through me like bad Mexican food. I’ve heard better…I’ve heard worse…sorry if I can’t find more to say.

Utopian Babies – Nothing In Moderation, Warner, 1999

[Similarities: Jellyfish, Savage Garden, latter day Marillion]

With touches of pop both modern and melodic, there are times when this Aussie mob borders on brilliance. They have a sound what I imagine Savage Garden would sound like with more of a band feel rather than the somewhat sterile electronic sound they possess. Whether it’s the more straightforward rock of “Fanfare” and the title track or the more eclectic upbeat pop of “Hello The Moon” and “Strawberry Wine”, it’s pretty easy to get wrapped into their brand of lush landscapes. Even seemingly throwaway songs like “The La La Song” show themselves to be so much more with each passing. With repeated listens I delved deeper and deeper into the sound and the lyrics, both of which are very full and intelligent and came away with a very positive vibe. Vocally Dave Wilkins does resemble Darren Hayes but seems to be able to belt them out a little stronger. The only song on here that did nothing for me is the last track, “Have You Heard The News Today”, which is a moody and plodding piece that ends the album on a real downer. This is a very impressive and solid pop release that injects some much needed passion and soul to their kind of sound.

(Re)Views From The Hill:

Dokken: Live, Spitfire Records

[similarities: Poison, Whitesnake]

This is Dokken’s second live album [ed. Note: actually this is their third live album…many seem to forget the ”One Live Night” album], and their first with the former Winger axe slinger, Reb Beach. It seems kind of odd to release this album after only one studio album, last year’s Erase the Slate, a good album, with a few good tracks, but nothing there to rival the hits of the 80s. I enjoyed this album anyway, even though there is temptation to skip over the newer tracks. Dokken’s previous live album "Unleashed in the East" is a far better testament to the band at their height. Although Reb is a competent player he does not play Lynch licks like Lynch.

Included in this collection are what you would expect from Dokken in their glory days with Beach-era tracks like "Mad Hatter" added for good measure. While last years’ album was by no means a bad album, it it did not hold a candle to the band at the height of their powers. Rockers like "Kiss of Death" and "The Hunter" combine with classic power ballads like "Alone Again" and "Its Not Love" bring back fond memories of big hair, sex, drugs and rock & roll. It was interesting to me that one of Dokken’s best ever tracks "Walk Away" the studio track on UitE is not even included in this collection. It is possible this is because Don does not want to reminded of their worst ever video, when someone convinced him that his hair would work well in braids.

Don Dokken does not sound in top form, his voice failing at times when forced to hit the high notes. It might have been cleverer to ditch the tapes on this one and record another night. The tracks come across as a bit listless and flaccid. Ironically the tracks that sound the best are the ones that are from the last album. Reb seems to be unable to play the Lynch material with same panache as his predecessor. It is a pity that this is not the best of live albums, because most reports are that Dokken are playing well live. I suspect that this concert would have sounded much better in person.

If you are fan of both versions of the band, the this might not be such a bad purchase, but the album is far from essential in any case. You would be better served to purchase "Unleashed in the East" that this CD. It is a great pity, even driving around in the convertible with a attractive female by your side in LA does not help this live record. – Marty

Tammy Raybould – Maybe, Boulder/Sony, 1999

[Similarities: Amanda Marshall; Elton John]

"Maybe" is Tammy Raybould's second release, following the 1998, 7 song EP "Façade". Tammy hails from Ottawa, Canada. "Maybe" consists of 11 songs all written and composed by Tammy, who also provides vocals, piano, and keyboards. A full backup band, with some impressive (although somewhat toned down) guitar work from Colin Mills, contributes tight and tasteful arrangements to the songs, featuring overall sound/feel changes which add depth. All of the songs are well written, avoiding clichéd chord changes, with lyrical content that is well above average, notably due to the personal nature. Tammy's vocals are very up front and clean, with no over-processing-(you'd swear she's in the room singing) and she has her own vocal style, which could be compared to both Amanda Marshall and/or Paula Cole. She is a very technical vocalist and pianist (her piano style reminds me of early work from Elton John), but still retains and delivers a lot of feeling. Overall the music is mid-tempo pop/rock (no screaming guitars here..) From upbeat catchy songs such as "Loving You" (the first single and video release) and "Stay With Me" to edgier songs "Your Sweetness", "How Is He" and "Til Now", which features a driving rhythm, and is my favorite cut, she runs the range of emotions. But she really shines on her darker, moodier, but with a heavy undertone material like "I Could Tell You", a powerful ballad, "Light In The Sky", "Guardian Angel", and the sexual "Dinner" with lyrics "I don't need your touch for love, All I'll do is come with you, your dinner for the night", Tammy shows she isn't shy to say how she feels about relationships. Her vocal and piano style shine through on the songs "This Is Why" and "Do You Know" which have a more stripped down arrangement, and allows the real quality of her writing, singing and playing to show through. On the production side, this is a tight, clean, crisp album where every instrument stands out and sounds good, with both a solid bass and crystal high end. Both the initial recording and mixing, and the post mastering were done at top-notch professional studios, and it shows. The effort and attention given to both the material and the overall recording process is evident on all tracks, achieving an almost flawless product. This is an album full of quality songs by a talented musician who I feel is going to do very well, and I look forward to hearing more from her. If you're looking for a relatively new artist who has assembled an album that sounds best when you sit back, put your feet up, and just listen, with songs that grow on you - then this is the one. - Mike

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Rik Emmett seems to have just released a new CD under the name "Live at Berklee". The tracks were recorded live at the Boston College of Music on January 28th and 29th this year, and as well as the tracks you get several monologues from Rik.... As well as tracks from his recent solo albums, there are also seven new songs on the live CD that are unavailable anywhere else. Rik also has a new manager in the form of well known Canadian music business guiding light Bob Roper. When Bob was head of A&R at WEA he signed the like of Honeymoon Suite and Frozen Ghost, he's also currently Larry Gowan's manager, so he clearly knows what he's doing! Visit http://www.rikemmett.com for more details.

In Australia, the original five Cold Chisel studio albums have been remastered, restored and repackaged. The five albums are: Cold Chisel, Breakfast at Sweethearts, Twentieth Century, East, and Circus Animals. A box set of all five albums plus the double live "Swingshift" release is also available. Each album also has bonus tracks plus some multimedia (video clips, posters and photos) from the era.

Feedback:

From: egoman@pacificnet.net

Subject: Venice contest

SHOW THE WORLD YOUR VENICE! WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED CUSTOMIZED VENICE SPIN ART MACHINE To help spread the music, spread the artwork of Spin Art.

Here's how it works: email the following info to:egoman@pacificnet.net (name, mailing address, phone number and E-Mail Address).


We'll send you a stack of Venice Spin Art stickers. You put the stickers up anywhere and everywhere (within safe and legal limits, of course). Take a picture of the craziest and most-visible places you've put a sticker.* Send us the photo and be entered to win various prizes. Each photo will be put into a random drawing. On July 1, we'll choose the winners....the more photos you send, the more chances you have to win. And, in the end, everyone wins because Venice will be everywhere!!


Offer Ends June 30, 2000

GRAND PRIZE - an autographed customized spin art machine.

20 Runner Ups... - an autographed customized spin art Frisbee

* While we encourage you to use your creativity, we request that you do not deface the property of others or take any risks that might compromise your safety in participating in our contest. Keep in mind that the winner will be selected from a random drawing, so there is no need to participate in the contest in a manner that might damage the property of others or compromise the safety or you or others.

No photos will be returned. All photos submitted along with all copyrights in and to the photos shall become the property of Vanguard Records. Venice Central, Venice and Vanguard Records are not responsible and assume no liability for any personal injury to any contestant or any other person, or for any property damage, arising directly or indirectly from this contest. Each contestant agrees to indemnify and hold Venice Central, Venice and Vanguard Records harmless for any and all claims made as a result of that contestant's participation in the contest.

From: manlcego@aol.com 
Subject: UltraSound 2000 Update #10 
Two more weeks to go and all I wanna do is sleeeeep ...!!

The interview with KOMP went phenomenally well. It was supposed to be an hour long and it wound up being nearly two hours so that was very cool. We gave away 10 pairs of passes for the weekend and they will give away 5 more the weekend before the show. 

The WOW Store (A Tower Records company) will be doing an in-store with Michael and Dean from Leatherwolf on May 26 before the pre-party, most likely around 5pm or so. Las Vegas' own Lazy Jane will also perform a live set at the in-store.

Changes, changes, changes .... Nuclear Blast Recording Artists Steel Prophet have been added to the bill replacing Balance Of Power who suddenly dropped out without notice. Steel Prophet are one of the strongest and most popular of the upcoming power metal bands and they should add a great deal to the show.

The deadline for the pre-registration rate of $50 has come and gone so we're down to the $75 rate for walkup, no exceptions, sorry.

There will be no video cameras allowed but everyone is free to bring still cameras and shoot to their heart's content - and if you send some copies to us that would be a great thing!

For the walk up registrants: please bring cash, money orders or a cashier's cheque as there will be no outlet for credit cards and we will not be accepting personal or company cheques.

Registration times:

Friday 26 May - 4pm - 8pm - Alexis Park Resort, outside Convention Hall

Saturday 27 May - Alexis Park Resort, inside Convention Hall
Sunday 28 May - Alexis Park Resort, inside Convention Hall
FRIDAY 26 MAY 
9:30pm - 10:15 - Agent Steel 
10:30 - 11:10 - Kinetik 
11:30 - 12:15 - Mad Margritt 
12:30 - 2:00 - Vain 
SATURDAY 27 MAY 
12:00 - 12:45pm - Erotic Suicide 
1:15 - 2:00 - Towne Cryer XXI 
2:30 - 3:15 - Swirl 
3:45 - 4:30 - Lazy Jane 
5:00 - 5:45 - Cage 
6:15 - 7:00 - Velocity 
7:30 - 8:15 - Steel Prophet 
8:45 - 9:45 - Jag Panzer 
10:15 - 11:15 - Rough Cutt 
12:00  - 1:30am - Leatherwolf 
"SUNDAY BRUNCH" (poolside) 
10:30am - 11:00 - John Taglieri 
11:15 - 11:45 - Robin Brock 
12:00pm - 12:30 - Ken Tamplin 
12:45 - 1:15 - Mad Margritt 
1:30 - 2:00 - Swirl 
SUNDAY 28 MAY 
1:15 - 2:00pm  - Smilek 
2:30 - 3:15 - Moore 
3:45 - 4:30 - Enertia 
5:00 - 5:45 - The Promise 
6:15 - 7:00 - New Eden 
7:30 - 8:15 - Picture Perfect 
8:45 - 9:45 - Vicious Rumors 
10:15 - 11:15 - Michael Morales 
12:00 - 1:30am - {Oliver / Dawson} Saxon 

http://www.egotripent.com/ultrasound/ - UltraSound 2000 - May 27/28 2000, Las Vegas, NV

From: "Steve Cox" stevecox@bitscorp.com

Subject: Keith Caputo

Can I just take the time to say that "Died Laughing" is one of the best Mellow Rock albums I have ever heard.

I don't recall seeing it reviewed in SFK, but it certainly should be.

Mini review from a reader?  Okay.

Starting with the head banging "Honeycomb", "Died Laughing" quickly settles into a more mellow paced affair, Keith has one of the most unique voices in Rock today and it is used to good effect on songs like "Selfish" and "New York City"

The music roams from Acoustic Rock to almost Jazz like tracks, with an occasional nod to the heavy.  A fine album that should be in every Mellow Rock fan's collection.  It's nothing like "Life Of Agony" were, but then

Were you expecting it to be??

Something to slip into unconsciousness too...

DJ Stevie C, London - The WAG Club, St Moritz, Asylum

[Thanks for the tip…I will have to check it out.]

From: "Vittorio Garino" vgarino@libero.it

Subject: METROLAN music NEWS

METROLAND music italia  NEWS:

La METROLAND music ha manifestato la propria intenzione di stampare il primo album di una band chiamata SHADOW LIFE, band costituita da alcuni elementi di spicco della nostra penisola e non solo, anche molti stranieri come ad esempio, Ian Curry alle percussioni, Linda Rashid cantante indiana, Joe Ther tastierista (potete visitare il suo sito al seguente indirizzo: http://web.tiscalinet.it/JoeTher )

Il genere di musica proposto è un rock melodico contaminato dai suoni alla Vangelis con melodie orientali, indiane, africane e gregoriane. Partecipa anche alla realizzazione di questo album la grande corale di Londra ovvero "The London Chorale", affiancata dal direttore di orchestra Michael Daspit. Le registrazioni di questi cori sono state effettuate nella "Haileybury Cathedral" a Londra da Joshua Williams e poi inserite nei brani negli studi della "Nano recording studio" a Torino.

"Tales of the future" questo il titolo dell'album che vedrà luce verso la fine di Settembre, parteciperà anche come turnista alle chitarre Vittorio Garino ex Cry Baby, la produzione è affidata a Joshua Williams e l'album verrà interamente mixato al Road studios a Dublino. Per info potete contattare : glufficiostampa@yahoo.it

[For all I know, this guy is cursing me out, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt for you Italians among us.]

From: Joe Kruger jkruger@ee.net

Subject: You are becoming hypocritical on this MP-3 / Napster thing...

You admit that you own MP-3s of stuff that is out of print or rarities. Then you call everything else stealing. You admit that you have taped things in the past. Be a man and take the next step. Admit that you own CD-Rs of copyrighted material as well. Your acquisition of an out of print CD-R reduces demand for a record company to do another print run, taking your imaginary (read about the evils of recoupment some time) $1 royalty out of their pockets.

Listening to music IS a privilege, but why should it be limited only to those who can afford to shell out $19 a disc for it?

The copy I hear on the radio is free (to me). The copy I hear on MTV is free (to me). The copy I hear on the disc I borrow from my friend is free (to me). They copy that I can check out from the library (yes - you can borrow music that you don't own - unlike your borrowing of the Mercedes) is free (to me). The copy that I hear on the tape that I asked my buddy to make for me without feeling guilty since Napster and digital technology was not involved is free (to me). And if I'm really patient, the copy that I get from a friend on CD-R completely guilt-free after the disc has gone out of print is free too.

As far as the fast adoption of MP3 technology goes - it is normal - not unusual. Look at the adoption rate of every major technological innovation of the last 200 years prior to the Internet - light bulbs, electricity, telephones, televisions. Now compare those to the Internet. It is absurd. The Internet is catching on like nothing else in the history of the planet, except sex. Obviously any kind of technology related to the Internet is going to catch on quickly as well. The world is moving faster. It shouldn't have to slow down for those who can't keep up.

Face it, some young high school or college schmuck downloading 2000 songs off the Internet is no different from me getting over 700 tapes of stuff that I couldn't afford to buy when I was in school. The technology is different. The quality is better. But the crime remains the same. Still, I'll hold firm in my belief that it was the musical piracy of my youth that made me the shopaholic CD purchaser that I am today. It turned me into a music fan. The challenge for the industry today is the same as it was 20 years ago when I was doing all that crazy taping. Find a compelling reason for me to purchase their product rather than copying it.

Thanks for the newsletter. You are doing a great job. I hope you realize that when you editorialize about things you are bound to receive some letters to the editor disagreeing with your opinions or pointing out the flaws in them. Don't take them personal. Keep up the good work.

From: kman@excite.com

Dude, you are 100% right. Finally someone had the balls to say that the band is right. Who gives a shit whether their music sucks or whatever but they have a right to make money from it. Before all this mp3 stuff people just traded tapes and it was limited to a small circle of friends. But now all you gotta do is go online and millions can trade. Neither is right but one is easily more wrong than the other. I’m sick of all these pussys whining that they lost their accounts. You got caught doing something wrong and you’re crying about it? Give me a fucking break people!

From: heavymetal.guide@about.com

This is in response to your Metallica commentaries. Though in many aspects, I agree with your point of view, there are some things that I feel should be pointed out.

First: Metallica are not in the status of a band making a dollar per CD sold. They own all copyrights, publishing rights, and draw a percentage equivalent to the top level artists, close to 50 %, they are on the level of 4 or 5 bucks per CD, not the average of a dollar.

Second: The RIGHT to entertainment is recognized by the United Nations as one of the basic Human Rights. Yes, owning a Mercedes is a privilege, listening to music of one's choice is not necessarily a privilege, but a right.

Further, just because a band has a lot of money (Metallica) doesn't make it more right to steal, but doesn't it make it more right and/or moral that they be willing to share what is supposedly so 'artistically' important? Doesn't art expand further than a 'buck'.

Furthermore, is Metallica's alleged losses as large as is claimed. I personally don't know anybody that listens to music EXCLUSIVELY on MP3 format. Who downloads a song, album, entire discography, and listens to it religiously?