Saturday, July 20, 2019

EUROVISION: THE FIRST AND THE BEST MOONWALK

Today of all days it is a good reason to remember this pearl from the national finals, one of the best ever. If only Laura went solo to Eurovision with this runner up rather than shouting along with other Suntribe girls Estonia would have most likely moonwalked to the final and who knows how high in there... 
That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

FINLAND: NEW SOUNDS FROM ARTTU WISKARI, RESSU REDFORD ft. PYHIMYS, ANTTI KETONEN, DJ OKU, HESAÄIJÄ, DANNY, ERIKA WIKMAN

One of the season's biggest radio hits. A song about Finland with a lot of "ifs"
80's teenage heartdrop & 90's superstar joins forced with the coolest rapper of the moment
Trying to repeat his 2018 success when he had the most played song in the radios
Today's humor poprap meets Danny who's been in business decades before his featured girlfriend was even born....


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

EUROVISION 2020: IT'S ROTTERDAM VS. MAASTRICHT

Rotterdam started as a front runner the race as the host for Eurovision song contest 2020 but then came Maastricht with its bid and presentation and is now really challenging Rotterdam. As the Dutch broadcasters dismissed the other candidates, we now have to wait for the EBU delegation to have a visit to both of these cities and be introduced to the venues and intended opening ceremony, red carpet, Eurovision village and other venues as well as the overal plan and idea of the 2020 contest....

Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands and its history goes back to 1270 while it's a city since 1340. It's also Europe's biggest port with a population of about 635.000. The city center was nearly completely distroyed in the World War II and today its skyline is heavily marker by skyscrapers and some very original modern architecture. Rotterdam also has the oldest metro in the Netherlands, it opened in 1968 and today it has five lines.
Today it's also a very multi ethnic city with only half the population being of Dutch origin with large communities of people from Surinam, Turkey, Morocco, Dutch Caribbean, Capo Verde and Indonesia. 
Rotterdam's Ahoy is the chosen venue. Originally opened in 1971 it has been renovated and expanded several times, last in 2011. It has hosted besides many sporting events Junior Eurovision song contest in 2007 and MTV Music awards in 1997 and in 2016. The main arena has a seating capacity of 16.426 and the other two halls 6.000 and 4.000. Ahoy is another example of sriking architecture of Rotterdam and has won several awards for it. 

Maastricht lies in the deep south of the Netherlands sandwiched between Belgium and Germany. Originally maybe a Roman settlement it's today the capital of Limburg province with 122.000 inhabitants, best known for the Maastricht Treaty and as the birthplace of euro. It's second only to Amsterdam with its 1677 national heritage buildings. People have lived there since the Neanderthals, later came Celts, then Romans. Today the city has large German, Belgian and Indonesian populations among others. 
Compared to Rotterdam Maastricht lacks a large scale airport and the proposed venue MECC Maastricht may not as ready to use as Ahoy. It was opened in 1988 and expanded in 2000, while another one is apparently on going in the congress areas (2019-2021). The total capacity is said to be 20.000. 

I still support Rotterdam, it just feels ready and well prepaired for it in every way....

Friday, July 12, 2019

ITALY: MARCO MENGONI AND ELISA STAR IN THE LION KING

Marco Mengoni is Simba, and Elisa Nala in the remake of Disney's The Lion King in its Italian version. The version follows the success of Disney's non-animated covers of their most famous animated films, a winning concept that has won at least this blogger over (Aladdin was fabulous!)
Marco Mengoni, who celebrates his 10th anniversary in business this year has been touring Italian arenas this spring-summer with his Atlantico tour, and will continue in November. His fifth studio album Atlantico that came out last November has sold already double platinum and topped the Italian album charts with four singles released so far. Now the success continues certainly as Simba. Can you feel the love tonight?

FINLAND: NEW SOUNDS FROM SANNI, JVG, OLAVI UUSIVIRTA, LEO

Sanni replaced JVG as #1 in the album chart
Video has Mika Häkkinen, former F1 world champ in it
Yet another radio hit for the one who's at his best live on stage
Young, pretty and free. 
Younger and prettier Mikko Leppilampi? Mikko's ex replaced him with Leo...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

FINLAND: PART-TIME DIVA ANNELI SAARISTO TURNS 70

La dolce vita, life has been so sweet and wonderful.... so she sung in Lausanne 1989 Eurovision and scored 7th place, one of Finland's rare successes against all odds and changed her career. "It was a jackpot" she tells to Helsingin Sanomat in an interview this May. 
"I was so nervous, I felt I am about to die" she recalls. "There's a photo taken just before going on stage ans I look like a standing mummy. In a post-performance photo I look like a 8-year-old schoolgirl who managed to sing pretty and gets praise from her mom" she laughs. 
Anneli Saaristo was no stranger to great public in Finland before La Dolce Vita, but Eurovision and doing well opened her new doors and major success. Her album sold gold and she got gigs as many as she could do, she was all over the press. It was a question of faith she says now. Had she failed and done bad her career might have been over, like so many other artists back in the day.
She looks back Eurovision with joy and says she only gained from it. In 1989 things were different and she was sent off to Lausanne pretty much alone with her backing group and conductor. Her friend who acted as her hairdresser paid her own trip and for the rest she had to do pretty much all alone. She says she's happy to see the artists today get more support and back up.
La Saaristo tells she's a part-time Diva. When she's on stage she wants to take care of her hair, make up and dress up accordingly. When singing to war veterans she likes to wear blue and white in honor of the colors of Finland for example, and she's known for flashy dresses and not so sober looks on stage. "It's respecting the audience" she says. "I come from a very poor family, I didn't have many dresses in my childhood". But in private she's like any of us. "I can go to market with bad hair and go shopping without make up. It'd be crazy to put on make up just to go and buy milk! Some people though seem to have a twisted idea of artist's life. I do my own taxes and stuff. I live a normal life like anybody. Being artist doesn't mean one's life is glamourous and fabulous and one is rich!"
She has been performing for 50 years now and still wants to find something new to all her tours, and she's also known for her humourous speaks between her most loved songs like Kuutamon poika, Appelsiinipuita aavikkoon and Evakon laulu. Singing those she becomes also a storyteller. She gets into her songs so much when singing that her concerts that can last for hours are emotionally draining for her. 
At 30 she had to choose between family and kids or career. She chose career. "Some people manage to have both, I couldn't." She doesn't quite understand people who for example freeze their eggs for a later better time to have kids. "It's an attempt to control life, but everyone can do whatever they want. Life will slap you in the face later then perhaps". She's still waiting for a man to come into her life but says men are afraid of powerful strong women. "It's infurieting. Men want to protect women but what's there to protect of a woman who can protect herself? But people have a need to love. Love is love and it's always there. I see it in elderly homes where I often sing. Life is a gift. Every second counts. And I will sing as long as I feel I shine. When I am too tired to shine I quit."
She declares herself as an Eurovision fan and has been following since 1961 when Finland debuted. "Today there are too many singing competitions, Idols and all, but Eurovision still has its charm, it's unique and worthy. Past year's I have been stunned by Conchita Wurst and Salvador Sobral. He just walked there in his oversized jacket, sung his great Portuguese love song with no thrills or show and won!" As usual, she gathered with friends to watch the show this year, too, with good food and drinks, and points scores ready - just like any common fan!
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