Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Forget the Queen...

...Dima Bilan should be on telly all over Europe at 3pm on December 25th with his Christmas message...

Hi everybody!

Looking through the window I see the snow falling and drifting. It's cold out there. But it's warm inside - in my soul. And it's all because of you, my dear friends. This year put us through many things, but all this time I could feel your help and support. All this time we've been trying to get over the difficulties tempting our fate. And we've managed to do it. Together we made a great occasion for the whole Europe - the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow. I think none of us will forget that day - the day that will be forever in our hearts.

I want you to believe in yourselves and I want you to believe that there's nothing impossible. I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year that will definitely be brighter and more fortunate. Dima



Happy New Year peeps!

Monday, 30 November 2009

You and me and me and you

Probably the winner of Cutest Music Video of 2008,should such a category really exist in the EMAs.



Probably my least favourite song on the album,but it's grown on me a lot since finding this video.I think it's the bee at the end that gets me.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 16/11/09

1- BWO and Velvet- Right Here Right Now
2- Luminita Anghel and Sistem- Let Me Try
3- Tiziano Ferro and Kelly Rowland- Breathe Gentle
4- Armin van Buuren and Sharon den Adel- In and Out of Love
5- Sergey Lazarev and Timati- Lazerboy
6- Blestachiye and Arash- Vostochniye Skazki
7- Kate Ryan and Soraya- Caminaré
8- Christophe Willem and Kylie Minogue- Sensitised
9- Azad and Adel Tawil- Ich Glaub an Dich
10- Bjork and Thom Yorke- I’ve Seen It All
11- Counting Crows and Bløf- Holiday in Spain
12- Royksopp and Karin Dreijer- What Else is There?
13- Laura Pausini and James Blunt- La Primavera in Anticipo
14- Lovebugs and Lene Marlin- Avalon
15- Silbermond and Xavier Naidoo- Sehen Wir Uns Wieder?
16- Danny and Therese- If Only You
17- Jan Plestenjak and Lara- Soba 102
18- Ane Brun and Teitur- Rubber and Soul
19- Filip Kirkorov and Dima Koldun- Kak Sumashedshi Ya
20- Antti Tuisku and Jenni Vartiainen- Kahdestaan
21- Eva de Roovere and ?- Slenterblues
22- Jonatan Cerrada and Ophélie Cassy- Ne m’en Veux Pas
23- Lauri Ylönen and Anette Olzon- October and April

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 9/11/09

1- Måns Zelmerlöw- Cara Mia
2- Anna Vissi- Who Cares About Love
3- Danny- Play It For the Girls
4- Ace of Base- The Sign
5- BWO- Open Door (Disco Version)
6- Christophe Willem- Kiss the Bride
7- September- Satellites
8- Antti Tuisku- Levoton
9- BiS- Korabliki
10- Jonathan Fagerlund- Dance in the Shadows
11- EMD- Alone
12- Alexander Stenerud- Find My Girl
13- Marie Picasso- I’ll Be There
14- Eva de Roovere- Laat me je Lied Zijn
15- Katri Ylander- Piste
16- Dima Bilan- Changes
17- Anna Abreu- Silent Despair
18- Yvonne Catterfeld- Du Hast Mein Herz Gebrochen
19- Laura Pausini- Un Emergenza d’Amore
20- Espen Lind and Kurt Nilsen- When Susannah Cries
21- Silbermond- Letzte Bahn
22- Phillipp Poisel- Wo Fängt Dein Himmel An
23- Teitur- I Was Just Thinking

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 2/11/09

1- Antti Tuisku- Marraskuu
2- Giusy Ferreri- Novembre
3- Amanda Jenssen- Do You Love Me?
4- Jonathan Fagerlund- Welcome to My Life
5- Kane- Rain Down on Me
6- Polarkreis- The Colour of Snow
7- Marina Korelin- The Best
8- Royksopp- Eple
9- Dima Bilan- Pozdravlayu
10- Tiziano Ferro- Per un po’ spariro
11- The Rasmus- Ice
12- Dima Bilan- Gore Zima
13- Prohor Shalyapin- Oi Moroz Moroz
14- Erik Hassle- Hurtful
15- Raymond van het Groenewoud- Twee Meijses
16- Bløf- Aan de Kust
17- Jonatan Cerrada- Un Dimanche d’Automne
18- BWO- Sunshine in the Rain
19- Jetzt Anders!- Viel zu Kalt
20- Danny- I’ll Be Over You
21- Apparatjik- Snow Crystals
22- Mew- Snowflake
23- September- Flowers on the Grave
24- Sven van Thom- Wenn du Gehen Willst
25- Charlotte Perrelli- Black and Blue
26- Katri Ylander- Rakkaus ei rapistu

Radio Flensburg- Not just for Northerners

Apparently.

I'm getting obsessed with this fab internet radio station.There seems to never be any talking on there (which is always nice),and there's a good range of music,even if most of it is a bit predictable.Though they did play an Irish Gaelic ballad earlier,so there is the odd surprise.

Listen here.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

You're still so bloody beautiful

I love Ruben Cossani.I love Echt's song Du Trägst Keine Liebe In Dir.So I really love this...



Bit too happy sounding maybe,but it is Michel van Dyke's song after all.And Konrad has a lovely voice :)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 26/10/09

1- Mew- Repeaterbeater
2- Dina- Hater jeg å elsker deg
3- Danny- Utopia
4- Sheryfa Luna- Je Reviendrai
5- A-Ha- Take on Me
6- Sogdiana- Vspominaj Menya
7- Sasha- To nic, kiedy płyną łzy
8- Regina- Bistra Voda
9- Aleksa Jelic and Ana Stajdohar- Beli Jablan
10- Jan Plestenjak- Tvoya Druga
11- Taraf de Haidouks- Back to Clejani
12- Akcent- Let’s Talk About It
13- Ani Tamrazyan- Hate Me
14- Sevara Nazarkhan and Elf- A On Ne Prishyol
15- Gosia Andrzejewicz- Otwórz oczy
16- Mari- Dare Surtsch
17- Tina Karol- Lyublyu Yevo
18- Cyril Cinélu- Life
19- Jonatan Cerrada- Con Los Años Que Me Quedan
20- Ich und Ich- Stark
21- Gorky- Mia
22- Katri Ylander- Unta
23- Hector- Lumi teki enkelin eteiseen
24- Chelsi- Dlya Tebya
25- Velvet- Destiny
26- Scandinavian Music Group- Se sitä ja Se tätä
27- Espen Hana- Two of a Kind

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 19/10/09

1- Anna Abreu- Are You Ready?
2- Charlotte Nilsson- Tusen och en Natt
3- Velvet- Chemistry
4- Laura Pausini- Il Mio Sbaglio Più Grande
5- Bløf- Alles is Liefde
6- Olavi Uusivirta- 606
7- Jari Sillanpää- Satulinna
8- Jenni Vartiainen- Mustaa Kahvia
9- The Ark- Absolutely No Decorum
10- September- Cry For You (Accoustic)
11- Sahlene- This Woman
12- Echt- 2010
13- Blackbox Revelation- I Think I Like You
14- The Rasmus- Chill
15- Mando Diao- You Don’t Understand Me
16- Tanel Padar and The Sun- Kuu on Päike
17- Prata Vetra- And I Lie
18- Sergey Lazarev- Shattered Dreams
19- Ani Lorak- Ukradi
20- BiS- Katya
21- Dima Bilan- Protiv Pravil
22- Das Bierbeben- No Future No Past
23- Måns Zelmerlöw- Rewind
24- Teitur- The Girl I Don’t Know
25- Kurt Nilsen- Tearing Me Up Inside
26- Roger Cicero- Atme ein, Atme aus
27- Jakob Sveistrup- Tænker lissom jeg

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 12/10/09

1- Agnes- Love Love Love
2- Anna Abreu- Vinegar
3- ABBA- Mamma Mia
4- Danny- Tokyo
5- M83- Dark Moves of Love
6- Sergey Lazarev- Vspominaj
7- Hooverphonic- Mad About You
8- BWO- Rhythm Divine
9- Basshunter- Mellan Oss Två
10- O-Zone- Despre Tine
11- Annie- I Know Your Girlfriend Hates Me
12- Molly Sandén- Mitt liv är mitt
13- PMMP- Joutsenet
14- EMD- All For Love
15- Mor ve Ötesi- Bir Derdim Var
16- Rammstein- Feuer Frei
17- Revolverheld- Nichts Bereuen
18- Karpatenhund- Zusammen Verschwinden
19- Philter- My French Connection
20- Antti Tuisku- Valo
21- Gerard Joling- Maak me Gek
22- Grégory Lemarchal- Mon Ange
23- Jonatan Cerrada- Libre comme l’Air
24- Dima Bilan- Ty Dolzhna Ryadom Bit’
25- Scandinavian Music Group- Vieläkö soitan banjoa?
26- Patrizio Buanne- Come Prima
27- Friðrik Ómar- Ef þú þiggur það

Sounds of Europe Tracklist: 5/10/09

We've had requests from a few people to write up the tracklists from the show (which,I will remind everyone is on from 9-11pm UK time on Mondays and can be heard on the GU2 site for up to a week after).So I'm publishing them here,and also on the Sounds of Europe Facebook group.They might take a while to appear,as it's a bit of a process finding the recording and listening through it all again,but it will happen eventually :)

1- Måns Zelmerlöw- Lively Up Your Monday
2- Charlotte Perrelli- Not Alone
3- Joana Zimmer- Bringing Down the Moon
4- BiS- Tvoi ili Nichei
5- Molly Sandén- Hallelujah
6- Aleksander Denstad With- Coming Home
7- Jenni Vartiainen- Ihmisten edessä
8- The Rasmus- Falling
9- Disco Ensemble- Headphones
10- Dima Koldun- Work Your Magic (Deep Zone Remix)
11- Kate Ryan- Mon Coeur Resiste Encore
12- September- Can’t Get Over
13- Velvet- Fix Me
14- Mediengruppe Telekommander- Trend
15- Wouter Hamel- See You Once Again
16- Prata Vetra- Ty Ne Odin
17- Silbermond- Durch die Nacht
18- Kraftwerk- Die Autobahn
19- Span- Don’t Think the Way They Do
20- Dima Bilan- Toska
21- Johnny Deluxe- Sindssyg
22- Ruben Cossani- Bis auf Letzte Nacht
23- Echt- Du Trägst Keine Liebe in Dir
24- Scandinavian Music Group- Missä olet Laila?
25- Teitur- Tú ert ein eingil

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

I'll show you heaven when I get you alone

Here at WYM HQ,it's all about this song today...



...which is nice because it means I don't have Maak me Gek going around my head anymore.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Make me crazy

Sometimes it's quite shocking discovering new things that you like.More specifically,it's shocking when you hear this and think "hmm,I'm going to listen to that again".

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Important announcement!

Surrey's finest European radio show (Sounds of Europe) is back tomorrow night at 9pm.We haven't been on air for nearly 18 months so it may not be up to its usual amazing standard ;) But I've just finished my half of the playlist and can't wait to hear it all on the studio sound system.It's a pretty varied show this time around- we've got our normal cheesy pop,indescribable German stuff,something a bit rockier than we'd normally go for,and of course,a bit of Teitur.Oh,and our Sergey Lazarev idents that we will never get bored of playing :)

Listen live at or listen back any time in the next 7 days.

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Is this our great achievement?

Despite being a little bit late in on the act,there's a bit of smug feeling going on here at WYM HQ.After an absence of nearly 3 years,Aleksander With (arguably Norway's best Idol winner) has returned with this pretty fab new single What's the Story? I know he'd been written off by some,destined to be another wasted talent like Kjartan Salvesen or Jonatan Cerrada maybe.But I knew he'd be back :) An album is soon to follow apparantly...


Wednesday, 23 September 2009

My time will come in 2010,when we'll meet again

I seem to be inundated with recommendations to German emo videos whenever I sign into youtube.You know,the sort with cliché black and white pictures of hearts and tears and sad people in eyeliner,combined with naff phrases like "I hate myself for what I did to you",finished off with an even naffer song which seems unfitting for the whole video.I don't know why I'm being recommended these- I've only ever watched one once,and that wasn't by choice.Anyway,it's probably a good thing,because I rediscovered a really good band in the "related videos" section.

I first found out about Echt before I moved to Germany,downloaded a few of their songs and thought nothing more of them.They seem to be pretty much the only band from Schleswig-Holstein who've had any degree of success.With the exception of Fettes Brot I suppose,who just about come under SH.But Echt are far better,because they come from Flensburg,which gives them an automatic cool status :) In unrelated facts- my (ex)-friend from Flensburg went to school with them,so I found out a while ago*.He didn't like their music though,said it's corny.Now I've actually bothered to read some of their lyrics,I see what he meant.But I still think they're rather good,in terms of musical sound :)

Echt's biggest song is Du trägst keine Liebe in Dir (You carry no love inside you),which I think is a cover- not sure who the original was by though.This is one of the songs I downloaded ages ago- it sounds a bit British indie to me,but from the 90s,when British indie was actually good.

Then there's Mein kleines Universum (My little universe),an album track from what I assume was their debut in the late 90s.I like it.Unsurprisingly,it's about having your own space,being in your own world where you don't need anyone or anything else.



But my favourite is 2010.It's cool and catchy and it mentions Neumünster.The video is a bit bizarre.I don't know when my time will come,but I'd prefer it didn't involve naked Germans,car trashing and breaking into my old school.Nice to hear the lovely northern accent again though...

ECHT - 2010 from Kim Frank on Vimeo.




* I still win though- I went to school with Lisa Andreas,remember her?

Friday, 4 September 2009

Observations

I'm off to Scotland with Keira for a few days as of Monday.We're staying in a super posh apartment (well,the one in the pictures is anyway) in Edinburgh complete with big telly and DVD player.Seeing as the weather up there isn't exactly tropical at the minute,I feel this could come in rather useful.So I unearthed my Chelsi and General Europop DVDs to take with me.I haven't seen any of the videos on them for over a year now,so thought I'd have a quick look.Seems I still find them as brilliant as ever,and I noticed that...


- Getting the FZ contestants to sing Kruto Ty Popal Na TV and all the variants at the beginning of every show just seems a bit...weird

- Chelsi should be bigger than Take That

- 2.58 onwards: why?



- Dima's ESC performance of Believe is truly awful.Not because of him but because of...everything.I thought maybe I was overreacting last year,but no,it's seriously bad

- No song written at any point in world history,and no song that is yet to be written will ever be as good as this

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Tune into me

Guest DJ for Sounds of Europe maybe?



See 2.03- he'd fit right in,we're always murdering Dima Koldun songs in the studio :) Though we've never left the microphone on whilst doing it,unlike silly Dima.

I'm loving this song Nastroysa Na Menya,what with this and Chelsi's Tochka Vozrata- maybe the dry spell in Russian pop is over...

I wonder if we could get the management of our radio station to get us some glitzy headphones? Old ones with half the sponge hanging out just aren't as glamorous.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Nobody knows how long the road to happiness is

A year ago,when I left the UK,I pretty much gave up on Russian music.Dima K's songs were getting a bit boring and samey,Chelsi did the awful Mladhsaya Sestryonka,and I didn't know about BiS' album.More recently,I've sort of turned my back on pop altogether and have only really been listening to Scandinavian indie/classical music- which is pretty difficult to write about a lot of the time,hence the long blog break.But thanks to youtube and my new computer which refuses to ever sign me out of it,this was recommended to me yesterday.



I'm not too sure what Toska Vozrata means,but never mind.I think it's a great pop song,very summery with a singalong chorus.I'm rejoicing so much that they've gone back down the Stan Moey route and didn't stick with the Mladshaya Sestryonka stuff :)

Monday, 24 August 2009

Sometimes I've got nothing to say

Mew's new album was released today,the first in 4 years.I can't believe it's been that long since I discovered them in Rock Sound.I also can't believe I used to read Rock Sound,but there you go.Anyway,this album is called *deep breath*

"No More Stories Are Told Today, I'm Sorry They Washed Away, No More Stories The World Is Grey I'm Tired, Let's Wash Away"

Got that? Good.

Some people call Mew pretentious,and yes,I would normally think that too of any band that named their album that,and the songs on it had strange titles that seem to try to look cool.Such as "Cartoons and Macramé Wounds".I had to look up what Macramé means on Wikipedia- not something that I tend to like in a song title.It might also be seen as a bit odd to include a track (New Terrain) that sounds pretty unintelligible listened to normally,but is even harder to understand played backwards,when it becomes another song (Nervous).But anyway,I don't believe Mew are pretentious at all.I adore their music and image as bizarre as it may be.

Mew have had their pop moments (sort of) with songs such as Am I Wry?No and King Christian back in the early days of Half the World is Watching Me- an album which has been released 3 times.They've also had some downright sinister songs such as 156 and A Dark Design.These sort of songs tend to be both lyrically sinister,and have a whole new layer of darkness added thanks to Jonas' distinctive voice,a voice which you wouldn't expect to sing about death and self-harm.

The No More Stories album has a very different sound to the first 4 albums,especially the previous one- And The Glass Handed Kites.The music itself is a lot more cheerful and upbeat sounding on the whole,a bit more contemporary,and some may say you can hear influences from other bands and genres more on this album.Though I think Mew's "genre" is still up for debate.The whole thing though is still unmistakably Mew- there are unusual time signatures,the aforementioned backwards song,and cryptic lyrics.There are no big epic songs like Louise Louisa this time around,and actually I still can't really tell which song is which just from listening to it.I would say Repeaterbeater and Introducing Palace Players are the potential singles,but my favourite is right at the end.I mentioned Mew's lyrics usually being quite cryptic,which is another thing I love about them.But it's pretty clear what Reprise is all about.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

I travel and travel,I'll never come home

So I came back to France today,to the super news (thanks to Laura at EuropeCrazy) that Polarkreis 18's debut Allein Allein will be released in the UK next month,and is being played on Radio 2! This,on top of the fact that there was loads of Europop on the music channels at home last week makes me really happy indeed.OK so it was only Agnes,Star Pilots and Kate Ryan on telly,but you can't be choosy.And then there's Teitur on Radio 2 the other week,and the World Service a few weeks before that...For me it shows progress for the music scene in the UK- a country who I've musically ignored for a good 3 years now being sick and tired of all the indie clones who've invaded the charts and sat there festering for far too long.Maybe it's now safe to put the radio on again and tune it to something other than Radio 4?

I realise that European music of any kind will never make the same impact as the aforementioned indie clones and the endless stream of American tripe in the UK,but still,it's an exciting prospect.And on a geeky note,not since The Rasmus released In the Shadows in 2004 have I been able to say "I knew about them ages ago!" So yes,three cheers for Europop :)

And speaking of Polarkreis 18,here's my other favourite song of theirs- Tourist.This is a bit different to the album version- Felix doesn't do the "Ich bin nicht hier,ich weiss nicht wo ich bin" bit normally.But it's good.His voice is magic.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

It's Time for Regina!


Eurovision always leads to fab new musical discoveries- Dima K, Anžej, Írafár... And this year was no different. My band du jour are of course Regina, who did really well with Bistra Voda and 9th place in Moscow. Not only was it a lovely, moving song, but the guys themselves seem really nice from all the interviews I’ve seen. Davor particularly is very charming, and very funny too. And he speaks fluent German, which is always a plus as far as I’m concerned :)

Vrijeme Je (It’s Time) is Regina’s 10th album since the originally titled debut “Regina” in 1990. And actually, one of the songs on VJ (called Spavaj) is an updated version of the original which appeared on the debut album. I haven’t heard the new (and improved?) version yet, but the original is rather good. It does sound as old as it is, but I find it quite haunting, and the lyrics are very moving too. This is the one thing that bugs me a bit- I’m used to knowing what songs mean, whatever language they’re in. But in the case of Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian songs, there aren’t many translation resources around, which makes it a bit difficult. I did learn Serbian for a while, but that was 5 years ago and I’ve forgotten everything now, so have to go by the (rare) translations people put on youtube. But anyway, the songs on Vrijeme Je are still powerful enough to have an impact without knowing what all the words mean, which I don’t think can be said for all pop albums.

As you’d expect from a band who seem proud of their Yugoslavian roots (despite spending several years in various other countries during the civil war in the 90s), there’s a strong Eastern European feel to the album. There are all kinds of instruments going on- with a big emphasis on the strings that you tend to hear a lot in Balkan ESC entries- especially in Bježi dok sam Mlad (Run While I’m Young), one of my favourites (it’s also this song that made me realise how pretty the Bosnian language sounds), and also in Pazi gdje spavaš , a rather sexy affair that also contains copious 80s style guitars and a big shouty chorus. Pianos are also used a lot, especially in the beautiful, seemingly chillout song (until the big surprise intstrumental free-for-all at around 2.30) Snijeg (Snow). The good old accordion also features prominently in Bijele Zore (White Dawn)- which is a whole 5 minutes long and ends with an extended outing for the 80s power ballad guitars. I felt that BZ would have been a really good song to end the album with, but then I suppose that was always the natural place on the tracklist for the English and Russian versions of Bistra Voda.

Then of course, there’s Davor’s vocals, which always add an extra layer of loveliness :) Despite not knowing what many of the lyrics are talking about, you get the impression that it’s all very deep and that Davor means every word. He sounds passionate about everything- which I think you could also see from the performances at Eurovision. The title track Vrijeme Je is a break-up song from what I can gather- the choruses are angry sounding, yet when he sings the line “my heart still hopes, and searches for happiness... but always in vain,” it all sounds rather tragic. It’s a bit like a Bosnian version of Freunde Bleiben. Sort of.

Possibly my favourite of all the 13 songs is Sve Sto Imam (All We Have). I guess it should be quite forgettable really- it’s not really single material, and there’s nothing in particular about it that stands out enough to be remembered like the chorus of Zvaću te pile moje or the radio-friendliness of Koji ti je Sad. But it has a good, almost RnB like beat to it, and has all the range of instruments to make it sound exotic and eastern at the same time. Actually now I think about it, it’s a bit Prohor Shalyapin.

The album ends on the sad and moody ballad Ruzo Moja, followed by (as mentioned) the English and Russian versions of Bistra Voda- both of which are pleasant, but obviously not as good as the original (which, by the way, is track 3).
The first single from Vrijeme Je though, is track 1- (Zvaću te) Pile Moje, which makes a great opener to a great album. It’s fast, catchy, and sounds super on a proper sound system. Like all the others, it’s rather long at just under 4 minutes, but when you’re watching the video and are distracted by Davor who looks very yummy indeed, it seems over in no time. It’s a wonderful fusion of “typical” Eastern European and “typical” Western European pop, which I hope will win over some of the many Balkan music skeptics who are all over Europopworld these days.

Love is not just a word

I’ve had approximately 268 various computer problems in this last week, which means I've only just got round to listening to the previously mentioned Best Album of the Year. It may have been a bit premature to call it that after listening to only the first 3 songs, but it seems I was right. Am working on the review at the minute, but for now, here’s something completely unrelated but wonderful. I found it hidden in the depths of my old laptop’s hard drive last week.


Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Coming soon...

This week some time (hopefully),a review of the best album of the year will appear somewhere around here.I say hopefully because I haven't even listened to it all yet,but from what I hear so far,it's really rather good :)

Sunday, 7 June 2009

It's that time of year again



Isn't that the best cake in the world ever? I want it for myself.Anyway,yes,today marks the 2nd birthday of my (admittedly rather neglected) first child.So much has changed since June 2007 when WYM all started- most notably the arrival of Parlez-vous Europop,which has taken up most of my attention over the past 10 months as I've been out of the country and preferred to talk about me rather than keep up with European music.That said,I did discover some pretty wonderful songs and singers during my time in Germany.The same can't really be said for France though- I've tried but I'm just not feeling pop française.But anyway,I must be doing something right,the ever-wonderful Sitemeter informs me that I've had over 17,000 hits in the past year at least,which is a hell of a lot more than I expected.So thanks for visiting peeps! And by the way,I'm leaving France in just under 5 weeks,and when I get back home,I intend normal service to resume.Actually I do have a rather grand idea for this blog,but it's a question of time and resources that I don't have at the minute.But stay tuned.

Of course at the birthday of a music blog,one needs music,and so here's what is easily the best song that's come about since WYM started...

Friday, 22 May 2009

You must learn to love the rain

Here's the video to Teitur's latest single The Girl I Don't Know.Was a bit unexpected for me- it's not quite the image that forms in my mind when I listen to the song...



Teitur is on tour in the UK at the minute,so go and see him if you can.You won't regret it :)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

I don't know for sure where this is going

Nearly a week on and Mr Rybak is still on the front pages of VG.Not surprising I suppose.Fairytale is of course still number one in the VG Lista (Top 20),but at number 2 is another of Alexander's songs- Funny Little World.The jury is still out on it here at Europop Mansions Kent Branch.Once you get past the fact that it sounds like the theme tune to QI,it's quite pleasant I suppose.I guess I like it a bit more than I thought I would.There are rather large similarities to Espen Lind's Scared of Heights (which I possibly prefer),and it really is cheesier than a fondue,but it's quite a nice antidote to the manicness of Fairytale.


Monday, 18 May 2009

365 days and counting....

Until the first semi final of Oslo (probably) 2010.Unfortunately I have the trifling matter of exams around that time,but whatever.Bring it on :)

Čestitke Regina!

Not only did Regina come 9th on Saturday,they also won the Marcel Bezençon award for Best Composition.Which is pretty cool.Here's the presentation.Who needs all the glitz of the Oscars when you can quickly shove a screen up in the green room of the Olimpiskiy?

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Still happy :)

So the most boring entry of this year's final may have come second (seriously,I really don't understand its charm.Is bland lyrics and a static performance what people want from ESC these days?) it's all good,because Regina did so much better than I expected :) 9th or 10th,I can't remember where they finished,but they did very well.And rightly so.It was by no stretch the best song in the competition but I loved it and the performance was very aesthetically pleasing.Slightly miffed that Norway had to go and give France 1 point right at the end meaning Regina didn't finish with the same points as them,but still,it's good :)

More about the final tomorrow when my headache has gone.

Oh,apart from my favourite quote of the night from Graham Norton when Rybak was coming back on stage at the end:

"Oh,is he gonna squeeze a tear out now?"

Hehe :)

I'm so proud :)

Thank the Lord for Moldova being on after BiH,providing me with time to come and blog and say how great Regina were.Davor sounded brilliant tonight,after the semi final on Tuesday I was a bit worried.But it couldn't have gone better tonight.This blogger is very happy indeed :) :) :)

Thursday, 14 May 2009

SF2

De Toppers woz robbed!

Yay for Denmark though.I adopted them as my homeland back in January,so am glad to see they qualified.Niels is still a little bit too Ronan-like for me,but Believe Again is a really good song.Simple but effective.

Other musical highlights:

- Croatia,as mentioned at the start of the show.I always support Hrvatska from afar,no matter how bad their song is,but Lijepa Tena is very pleasant.Bit surprised they qualified,but they certainly deserved it more than some others did.
- Sakis surprised me.He was always a definite qualifier,but I never really gave the song a chance and assumed it would be rubbish,generic dance music.Which technically it is,but of the perennial favourites (Greece,Turkey and Armenia),it's the best.And definitely better than Shake It.I voted for Shake It :/ Oh,I loved his flat escalator...thing.And the ripped off Dima jumps.
- Alexander was good.Although I'd seen the rehearsals about 3000 times,so knew what to expect.Still seemed better tonight though.
- Poland seem to do a good line in ballads.Loved Isis last year,and this time around,Lidia was super and the whole thing gave me goosebumps.It was quite intense I thought,and although I wasn't really paying attention to the words or anything,I kind of felt it.Much better than Iceland's load of pap.Yes,yes Johanna has a good voice and all,but the song is soooo boring.

General highlights:

- Dimitry Shepelev

Other,unrelated highlights:

- I used my trusty system of eurovision.tv as well as Belarus TV.When I first put Belarus TV on about 5 minutes before the start of the show,the first thing I saw was Dima K (looking great as ever these days),and then Regina.God bless Belteleradiocompany and all who make these shows!They know how to please this blogger :)

General annoyances:

- Poland not qualifying
- Netherlands not qualifying
- Slovenia not qualifying
- Zoli not qualifying
- Moldova qualifying

Maybe I've changed my mind

OK so Croatia's song seems to have passed me by this year.Although it gets a bit noisy and messy towards the end,but it's nice on the whole.Very southern Italian with a bit of Balkan dramaticness.I like.I'll replace Serbia with this one on my Want To Qualify list.

And by the way- is it just me or does Sinead look to old to be singing a song with such stupid childish lyrics? If this qualifies while Hera's Someday didn't even get a look in,I'll be miffed.(Christina Schilling is partly responsible for them both.)

By the way,I'm twittering too (tweeting?) if you're remotely interested.It's partially filling the company-shaped void I have.

WYM Offical ESC Predictions- Part 2

Not in the slightest bit excited about tonight's events,not least because of the lack of Regina,but will attempt to follow it all anyway.

Predictions for qualification.Originally I didn't have Hungary down,but seriously,this semi is so piss poor,it has to go through,surely?:

- Norway
- Azerbaijan
- Ukraine
- Denmark
- Greece
- Hungary
- Cyprus
- Serbia
- Estonia
- Slovenia


Who I want to see in final (with possible exception of last 2):

- Norway
- Hungary
- Denmark
- Slovenia
- Netherlands
- Azerbaijan
- Lithuania
- Estonia
- Albania
- Serbia

Been doing my bit to promote Regina today.Although here in France,the main obstacle seems to be persuading them to watch ESC in the first place.Anyway,I sent Bistra Voda to a colleague today,along with the words "this is my favourite,it's great".Although I did send him La Voix,Todas as Ruas do Amor and Dance With Me too,which might have counteracted it all.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

SF1

So,now I've calmed down a little bit after my double-sided excitement at getting all 10 qualifiers right AND my favourite boys from Bosnia getting through,I can write a bit about this evening.

Let's start with BiH though.It wasn't Davor's greatest vocal performance,but on the whole I thought it was great.I adore the military theme and they all looked fab in their outfits.And I still love the bit where they all stand together like revolutionaries about 2 and a half minutes in(well,they're "soldiers of love" according to Aleksander) with the flag and the wind machine.I hope the nerves don't get to Davor on Saturday.He's so confident in all the interviews I've seen,but they're one of the favourites (which still surprises me),so they must be feeling a bit of pressure.

Other musical highlights:


- La Voix was better than expected.After the rehearsals I'd written it off a bit,but it was OK.Malena seemed to enjoy it.
- Flor de Lis were great for Portugal.Now they really did enjoy it,that was obvious.And so they should have,it's a lovely song.The singer (can't remember her name :/) and the accordion player looked fabulous too.I want both of their outfits :)
- Andrea was super,it's a shame she didn't qualify.I loved her routine.So did my friend Emma back in Gillingham.So much so,she text me about it twice :)
- Waldo's People were good.Emphasis on the People rather than Waldo.But then you can't really have one without the other I suppose.Cool performance.
- Next Time from FYROM were better than I expected too.

General highlights:


- That stage is amazing.Elena from Romania's set was probably my favourite- the pink,flowery one.And Portugal's was cool too.
- Dimitry Shepelev
- Naff as it was,I loved the opening bit with the kids on the bird.The magic was kind of ruined though as soon as Andrey came on stage."HELLO EUROPE!!!!" That little girl will never hear again...
- Actually in some ways I did kind of like Andrey and Natalia.Mostly because they were so bad it was endearing I think.Especially the parking joke.
- The postcard bits.Although as Emma said- "why are they wearing countries on their heads?"
- The military band singing along to Tatu.It was so fabulous I have no more words to describe it :) Although I still prefer the Belarussian military band's version of Work Your Magic that they did at Eurofest last year.
- The Russian words/phrases before each song.Although it didn't go unnoticed that one of them was "skazka"- Fairytale.It's a fix- Norway will win!

General annoyances:

- Despite having the eurovision.tv stream on as well as the stream from a Belarussian TV channel on mute in the background in case of emergencies- the whole thing just stopped when Andorra came on and I didn't get either feed back until the end of Switzerland.Boo,they were one of my favourites too.
- Turkey qualifying because they're Turkey and it's written in the rules of ESC that they must qualify regardless of what pap they send.
- Armenia.Cool outfits,but that HAS to be the most annoying song in the world ever,surely?That chorus just gets me every time,I can't stand it.
- The fact that practically everything good was in tonight's show and we're left with all the chaff on Thursday.With the big exception of Zoli of course.Mmmm,Zoli...

Let's reconvene in 36-ish hours then shall we?

Shock

My predictions were all right! Shame about Switzerland though :(

Important question of the evening

Who is Dimitry Shepelev and does he want to come to my next birthday party?

WYM Offical ESC Predictions- Part 1

So,3 hours to go.I'm still not sure yet if my connection will hold out,or even if I'll be able to get the stream to work to start with,but I'm excited all the same.It's been a bit of an odd Eurovision year this year.My beloved Russia has disappointed me with its song,it's hosts and- from what I've read in various places- its attitude towards ESC at times.BUT,the stage is amazing and I'm sure there'll be some really good entertainment during the intervals and such.

It's taken forever for me to actually get enthusiastic about this years' contest too.As you can probably see from my lack of posting over the last few months.Maybe because it's the first year I've been working full-time and haven't been able to spend as much time as I would normally on ESC stuff,maybe because my ESC buddy isn't even in the same country as me this year,or maybe it is just a crap year compared to normal.But actually,although there aren't any completely brilliant entries this year,there are a lot more good ones than I originally thought,and I think I'll be happy with the result.

Anyway.These are my predictions for qualification tonight:

- BiH
- Sweden
- Armenia
- Turkey
- Israel
- Finland
- Iceland
- Malta
- Portugal
- Romania

And these are the ones I would like to see in the final (admittedly I don't really care about the last 3,I just needed to make up the numbers):

- BiH
- Portugal
- Sweden
- Montenegro
- Belgium
- Finland
- Switzerland
- FYROM
- Czech Republic
- Bulgaria

We will see...

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Just play the f*****g note!

Having read the exciting news that my boys from Bosnia&Herzegovina are now 3rd favourite to win in Moscow on Saturday (8/1- they're ahead of perennial undeserving favourite Turkey!) and are red hot favourites to win the semi on Tuesday (the one that's not on telly in France,hmph),I'm now super excited about next week.

So as is tradition for me every year,it's time to watch the Father Ted Eurovision episode. Dick Byrne's The Miracle Is Mine makes me laugh even more now after last year.It's so over-the-top I just can't help but think of Dima and his ladder and everything :)

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Ugh,von Teese? Really?

First Dima brought along his two famous buddies last year,now Germany have got Dita von Teese with them for Miss Kiss Kiss Bang...What's next- will Putin come on with Prihodka to blast the last chorus of Mamo? Seems ESC is turning into a "who has the most famous friends" contest,and it's a bit naff.I think Germany's song is great on its own really.Much better than stuff they'd normally send anyway.Especially as NDR chose it too- NDR who seem to think 24 hour Coldplay and Gabriela Cilmi is what listeners want.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

ESC 2009- The excitement begins (at last)

After watching the rehearsals of all the songs that are actually any good in this year's ESC (count them on one hand...),I have concluded that Zoli Ádok is the hottest man on earth at this moment in time a very good singer indeed.Charismatic too.And possibly even more of a discotastic dancing genius than Sergey Lazarev.



According to ESCMalta

Tamas Naray promised to create glamorous costumes for the Hungarian package


Hungarian package- is that what he's known as these days? I look forward to seeing the results.

Speaking of glamorous costumes,I'm loving Malena's dress.Even if La Voix itself has lost quite a lot of its charm with those backing singers,who sound bored stiff.Admittedly the second rehearsal was a bit better,but I really can't see it being Stockholm 2010.I still love Malena though- "the dancers look beautiful and I look like white trash...But this is how I usually dress".Classic :)

Denmark, Finland, Netherlands (Jeroem especially) and Slovenia (how cute are some of those violinists?) all sound great too.And well,actually so do quite a few others.Maybe this won't be quite the rubbish year we thought it would be?

The song I really can't get out of my head though,and have liked since the first time I heard it,is Regina's from Bosnia&Herzigovina.



OK,so some of Davor's moves are quite amusing,and it is a bit nothingy in places.But I think it's beautiful.Yes it's the kind of ethnic ballad that we've all got bored with in the last few years (even if this is doing pretty well at the bookies),but those military-style drums and the San Marinese-esque (remember them?) beepy bits make it stand out from previous ethnic Balkan songs I think.Also,top marks for group pose incorporating wind machine and red flag.

So I think it's time for WYM to swear its allegiance and declare,Jesse's Diets style:

This year,I will be mostly supporting Bosnia and Herzegovina.


It's offical.

Monday, 4 May 2009

You're hiding from yourself

Song of the day:



Been listening to Röyksopp's new album Junior this evening.As I expected,it's pretty damn good.More on that another time maybe.When I've finished listening to it.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

You're still there

It's a new(ish) Giusy Ferreri song.She's gone all moody since the likes of Novembre,and is smashing expensive things up with an indestructible guitar and shouting at her boyfriend within close proximity,yet still managing to look completely fabulous throughout.Splendido.



Oh yes,it's called Stai fermo lì and it's the third single from the album- Gaetana.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Be yourself no matter what they say

So there's a new video out for La Voix eh?



I'm loving the black and white,and the fact it's shot in Germany.But it is a little bit odd isn't it? Maybe they should have used this one...

Anyway- and this is true- last night I was thinking how cool it would be if there was a German version of CP's Hero.Schlager is an originally German invention after all.So I was surprised and pleased to find that there is indeed such a thing as a deutsche Version...



Wow,that video...

Monday, 6 April 2009

I might have loved you but you're gone all the same

Continuing my education in French pop (and after reading about him over on PPG),I bought Christophe Willem's album Inventaire today.€7,99 in Virgin,that's probably the best price anyone's paid for a CD in France ever.Anyway,I haven't listened to it all yet,but I do love this song Jacques a Dit (Simon Says).It's rather lovely.And I adore Christophe's voice...



New album out next Thursday I believe.I look forward to it.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

For a few minutes we're the reality

About 3000 years after the event,I remembered that the Bundesvision Song Contest has been and gone.I think I might have mentioned it before,but it's a mini version of ESC where all the German states take part.It was Stefan Raab's idea (remember him?) and it's basically a really good way of finding new German music.There aren't ESC type rules as such- singles can be entered,and have been by lots of famous German bands.Revolverheld sang Freunde Bleiben for Bremen in 2006,Culcha Candela represented Berlin in 2008,the same year that Sportfreunde Stiller represented Bavaria (I didn't know that's where they're from...) etc etc.Last year's contest though,was won by the state of Brandenburg.Subway to Sally's song Auf Kiel (unfortunately nothing to do with the second best city in Germany) beat Thuringia's Clueso by 1 point.

Anyway.This year,Berlin won with quite frankly a pants song with a weird video.Schwarz zu Blau is by Peter Fox and beat the second place song by 30-odd points.And what was that song that came second I hear you ask? :) Well,none other than my favourite band of the moment- Polarkreis 18 (for Saxony)with The Colour of Snow.One of the rules (probably the only one) of Bundesvision is that the lyrics have to be at least 50% in German,so this version is a bit different to the album version.Because it's such a British style of music,it sounds a bit weird auf Deutsch,but it's still very good.



Other songs of note- well,I haven't listened to them all,but I did of course listen to (and love) Schleswig-Holstein's entry, Bis Auf Letzte Nacht (Until last night) by Ruben Cossani.



And then there's our neighbours Niedersachsen.Their song was Du Fehlst Mir (I miss you) by Fotos.It's like,you know,so indie.

Friday, 27 March 2009

I think of you and traces we leave behind

I'm completely loving the new Kleerup song,having found out about it on the brilliant Popjustice.But it's true,the video is very sad :(



Actually that's three sad songs in a row that I've posted now.Let's remedy this...



There.Now I feel thoroughly cheered up :)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

I just want you to know...

As I was saying to Keira the other day,I'm a sucker for big romantic ballads.Måns's A Stanger Saved My Life being the most recent example.But I just found this song by one of my favourite singer-songwriters Philipp Poisel,and although it's not really a big ballad,it's quite intense and is one of the most bloody heartbreaking songs I've heard in a long time.



Just an excuse for me to translate German again,here's what most of it means :)

Keep me hidden where you won't find me but will still miss me
I haven't spoken to you for weeks yet I'm forever wondering where you are

I just want you to know that I still love you
And that in the end,there's no one else who can complete me
No one else who can move me like you


I'm interested as to why this isn't on the album.It would fit perfectly on there.

Cross my heart and hope to die,I'm not drunk and I'm not high

It's always exciting hearing songs in places you least expect they'll be played.So today in H&M at the Forum des Halles,I was very pleasantly surprised to hear this...



Teitur being played in a clothes shop in Paris? Madness.I heard Catherine the Waitress on Radio 4 a while ago too.Well,on the World Service after 3am.They have this music show on there and they did a (pretty unremarkable) interview with Teitur and he did a lovely lovely version of Andvekur,from the equally lovely Faroese album Káta Hornið.

The video I posted there was from a gig in Slagelse in Denmark,a few days after I saw him in Esbjerg.I remember him playing Catherine the Waitress in Esbjerg,because it was during that that I had an...interesting shall we say,chat with his support act.

Anyway.A few years ago,Teitur was on tour with KT Tunstall.In the UK too which,of course,I somehow missed.But apparantly a few weeks ago they were here in Paris (why don't I ever know about these things?!) recording for the France 2 programme Taratata.Their duet of Nothing Compares To You was aired last Friday on said channel France 2.AND I MISSED IT!But never mind,there's always youtube.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Woohoo!

After a really rather good day of walking around Paris getting very sore legs and eating lots of bad things,I was rather happy.And my mood just improved by about 3 million percent when I heard that Malena won MF.Well done Sweden,you did the right thing :) Now I have a song I can definitely support this year.And that feels good :)

8 (and a bit) hours...

I've never cared so much about a Melodifestivalen result.I do generally have a favourite every year which invariably gets nowhere in the final,but I've never actually supported Sweden in the ESC itself.This year though,for me anyway,it all rests on Malena winning tonight.I know La Voix is a song which seems to divide opinion like Marmite,but I think Sweden choosing anything else will mean they'll just be average like everyone else this year.There's been a few songs this year that I've heard from national finals,and ones that have already been chosen,where I've thought "that's alright",but La Voix is the only song from the many I've heard that actually makes me feel something in the same way Tornerò,Work Your Magic and This Is My Life have done in recent years.So come on Sverige,don't disappoint us like so many other countries have this year!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

In which WYM gets all political...or not

So Georgia have withdrawn from this years' ESC.Shame?Not really I don't think.As I mentioned the other week,I liked the music to their song,but overall,I found the whole thing quite annoying.After reading more about the whole debacle surrounding We Don't Wanna Put In,I'm glad they've been disqualified,although this opinion doesn't appear to be shared by a lot of other fans on ESCToday.

For my liking,there's far too much anti-Russian sentiment in Europe these days.I don't fully understand Georgian-Russian relations,and being as I don't live in either Georgia or Russia,I am in no position whatsoever to judge either country.So neither should anyone else be.But what I do think is that it would have been completely wrong for the EBU to let Georgia enter such a provocative song.It's clearly in the rules of ESC that songs with a blatant political message are forbidden,and so it should be.Eurovision is entertainment,not some arena for countries to take cheap shots at eachother.Of course,Georgia probably realised this anyway and probably expected to be disqualified.But for all these people whose comments I've read to say "it's restricting freedom of speech","it's censorship",and the good old "it's the EBU being bullied by Russia" (of course,because everyone knows all Russia wants is to become the supreme Eurovision winning nation and will achieve that by any means possible)- it's just rubbish.

Protest is a healthy thing,so if Stephane&3G want to perform We Don't Wanna Put In in Tbilisi,in the Red Square,in Victoria Station outside Boots,then good on them.But Eurovision is not the place to talk politics and should never be.As it says in the rules.As me and Keira were discussing last night,if one country entered an 8 minute song,people wouldn't be getting all angry and coming out with ridiculous comments when the EBU told them to cut it down.Because it's a rule,and all competitions have rules.

End of rant.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I'm so jealous,jealous of you

New Faroese music alert!

Well not that new,he's already released one album back in 2007,but I've just discovered Heiðrik and find him quite intriguing.I'm not so mad about the weird black eye thing he and his band have got going on,but I am quite mad about his voice.I have no idea what genre you'd put his music in,going by the song I've posted here.It's kind of dark and maybe slightly sinister in places but then there's the strings which as well as adding a bit of a Scandinavian sound to the song,lift the mood slightly.Anyway,this is Jealous,and the performance is from the Nordic House in Tórshavn last year.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Poor Lyosha

Some wench has upset lovely Aleksei Vorobyov in his latest video.He's all moody and sorrowful bless him.Forget Me is a good song actually,it's a bit different to Aleksei's normal style,and a bit closer to Dima B's I think.And the video?Mmmmm....Sodding bookshelves!



By the way,it seems Mr V isn't going to be in the Russian National Final on Saturday after all.From what I can gather,he's accepting a job on some American film and has to be in LA at the weekend to sign contracts and things.This all happened at the last minute meaning that there won't be anyone nice to look at in ESC this year.Oh well,let's look at this rather nice picture of him and his Christmas tree...



Yum.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

ESC so far Part 2

Ireland: With the exception of Dustin last year,I think I've hated everything Ireland have ever done,and will continue to do so until they do the right thing and send The Corrs.I also hate girlie "rock" groups and songs with stupid titles.So Et Cetera really does nothing for me.Verdict- HATE

Latvia: Like EuropeCrazy,I long for the days of Prata Vetra and good Latvian entries.OK,actually I've liked probably every one since 2000,but I hope Sastrēgums doesn't mark a turning point for Latvia to start falling into oblivion.Verdict- HATE

Lithuania: I find Sasha endearing because he looks like a proper Medwegian at times.I do really like his voice,and the piano,but in general,the song really isn't memorable.And it will be even worse in Moscow,because he's singing the English version.I've seen the lyrics.It's not good.Verdict- I'm not too sure actually,somewhere on the border between like and dislike(this really is a bad year),but I think I have to say DISLIKE

(FYR)Macedonia: There's always one song that I really like and no one else does.And that song usually comes from Montenegro.But I really do like this 80s rock thing.It's so happy,I don't understand what's not to like.Verdict- LOVE

Malta: As a friend of mine would say,this is EPIC.Sounds like something from a Disney film to me really.But Chiara does have a very nice voice.However, Verdict- DISLIKE

Moldova: Just a little bit too on the ethnic side for me I think.Verdict- HATE

Montenegro: Andrea is gorgeous,this always helps.But the song itself is great- so energetic,dramatic and all round fabulous.Verdict- LIKE

Netherlands: When I heard De Toppers were going to Moscow,I was worried.When they enlisten Jeroen Van Der Boom,I felt better.But I still wasn't expecting this.They show that you don't have to take it too seriously,but at the same time,can still produce a good song too.They're all good singers,as are the backing singers,and the chorus is great (important for me this year),and it has the perfect ending.And I'm loving the tin foil outfits too.Verdict- LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Norway: Alexander is of course biologically Belarussian (and incidentally,also all over VG the last few days),so I love him for sticking to his Eastern roots with this song.It's ethnic with a twist,and although it's taken a while for me to get used to,I think it could do quite well in Moscow.Which is an opinion shared by quite a few people I think.Violins may have been my enemy last year,but I've made peace with them this year :) Verdict- LOVE

Poland: Talking of violins...Isis is the queen of Polish ballads for me,but this really isn't bad.I definitely prefer it to the Icelandic one.Lidia has a proper belter of a voice,unlike Jóhanna,who I find a bit whiny.Verdict- LIKE

Portugal: I don't usually go for Portuguese ESC efforts,the last one I liked being Rita's Deixa-Me Sonhar in 03 (then again,wasn't everything great in 03?),but this is beautiful.The folk instruments are wonderful,Portuguese is a lovely language and the singer's voice is very delicate but strong at the same time.I especially like the guitar at the beginning and at the end when it's the only instrument playing.Actually I like the accordion too.Violins,accordions,what's going on with me?I could enthuse much more over this song,but will save it for another time :) Verdict- LOVE.Fast becoming my favourite.

Romania: Ugh.Just ugh.Like the Cypriot entry,there's nothing endearing about this song for me whatsoever.Although it does have a big advantage over Cyprus in that it doesn't make me want to end it all.Which is always a plus,surely?This is one for the straight-male vote and that's about it I think.Verdict- HATE

Slovenia: From the straight man's vote to the middle aged housewife and granny vote.As long as they don't get too distracted by the singer's boobs that is.It's difficult.This is really good though,I think Slovenia are onto something here.If you listen to just the instrumental bits without watching,it does sound a bit like dodgy on-hold music that HSBC might play you whilst they go and do something useless for 15 minutes before coming back to you and giving you a useless answer.But the performance is very good,simple but effective,as all the best are.Verdict- LIKE.Very much.Must be the violins...

Spain: Average.Sounds more like a Turkish entry than a Spanish one.Methinks the performance and probable hunky backing dancers will be the best thing about it.Verdict- DISLIKE

Switzerland: I love Switzerland.And I really like Lovebugs and I am definitely feeling that synth in the background.But I've had this song for about a month now and didn't realise it was their ESC effort.Because it really isn't an ESC song.It is great but just sounds too much like an album track to me.Then again,what can you really expect from a pop-rock band I suppose? But I do really want them to do well in Moscow.Verdict- LIKE

Turkey: Turkey's songs are always promoted well every year,and I do try to like them,but I just never understand why they're so popular year after year.Düm Tek Tek isn't one of the worst in recent times,but it still doesn't do anything for me.Verdict- DISLIKE

UK: EuropeCrazy described My Time as "a total pile of mince" last month when it was chosen.Which amused me greatly,and I agreed 100%.But it seems to be our lucky year,as everything is so sub-standard,it makes our song look half decent.I disliked Jade immensely throughout Your Country Needs You,I didn't understand why everyone loved her when she was murdering a new song every week.But she certainly sings this pile of mince very well indeed.Which is more than can be said for other singers in the competition this year.And the lyrics may be naffer than naff and the chorus really annoying,but sadly I have to say (because no British person is meant to enjoy UK ESC songs are they?)...Verdict- LIKE

So that's 5 that I love (Hungary,Netherlands,Norway,Portugal and Macedonia),10 I like,9 I dislike and 8 I hate very much indeed.The outlook is grim.

ESC so far

So here's what I think of this years' ESC songs so far.Basically,not very much.


Albania: Very listenable (makes a change for Albania),I like the ethnic beat.Most of the time.Verdict- LIKE

Andorra: Potentially good song,but Susanna's voice is annoying and lets it down a lot.Verdict- DISLIKE

Armenia: Nice ethnic elements that aren't too overpowering,but what's left when you take them away is a very irritating song indeed.Verdict- HATE

Belarus: No words can tell you how disappointed I am with Belarus this year.This is awful.Verdict- HATE

Bulgaria: Starts very promisingly I think,I like the dance beat and the catchy chorus is always a plus.But it just gets worse.Verdict- DISLIKE

Croatia: Average run-of-the-mill Balkan ballad.Verdict- DISLIKE (but only because I love Croatia as a country.If I didn't,the verdict would be Hate :) )

Cyprus: This is ear abuse.It's tradition for me to hate Cyprus's ESC entries,but I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that this is one of the worst Eurovision songs ever.It really is terrible.The lyrics are stupid,Christina sounds bored and can't even hit the easiest notes...it just has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.Verdict- HATE.Possibly more than anything else in the world right now.Cyprus,I'll lend you my cat next year,better noises come out of him when he's upset.

Denmark: Niels seems to be trying to sound like Ronan.His voice doesn't always sound natural.But the song is OK,with an anthemic chorus.Definitely has potential.Verdict- LIKE (lots)

Finland: I'm struggling with this one.I absolutely love the chorus,more than I've loved any chorus in quite some time,but at the same time,I don't like the rap at all.And the middle 8 is rather bland.But there's no doubt it's one of the better songs this year.Verdict- LIKE

France: Ah,my actual home country for this year's ESC.If this was in any other language and for any other country,I'd hate it.Definitely.But as it's in French and sung by a French diva,it almost works.It's dark and moody,which I kinda like.Typical French I guess.It's certainly boring and a crazy choice for ESC I think,but I'm not convinced it will finish last or anything.Maybe second to last,but not last :) Verdict- we'll say LIKE for now.I don't hate it,that's for sure.

Georgia: Political or not political (I really don't care),to me this really sounds like something you'd hear in some ultra-trendy clothes shop.At least it would do without the vocals.Which are really not the best.And OMG as they say,what is that little breakdown bit about? :/ Verdict- DISLIKE (but I do like the music itself very much)

Germany: It's grown on me since I first posted it last month,despite my hating of this genre of music.It's well produced,catchy and Oscar is certainly rather charming.He has a lovely voice too.One of the better songs this year I think,but still average in comparison to normal years.Verdict- LIKE

Greece: "Ooh,it's Sakis" I thought,"it must be good".But no,it's Europop of the lowest common denominator.But Sakis is still lovely.Very lovely.So he'll get through :) Verdict- DISLIKE

Hungary: I think I prefer the Hungarian version,but either way it's still rather good.Zoltan (my favourite name ever)is rather nice,and he can certainly move.If the video is anything to go by,the performance on the night will be pretty good.I don't think it's good enough to win,but has definitely surpassed my expectations of Hungary about a million times.Verdict- LOVE

Iceland: After producing THE best song of last year,Iceland have completely disappointed me this time around.It's boring,but not even in an original boring way like France's song.Verdict- HATE

More later :)

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Elle a La Voix indeed...

Seeing as there was nothing else on tonight,and I can't watch the BBC online anymore,I thought I'd check out Melodifestivalen.I liked Star Pilots,and didn't mind that Esta Noche song,Agnes was OK,I liked Sarah's performance but thought the song was boring,and was a bit disappointed with Maria and Sahlene.But wow,isn't Malena amazing?I've never heard anything like La Voix (well,Alenka was a bit similar in 07 but this is far more upbeat),and I really really hope she wins MF.Which means she won't.

Monday, 23 February 2009

I'm leaving Paris,I know I'll pay for it later

Mini obsession of the day today is Julien Doré- winner of the *checks...* fifth series of Nouvelle Star.Turns out he's playing at the Olympia near Montmartre in a few months time.If I'm still into him then then I must go.Anyway,here's one of his catchy songs- Les Limites.




I'm loving his other single Figures Imposées too.Must remember to look for the album (Ersatz) in FNAC this week.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Bonsoir mes amis

Hi hi,I am still here,I'm just a bit busy at the minute getting lost in Paris,spending horrible amounts of money on groceries and staring at fit French men on the metro.I did intend on writing my thoughts about the Raphaël Haroche album I bought the other day,but when I found out it's actually his debut album (released 9 years ago),I thought I'd probably missed the boat on that one.But worry not,I live near(ish) to a giant FNAC and will no doubt buy lots more (hopefully more modern) music in the near future that I can write about.Oh,and Nouvelle Star starts over here on Tuesday so I might write about that as well.My reception of M6 isn't that great but I'll still bear with it if there's the slightest hope of seeing my new neighbour ( ;) ) Jonatan Cerrada on it some time.

I must say I've not really got into ESC this year like I normally do.Belarus have disappointed me,the UK have disappointed me (although I'm thinking we won't actually do as badly as we should),Norway have disappointed me (I feel Fairytale might grow on me,but still,I wanted Espen Hana to win),Denmark have disappointed me big time, and as you probably know,I hate Melodifestivalen.So not a lot going on to excite me.Being a big Måns fan,I have of course seen and heard Hope and Glory,but even that's not doing much for me.Have a look at what Rick over on Stornisse has to say about it.I agree completely.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Imagination feeds my hungry heart

When I was thinking about this post,I thought of starting it along the lines of "now I guess seeing as I lived in Germany for 5 months,I should be all 'patriotic' and support their ESC entry however bad it is.But I just can't bring myself to." I don't do swing music- brass/wind instruments (whatever they are,I neither know nor care) really don't sit well with me (unless it's a military band performing Work Your Magic of course...),and I just find the whole genre a bit naff.So when Miss Kiss Bang Bang started,I thought "ugh." Actually I probably thought "ugh" just from reading the title.But it is actually a pretty good song.A lot better than I expected from NDR anyway.It won't win,it has no chance- Roger didn't exactly do well now did he? And it seems a bit odd that Germany's gone down that route again,but still,for what it is,it's pretty good.Catchy,key change,cute guy,silly lyrics.What's not to like really?

Saturday, 31 January 2009

Laters

So I'm going back to the UK today for a few weeks before I move to France.You know what that means- probably no posting.But as soon as I get to Paris,I am intending on going to see the lovely Jonatan Cerrada in the musical Je m'voyais déjà.So maybe you'll hear about that :) Tatty bye!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Top 50- 1: I don't wanna change a thing



Euroband- This is my Life

Well.As you've probably realised by now,I love songs about broken relationships,heartbreak etc etc...such an emo.But This is my Life is completely wonderful because it's just so damn happy.You can't help but feel good when you listen to it.It also helps that Friðrik Ómar has one of the best voices I've ever heard (check out his version of Somebody to Love if you're not convinced) and that Euroband are a great duo who just enjoy what they do.I hope we see more of them in the future.

Top 50- 2: Let them think what they want



Philipp Poisel- Unanständig

I haven't listened to PP's wonderful album for a while now,but Unanständig will always remind me of my time here,for many reasons.Well OK,one reason.

Top 50- 3: Why does everything have to be so complicated?



Sergey Lazarev- Girlfriend

Oh look,it's that man again.Girlfriend was easily one of the most played songs at Europop Mansions Surrey Branch last year.And for good reason- it's fabulous.We played it a good few times on Sounds of Europe too,and actually I think it was played on 2 other shows at GU2 as well.Good times!

Top 50- 4: Close to perfect and just your type



Vlad Topalov- Perfect Criminal

I've been getting into Vlad's work lately- I have his album Odinakaya Zvezda and it's pretty good.None of it as good as this banging tune though :) It's the chorus,and the clappy bits that do it for me.Yes,definitely the clappy bits.Clappy bits come in at number one on my list of best features of a song in 2008.I can't wait to play this song on Sounds of Europe when it returns later this year.

Top 50- 5: Be my lover be my friend



Charlotte Perrelli- Hero

I really wasn't too keen on Hero during Melodifestivalen.I never like the winner to start with because there's always someone else who I think has been robbed.I can't remember who it was last year,but it didn't matter in the end,because Hero is fabulous.I don't know why I suddenly started loving it,but it was quite possibly something to do with the fact it was played about 86 times at the Scala Eurovision party.

Top 50- 6: I sing to be loved





Teitur- The Singer


Teitur is responsible for one of the coolest evenings I've had here.Well,OK,it was in Denmark actually.In that case,definitely the coolest time I've had in Denmark :) Although it seems like absolutely ages ago now,there are still certain bits that I remember really clearly.Umbrellas in the Rain,because it seemed like such an odd choice of song to perform,the two women who stole my little ledge that I was sitting on and subsequently seemed to feel sorry for me and gave it back,having a chat with Teitur's support act Dawn Kinnard in between Hitchhiker and Catherine the Waitress,having a little cry at I Was Just Thinking,and this song,because it was probably the one I wanted to hear the most,after seeing the video I've posted here.The video is from a Danish TV show called den. 11 time,and I think is one of the best live performances of anything ever.He didn't disappoint at Tobakken either.I think why I love The Singer is because it's so honest,and the music (in the live piano versions at least) is simple yet quite dramatic.(On the album there's a marimba type thing going on,which doesn't quite have the same effect).And listening to the lyrics,it seems I'm a stereotypical Teitur fan :) I still think he's the best singer-songwriter around at the minute,and as he mentions in this song "I sing about my loneliness and in return they thank me"- as mushy as it may sound,his music has been a big help in the last few months (there's not much I can relate to more than his first album Poetry and Aeroplanes),and yes,I do thank him for it.

Top 50- 7: Katya answer the phone,it's him



BiS- Katya

I've extolled the virtues of BiS many a time.Yet still no news of them representing Russia at ESC- boooo! Katya is class,I love it.Thinking about it now,it probably should have been a bit higher up this chart.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Top 50- 8:No one knows who I am but I don't give a damn




Ani Lorak- Shady Lady


I love Ani,she's incredibly fabulous,I wish I looked like her.Shady Lady was arguably the best song in last year's ESC and deserved it's high placing.I had money on it too- in 15 years of watching Eurovision,that's the closest I've come to choosing the winner :)

Top 50- 8: Words cannot describe the feeling of a man whose soul is bleeding



Chelsi- Ne Hvataet Eyo Glaz/Every Little Thing She Does

Aww,I used to have that picture on my wall in Guildford last year...I'm not ashamed to admit it :) It's been a disappointing year for Chelsi I think.After the greatness of Ya Ne Umru Bez Tvoi Lyubvi,Krilya,Careless Whisper etc etc from last year,they only produced one good song in 08.Just as well it was a brilliant one then.

Top 50- 9: With every step,I'm closer to the dream



Sergey Lazarev (and Timati)- Lazerboy

And why is there a picture of everyone's favourite GU2 ident maker Sergey sitting naked on a table holding a saw,you ask.Well,it's art :) I wouldn't think sitting on newspaper with no pants on is a very good idea though,personally,but each to their own.I've mentioned Lazerboy loads of times on here,and for good reason- it's fecking fabulous.I need say no more.

Top 50- 11: I'm unusually hard to hold on to




Sara Bareilles- Love Song


Summery and happy and lovely.I can sing it quite passably too,which is always a plus :) I probably would have forgotten this one completely though if I hadn't had a last minute obsession with it around December time.