Wednesday, July 31, 2013

ALICE & BATTIATO LIVE 2013: I TRENI DI TOZEUR

DOES SCHLAGER SOUND BETTER IN THE NUDE?


Is German schlager your thing, with a little Eurovision thrown in? Want a different schlager party experience? Why not dropping your clothes and joining the Schlagernacktparty? Oh ja! You won't be alone, as about 200 naked party people have joined for some naked schlager already for ten years and 49 times. The 50th party coincides with the 10th anniversary on August 15, 2013. All this happens at SchwuZ, Mehringdamm 61 in Berlin and people come also abroad for the fun. More info here.
There's also a voting for the favorite songs and list of songs and singers includes gems like these (some of them might need somewhat acquired taste): Dschingis Khan - Moskau, Lena Valaitis -  Da kommt José, Nicole - Allein in Griechenland, Roland Kaiser - Amore mio, Udo Jürgens: Ich weiss was ich will, Imca Marina: Eviva Espana, Ingrid Peters - Afrika 
Nothing like ring dancing to Moscow in the nude, I suppose!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ALICE AND BATTIATO TOGETHER AGAIN! TONIGHT IN LATINA!

They never have stopped collaborating, every now and then in a way or other over the years but this is the first time they will be giving a joint concert! This miracle happens this July 30, 2013 in Latina. Three hours of music, started by Alice, followed by Battiato and finally both of them together for the past part of the concert. Alice has recorded albums with Battiato's music, songs he wrote and produced for her, or she made covers of his other songs. They have also dueted in various times, including Chanson egocentrique, Come un sigillo and of course I treni di Tozeur. For Alice's latest album Samsara that came out last year, Battiato wrote Eri con me, that he also recorded for his new album Apriti, Sesamo that was released only weeks after.... How I wish I was there!
Here are some of their latest songs: Nata ieri, Cambio casa, Orientamento, Quand'ero giovane, Testamento, Passacaglia
(originally published May 24, 2013)

MARCO MENGONI HITS LOS ANGELES WITH FRANCO BATTIATO

Marco Mengoni is still touring unil the end of the year with his Essenziale tour that seems like an everending affair as new dates are added all the time even to towns he has already been with it. But he is also working on his international career as we know the Spanish market invasion is in the making with songs in Spanish sometime in the future. Now it has been confirmed he will be also head lining the Billboards Hit Week 2013 where the famous magazine and trend setter showcases sounds from Italy, including also Franco Battiato and Erica Mou. It will be curious to hear then if he will perform in English or Spanish, or simply in Italian, as Los Angeles is also a center for Latin music market. Here are the concert by these two Eurovision stars:

09.10 Franco Battiato - Highline Ballroom, New York
10.10 Franco Battiato - Phoenix Theatre, Toronto
28.10 Marco Mengoni - Billboard Music Conference, Los Angeles
29.10 Marco Mengoni - Billboard Music Conference, Los Angeles

This promotion of Italian music in collaboration with Billboard and Italian music industry among others under title Unexpected sounds from Italy started back in 2007.
Meanwhile you can enjoy Marco Mengoni in Battiti Live a couple of days ago: L'essenziale, Non me ne accorgo

Sunday, July 28, 2013

WklVids: Amel Bent & Soprano, Annalisa, Great Wide North, Klapa Campi

Génération Goldman volume 2 is hitting the shops in France featuring once again Jean Jacques Goldman classics revisited by young singers of today (including Amandine Bourgeois). The first single of the follow up is Quand la musique est bonne performed by Amel Bent & Soprano. Goldman's original is from 1982. Annalisa won the Italian OGAESC selection with Alice e il blu and will try to bis Nina Zilli's victory last year. Great Wide North from UMK 2013 released earlier this summer We're the sound with a cool video to go with it. The boys from the north went all the way to Spain to film it. Croatian Klapa Cambi has released Jidra mog vapora with a beautiful video. A bit like their Eurovision 2013 entry. Beautiful...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

ITALY: ANNALISA WITH ALICE E IL BLU FOR OGAESC 2013

Italian OGAE has selected its song and singer for the OGAE Song contest 2013. Reigning champions nearly sent last year's winner Nina Zilli for the third time in four years but the Facebook "jury" put end to that and her Per le strade. Annalisa's win with Alice e il blu was a very convincing one anyways: winner with the international jury and second with the Facebook jury and the OGAE Italy members jury. Facebookers put only Emma with her 1,2,3 ahead her, and the Italy memebers Nina Zilli. Marco Mengoni came third with Una parola, Jalisse with Tra rose e cielo 11th, Raphael Gualazzi with Mambo soul 15th. Excellent choice all in all and most likely Italy will be scoring very well again this year. A 5th victory isn't out of reach either....
Check the full list of songs, the voting and the placements here.
Annalisa Scarrone took part in this year's Sanremo with Scintille and Non so ballare, and apparently was also considered for Eurovision by the jury.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

NEW WAVE 2013 IN JURMALA IS HAPPENING AGAIN WITH DIMA BILAN, ANI LORAK, SERGEY LAZAREV, LARA FABIAN, GAROU, VERKA SERDUCHKA....


Jūrmala in Latvia is the place to be if you are singer in ex-USSR countries and not only as the New Wave - the international contest of new pop voices is taking place again. Sixteen singers or groups have made it to the contest this year coming from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Germany, Armenia, Latvia, Cuba, Georgia and Vietnam. No Finnish or Italian singers made the cut this year. In the coming days the performers will do world-wide hits and local hits, while guest stars will perform as well. There will be also gala concerts, tennis, soccer.... a lot goijg on indeed. If the contestants are new and fresh the guest stars include a lot of familiar names:
Valeria, Sergey Lazarev, Intars Busulis, Dima Bilan, Emin, Garou, Julio Iglesias, Il Divo, Natalia Podolskaya, Ani Lorak, Serebro, Lara Fabian, Timati, Verka Serduchka, Alsou, Alessandro Safina, Emma Shaplin.... and if that wasn't enough Toto Cutugno is one of the judges!
You can follow the happenings this week here. Youtube will be flooded with videos as well if things go by like the previous years....

Monday, July 22, 2013

THE STORY OF VALENTINA MONETTA

Valentina Monetta released earlier this summer Crisalide - La storia di Valentina Monetta while waiting for her new album coming out early next year to coincide with her third consegutive participation in Eurovision song contest for her native San Marino. This CD sums up of her journey so far from the jazz clubs to the worldwide stage and adoration of Eurovision fans and not only. Her debut album Il mio gioco preferito was released in 2011 in digital form and this one has the best from it, with added tracks, namely her Eurovision entries so far in various forms plus I'll follow sunshine, another Siegel penned song that originally took part in the Maltese Eurovision selection.
A real nice surprise is to discover that Valentina herself has written or co-written those earlier songs. Una giornata bellissima already gained fame when her name was first mentioned as the Sammarinese represent as this was just about the only thing online on Youtube at the time. This blogger likes a lot Diadaba jazz with it's nice lounge feeling. Reproduced it wouldn't be out of any of those compilation cds played in cool bars all over the world - I imagine myself listening it in some some place hot, with a nice caipirinha in my hand and smell of aftersun in the air waiting for some tasty seafood dinner... 
Real gems of this album are the jazz versions of The social network song and Crisalide. Facebook is featured also in Euroclub version while Crisalide in four different versions, as is its English version Chrysalis: Dance, Radio pop, Radio jazz and original, clear fillers and bonus tracks but it's great to have them all in one place!
All in all a very enjoyable album showcasing Valentina's both sides. And a very good appetizer in wait for the worthcoming "real" album. Which direction she will go, or will she go on mixing both styles or will she manage to create her own sound? And most of all, how will her third Eurovision entry be like?
Meanwhile we can enjoy her live in Stockholm Pride and Eurovision cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn next month...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

WklVids: Josh James, Koza Mostra, Oscar Wilder, Rebstar ft. Kállay-Saunders

Eurovision 2010 UK entrant Josh Dubovie has dropped his last name and makes a comeback as Josh James in Game over. Can he win this game this time? Never was doubts about his vocals and the song's not bad either. What am I doing here? are asking the Greek guys of Koza Mostra in their new video. Nicely shot action video that leaves no doubt who's their sponsor....  Oscar Wilder, whoever he is, is having the gimmick of having his (apparently) ex-lover Valerio Pino naked in his video Vuelve. And who is Valerio? Apparently Ricky Martin's ex-boyfriend or so he claims. A self declared Dio dell'Amore who gets his nutrition of scandal mags. The song itself is kinda nice nonsense for summer. And summer gossip. From Hungary comes Rebstar featuring András Kállay-Saunders in All night. It has something of Marvin Gaye's Sexual healing going on....

Sunday, July 14, 2013

WklVids: Eli Lieb, Miro, Tommy Fredvang, Michael Bublé

Eli Lieb is another new young singer to make himself known like Steve Grand last week. His Young love was just released featuring a very cute video. The song itself is great and this blogger loves his voice and way of singing! Bulgarian Miro is back with a song and video called Suvenir (Сувенир). Nice artistic video and again a very nice song from him. Norwegian Tommy Fredvang didn't make it to Eurovision but he has changed the language from English in Vampyrane featuring also a sweet & sexy video. Michael Bublé has released a new song, Close your eyes, that features a lot of people, including Matt Zarley.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

WE HAVE A NEW TANGO KING!

Namely the biggest entertaining holabaloo in Finland is over for another year. This week Seinäjoki has been filled with tango when the new hopefuls and old royals like Jari Sillanpää, Amadeus Lundberg and Arja Koriseva have been entertaining the tango people along with names like Katri Helena and Antti Tuisku. The new Tango Queen was crowned this Thursday and she is Heidi Pakarinen. Tonight the new king was chosen by the televote and the jury as well and he is Kyösti Mäkimattila, the 28th in the history. Watch the performances here.
As there is now UMK, the tango royals don't have an access to Euroviisut final, like Marko Maunuksela and Amadeus Lundberg had. However Kyösti has a rather poppy sound and looks for it, so maybe he should think about it?

Friday, July 12, 2013

ESC 2014: JAMALA FOR UKRAINE?

In our exclusive interviews in Malmö 2013 interviews we asked the artists who would they like to see representing their country in Denmark 2014. Ukrainian Zlata Ognevich suggests Jamala. Yet this seems a bit unlikely as Jamala said in the interview she's not interested. Maybe due to her bitter ending attempt in 2011 when her Smile and Zlata's The Kukusha were beated by Mika Newton in rather dubious voting. Or did she actually withdraw stating the contest is rigged besides recount and new final?
Anyways, Jamala is a talent with personality on the weird side that is always a plus and already a fan favorite at some level. Maybe if they sent her off to Denmark internally with a song like before mentioned Smile and we might me heading back to Kyiv in 2015? Her exotic looks come from the Tatar part of the family and her style is a mix of jazz, soul and r'n'b with some etno and gospel thrown in. Her career kickstarted big time in 2009 when she won the New Wave festival in Jūrmala, Latvia. Since then she has released two studio albums and a live DVD. Before that she took part in dozens of competitions in Ukraine, Russia and elsewhere in Europe, including Italy, since she was 15
Here's also  Кактуc, All these simple things and here you can see all videos on her official channel.... She would be a elegant and tasteful choice for Ukraine indeed!

Monday, July 08, 2013

VALENTINA MONETTA JOINS THE EUROVISION CRUISE

OGAE Finland is organizing for the 4th time the Eurovision cruise and this year aboard m/s Silja Europa cruising from Helsinki to Tallinn and back on August 31-September 1 and some 2.000 fans will get the change to meet and greet and be entertained by San Marino's triple entrant Valentina Monetta, Finland's own double entrant Marion Rung, Swedish Linda Bengtzing who is yet to win Melodifestivalen and go to Eurovision itself, Finnish drag queens Jukka K and Miss Divet providing a new Eurovision show, fan favorite DJ's Ohrmeister and Werneri.... and maybe some more!
For more information and how to join in the fun, click here
And stay tuned for special treats and exclusive goodies by yours truly!

EUROVISION 2014 ON MAY 10

One week earlier it will be than previously booked. DR and EBU has set the dates of the Eurovision song contest 2014 for May 6 and 8 for the semifinals, and May 10 for the final. This is to accomodate the venues still in the running, and most likely also Norway, who rather celebrates their national day on May 17 than Eurovision.... This is the earliest date since Birmingham that had the final on May 9, but this blogger remembers well when the final most often took place already in April. Then over the years it slowly moved to early May and then anywhere in May reaching the May 29 date in Jerusalem 1999 and Oslo 2010. I'm all for an early date, bring back the April finals!
The venue will be decided over the summer and there are still various options in the running despite Aalborg, Fredericia and Copenhagen's Parken withdrawing their bids already. Copenhagen with two venues, Herning and Horsens are still in the run.....

Sunday, July 07, 2013

WklVids: Steve Grand, ByeAlex, Florent Mothe, Jutty Ranx

For the 4th of July let's have some American music, like country music's rising star Steve Grand. Country with a twist like his All-American boy. Very Abercrombie & Fitch-esque video with a story and a great track, too. You can also download the track here. Hungarian ByeAlex is back with a new video Nekemte. And he has always Daniel by his side. Interesting stuff once again. French Florent Mothe has an excellent song out, Les blessures qui ne se voient pas with a very nice video, too. Why doesn't France send something like this to Eurovisionn for a change? Last but not least Jutty Ranx, a Finnish-American combo that has scored a platinum selling  #3 hit in Italy (among others) with their I see you. Band's Jaakko Manninen is also known from Beats & Styles and Euroviisut 2007.

Friday, July 05, 2013

ESC 2014: SOERII & POOLEK FOR HUNGARY?

In our exclusive interviews in Malmö 2013 Eurovision we asked the artists who would they like to represent their country in Denmark 2014. Hungarian ByeAlex mentioned DJs Soerii & Poolek (and later in some interviews mentioned that "if Hungary wants to send a pretty boy it should be András Kalláy-Saunders", who wouldn't be bad at all this blogger thinks. Anyways, I know nothing about Soerii & Poolek, except they sure sport an interesting look(s) and make me think of Leningrad Cowboys somehow (among others) and ... well. Judge yourself: Brutális nyár, Pusszy, Valahol messze, Nekem kukim van, Tanga, Legyünk boldogok...
It's kinda refreshing to see they don't favor the usual female types in their videos.... but would their music and type of humor work in Eurovision?

Thursday, July 04, 2013

ESC 2014: ÁSGEIR TRAUSTI FOR ICELAND?

In our exlusive interviews in Malmö 2013 Eurovision we asked the artists who would they like to see represent their country in Denmark 2014. Icelandic Eyþór Ingi mentioned Ásgeir Trausti, who has had a rather amazing star for his recording career.
Ásgeir Trausti released his debut album Dýrð í dauðaþögn in 2012. and so far he has scored five singles off it. Leyndarmál and Dýrð í dauðaþögn made it to #1 in Icelandic charts, Sumargestur #2, Nýfallið regn #5 and Hærra #15. meantime he also released another #1 single, Hvítir skór, with Blaz Roca. That one stayed at #1 for nine weeks! He also sings in English, like Going home. And it sounds very good indeed! Very interesting suggestion. Could he be the one to bring Iceland its first Eurovision win? 

VALENTINA MONETTA TO STOCKHOLM PRIDE

Valentina Monetta will be joining the cast of Stockholm Pride that includes already likes of Gina G, Krista Siegfrids, Roberto Bellarossa, Margaret Berger, Sean Banan, Lys Assia, Ryan Dolan, Janet Leon, Anton Ewald and reigning Eurovision Queen Emmelie De Forest. Valentina will perform there on August 1, 2013. What a better way to return to Sweden and shower in the adoration of fans before doing it for the third time next May in Denmark? Besides, her album Crisalide - la storia di Valentina Monetta is now also available in physical CD form. Pre-listen and order here.

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