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·        Respect The Elders.

·        Embrace The New.

·        Encourage The Impractical and Improbable, Without Bias.

 - David Fricke”

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 Editor and head Stooge - Kurt Torster

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Carrie Borzillo (All Star Daily News)
DJ Klaus Brandlhuber (RockTracks)
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)

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Kurt's Krap:

After last week’s huge issue, I gotta wonder…was it a little too much? I had NO idea it would have ended up so big like that. But then I thought the world was supposed to end last Friday with the planets aligning and all so I figured we’d go out with a bang.

After a little informal polling from last week, seems everyone is against ratings, as one person put it “I prefer to let you try to convince me to either buy or stay away from the CD without having to fall back on some sort of false rating system.”

Also, many were excited about seeing Dave Reynolds helping us out here. Now, Dave won’t be contributing weekly but he will try and throw things our way as much as possible and we’re jazzed as all hell about it.

Finally, SFK is YOUR newsletter and I’m always open to any suggestion on how to improve things. Is there anything you want to see? Charts? Album cover graphics? Lemme know.

News Bytes:

Metallica has really kicked it up a notch in its fight against Napster. Apparently the band has delivered a list of close to 335,000 names to lawyers in an effort to stop the sharing of their music. Napster fired back this quote, "we will review the over 300,000 fan names that Metallica turned in as soon as possible. If the claims are submitted properly, the company will take the appropriate actions to disable the users Metallica has identified. Of course, if the band would provide the names in computerized form, rather than in tens of thousands of pages of paper intended to create a photo op, that would expedite the process." Metallica also doesn’t help their cause when Lars becomes so pompous and arrogant as to say, "for the doubters out there, Metallica will carry on for the next 20 years. Whether you're around for the ride or not, that's your problem, not ours."

I hate to play devil’s advocate, but I actually side with the band on this one. Sure they’re going about it all wrong, but they are not in this business for free. Where does it end really? Why do we suddenly expect to not have to pay for music? Just because it’s there and available doesn’t make it right. I have plenty of MP3s and CD’s made from them, but the majority of what I have downloaded is simply not readily available. But given the chance, I would rather have the real thing every time…

Speaking of all this MP3 nonsense, I should have mentioned this earlier, but Andrew over at MelodicRock has two discs worth of legal MP3s (including Rick Springfield, Nelson and many more) in honor of one million web hits, and great stuff it is. Check it out.

Rick Springfield’s upcoming live album may be delayed by a month or two. Rick is also batting around the idea of an acoustic greatest hits disc as well as a rarities sort of set. Anyways, the tracklisting for “Alive” is: Affair Of The Heart, I've Done Everything For You,  Alyson,  Don't Talk To Strangers,  I Get Excited,  Love Somebody,  April 24 / My Father's Chair (Studio Live Recording),  Medley,  Free,  State Of The Heart,  Human Touch,  Jessie's Girl,  Love Is Alright Tonite,  Living In Oz,  Kristina and  All Day And All Of The Night.

This bit of news now makes Metal God a MUST SEE movie, from Mr. Showbiz: Squeaky-clean Jennifer Aniston is apparently rockin' in the moral-free world on the set of her new movie. The Friends actress just finished filming a steamy orgy scene for Metal God, in which she gets down and dirty with a transsexual castmate during a drunken night with her on-screen lover, Mark Wahlberg.

The next Ten album is titled “Babylon” and will be out in July. Tracks: The Stranger, Barricade, Give in this Time, Love Became the Law,  Dawn Star (Into the Blue), The Heat, Silent Rain, Timeless, Black Hearted Woman, Thunder in Heaven and Valentine.

Much like MTV spawned M2, VH-1 is now spawning VH-1 Classic, a new channel set to debut later this month. The channel will specialize in the music and media of the late 60s and early 70s.

The official Billy Joel website has been re-launched.

Joan Osborne has signed with Interscope (I thought they were all gangsta) and will release her latest album, which was to be shelved by Mercury, in September.

Roxette will be performing “I Wish I Could Fly” at the World Music Awards on Wednesday. They will also be accepting an award for Best Selling Swedish Act of 1999. Also performing of SFK interest at the awards show is Goo Goo Dolls.

Z Records have signed Von Groove to a three album deal within Europe. The band will also headline the Z-2001 fest on May 6th of next year. The bands first release for Z will be "Three Faces Past", an acoustic best of with the following tracks: House Of Dreams, Better Late Than Never, Rainmaker, Lady Blue, The Snake, Tonight We Rock N Roll, Tell It To Me, Fooling Yourself, Vision Of Love and Cold To You.

The Posies will release a live acoustic album later this summer and plan to release a rarities disc towards the end of the year.

Sebastian Bach will spend his summer on Broadway in the lead role of Jekyll And Hyde. He takes over June 13 with the current lead, one time AORster Jack Wagner finishing up June 11. Tix range from $45 to $80 and you can catch it at the Plymouth Theater.

Ty Tabor offers this description on his upcoming solo disc, “it’s Pink Floyd meets Lindsey Buckingham meets the Beatles.” The new King’s X disc meanwhile is titled “Please Come Home Mr. Bulbous” and due out July 11.

Babylon AD’s website is reporting that their latest, “American Blitzkrieg” is due on July 4. The band also has plans to release a DVD of videos and live performances.

Dokken’s upcoming “Live From The Sun” video will contain three bonus acoustic tracks of “Will The Sun Rise”, “Walk Away” and “Dream Warriors”.

UK’s Q Magazine recently held a poll for the best album of all time. The results were rather interesting (and for me, hard to disagree with #1):

1. Revolver, Beatles
2. OK Computer, Radiohead
3. Exile on Main Street, Rolling Stones
4. London Calling, the Clash
5. A Hard Day's Night, Beatles
6. Astral Weeks, Van Morrison
7. Beatles (White Album), Beatles
8. (What's the Story) Morning Glory?, Oasis
9. Blue Lines, Massive Attack
10. Never Mind the Bollocks, Sex Pistols

Pollstar has announced dates for the touring trio of 80s rockers Wang Chung, Missing Persons and Flock Of Seagulls.

Megadeth have already recorded eight songs for a new album.

Look for The Alarm to reissue all their past catalog under the name of “The Alarm 2000 Collection”, remastered and filled with B-sides (which the band was one of the true pioneers). What’s even cooler, Mike Peters will personally record and dedicate an acoustic track of your choice to anyone who buys the complete collection (which also comes with a disc of unreleased material not on any of the others).

Vickie Sue Robinson died last week of cancer at age 45. Though primarily known for her disco smash “Turn The Beat Around”, she was also a backup session singer working with many New York area artists including Kiss, Desmond Child and Michael Bolton.

Look for a 3 CD career spanning Heart box set soon that will be packed with unreleased demos, live tracks and all their hits. VH-1 is also planning a movie on the sisters’ lives.

A rather interesting site at RockForever (the Internet Home Of Classic Rock), which features news on many vocalists including Jimi Jamison (Survivor), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Mickey Thomas (Starship), John Cafferty, Southside Johnny, Bobby Kimball (Toto), Larry Hoppen (Orleans), Ben Orr (The Cars), Joe Lynn Turner and Dave Jenkins (Pablo Cruise). The group tours occasionally as well under the name The Voices.

Brian Wilson fans can grab his “Live At The Roxy”, which will be sold exclusively through his website. Those who were in attendance at the show included members of Bon Jovi, The Cars and The Knack.

June & the Exit Wounds will be making their first Chicago area appearance on June 22 at Schuba's as part of a Parasol Night.

There’s a rumor that Kiss has been dropped by Mercury and that’s the reason “Alive IV” didn’t get a release. The band recently had to apologize to the town of Greenville, SC as a technician had labeled the town Greenfield on the tele-prompters.

Another artist rumored to have been dropped is Sammy Hagar from MCA. He still plans to release his “Ten Thirteen” on October 13. The album started out originally as Sammy laying down two new tracks for a now shelved compilation, but thinks the songs turned out well enough to base a whole album on.

The upcoming Ian Hunter box set will feature a track with Def Leppard helping on a live version of “All The Young Dudes”.

Fair Warning will be opening the German leg of the latest Status Quo tour. FW has parted ways with guitarist Andy Malecek and has been replaced by ex-Viva axeman Kai Reuter. The band also has a new drummer in Athanasios "Zacky" Tsoukas.

Street Legal will be opening for Dare and Thin Lizzy for a set of shows in Holland.

Ex-Mr. Mister vocalist Richard Page has reemerged handing the leads on the new John Tesh single (?!?) for “When She Loved Me”.

The awesome Rhino Records has brought back their musical aptitude test. May 17 you can participate in the search for the biggest musical geek of 2000. That person will win everything the label ever has and will release for the rest of their lives.

That new Britney Spears album features a track written by Shania Twain with husband Mutt Lange titled “Don’t Let Me Be The Last To Know”. This follows news that Richard Marx contributed songs for the new N*Sync album. Shania meanwhile is on the verge of having the biggest selling album of all time, closing in on The Eagles Greatest Hits”.

Sony will be releasing a live album from Loverboy titled “Live Loud And Loose”. Tracks include: Working For The Weekend, Lucky Ones, Lady of the 80's, Take Me To The Top, Jump, This Could Be The Night, Dangerous, Lead A Double Life, When Its Over, Queen Of The Broken Hearts, Lovin' Every Minute Of It, Hot Girls In Love, Turn Me Loose and The Kid Is Hot Tonite.

Does anyone care that Tommy Lee (the anti-Michael Jackson? Get it? Jacko kept getting whiter and Tommy keeps getting…ah nevermind) and Pammy have split again? Andrew over at MelodicRock has some interesting bits from Union vocalist John Corabi about his days in Da Crue.

Some new websites for you: Rubber is dedicated to the band formerly known as Harem Scarem while Fioreweb is brand new site, personally supported by Jon Fiore.

Third Eye Blind will release an 50 minute EP (isn’t that basically a full album?) later this year with all unreleased material.

Still holding out hope for a Winger reunion? (well, I’m sure some of you are!) Seems that Kip is reluctant to reform the band thanks to all the bashing they received.

Some dates for Mike Tramp:

May 9th - Obsessions - Randolph, New Jersey

May 10th - Lucky Dog Cafe - Worcester MA

May 11th - The Station - W Warwick RI

May 12th - City Limits - Waterbury CT

May 13th - Beach Club Cafe - Salisbury, MA

May 14th - John's - Philadelphia PA

May 17th - Daytonas - Pasadena, Maryland

May 18th - Opera House - Rome, Georgia

May 19th - The Station - Orlando FL

And some tour dates for Nelson:

May 17th in Victorville, CA (Canned Food Drive)

June 9th in Springfield, VA 

June 10th in Indianapolis, IN

June 16th in Petaluma, CA 

July 11th in Peoria, IL

July 21st in Uncasville, CT

July 22nd in Susanville, CA 

August 1st in Turlock, CA 

August 5th in Jackson, NJ 

August 6th in West Allis, WI

August 9th in Point Pleasant, WV 

August 10th in Napa, CA

August 12th in Ventura, CA

August 24th in Louisville, KY

September 2nd in Nashville, TN

September 9th in Olathe, KS

Noteworthy New Releases:


Moldy Oldys:

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

Material Issue – Freak City (holy shit Batman! These guys are awesome! Enuff Z’nuff fans…check em out), Dramarama – The Best Of, The Spinners – The Very Best Of, KC & The Sunshine Band – 25th Anniversary Collection, Seals & Croft – Greatest Hits, Robert Plant – Best Of (personal mix)

Kurt’s Picks:

All Star United – International Anthems For The Human Race, Essential, 1998
[Similarities: Enuff Z’nuff, The Loveless, Gladhands]
This is hands down one of the most enjoyable and pleasurable CD’s I ever laid my ears on. Their sound is really hard to nail down though. They play a sort of hard pop that reminds me of a modern day Bay City Rollers, maybe with a little bit more of a crunch. One song after another pours out of your speakers and gets you grinning from ear to ear as you will wallow in the sheer pop delight of it all. Though opener “Welcome To Our Big Show” is loud and brash, the rest is all ear candy. From the horn infused “Popular Americans” and “Everything Will Be Alright” to the early 80s pop vibe of “International Anthem” and the witty pop culture reference filled “Superstar” to even the slower paced John Waite-like “Thank You, Goodnight” and “If We Were Lovers” (my favorite here), this band glides through styles effortlessly. With a dead on perfect production and Ian Eskelin’s perfect vocals, there’s not much else I could say (other than they are a Christian band…but you would never know it without really delving into the lyrics). Pop perfection.

Little Steven – Born Again Savage, Pachyderm, 2000
[Similarities: Crown Of Thorns, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses]
This thing is an unexpectedly bone crunching stormer that borders on heavy metal, but I’ll be damned if Little Steven’s voice doesn’t practically ruin every song. His nasally whine is really irritating, especially when some of the songs are so damned good. If only Steven could have tapped his friend Jean Beauvoir to sing lead vox, this could have been a classic. Behind the powerhouse drumming of Jason Bonham and Steven’s screaming guitars, the whole album has a very gritty hard rock feel. Lyrically, everything is real cynical (must be the Jersey in him) and sound like it could have come from the pen of Don Henley. Musically, this is miles away from his boss’ (THE Boss, Bruce Springsteen) rootsy style but nonetheless passionate. Songs like the punky “Guns, Drugs And Gasoline” or the arena ready “Salvation” (which has riffs as big or heavy as anything AC/DC ever did), like most here, are good to be sure, but again, Steven really should have left the vox to someone else as it really detracts from the songs. Maybe he should have pulled a Santana and used a mixed bag of singers…it could have been huge. Just imagining people like Axl or Jon Bon Jovi or even Bruce lending their talents has me foaming at the mouth. Oh well…

Mars Electric – Beautiful Something, Portrait, 2000

[Similarities: Goo Goo Dolls, D-Generation, The Loveless]
Finally, a band that has successfully merged everything good about 80s hard rock and mixed it with everything good that emerged in the 90s…say hello to Mars Electric. The band seems to pick up all the fragments of their musical youth and combine them with a slightly modern sound to create a pretty original mix of melodic street rock. On first listen, a few songs immediately jump out. The standout rockers “Someday”, “Far Away” and “Sleep” are hits to anyone’s ears and are highly infectious and radio-ready. But scratch the surface and some other songs really get under your skin and haunt you. The ballads “Another Day” and “All The Things”, with their fluid soloing from Chris Simmons (who really shines throughout the album) and nice mix of acoustic guitars makes them easy listens. And mid-tempo poppier tracks like “Your Light” and “Just Enough” still have a dark, rough edge that gives them a sort of street cred. Greg Archilla’s production job reminds me a lot of the crisp sheen that GNR’s “Appetite For Destruction” had, where it was powerful yet everything in the mix stood out cleanly (check out the “Sweet Child”-like “Feels Like June” for proof). The band also go balls out on the sinister “I Give Up” which smokes and snarls it’s way into your head. Personally, I loved this front to back and everything in-between and try as I might I have no bad words to say. For hard rock to survive, it needs fresh blood and Portrait has taken the right step in signing ME, as I have no doubt that with just the slightest bit of promotion the band will own the charts. Hell, they even look like rock stars…(that’s gotta count for something).

Brian McDonald – Wind It Up, MTM, 2000

[Similarities: Def Leppard, Jeff Paris, Michael Morales]

BIG Mutt Lange sounding rock that’s gonna have all the AOR purists wetting themselves. Filled with big riffs, bigger keyboards and even bigger chorus hooks, MTM has themselves another winner, and to be honest, in a year already filled with some killers, this one just may top them all. Brian (who vocally resembles Steve Plunkett, though a touch smoother), along with guitarists Reb Beach and Alex Masi, with Abe Laboriel on drums seem like they had a mission to obliterate every melodic release of the past couple of years and they’ve come damned close at succeeding. While not highly original, these songs are so good that much like Def Lep’s “Euphoria”, you just don’t care…you simply sit back and enjoy. After a few spins, what stands out most in my mind is the massive harmonies on the choruses that are just dripping with melody. The songs themselves are your standard arena crunchers, with “Head Back Home” and “The Rhythm Of Money” standing out from the excellent pack. But then, another listen brings new favorites like “Words Come So Easy” or “Somewhere On The Highway”. Better yet, unlike a lot of melodic releases, these songs stick with you days after you played them. With guys like Reb and Alex doing the axe-slinging, there’s also high “air guitar” quotient here. Any low points? If I find any, I’ll let you know. Brian and his mob may have single-handedly restored my faith in the genre.

The Posies – Dream All Day, Geffen, 2000
[Similarities: Jellyfish, Gin Blossoms, Teenage Fanclub]
I’ve heard the name The Posies for many years but honestly never knew what they were all about. Suddenly I saw a review comparing them to the almighty Jellyfish and figured it was worth some further investigation. This nineteen song compilation is a perfect example of why you should never judge a band by their name (I originally thought they were punk or worse). Though they are from Seattle, they couldn’t be further away from the grunge sound of the 90s. Instead it’s primo power pop that’s smooth yet edgy. Filled with lots of jangle and plenty of hooks, it’s remarkable how a band like this slips under everyone’s radar. Hailing from a time when bands like Gin Blossoms and Green Day were ruling the rock charts, songs like “Golden Blunders”, “Dream All Day” and “Definite Door” should have followed right behind instead of being relegated to underground status. Their cover of Big Star’s “I Am The Cosmos” also gives you a good idea of where the band’s musical head is at (throw the Hollies in there too) and while faithful, adds some kick to the original. Lyrically these songs have many an intelligent play on words and show the team of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow to be descendants of the Lennon/McCarthy school of writing. All in all a solid compilation that shows that although it’s been done before, it probably hasn’t been done quite this well.

(Re)Views >From The Hill:

Aska – Avenger
[Similarities: Iron Maiden, Dio]
Whew! Finally! The guys had tried to get this "gem" to me on more than oneoccasion, but something between their post office and mine kept it from working out (there's some postal worker out there that now has the correct tunez to "go postal" with!).

Let's see...where to begin????... hmm... okay, how about here - Splendiferous?!?!? I've been fortunate enough to land a copy of each of their albums as they came out, from a friend who's an avid fan & supporter of Aska. At first, I didn't completely see the attraction, but upon giving them a few listens, I decided that what we had here was an immensely talented band, just waiting to "break out." Avenger may just be the break out album they were after. Think 2 parts Iron Maiden, 1.5 parts Ronnie James Dio, and you're heading in the right direction.

George Call & Darren Knapp, along with Keith Knight, make up the original nucleolus of this powerhouse metal band out of Dallas. (yes - that  Dallas, the one famous for rich oil barons and country music!). Damon Call has  been replaced by Jason Sweatt on drums for the new release. I don't know if it's made a large difference in the sound but they certainly come off with a lot more power now.

The production on Avenger is infinitely better than what I heard on the prior releases, though none of them was actually that poorly done – just some "holes" or "depth" problems. Musically, these guys have been honing and perfecting their metal roots.

Avenger is, at this juncture, the best heavy metal (not melodic metal, not hard rock, not aor, but HEAVY metal) album of 2k. I never liked Maiden – yet it's quite obvious these guys are in that ballpark. So why do I like these guys? Easy. The singer! The guy sounds a lot like RJD, and doesn't do nearly as much wailing and screaming as Dickenson did with Maiden. He sings, and sometimes "goes off", but never too far.

Anyone who is looking for fresh new material in the "old school" of metal, look no further. Go get this one - you will *not* be disappointed. – Mark

Therion - Deggial & Crowning of Atlantis, Nuclear-Blast Records

[similarities: Metallica [S&M], Apocalyptica, Angelica, Virgin Steele]

Is it hard rock, heavy metal, goth, Verdi or Bach with electric guitars? Well as far as I am concerned its all of these things, and it works really well.  The principals in Therion are composers who just happen to include modern instruments in their work. Despite all this you never see the band mentioned much is anything other than death/black/extreme metal magazines, thus making this band one of the criminally unseen talents of the age. There are parts in both of these albums that will satisfy the gumby death metallers granted, but these albums are oh so much more than that.

Both of these CDs are a perfect soundtrack to a night of reading fiction by the fire or during a rain storm.  Therion mix modern instruments, with a full male/female choirs and orchestra, always striking the right balance to maximise effect and minimise overindulgence. Not one of the tracks on either of these albums ever bogs down into navel gazing virtuosity, and many contain little surprises that get you every time. Christofer Johnsson and crew produce a credible collection of music that should have broad appeal in the rock community, especially after the success of Metallica’s S&M.

Deggial is Therion’s latest release. "Eternal Return", the CD’s opening track makes a definite impact on the listener with its combination of classic hard rock with heavily operatic elements.  While "Ship of Luna" is a very quiet piece that mostly uses drums, acoustic guitar and vocals to achieve a very tender appeal. "Enter Vrirl-Ya and "The Invincible" are more traditional metal ala Iron Maiden and Savatage, but with that extra element of strings and complex vocals. The "Emerald Crown" on the other hand is a harmony filled AOR track that most if not all SFK readers would find to their liking, and is not what you expect from an album that is touted in a magazine like Metal Maniacs.

The strangely titled "the Flight of the Lord of the Flies" combines elements of the Dixie Dregs, Jethro Tull and Bach with a bit of speed topped with a female choir accompaniment.  "Flesh of the Gods" is very Dokken-esque (w/George Lynch) with a bit of Loudness mixed in for good measure. "Nocturna" is rock/classical/choral inflections and everything else in between. And to top it off is "O Fortuna" which is part of the famous "Carmina Burana".

Crowning of Atlantis is their is next to last album. I have the gatefold sleeve version of the album which includes 3 live tracks as a bonus, which show the band in its live element. The title track to this album is a very catchy power rock/prog track containing a catchy bass line together with some great female choral vocals.  A corker of an opening for this album. "Mark of Cain" is another great hard rock track with more female choral vocals and is catchy as stink. "Clavicula Nox" combines some great male choral singing with a piano and drum intro.

Those into old style metal will be pleased by "Crazy Nights"  a rocker in the Accept/Judas Priest vein. "Thor" is a track more in the Helloween/Gamma Ray mode. "Seawinds’ is a mellow rock track with choir-esque female vocals, and provides a  great break in the album. Very cool with a great solo in the middle. "To Mega Therion" (live): is the track for whence the band got their name, great female and male choral vocals, with a reggae bit in the middle and some cool piano. "Black Sun" is choral metal, no more, no less.

This is a great band that deserves attention from anyone who loves great rock music. It has taken me a long time, to finally get into these guys, I feel a fool to have waited so long. Either one of these two is a great buy. - Marty

AOR Basement (Ian McIntosh):

Your know something just struck me...12 to 18 months ago all the people supposedly in the know were whispering that melodic rock was about to come back with a bang, and all the major labels were lining up to support it again. What happened? We're still exactly where we've been for the best part of 10 years, and if anything quality melodic rock is steadily getting more and more underground, not more visible.

Now I know some are going to start highlighting some of the modern pop-rock bands and holding them up as the "face of modern AOR", but until those sort of released have the same production values as some of the classic AOR releases of the last 25 years, then they're not going to cut it for me. The feel just isn't there, and even when you have pop-rock band with good guitar work, there's such a hollow feel and such a sense of throwaway values that any good effect it could have just fades away instantly. Then you get Shania Twain and Ricky Martin throwing in the old quality song to the repertoire while still reeking of being a bad cabaret act.... That's far from satisfying too.

But what's even more bizarre: get a quality melodic rock song in a prominent place in a major movie (or even more sadly a commercial), or get Aerosmith to cover it, and hey presto it's a hit and the wider music buying public is lapping it up. How come there's nothing in a similar vein to follow it up?

Maybe the talk of lots of L.A. clubs having melodic rock bands playing again is right, but it's not translating into record label signings, and there doesn't seem to a be a groundswell of popular opinion and support that you would normally see with a burgeoning underground. Something isn't quite right...

Then it hit me, the music world is just reflecting modern business society. Just 10 or 15 years ago you became a success by working hard, putting in effort and trying to do something better or be the best. Right now were in the middle of a horrible get-rich-quick cultural were you try to make a huge amount of money by duping investors and then do nothing for the rest of your life! You just have to look at all the people that have become rich by selling stock in internet companies that never have, and probably never will, made a profit to know that's right.

For me, pretentious as it may sound, quality music is an art form. But like lots of art, it can't exist without financial benefactors. However, the money markets (and record labels amount to the same thing!), don't see it that way as they're purely have a short term outlook. They want to make money quick and get out. If that remains a case for a few more years, lots of musical forms are just going to die out altogether and that will be left will insipid and stagnant.

[I feel the need to chime in here. Let’s face it people, AOR will never come back like it was and for good reason. Most of what’s out there in the purest form is sheer rehashing and recycling. Of course, it does have it’s audience, but beyond the 2000 or so internetters who read SFK or MelodicRock.Com, does it extend beyond that? Maybe…but not by much. These days I find much more satisfaction in listening to something new like Mars Electric, Venice or many of the pop bands I’ve been raving about rather than most of the AOR I hear. Sure, much of it is still pretty good but doesn’t really have “legs”. After a week or two you’d be hard pressed to remember much about them, whereas in the 80s it seemed every release was special and seemed to have a spark of life. This year we’ve had some very good releases from Danger Danger, Two Fires and the incredible (yet vastly argued) Vaughn, yet in a year from now will they still hold up as compared to classics like Aviator, Diving For Pearls or other obscurities? Only time will tell…]


From:   Oscar Montezuma Omontezuma@FAESA.COM.PE


Kurt and JOURNEY friends,

It seems that AOR legends start to consider PERU in the tour schedules. Yesterday THE OUTFIELD, that great british band that released that great 80s anthem "Your Love" played a great venue yesterday and kicked ass at 11.00 pm at Señor Frogs in Lima. They showed they are like wine, the older the better. They playlist included all their hits, "Your Love", "Say It Isnt So", and so!!!

Hope good AOR bands (i.e. Journey as Foreigner already did!) start considering PERU and South America in their tour schedules (Note: South America is not only Brazil and Argentina!!).

From: "Markus Pfeffer"

Subject: Winterland soundss

Hi!! Winterland soundfiles of the new CD are available directly at::

More info on the website,,


Subject: UltraSound 2000 Update #9 (long overdue!!!)

Well, we're just about at Ground Zero now and things are busier than ever. Our pre-party now includes Davy Vain, Mad Margritt, Las Vegas' own Kinetik (featuring former members of Exhibit Eight and vocalist Steve Plocica from Apocrypha) and Metal Blade Recording Artists Agent Steel. Exact times for each band - as well as for the "Sunday Brunch" unplugged sets - will be up on our website by early next week.

Just a note to the shows going on inside the Convention Hall: Ken Tamplin will not be able to do a full electric set and will instead do an unplugged set poolside as part of the "Sunday Brunch". His stage spot has been filled by Los Angeles band Picture Perfect.

Denver's Moore has informed us that they will be giving away an autographed BC Rich Warlock guitar at their booth - you must be present to win.

Not only is KOMP Radio involved in the show but now Tower Records / The WOW Store is also in the game. It looks like we will be doing an in store appearance for Las Vegas metal fans (and whoever else wants to come down, of course!) on Friday, May 26 before the pre-party. We should also have our very own display rack at the store with product available from the bands playing UltraSound 2000. Another store, Waves Music, will also be doing the same thing for us.

It looks as if this Sunday night, the 7th, will be UltraSound 2000 night on KOMP. Local Show host Laurie Steele will be interviewing yours truly on air and we will be spinning music from the acts playing the show.

It's really getting close to show time and I know there are several people who are planning to attend but haven't sent their registrations in yet.  PLEASE DO SO ASAP so we can get you in the Registrant's Directory and get your laminate taken care of.  May 12 IS THE LAST DAY YOU CAN REGISTER FOR $50. After May 12th - and walk up registration - is $75.

For the bands on the bill: We still need most of you to send 100 word biographies in as well as CD's for the giveaway on KOMP. If you don't get everything in then we can't include you and it would be a shame for some bands to be included and others not to be.

Anyone still needing to get ads in for the Registrant's Directory will need to take care of that IMMEDIATELY as the deadline is now here. We need to have them in no later than this Friday the 5th (Cinco de Mayo baby!!!). Please format them for Mac, .tif or .jpg is easiest for us to work with.

Those sending packages in to be included in the Grab Bag need to address them to:

Internet Worldwide Vacations / Convention Connection

1830 E. Sahara Ave


Las Vegas, NV 89104

ATTN: Mr Joseph Laskowski / UltraSound 2000

Please address them EXACTLY as listed above. If not they may not reach us and we cannot be held responsible for lost packages. The latest we can accept them is Tuesday 23 May.