Sunday, August 31, 2008

Samira Said: Ayam hayati (2008)

Listen bits of her new album here:

Samira - the girl who beat Finland

As we all know Morocco took part in the Eurovision only once, back in 1980 when Israel skipped the contest after two victories in a row. But did you notice they came second to last the last one being Finland as usual? Therefor Finland has the questionable honor of being the only country ever to have lost to Morocco (too) in Eurovision? 7-6 in points...

Anyways, Samira Ben Said who sung Bitaqat hob has made a long and very succesful career despite the result (well, so has Vesa-Matti Loiri for that matter...) and is one of the biggest names in the whole Arabic world. She has just released her 33rd album Ayam hayati after four years of silence. In 2003 she won the World Music Award as well as the BBC Award for the best album in the middle east region and some 40 other awards in the Arabic world over the years.

She has also broken taboos by talking about AIDS. She has organized concert in the suburbs of Paris after the riots, toured Gaza and other places where stars don't usually go. She has sung for Pope in Vatican - the only Arab artist - and helped earthquake victims in northern Africa.

Watch her wonderful message d'amour in Eurovision 1980 here:

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Euroviisut returns to Tampere

The Finnish final for the Eurovision song contest 2009 will be held again in Tampere instead of Helsinki on January 31, 2009. The venue has changed from Tamperetalo to Leonardi halli in Tampere Fair and Sport Centre. The final is open for public and the hall fits about 2000 people.
Tampere has hosted the Finnish final already six times (1987, 1980, 1994, 2002, 2004 and 2005).
As the previous years YLE will invite 12 artists to take part and their names will be revealed on September 25th.

Friday, August 29, 2008

A new record in Moscow 2009 - not!

Russia was aiming to organize the biggest (and best) Eurovision ever next year in Moscow but today Georgia has announced it will not go to a country that "cannot guarantee the safety of the participants and violets human rights and international laws"and has withdrawn from the Eurovision 2009. Estonia has been speculated to another one to drop out for the same reasons and who knows if there will be more? Apparently there won't be new countries next year and there seems to be no hope Luxembourg, Austria or Italy would return. Liechtenstein has started a national TV channel and might follow San Marino some time in the future but won't make it for 2009 for sure. So...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lordi's new masks revealed

Lordi's new look has been made public and will be featured with the release of the new album Deadache in October. Mr Lordi himself is now in black with paler face than before. Awa is wearing a bride's dress. Kita has a hint of Samurai in his dress and Ox has bigger horns and a new Iroquees haircut. Amen's skin on his head mostly turn away. So there you have it folks! Enjoy!

Lordi: Bite it like a bulldog (Espoo550 limited edition)

See Lordi performing it live in Imatra this summer here:

Lordi celebrates Espoo 550

Awa, Ox and Kita of Lordi created a minor chaos in Sello shopping center as part of the 550th bithday celebrations of city of Espoo. It's funny to see how their fans really come in all shapes, colors and ages from little kids to grannies.... Ox is from Espoo and therefor featured in the cover of Bite it like a bulldog of this very limited Espoo550 edition of the single that was given away 550 copies. It will not be commercially available. He has written the song with Mr Lordi. Awa Ox and Kita
... a girl like a rose!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Miodio covers Dincolo de nori

The first ever Sammarinese Eurovision artists MiOdio are heading for the Cerbul de Aur 2008 festival in Romania and for the occasion have recorded a cover version of the first ever Romanian Eurovision entry Dincolo de nori in 1994 by Dan Bittman titled Dietro le nuvole. Dan only made it to 14th but I always liked the song a lot. Listen to it on MiOdio's MySpace here:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Svante says NO to Gay pride

”The other project you are referring to is in no way connected to the Eurovision Song Contest (and) I do not see any possibilities for us to get involved", says Svante Stockselius to Nikolai Alekseev, the head of the Russian Pride organisation QX writes.
The Gay Pride will be held on the day of the final of the Eurovision song contest 2009 and the organizers were hoping to get EBU involved to ensure tranquillity and safety to the event that has been suffering the lack of both the recent years in Moscow. Yuri Luzjkov, mayor of Moscow, has described the gay parade as "satanic" and the police has just watched without interfering when marching gays have been attacked in the city.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Maria & Mikko will tango to Wonderland

Maria Lund & Mikko Ahti, the Finnish couple in Glasgow's Eurovision dance contest 2008 will dance to the most loved tango in Finland, Unto Mononen's Satumaa (Wonderland). This tango is often described as the Finnish national tango and we all know how important tango is in Finland (eat your heart out, Argentina!).
They presented their coreography in tonight's Eurotanssit 2008 show on YLE, prerecorded in Vanha, the ex-Euroclub in the heart of Helsinki. Laura Voutilainen and Janne Tulkki were also performing as well last year's EDC winners Katja Koukkula & Jussi Väänänen.
Maria & Mikko will perform in the dresses pictured here.

Laura releases a new album

Laura Voutilainen (pictured here with Maria Lund) releases a new album next week and stars in tonight`s Eurotanssit 2008 show that presents the Finnish couple Maria Lund & Mikko Ahti and their dances for Glasgow's EDC. Two songs from the album, Monta monta and Palaa have been given already to radios. For information to follow...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Hanna at Helsinki's The Night of the Arts

Hanna Pakarinen's acoustic concerts at the flagship store of Kalevala Jewelry - that she's been advertising since 2007 - were one of the over 200 events in tonight's The Nights of the Arts celebrations in Helsinki. The city is filled with music, theatre, all sort of happenings and events but Hanna filled the store three times tonight to the capacity and singing wonderfully as always. The set included classics like How can I miss you, Tears, Leave me alone and Stronger, all with acoustic versions, just Hanna and a guitar. She is best experienced live! The jewelry? Check out or

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Spain is out? Rosa is out???

It looks like Spain has dropped out of Eurovision dance contest 2008 just 17 days before the event leaving Rosa Lopez and Nieto sitting at home! Not fair. Europe's not living a celebration....

Who will follow Finland's steps? EDC no 2 is on its way

Eurovision dance contest is coming up again in less than three weeks. For the second time. UK is still hosting despite Finland winning the first edition last year like it was planned. I guess from this edition the winner gets to organize the next one? Anyways, one change is that the couples cannot be professionals so it is "one professional plus one national celebrity" dancing in Glasgow, after some protests due to the professionalism of the Finnish couple Katja Koukkula & Jussi Väänänen last year. Watch them dance here: and
Anyways, here's the running order:

Danny Saucedo & Jeanette Carlsson
Dorian Steidl & Nicole Kuntner
Patrick Spiegelberg & Katja Svensson
Eldar Dzhafarov & Anna Sazhina
Gavin O'Fearraigh & Dearbhla Lennon
Mikko Ahti & Maria Lund
Thomas Berge & Roemjana de Haan
Karina Krysko & Saulinas Skambinas
Vincent Simone & Louisa Lytton
Alexander Litvinenko & Tatiana Navka
Jason Roditis & Tonia Kosovich
João Tiago & Raquel Tavares
Martin Mroczek & Edyta Herbus
Serhij Kostetskiy & Liliya Podkopaeva
Rosa Lopez & Nieto

Lordi headlines Popkomm in Berlin

Lordi performs in Popkomm Music Fair in Berlin on October 10 being the main act. Popkomm is an annual meeting for music industry people and is visited every year by more than 10.000 music professionals and those who count. Lordi performs in K-17 club with other heavy metal acts. Germany has been very good for Lordi so far. Both Arockalypse (over 100.000 albums) and Hard rock hallelujah (over 150.000 singles) sold gold there and all their performances have been sold out events so far.

Eurovision Gala 2008 in Eskilstuna

Eskilstuna, some 100 kms from Stockholm will host the Eurovision Gala 2008 charity event on November 29. The list of participating artists is already long including Andy Scott Lee from UK, Anzej Dezan from Slovenia, Sandrine Francois from France, D'Nash from Spain, Marc Roberts from Ireland, Isis Gee from Poland, Deen from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Constantinos from Cyprus along with native Towa Carson, Richard Herrey and Jan Johansen. The list will we updated as more artists join in and you can check all the info and latest names on
Listen to Andy's Guardian angel that should have won in UK in 2005: and his latest offering here:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anouk said yes!

Anouk, the Dutch fans hope for the Eurovision 2009 has said yes, she would do it if asked. NOS what are you waiting for?
Listen here one of her ballads and here remember her biggest European hit from 1997

Monday, August 18, 2008

Lordi bites like a bulldog

Lordi will release their new single Bite it like a bulldog next week in Finland and their fourth album titled Deadache will be released on October 29 and internationally the following days in over 30 countries including USA and Japan. The album is produced by Nino Lauranne and is a bit more guitar rock oriented than the previous ones. All band members have been involved in song writing, not only Mr Lordi. "It's a mixture of experiences on the road all over the world, people we have met, with a bit of the 80's, Hammond organs. The lyrics are more horror than before" sums it up Awa.
The band will also renew their masks but those won't be revealed yet....
Their previous album Arockalypse has sold 350.000 worldwide and gold discs in Germany and Sweden. In Finland it sold over 90.000 and got triple platinum.

Anouk is the NL fan favourite for 2009

The Dutch fans had a chance to vote their favourites for the next Eurovision song contest, born from the frustration of the Netherlands missing the final once again this year. They wanted to show to NOS who they think would do well and keep the talk about Eurovision alive over the summer and stirr some controversy on the process. Here is the outcome:

1. Anouk 490
2. Within Temptation 486
3. Nick & Simon 360
3. Glennis Grace 360
5. Van Velzen 337
6. Petra Berger 320
7. Big, Black and Beautiful 317
8. Alain Clark 315
9. Ilse de Lange 271
10. Trijntje Oosterhuis 267

Some favourites did surprisingly poorly, Gerard Joling only 14th and Bearforce1 16th. Generally it is thought that both Anouk and Within Temptation are not interested on doing Eurovision so next on list is Nick & Simon who most likely are and Glennis Grace who already did once... and failed. Nick & Simon are also represanting the Netherlands in the OGAE Song contest 2008.

Within Temptation:
Nick & Simon:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Schlager Pride 2008 Stockholm

Here are finally some photos from the Schlager Pride in Stockholm a couple of weeks ago. Thanks André! This crowd eats from Lena's hand, whatever she wants to feed them.... Lili & Susie were still asking what's the color of love? Can someone tell them? And push them back to studio, please! Sanna's Empty room is still a showstopper Nicole and Hugo still fit in their outfits and can do the insane coreographyEuroband were still enjoying their lives Charlotte was back on her feet and on stage again - with questionable fashion taste... Måns Zelmerlöv still gets the crowds wild, both guys & girls! Photos by André Rangell - tack så mycket!

Sebastien triumphed - NOT

Sebastian Tellier was performing in Flow Festival in Helsinki over the weekend but didn't set the audience nor the critics on fire. No one hardly noticed he was there... Helsingin Sanomat said he rather put the audience asleep!

Eva and Peter triumphed

Eva Dahlgren and Peter Jöback performed to sold out audiences in Finland this week with their tour and got excellent reviews everywhere, especially Eva as always. Helsingin Sanomat described Thursday's extra concert almost magical as a very heavy thunderstorm hit the town while Eva doing some of her most acoustic ballad songs... Peter was a bit lost in Eva's imposing precense but he got the evening's biggest applause after singing Stockholm i natt, the Swedish entry to the OGAE Song contest 2008. As an encore they performed together Eva's classic Vem tänder stjärnorna.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Geir & Charlotte in Beijing Olympics

Geir Rönning and Charlotte Perrelli are just two of the artists performing with Robert Wells in a huge concert in Beijing during the Olympic games. The concert takes place in Xiang Yun Theather in Olympic Green, will last two hours and will be broadcasted all over the world. The group is the only western group in that engagement, the other nights in the theather there are only local stars. Robert Wells is also the composer for the official Olympic jingles that re played everytime before the programmes started, picked up from hundreds of composers... Well done!
Geir is also represanting his native Norway in the forthcoming OGAE Song contest.
See & listen Robert's Olympic jingle here:

Eurovision comes up in most unexpected places...

From Michael "Jurassic Park" Crichton's book Next. Gerard is btw a talking grey parrot.

"Life is a book, you've got to read" Gerard sung. "Life is a story and you've got to tell it..."
"I know this song," the graduate student said.
"What is it?" Henry said.
"It's Eurovision. Gerard, the tones."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Peter Jöback in OGAE Song contest

Peter Jöback, who is touring Finland this week with Eva Dahlgren is the Swedish hope in this year's OGAE Song contest with his Stockholm i natt. Have a look here:
More about OGAE Song contest 2008 later on this blog.

Schlager and Canal prides & other stuff

It's been a busy Pride season all over Europe and we all know both Eurovision and Prides are attended by same people but only Stockholm has yet managed to combine both of them with their Schlager Pride that included this year Hugo & Nicole, Dana International, Charlotte Perrelli, Lena Philipsson and Måns Zelmerlöv just to name a few.

I wasn't there but I ended up in Amsterdam and attended the Canal Pride and many Eurovision tunes were heard during that endless parade. And Marcha (NL 1985) presented Bearforce1 on stage in the party, is that enough Eurovision connection here? Bearforce1 didn't score so well in the fan voting for the NL09 represant but they were fun.
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