STRIKTLY FOR KONNISSUERS 10-09-00

“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

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:

For you American’s on the list, can someone please explain to me why is it OK for Allen Iverson (from the Philly 76ers) to make a rap album full of hatred towards women and whites and talk of shooting guns and no one says a damned thing while John Rocker (Atlanta Braves) makes some crack and he’s branded a racist redneck? Talk about your double standards!

Hey…how about some politics to piss off the left and right wings on the list? Gore and Bush are idiot puppets. I’m voting Ralph Nader this year. Will he win? Um, no…but at least I’ll feel good about not voting between the lesser of two evils.

You know, the Internet is a treasure trove of coupons and freebies. My favorite sites? Deal Of The Day, The Geek Next Door, Amazing Bargains. Enjoy!

News Bytes:

RIP: Former Cars bassist Ben Orr passed away last week from pancreatic cancer. Ben was busy working with a new band called Big People which also contained Derek St. Holmes, .38 Special guitarist Jeff Carlisi and Billy Joel drummer Liberty DeVito. The band had recorded all their live shows and plan a CD release soon.

From UPI, an interesting little tidbit on Evan And Jaron: Evan and Jaron are observant Jews -- meaning the group must take this into account when on tour. “If we are playing on a Saturday night somewhere, we need to be there ahead of time, on Friday,” says Evan. “And we don't play Friday night or Saturdays. Now that we've been a band and traveling so much, everybody in the band, even the ones that aren't Jewish, everybody looks forward to Friday night and Saturday afternoon 'cause they know there is nothing going to happen.” Look for the duo on tour with Fastball.

Universal Music will reissue a 25th anniversary edition of Peter Frampton’s Frampton Comes Alive”, as a 2-cd set with four bonus tracks taken from the same concerts that spawned the original set.

Mark David Chapman, the convicted killer of John Lennon, was denied parole last week. That was his first appearance before the parole board.

October 12 sees Michael McDermott opening for The Wallflowers at the Cabaret in Chicago. His new album, “Last Chance Lounge” will be released tomorrow on Koch.

Look for Stryper to reform for a December 16 show in Costa Rica (?!?).

The Now & Then website now features soundclips from the upcoming albums from The Sign, Praying Mantis and Teer.

The new album from Yngwie Malmsteen, War To End All Wars”, will be out on November 7 on Spitfire. Next Monday, the Swedish widdle-master will donate one of his guitars to the Hard Rock Café in New York.

From the band Heaven’s Fire comes this news: The following is a statement form Heaven's Fire: "On behalf of the band, we are very sad to announce the passing of Mike Mackinnon, known to everyone as "mic mac". He was a good friend as well as the drummer for the band and he will be greatly missed spiritually, musically and personally by both of us. Losing someone close to you is never easy and it will take us some time to heal. The second album will go forward as planned and we will be auditioning drummers as soon as possible. Although it is a most difficult task, we do have some promising prospects that even Mike respected. It is what we all want and what Mike would have wanted as well. We are certain that much of the emotion that we feel right now will be channeled into the writing of the new album that will be dedicated to him. We will continue for ourselves and for our fans in memory of Mike. Mic mac you will be missed. Andy and Jim"

The tracklisting for the upcoming album from Intruder, Believer”: Track listing: One Night of love / Stay / Losing you / Runaway 2000 (a cover of the Bon Jovi song) / Faithful Love / You take the chill / Make it last forever / The love we had / Down on love / Under my skin / Halfway home / 19 and Ready.

Burning Rain has signed with Z to release their two previous Jap-only albums. The band features Doug Aldrich on guitar with Keith St. John (vox), Ian Mayo (bass) and Alexx Makarovich (drums). The band will also play Z-2001.

Speaking of Z-2001, the lineup has been confirmed as Enuff Z’nuff, Von Groove, Shy, Burning Rain, Dreamhunter, Prisoner, Seven Wishes and Contagious. See it on May 6 at The Ritz in Manchester, England. Tix at Ticketline.

Pearl Jam broke chart history last week as five of their live “official” bootlegs debuted on the Billboard Top 200 albums.

MCA will release “Anthology”, a 2 CD set from Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers. The tracklisting: Disc 1: "Breakdown”, "American Girl”, "Hometown Blues”, "The Wild One, Forever”, "I Need To Know”, "Listen To Her Heart”, "Too Much Ain't Enough”, "Refugee”, "Here Comes My Girl”, "Don't Do Me Like That”, "Even The Losers”, "The Waiting”, "A Woman In Love”, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around”, "You Got Lucky”, "Straight Into Darkness”, "Change Of Heart" Disc 2: "Rebels”, "Don't Come Around Here No More”, "The Best of Everything, "So You Want To Be A Rock'N'Roll Star”, "Jammin' Me”, "It'll All Work Out”, "Love Is A Long Road”, "Free Fallin'“, "Yer So Bad, "I Won't Back Down”, "Runnin' Down A Dream”, "Learning To Fly”, "Into The Great Wide Open”, "Two Gunslingers”, "Mary Jane's Last Dance”, "Waiting For Tonight”, "Surrender".

The Racketeers is a new band consisting of Duff from Guns N’ Roses, Stewart Copeland of the Police, Clem Burke of Blondie, Wayne Kramer of MC5 and Brian James of the Damned. November 6 will see the release of their debut, “Mad For The Racket”.

Supposedly the next album from Scorpions will be an unplugged hits affair.

REO Speedwagon and Styx plan to finish off the year touring together. Here’s the last run of dates:

Nov. 9: Lowell, Mass. (Tsongas Arena)
Nov. 10: Bangor, Maine (Bangor Auditorium)
Nov. 11: Glens Falls, N.Y. (Glens Falls Civic Center)
Nov. 12: Rochester, N.Y. (Blue Cross Arena)
Nov. 14: Salisbury, Md. (Wicomico Civic Center)
Nov. 16: Huntington, W.V. (Huntington Civic Arena)
Nov. 17: Knoxville, Tenn. (Knoxville Civic Coliseum)
Nov. 18: Louisville (Freedom Hall)
Nov. 19: Poplar Bluff, Mo. (Black River Coliseum)
Nov. 20: Bossier City, La. (Century Tel Arena)
Nov. 22: New Orleans (UNO Lakefront Arena)
Nov. 24: Lafayette, La. (Cajun Dome)
Nov. 25: Hunstville, Ala. (Von Braun Civic Auditorium)
Nov. 28: Asheville, N.C. (Asheville Civic Center)
Nov. 29: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum)
Nov. 30: Chattanooga, Tenn. (UTC McKenzie Arena)
Dec. 2: Jacksonville, Fla. (Veterans Memorial Coliseum)
Dec. 3: Orlando, Fla. (Orlando Arena)
Dec. 31: Reno, Nev. (Reno Hilton Amphitheatre)

Rare MP3 Of The Week:

I posted “Signs Of Life” from the upcoming Journey album, “Arrival” this past weekend. It’ll be up for the week.

Noteworthy New Releases:

[Um?]

Moldy Oldys:

[What’s kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]
Nik Kershaw – The Best Of, Hall & Oates – Looking Back (Best Of), The Corrs – Singles, Survivor – When Seconds Count, Noiseworks - Noiseworks

Kurt’s Picks:

Pete Ancient Band – Lady On The Radio,
[Similarities: Venice, Toad The Wet Sprocket, The Eagles]
Rather pleasant country inspired pop that is primarily acoustic. Lyrically this is a few steps ahead of the rest and the harmonies are typical of the new country sound. Though maybe a touch slow for me, overall, the material is excellent and is brimming with style (“Whenever You Sleep” is a sure hit if I ever heard one), and maybe just crying out for a little kick in the pants too.

i-Ten – Taking A Cold Look, Rewind Reissue, 2000 (1983)
[Similarities: Toto, Balance, Chicago]
What can I possibly say about one of the true AOR essentials? Breathtaking…magnificent…incredible… The band, comprised of the duo of Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly (who have written countless hits for acts as diverse as Madonna, Heart and REO Speedwagon) and rounded out by members of Toto, Balance and Mr. Mister, laid down about as textbook definition AOR as you will ever find, and also about as perfect as well. From the perfect guitar leads and keyboard melodies to the Richard Marx-like vocals to the incredible songwriting, nothing is out of place here. Filled with both arena rockers like “Quicksand” and “I Don’t Want To Lose You” and more Westcoast-like far like “Taking A Cold Look” or “Time To Say Goodbye”, these ten tracks are the answer to the much asked question “what exactly is AOR?” as well as being a blueprint for much 80s AOR. Criminally overlooked and hard to find until now, special thanks to Sony and Rewind for reissuing this gem.

Lost Weekend – Presence Of Mind, Frontiers/Now & Then, 2000
[Similarities: Loverboy, Survivor, Aviator]
This is your typical, nothing new but still decent genre release. Lost Weekend break no new ground, really do nothing original, but what they do have going on is not all that bad. It’s perfectly played and produced keyboard-dominated rock and the guitar playing of David Thompson is the highest caliber. Catchy numbers like “I Need You”, “One Chance” and “Kiss From The Heart” put one in mind of any number of 80s arena rock acts. About the biggest complaint I could level here is that all the songs have a similar tempo and tend to blur together on listening to one after another. If you’re looking for something fresh, this is not the place to be but those who like the safe and familiar sounds will enjoy this immensely. To be honest, as jaded as I can be, I rather enjoyed this a lot myself. It’s hard to knock something when it’s as well done as this.

Newman – Dance In The Fire, Escape, 2000
[Similarities: Loverboy, Foreigner, Survivor]
Another outing of twelve solid arena rockers that, while breaking no new ground, are all highly infectious. Backed by the powerful vox of Steve Newman, the band covers the typical bases, from upbeat anthems (kicking opener “Every Moment” and “Love Is The Drug”) to slower paced power ballads (the building “Anything At All” and mid-tempo “Must Have Been An Angel”), with the best of them. Granted, songs like “Jealousy” or “Dangerous” are the kinds of clichéd songs (titles and all) that just piss me off and are best described by the word “filler”. But thankfully, that quotient is kept low. Overall, nothing new but certainly worthy of passing the time and an occasional spin.

Matthew Sweet – Time Capsule: Best Of, Volcano, 2000
[Similarities: The Beatles, Enuff Z’nuff, Tal Bachman]
For all the time that Matthew has been cranking out tunes, I’m a little embarrassed to admit I only have one of his albums, the pop essential “Girlfriend”. So the timing couldn’t have been better for this eighteen song collection. Covering the decade from 1990 to 2000, Matthew’s brand of hard edged Beatles-inspired rock never fails to ignite the flames. Whether he’s rocking at top volume on songs like “Girlfriend” or the wicked “Sick Of Myself”, or taking a more mellow path like on “We’re The Same” or “I’ve Been Waiting”, I cannot understand how he’s remained mostly a cult figure for so long. I think Matthew will be relegated to that same spot that people like Glen Burtnick or Marshall Crenshaw live…well respected but success will continue to elude with no good reason.

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

 

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Thanks to the dim view the European Commission has taken of the whole Warner-EMI merger, it looks like the whole thing is off! The talk are talking about "working on ways to work together" and examining how they might present an alternate deal to the authorities, but it seems to look unlikely at this point.

Obviously the commission's reasons for vetoing the deal are entirely different from the average music fan's, but it's all the same principle. Labels and media groups in general cannot think they can try and run the world without anyone noticing!

What does it mean for the music industry? First off EMI is going to be perceived as very weak and ripe for take over by someone else. I think also the money markets' confidence to put money into labels might dwindle as the "mega deals" where brokers and manager of the companies involved get rich overnight won't be possible. Without funny money to burn the labels will take even less risks and remain even more run by pencil-necked, penny counting accountants that don't even know what a "riff" is!

Net result, even more stagnation and a continuation of the "sure thing" signings and not a hint of the old "no guts, no glory" philosophy. Oh well, I'm sure Diane Warren will get even richer as all the future signings will be assigned one of her tracks, probably the same one....

Heart Of Rock (George Thatcher):

A couple of new sites have sprung up recently. WHITE SISTER has a new one www.whitesister.com though at this stage the site is under development. Also, most of you will know there is a surprising lack of material on the Net regarding LA heroes AUTOGRAPH. Well finally, we've got one, over at http://autograph.multimania.com. It is an unofficial site based out of France. Well done Cedric! Also, just got word of a site for ALFIE ZAPPACOSTA, it is http://www.iamzappacosta.com/. It is also makes reference to his new album 'Dark Sided Jewel'. 

THE VU have their rebadged album 'Phoenix Rising' released on the Frontiers label during November. Previously going under the handle THE VIEW, this is the lineup of Kevin Chalfant, Stef Burns, Ross Valory, Tim Gorman, and Prarie Prince, and came out in 1985. Previously only available in the AOR underground as demo tapes, it's nice seeing this out as an official release for the AOR collector.

SASS JORDON (note the surname change) has her new album due out in October entitled 'Hot Gossip'. It will be out on Aquarius Records, with the first single off it called 'So Long'. One of the members of her band includes Big Smile guitarist Anesti Karantakis.

HARMONY CENTRAL, which calls itself "the world's largest musician community" has teamed up with DreamWorks Records' Artist and Repertoire (A&R) department. Through this arrangement, musicians who have MP3's of their original music can send those files directly to the label's reps. DreamWorks is the first traditional U.S. major label to allow unsolicited MP3 music submissions.

Interested? Read the full story at http://www.harmony-central.com/News/2000/dreamworks.html

Currently, prog rockers THE LIGHT are in pre-production for their next CD entitled 'The Willing Suspension Of Disbelief' which has no release date as of yet. It promises to be another masterpiece of production and writing (their words not mine). Audio clips will soon be available. The group is also seeking international tour support and/or sponsorship. As an aside, the bands guitarist Michael Matier was last seen working with another Californian prog band called Ten Jinn. Keep tabs on these guys over at http://thelight.okayweb.com/

KANSAS fans will be pleased to hear of their new album 'Somewhere To Elsewhere', which got a stateside release date earlier this year. The style harks back to that era of 'Leftoverture' and 'Point Of Know Return', a commercial yet progressive direction for the band at that time. It also marks the return of those prodigal sons including Kerry Livgren and Robby Steinhardt. Hop over to Kansas' official site, or Magna Carta's site. www.magnacarta.net. Also, Steve Walsh has a new solo album on the same label called 'Glossolalia'.

Over at Escape Music they've just re-released the first HYBRID ICE album from the mid eighties. This Pennsylvania based band played glorious pomp rock/AOR in the style of Fortune, and their second album 'No Rules' caused a stir when it came out. Boston fans will know that the track 'Magdalene' off the 'Walk On' album was in fact a Hybrid Ice composition, written by their guitarist Gaylen Toye-Folke. The band also have a new website up at www.hybridice.com

Angry Tears' lead singer Joey Sinopoli has landed a solo release deal with the new independent label Fusion Records. The project will be called SINOPOLI, and the music is of the classic hard-rock sound. Recording is currently underway at New Jersey's Cross-Pacific Recording Studio. Look for it at your favorite music outlet by May of 2001. Collaborating with Sinopoli will be guitarist Steve Thomas (Garbo Talks) and drummer Steve Warner (Ace Frehley, Leslie West). Long-time Sinopoli skins-man Kevin Meyer will be contributing drums to selected tracks as well. Also involved with the project is Joey Sinopoli's long-time musical partner-in-crime - producer/songwriter Jack Ponti (Alice Cooper, Baton Rouge, Nelson). There also promises to be many surprise special guests.

West Coast/Pop artist GREG GUIDRY, a long lost figure from the 80's scene, has a brand new album released on the Japanese label Cool Sound Inc. It's called 'Private Session' and was released during August. The material is a collection of his previously unreleased songs, plus stuff from his never released 2nd album from CBS which never saw the light of day. For fans of Giant, yes, Dann Huff and Mike Brignardello make an appearance, but remember, though this is a new album, the material is not. If it's as good as his Debut 'Over The Line' then Guidry is well worth checking out.

Reader profiles:

Name : Richard Hamling

Place Where You Live : Caerphilly, South Wales, UK.

Age : 29

Favourite Artist : Toto (Although current playlist includes: Neve, Nine Days, Dum Dums & Bon Jovi)

Favourite Song : More Than A Feeling - Boston (Although current would be: Its Over Now - Neve)

Favourite Ballad : I'll Be Over You - Toto (Although current would be: Army Of Two - Dum Dums)

10 Albums I would take if stranded on a desert island would be :

Toto – Farenheit
Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
Boston – Boston
Matchbox 20 - Yourself Or Someone Like You
Tower City - Tower City
Bryan Adams – Reckless
Journey - Raised On Radio
Toad The Wet Sprocket - PS (A Retrospective)
Honeymoon Suite - The Big Prize
Mars Electric - Beautiful Something

Web Site : Hard Rain - dedicated to melodic rock (Coming Soon!)

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

Feedback:

From: STEPHENX5@aol.com

Subject: Storyteller

Hey Kurt-Thanks for the nice write up on the album!

Stephen Teller - Storyteller

From: "Malcolm Dolling" malcs@home54.junglelink.co.uk

Subject: Record Collection
I am writing to you on the off-chance that you could help me, or know somebody that could.

I am emigrating to Australia at the end of November, and have a record collection which I do not plan to take with me. I have tried to sell them in some second hand record shops in London, including Beanos in Croydon, but nobody was very interested in most of them.

If you know of any collector or record shop that would be interested in any of these records, can you please let me know.

From: McGeeF19@aol.com

Subject: Re: Jani Lane
Greetings Gentlemen,

That was my Warrant review, which referenced the 'Jabberwocky' demos, which have been the subject of several reports. The demo album I received consists of 11 tracks in the style of 'Stronger Now' from the 'Ultraphobic' Warrant album. A laid back, acoustic style which plays to the strengths of Jani as both a singer and songwriter. The tracklisting is:

All You Had To Say, Private Blue World, One More For The Road, Unrealistic, Washington Square, Comfortable With Sad, This Town, Pretty On The Inside, The Deeper End, Stained
House Of Cards

I have heard all the tracks in demo form. The sound quality is very good for a demo, in fact a couple of contacts that heard them were surprised that they were considered 'demos' by the quality of the sound.

I had also heard the reports that Jani scrapped the 'Jabberwocky' material, but can happily report that based on some recent communications I've received this information is likely erroneous and that there may be a future in this project. I, for one, would welcome it. If you have any further inquiries, always feel free to drop me a line.

Kindest Regards ~ Jason Grubbs
www.pete-ancient-band.com www.pushrock.com

From: Mike Drew doctorboogie@hotmail.com

Hey everyone...just went across last week's SFK and I was just wondering if anyone could clear up for me if Matti Alfonzetti was refering to the Willie Dowling from the Wildhearts/honeycrack/sugarplum faries when it said, "Angel (Wrote this track while staying in England together with a guy named Willie Dowling. I like this tune...)"

From: "ROBERTO MERINO" malta64@hotmail.com

Subject: Steevi Jaimz
Dear Kurt, I wonder if Dave Reynolds could give us some information about Steevi Jaimz (ex-Tigertailz). I´d like to know what he´s been doing for the last 10 years. I heard he has a solo CD. Thanks, Roberto.