three essential Commandments:
Respect The Elders.
Embrace The New.
Encourage The Impractical and
Improbable, Without Bias.
Editor and witless
moron - Kurt Torster
people that may be morons:
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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My cable company just added CMT (Country
Music TV) and I must say I’m hooked. I cannot believe how many of these acts
sound inspired by the early 80s AOR.
A lot of good mainstream releases as of
late or due soon. Look for reviews of new albums from Green Day, The
Wallflowers, Marvelous 3 and the Barenaked Ladies over the next few weeks.
More news on
the upcoming special edition of Rick Springfield’s “Alive”.
The price is $65 (pre-order paid in full) and admittedly contains some amazing
bonus footage for the fans which includes: the ENTIRE set of 4-track demos from
the “Working Class Dog” album (recorded by Rick right after they were
written), three unreleased songs from 1983 (“Smile For The Camera”,
“The Human Sea” and “LIO”), new studio recordings of “Christmas
Eve In Memphis” and “My Father’s Chair” and on and off stage
video footage from the “Karma” tour. Each of the 5500 copies will be
personally signed by Rick. Head to his website
to order. The single disc retail version will be out in early 2001.
From the “if
it’s too loud” file: Def Leppard had to hand out refunds after
complaints that their concert at the Oregon State Fair was too quiet. A city
noise ordinance prevented the band from playing any louder.
claiming that David Lee Roth is out of the supposed Van Halen reunion
and is currently in he hospital having back surgery.
2001, a convention in honor of Thunder will be held in June of 2001 in
Blackpool, UK and will feature performances from Bob Catley, Ten and The
Promise. More info at the website.
release their reunion album in 2001 and features the songs “Heaven
Tonight”, “Sky Diving”, “Communicate” and “Marie Ann”.
Heaven will be releasing new albums from Alyson Avenue, SayIt and Gatling
Gun over the next month or so.
due to back problems of his own, the Jimmy Page/Black Crowes tour of the
US and Europe has been cancelled.
Alex Lifeson will be doing the music for the upcoming sci-fi television series Andromeda.
New at Camp
Chaos, the Fire Bad! Game where you must extinguish flames from Metallica’s
MTM kicks off
their Metal subdivision with the release of Toxsin.
Lenny Kravitz will
release “Greatest Hits” on October 24. It features fourteen songs
including "American Woman”, "Fly Away”, "Black Velveteen”,
"I Belong To You”, "Let Love Rule”, "Stand By My Woman”,
"Mr. Cab Driver”, "Always On The Run”, "It Ain't Over Till
It's Over”, "Are You Gonna Go My Way”, "Believe”, "Heaven
Help”, "Rock and Roll Is Dead”, and "Can't Get You Off My
Mind" as well as a new track, "Again”.
host of the very cool Saturday Night Rocks radio show on WNEW in New York
has his own website. Check it out.
release “Babylon” entered the German album charts at #100. This is
the first time a release from Now & Then/Frontiers has charted in a European
country. Congrats to all involved.
Kip Winger has
singed with Now & Then/Frontiers to release his album “Songs From The
Ocean Floor”. He will be performing acoustically at the Gods 2000.
“Out Of The Silent Planet” will
be the second single from Iron Maiden’s “Brave New World”
Someone please make it stop! I got word
that there are tributes to Michael Schenker, Aerosmith and Lynyrd
Skynyrd in the works.
October 7 on US Pay Per View you can catch
Kiss taped at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.
Third Eye Blind already have their next two singles lined up, “Wounded” and “10,000 Julys”. Their planned EP release of “Slow Motion” has been put on hold until next year.
MP3 Of The Week:
Instead of going rare this week, I decided
to every so often offer up a song from an album I feel was CRIMINALLY ignored.
This week, check out the hard rocking “Animal Heart” from Glass
Tiger’s “Simple Mission” album. You will not believe this is
the same band that released more poppy songs like “Don’t Forget Me When
Noteworthy New Releases:
Various Artists - VH1: The Best of Where
Are They Now?
[What’s kicking old school on the SFK
Deck O’ Death this week:]
Glass Tiger – Simple Mission, Shadowland – The Beauty Of Escaping, It’s Alive – Earthquake Visions, Brian Wilson – Live At The Roxy, George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best Of
400 Horses – 400 Horses, A2,
[Similarities: Kiss, Hair Of The Dog, Aerosmith]
Slogging old school metal album that did nothing for me. Every so often it would catch my ears with a nice injection of horns or a cowbell, but this is one of those ‘heard it all before’ releases that sadly has nothing new to offer the genre. Steve Plunkett-like vocals surround some tasty lead guitars but the songs left a lot to be desired. About the only song that hooked me from start to finish was “Over And Done” where the band pulls off their best Autograph impression. Even though the verses were nothing special, every other song has a big chorus that is pretty hard to put off. I have a sneaking suspicion this won’t be the last we hear of 400 Horses and there’s a good chance they will only get better.
Barlow – Twelve Months
Eleven Days, BMG,
[Similarities: Savage Garden, George Michael, Robbie Williams]
Very likable radio pop that is also very forgettable, which is it’s biggest sin. Nothing here is all that bad and some of the songs certainly have hit potential (with “For All That You Want” and “Stronger” dominating the mix) but the whole album just had a feeling of “background music”. Pleasant to listen to and you may even hum along here and there but nothing here grabs you and makes you want to play it. The ballad “All That I’ve Given Away” sounds like a Mike & The Mechanics outtake and has some very nice soulful harmonies. Gary is a very good singer, he just needs to surround himself with better material.
– The Harsh Light Of Day, Hollywood,
[Similarities: Sister Hazel, Marvelous 3, Cheap Trick]
Unfairly pegged as a “one hit wonder”, this album proves this Texas group still has a lot of life left in them. The album kicks off with the blazing “This Is Not My Life” and rarely lets up from there, only slowing down for the occasion ballad. With can’t miss singles like the amazingly catchy arena rocker “You’re An Ocean”, “Wind Me Up” and “Morning Star” (which reminds me of Steve Miller in his prime) surrounded by slower but none the less infectious ear candy like “Goodbye” or “Dark Street”, they’ve managed to better their last effort (which I personally thought was great) and have merged the worlds of power pop and melodic rock rather nicely. And as long as they keep taking chances on songs like “Love Is Expensive And Free” or “Vampires”, it gives me hope that other acts can answer the challenge.
Ground – Perfect Chaos, ProActive,
[Similarities: Toto, Survivor, Marillion]
I couldn’t knock this one if I tried. Though maybe a touch formulaic in bits, that’s about the worst I could say here. A near perfect blend of Westcoast AOR and harder edged melodic rock, Sweden’s Higher Ground has come up aces. The first listen through your mind is thinking it’s good…not great…but good. Each listen changes that opinion for the better. Songs that may have been dismissed first time out as filler become favorites after a while which gives the album something that the genre desperately needs…legs. In other words you won’t get bored too quickly. Though Toto is the strongest comparison by far, so many other bands spring to mind at any given time. Some songs are great from the start. “Forever On My Mind”, “Freedom” and “Turns Into Stone” are as strong as anything in recent memory. While the rest may take some time to digest, it’s well worth the investment of time. The heirs to Toto’s Westcoast kingdom…
Walsh – Glossolalia,
Magna Carta, 2000
[Similarities: Marillion, 90125 era Yes, Meat Loaf]
When the title track came blaring out of my speakers I had, for a second, thought someone had mislabeled a Soundgarden CD with this one. Heavy as shit, quirky as hell and not at all what I was expecting, I had wondered where the disc was going from here (“I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore”). Playing much like musical theater, the songs range from the majestic (“Serious Wreckage” and “Kansas”) to the down and dirty (the big arena rocker “Heart Attack” and the Dream Theater-ish “Smacking The Clowns”). Not an album to be taken in one sitting, and certainly nothing that has any instant appeal, this is thinking man’s prog that is both eclectic and extreme. It is also the kind of album, depending on your musical tastes, that is either a reawakening of your musical soul or a huge pile of pompous horseshit. Personally, any album that can stir two such passionate and opposite sides is impressive. A mighty release that, in years, may be considered a classic.
(Re)Views From The Hill:
[Note: these are reviews done by outside contributors and not myself – Kurt]
King Prawn: Surrender to the Blender, Spitfire
[similarities: The Clash, The Specials, Kid Rock]
King Prawn are an English foursome who do several different types of music, not much of it any good. Most of this disk is derivative of one genre or other. It is a mixture of rap-rock, hip-hop and ska. Never really gets going in the end. As with a lot of this genre its highly political, very left wing. As the name of the album suggests is a mish-mash of styles.
There is some interesting stuff on here.
"Someone to Hate", which is the first single in the UK, is a hip-hop
flavored distorted vocals and strings kinda thing. "No Peace" is a
pretty catchy punk-ska outing with the requisite horns and some rifting that
sounds a bit like Anthrax circa "I’m the Man." "Your Worst
Enemy" is a very catchy old school 80s ska track that gets your feet
tapping, very danceable. "Espiritu du Carnival" is an instrumental
that has some great horns and drumming, making it damn catchy.
Listening to this disc reminds you of why
some of those 80s ska bands were so good and why imitators are so bad. It’s
not worth much at all, except as a mild curiosity. Hard to get into after
repeated listens, it is a wonder that Spitfire is handling these guys as most of
the label’s output is of the utmost quality.
If you would like more info on this lot
www.kingprawn.co.uk Or head to the Spitfire website.
Basement (Ian McIntosh):
this issue, but on-going mess here might mean this column might be "Missing
In Action" at some other point of the coming weeks....
here's an issue that I'm increasing feeling is worthy of debate: does MP3
My main issue
is sound quality. CD is already less than perfect music delivery method where
you can spend a lot of cash on a player to get very small incremental
improvements. MP3 is way inferior to that and does nothing to make the music
alive in any way. In sound quality terms, if something thinks what MP3 produces
is acceptable, they either have no standards at all, or a serious hearing
deficiency. It strikes me as bizarre that while the whole music industry is
fighting about what is going to be the next carrier medium, to improve sound
quality and stimulate sales, all the focus is on something that has all the
subtlety of a tin can with some string attached! Whereas people of one
generation can dig out their old vinyl albums and marvel at the production
values, that's never going to happen with MP3s, they just can't communicate
That's why I
feel MP3 is devaluing music: it makes music into too much or a disposable
commodity. It might well have a role as a means for unsigned bands to distribute
their music and to get heard, but that's it. It is also takes the record labels
collective eyes off what new music they should be supporting - thanks to MP3
they're all too busy launching court cases against Napster and their ilk, or
trying to find copy protection methods which also nearly all denigrate music
quality and put far too many business controls in place.
sound like a great idea, but it's going in completely the wrong direction....
where you live: Oklahoma
"In My Dreams"
ballad : Lynch
Mob "Dream Until Tomorrow"
albums I would take if stranded on a desert island:
Bodragaz "Somewhere In Switzerland"
Coney Hatch "Best of Three"
Storyteller "Corridor of Windows"
White Sister "S/T"
Kingdom Come "Master Seven"
Saga "Security of Illusion"
Spys "Spys/Behind Enemy Lines"
Wrabit "Wrough And Ready"
Touch "Complete Works"
[If you’d like to be featured in SFK’s
Reader Profile, drop me a line at email@example.com.]
|From: "Mark Evans" firstname.lastname@example.org|
Subject: Bon Jovi Live at the Brittania
Hi Kurt, Here's a quick review of Bon Jovi, it's a bit late due to holidays but here goes-
Bon Jovi played Brittania Stadium in
Stoke-on-Trent home of my local soccer team Stoke City on August 23rd. It was
the biggest gig we've had in Stoke for years and needless to say it sold out
pretty quick. I was not very impressed with 'Crush' but I had to go. Support was
from Toploader, pretty poor they were too, BJ should have got somebody better!
BJ kicked off with 'Livin on a Prayer' and romped through a 2 hour + set of old
classics and new songs. Sambora was on excellent form; highlight of the show for
me was the guitar solo on 'Next 100 Years'. Awesome !
They finished off with a rollicking
version of 'Keep the Faith' and loads of fireworks.
30,000 people went home extremely happy,
including me. Bon Jovi still kick ass !!!