Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ssshhh... it's Silent Shout! In NYC!

Signmark goes New York! As his Facebook writes:
A live Sign Language flash mob music performance led by world’s first Deaf hip-hop artist Signmark will take over New York City 23rd of September, in Washington Square Park at 5pm.As a part of the Deaf Awareness week the Silent shout group wants to start a m.ovement through a collective cultural act towards building a society where everyone has the equal opportunity to participate and dream.The idea of this flash mob event is to get the crowd to sign in sync with ASL a chorus line with Signmark LEADING. The song is called “Against The wall”.Everyone is free to join the performance, for the aim is to build bridges between different cultures and make it easy for everyone to try how much fun signing could be. The Silent Shout group would like to encourage everyone to unlock his or her potential and be a part of the signing live performance! In order to join, you only have to learn the signs in advance from the Internet and be at the Washington Square Park. Silent Shout concept has been already done successfully in Helsinki, Stockholm and Hong Kong. In addition to leading the he flash mob choir Signmark will perform admission free. Signmark has an American hip-hop artist as a partner called Brandon. He is rapping out loud the lyrics Signmark is signing. The shows are always bilingual and inclusive. Every hand counts!
More information here and here.  Signmark was the runner up in Euroviisut 2009 and narrowly missed the opportunity to represant Finland in Moscow with Speakerbox.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Michalis Hatzigiannis is now Mihalis

Michalis Hatzigiannis has released his very first album in English called simply Mihalis. Most songs are covers of his original songs in Greek and some of them are simply wonderful. Now let's hope he would one day return to Eurovision.... Shame that both Greece and Cyprus seem to have set their plans for 2011 already. Here's the track listing:
More than beautiful and Everyone dance have already been released as a single. 

End of an era: Svante leaves us!

Svante Stockselius, executive Supervisor of the Junior- and Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the EBU since 2003 resigns after this year's Juniors. It will be his 26th and last event. He used his knowledge of Melodifestival and the 2000 Eurovision song contest in Stockholm to give a new life to Eurovision itself, that was in a bad shape after the 1990's. In few years he doubled the number of participants, introduced televoting and when problems arose eventually the jurys again and made Eurovision a hit again with a good brand name.
In an exclusive statement to Eurovision.tv, Stockselius said: "When I took this challenge nearly eight years ago, the Eurovision Song Contest was at a crucial cross road. Since then it is has become one of the greatest TV-entertainment events in the world! After the successes of Moscow and Oslo, I decided that now would be a good moment to say farewell, and to give others the opportunity to take the event to the next level."
No matter what you think, Svante made Eurovision what it is now. Without his ideas we would be still stuck with Eurovision ballads and Ireland winning every other year. Mind you, I loved the orchestra and even more the songs in national languages but if they still were the rule we wouldn't have had Lordis and Verkas, Helenas and Lena taking part. How dull would that have been all these years? Whoever follows him has huge shoes to fill in.... Good luck!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hanna and Apocalyptica in Elämä lapselle 2010

The annual charity concert for children's hospital will take place in Hartwall Areena on September 15, 2010 and once again the hottest Finnish pop names are there from Hanna Pakarinen to Apocalyptica, from Jenni Vartiainen to Cheek and Irina just to name a few. More names will be added for sure and there's always also a surprise foreign act to heat things up, last year it was Tokyo Hotel. Hanna and Apocalyptica have worked together in Black ice.

Anna Oxa is surounded by love

Anna Oxa returns with a new album and the single Tutto l'amore intorno after four years of mainly silence after her flop in Sanremo 2006. Since then she got married (and divorced) for the third time, searched her peace in soul and churches, angered other ladies in Amiche per l'Abruzzo and performed in a couple of concerts as guest star. This March she was also guest and dueted in Amici, the Italian Idols like talent show and her visit made a peak of audience and pushed her greatest hits in the charts. Her previous record companies also woke up and hurried to release various compilation albums so Italians have been missing her I guess. I hope she's got her act back together and will offer us something good like in the late 1980's-early 1990's. The first single doesn't quite convince me yet but hey, the album should have several covers of classics - she can'r ruin them, can she?

ESC 2011: And they were 24

The question what happens when Germany, one of the Big4. won the Eurovision has been solved. No one will replace the empty slot in the final line up and therefor there will be only 24 countries in the final in 2011: ten from both semifinals and the Big4. A good decision I think. Any other solution would have raised just controversy and some countries being sour. 
The other change in the reference groups meeting in Belgrade this week was the change of October 1 rule to the September 1 rule as requested my Belgium (well, they wanted it to be May 1 rule, are they insane??) so my dear readers, we might hear the Eurovision winner already next Wednesday! Are we happy? I am not. I'd rather push it even further, to November 1 or even December 1 rule. I understand pros for it but still... the season is so long already!
And finally March 14-15, 2011 sees the reference group meeting in the host city (hopefully Berlin) and every country must have delivered their entry by then. So, let me see... 6,5 months to deliver one.... I'm really starting to miss those days the entries were chosen the year they were participating and the contest was in usually in April! Now the selections start in September and the contest keeps pushing towards June.... 
What do you think?

Albums that have shaped my music taste 1: Alice - Park Hotel

The title says it all. Albums that I have listened over and over again and still enjoy after years. I will occasionally present them in random order from now on but I start with the favourite album of mine of all time. After 24 years it still sounds fresh and fails to annoy me. Also, it's a real rarity as none of the songs is a filler but each and every one are good enough to stand on their own. Park Hotel. Alice.
This album was a turning point for Alice's career and musical direction and shaped her future as much as it did mine. It was her 8th album and 2nd change of style. I listened this album over and over again. I know all the songs by heart. I remember I bought it in Stockholm for some reason and was dying to get home to listen to it... and didn't stop for weeks. It's a very autumn feel album and every fall it finds its way back to my CD-player. I knew Alice before of course and continue to follow her today. She has recorded several great albums but this one is the one for me. Besides the great melodies and timeless arrangements the lyrics are great throughout the album avoiding the banality and travel like nomads from India to Mannheim, London and other cities on avenues of loneliness avoiding magicians, martians, UFOs and spies. And on every journey you change a little but she will take you to the darkness after the setting of your thoughts, and she will wait for you even if you don't want to, like nomads resting resting their heads on a pillow of earth in search of peace.
Alice herself is involved as a writer in most tracks with Di Martino, Cosentino, Messina, Liverani, Zitello with the exception of Nomadi written by Juri Camisasca. Francesco Messina produced it and it can almost be considered as a band album as Jerry Marotta (drums), Tony Levin (bass), Phil Manzanera (guitars) and Michele Fedrigotti (keyboards) play it all with the help of Pietro Pellegrini and Allan Goldberg in the arrangements and programming. It's recorded and mixed n Lark Studio in Carimate and Logic Studio in Milan. Alice has said the title describes the two sides of modern life. Park represants the peace and quiet, hotel the busy noisy life.
Two singles were released, Nomadi and Conoscerci (or Volo di notte in different countries) but other tracks Il senso dei desideri, Volo di notte, Viali di solitudine and Luci lontane have become very popular amongst fans and got a lot of radioplay. The album is one of the best selling Alice albums making it a top-20 hit in central Europe, Scandinavia, Finland and Benelux and even Japan. Actually it was a much bigger success abraod than in Italy selling for example in Germany over 50.000 copies. Nomadi has been covered since by Franco Battiato, and Giuni Russo

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Berlin Tempelhof Terminal 3 - songs in time?*

Blogilkar guest writer Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
Berlin presented its project to host Eurovision Song Contest 2011 and many jaws dropped when the name of O2 World Arena was not mentioned in favour of the old airport of Tempelhof. Berlin confirms that is one of the most creative cities in Europe by offering the most unique event location that never has hosted an Eurovision Song Contest. Well ,we should also mention the stinky Milstreet horse race arena (stinky since some of the singers pointed out the constant smell).
The airport is in excellent central location in the city and was opened in 1927 and definately closed in 2008. It re-opened in 2009 as park and leisure space while the citizens of Berlin will decide its future and final use. The Cargo terminals located in the junction of Kreuzberg /Tempelhof districts should be the place to host the event. At the moment there are a couple of theaters and some of the areas are offered to host fairs and exhibitions. It is centrally located and reachable with bus, sub-urban train and subway.
Berlin tries hard to beat the other top favorite Hamburg where is the headquarters of NDR and it is also the traditional city where the German votes where given the last 15 years. Klaus Wowereit, Berlin's Mayor stated "The contest belongs to Hamburg but the right place and best conditions are in Berlin".
The decision before end of the summer...and seriously I live within 10 minutes walking distance so it has to be here :-)
* Terminal 3
It's not the only time Ireland has had an airport song. Also this one came 2nd! A good omen for the Irish?

Nadja Benaissa avoids prison and writes biography

Blogilkar guest writer Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
Charity work for HIV infected and psychotherapy continuation is the scenario Nadja Benaissa will have for at least the next two years. The No Angel avoids prison but goes with a warning after the 300 hours process in Darmstadt. If she puts the process in danger then she will have inconditinal prison for two years. Among the conclussions it was also confirmed that Nadja had unsafe sex with at least two other men without warning them about her infection. After proving several medical records the jury also confirmed that her partner was infected by Benaissa in 2004.
The case had also opened the debate about intimacy in Germany,  one of the countries where population is highly concerned about their privacy. One of the HIV activist said "Two person do not get infected if one does not want to" and the jury also clarified "it is not about the HIV infected's flagellation but about the frightening ignorance of the fact and consequences"
Benaissa has been extremely critizised for her behaviour. However it looks like she will take profit about it publishing her biography in September and is certainly writing about her being the daughter of a Moroccan inmigrant in the "ghetto" population of Langen, center of the West-Germany pro-nazi movement in the late 80's, the very town aimed to be inmigrant-free when Nadja was only 6. Then she was addicted to crack when only 14 years old, followed by heroin use and being HIV with 17.
It seems likely the end of Nadja's musical career and also a lesson to be learned. Even casting popstars have a dark dark side. A No Angel indeed.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Anna Bergendahl : The army - the video

Anna Bergendahl's second video is ready and out. Listen and watch The Army here.

It's all about money in Belgium

Belgium or rather RTBF starts its long selection for the 2011 Eurovision on October 1, 2010 in collaboration with AKAmusic. Belgian artists are invited to upload their entries into the website created for the occasion written by Belgian writers and performed in English or French (why not in Dutch may I ask?). Then the wannabes have until December 31, 2010 to collect 20.000 euros to from the visitors to produce the entry.... WTF? I'm a bit lost here now.... If I give say 200 euros to the song I like and it eventually wins will I also get 1% of the royalties? This all sounds a bit fishy to me and just yet another attempt to variate the on going fashion of internet selections.... let's see how long this fashion will last.... Thank God and Svante for the October 1 rule! Other wise we would be having these online selections going all year round.....

Carola in Dalhalla... wanna see it?

If you can't wait for the DVD here's the TV special from TV4.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Michalis Hatzigiannis and Krassimir Avramov keep the summer alive

The summer's over at least in Finland but previous Eurovision stars keep the summer alive with their songs. Bulgarian Krassimir Avramov gets the make over by Deep Zone in Ria while Michalis Hadzigiannis turns up the beat and change the lyrics into English in Everybody dance. Here's the original. I just have to repost also To kalokairi mou simply because it is so fantastic and summery!

Remembering Laura Branigan

Laura Branigan passed away six years ago today at the age of 47. Her biggest hit in the US was a cover of Umberto Tozzi's Gloria, but in Europe a cover of Raf's Self control. She further recorded Tozzi's Ti amo, and even participated in Sanremo 1991 with Fiordaliso doing Il mare piú grande che c'é/Don't walk away. Her recording career started in 1979 but the first album came out only in 1982 and the Grammy nominations started right on with Gloria. She also scored the first hit for writers Diane Warren with Solitaire and Michael Bolton with How am I supposed to live without you. The Lucky one followed winning the Tokyo Music Festival and she also scored a hit with Carole King cover Will you still love me tomorrow, a nice change from her uptempo songs. She also did I found someone, later a comeback hit for Cher, on the other hand she covered Jennifer Rush's The power of love and made it a hit again. And she recorded Celine Dion's Unison before it became title track for Dion's first English language album.Other songs worth mention are Spanish Eddie and Moonlight on water. And the ABBA cover Winner takes it all and Alphaville cover Forever young. She surely imported some European music to the States!
In 1996 her husband died of cancer and she spent the 3 years before that outsside the music business to stay with him. Various greatest hits compilations were released in those years and one in 1995 includes cover of Maria McGee's Show me heaven and Donna Summer's Dim all the lights. Her return to spotlight was cancelled when she had to cancel her tour in 2001 as she broke both of her femurs. She died in 2004 of previsouly undiagnosed brain aneurysm when she was ready for a comeback again. 
She was a great artist with an unique voice that in my opinion never got as big as she deserved to. The endless remixes on Youtube prove her music lives on....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nena in my life

Oh dear, I just read Nena is 50 years old, mother of four and a grandmother!! How time flies. I was a huge Nena was in the early 1980's. For some reason I never cared much for 99 Luftballons but adored Leuchturm, ? (Fragezeichen), Irgendwie irgendwo irgendwann, Rette mich, boombastic Der Anfang vom Ende, sofisticated Ich häng an dir  and such. When the band was finished and Nena herself continued solo I kinda lost track with her. She caught me attention again when she re-recorded her greatest hits with guests like Kim Wilde and I had a real "I got to listen to all old Nena stuff!" period. Meanwhile she seems to have continued her career as a singer, actress, TV-presenter making also music for kids, being elected the sexiest vegetarian and so on...  Now researching her I noticed she has been doing very well in the charts all through the 2000's after less brilliant 1990's and her latest single is a top-5 hit besides being rather lovely, Im meinem Leben. She's also been flirting with Eurovision over the years, could we have her involved? (I say drop Lena and take Nena for 2011, ok?) After all with more than 15 million albums sold she's a true German Star and maybe still the best known German pop singer in the world. (Unless you are too young to remember 99 Red balloons that made it to #2 in the US, in German mind you, #1 in English in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland). Lena is a bit like young Nena but Nena has 28 years of career already, can she ever match that? Here's another new goodie: Du bist so gur fur mich.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Laura's soldiers of love in Malta - the video!

Laura Voutilainen's new single and first release from her coming greatest hits (out October 6, 2010) is Rakkauden soturi (Soldier of love) that Laura has penned herself. The video was shot in Malta earlier this year and you can see it here. Shortly she will be busy with Stirctly come dancing....

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Carola on DVD and TV

Carola's recent Barbra Streisand and Elvis Presley trinute concert in Dalhalla will be released on DVD in November 17, 2010 and makes a perfect Christmas gift for any Carola fans out there. A teaser will be aired next week on TV4 in Sweden, August 26 9pm but it's just an one hour version of it, the DVD will feature the full show, 2 hrs 20 mins. Here's a bit what to expect: Enough is enough, Love me tender, Somewhere, and Woman in love.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here it starts: the first semifinalists are out. Ukraine opens the season

Ukraine takes the crown of the first country to kick of its national selection procedure and after listening to more than 200 willing ones has picked up these 35 for their endless heats and semifinals and god only knows what:

01. Jamala 02. Verka Serduchka (Andriy Danilko) 03. Group Zaklyopki 04. Anastasiya Prikhodko 05. Zlata Ognevich 06. Group Armiya 07. Ivan Berezovsky 08. Arina Domsky 09. Vitaliy Galay 10. Group Metropoliten 11. Maksim Novitzky 12. Group Neksy 13. Shanis 14. Shanti 15. Olena Korneva 16. Yakov Smirnov 17. Oleksandr Kvarta 18. Group Daha Braha 19. Inna Voronova 20. Eduard Romanota 21. Mika Newton 22. Group Bahroma 23. Denis Povaliy 24. DASH 25. Nataliya Pugachova 26. Masha Sobko 27. Duet Para Normalnih 28. Oleksiy Matias 29. Mila Nitich 30. Tetyana Vorzheva 31. El Kravchuk 32. Valentin Levitzky 33. Darya Medova 34. Group VRODA 35. Hristina Kim 

Time will tell if this stands or are we going to see another selection or two before we have the Ukrainian songs for 2011 chosen. And its artist. Two previous Eurovisioners are in: Verka Serduchka and Anastasiya Prikhodko.

Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg or Hannover 2011?

Four cities are officially running to host the 2011 Eurovision song contest. NRD and EBU will decide within weeks now that the cities and their plans are official. Berlin is the biggest (3,7 million inhabitants) and the most exciting one what comes to history besides being again the capital city. Hamburg (1,7 million) is the home city of NRD. The other two with their over half a million inhabitants are important for other reasons - like Hannover being Lena's hometown. This blog stands for Berlin no doubt!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Watch the new Lordi video!

You can watch the new Lordi video's world premiere This is heavy metal exclusively this weekend here.
On September 18 the band will have it's album release gig at Nosturi in Helsinki.

Ukraine: Verka is back?

Ukraine will have it's national final on February 27, 2011. NTU is having a casting for new talents and apparently Verka Serduchka who was a worthy runner up in Helsinki 2007 with Dancing Lasha Tumbai has got a wild card to the final. Let's see what (s)he's got cooking this time.... Or will he enter as himself? 
Verka's latest single is I love you.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Welcome #185 Mali!

African state of Mali becomes the 185th country to visit BlogIlkar. Welcome!

Waldo's People getting mixed in Timbaland and charting in Canada

Waldo's People is charting in Canada's DJFM Radio's Top-20 at #6 this week with their I wanna be a rockstar going up. At the same list we have also Antoine Clamaran ft Soraya with Live your dreams at #7 going down and Dan Balan's Chica bomb going up at #13 so the chart seems very Euro friendly. But that's not all, Waldo's next single Jackpot is currently being mixed in Los Angeles in Timbaland by Koen. I wanna be a rockstar is also nominated in Oulu Musiikkivideofestarit for the best video. Things are looking fine for Waldo's People!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No Angel indeed

Blogilkar guest writer Daniel Motiño Camúñez reports:
 The Process against No Angels member Nadja Benaissa started this week and hit German media. She has been accused of infecting from Hiv her ex-partner which he had a 6 months relationship. Media reported she stayed calm and confessed to be repentant. She confessed to choose the wrong people and the wrong environment around whch lead her to the big mistake.
Nadia met the man in the Frankfurt disco-scene and after some drinks and dances together they went to bed. At the time Nadja just left No Angels and was trying to start her solo career. The Judge asked her if she was aware of the fact that with only one contact she could infect third parties, Nadja just answered "by the times that happened I was going through a lot, I cannot even remember, those were really dark times".
Nadja stated "I always ignored the risk, I was totally careless", Nadja also said "It was not my intention to infect him with Hiv, it hurts me from the bottom of my heart".
Nadja found out about her infection 11 years ago by a routinary operation when she was only 17. By the time she was already judged by the Juvenile Court for a similar infection case. The affair happened in 2004 and her ex-partner found out three years later, in 2007when he was told by Nadja's aunt. He tested himself inmediatly and found out about the infektion. He assures he never heard a word about it from Nadja, who was probably afraid to put in danger the success of No Angels re-union.
Nadja faces an accusation of bodily injury and four further essays of bodily injuries. Not a nice situation for Nadja as she could be the second Eurovision artist ending up in jail (up to ten years) after Austrian Tony Wegas.
However, he could also put the condom himself, right? Would he accuse her if she would not have been a No Angel? Who knows...
No Angels represanted Germany in the 2008 Eurovision with  Disappear. They finished 23rd.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Anna Bergendahl nominated for Rock Björnen awards - so are Erik and Salem!

Despite being the first and only Swede todate not to qualify for the Eurovision final, Anna Bergendahl is nominated both the best female artist and the best newcomer in the Swedish Rockbjörnen awards. The other Melodifestivalen/Eurovision related nominees are Agnes (best female), Erik Saade (best male and best new comer), Ola (best male), Salem Al Fakir (best male) and The Ark (best live group). Three out of five best song nominees comes from Melodifestivalen: Manboy, Keep on walking and Unstoppable. The other two are Oscar Linnros's Från och med du and Mando Diao's Nothing without you. In the best foreign song of the year Lady Gaga rules with three out of five moninations: Bad romance, Alejandro and Telephone. The awards are given by the readers of Aftonbladet since 1979.  Anna did beat both Erik and Salem in MF, let's see how it goes here!

Laura and Mikko Strictly come dancing

Tanssii tähtien kanssa, the Finnish version of Strictly come dancing features some Eurovision names this season. Mikko Leppilampi takes over this 5th season as the male host - against protests - while one of the dancers is Laura Voutilainen. Another famous singer and eternal Eurovision hope Antti Tuisku is also in.
Tomi Metsäketo won the first season while Mariko of Kwan took part in the second one. Late Kirka was to take part, too, but died just before the show started. Maria Lund took part and won the third season and represanted Finland also in the Eurovision Dance contest. Finally Kim Herold of Humane took part last year so every year there has been also an Eurovision connection. The programme is very popular in Finland reaching 1,5-2,0 million viewers.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hanna Pakarinen is back!

Hanna Pakarinen's new single Paperimiehen tytär was released today for radios. Surprisingly it is in Finnish! The single will be digitally released August 30, and the album with the same name will be out on October 20, 2010. Seems like Hanna's got a new style both in music and style. Meanwhile she has been doing one shot gigs here and there all summer with various bands and styles proving she's comfortable with almost any kind of music.She says the album feels like a debut album and has been in the working for a long time and in the secret. "Many people asked me why I don't sing in Finnish. I always thought that if I do I want to write it myself but I wasn't ready. And I'm stubborn. Last winter the first song was born and when listening it in the studio for the first time it was kind of shocking and I felt like "I did it!" and now the whole album is ready. It feels incredible and I am really satisfied with the result and so happy! And it feels so good I can talk about it now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The world according to Cesare Cremonini

Cesare Cremonini has released his greatest hits that also includes obviously his hits with Lunapop. Mondo is one of the two new tracks on it featuring Jovanotti and charting high in Italy this summer. I have fond memories of meeting Cesare and the other Lunapop guys back in winter 1998-99 when they were doing their very first TV-appearance in Rome in some night show on a local TV channel.... they were so adorable and excited! The rest is history; 50 special, Un giorno migliore, Qualcosa di grande and more followed with mesasuccess but the band was finished in short years and Cesare went solo starting to score hits on his own name.....  Oh and now he's dating Malika Ayane.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Summer rain with Paola & Chiara

The lovely Italian sisters are back with another smash hit Pioggia d'estate. The video mis far from rainy but who cares? The new album - their 8th - is in the making and the hopes for seeing them in Eurovision are as alive as ever. Italy, San Marino... whoever, take them!

A song from the past: Martin Ilmoni - Beibi mä korjaan sen

Out of the blue last night I rediscovered this great track from the past, Martin Ilmoni's Beibi mä korjaan sen. This was a radiohit some 15 years ago and apparently still gets a regular airtime. I don't know much about him except he has released a couple of albums and is currently recording another one but in Swedish this time. I used to love this one and it still sound great!

Laura did New Wave 2010 in Latvia

Amongst the many international stars in Latvia's New Wave festival in Jurmala was Laura Voutilainen, the fresh winner of Iskelmä Finlandia award. You can watch her performance here. She will also release a new greatest hits album in October including one new song, Rakkauden soturi. The video and photos for the album were shot in Malta in May.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sunshine & rhythm by Saga Bloom

Saga Bloom, who sadly missed Euroviisut 2010 semifinals with Love like this, has released a new track Sunshine & rhythm.. She's most likely trying again in 2011 to the delight of most fans in the open contest - or will YLE invite her directly this time? The line up needs some eurodance, too, don't you think?. Don't forget also this great track, Fly away.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lordi: Babez for breakfast, heavy metal and new masks!

Lordi has released the first single This is heavy metal off their worthcoming album Babez for breakfast, out September 15 internationally. As always, Mr Lordi has also created a new look to the band members who are now meaner and more colorful than before, Awa has gone through a real plastic surgery and looks more gorgeous than ever. The whole new Lordi is very much inspired by the 1980's.

Chisu hits #1 - after 45 weeks in charts!

Chisu's Vapaa ja yksin album has been in the top-40 for 45 weeks going up and down but finally makes it to number one - at its 46th week! The full chart history here. This is a record for a Finnish artist, only Alanis Morissette's Jagged little pill have done better - or worse - by reaching the #1 spot a week later, on it's 47th week 14 years ago. Chisu's album includes Bade-Baden, Sama nainen, Yksinäisen keijun tarina, Miehistä viis, and Etsijät amongst others. Chisu is also actual with Cristal Snow's Wicked she produced, wrote and sings backing vocals in. Congrats Chisu and .... see you in Euroviisut 2011, pretty please?

Milva and Battiato back together

Milva (71), the great lady of the Italian music, La Rossa, is releasing a new album in September and reunites with Franco Battiato (65) who has produced the album and also written the songs. Meaning they are covers but there might be a new song or two as well. The album Non conosco nessun Patrizio will be presented live in concert in Teatro Romano di Verona with Battiato on stage on September 8, 2010. Milva started singing back in 1959 and has participated in Sanremo a total of 15 times. She has made name besides pop in theatre singing Bertol Brecht and Piaf gaining success especially in Germany with several only German releases over the years. With Battiato she has worked previously in Milva e dintorni (1982) and Svegliando l'amante che dorme (1989) and both albums have been released also in either French, German or Spanish edition. The most known and memorable Milva-Battiato collaborations must be Alexander Platz, Potemkin and Una storia inventata. In Sanremo she debuted with Il mare nel cassetto in 1961 (#3) and was last seen with The Show must go on (#16) in 2007. Worth remembering are fabulous Sono felice from 1990 (#14) and Uomini addosso from 1993.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Some Italian shopping

While in Italy I obviosuly had time to visit some recordstores and bought this and that. First a real bargain, Pago's second album for 0,90 euros! Well, it's maybe worth a bit more but compared to the first one it's rather lame offering. Ti ricordi saves the album but it also includes Love my love and  Un'estate fa. (The debut included jewels like Parlo di te e Non cambi mai....). I also bought Nek's greatest hits cd including songs like Almeno stavolta, Laura non c'é, Sei grande, Se una regola c'é, Sei solo tu e In te. I have always liked him but this is actually first album by him I bought. In sales I admit. Then a very pleasant surprise my Mango: a double live cd including his greatest hits like La rondine, Nella mia cittá, Bella d'estate, and many more. Incredible voice and beautiful songs. And over 25 years of memories! I also got Biagio Antonacci's Mis canciones en espanol, including Iris, Cuánto tempo y aún sigues and Si tu estas. His songs sound good in any language, even Finnish. I also got Nina Zilli's album that includes her OGAESC 2010 entry L'uomo che amava le donne as well as 50mila. Then I got two albums by Ligabue, a rocker I have been flirting with for years but never bought anyhting before. Must be all that driving around Lazio and Toscana and listening him at the car that finally made me a fan? (Or was it Virgi?)  Piccola stella senza cielo, Balliamo sul mondo and Metti in circolo il tuo amore are amongst my favourites. Last but least a real bargain: six Giorgia albums in a box for less that 25 euros, from her debut in 1994 to her sixth album in 2001 with fantastic Sanremo tracks like E poi, Come saprei (#1), Strano il mio destino (#3) and Di sole e d'azzurro (#2) and my personal favourites like C'é da fare, E c'é ancora il mare, Sueno latino and like that wasn't enough I also bought her greatest hits Le cose non vanno mai come credi in sales including fantastic Marzo.What a fantastic vocalist she is. If she only could do Eurovision (like she deserved already back in 1995)
A lot to listen. Something new, a lot of old but filled with memories.....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Didrik strikes a deal!

Didrik Solli-Tangen who represanted Norway in Oslo 2010 has signed a record deal with Universal. After My heart is yours he will release a second single on September 4, and the debut album will follow in October. Now let's see what kind of music it will have....

Tarkan is back!

Tarkan, who were wildly rumoured to be the Turkish entrant in 2010 (once again) has released a new album Adimi kalbine yaz with the first single release Sevdanin Son Vurusu that already made it to #2 in Turkey. The album is his 10th since 1992 and he has sold over 15 million albums worldwide so far. Let's see when the rumours start once again that he will do Eurovision 2011 in Germany. It would be very fitting, after all he was born and raised in Germany and first discovered international success there.

Monday, August 09, 2010

It was August 8, 2005....

... when I got this idea of starting a blog without having any idea what to do with it. Travel stories? Photos? Things and happening about Finland? Indeed, the first post was about the Athletics world champs in Helsinki then.... it took a couple of years before it turned into Eurovision and the rest,  and has then grown from nothing to a blog with average 500-600 visits a day all year round with peaks of thousends (7.671 remains the record at the moment), nearly 425.000 visits since I added the counter a couple of years ago. Visitors from 184 countries so far, over 1.100 friends in Facebook... Quite a lot to handle on my own but as long as I have fun with it.... This is post number 3.463 and there's more to come.... (Ok, this comes a day late but hey, I was on holidays and completely forgot about the blog and Eurovision and all the rest and had my mind on aftersuns and beach towels instead!) Thank you all!

Back in business - more or less

This blog will take slowly life again after the short summer break. My Roman holidays turned into 1.000 kms driving around Lazio and Tuscany, from the seaside in Ostia and Focene to the mountains in Castell'Azzara and Monte Amiata and all the absolutely lovely Tuscan countryside in between including Pienza! With one of those moments that you know already when they happen that this will be a memory for a lifetime: midnight at Saturnia baths under the starry skies, relaxing in the hot water and cascades in the darkness illuminated only by occasional flashlights and people walking in the X-files like mist.... Absolutely fantastic. If you have a chance go for it, here.
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