STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 10-02-00

“And the smallest streams, run to the rivers
 And every river, runs to the sea
 And every little bit of love I give to another
 You know what I believe, it comes back to me”

- Rick Springfield, Karma

Official Nonsense:

·      Editor and nonsense creator - Kurt Torster

Keepers of all that's nonsensical:

·        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

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News Bytes:

Word has it that the Japanese release date for Journey’s Arrival” has been pushed back to January of 2001 (though Amazon lists it quite humorously as 2010).

The upcoming “Capitol Punishment” best of from Megadeth features “hits” like "Peace Sells", "In My Darkest Hour", "Holy Wars", "Symphony Of Destruction", "Train Of Consequences", "Trust", "Crush 'Em" as well as first single "Kill The King".

The next album from Robin Brock will be produced by uber-prodcer Keith Olsen and feature Tim Pierce Randy Bachman, Jeff Pilson and James Kottack backing her up.

You can head over to the VH-1 Website and download a video of Bon Jovi’sIt’s My Life” from their Storyteller’s performance. The first couple of dates of the US tour are already sold out and “Crush” is fast approaching platinum status. Alterna-rockers Less Than Jake has been tabbed as the opening act. The band will begin filming the video for their third single, “Thank You For Loving Me” this week.

Thanks to a brewing legal battle between Sony and The Offspring, the band has nixed plans to make their new album available as MP3s a month before release.

Due November 14 is “Stoned Immaculate”, a tribute to The Doors featuring Stone Temple Pilots (“Break On Through”), Train (“Light My Fire”), Smash Mouth (“Peace Frog”), Aerosmith (“Love Me Two Times”), The Cult (“Wild Child”) and Marvelous 3 (“People Are Strange”), among others.

Look for “Another Rosie Christmas” on October 24, the follow up to last year’s platinum “A Rosie Christmas”. This year’s model features Smash Mouth (“Nuttin’ For Christmas”), Ricky Martin (“Ay Ay Ay It’s Christmas”) and the Trans Siberian Orchestra (“The Prince Of Peace”) among others. Proceeds go to The For All Kids Foundation.

The rather faboo SR-71 was involved in a fight with the band Sum41. It all started after Sum41 was questioning the sexuality of SR-71 frontman Mitch Allan on stage at Buzzfest 2000 in Nashville, and then proceeded to play SR-71’s radio hit “Right Now” and changing the lyrics. Meanwhile, the band will issue “Politically Incorrect” as their next single and will be appearing on the season finale of Baywatch.

The upcoming season of VH-1’s Behind The Music will include shows on Chicago, Barenaked Ladies, Badfinger and Brian Setzer, among others. I personally found the episode on Cat Stevens last night rather fascinating.

Here’s the tracklisting for the US release of Roxette’s Don’t Bore Us, Get To The Chorus” hits package: Wish I Could Fly, Stars, The Look, Dressed For Success, Listen To Your Heart, Dangerous, It Must Have Been Love, Joyride, Fading Like A Flower, Spending My Time, Church Of Your Heart, How Do You Do, Almost Unreal, Sleeping In My Car, Crash! Boom! Bang! and You Don't Understand Me. The duo performed acoustically last week on WPLJ’s Scott & Todd show and sounded amazing (The Corrs also performed acoustically last week as well and sounded also very good).

Also performing acoustically last week on WPLJ was The Corrs, who release their second single “Irresistible” from “In Blue” album.

Pop God Todd Rundgren will be releasing a live “King Biscuit Flower Hour” disc that highlights shows from 1978, 1979 and 1985. There will also be an ECD portion of the disc that will allow buyers to download six bonus songs from the web. Those that purchase the disc direct from King Biscuit will also receive a bonus disc.

October 16 and 17 finds Marillion performing two special concerts at the Bass Brewery in Burton On Trent. Each concert will have 150 tickets available for £20, which includes dinner and a bottle of Marillion beer (!). Tickets go on sale tomorrow and can be had by calling 01283 513938. Too cool…

Gary Brandon and Fast Machine hope to have a single out by November as they continue to work on an album due in 2001.

Navarre will be distributing the releases from Richard Marx’s label, Signal 21. The first release will be Marx’s “Days In Avalon” on October 24.

Look for a new track from Aerosmith, titled “Angel’s Eyes”, on the soundtrack to Charlie’s Angels.

In other soundtrack news, Ozzy Osbourne will be tackling “The Sound Of Music” on the score for Moulin Rouge.

Westcoast artist George Benson will get a release of “Anothology”, a 32-song set due on October 31.

In a similar vibe, look for a new album from Great Dane, the band that features vocalist Earth, Wind & Fire singer Phillip Bailey.

Lou Gramm has filed a complaint against EMI for a contract he signed back in 1985. He was supposed to get five albums out to regain control of his work but was only able to deliver four. He had a fifth that was turned down by EMI, thus giving the label pretty much total control over his work.

Best Of Rare” is a new collection of 12” mixes, B-sides and unreleased tracks from The Cult, due October 17.

Notes from MTM on some of their upcoming releases:

Alfonzetti - Ready
New Swedish band which will amaze any devoted fans of well played and performed melodic rock. Based around the phenomenal vocals of MATTI ALFONZETTI (JAGGED EDGE, SKINTRADE, TALISMAN, BAM BAM BOYS), featuring members of TREAT, BALTIMORE, SKINTRADE, and BAM BAM BOYS.

Dogface - Unleashed
DOGFACE is a Swedish five piece fronted by the talented Mats Leven, which previously has been heard with much raved Treat and also of course as singer with Yngwie Malmsteen on Facing The Animal. The guitarist Martin Kronlund is the driving force and the main songwriter in the band. The album which will be recorded during early summer will be an
amazing showcase in Rainbow/Deep Purple influenced hardrock moved forward into the new millennium and with a hard yet very melodic sound this album should appeal to most melodic rockers. Also watch out for Thin Lizzy legend Brian Robertson guesting on the
album, delivering solos on some 3-4 tracks.

Axe - The Crown
Colorado legends return with a brand new album, bigger, harder and more bombastic than ever !!!

Doug Howard of Stun Leer - Last Man Standing
Doug Howards and his troops will once again show the world how melodic rock is supposed to sound. The album will be mixed by Bob St. John, so expect a huge & bombastic production with very strong songs.

Elements of Friction - Elements of Friction
Los Angeles super band featuring TOMMY ALDRIGE, RICKY PHILLIPS, ROCKET RICHOTTE, MARCUS NAND, LARRY LEON, and NEIL SCHON. The record will sound in the style of BAD ENGLISH, GIANT, HOUSE OF LORDS. Songs co-written by MARK SPIRO, DAN HUFF, JAMES CHRISTIAN, and MICHAEL THOMPSON.

Carl Dixon - TBA
The very talented singer and main songwriter from CONEY HATCH, CARL DIXON, is another signing by MTM who is preparing his debut on MTM. We want to make sure that we have the right material and we also have to decide if it shall be a CONEY HATCH release or a CARL DIXON release. All we know at the moment is that we are aiming to have Dixon start recording the album in March. The direction of the album will be like their third release "FRICTION". TRIUMPH guitarist RIK EMMETT will do co-writing and guest appearance on guitar.

Diving For Pearls - TBA
A band which became much raved about and praised for the one and only album so far (many listed it as an all time classic). A band we do hope is still very much in demand, but when we see the responses on our web site, since we reported the addition of DIVING FOR PEARLS to the MTM ranks, this certainly looks like a band that is very much missed. Main songwriter, singer and guitarist DANNY MALONE once again joined up with producer DAVID PRATER (DREAM THEATRE, FIREHOUSE, BRETT WALKER, GLEN BURTNICK) to create another slice of melodic heaven. (The recordings will start during the spring).

Loud'n Clear - TBA
One of the top voted faves of the AOR underground scene which received overwhelming reviews for their previous demo album. The band signed to MTM some time ago and has planned the recordings of a magnificent melodic rock milestone. Singer JESS HARNELL and guitarist CHUCK DURAN working on their new album in Los Angeles.

Ignition – TBA
Stockholm based band which is based around multimusician Peter Soderstrom and amazing singer Jan Johansen. The line up also incl John Kullberg on drums (Lions Share, Talk of The Town) and Andy Loos on bass (Glory, Lions Share). The album which will be recorded and worked on during the summer will be big on guitars and with a very dynamic and powerful sound, packed with big harmonies and arrangements. There will be songs contributed from among others Bob Marlette, Mark Spiro and Martin Page.

Riverdogs - TBA
Recently signed to MTM, this is the critically acclaimed US band RIVERDOGS. Singer and main songwriter ROB LAMOTHE is working with guitarist NICK BROPHY on the last bunch of songs for the album. We can expect an album very much in the direction of their praised debut "Bone" of 1993. The recordings of the album will be finished by the end of march.

Big Bad Wolf - TBA
Second album from these guys. Their debut album was a huge hit and this time the boys promises that they will stand up for the challenge and make an even better album.

Tower City - TBA
Larry Saltis has agreed to record another classic album. Larry says that the album will be in the same vein as their debut album "A Little Bit of Fire". Definitely something worth waiting for!

Slamer/Thompson - TBA
Manfred Mann singer Chris Thompson join forces with City Boy/Streets/Steelhouse Lane multi-musician Mike Slamer to release one of the new millenniums absolute best albums.

Rare MP3 Of The Week:

I hesitated doing this BUT I couldn’t resist. Here’s a sneak peak of the new Journey album, “Arrival” with the incredible “Signs Of Life”. (will be up later tonight)

Noteworthy New Releases:

THE MAYFLIES - USA The Pity List
SLASH - Ain't Life Grand?
STING - Brand New Day: Live From The Universal Amphitheater

Moldy Oldys:

[What’s kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]
Airplay – Airplay, The Rayvns – The Rayvns, Michael Jackson – Platinum Hits, Hardline – Double Eclipse, Survivor – When Seconds Count

Kurt’s Picks:

Asia – Heat Of The Moment (1982-1990), Geffen, 2000
[Similarities: Foreigner, Survivor, Journey]
Though they only recorded 3 ½ albums with John Wetton (along with Geoff Downes, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe mainly) in the lineup, the band as such left us with some absolute classic and I think overlooked AOR. They were done no justice with the half-assed “Then & Now” release of a decade ago. This far superior 18-song release should be a part of any AOR fans collection, especially if you only own maybe one (or even none) of the band’s albums. Songs like “Time Again”, personal fave “Don’t Cry”, “Never In A Million Years” or “Days Like These” are exactly the kinds of songs that get most MR fans frothing at the mouth. And the ballad “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” is an arena power ballad that most bands would give their left testicles for. There’s really not much I can say here as I would hope everyone has heard enough of Asia to whether they like them or not. This collection though is very thorough, has excellent liners and even throws in some B-sides (like the storming “Daylight”). Essential.

Marshall Crenshaw – This Is Easy: The Best Of, Rhino, 2000
[Similarities: The Beatles, Glen Burtnick, Rick Springfield]
Sadly relegated to a “one hit wonder” with “Someday Someway”, this retrospective is 22 song evidence that Marshall is a pop genius and in a just world would be multi-platinum so many times over that no one would have ever heard of Nsync and the like. As is always the case though, talent and popularity rarely go hand in hand. Playing a rootsy sort of power pop, he was something of a Buddy Holly meets Rick Springfield and filled each song with gigantic hooks that stayed with you for days. Spanning his entire career, including some choice B-sides and demos, I for the life of me cannot figure out how songs like “There She Goes Again”, “Whenever You’re On My Mind” and “Someplace Where Love Can’t Find Me” just slipped under everyone’s radar with barely a notice. It’s high time we rectified this situation…everyone go and buy and crank it everywhere…Marshall deserves so much better. (Bonus points for the EXCELLENT and very thorough liner notes)

Fair Warning – Live And More, Frontiers, 2000
[Similarities: Firehouse, Scorpions, Dokken]
A 2 CD set with disc 1 featuring a nice run through of the band’s more well known songs live and a second disc of new and unreleased songs. On the “Live” end, the band sounds nice and tight and the production, though a little thin, is adequate. Playing in front of a rabid Japanese audience, some of the songs come across as very spirited, like the arena rocking “I’ll Be There” and the upbeat and bouncy “Save Me”. Like most live albums, strictly for the fans. As for the “More” side of things, it’s some filler (“Like A Rock” and the dragging “Out Of The Night”) and some killer (the huge ballad “Meant To Be”) and for the most part rounds things out nicely. A decent send-off to fans of these Teutonic rockers.

Collin Raye – Tracks, Sony, 2000
[Similarities: Don Henley, The Eagles, Lonestar]
If you ever needed proof that the “new Country” sound is not the same as the “old Country”, look no further than Collin Raye. I believe this is his tenth album, but really the first I ever heard. Totally pop radio friendly, it’s obvious Collin finds much of his influence in classic 70s and 80s AOR. Sure there’s a bit of a twang here and there, but Dann Huff does his usual outstanding production job and gives all the songs a huge sonic punch. Songs like “She’s All That”, “Couldn’t Last A Moment” and “A Long Way To Go” are built on a wall of hooks and choruses that have a real arena feel to them. And of course, those big power ballads are here too. With “You Will Always Be Mine” and “Landing In Love”, there are some serious stabs at crossover success. Collin has an incredible heartfelt voice that pushes these songs just a bit further. AOR fans looking for something that’s different, but not too much so, will find a lot to like here. Though maybe a bit ballad heavy, I’m a sucker for them so…

Various Artists – The Lost 45s Of The 70s And 80s Volume 2, Varese Sarabande, 2000
The first collection of Lost 45s were heavy on the AOR, gems that to this day are very tough to come by on CD. This second set compiled by DJ Barry Scott has some more gems but this time out, things don’t sway too much in the melodic rock direction. Though you will find tracks from Chilliwack, Randy Meisner and Le Roux, most of the other 15 tracks are more of the one hit wonder AM pop variety. Not that this is a bad thing… Thanks to this collection I became a new fan of such long lost fare like Stonebolt’s big ballad “I Will Still Love You”, Silver’s Roller-like “Wham Bam Shang A Lang” and Rubicon’s “I’m Gonna Take Care Of Everything” (which featured a young Jack Blades and Brad Gillis). An essential collection for old school popheads/chartheads like myself.

(Re)Views From The Hill:
[Note: these are reviews done by outside contributors and not myself – Kurt]

The Corrs: In Blue, Atlantic Records
[similarities: SheDaisy, Crowded House, Shania Twain, Nelson]
This is the bands 3rd studio album and they are showing no signs of slowing down their hit machine. Quickly following their Unplugged album, this CD does not see the band straying far from their tried and true formula. You must ignore the cover as they all seem to be dressed as if they were a dance band.  On the inside of the sleeve, the sisters are back at their black clad pouty best.

No doubt you have already heard the first single "Breathless" a corking little tune, that features some great drumming and a catchy melody. (Factoid: two of the Corrs sisters were taken to hospital after the filming of the video suffering from heat exhaustion. Too long in the desert where it was filmed. There are newer "plugged-in" versions of the two singles from the Unplugged album "Radio" and  "At your Side", both of which pale in comparison to their stripped down pre-cursors. Maybe because these two tracks are new versions, the CD contains 15 tracks. "One Night" combines a bit of a Portishead beat/electronic sound with Andrea’s ethereal tones. "Rain" is a mellow groovy track, where the drumming manages to actually sound like rain, harmonies again abound. Bit of an electronic feel to this track but it still manages not to annoy.  As with their previous albums, there are no turkeys to be found here, it is a case of decent, good and awesome.

In what seems to be overkill for this hit-making quartet, Mutt Lange is along to co-write and produce 3 tracks (Breathless being one of them). ‘All the Love in the World’ is a mellow song about love wanted and no found, with the Corrs sister harmonizing left and right. ‘Irresistible" is the 3rd Lange track and is shockingly the second single from this album.  All the hallmarks are there, catchy chorus, great beat and stick in the mind lyrics. Methinks this pairing has more legs on it.  For some reason "Irresistible" just cries out for the Def Leppard treatment, it works well with Elliot’s voice.

If you enjoyed previous Corrs albums you will like this one as well. The Corrs are a bright spot in the otherwise tepid pop rock music scene. Melody, harmony, great songwriting and real talent never sounded so sweet.  IE: each of these guys has more talent in the pinky than Christina, Britney et al combined. - Marty

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Ahhhh, the authorities of the world are finally beginning to wake up to what the major labels are up to. The European Commission looks very likely to block the EMI and Time Warner link-up.

While EMI is due to make further presentations to the European Commission this week in an effort to salvage the deal, the competition commissioner is still expected to doom the deal. EMI is then likely to swallowed up by someone else (possibly Bertelsmann of Germany or Spain's Telefonica), and the EMI share price is on the way up as a result. Mission accomplished for EMI either way, they've upped the value of the company without doing anything. And that's exactly how record label supremos expect to make money these days, not by doing anything with music itself!

The EU conclusion appears to be that the Warner-EMI deal would create an oligopoly of companies which dictate prices as they see fit and hold a dominant position in music publishing rights. That would then give them massive control of the market for internet-downloaded music. That's even without the Commission considering anti-competition legislation.

To me it would have been the beginning of the end of all things worthy in music. Get a group that big and with that much power and they basically act as a nation-state in their own right bypassing the law wherever it sees fit. It would be so dominant that it could effectively dictate musical taste as it would control almost everything that received exposure through the mainstream media.

On the plus side, the fact that mergers and how to make a killing out of share options occupies all record label executives' time, does show the rest of the world that they're totally out of touch with musical trends and anything anyone might want to hear. They need something to kick them out of the money-gorged slumber. Just like punk did in the second half of the 1970s, the music industry needs something to emerge that will really turn it on its head and show it has been thinking about all the wrong things for far too long.

Reader profiles:

Name: Horacio Merino

Place where you live: Madrid, Spain

Age: 23

Favorite Artist: Tesla

Favorite Song: Come Again- Damn Yankees

Favorite Ballad: Aim for the heart - Southgang

Ten albums you’d bring if stranded on a desert island:

Psychotic Supper- Tesla
Hollywood Vampires- LA Guns
Damn Yankees- Damn Yankees
Metallic Blue- Steelhouse Lane
The Great Radio Controversy- Tesla
Hey Man- Mr. Big
Savage Garden- Savage Garden
Moods Swing- Harem Scarem
Dr. Feelgood- Motley Crue
Turn it up- Moon Dog Mane

Website: I’m working on it!

[If you’d like to be featured in SFK’s Reader Profile, drop me a line at ktorster@yahoo.com.]

Feedback:

From: LeapDogMus@aol.com 

Subject: Dash Dunbar Benefit Concert recap
Hey All! I just got back from Chicago and the Dash Dunbar Benefit. Wow...what a great night. I was too busy to make notes, so I’m going from memory.

Dave Uhrich opened the show and did a really cool solo set on guitar. he played to a few tracks and everyone seemed to dig it. He has great chops.

Up next was Enuff Z'nuff. They were very good and put on a great show. Lots of energy.

Up next was Jim Peterik. He has a few guests play with him, such as Kelly Keagy on B/G vocals, and he showcased a bunch of World Stage stuff, as well as some Survivor and other songs that he'd written for other bands like .38 Special and such. Great set over all and very well received.

Next up was Rik Emmett and he stole the entire night. No disrespect to any of the other acts, but it seemed that most people were there to see Rik. He put on a fantastic set of Triumph laced material, mixing in his newer stuff, which was very well received by the audience. As always, his mastery of the guitar and awesome vocals blew the crowd away and many could be heard asking why he's not a huge star.

After Rik came Two Fires, consisting of Kevin Chalfant, Josh Ramos, Kelly Keagy, Willie Weeks and a keyboard player whose name I didn't get. They put on a great set and played Two Fires, Storm and Night Ranger material. Kevin Chalfant worked the crowd like a pro and had everyone singing along. Dave Uhrich joined them all onstage for a kick ass version of "Don't Tell Me You Love Me". Josh Ramos, IMO, does not get nearly the credit he deserves as a guitarist. He was masterful.

Al the celebs were very accessible all night and signed autographs and took pictures with all who asked. It was a great night. A few guitars were auctioned of and they were signed by various celebs there, and one was signed by all.

The turnout was very good, with several hundred people in attendance. Everyone seemed to have a good time and the general vibe was a very good one.

If you weren't there, you missed a good show. Karne Dunbar was in attendance and was obviously very touched by the turnout and support. T'was a good night folks...a good night!

John Taglieri - Leap Dog Music
http://LeapDogMusic.com
http://Mp3.com/JohnTaglieri

From: Stixntrixx@aol.com

Subject: Bon Jovi question
Hey Kurt. Excellent issue of SFK again (as usual). I noticed in the most recent issue that you mentioned MTV is now claiming that Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora's performance on the 1987 VMA's spawned the idea for Unplugged. I was curious to know where you heard that from because it would be really cool if it's true. Also, I could have sworn it was the '88 VMAs because I thought New Jersey was out at the time. I could be wrong though. Anyway, keep up the good work.

[Um, yeah…it was 88. Oops. And the rest is apparently true as well as MTV recently admitted in a news brief that it as Bon Jovi’s two song acoustic performance at the awards show that sparked the unplugged fire.]

From: Philip Griffiths griffith@rumms.uni-mannheim.de

Subject: alias eye
Hi there, I’ve just joined your group and am hoping you can help me. My band "alias eye" has just recorded its first album "beyond the mirror" and I'm trying to get people interested in our work The music is progressive rock, taking its influences from Marillion, Pink Floyd and Spock's Beard. It would really help if you could introduce us on your mailing list.

[Consider it done. Welcome.]

From: "Andrew Ellis" aellis80@hotmail.com

Subject: Jani lane
I was looking at an old SFK today which reviewed Warrant's greatest and latest. In it it mentions that Jani should release his Jabberwocky demos....i have seen bits on the Internet about these. Apparently they are very good songs, but for some reason, he just decided to dump them and never let them see the light of day. Do you have any specific info on them? Have you heard them? Is the sound quality good? Are they available as a bootleg?

I hope you can fill me in…Keep up the good work on SFK

[Anyone?]

From: "Arto Tuomola" atuomola@artic.net

[Re: David Glenn Eisley]
I'd recommend the CD "Hidden in Plain Sight" by Graig Goldy's Ritual from early 90's. It features David Glen Eisley on vocals and songwriting on four tracks (the rest is sung by Mike Stone). Two of them are quite heavy, but good. "Anytime, anywhere" is more keyboard-driven and melodic. But the real gem of the album is the ballad "Forevermore" - really beautiful and features perhaps the best vocal performance David has ever laid on tape!

The Dirty White Boy album is closer to Bullet Boys than Giuffria - no key- boards, a "rawer" approach. But worth the purchase if found second-hand for the closing track "Badlands". An acoustic "power ballad" as they should be, i.e. the drums come in not until the last couple of minutes.

From: Ejs87213@aol.com

Subject: Journey/Napster
Up until now, I wasn't sure how I felt about this whole Napster debate. Part of the reason was that I hadn't had a compelling reason to try it. But your raving about the new Journey CD changed all that. After hearing the US release wouldn't be until February, I figured any record company that stupid deserves to loose a few advance sales to Napster. Now I have my freshly burned copy of Arrival, and I love it. I still may buy the official version, but not if "Signs of Life" and "To Be Alive Again" aren't on it. 

I'm now in Napster's corner, but I do feel sorry for the artists. Maybe the eventual answer will be for artists to bypass the record companies all together. Without record company politics and with the advances in technology, artists would be able to sell a CD whenever they want, at a reasonable price. Then maybe people wouldn't feel the need to use Napster for piracy. 

For now, I'm in the listeners' corner. Long live Napster!