Tuesday, June 30, 2009

OGAE Song contest 2009: Sweden vs Spain once again? I'm with Mirela

Here it comes again. The contest Sweden has rules since its beginning. With 12 victories since 1987 Sweden is by far the most successful country in this contest where national clubs give a second chance to the songs that came second or were the fan favorite and failed to win. Or what do you say bout their record in the 2000's only: 5 victories, 2 second places and 1 third place? Spain has been very successful in the 2000's as well with 2 victories, 2 second places and 2 third places. And this year it might be another Sweden vs Spain in the end: Sweden sends Alcazar who are chasing already their third victory here, and Spain Mirela who has one of the best songs of all season 2009 in my opinion: Nada es comparable a ti. Here's the full list and all the information: http://www.sechuk.com/Sech09-1.htm
Here's Mirela: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0lEvA-PrYc and the remix of the same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vVkGLLAEI4 and here's Alcazar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22HjHuPxe8A

Monday, June 29, 2009

Countdown to Madonna: 36 days

Next three Madonna singles feature two more singles from True blue album and yet another movie track. And her 5th and 6th US number one.

Open your heart**** was Madonna's 5th US number one and number 4 in the UK. Originally written for Cyndi Lauper as Follow your heart, a rock number it ended up to Madonna who changed the lyrics and turned it into a dance number. Mexican singer Melissa released a Spanish version of the song 3 months before Madonna, and amongst the many covers there's one by Ofra Haza. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_n9F_cBNIg

La isla bonita***** was the 5th and final single from True blue and maybe its biggest hit. It went to number one most everywhere including the UK but in the US it stopped at number 4. It has also been covered by many and in different arrangements, even if for Madonna it started the string of Spanish influenced songs. Apparently the song was first offered for Michael Jackson's Bad album! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=troATUqSP8w

Who's that girl**** followed La isla bonita's success (and style) and became her 6th US number one and made it to number one in the UK as well amongst many other countries. It was nominated best movie song both in Golden Globes and Grammy Awards. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdbxgBuQTNQ

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Michael Jackson: Remember the time

The whole media world seems to be upside down for the death of Michael Jackson. I must admit I have never been a huge fan but he has made some great stuff over the past 45 years. As a fan of Motown I like best the Jackson 5 era. Here are a few videos of Michael the way I want to remember him: As the wonderkid of the Jackson 5 and one of the best videos ever made: Remember the time and my personal favourite Michael Jackson track Human nature.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orxxFaQGhxc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7T1E1aI95Ro http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_n7cftdkl0

Friday, June 26, 2009

Songs for summer: Nun te scurdà by Almamegretta

Another great song for summer: Italian, or rather Napoletan reggae rappers Almamegretta with their lead singer Raiz and a hypnotic song Nun te scurdà. The video is great - fantastic colors! - and the song sounds as fresh and exciting as it did in 1995. Have a look here:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome Afghanistan and Nepal!

My blog is nearing 175.000 visits and new exciting countries keep leaving their traces. The latest two are Nepal as 136th country and today Afghanistan as 137th. Welcome!

Countdown to Madonna: 39 days

Madonna continues with a movie track and songs from her third album True blue, and the success just grows and makes her the most famous woman in the world....

Live to tell**** became her third number one hit (and the first of three number ones from True blue album) besides being title track to her then husband Sean Penn's movie At close range. This is often considered her best ballad, and the most covered Madonna track. It was number one besides Top-100 in the US in Canada and Italy for example and number 2 in the UK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DNFnIq3L0U

Papa don't preach***** continued Madonna's reincarnation from a messy punk look to more sophisticated look and this became her second number one in the US in row and fourth one in total. It went to number one also in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Norway and UK amongst others. This song has also been covered by many other artists. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVNMB3fkJrw

True blue*** went to number one in the UK, Ireland and Canada and stopped at number 3 in the US. Madonna's look and the video was inspired by the 50's and it is a fun girly track. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuaW4mWeJ88

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Songs for summer: Human by Ari Gold

Another cover for the summer: Ari Gold continues making great music and his cover of Human League's Human is no exception. Ari is a jewish gay New Yorker, ex-child star. He has published three albums so far: Ari Gold (2001), Space under sun (2004) and Transport systems where Human is taken from. Listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKOMnShm1wQ

Monday, June 22, 2009

Countdown to Madonna: 42 days

Next three Madonna singles were from movies - Gambler and Into the groove - and the final single from Like a virgin album and one of my favorites, Dress you up.

Into the groove***** was taken from Madonna's successful movie debut Desperately seeking Susan and made it to number one in the UK and her best selling single there to date. In Europe it was added to the album, but in the States it had been already released as B-side of Angel. Into the groove went to number one in many countries, including Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy and New Zealand as well as Billboard dance charts. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0N9icqfS7g

Dress you up***** followed and made another top-5 hit all over. The fans voted it in 2003 as the 8th best Madonna track but it was not included on her Immaculate collection. In Australia it became her 6th top-10 hit within a year! No video was made for this, and in many markets it was released in special edition picture discs etc. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEO7CNByPC4

Gambler** was another Madonna song from Vision quest-movie following Crazy for you's success. This is also written by Madonna all alone. Gambler's release was messed up with so many other Madonna singles in the charts at the time but it still made it to top-10 in many countries and number 4 in the UK. This is the only Madonna single that has not been on any of her albums. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqTsP7gTPIw

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Songs for summer: Into the nightlife by Cyndi Lauper (Armand Deluxe remix)

Cyndi Lauper's latest album Bring ya to the brink includes this great track Into the nightlife. Hungarian-Italian UK based DJ/Producer Armand Deluxe has made this fantastic remix of it. Remember him, as you will be hearing more of him soon! :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mSHvwCjd4w

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Italy remembers Abruzzo this weekend

Two big charity events are taking place in Italy this weekend to help the earthquake victims in Abruzzo region. Tonight in Olympic stadium in Rome Corale per l'Abruzzo takes place with Claudio Baglioni, Fiorella Mannoia, Gianni Morandi, Lucio Dalla, Ivano Fossati, Pino Daniele, Gigi D'Alessio and Renato Zero amongst others. They promise a lot of duets between these artists. A full female cast in San Siro stadium in Milan instead (click the banner right hand side) for Amiche per l'Abruzzo tomorrow. The show starts already 2.30pm with Antonella Ruggiero, Senit, Irene Fornaciari, Simona Molinari, Chiara Canzian, Giusy Ferreri, Alessandra Amoroso, Noemi, Malika Ayane, Dolcenera, Karima, L’Aura, Arisa, Donatella Rettore, Fiordaliso, Ivana Spagna, Anna Oxa, Loredana Berté, Mietta, Anna Tatangelo, Alice, Paola e Chiara, Syria and Iva Zanicchi. A lot of duets in the programme here as well. Then a girl band made for the occasion by Nada (vocals), Carmen Consoli (bass), Paola Turci (guitar) and Marina Rei (drums) will take the stage before the main organizers of the concert will each have about 30 minutes mini concert: Fiorella Mannoia, Giorgia, Elisa, Laura Pausini and Gianna Nannini. They will also perform a song written by Nannini for the occasion: Donna d'Onna before all the artists get together to perform Lucio Battisti's classic Il mio canto libero chosen by an online poll for them.
Milano beats Rome in pre-ticket sales 50.000-20.000

Countdown to Madonna: 44 days

After Like a virgin Madonna continued with three different but very successful singles in 1985: Material girl, Crazy for you and Angel.

Material girl**** followed Like a virgin's mega success and went to number one all over the world, and made the title her nickname. Madonna has stated had she known it she may have never recorded the song! It went to number 2 in Top-100, number 1 in Dance chart and number 3 in the UK. The video is legendary reproduction of Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen prefer blonds and she also met her future husband while filming it.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3IY_Tp4Izs

Crazy for you**** was taken from the movie Vision Quest where Madonna performed it as a nightclub singer in a cameo. It went to number 1 in the US and number 2 in the UK (twice, original release in 1985 and re-release in 1991!). It was also a number 1 in Australia, Canada and Japan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqupymY5IwQ

Angel***** is one of my favorites but lesser known Madonna singles. In 1985 she had so many singles all over the charts this was shadowed by the others, I guess. In the US it featured Into the Groove on the B-side, while elsewhere Into the Groove was released separately. Some releases include Burning up on B-side. No new video was made, nor Madonna has performed this on any of her tours. Number 1 in Australia and in Dance charts, number 5 in Top-100 and UK. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjvPW_3VOiA

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iva Zanicchi vs. Rosario Flores vs. Roberto Carlos

Spanish gypsy singer Rosario Flores has a song called La distancia in her success album Parte de mi that sounded very familiar besides being a fantastic song. Indeed, it turns out to be a cover of one of Iva Zanicchi's biggest hits Testarda io. But further digging reveals Iva's is a cover of Roberto Carlos original one. Anyways, here's the female double of it from the 1970's and the 2000's and as a bonus the original Portuguese A distância by Roberto from 1972. Rosario's is a perfect song for a lazy Sunday or a hot summer evening... Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Songs for summer: Losing my religion by Colton Ford

REM's Losing my religion is one of those songs that come out most every summer in some mix or another. This year it's Colton Ford's turn and the outcome is surprisingly good. I can easily think this works in a crowded club after a hot summer day ...and after a few caipirinhas it might sound like the best track ever made (at least at that moment). Colton keeps complaining he is not taken seriously because of his porn past but would it help if he kept his clothes on for a change? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Swy9pTxacnA

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Euroviisut 2010 goes online

Tasaa kaikkiYLE made public the rules for Euroviisut 2010. Once again there will be three semifinals and and the final (January 8, 15, 22 and 30). YLE will invite with record companies 12 acts to take part, just like the past 4 years, four for each semifinal. They will be made public on September 30. Along with them them will be 3 acts from the open internet contest that will start already in October! And anyone can enter (more or less). The artist must be of Finnish nationality or living in Finland, and at least one of the writers must be a Finn as well.

One can send demos from this week until August to YLE. They will then choose the songs and artists who will take part in the preselection in the YLE's webpages on October 1-15 and people have two weeks to vote for their favorite online. The top 3 will then join the before mentioned invited artists, each for every semifinal making the total number of songs 15. Three acts from every semifinal will qualify for the final plus YLE will pick up another one as their wild card so the final will have 10 songs.

"We wanted to bring the contest to where the most of the music is in these days" says YLE's Merete Manninen. "For example Spain and Portugal has used internet to pick up their entry and it depends on the number and quality of songs we get how many will be selected this way in 2011. We are waiting for a lot of quality demos!"

Well, what can I say? Sounds pretty good, I guess. Anyways I prefer they give it a little try and not go all the way with this kind of selection. In the worst scenario we have 3 joke entries that will then each other out in the final and YLE's self selected artists will succeed, and in the best scenario we will have three great tracks and unsigned new artists who will kick the others ass. Time will tell.

Countdown to Madonna: 48 days

Madonna's fourth single Lucky star started her record breaking string of top-5 hits in the USA: 16 in a row beating even the Beatles. Borderline did well, too and then came Like a virgin....

Lucky star*** was released in September 1983 and reached number 4 in the Billboard top-100 and number 1 in the dance chart. The song is written by herself alone. In the UK it just made to number 14 and therefor being one of the only seven (!!!) Madonna singles that haven't entered the top-10 (the others being Everybody, Take a pow, Oh father, One more chance, Love profusion and Miles away) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHOuzJ_Rf1E

Borderline*** was released in February 1984 being the 5th single from her debut album, and the first one to sell gold. It reached number 10 in top-100, number 4 in dance charts and number 2 in the UK. The song gets a new life on her current Sticky & Sweet tour for the first time since her Virgin tour. The single was released with different sleeves and mixes in different markets...

Like a virgin**** was released on November 6, 1984. She also made herself household name all over the world with her MTV music awards performance in a wedding dress coming out of a cake... A star was born and the Madonnamania was ready to conquer the world... It became her first of 12 (so far) Billboard top-100 number one songs staying on top for six weeks. In UK it made it to top-3 but remains her second best selling single in numbers up to date. It was also a number one hit in Australia, Canada and Japan, just to name a few... For the video she traveled back home, Italy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1k7tvBnmc8

Songs for summer: Vamos a bailar by Paola & Chiara

What an Eurovision entry this would have been for Italy! Megahit all over Europe in three versions: original Italian, Spanish and English plus various mixes that played many summers to come after its release in 2000.
Italian: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4NRNlflkdM English: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EA-_BasyVk Spanish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NesagnHLJW4 Rapino Bros remix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg8_4_-DNL4

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vesa-Matti Loiri triumphed at Provinssirock - and a film will be made of him by Kaurismäki

Vesa-Matti Loiri did his first ever rock festival gig at the tender age of 64 in Provinssirock, Finland's oldest, biggest and most legendary summer rock festival. He performed songs from his last mega selling albums Ivalo, Inari and Kasari, in other words acoustic versions of Finnish rock classics. This summer he will be recording a new album that features new material written especially for him by top Finnish writers.

World famous Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki was there as well with his cameras. He is prepairing a documentary film of Loiri's life. Most of you foreign known him only for his not so fortunate appearance in Eurovision 1980 but in Finland he is a legend as a singer, actor and comedian. He's career started at 17 in a movie Pojat by Mikko Niskanen. Since then he has done over 60 movies and dozens of TV-shows and series. He has also done a lot of theater. As a singer he has done everything from joke albums with funny creatures like Jean-Pierre Kusela to interpret Eino Leino's poems. He is a man of many faces, most known is surely Uuno Turhapuro, a funny & crazy creature (italians reading might get the idea by thinking of Fantozzi, the others... well.... hard to describe...)

Tasaa kaikki

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Countdown to Madonna: 50 days

Ok, this series of posts has nothing to do with Eurovision. But Madonna is coming to Helsinki in August and as I didn't manage to get tickets there I will go to Tallinn instead a couple of days earlier. So, to pass this slow summer season I will go through all her commercially released 72 singles. Yes, 72! Who would have thought when she came out with Everybody back in 1982 that nearly 30 years later she would still be around and probably the most famous woman in the world! A string of hits that no one else can match. She has had her little down points, too, but she has only come back stronger than before. Today she is singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, film producer, film director, fashion designer, author, actress, entrepreneur and mother. Her films have been maybe less fortunate - but wasn't she good in Desperately seeking Susan and Evita? - but her tours have always been praised, not perhaps for the vocals skills but for the rest. She has written some fantastic songs over the years, my personal favorites like Nothing fails, The power of goodbye and This used to be my playground that seem to be quite forgotten but deserve to be listened again. So, here we go with the first triplet:

Everybody*** was the very first commercially released Madonna track on October 6, 1982. She used to hang out in New York discos and bother the DJs to play her songs, as the legend goes, and finally Mark Kamins played the song, people danced to it and the rest is history. She was 24. Considering all thee britneys these days start at 15-16 she was rather "old"... The single didn't get into Billboards Top-100 but was bubbling under for 8 weeks. It went to number 3 in Billboards Hot dance/Club play chart though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tGEYHKGWSE

Burning up*** was the second release with Physical attraction on the other side. Brurning up might be the oldest known Madonna track. She had been playing it with her band Emma long before she signed to Sire records. She would take another go with this song on her current Sticky & sweet tour playing guitar in it, just like nearly 30 years ago. The song made it to number 3 in the dance charts again but failed to make the Top-100. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXet8mc1yLY

Holiday***** was a turned down track of Mary Wilson (sorry Mary!) and became the first real Madonna hit. It was released in the UK three times and made top-6 everytime! It has been re-released on several occasion in different markets as well. In the US it stayed 5 weeks at number one in dance charts and number 16 on Top-100. It was also a huge hit in Australia and peaked at number 4. In UK it peaked up at number 2 while in European top-100 it went to number 13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb18uagkEi4

July 1, 2009: La voix du nord

Malena Ernman will released her new 2-cd titled La voix du nord on July 1, 2009. Here's the cover. More information later.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Songs for summer: Roma by Cameron Cartio

Cameron Cartio, a Persian born singer that was raised in Spain and Sweden took part in Melodifestivalen 2005 with this song called Roma he wrote and performed in a made up language. I liked it back then and listening it again now I still like it! He came 4th surprising everyone and started a career of hits in the Arab world, dueting with Khaled and Sarbel just to name a few. Nothing has been heard of him for a couple of years, wonder what's he up to?

Original album classics by Carola and Agnetha

A new economic series of albums have been launched by Rival records and features 5-cd packs from Carola, Agnetha Fältskog, Monica Zetterlund, Eva Dahlgren, Tommy Nilsson and many more. Each very nice retro looking box includes five albums by the artist for the special price of 19,95 euros (well, at least where I saw them!). Carola has Steg för steg, På egna ben, Much more, Personligt and the Sound of music soundtrack with Tommy Körberg in hers. Agnetha Fältskog's one includes these 5 albums: Agnetha Fältskog, Agnetha Fältskog, vol 2, Som jag är, När en vacker tanke blir en sång and Elva kvinnor i ett hus.

Alexander Rybak comes to Finland

Alexander Rybak has confirmed he will be the guest in MTV3's summer show Pitkä kuuma kesä on July 12. He will perform Fairytale with his backing dancers in live broadcast from Särkänniemi amusement park in Tampere. Meanwhile he stays at number 1 in the Finnish download chart for the fourth week in a row, and his album debuted at number 17.
Alexander is not the only Eurovision artist there this summer. This week Hanna Pakarinen and Tapani Kansa will be there, on June 21 Jari Sillanpää and Annika Eklund, on June 28 Russian girlband Princessa Avenue from the Russian selection this year (with a Finnish production song), July 7 Pave Maijanen. The latest Finnish Idols winner Koop Arponen will share the spotlight with Alexander that week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Kate Ryan vs. France Gall, act 2

Kate Ryan keeps covering the big French hits from the past in lack of new material and after doing several Myléne Farmer covers here comes another France Gall one: Babacar from 1987. This is my all time France Gall favourite and I'm not so convinced about this even if Kate did a great job with Ella elle l'a. Judge yourself here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0jb0i3-cUw and here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btcOZTwp1YY while act.1 Ella elle l'a here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQkB-WWzsbg and here
Are we going to get a cover of Poupée de cire, poupée de son as well?

Patricia Kaas en studio et sur scéne

Patricia Kaas propably made good business in Eurovision despite placing "only" 8th. No one seems to have had any bad word about her or her song, and generally everybody comments that she should have done better. Anyways, the grand lady is continuing her tour around the world and meanwhile the Kabaret show has been released on DVD. Also the double-CD including her album Kabaret and the live show has been released in May. Also her entry has been commenrcially released as a single after all, even if they said previously it would be available only if she wins. La Kaas herself has expressed her delusion of the placement but stated it lasted only for a few days and that she loved the experience in overall.

Kabaret sur scéne track list: K-Theme-Mon mec à moi-Faites entrer les clowns-Le jour se lève-Kabaret-Les hommes qui passent-Pigalle interlude-Falling in love again-D‘Allemagne-Une dernière fois- Une fille de l‘Est-Je voudrais la connaître-Solo-La chance jamais ne dure-Il me dit que e suis belle-Elle voulait jouer cabaret-Mademoiselle chante le blues-K-Interlude-Entrer dans la lumiere-Et s'il fallait le faire-Addicte aux heroines Bonus-Et s'il fallait le faire - video clip-Kabaret - video clip

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Barb@zul: from Eurovision to Pride

The Barcelona based bear synth pop band Barb@zul who participated in this spring's Spanish Eurovision MySpace madness with fantastic Enganchado a tí has released their first single Siente el orgullo. It is also the theme song for Barcelona Pride later this month, June 20-28.
The duo is made of José Ramirez and Lázaro. José released several hits in 2003-2006 under name Ramy, including number one hit When I feel love, before joining with Lázaro. One might compare them to another bear band Bearforce1 but these two guys write their own music and take a more serious approach to their music being influenced by likes of Depeche Mode, OMD and Frankie goes to Hollywood. More of them a bit later with the Pride song!
Listen to Ramy here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daqUMqzy3iU and Enganchado a ti here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFW3_JB8RbM

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

OGAE Song contest 2009 - Finland

The Finnish OGAE has chosen the songs that will be running to represant Finland in the coming OGAESC 2009 in Croatia later this year. Club members may vote these 20 songs in Eurovision style until July 11, 2009. Mixed group of songs from the charts, from the previous Idols and Euroviisut artists and some rather unknown acts as well. You can listen to all of them here:
Have a look and let us know who you would like to see defending the Finnish colors in the comments below....

1. MOVETRON - Elä nyt
2. ANNA PUU - C'est la vie
3. FINLANDERS - Sinun vuokses
4. PETRA - Kuka mä oon
5. JUHA TAPIO - Kaksi puuta
6. DACIA - Kuin teräs
7. PMMP - Lautturi
8. CHEEK - Liekeissä
9. SUVI TERÄSNISKA - Hento kuiskaus
10. ANTTI TUISKU - Juuret
11. SAMAE KOSKINEN - Hevonen
12. ANNIKA EKLUND - Julia jäi henkiin
13. HAPPORADIO - Che Guevara
14. HAUSMYLLY - Samat sanat
15. JOHANNA KURKELA - Kauriinsilmät
16. APULANTA - Vauriot
17. SNOWCLONE - Jäärakkaus
18. MAIJA VILKKUMAA - Suojatiellä
19. NELJÄN SUORA - Si! ipirikko
20. G-POWERED - Sun kanssas

Monday, June 08, 2009

Escradio Awards 2009

The listeners of Escradio have had their say this year again. Five countries managed to get a top-5 placing in both Best song and Best Male artist/Female artist/Group category: Norway, Iceland, France and maybe a bit surprisingly Estonia, and even more so Denmark. The listeners agreed with the overall result when Norway and Iceland take the top-2 places in best song category while France comes a well deserved third followed by Estonia and Denmark. Alexander Rybak wins also the best male artist category leaving Sakis Rouvas second while Yohanna wins the female one, followed by Patricia Kaas. Aysel & Arash win the group category followed by Urban Symphony.
Full results here: http://www.escradio.com/awards2009/results.asp?id=1

Amiche per l'Abruzzo: Laura Pausini unites the Italian ladies

Incredible effort my Laura Pausini gets together over 90 leading Italian female singers in San Siro stadium in Milan on June 21, 2009 in a huge charity event to help the earthquake victims. At least 13 major radio networks will be united in the event and the the concert can be listened by over 30 million people. This is the first time ever something like this has been managed to do in Italy. MTV Italia is also involved and a sponsor. Original idea was Pausini's and the other leading ladies are Elisa, Fiorella Mannoia and Gianna Nannini.

Here is the list of singers involved so far: Alice, Ambra Marie, Alessandra Amoroso, Ania, Silvia Aprile, Arisa, Malika Ayane, Annalisa Baldi, Angela Baraldi,Rachele Bastreghi, Leda Battisti, Marcella Bella, Simona Bencini, Loredana Bertè,Orietta Berti, Laura Bono, Antonella Bucci, Chiara Canzian, Carlotta, Raffaella Carrà,Rossana Casale, Caterina Caselli, Cliò, Barbara Cola, Carmen Consoli, Aida Cooper,Luisa Corna, Cristina D’Avena, Wilma De Angelis, Teresa De Sio, Grazia Di Michele,Dolcenera, Alessandra Drusian, Roberta Faccani, Irene Fargo, Giusy Ferreri, Fiordaliso,Irene Fornaciari, Rita Forte, Dori Ghezzi, Barbara Gilbo, Giorgia, Gilda Giuliani, Irene Grandi, Amalia Grè, Jasmine, Karima, L’Aura, La Pina, Patrizia Laquidara, Amanda Lear, Lighea, Linda, Lisa, Petra Magoni, Silvia Mezzanotte, Mietta, Milva, Annalisa Minetti, Andrea Mirò, Simona Molinari, Momo, Nada, Mariella Nava, Nicky Nicolai, Noemi, Silvia Olari, Stefania Orlando, Anna Oxa, Paola e Chiara, Rita Pavone, Daniela Pedali, Pia, Nilla Pizzi, Patty Pravo, Marina Rei, Donatella Rettore, Valeria Rossi, Melania Rota, Antonella Ruggiero, Cristina Scabbia, Senit, Spagna, Jo Squillo, Syria, Anna Tatangelo, Tosca, Francesca Touré, Laura Trent, Gerardina Trovato, Paola Turci, Viola Valentino, Ornella Vanoni, Manuela Villa, Iva Zanicchi.

Italian attack in European charts

At this very moment some big Italian names are having a blast all around Europe with their new songs. Eros Ramazzotti returns with a new album Ali e radici in both Italian and Spanish versions, and the single Parla con me is yet another number one single for him in Italy. Laura Pausini united with James Blunt in the title track of her latest album Primavera in anticipo (It is my song) and it's helping her to cross over to new markets. Tiziano Ferro has two singles charting here and there, both of them duets. First of all El regalo más grande (Spanish version of Il regalo piú grande) with Amaia Montero, and Breathe gentle (English version of Indietro) with Kelly Rowland. But what's with this mania of making videos in the States?
I have just seen La Pausini in concert here (again) and will see Ramazzotti in November. My hopes are now on Ferro making it all the way here, too. And now, after Patricia Kaas we can just dream of these artists in Eurovision if and when Italy eventually comes back....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tsjQdqeBGk, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LajSWjbC93I, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jhk-Y0SW7c, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mILZQLxno74, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSMNZYIG0yo

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Waldo's people re-enters European Top-100

Waldo's People re-enter the European Top-100 at #39. Alexander Rybak climbs to #4 and enter with his follow up at #57. Besides that six other Eurovision entries are in Top-100 this week:

04. (33) Alexander Rybak - Fairytale
39. (re) Waldo's People - Lose control
40. (new) Yohanna - Is it true?
41. (71) Hadise - Dum tek tek
50. (new) Aysel & Arash - Always
57. (new) Alexander Rybak - Funny little world
60. (new) Svetlana Loboda - Be my Valentine
66. (re) Malena Ernman - La voix
72. (new) Sinead Mulvey & Black Daisy - Et cetera

Eurovision goes bossanova

Someone in Greece has had the (old) idea of making bossanova versions in Brazil of the Eurovision songs and the result is very laid back and rather pleasant. But why didn't they make these songs in Portuguese then to make them sound more authentic? Some versions work very well - Ding a dong, Waterloo, Volare, L'oiseau et l'enfant and Where are you to name some - while this also makes it obvious some songs can't be saved from their poorness no matter what (Shake it, Secret combination). In all it gets a bit boring and sounds rather quickly made affair. But hey, if you skip some tracks and add some tracks from the other Greek invention Eurorevisions from 2006 like Die for you, Autostop and Mou los and spice it up by Nat Newborn's bossanova version of Hard rock hallelujah and swing version of Fire night (Sata salamaa) from 2007 you get a fantastic summer album to listen while sunbathing and enjoying some caipirinhas.

Young European of the year: Koop Arponen

Tasaa kaikkiEurooppanuoret ry has chosen Idols winner Koop Arponen as the Young European of the year. He best represents new European Finnish youth, they say. Koop was born in Lappeenranta, Finland (just like Hanna Pakarinen) of Dutch mother and Finnish father. He has lived most of his life in the United Kingdom and Belgium but came back to Finland to serve his military service before returning definitely after winning the Finnish Idols last year. Koop himself describes himself as "mixed race European". Maybe we will see him in Eurovision stage soon as well?

Tangomarkkinat 2009 finalists

Here they are. Ten candidates to be crowned Tango Queen or Tango King, only one gets the crown this year instead of both of them. Remember the names, sooner or later some of them will appear in Euroviisut for sure....
Kaija Lustila, Virpi Piippo, Eerika Grönlund, Anni Parkkila, Mervi Koponen, Marko Maunuksela, Markus Kokkonen, Tuomas Myllylä, Nino Nyman, Amadus Lundberg.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Tangomarkkinat kicks off in Finland

The biggest Finnish talent show and summer happening, Tangomarkkinat kicked off this weekend in Turku with the semifinals. The main festival happens as always in Seinäjoki, on July 8-12. This is its 25th year and over the years it has delivered many top singers, many of them later have appeared in Euroviisut, including several winners, or Tango Kings and Queens. Especially in recent years, and especially the female singers have not wasted time to drop off the tango label and cross over to pop music instead after the festival. Johanna Pakonen, Tango Queen 2002 and fan favourite from Euroviisut 2006 with Kerta viimeinen hosts the show with Peltsi "Euroviisut" Peltonen. Ten out of 16 semifinalists will move on to the final and Arja Koriseva (Euroviisut 1991, 1992, 1993, 2004) will be the special guest celebrating her 20th anniversary as an artist and Tango Queen.

Euroviisut participants in Tangomarkkinat:
Arja Koriseva - Tango Queen 1989
Tarja Lunnas (2/1989)
Eija Kantola - Tango Queen 1992
Heidi Kyrö (2/1993)
Jari Sillanpää - Tango King 1995 (3/1994)
Marita Taavitsainen - Tango Queen 1995
Kirsi Ranto - Tango Queen 1998
Taina Kokkonen - Tango Queen 1999 (2/1998)
Johanna Pakonen - Tango Queen 2002 (2/2001)
Annika Eklund (3/2001)
Jenna Bågeberg - Tango Queen 2007 (3/2006)

Armenia and Hungary reign on eBay

As we all know the Eurovision promos and singles find their way on eBay very quickly and the hunt starts. I admit I have bought stuff there as well as most of them still remain acceptable in price but some articles really get the money rolling in. I categorally refuse to pay more than 15-25 euros for one but hey, that's only me. Some people seem to be more avid collectors than me, or just richer, lol. (Anyone having spare copies for fair pay of Sweden, Armenia, Bulgaria, Romania, Portugal, Ireland, Latvia, Poland, Cyprus, Slovakia, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Greece, Ukraine, the Netherlands and Russia feel free to contact me :-) )
I have been following it a bit this year and here's the top-15 of the promos sold this year. I am sure it is far from complete but not very far from the truth either. Armenia has been making the most money here obviously to whoever managed to get the promo in Moscow. Hungary and Portugal are also very sought after and Israel is making solid money, too. I remember seeing Israel also for starting bid as 100 euros, not listed here as I saved no record from it.

1. ARMENIA sold for $300
2. ARMENIA sold for $255
3. HUNGARY sold for $211,50
4. HUNGARY sold for $187
5. ARMENIA sold for $159,85 (updated)
6. ARMENIA sold for $99,27
7. PORTUGAL sold for $81,00
8. PORTUGAL sold for $68,40
9. SERBIA sold for $66,00
10. AZERBAIJAN sold for $59,00
11. ISRAEL sold for $53,00
12. LATVIA, FRANCE, GREECE sold for $51,00
15. ISRAEL sold for $47,00
16. ISRAEL sold for $46,55

Friday, June 05, 2009

Jari's scandalous shirt got 1.570 euros for charity

Jari Sillanpää gave out the Finnish votes in Eurovision 2009 final in Moscow, dressed in a shirt that was describes as picnic towel or anyways unsuitable for the event. Finns were outraged and foreigners amused but Jari was quick to put the shirt on sale on internet and gathered 1.570 euros for YLE's Nenäpäivä (or Finnish Comic relief) charity auction to help children in need in Africa and elsewhere. And no, it was not just any shirt but Dolce & Gabbana silk one, retail sale price of 300 euros.

New vibrations for Waldo's People

Waldo's People have released third single from their latest album Paranoid. The track is New vibrations. Lose control is still in top-10 in Finland and the album has well passed gold disc status and is nearing platinum. Meanwhile they have just started their summer tour in Finland.

Fairytale still #1 on iTunes

Alexander Rybak's Fairytale is number one in the Finnish iTunes charts for the third week. Waldo's People drop to #9 (from #5), Yohanna to #13 (from #3) and Urban Symphony to #25 (from #11). Apparently Fairytale has made it to number one on iTunes download charts also in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland. His debut album Fairytales has been released in 22 countries so far. In Norway it has sold so far over 80.000 copies or double platinum.

Listen here some of his songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj-D3Bcy1CA, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VNNtwC_2sw, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEw7BNmS6dg, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyOGMVm7Yyo, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4tqBKMLytAc

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Aqua come back - vol.2

Ok, I announced Aqua come back on this blog already in October 2007 when they were in studio, supposed to hit the road in 2008 and so on.... Well, nothing much happened after all back then but now it's for real! The Greatest hits album will be out soon with three new songs: Back to the 80's, My momma said and Live fast, die young. And all the fantastic poptastic genious songs they did back then: Roses are red, Barbie girl, My oh my, Dr Jones and such. Can't wait! We need some pure bubble gum pop again. Here's Back to the 80's: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz8loLIYc2Q and just for the good times: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buXJlBd3Mf8, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Guqhnz4N38, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTnT3DfQyrw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y24EKmzgYGU and here's the Copenhagen ESC 2001 performance with EBU shocking fuck off Kens and dirrty bastards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpuvxDM9vY8

Noa & Mira Awad - There must be another way

Here it is finally. The Noa & Mira Awad album, titled There must be another way just like their Eurovision 2009 entry. It also includes the other songs they had in the Israeli national selection: Will you dance with me, Faith in the light and Second chance. The other duets are a song called A word, and We can work it out, their first collaboration already years ago. Besides these six songs both have three solo numbers. In all a very charming and sweet album, with great sounds and wonderful vocals in English, Hebrew and Arabic. From Mira's solo songs I would point out Cloud and from Noa's Namina. Noa also cover's Madonna's Frozen and makes it a very interesting work. If you liked There must be a way, you will like the album for sure! Worth mentioning is that the version here has the English lyrics by Noa on the beginning of the song instead of Hebrew like in Moscow.

Tasaa kaikki

What's been going in while I was away?

Nothing much apparently. While I was soaking myself in the sun Oslo has been confirmed as the host city for 2010. Alexander Rybak is making the biggest impact on European charts since Lordi, even more. Fairytale has made the Top-10 in at least 11 countries and sits firmly at number 4 in the pan European Top-100 this week as well as number 67 in Australia, at number 48 in World singles top-100 and number 38 in the World airplay charts. Also Yohanna is charting here and there as are Waldo's People and Aysel & Arash.
Israel's Noa apparently turned down a lead role in Broadway musical for family reasons but her album with Mira Awad is getting a release in most European countries. I bought it in Spain and will review it shortly.
Azerbaijan was the second country after Finland to make public their plans for Eurovision 2010, shortly followed by Sweden. As there will be changes in Finland, Sweden sticks to the old formula yet another year. Azeris instead are looking for a singer(s) first, and the second phase will be for the song...
On a sad note an original member of Riverdance group was killed in the Air France plane crash between Rio De Janeiro and Paris.
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