Saturday, August 31, 2013

VALENTINA MONETTA PARTIED THE NIGHT AWAY AT HERCULES

Valentina Monetta's trip to north started today with a flight from Bologna via Frankfurt to Helsinki. After settling into her hotel it was time for some dinner in restaurant Kaarna where she got her first taste of reindeer! And she loved it, btw. She told she used to be vegetarian for a long time but now she's back to eating meat and feeling much stronger! 
The very enjoyable evening in company with Kelly and Maria continued in Hercules nightclub where DJ Ohrmeister was in charge with the Eurovision loaded music. Of course Crisalide was on as soon as she entered the club and in moments she was meeting fans and friends made over the past two editions of Eurovision. Some looked rather stunned to see her there, most where only happy and delighted! And so was she!
When The social network song was on she entertained the crowd with some great moves on the dance floor. Oh oh uh uh oh oh....
The evening continued with some latin dancing to Ramón's Para llenarme de ti with a talented partner (Ruben, wasn't it?). All in all a great start for this Eurovision weekend in the northern seas.
Stay tuned for more updates and what's going on in Valentina's life and what's coming up in the near future before Denmark 2014....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

EUROVISION CRUISE 2013 - ARE YOU READY?

Eurovision cruise is coming up. 
Stay tuned for exclusive coverage!
Unfortunately Linda Bengtzing has had to cancel due to illness, but Timoteij has replaced her. Also Birgit Õigemeel has been added to the returning trip. Valentina Monetta will kick of the show followed by Marion Rung, Krista Siegfrids and Timoteij and after that the Eurovision disco continues until 6am!
More info here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

MARCO MENGONI BREAKS ANOTHER RECORD - AND DVD IN ARRIVO

Namely his new video Non passerai, in anteprima in Corriere della Sera's website has broken all the previous records of views. The video will be on his official VEVO tomorrow. Meanwhile his gig in Sicily, in Taormina's Teatro Antico (7th century BC) was filmed for a DVD release later on. The stage setting of Mengoni's tour, designed by Mamo Pozzoli featuring nine LED colonnas fit in perfectly with the Greek-Roman ruins. Can't wait to see that! 
The day after in Palermo his fans surprised him when he was singing Non passerai, cardbox boxes and hearts just like in his video materialized out of nowhere! Have a look yourself here. And you want to have a hint of the stage and the Mengomania, click here. And here's L'Essenziale.
(Photo by SaraMeli)

TIJANA FOR FYR MACEDONIA IN EUROVSION 2014

MRT has announced that Tijana Todevska-Dapčević, or simply Tijana, as she is known all over the Balcans will represent the country in Denmark 2014. This 37-year-old lady has five albums to her credit. Her family and career is a real pan-Ex-Yogoslavian affair and she sings in all languages of the region. She's been around since 2000 and in 2002 won Sunčane skale festival, after failing to get to Eurovision with Izgrev, and in 2006 she also tried to get to Eurovision from Evropesma 2006, the then Serbia & Montenegro's national final. She only came 8th with Greh, but later that year won Serbian Radio Festival-Feras 2006 with Julijana
Her other songs include Necu, Hajde da glumino, Opet Beograd.... Hmm, quite interesting, I'd say.I suspect we will get some strong visual look, whatever the song will be (apparently released by February 2014).

Monday, August 26, 2013

MARCO MENGONI RELEASED NON PASSERAI

Marco Mengoni, besides being touring with sold out concerts in Italy, has had time to go to Paris and shoot a very beautiful video for his third single off the album #prontoacorrere, this blogger's favorite Non passerai. He presented the clip in TG1 telling that in the video he wanders around the streets of Paris with a box in his head and takes photos with smiling people. "Smile is something very important this year. This year has been all smiles for me, I just can't stop smiling!".  The video suits the songs very nicely and continues the series of wonderfully shot videos after L'essenziale and Pronto a correre.
Watch this smiley interview here.

WklVids: Ola, Marco Mengoni, Roberto Amadé, Cesare Cremonini

This week's videos come a day late as your blogger's been walking the streets of  Rome. And the song I heard the most was Ola's I'm in love, that was literally playing everywhere. All the time. I also heard Marco Mengoni's Pronto a correre a few times on radio. Then two older songs as they are among those albums I bought. Roberto Amadé's Come pioggia (Sanremo 2011) is still a fantastic song I don't get tired of. I did get wet in Rome as well, but summer rain never hurt anyone, especially if it lasts 5 minutes and it's +35! Last but not least Cesare Cremonini. I got his greatest hits and boy, has this guy gone far in his career. I met him and his then band Lunapop in 1998 when they were having their very first TV-appearance in some local TV station in Rome. Poor guys, five of them, could only afford one room in a hotel. The rest is history! Latin lover is one of my favorites from his solo stuff. Maybe it's time he does Sanremo, or writes a song to his girlfriend Malika to take to Denmark 2014?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN: A LIFE FULL OF DRAMA

Some girls have maybe a bit too much drama for one life time. Not only did Olivia do Eurovision and Grease in the 1970's for the glittery drama, she also battled breast cancer in the early 1990's and beat it. In 2005 her boyfriend of nine years, Patrick McDermott went missing on a fish trip. He was believed to have drown but was tracked down living in a fishing village in Mexico years later. Nice way to treat your lady! And now a dead body has been found in Olivia's house in Florida! Apparently he was hired to renovate it as Olivia wanted to sell the house - to Rosie O'Donnell it seems - but he decided to shoot himself in the head instead.... How much can a girl take? Maybe she wants to escape to Xanadu, or will getting Physical make her forget her worries easier?

THE FOUR NORDIC WINS IN THE PAST 8 YEARS. IS IT ICELAND NEXT?

Eurovision is full of voting blocks and speculations, accusations of this and that, but it's also a lot of question of regional and culturas taste. It is more likely that Swedes like a Norwegian song than a Turkish one, or the Turks a song from the same region like Azerbaijan than the Icelandic one, for example. It makes perfect sense. All this put aside one "regional block" has featured well over the past years all considered, the melting pot of all that's "eurovisionesque" and schlager, that so many think Eurovision is all about. The Nordic countries.
Four out of five have scored a victory in the past eight years (Finland 2006, Norway 2009, Sweden 2012, Denmark 2013) and the odd one out, Iceland, was close in 2009 - kept away from the prize by another country from the block: Norway! Also four times in the past 8 years the Nordic countries have scored two top-5 finishes the same year.
Average score of all five of them making the final is 3,9. The worst year was 2007 when only Finland and Sweden managed to make the final (the year when the block voting speculation exploded big time) and three times all five have been present in the final (2008, 2009, 2013). Finland has missed the final four times, Iceland three times, Denmark and Norway twice and Sweden only once. Altogether they have scored 12 top-5 finishes in the past ten years. Not bad!
Even if there's an Eurovision under genre of Nordic schlager, the winners have been quite far from it really: monsters doing hard rock, Belarusian violinist telling fairytales, Moroccan mystic meets club anthem and little Danish fairy with an irish influenced folksong and stories about royal past. Will Iceland score its first victory sometime soon or complete a Nordic hat trick in 2014?What will they invent to finally make it? Something Björklike madness but with easier touch for the televoting masses?

2004 
Sweden - Lena Philipsson - It hurts - 5th
2006 
Finland - Lordi - Hard rock hallelujah - Winner
         Sweden - Carola - Invincible - 5th
2008 
Norway - Maria Haukaas Storeng - Hold on, be strong - 5th
2009 
Norway - Alexander Rybak - Fairytale - Winner
        Iceland - Yohanna - Is it true? - 2nd
2010 
Denmark - Chanée & N'Evergreen - In a moment like this - 4th
2011 
Sweden - Eric Saade - Popular - 3rd
         Denmark - A Friend in London - New tomorrow - 5th
2012 
Sweden - Loreen - Euphoria - Winner
2013 
Denmark - Emmelie De Forest - Only teardrops - Winner
        Norway - Margaret Berger - I feed you my love

Monday, August 19, 2013

JENNI VARTIAINEN - JUNAT JA NAISET

One of the biggest names in the Finnish music business is making a comeback after a break, Jenni Vartiainen. Her previous album Seili won her 7 Emma awards (Finnish Grammy) and spent 15 weeks at #1 (out of total of 62 weeks). It was also the best selling album of the year 2010 in Finland and ranks the 14th most sold album of all time. Even her singles sold platinum reaching almost 35.000 in total, something very unusual these days! Expectations are high for her new and third solo album Terra, to be released in October 2013. The first single is Junat ja naiset (Trains and women)and it promises good indeed! The video was shot in Iceland this summer.... It surely doesn't look very summery though, does it?!
Check out her older songs as well: Missä muruseni on?, Mä en haluu kuolla tänä yönä, Ihmisten edessä, Duran Duran, Nettiin, Eikö kukaan meitä voi pelastaa ... She would be a dream artist for Eurovision but no way it's going to happen, even if her boyfriend Jukka Immonen is heavily involved in UMK and Eurovision as well, like in Love kills.

UMK 2014: MORE URBAN MUSIC, PLEASE! SAYS REDRAMA

Redrama will be once again one of the judges for UMK 2014 or Uuden musiikin kilpailu aka ex-Euroviisut. The submission is due September 16, 2013 so there's still some time to send in entries. He spoke about UMK in YleX radio interview: "It's really cool to be part of it again, it was a great experience and gave me a chance to listen to all kind of music that I would never have heard otherwise. I ask all of you out there to send in your best song, not a leftover from your last album. UMK can give you visibility that those participating in The Voice of Finland or Idols can only dream of. It's all about the song, not the performance. The possibility to end up representing Finland in the Eurovision is alone a good enough reason to take part. It's also proven out that getting a recording deal thanks to UMK is much easier than Idols or Voice. Most of the 12 artists or bands this year have gotten pretty far and it's mostly thanks to UMK. This said, I want also recording and experienced artists along! I also wish for more urban genres this year. Last year's variety was great but rap and r'n'b didn't get very far. So, rappers out there, get along!"
If UMK 2012 was a pretty much a real disaster in every way, they managed to improve it for the 2013 edition so much that is was already pretty good. If they keep up improving that rate, 2014 is going to great!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

WklVids: Agnetha Fältskog, Hayk Kasparov & Marine Petrosyan, Chris Munro, Eric Saade

Agnetha Fältskog has released second single off her new album, Dance your pain away. A great retro dance number! The video features some groovy moves by her fans... :-) Armenian Hayk Kasparov has joined forces with Marine Petrosyan in Kum ar kum and classy video. Chris Munro goes to a pool party in his Go. Some groovy moves here, too, and a video that is illegal in Russia these days.... (Which is ridiculous and oh, so wrong, of course). Eric Saade has released the title track from his worthcoming album, Forgive me. Is he asking forgiveness for all the mediocre songs he has released recently? The video is a nice mix between IKEA ad and soap opera. Quite pleasant anyways....

Saturday, August 17, 2013

EUROVISION WEDDINGS: GOR AND MARKO GOT MARRIED

Not to each other, mind you. Both the Armenian and Croatian Eurovision 2013 entrants got married recently. Gor Sujyan, the frontman of Dorians married on August 15, 2013 another singer, Varsa Minasyan. Apparently their relation was managed to keep secret until a few months ago.... 
Meanwhile in Croatia Marko Škugor of Klapa s Mora married on August 9, 2013 his longtime girlfriend Ivana Radovcic and that's not all! She's pregnant and the couple is expecting their first child, already named Andrija around Christmas. Congrats to both!

Friday, August 16, 2013

MARCO MENGONI - 500.000 LIKES!

Marco Mengoni's success in Italy has no end. The multiplatinum selling album #prontoacorrere stays firmly in top-10 (being at #7 after 21 weeks in the charts when writing this), while the title track Pronto a correre has been one of the hits of summer 2013 (still at #16 in the downloads after 16 weeks), the tour that continues until October has been a sold out success everywhere and more dates have been added in bigger cities to accomodate all the fans... On top of that he's about to take off to Los Angeles and start conquering the Latin market. He has also picked up several awards and even more nominations, made Italy proud in Eurovision, won the Sanremo festival..... 
The winning song and his Eurovision entry L'essenziale is the most sold/downloaded song in Italy between 31.12.2012-30.6.2013! The album is 6th most sold/downloaded at the same period.
 His fans - Esercito - has always been a very active one, but another milestone has been reached: 500.000 likes on his official facebook page! For the occasion Marco himself posted a video and thanked his old and new likers. Congrats!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

WklVids: Eric Himan, Nina Badric, Vanillaz and Kosta Radman ft Hannah Mancini, Anna Eriksson

Eric Himan (remember You're gonna need me from the Swiss selection?) is back with Red hot tears that is rather brilliant song indeed with a simple but effective video. Croatian Nina Badric released earlier this year Ceznja, that fits very nicely to this late summer filled with heat and sun and nostalgic atmosphere. Hannah Mancini has joined with Vanillaz and Kosta Radman in Back 2 life. A perfect club anthem for those hot summer nights, isn't it? OGAE Second chance winner Anna Eriksson will release a new compilation this month including some new songs performed live, including Je suis malade/teit minusta sairaan. She proves once again she's one of the most touching and best vocalists in Finland!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

HANNA PAKARINEN POPS UP HERE AND THERE!


Hanna Pakarinen is to release her new album Olipa kerran elämä on August 23, 2013. To celebrate the release she will really bring the music to the people, by giving four pop up gigs in some of Helsinki's loveliest summer cafes and kiosks, including this blogger's eternal favorite Café Regatta and this summer's hit Salmiakkikioski. After those two she will move on to Kauppiksen lippis, or the traditional Helsinki kiosk type (designed in 1937 and mainly built in 1940's and 1950's. All made of wood and 19 of them are still existing, but not all of them are working anymore) in Arcadiankatu before ending this surely fun evening in Storyville's legendary terrace.

Friday, August 09, 2013

LOREEN DOES HELSINKI AGAIN, IN DA CLUB

Loreen is coming back to Helsinki on September 6, 2013. What is curious that she will be performing in a hotel's club. Namely Hotel Presidentti's Pressa Club. Tickets costs from 14 to 16 euros. Shouldn't she be filling a concert hall instead? This is what more or less has-been artits do, isn't it? Hotel clubs and cruise boats. Unless their aim is to go for the small and intimate.... which We got the power doesn't quite seem like...I'm buzzled.
Anyways, she'll be performing also in Ukraine, Belgium, Sweden and Poland this fall. At least Poland's Sopot should be a bigger stage :-)

DARIN DOES FINLAND

Darin returns to Finland for a gig in Korjaamo, Helsinki on September 4, 2013. He released his latest album Exit earlier this year and already four singles has been released from it: Nobody knows, Playing with fire, Check you out and So yours. In Sweden he's as hot as always and the rest of Europe got to see him on Eurovision stage this spring as well. I think this blogger needs to go and check him out finally!

MIRO'S SENSATION OF LOVE IN ROME

Miro + Emporio Armani + Rome + nice retro pop song... there are already four things this blogger likes and indeed, Bulgarian Miro seems to have made a sponsor deal with Emporio Armani, a label I used to wear a lot when living in Italy, and he has gone all the way to Rome where I used to live to shoot his latest music video for Sensation of love, that showcases the usual sights but in a very nice, not so obvious way. On top of it it's very beautifully shot. And the song itself has a nice retro feeling to it, very 80's a la Gazebo, me thinks. There's even a nice use of the Roman church bells in the intro. Great stuff!  (How many sights and EA logos can you spot?)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

HAYWALKERS IN KALLIO BLOCK PARTY

This blogger has been writing about Haywalkers before, and I finally managed to catch them live during Kallio Block Party, a huge party with dozens of bands playing on three different stages and in clubs along one street in Kallio district in Helsinki for one day and night. Fredi (ESC 1967, 1974) was there, too, btw. He lead the opening parade singing his evergreen and Kallio's national anthem Kolmatta linjaa takaisin (translates freely to Walking back the 3rd street), and this year it was Kolmas linja (or 3rd street) hosting the event. Eva & Manu were there, too, let's get back to Haywalkers.
This band has been gaining popularity quickly and no wonder. They are charmingly cute alive playing a mix of music that can only make you feel good: country, blues, indie Americana - whatever that is, as I'm a bit limited to Eurovision key changes and ding dongs. Whatever it is I like it!  
Their set of 12 original songs was very entertaining giving them all moments to shine. Having two lead singers, Risto and Henri, add to the whole as they also have a rather different voices while Semira and bassist Mikko sing backing vocals. Most of all they have a bonus the other remotely similar bands don't have: Semira. She may be tiny but she bangs those drums like there's no tomorrow (check The Snake for example). Besides she's the one who talks most between the songs in her witty and in-your-face way that comes across very likable and funny. Their songs include Crazy and When the war is over, that is their Youtube hit (they own words) and it's this bloggers favorite track from them. A poppy country tune that sounded great live! A lot sweeter than their other stuff but very nice indeed. Beforementioned The Snake is rather wonderful, too. This said by a non fan of instrumental music and those guitars are singing. Nothing like a good old  "rautalanka" music in summer!
So, Haywalkers. I have three letters for you: UMK. (It surely didn't hurt Atletico Kumpula or Rautakoura.... ). Go for it!

Monday, August 05, 2013

THE SPORTY BABUSHKI TO CARRY THE OLYMPIC TORCH IN SOCHI 2014

One of the Buranovskie Babushkis, aka The Sporty Babushki Galina Koneva (75) will be one of the chosen ones to carry on the Olympic torch in preparations for the Sochi Olympics. She tells she was contacted earlier this year for her measurements as she will not be wearing her usual granny dress but a specially made dress for the special occasion. The other Buranovskie Babushkis will have their dresses made as well, but they haven't yet been told why as only Galina, the sporty one, will be carrying the torch.
In her youth Galina took part in national skiing competitions and did also a lot of athletics so it's worth calling her The Sporty Babushki. She still runs around on skis.
The torchbearers for Sochi Olympics will feature a lot of famous sportmen and otherwise well known people. The games will take place in February 2014 - unless the new Russian antigay laws create enough international boycott to cancel them...

Sunday, August 04, 2013

KRISTA SIEGFRIDS: DING DONG EVERYWHERE!

Krista Siegfrids has been everywhere this weekend! It's even hard to keep track about her whereabouts as she has been to Stockholm Pride, doing Tv-show Sommarlov in Malmö, DJing as Queen Bee  on NRJ @ the sea cruise from Helsinki to Tallinn, doing a gig in Hanko for her Ding Dong Tour, Pride in Amsterdam...  Four countries and five gigs. All this in four days! She sure is one busy bee.... Ding dong! Maybe now after Amsterdam we can say Amen? (Until Friday when the tour hits Hyvinkää, that is...)

WklVids:Pastora Soler, Pet Shop Boys, Vanessa Paradis, Roberto Kel Torres

Pastora Soler returns with Te despertaré, and it follows nicely the power ballad trend. The video features her hugging trees, escaping waves and having black and white dreams of her man. Or something. Pet Shop Boys are back! Their latest release has been getting only good critics and it has also charted higher than any their releases the past 20 years scoring top-5s in UK, Spain, Norway, Germany, Finland, Denmark, Czech Republic and even US in Dance/Electric albums. Well done guys! Vocal is the lead single from it. Also Vanessa Paradis has made a comeback with a new album and single Love song. It seems though that it has not been a exactly as fortunate as PSB, but.... Finally Roberto Kel Torres won the New Wave 2013 and here's his Alle lieben Berlin with all its rolling r's. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

STOCKHOLM PRIDE 2013: CAROLA!

The queen herself made an appearance.... :-) She's been previously banned from Stockholm Pride but apparently they have now made peace. Schlager rules in the end!

STOCKHOLM PRIDE 2013: VALENTINA MONETTA


Stockholm Pride's Schlager evening is in full swing and Valentina Monetta just was on stage singing both Facebook and Crisalide. She urged the people to enjoy their freedom and respect themselves! Videos will follow....

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