Thursday, October 31, 2013


Italian OGAE is a very active club and organizes a big get together this time in eternal city Rome, also this blogger's ex-home city and yes, Rome is forever having a piece of my heart. As is OGAE Italy for another reason. The weekend is full of activities and they have two special guests to join them: Roberto Bellarosa and Valentina Monetta. (Now I can honestly say I wish so much to be there! But unfortunately it's impossible...) But if you are around, or just willing to go hop on a plane, train or a car and go!
The fun starts Saturday November 9, 2013 at 3.30pm in location of Hotel Eurostars Roma Aeterna. Roberto Bellarosa will surely sing his songs like Je crois,  Reste toi, his Eurovision 2013 entry Love kills (that this blogger liked when no one else did yet...) and his latest release Suivre mon etoile, which is just great! The club members will also take Robertino for a walk in the city for some sightseeing and lunch for some cucina romana with his mother. I would suggest to go also have a drink in Obikà in Campo de' Fiori.... 
Valentina Monetta will also join in the fun with her concert with her Eurovision entries Social network swing and Crisalide as well as fan favorite Una giornata bellissima and her latest release L'Amore verrà. She will be also pending time with her fans and I'm sure if there are any present who aren't her fans yet will be once they get a moment with her! There's karaoke, food, fun and friends and more. Remember.... Italians do it better! More information here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


The 37th Syksyn Sävel was held in MTV3 studios in Helsinki tonight. Unfortunately it was a poorly staged rather amateurish offering this year with songs that could have taken part in the 70's or 80's mostly but that's no wonder when you look at the artists internally selected for it - most of them had their last hit in the 70's or 80's, or in some cases 90's. With a few exceptions who indeed turned out to be the best ones. Suvi Teräsniska was high above the rest with her elegant, dramatic pop perfection Täydellinen elämä. No wonder she scored almost 30% of the votes. Milana Misic had also a very strong song, with a touch of French chanson. Stig from UMK continues going more and more mainstream and he was rather enjoyable. Finally Neljän Suora, one of the rare acts actually being popular in the 2010's also had a song that will be another hit for them for sure. Finally, a hands up for Vicky Rosti, who looked more stunning than ever and also seemed to enjoy her uptempo number a lot. 
The rest were rather mediocre and outdated and one can only wonder what likes of Muska, Kake Randelin and Markku Aro were doing there with songs of this quality? Searching for a new hit? No way. After they they haven't had one for 30 years anyways...  And Ressu & Jussi sounded exactly like they did when they last had hits, in the early 1990's. Antti Railio may be the Voice of Finland 2013 winner but his song just wasn't good enough... '
As happy as I was for Syksyn Sävel's comeback in 2011 I'm not so sure if it was a good idea after all if it's fallen to this state in only 3 editions again - just like in early 1990's when it was cancelled.... On the positive side the new era winners have both had big hits (Jari Sillanpää and Jesse Kaikuranta) and Suvi is going to follow that trend for sure.
The winner was decided by televotes alone with all funds going to fond a new children's hospital and people were able to donate money all though the evening. The guest stars were Vesa-Matti Loiri featuring Jenni Vartiainen adding another Eurovision artist to the evening. Their duet Halvalla was rather haunting moment and they could be just the Finnish Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin....

Markku Aro - Anna tulta
Antti Railio - Ruostunut ankkuri
Muska Babitzin - Nämä kyyneleet
Ressu & Jussi - Sydän särkyy
Kake Randelin - Suomalainen sisu
Virve Rosti - Ystävälle
Pate Mustajärvi - Pirunpolkka
Milana Misic - Tuedäthän mistä mut löytää
Freeman - Kavereita vaan
Suvi Teräsniska - Täydellinen elämä
Stig - Niks ja naks
Neljän Suora - Aurinko

PS. I wrote this already in mid-September :-) Easy prediction? Let's start the campaign Suvi for Eurovision 2015!


Marco Mengoni keeps running and made it all the way to Los Angeles and Hit Week 2013. Let' see what comes out of this new adventure, will he take on the Americas next? Watch his performances there here and here. More here and here.  It seems he had prepaired different showcases for those two days. The unplugged acoustic set sounds pretty fantastic!
Next he will be all over Italy in cinemas and also representing Italy in the OGAE video contest, and fighting to become the best European act in the EMAs but more about those later....


Riki Sorsa has released a new album Kun tunnet rakkauden... (When you feel love...), his first since 2000. In between he has beaten throat cancer threatening his voice but now he's back! And with something completely new to his repertoire. He sings the Finnish songbook with jazzy arrangements, or classics from the 1930's to 1970's and two Eurovision entries are included: Laiskotellen that Lasse Mårtensson took to Copenhagen 1964 and Aurinko laskee länteen, the Viktor Klimenko null pointer in Naples 1965. Also Mårtensson's classic Marraskuu is included. All the songs except those beforementioned are covers that have become evergreens in Finland in Finnish.
Listen to samples here and buy the album here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Fausto Leali shot to the fame already in 1967 with A chi, and got known for his special voice. The year after he was already in Sanremo with Deborah, one of his biggest hits placing 4th. He repeated his 4th place the year after with Un'ora fa. Then followed some less succesful participations: 1970 Hippy (12th), 1972 L'uomo e il cane (non finalist), 1973 La bandiera di sole (8th). Then a 15-year break and new success with Io amo in 1987, written by Toto Cutugno and 4th place. Mi manchi came 5th the year after. Then came 1989 when he united with Anna Oxa "as we two never win anything" et voilá, they won with Ti lascerò. They also went to Eurovision together with rather similarly built Avrei voluto placing 9th. In the 1990's he was back to Sanremo twice; in 1992 with Perche (9th) and 1997 with Non ami che te (10th). Three participations also in the 2000's: 2002 with another duet, this time with another foxy lady Luisa Corna and Ora che ho bisogno di te placing once again 4th. The year after Eri tu didn't feature as well, being only 13th. His latest and 13th Sanremo to date is 2009 and Una piccola parte di te that reached the final. Will we see him back in 2014 to make it to the 6th decade?
He has released 18 studio albums, two of them blues covers proving where he got his nickname Il negro bianco. The lastest album is Una piccola parte di te from 2009, but in 2011 he released a single Sono tornato (I'm back) but it's not like he's been back a lot... at least in the recording studio!
He turns 69 today! Auguri, Faustino!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013


Let's try again he said after giving us this / this and this. And even this. This blogger loves though this one and he has even recorded Antti Kleemola's Euroviisut entry Sun puolella to his worthcoming album. But before all that it's all about Rebecca. She sings Let's try again and it's a beautiful song with fantastic arrangements and her voice fits it perfectly. This could be off Celine Dion album, isn't it? Will he be third time lucky with her after Auryn (7th in Spain 2011) and Melissa (4th in Switzerland 2013)...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

WklVids: Black Bitches ft. Mikael Saari, Jesse Kaikuranta, Lauri Tähkä, Jontte Valosaari ft. Elastinen

UMK 2013 fan favourite and runner up Mikael Saari joins the hip hoppers Black Bitches in Sä oot kaunein. The bitches are smooth and groovy and Mikael's vocals are once again perfect. Let's stay in Finland with Jesse Kaikuranta. He's got a new album and the first single is Vielä täällä. Both videos feature also the colors of autumn! Also Lauri Tähkä has released his second solo album and Saat syttymään is the first release off it. Big sound and catchy as hell, as usual. Jontte Valosaari had a top-2 hit with Jos mä oisin sun mies featuring Elastinen. The song stayed in top-20 18 weeks from late 2012 onwards. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013


More songs has been submitten to the Swiss selection when the deadline comes closer. Today we start with a group of three The Voice of Switzerland finalist; Iris Moné, Argentinian Gisel de Marco and Ricardo Sanz aka 3 For All. Their song is Together forever. Let's see if they together at least until Copenhagen! The song has a good feeling, nice arrangements and incredients. Yasmina Hunzinger from the German Voice performs a standard ballad I still believe. It has a bit of a country flavor and she has a lovely voice and can hold her note. Paula Marengo comes from Spain and sings in French her J'ai envie de toi, that is rather charming, catchy and different. What would be an Eurovision selection be without fans writing a song? That is the case of It's not impossible by Michael James. Written and produced by Michael James Down, Primoz Poglajen, Jonas Gladnikoff, Johnny Sanchez & Dimitri Stassos - all familiar names to Eurovision freaks. In good or in bad it's Eurovision by numbers and something that fans like. But hasn't even Melodifestivalen moved on from this sound? We'll see.... :-)

Friday, October 25, 2013


The World Music Awards honours the best-selling recording artists from every continent. They are presented on sales merit and voted by the public on the Internet. There are plenty of Eurovision artists and even more somhow related to it among the nominees, Ola and Emin just to name a couple. 
Marco Mengoni is the king here with six nominations and Loreen the queen with five. Can we now declared Mengoni as the moral winner of Eurovision 2013? After all, he's the one with the biggest success. Emmelie or the other acts of 2013 are nowhere to be seen...
Celine Dion, Anggun, Natasha St.Pier and the surprise on the list Samira Said gathered four. So good to see Samira here, even if I knew she is very popular in the Arab world. Dima Bilan and Philip Kirkorov have three and Sererbo two nominations and finally we have the ones with one: Agnetha Fältskog, Raphael Gualazzi, Anouk, Michalis Hatzigiannis and Sakis Rouvas. But where is Lena?!

Song: Loreen - Euphoria, Marco Mengoni - L'Essenziale,  Samira Said - Mazel
Album: Agnetha - A, Raphael Gualazzi - Happy mistake, Marco Mengoni - #prontoacorrere, Celine Dion - Sans attendre, Anggun & Natasha St.Pier- Théresè - Vivre l'amour, also the concept album Generation Goldman 2 featuring Amaury Vassili, Anggun and Amandine Bourgeois
Video: - Loreen - Euphoria. Marco Mengoni - L'Essenziale
Female artist: Anouk, Anggun,  Celine Dion, Loreen, Natasha St Pier, Samira Said
Male artist: Dima Bilan, Marco Mengoni, Michalis Hatzigiannis, Philip Kirkorov,  Sakis Rouvas
Group: Serebro
Best live act: Anggun, Celine Dion, Dima Bilan, Loreen, Marco Mengoni, Natasha St Pier, Philip Kirkorov, Serebro, Samira Said
Entertainer: Anggun, Celine Dion, Dima Bilan, Loreen, Marco Mengoni, Natasha St.Pier, Philippe Kirkorov, Samira Said

Full nomination lists here.


The vote for the best national acts to compite for the Best European Act is over and the winners are out. For Italy it's Marco Mengoni. He was also nominated back in 2010 when he also won the Best European act. 
For Germany it's Lena again. She was nominated and also won the Best European act in 2011. The category has been won now five times out of six by Eurovision artists (maNga, Mengoni, Lena, Dima Bilan) so let's see if one of them will do a double and continue the trend! 
Here are all the nominees. For Finland it's Isac Elliot.
EMA 2013 will take place on November 10, 2013 in Amsterdam.


Conchita Wurst, the chosen one for Austria has created some media fuss beforehand. Mostly in Belarus where there's a petition against her and her Eurovision participation. Really? How ridiculous is that? According to the petition, "The popular competition fills our kids with liberal European ideas, and it is becoming a hotbed of sodomy." Sounds very Russian. Or rather equally idiotic. All we can hope now is that they really won't show her and then get kicked out from ESC for breaking the rules for good. Or at least until they learn how to behave, respect the rules and people, and send which éver song wins the national final, whether the Dictator himself likes it or not. 
But this is not the first time an Eurovision artist gets in trouble. In 1998 Israeli transsexual Dana International was tried to stop going, but that was mostly inside her own country by some religious extremist or something. Abroad we just adored her and voted her to win the whole thing just like it was ment to be. Has Europe become less tolerant in the past 15 years then?
In 2006 the Finnish monsterband Lordi caused protests first at homeground and later internationally. "They're of Satan! They drink blood and eat babies!" Yeah right. And they won. At home they turned from shameful dirtbags into national heroes overnight after winning. Some people are so doublefaced... Later the band became also children's favorite and Mr Lordi has then proved himself a lovely guy.
If Dana International won because of what she was (mediocre vocals, pretty good song), and Lordi despite what they were (after all under those masks and huge show there is a very good song), let's see how it goes for Ms Wurst. Hopefully she picks up a song that is as strong as her personality and her vocals as she has no worries in that department. 
We got already a taste of the changing climate this year, when Krista Siegfrids's "lesbian kiss" caused a scandal and debate. Really? A kiss! If she was running around the stage with a gun shooting people (like Madonna in her latest tour, btw,) no one would have propably cared. That has no shock value, a kiss has. Or a sausage under a skirt.
At these times of homofobia and discremination spreading and ruling in Europe what would be more satisfying than Austria winning with Conchita? A real slap in the face and kick in the ass for certain countries, and not only. Go Conchita!

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Remember Iina Salin and fantastic Last night from UMK 2013? She's back with Swan Land project together with Joonas Outakoski. Together they are releasing for free their coming album Your parade song per week in Youtube and Soundcloud. Quite interesting stuff, I'd say....
The idea of giving music away comes from the crisis/music/internet combination. They tell the main idea is to get gigs. If some label gets interested and sings us the album might see also a physical release. Today when music doesn't sell like it used to, mainly thanks to web piracy and illegal downloading that the artists gets nothing, the money comes from gigs. One can't buy the live experience from internet!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Yesterday I already blogged about four songs and here are four more that got me interested and listening the songs in full. 
When soul meet opera the result is Hopera. And that's what K'ream and LaLa (Ackermann) are offering us. The combination is rather captivating and haunting. Onca again the question is how this will work out live, in case of....
Patric Scott is no stranger to the national selection and here he is again with Alive. A strong catchy pop song. "I'm so over you, I don't need you anymore" he sings. (I hope he doesn't mean his previous duet partner Fabienne Louves. Wasn't it Real love after all?)
Vanessa Krasniqi sing My man. It's a power ballad in American style heard about a million times but somehow it still sounds good and sincere. I hope her journey here won't end up like the song's editing on this preview... Autsch! 
Two Swiss sisters, what else could they call themselves but Swissters? Celebration is their song and it has something I can't really quite put my finger on. This could come alive and a real celebration on stage or then not. But lovely they are. They have 10-15 years of experience in the business but separately. Sisters do it better themselves, do they?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


The SRF's internet submission in Switzerland ends in less than a week and it's as good a time as any to have a look what's in store there. 
First I picked Jerome Mevis and All we can do. It's a sweet guitar ballad with nice vocals and just gets better with each listening. Sometimes less is more and this is another prove of just that. If this acoustic guitar duo can be as convincing live, who knows where they could end up?
Next Sand Lato, and funky girl with Italian roots singing in French C'est fini, what would be more suiting for Switzerland? Fun song with great performer and sound. Could this do the trick in Copenhagen?
Nothing like real German schlager, is there? Well, yes....but... Anyways, Leonard and his man of the world, Ein Mann von Welt brings us back in time in sound and melody, and he looks the part, too. Maybe the circle has turned as it sounds quite cool again! This is like Nino de Angelo of the 2010's.
MBHL of My Body Has Legs is a weird name for a band but their song 30 days and 30 nights is not. It's pretty great electropop! How well that will translate to live performance eventually remains to be seen, but I'd love to witness that!
You can listen these and all the others here.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

WklVids: Laura Pausini ft. Kylie Minogue, Giorgia, Lucy Was Driving, Robin Stjernberg

Laura Pausini is making a comeback from maternity leave with a new album and new duets. The first one features Kylie Minogue! Sounds a rather strange pairing but Limpido works out well. And the ladies get to take some very colorful baths in the video. Staying in Italy we have Quando una stella muore by Giorgia. Once again: What an Eurovision entry this would have been for Italy! Remember Lucy Was Driving from UMK? They're back with The anthem of broken dreams. The video is very innotive and... ehmm... educative? In the end music can make wonders! There's plenty of drama, education and high notes as added bonus in Robin Stjernberg's new one, Pieces, too. Hands free, I say!


The most loved Finnish female singer, and twice Eurovision represent Katri Helena hits the road again to celebrate her 50th anniversary in the business. And on the top. Her career has been rather solid without any major ups and downs but she's been on top all the time. She's got 22 gold, platinum or double platinum discs decorating the walls of her home and the total sales are over 1,5 million albums in a country of five million. Besides Eurovision she has represented Finland in Rostock and Sopot music festivals as well as in Cannes. She has also performed in Japan, Sovjet Union, Estonia, France.... and won countless awards from the Female artist of the year to the Most positive person of the year. Last year she was one of the artists in the hugely popular Vain elämää reality TV-series, where artists live together for awhile and sing each other's songs. Even a musical has been made of her life, still running. Besides the tour it was recently announced she is writing a book to be released next year....
On the tour she will take a look back at her career from her first release Poikien kuvat in 1963 to her latest album Valon maa (2011). Of course her Eurovision entries Katson sineen taivaan (1979) and Tule luo (1993) are included.
October: 25 Askola, 26 Askola, 27 Viking Grace November: 1 Oulu, 2 Turku, 3 Tampere, 8 Kokkola, 9 Ylihärmä, 10 Helsinki, 15 Viitasaari, 16 Pori, 17 Lahti, 23 Imatra, 24 Jyväskylä 30 Kuopio   *already sold out when writing this

Saturday, October 19, 2013


The Nordic countries are known for huge amount of songs sent to their national finals and this year is no exception. Sweden has to pick up their songs for Melodifestivalen among the 2628 wannabes but the Danish and Norwegian TV has a ot of work also with their 872 and 600 songs for their MGPs. UMK in Finland got 420 songs and the 12 finalist are already selected but yet to be made public. Last but not least Iceland let us know this week that they have received a record number of entries: 297. That makes a total of 4817 Nordic entries for 2014! So the chances to win in these countries are minimal, from 0,038% in Sweden to 0,34% in Iceland. 
Despite all these songs to choose from not always the local taste fits in with the pan-European vote, as in the past ten editions "only" 76% of the Nordic entries has reached the final. But then, four out of five countries have won the contest the past ten years and even the one missing out, Iceland, has been the runner up - to another Nordic country! And 14 out of the 50 entries has made Top-5, or 28%. Not bad at all...
To close this succesful period all we need now is an Icelandic win! Hopefully among those 297 is the one that will surprise Europe like a geysir! After all they know how to do excellent ballads as well as uptempo ones. It's a matter of time.

Friday, October 18, 2013


Strange things we hear from Russia. Apparently the Red Army Choir is aiming for the Eurovision 2014 stage in Copenhagen. With necessary compromises as the choir has nearly 200 members. It seems they have a song, a lead singer - Boris Dyakov - and plans that include also ballet dancers on stage. So far so good. After grannies eveything is possible and no one can't deny they can sing, and the gimmick factor is high, so... Besides they are well known all over the world.
But then when we hear that the motorcycle club Nochniye Volki or Night Wolves, the very same president Putin is messing up with, is supporting them and has promised to drive in a caravan all the way to Copenhagen things turn sour. Be afraid, be very afraid......
Here the choir joins the Finnish Leningrad Cowboys for a legendary concert. They are no strangers to Eurovision either having performed in Moscow 2009 Eurovision, along with t.A.T.u.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Switzerland or rather SRF uses again the very questionable way of letting anyone upload their entries in the hope to be selected. So far it's been rather quiet, less than 50 songs are up but as usual, the best and most serious ones will be added the last minute. Listen them here.
This year already three Finns are at it, too. ARTO* who has tried his luck in UMK and other talent shows without luck in Finland, and has become a sort of a cult figure in the fan circuit has sent in Pysähtyneet. Then we have a band called Pöytä osaa puhua (Table can talk) and Meren keskellä on kukka. You better listen that one yourself! And then there's Max and the Ducks, already a regular in the Swiss selection - this time with Anna-Kaisa and Misery.And it's not bad at all....
Not only Finns and Swiss have been busy as the songs in various languages come also from Russia, France, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Turkey, USA, UK....

*Update: Actually this song was sent to UMK 2014 and rejected as ARTO himself confessed on October 17, 2013.... apparently also Meren keskellä on kukka is a UMK 2014 drop out.... This adds to the "questionable" part in the process. The UMK rules state that the song may not take part in any other national selection, if I remember correct. That of course is valid only when the song is still in the running and as the songs are out in two weeks, they have already been selected and the rest are free to send them to Switzerland and other places. Maybe the Swiss should have a look at their rules as well?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Raphael Gualazzi will release a digital EP Rainbows on October 29, 2013, but only in Italy! This EP - second in his career following the self titled one in 2010 - incudes four tracks: Rainbows, that is the title track of hugely popular talk show Che tempo che fa hosted by Fabio Fazio, who will also host Sanremo 2014; Svalutation, a cover of a Adriano Celentano song; Il mare, a cover of Charles Trenet's La mer; and Legba, a new unreleased song by Raphael.
Raphael continues to enjoy international success and has so far released three albums: Love outside the window (2005), platinum selling Reality and fantasy (2011) including his Eurovision runner up Madness of love, and Happy mistake in February this year.

Monday, October 14, 2013

WklVids: Gisela, Antti Tuisku, Compact Disco, Pet Shop Boys

This week's weekly videos come a day late, but as they say better late than never as they are goodies! First we have Gisela - the one with the unforgettable outfit in Eurovision 2008 for Andorra and her Casanova . She's out with a very dancy and catchy Sugarwood. Finland's one and only Popstar Antti Tuisku has released a very touching sad song and video, Leila. We move on to Hungary. Compact Disco has released The Storm and it's another hit from this band! Pet Shop Boys have returned to their 1980's sound et voilá, they are more popular than ever... in the past 20 years. The latest album is great and Thursday is another single off it. A very welcome comaback, sort of. Now, if they only would have a little chat with BBC.....

Friday, October 11, 2013


Valentina Monetta releases a new video L'Amore verrá (Love will come) today. It's taken from her album La Storia di Valentina Monetta released this spring even and the song itself is written by the artist herself. You can download the song here.

The video is shot in Rimini and San Marino’s Hotel Titano with the production of SMRTV and directed by Michele Massari with the art direction by Fabrizio Raggi.

In the song Valentina deals with the mystery of love:
” bambina dolce e giocosa curiosa e smaniosa di sapere già l'amore cos'è, 
l'amore che ti riempie e poi chissà dov'è se l'amore c'è”
  “sweet baby girl, curious and playful and eager to know already what is love, 
the love that fills you up and then who knows where it is, if it's love”

This video comes after her two Eurovision adventures and before her third one in a row when she will represent San Marino again next spring in Copenhagen 2014. She’ll be only the fourth artist in Eurovision history to do so, after Lys Assia (1956-58), Corry Brokken (1956-58) and Udo Jürgens (1964-1966) – and all of those three have won!

After Eurovision 2013 Valentina has been busy preparing for her new album that she’s recording to be released in January 2014 including songs written mostly by herself and Ralph Siegel. The new album will obviously include her third Eurovision entry following The Social network song and Crisalide.

She has also had a busy summer between the shores of Mediterranean and Baltic seas. She attended both Stockholm Pride and Eurovision Cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn meeting her adoring international fans. She has also been doing her regular jazz club gigs in Italy - if not kite surfing and relaxing in Sardegna. Next on her agenda is London and preparations for the next year!
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