”There are three essential Commandments:

·        Respect The Elders.

·        Embrace The New.

·        Encourage The Impractical and Improbable, Without Bias.

-David Fricke”

Official Nonsense:

·        Editor Editor and El Presidente - Kurt Torster

Other members of the SFK party:

·        Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)

·        Marty Dodge (

·        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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Kurt's Krap:

OK…so we’re back. I’m tired as shit…but SFK is back. This issue may be a little sloppy and I only had time for a couple of reviews but we’ll be back in full effect next week as I got a TON of music over the past two weeks.

I got a cable modem last week…WOW! I’ve been hitting speeds of upwards of 900k…compare that to a 56k modem.

Wanna throw a quick plug for a program called Baby Type, which turns the PC into an activity center for your toddler. It’s very cool and has entertained my 2 year old to no end. Check it out

Kurt’s Kause Of The Week:

[Ah hell, why not get a little political (or even politically incorrect)? There are loads of issues I believe in or support, and this little bit is not meant to get too deep into anything controversial.]

A cause close to home and slightly music related…The fight to Erase MS as I had an uncle who had MS for over 20 years. Though his case was mild (he died from unrelated causes), when it did flare up, you can see how much pain he was in. MS can and will be cured, and this website, with VH-1’s assistance, will help.

News Bytes:

The new Kyle Vincent album is all but completed but before that sees release, look for an album filled with unreleased songs from pop metal legends Candy.

The graves of two members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, have been vandalized. Yikes…

VH-1 has planned a Behind The Music for Tesla. The episode will feature footage of Bar7, the new band featuring Jeff Keith and Tommy Skeoch.

Also planned for a Behind The Music is Faith Hill.

SFK fave Michael McDermott has moved his website. He has signed with Koch records to release his new album, due in September.

Hey…MTV has actually added Bon Jovi’s It’s My Life” to their playlist. Their “Crush” album has hit the new European platinum award for sales of over 1 million in Europe. Here’s the setlist from their opening night in Japan: Livin' on a Prayer, You Give Love a Bad Name, It's My Life, Say It Isn't So, Just Older, Living in Sin, Blood on Blood, Next 100 Years, Love for Sale (acoustic), Someday I'll Be Saturday Nite (acoustic), Bed of Roses (acoustic), Lay Your Hands on Me, Keep the Faith, I'll Sleep When I'm Dead, Bad Medicine, Mystery Train, Wanted Dead or Alive, One Wild Nite, Never Say Goodbye.

Slash will be opening for AC/DC in the US.

Robbie Williams has smashed sales records for his shows at the London Arena, selling 75,000 tix in 6 hours.

Hootie & The Blowfish will release an album of covers, b-sides and soundtrack tunes in October before releasing a new proper release in the new year.

Check out a John Waite giveaway at this website.

Michael “Cub” Koda passed away last week. Cub was the leader of Brownsville Station, the band that recorded “Smokin’ In The Boys Room”.

At different stores you can grab freebies for both the new albums from Motley Crue and Everclear (which is REALLY good).

Power metal band Dragonheart has MP3s of their demo available on their website.

You can grab a download of “Stay” from the upcoming Velocity album “Universal” from the band’s website.

The tracklisting for the new Radiohead album “KID”, due out October 3: Everything In Its Right Place, Kid A, The National Anthem, How To Disappear Completely, Treefingers, Optimistic, In Limbo, Idioteque, Morning Bell, Motion Picture Soundtrack

The awesome TV show Freaks & Geeks has been picked up by the Fox Family Channel, where they will air all 18 episodes of this 80s based comedy/drama.

A2 has picked up the awesome “Leap Of Faith” album from New Jersey rocker John Taglieri. Head over to John’s website for a discount on merchandise.

The once titled film Metal God has changed it’s title to currently something untitled due to the band’s insistence that all Judas Priest references be removed. The band will now be known as Steel Dragon.

Says Mike Portnoy of Queensryche backing out of a tour with DreamTheater, “at the LAST MINUTE, those lame pussies Queensryche backed out of the tour because they said they didn't want to tour anymore for this album and wanted to go back in the studio. I think that they just realized that after we played, their fans would realize how much their new album sucks! Well, this totally fucked us and the plans that we had penciled in for August and left us without a tour. Then after this all fell through, we pursued the opening slot on the US Maiden tour. It was looking real possible until all of a sudden, we found out that Cheeseryche was lobbying for the slot. And what do you know? It looks like they got it!! It's real unfortunate, because a DT/QR tour would have been a real treat for the fans, and a DT/IM tour would have been real beneficial to us. And now because of those slimey Seattle lame-asses, we don't have either tour! We're still playing in Europe with Maiden which'll be cool. Well, now the plans are for us to do another headlining US leg in August with SPOCK'S BEARD as our opening act which will be a great tour and alot of fun for everybody that didn't get to witness this great bill in Europe.” Yikes…

John Corabi has joined Ratt as a touring guitarist.

September 12 will see the release of “The Best OfSoul Asylum.

House Of Lords, with James Christian and Gregg Giuffria, has reformed. More as it comes in.

One Way Records will be reissuing many melodic rock classics including: The Babys (Babys, Broken Heart, Head First, On The Edge/Union Jacks), Missing Persons (Rhyme & Reason, Color In Your Life), Poco (Live), Producers (Producers/You Make The Heat), Red Rider (Anthology) and John Waite (Ignition, No Brakes, Mask Of Smiles, Rovers Return).

Tonight you can chat with the “Dream Weaver” himself, Gary Wright at Yahoo!.

How cool is it that Vertical Horizon’s Everything You Want” is the number 1 song in America?

Le Roux has issued “AOR Live”, a live collection recorded during their AOR-ish “So Fired Up” period.

Noteworthy New Releases:

EVERCLEAR - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1
KANSAS - Somewhere To Elsewhere
STEVE MORSE - Major Impacts
MÖTLEY CRÜE - New Tattoo
THIN LIZZY - One Night Only

Moldy Oldys:

[What’s kicking old school on the SFK Deck O’ Death this week:]
Styx – Edge Of The Century, REO Speedwagon – The Earth…, John Talieri – Leap Of Faith, Vertical Horizon – Everything You Want, Grateful Dead – American Beauty

Kurt’s Picks:

Everclear – Learning How To Smile, Capitol, 2000
[Similarities: Cheap Trick, Foo Fighters, Enuff Z’nuff]
I was not prepared for this at all. I’ve always liked Everclear’s singles but their albums always struck me as a little dark (and filler laden to be honest). But Art Alexis and his trio have whipped up an infectious and classic collection of twelve songs, all potential singles. Songs like the incredible “Am Radio”, “Unemployed Boyfriend” and “Wonderful” have ruled my car stereo since the day I got this and their cover of Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl” has to be heard to be believed. In the best cover song tradition, the band has broken down the original and rebuilt it in their own signature and the result is pretty spectacular. Think back to any of Everclear’s recent hits (like “Father Of Mine” or “Santa Monica”) and then picture an entire album filled with songs like that. Brilliant…

House Of Shakira – III, MTM, 2000
[Similarities: Journey, Styx, Pretty Maids]
I must admit that even before I spun this disc, the song titles sort of threw me as they are odd and don’t quite fit the songs sometimes. But considering that’s about the only complaint I can register here, things are good. Filled with a nice mixture of arena anthems, mid-tempo AOR and even some pretty heavy hard rock, the variety goes far to keep this interesting beyond the initial spins. Though the straight ahead arena rock of “In Your Head”, “Unspoken” and the monster “Miracle” are my faves here, songs like the Zep-like “Black And Blue Skies” or the acoustic ballad “Splitted [sic] Hairs” are also tasty and round out the experience. With huge choruses and equally as big melodies, this borders on essential. Pick this up along with their recently released “Best Of 2” and you may need no other CDs for quite a while…

Lynyrd Skynyrd – Then And Now, CMC, 2000
[Similarities: .38 Special, Molly Hatchet, The Outlaws]
I’m at a loss to explain the rationale behind this release. It’s simply a compilation of the two live albums they released in 1998 and 1999. Yeah, musically this sounds and plays great (Johnnie Van Zant has proved he can do the job vocally) but really…this is nothing more than a cheap cash in attempt. All the typical tracks are here and fans probably have those mentioned live shots. Casual fans probably have one of the hits discs and don’t need this. This reeks on Kiss/Harem Scarem levels of screwing the fans.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – Live 12.23.78, Phoenix Gems, 2000
[Similarities: Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, John Eddie]
Having had the fortune to see this act live a number of times all I can say is that this live platter perfectly captures the band in their element. They are easily one of THE best live shows I can remember…100% blood, sweat and tears rock and roll. Packed with Jukes classics like “This Time It’s For Real”, “Love On The Wrong Side Of Town” and “This Time Baby’s Gone For Good” this is Jersey bar rock at it’s finest recorded at the Paradise Theater in Boston. Bon Jovi fans, right here is everything Jon wishes to be and where he draws 99% of his inspiration. One minor complaint, the horns seem to be a little too loud in the mix but other than that, everything is perfect.

(Re)Views From The Hill:

Samantha 7: s/t, Portrait
[similarities: Guns & Roses, Quireboys, LA Guns]
CC Deville has recovered from his heroin addiction with his sense of humor in tact. Because S7 is a trashy humorous romp through the streets of LA. The self-titled album by his 3-piece is by far the best thing CC has been remotely involved with since the second Poison album. He sings and plays guitar on his 11 track, perky CD, lasting on a bit under 30 minutes. Funny thing is, CC does not have a half-bad voice. Because of its brevity, there is no filler, no fluff and no also-rans. Night Ranger’s Jack Blades produced this album, and he did a great job at giving it that fun feel.

From the cheeky opener "Framed" you know this is gonna be something different. It is nothing like Poison. The punky glam attitude is infectious. "I wanna be Famous" is another corker about the quest for fame and fortune, the lyrics are pretty damn humorous for this brief romp.  "Slave Laura" is a punked up Cheap Trick-like tale of one perverted chick.  Things slow down for "Cover Girl" , they get a bit distorted as well. While its not a ballad, its haunting guitar solo reminds me of LA Guns "Ballad of Jayne."  I have to point out that this stuff is damn catchy as well, reminding me of the reason I liked the first Poison album.  These songs seem to permeate the mind and stick there.

"Golden Days" reminds me of Weezer at their best. Punky edges but very accessible for the non-punk fan. In the solo, midway through the track you can see some signs of the CC of old.  "Good Day" is a great laugh, with hilarious lyrics, and one that I will remember next time I am suffering from writers block. It has that "recorded" in the bedroom feel that gives a goofy charm. "Bury Me" is a bit modern sounding, with a lot of yelling, and whinny guitars. It is probably one of the weakest of the tracks.  "Bonnie Bradley" is pure Cheap Trick, as sung by a bunch of teenage brats. Another funny track. "Seane Girl" is a rather amusing trick-like track, mentioning the hip playground of LA, Silverlake.  The CD ends with song featuring famous rock & roll streets in LA: Hollywood & Vine and of course Sunset Boulevard. It’s another ode to fame and the movie business.  H&W is a great way to end the album, including its "Somewhere over the Rainbow" outro.

It is clear from this outing that Samantha 7 would be one hell of a blast to see live.  If CC gets time away from his other gig to tour, make an effort to these guys.  I am willing to be it will be a hell of a lot more fun than Poison 2000.  S7 is pure LA summer fun, might not have the legs of  some other albums, but you surely wont hate it after the summer is over. – Marty

Fair Warning: 4, Frontiers
[similarities: Jekyl & Hyde, Savannah, TNT, Zeno]
The perennial "big in Japan" these guys have been the darlings of fans of Scandi-Hard Rock since their debut.  This talented quartet of guys don’t really push the boundaries of rock music, but they do what they do damn well. I defy any AOR fan not to be hooked by most of the tracks on the 13 song CD.  Sing along choruses, reaching guitar, and  heart felt lyrics, don’t you just love it?

The first song to really leap out at the listener is the simply awesome "Break Free", which will have you singing the choruses by the end of verse two. Soaring guitar and vocals combine for a power ballad extraordinaire.  "Dream" starts right from the beginning with group nah-nahs, before the guitars, keyboards and  vocals kick in to a great effect., with another great sing along chorus.

"I fight" is a keyboard laden rocker, that has Whitesnake and Bon Jovi vibes, but retains some originality. Very much the anthemic rocker, it is sure to go down great live. As would expect from this sort of track, there is a great duel between the keyboard and guitar at the midway point. Keyboards fill the next track as well, a song with a very House of Lords feel. This track has a nice acoustic guitar that plays along with the vocals at first. "Time will Tell" is a great mid-tempo track, that  really grabs your ear.

"Eyes of Love" is a great rock track, with sweeping vocals and a great chorus. More of the keyboards of the former three tracks, but more for depth that in the front.  Yet again Andy Melecek adds his solo in the right spot at the right moment.  "Find my Way" has a distinct new country feel to it, you could almost imagine Shania Twain turning it into a hit. A big chorus, catchy melody, and great back-up vocals, give it a bit of a Queen like feel. There really aren’t any clunkers on this one.

This is a great album, that is well worth the price of admission. It takes a few tracks to kick into gear (they aren’t bad just not as good as the rest of it).  Fair Warning continue their track record of damn good albums. - Marty

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):


Reader profiles:

Name: Peter Edwardson

Place where you live: Stockport, Cheshire, England

Age: 41 (it may seem f*ckin' ancient, but it's still younger than Madonna or Sharon Stone)

Favorite Artist: Heart

Favorite Song: More Than a Feeling - Boston

Favorite Ballad: Listen to Your Heart - Roxette

10 Albums You'd Bring If Stranded On A Desert Island:

(in strictly alphabetical order of artist)
Reckless - Bryan Adams
The Crossing - Big Country
Boston - Boston
Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
Heart - Heart
Broadsword and the Beat - Jethro Tull
Four Symbols - Led Zeppelin
Look Sharp - Roxette
Signals - Rush
90125 - Yes

Website: (covers various topics besides music, but please take a look)

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



Subject: Good news and bad news
The good news is you made my day with your review of Sister Hazel's Fortress. I had heard the single, "Change Your Mind", and really liked it.  Your review prompted me to pick up the CD.  It's great.  Quite a mix of song types, from pure pop to southern rock.  There's even an honest to goodness guitar solo in the song "Surreal".  I haven't heard one of those in a mainstream album in quite a while.  As an added bonus, I picked up my copy at Best Buy and it included a second CD with two live tracks.  The tracks were a crowd sing-along version of "All For You" and "Wanted It To Be", both from the first album.

Now the bad news.  Like you, I thought Hey Album! from Marvelous 3 was one of the best, if not the best, album of 1999.  I was eagerly awaiting the new album, "ReadySexGo".  I had downloaded MP3 samples of some of the early demos and they sounded great.  After reading SFK last week, I went to the Elektra site to listen to three of the final tracks in RealAudio.  Two of the tracks were just average, but since it was my first time hearing them I didn't think too much of it.  It was the third track, "Grant Park", that really disappointed me.  This was a great demo track, but the final version has lost much of the kick.  The sound mix has really been muddied, and the vocals have been redone to downplay the harmonies.  In addition, Butch now sounds like he is trying to growl his way through the song as opposed to singing it.  Don't get me wrong, I still think these guys are better than 99% of the bands out there today.  I just think they may have gotten some bad advice from their record company or some of the "special guests" on the new album.  We certainly don't need another Lit or Buckcherry clone.  I'll reserve final judgment until the whole album comes out.  Hopefully, I'm jumping to the wrong conclusion.

From: Mark A Pyskoty

Subject: Mitch Easter Site
Hope you don't mind my brazen ways...just thought that you guys might be interested in my humble endeavor at this web-page's been a HELL of a long time comin' and WAY overdue...I LOVE THE GUY!


Thanks for keeping up with all the music like you do...I'm sure that burnout can come easy, esp if alot of the stuff you hear is just pompous crap. But, fortunatly, there is alot of good music out there.

That brings me to Storyteller...I got this CD last week, adn haven't had it out of the CD player in my car.....incredible, and amazing are the two words that come to mind! I have heard people make the comparisons to Giuffria, or House of Lords (gee, wonder what's the connection between those two bands?!?!?!)....and I have to agree that much of the keyboard work could have easily fitted into HoL's debut....but then in comes Jerome Story's vocals, and I, too , have been trying to figure out who he resembles. Well, the best that I can come to, is that he is a cross between a mellower Johhny Giolli (sp?) of Hardline (and various other projects), and Iva Davies for Icehouse. Jerome definitely has the vocal range, and can certainly give feeling to the songs. The only disappointment of the whole CD, is the fact that there are no true AOR radio stations out there to give this masterpiece it's due on the airways. We're too inundated with overproduced, poorly written crap anymore, that people have forgotten what music's become, as so many items in our society, disposable. Fortunately, a group like Storyteller comes along for those of us who enjoy the real aspect of music, the melody.

Cudos to Mr. Story and Mr. Teller, et al., for a most wanted CD.....I look forward to more of their work!

From: "80schild"

Subject: Courtney love article on the recording industry
hey kurt, this article is awesome..

From: "80schild"

Subject: Poison in Massachusetts
I saw Poison in Massachusetts at Great woods last night and they rocked! Heres the skinny:

Parking lot: had a few beers and some burgers with some cool people. This is always the best part of the show. I also got a tye dye Poison shirt for 15 bucks. The shirts inside were 32 Bucks!!!!!!!!! (hint: go to their website:  and shirts are 19.95..) We had seats in row 22, center..

Slaughter: It was like my 8th or 9th time seeing them. The best part about this time was that they finally started playing electric versions of their ballads. Every time I have seen them since 92 they have done parts of all their ballads as 1 acoustic song. I really like Spend my life on electric. They did seem to drag out fly to the angels a little bit but the rest of the crowd didn't seem to mind.

Dokken was next. They never did anything for me and they didnt do anything for me last night. I guess the guitarist from Winger took over for George Lynch. 2 people next to us only came to see Dokken and left when they found out he wasn't playing. They played for about a half an hour.

Cinderella: They were awesome. They stuck to their hits and played the same set that they did 2 years ago when I saw them at a small club in mass. They aren't the most energetic band but their southern brand of glam rock is all right with me. I always wonder how tom keiffer still has a voice after hearing him sing..They played for an hour.

Poison came on and the place was packed. All the seats were full and the first few rows on the lawn was full. There were more people at the show this year than there were last year! They opened with Look what the Cat dragged in and all kinds of pyro. What an opener. CC was totally awesome. He totally hams it up and doesn't stop moving. I also have to say that as a drummer I become more and more impressed with Rikki Rocket every time I see them. They played 2 new songs: Power to the People and I hate every bone in your body but Mine. CC plugged his solo act: Samantha 7 during the show. He said: "please go out and by the album cause poisons not paying me a dime for this tour, Just kidding.." Bret screwed up every rose halfway through and started over, then his guitar went out of tune and he went backstage to get a new guitar. He was saying how bad he sucked and he would apologize for it by coming back next summer and playing longer. He also mentioned something about doing a home video. I just wish Poison would play longer. 1 hour and 20 mins just isn't enough..During rock and roll all nite about 100 people got on strage and ran around. There was no security. It was crazy. They then closed with Talk dirty to me. Here is the setlist that I can remember:

look what the cat dragged in, Your mama dont dance, power to the people, Rikki solo, something to believe in, CC Solo, I hate every bone in your body but mine, Fallen Angel, Let it play, Every rose has its thorn, Unskinny bop, Nothin but a good time, Rock and roll all nite, Talk Dirty to me

All in all, it was awesome. It's nice to hear 5 consecutive hours of bands I like rather than some of the other festivals going around. If you do buy a shirt, get the red Poison one that says: Best hair metal band in the world. Do you have a fucking problem with that? That about sums it up for me...