Monday, September 30, 2013

CAN YOU SEE KRISTA SIEGFRIDS?

Krista Siegfrids has released the third single/video of her debut album and it's a far cry from Marry me's ding dongs and Amen's party. Can you see me? is a heartfelt ballad dedicated to her late father. Elias Koskimies also once again as director makes a great job. Simply and beautiful perfectly fitting the song. Well done!

UPDATE: Can you see me climbs the Finnish iTunes charts to #3! Ahead her only the megastar of the day Cheek and Jenni Vartiainen with her comeback single. Well done and ding dong!!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

WklVids:Within Temptation ft. Tarja Turunen, Margaret Jamrozy, Michalis Hadzigiannis, Emmelie de Forest

This blogger enjoys time to time some heavier stuff, and the first song is a good example of what kind. Dutch Within Temptations joins force with Tarja Turunen (ex-Nightwish) in Paradise (What about us?). A clever move to aske Tarja to duet in it as it sounds more like Nightwish than Within ever did. Or rather like Nightwish that was when Tarja was in it. The real thing. Margaret Jamrozy is apparently a Polish fashion blogger turned singer and her debut song Thank you very much features a video where the roles of nudists and textiles has been turned out. Funny! And the song is a perfect pop song and very cacthy indeed. What if Poland had returned to Eurovision with this one? Makes me wonder... Somehow she's just so adorable in this! Michalis Hadzigiannis has released yet another very beautiful song, Kati dinato (Κάτι Δυνατό). I have no idea what he's singing about but I buy it whatever it is! Reigning Eurovision queen Emmelie de Forest has her follow up Hunter and prey finally out with its video. Nice simple video with sea, lighthouse and the drummer boys, and a song that is a perfect follow up. Well done.

ITALIAN EUROSTARS AND SANREMO 3: RAF

Raffele Riefoli aka Raf made his Sanremo debut as one of the writers for the 1987 winning song Si puó dare di piú performed by Eurovision stars Umberto Tozzi, Gianni Morandi and Enrigo Ruggeri. That opened him doors to Eurovision where he went with Tozzi and scored third place with Gente di mare. Before that he had some international success with Self control, that Laura Branigan made a world hit. After Eurovision his career kick started in native Italy and he came to Sanremo himself in 1988 with Inevitabile follia (11th) and in 1989 with Cosa resterá degli anni 80 (15th), that later came a huge hit. In 1991 he tried once again with Oggi un Dio non ho 10th) that was also sung by late Ofra Haza. His fame and success continued and he won Festivalbar twice with Ti pretendo in 1989 and with Battito animale in 1993 and scored hits like Sei la piú bella del mondo, Due and Infinito.  Eleven studio albums to date, numerous collaborations like recently with Nathalie in Sogno d'estate and with Max Pezzali in Sei fantastica. His latest album is Le ragioni del cuore from 2012 including new versions of his old songs with new arrangements and vocals plus a couple of new ones, like the title track.
Raffaele turns 54 today, auguri! An maybe it's time to return to Sanremo?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

UMK 2014: AIJA PUURTINEN AND REDRAMA BACK AT IT

Both Aija Puurtinen and Redrama have "leaked" they are back as jugdes or rather mentors in the coming UMK 2014. Both were also involved in the second season that resulted in the win of Krista Siegfrids. Officially the judges will be revealed by YLE in November.
She says in today's Iltalehti: "The experience was much more positive as I expected. I'm very interested in finding new music makers and new music. This job gave me the chance to advice, teach and mentor new talents. I wasn't only a judge, I was very close to the artists and supported them. I have been asked to do Idols most every year but I don't like that. It's way too one sided and judgemental. I don't like all that elimination business.!"
Redrama has been busy working on his new album in between UMKs and has even scored a hit with Clouds, the first offering off it and featuring A.J. McLean of Backstreet Boys. Very catchy and groovy it is, maybe we could have something like this in UMK as well?

Friday, September 27, 2013

MARCO MENGONI - THE JOURNEY IN DVD

Marco Mengoni's year has been a real journey, and this "viaggio" will be featured in a DVD that will be released on November 12, 2013. The journey starts by winning Sanremo 2013, followed by over 100.000 copies sold of the single L'Essenziale, over 90.000 of the album #prontoacorrere and leading up the magnificent concert held in Sicily, in Taormina's Teatro Antico during the triumphant L'Essenziale Tour. And the cover image of the DVD matches very nicely the Greek cultural heritage of the theatre; it's a mosaic of photos sent by his fans, their faces. Looks fantastic! #prontoacorrereilviaggio will be shown for the first time in cinemas all over Italy on November 6, 2013 at 20.30.

PAOLO MENEGUZZI RECLAIMS HIS NAME AND RESTARTS FROM ZERO

Paolo Meneguzzi, as we have learn to know him is no more. He takes his real first name Pablo also as his artistic name and starts anew, as the title of his new album Zero suggest. The album is out September 30, 2013 and comes after three years of his previous one, Miami. It includes 12 new songs. In between he has released a compilation album to sum up his story so far, Best of Sei amore. The first single off the album was La vita cos'é and now he has released the title track Zero as the launch single, and it is rather fabulous! Love the piano!
This album comes 12 years after his debut album in Italian, but he started his career already in mid 1990's and released four albums to the Latin American market in Spanish, and has even released an album for the French speaking market. Later on he managed also to release for the North American market.  Countless song contests and festivals from Viña del Mar to Sanremo and Eurovision, at the age of 37 it may be a good point to stop and look around. However, he has quite nicely managed to transform from teenage heartdrop to a mature artist over the years not losing his style and fans.
Pablo tells: "Thanks to this pause of three years after 15 years of travels, endless tours and fame I realized life is elsewhere. In family that I have neglected way too long. In love that I have also negletted for years, as I have done with myself. Running after success and fame has given me unforgettable moments I can't deny that, but it has also taken away that piece of me that permitted myself to be really happy and enjoy the simple life."
 
This blogger's favorite Meneguzzi song remains Musica, in any form; in Spanish or with Nate James in Italo-English. Maybe this new album will include a long time favorite....?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ITALIAN EUROSTARS AND SANREMO 2: ALICE

Alice (Carla Bissi, born September 26, 1954 in Forli) debuted in Sanremo 1972 with Il mio cuore se ne va, but didn't reach the final. Before that she already had success in Venice and Gondola d'Argento with La festa mia and other talent contests winning also legendary Castrocaro in 1971. Soon she took her artist name Alice Visconti, and later simply Alice. Meeting with Franco Battiato lead her to her real artistic path, scoring first a hit with Il vento caldo dell'estate in 1980 and then winning Sanremo 1981 with Per Elisa. When Battito was asked to do Eurovision in 1984 he took Alice along with I treni di Tozeur
Alice returned to Sanremo 2000 with Il giorno dell'indipendenza against her will but gaining this way a release of her God is my DJ concept album, that her record label didn't want to release. In the mid 1980's she took a decision to make music she wants to, not what the labels want her to do. This ment also staying away from festivals and TV-shows and it costed her fame to fade in Italy except among her die hard fans. A part of the deal was also a release of My personal jukebox, a compilation of her old songs remixed.  She gained a respectable 9th place and a lot of good critic and respect. She has ruled out a future participation  in Sanremo....
In 2012 she made a comeback to more commercial sound with album Samsara, where she collaborates among others Tiziano Ferro. And once again with Franco Battiato. In 2013 they have also done a series of joint concerts! The lead single was Nata ieri. She's also featured in Luca Carboni's album that will be released next week.
Born September 26, 1954 Alice turns 59 today! Auguri!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SANREMO 2014 ON ITS WAY!

The 64th festival of Italian songs, aka Sanremo 2014 will take place from February 18 to 22 in Teatro Ariston. Last year's conducting team Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto are back, as is the formula of two songs for each Big artist, that should be 14 again but it hasn't been yet confirmed. The Friday night, when the Newcomers (most likely 8 again)  have their final the Big artists will this time interprete Italian classics written by singer-songwriters. All through the festival there is a mixed voting by a jury, the press and televote but not all three of them at the same time but mixing these three parties in different ways in different occasions.... More information - also concerning Eurovision - will be given in due time and let the guessing the artists of the 2014 edition begin!

Tuesday 18: Half of the Big will sing their two songs. One song qualifies
Wednesday 19: The other half of the Big perform and qualifies with one song.
                          Half of the newcomers also perform, two of them qualify for the final
Thursday 20: The other half of the newcomers perform, two qualifies for the final
                       The Big perform in duets with other artists their songs in alternative form
Friday 21: The newcomers final. The Big perform classics outside competition
Saturday 22: The final of the Big. Top-3 goes for the superfinal

Monday, September 23, 2013

EUROVISION, TURKVISION, FRANCOVISION....


Turkey is still snobbing Eurovision and launching Turkvision, where countries and regions with Turkish minorities can take part. This idea is nothing new as France did the same with Francophonic countries and regions already in the 1990's as Francovision - and yes, have you heard about it? It didn't last long, but it sure was fun seeing entrants from likes of Port-au-Prince (Haiti) and Lafayette (USA) and African states battling it out with with songs from Paris and Bruxelles and such, if I remember correct. It seems to have such a success that there's basicly no trace of it on internet :-) Anyways, it was very Eurovisionary affair. And it hasn't been going so well for the Asiavision either, has it? Only proves there's nothing like the real thing, is there?
Anyways, Turkey is trying the same now and those interested can enjoy some music from Tataristan, Uzbekistan and all those other countries ending with "-stan" or similar, Crimea and so on. And it's even a three day affair just like Eurovision, running December 19 and 21 for the semifinals where the 20 become 12 for the final on 23. Now they can pick up only the delights they want to. Will Turkey win? Who knows? :-)

UMK 2014: 420 DEMOS RECEIVED. FINAL ON FEBRUARY 1, 2014

UPDATE:  YLE has confirmed the dates. The UMK 2014 season kicks of on YLE's webstream on December 10 with press conference. Five shows on TV will lead to the final on February 1, 2014 - a date that is already proving to become one of those mega-Saturdays for Eurovision followers as Switzerland and Latvia are also having their finals and there will be other selections, too. Anyways, the UMK heats will run on five consegurtive Saturdays all through January starting on December 28.

UMK 2014 has received 420 demos (last year it was 470) and YLE tells there's a lot of EDM or electronic dance music and female artists and they seem very pleased with the quality. There are songs also by well known songwriters and artists, as well as total newcomers.
The judges for this season will be revealed on November 4, 2013 while the TV-programmes start on December 28, 2013. If my memory serves me right it as like this also this year so most likely the procedure and number of shows and eliminations is the same as in season 2013... 
Meanwhile in Sweden 2628 songs were received, and 600 in Norway.
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

WklVids:Tooji, Baby K ft Tiziano Ferro, Rona Nishliu, Cheek

How time flies, another week has passed and here are some videos I have enjoyed the past week. We start with Norwegian Tooji who looks rather different in his Rebels. The song is pretty good and the video is beautifully shot black and white affair. Me likes! Italian Tiziano Ferro is featured in Baby K's latest single and video Sei sola. An interesting mix of Tiz's deep vocals and Baby's female rapping...  Kosovan Rona Nishliu is back with her unmistakable voice in Se vetëm zemra flet saktë, a little bit Latin affair, a lot of orange in the video and again a great dress! The song apparently is of a campaign to raise gender awareness and against adolescent gender violance. Heart speaks right. Finnish rapper Cheek is really enjoying a huge success and his latest Timantit on ikuisia is becoming one of the biggest hits of the 2013. He has really crossed over to all audiences. Proving that some reality TV won't hurt your career....

Friday, September 20, 2013

ITALIAN EUROSTARS AND SANREMO 1: MIA MARTINI

Late Mia Martini (born Domenica Berté) entered Sanremo only 1982 after having had already a lot of success in the 1970's, winning Festivalbar twice in a row with Piccolo uomo (1972) and Minuetto (1973). In 1977 she is selected for Eurovision thanks to all her success and sings Libera (13th). Her Sanremo debut comes in 1982 with E non finisce mica il cielo, that becomes a huge success afterwards and is a classic today. To compensate her lack of success in festival's scoreboard a special award is created Premio della Critica (renamed after her death Premio Mia Martini) for her. But things turn sour after that. Among the entertainment business there's a rumor she brings bad luck and many doors close for her for festivals and TV and some people refuse to work with her.
 But in 1989 she's back in Sanremo against all odds with another success and classic, Almeno tu nell'iniverso (9th) and she wins again this critic's award as happens the year after when she sings La nevicata del '56 while the song doesn't hit the top places in the festival this time either. In 1992 she finally gets Italians to vote for her and is runner up with Gli uomini non cambiano and also gets the ticket to Malmö 1992 Eurovision where she brings Rapsodia and scores a well deserved 4th place. She also gets some extra media fuss in Sweden being the sister of Loredana Berté, then wife of tennis legend Björn Borg. The sisters had a troubled relationship, both being artists with some temper but they united for Sanremo 1993 with Stiamo come stiamo (14th). Finally her career going nicely, apparently peace made with sister, family and show biz she was found dead two years later in her apartment. The cause of death has never been certified and she had been dead already for two days before she was found. A tragic end for a troubled life of a true artist and talent that Eurovision had a joy and priviledge to have twice on its stage. Born September 20, 1947 she would have been 66 today.

ESC 2014: JURY GETS MORE VISIBILITY

EBU has released the rules for the Eurovision song contest 2014 today and while there are no major changes the jury gets underlined thanks to the on going voting irregulations speculations that really exploded this year.  
Also, EBU will publish all the individual jury member votes and the split jury and televoting results right after the final. This should make most everyone happy!
The jury members will be made public on May 1, 2014. This blogger is a little bit buzzled about this. What's the point? Isn't it easier to pressure and influence them if we know who they are? On the other hand, it also makes it more difficult in some ways. Maybe that's what EBU thinks wins in the end?
The jury members, five of them in each country, also must work within music industry as radio DJs, artists, composers, lyricists or producers. They must not work for the broadcaster and must be citizens of the country in question. The jury must also be of sufficient representativeness of gender, age and background. Once again they have to rank all the songs (but their own, of course).
and they can't have worked as a jury member the previous two editions. 
Read the whole story with comments and full rules here

And the circus kicks of in Copenhagen Sunday April 27, 2014. The first semifinal in on May 6, the second on May 8 and the grand final on May 10. 2014.

So far they haven't announced when the semifinal allocation will take place but the rehearsal schedule should work out like in Malmö 2013 starting with closed door rehearsals and shorter schedule in every way. It worked wonders in Malmö!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

ESC 2014 WITHOUT CROATIA

Last year it was Portugal, now it's Croatia. Namely the country I will miss a lot. HRT has made public they won't be in Copenhagen 2014 and thus joins Turkey, Andorra, Czech Republic, Monaco, Luxembourg, Morocco and Slovakia as countries that won't participate in 2014 (either). Portugal instead is apparently returning :-)
Croatia joined the Eurovision family in 1993 and did very well scoring six top-10 placings between 1995 and 2001. Then the success vanished and Croatia hasn't been in the final since 2009, when they were actually picked up by jury's wildcard after finishing 13th in the semifinal. 
This blogger has several big favorites among the Croatian entries like Sveta ljubav, Marija Magdalena, Everything I want, You are the only one, Romanca, Lijepa Tena, Lako je sve and Nebo, and how could we forget Neka mi ne svane or Moja stikla? Croatia will be greatly missed in Denmark....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

MTV EUROPE MUSIC AWARDS: MENGONI, SAKIS, MIHALIS AND LENA NOMINATED

The European MTV Music award nominations are out and four names familiar from Eurovision are running for the Best European Act this time. Marco Mengoni is nominated in Italy (along with Fedez, Salmo, Emma and Max Pezzali). He already won this award in 2010. In Greece it's a battle among others between Greek Sakis Rouvas and Cypriot Mihalis Hadzigiannis while in Germany Lena is among the nominees. She won this award already in 2011. We also have Auryn in Spain against Pablo Alboran. Auryn was the runner up in the Spanish selection 2011 and Alboran was heavily tipped to do Eurovision this year.... 
In recent year the Eurovision stars of the past (or the near future) has often been featured also in this MTV affair proving Eurovision is up to date, at least in some cases :-) But one question comes to mind.... where's Dima Bilan? Have Russian abandoned him? Or maybe after 7 national nominations and winning last year the Best European Act it's time to give away to others? 
Anyways, the Best European Act award has been given away five times so far, and four times an Eurovision artist has won it: maNga,  Marco Mengoni, Lena and Dima Bilan. Only the first one in 2008 went to non-Eurovisionary one, Emre Aydin from Turkey.
You can check out the  previous winners and nominees here, there are many other Eurovision names over the years.... The show comes from Amsterdam this year on November 10, 2013.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

UMK 2014: SUBMISSION ENDED - WHAT TO EXPECT?

The submission for UMK 2014 ended yesterday and now when the renewed national selection for Eurovision heads to its third edition one can only wonder how it will be! Strangely, so far only one artist seem to have come out seriously with "I have sent in a song" and that one being totally unknown Juha Mattila aka JUHA. Or not totally unknown, he has a past as a football player but this is his debut in music business. Check his presentation video here.
YLE has leaked every now and then some bits, like many previous candidates have sent in songs.... time will tell who? Musical styles include Finnrock, schlagerpop, funk and edm
The full procedure, judges, dates and of course the songs and artists will be revealed at latest December 10, 2013. The final will be in Februaty 2014.
UMK 2012 winner was Pernilla Karlsson with När jag blundar, (12th in the semifinal) and UMK 2013 Krista Siegfrids with Marry me (24th in the final).

Sunday, September 15, 2013

WklVids: Doug Strahm, Tom Goss, Gianna Nannini, Milan Stankovic

We start this week with a slap in the face of Russia & co with Doug Strahm's Better this way. The video underlines quite heavily what he sings when telling this story, with an happy end. Yet, it's quite nice and sweet affair. Doug has also quite an interesting bio. While we are at it, let's give them another slap! Tom Goss has written an anthem for Gay bears with a funny video to go with it. Gianna Nannini has released 4th (or is it 5th?) single of her latest success album, In the rain. Also this video has a strong message and story.... Last but not least, Milan Stankovic is back with Od mene se odvikavaj. Nicely flavored with local sounds. Enjoy!

ALICE, BATTIATO AND OTHERS JOIN LUCA CARBONI

I have never been a huge fan of duet albums, and/or albums with remakes of old songs, something rather typical for Italian artists but now there's coming an album I can hardly wait! It seems like a real piss-your-pants material! Luca Carboni celebrates his 30th anniversary in business with an album with a few new songs and reworked versions of his old hits with guest stars. Nothing special here, is it? But then when you look at the guests, it turns into a wet dream: Alice, Franco Battiato, Tiziano Ferro, Elisa, Cesare Cremonini, Biagio Antonacci... it's like a reunion of my favorite singers! Add Miguel Bosé, Jovanotti, Samuel Bersani and Fabri Fibra and that's the album I can hardly wait for! It is released October 1, 2013 and will feature these songs (click for the originals, *new tracks):

Fisico e politico (Fabri Fibra)*
C'è sempre una canzone*
Dimentica*
Persone silenziose (Tiziano Ferro)
Farfallina (Alice)
Inno nazionale (Miguel Bosé)
Silvia lo sai (Franco Battiato)
Primavera (Biagio Antonacci)
Mare mare (Cesare Cremonini)
Gli autobus di notte (Samuele Bersani)

The twist of fate is that the favorite Carboni track of mine Farfallina will be in duet with Alice! I simply can 't wait to hear it!!!! And some great songs have been left out as well, like Mi ami davvero, La mia cittá, Malinconia, and ever so beautiful Colori....

Saturday, September 14, 2013

NATHALIE JOINS EUROVISION STARS RAF AND BATTIATO

Remember Nathalie Giannitrapani, who was rumoured and wished by many to represent Italy in the Eurovision 2011 with In punta di piedi, but eventually nothing came out fo it and Raphael Gualazzi went instead finished as the surprise runner up. Anyways, the X Factor winner will release a new album titled Anima di vento on September 17, 2013. The interesting fact is she's joined in it in duet with not one but two Eurovision stars. The first single Sogno d'estate features Raf, and L'essenza Franco Battiato! The third duet partner is Toni Childs in La veritá. (This is not the only collaboration of Battiato this fall, but about that later, stay tuned! )
RAI hasn't yet made know how they will select their eventual represant in Copenhagen 2014 and if it will be once again Sanremo based selection. But Nathalie is a valid option once again....

Thursday, September 12, 2013

SYKSYN SÄVEL 2013 GOES RETRO

The annual reborn Finnish song contest will be aired again live on October 30, 2013. The artists for this edition were revealed a few days ago, but their songs even if one can start making some guesses. The list of artists is rather retro oriented as Markku Aro (ESC 1971), Muska, Freeman, Kake Randelin, Vicky Rosti (ESC 1987) who all were high in their career already in the 1970's are included. Add Pate Mustajärvi, frontman of rockband Popeda, in the scene since forever, Ressu & Jussi who both enjoyed their biggets success in the late 80's and early 90's (in Bogart Co. and Neon2) and Milana Misic who is best known for singing her mother Laila Kinnunen's (ESC 1961) songs who was the leading lady of the 1960's schlager. More current sound is brought in by Stig, Voice of Finland 2013 winner Antti Railio and group Neljänsuora. Muska, Ressu Redford, Milana, Freeman and Stig have tried to get to Eurovision as well through Euroviisut/UMK.

Syksyn Sävel run from 1968 until 2001 in MTV3, the commercial TV and was the anti-Eurovision with very commercial, taylored to the local taste songs and providing huge successes and evergreens, especially in the 1970's. In the 1980's and especially in the 1990's it lost its sense and was eventually stopped. In 2011 it was reborn, as a charity event and was won by Jari Sillanpää. Last year Jesse Kaikuranta walked away with the trophy

I will present the singers and their songs closer to the event so stay tuned.Wild guess, this might be the winner. :-)

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

ONCE UPON A TIME... HANNA PAKARINEN

Hanna Pakarinen has released her 6th stuidp album, and the second one in Finnish and mostly self-written, Olipa kerran elämä (Once upon a time there was life). It continues her string of Top-10 albums in Finland so her popularity has remained solid since her debut even if fading a bit since her post-Idols win hysteria. Her debut album When I become me went to #2 and sold platinum, follow up Stronger was also #2 and sold gold. Lovers, that included her Eurovision entry Leave me alone in Helsinki 2007 went to #3 and also sold gold. After a two year's break she released her last album in English to date, Love in a million shades that went to #7. Then she switched into Finnish with Paperimiehen tytär that went to only #9 but got a lot of airplay and good critic. The new album Oiipa kerran elämä also debuted as #9. 
You can buy the new album for example here. There's also a very nice documentary (in Finnish) where she also performs songs from the new album here: (00.50 Jokapäiväinen, 06.50 Selät vastakkain, 14.40 Olipa kerran elämä)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

ESC 2014: CONCHITA WURST FOR AUSTRIA!

Wunderbar! was the first thought on my mind when I returned home from work to these news. Conchita Wurst gets to do Eurovision finally. Surprisingly, I have found a rather hostile comments online, but then it's a bit like with Lordi: some what ignorant people stop on the surface and as they didn't hear Lordi actually had a really good song under all that show and masks, also Wurst - described by some half a woman, half a sausage and thinking about it it's kinda true... - hides under that beard a strong and beautiful voice. Just listen to this and this, or even her first attempt to get to Eurovision a couple of years ago when she finished runner up with That's what I am. Now we only have to wait for her song, that will be revealed in the later date.
It will be also interesting to see if her image will have some effect on the votes from Russia and other anti-gay oriented ex-Sovjet countries. Anyways, a bold and strong message from ORF, well done!
Read more about Conchita's rebirth from Tom to Ms Wurst here.

Monday, September 09, 2013

ALICE & BATTIATO TOGETHER AGAIN IN FLORENCE, VERONA - AND ON LIVE ALBUM?

Earlier this summer Alice and Battiato gave a joint concert in Latina, near Rome. It was such a success and they had so much fun singing together again that the reunion happened again in Franco Battiato's concerts in Firenze on August 31 and Arena di Verona on September 2 with Antony and The Johnsons and Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini. One of the duets they did on both occasions was an hommage to late Claudio Rocchi, La realtá non esiste. Of course they did also I treni di Tozeur.  The song seems to be having a real revivial almost 30 years after its release and making Italians proud in Luxembourg 1984. Alice did also Il vento caldo dell'estate from 1980, co-written by Battiato and her breakthrough hit that sounds amazing with the philharmonic orchestra!
Battiato is also releasing a live album in November 2013 recorded in the Verona date, hopefully also I treni di Tozeur makes the cut for it!
PS. Did you know Valentina Monetta is also a big Alice fan?

Sunday, September 08, 2013

WklVids: Steve Grand, Dima Bilan, LOVEX, Kenan Doğulu

Last week I skipped weekly videos as I simply forgot, I admit. Blame it on the Eurovision cruise (scroll down for news)! Too much of a good thing can make you forget other things :-) Anyways, this week we start with Steve Grand, the internet phenomenon of the summer 2013 with his All American boy. He has released a new song and video, Stay, and if the love story with the all American boy didn't work out, this time it's all kisses & hugs! Dima Bilan has yet another video and hit in his hands with Малыш - Malysh. LOVEX was a fan favorite in the Finnish national selection 2007 with Anyone, anymore . Since then it's been quite quiet but now they are ready for comeback with Don Juan. Do you think they can make it? Kenan Doğulu is still shaking it after all these years and enjoying great success. Kız Sana Hayran is one of this latest efforts.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

ITALY: WHO SHOULD RAI SEND NEXT YEAR?

Italy and RAI is almost certain to participate in Copenhagen 2014 and it's good to remember it's also 50 years since Denmark hosted its first Eurovision in Copenhagen, won by Italy. Could they do it again? Certainly they have a lot of singers who could cross over and appeal to European audiences. RAI, despite not confirming their participation (but that comes as no surprise as it may happen again only once EBU publishes the official list) nor have they hinted how the song and/or the singer will be selected. Similar poll was launched last year, yet the singer came from Sanremo festival as the previous year's after their comeback, and this time it was the winner of it, L'essenziale by Marco Mengoni. 
This poll also underlines the problem with these online polls; it is the fans of certain singers flooding it as the top names in it are all singers from reality series Amici with strong online fanbese: Emma, Annalisa, Alessandra Amoroso, Marco Carta and yes, even Marco Mengoni hits the top-5 at this point!
Other previous Eurovision entrants Nina Zilli, Raphael Gualazzi and Franco Battiato included in RAI's list are not making any impact, nor the big international names Eros Ramazzotti, Laura Pausini, Zucchero, Andrea Bocelli, Gianna Nannini and Tiziano Ferro....
However if you ask this blogger, I'd go hunting among Elisa (she sings both in Italian and English, has on going international career and Caterina Caselli behind her), Arisa (a fan favorite and an artist with personal style plus great songs), Biagio Antonacci (a real veteran who could deliver a great song with atmosphere if he goes for one of his ballads), Dolcenera (a gay friendly artist with great personality and a voice that won't go unnoticed) or most of all Giorgia, my one big wish for Eurovision since forever.... At least Elisa, Dolcenera and Giorgia are at the moment recording/releasing new albums, not sure about the others. Elisa and Giorgia have also won Sanremo when RAI wasn't participating in Eurovision so they should be rewarded with that extra bonus finally, Arisa has been propably considered these past three years and even Dolcenera is a Sanremo winner, among the newcomers though. And Antonacci simply is a megastar.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

RIKI SORSA COMEBACK - WITH LAISKOTELLEN

Riki Sorsa make a comeback as singer after 13 years since his last album. In between he has battled and won throat cancer that was to put an end to his singing altogether. The album Kun tunnet rakkauden, his 13th and to be released in October, features covers from the 1930's to 1970's with a jazzy feel. "Since I got back the gift of voice, I want to do something deeper and more mature. These songs belong to the common musical heritage" he says. The songs include the first single Laiskotellen, that is none other than Lasse Mårtensson's classic and the Finnish Eurovision entry in 1964, but also Marraskuu, Hymy, Joet tulvimaan itke and Vippaa mulle vitonen.
Riki Sorsa represented Finland in Euovision song contest 1981 with Reggae Ok! In 1985 he was the runner up in the national final with fantastic Haaveissa vainko oot mun?

RAMÓN IN FINLAND - AND SINGING AGAIN?

Remember I wrote about Ramon  (ESC 2004) some time ago? He has been featured several times in this Finnish reality TV-series Riemuloma Kanarialla since and actually he was the programme's location manager, his task being to find one or two locations for each day during the 7 months of filming in Canarias. "Best in the job was the people. I learned a new culture" he told Ilta-Sanomat earlier this summer when visiting Helsinki. He became friends with people of the reality and came to visit them enjoying a real Finnish summer with sauna, local drinks (Lonkero) and visiting Helsinki but also Lahti, Porvoo and Messilä.  "I loved sauna and I really enjoyed my stay. I could actually move here. I have always wanted to live in some Nordic country." He also makes his comeback as a singer in the series as he sings Frank Sinatra's I got you under my skin in the final episode and he says returning to music isn't totally out of the question.....

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

SAARA AALTO GOES CHINESE WITH 爱的祝福

Remember Saara Aalto who was the runner up behind Paradise Oskar with her Blessed with love?  Since then she has been busy with her career in Finland and also in Asia, mainly in China of all places. Now her latest album will be released in China titled Ai De Zhu Fu 爱的祝福. The album includes 13 songs:

1. 前进的脚步 (Qianjin de jiaobu)
2. 宽恕 (Kuanshu)
3. My Love
4. 来呀来呀飞起来 (Laiya laiya feiqilai)
5. 你让我无助 (Ai ni rang wo wuzhu)
6. 十点 (Shi dian)
7. 爱的祝福 (Ai De Zhu Fu)
8. 受伤的心 (Shou shang de xin)
9. 我心慢慢沉 (Wo xin manman chen)
10. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
11. You Gotta Go
12. My Bird
13. Je Suis Malade

The lead single is the very Bond-esque 受伤的心 (Shou shang de xin), that is the Chinese version of You had my heart.  But she's also singing in Japanese, like in Blessed with love. She's been the runner up in Talent, Voice and Euroviisut, will she finally make it - in China? She's gaining success there also with  Out of sight, out of mind.
The album release party will take place in Helsinki in Svenska Teatern and she will perform besides for the audience on spot also for the Chinese LeTV that will stream the concert live in China. Earlier this year she also performed in Chinese TV for about 800 million people in China and Asia, even dueting with José Carreras! 
PS. She isn't the first Nordic Eurovision related artists to try the Asian market. Carola tried to conquer Japan already back in 1985 with カローラは日本で歌う.

THERE'S SOMETHING ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF DENMARK....


So Hamlet wrote, and it seems to be true. Or at least there are bad losers in Herning! Not happy with the DR's and EBU's decision to bring the 2014 Eurovision song contest in the capital Copehagen - for the third time by the way after 1964 and 2001 - they have now invented a silent protest in the form of cakes! A baker (with a suitable name) Alix Bitsch has created this protest cake for all the people of Herning to enjoy and even the Mayor seems to be game. I'll have one of those!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

VALENTINA MONETTA - UNA GIORNATA BELLISSIMA A HELSINKI

After two days of greatly done PR it was time for Valentina to enjoy some free time wandering around Helsinki. The day started with rainy clouds and very local showers ("... Dalle nuvole si sa, poi la pioggia scenderà, d’improvviso succederà...") but soon the sun came out....
Valentina checked out the cathedral and the Senate's Square, the venue for the Helsinki 2007 Eurovision open air party, remember Krisse?
Then it was time for some local flavors and typical fish plate in the market place, the venue for the Lordi's post-victory celebrations (here)
Havis Amand... err, Valentina!
Kappeli is always good for coffee and cakes!
Espan lava... hmm, maybe next summer a gig here?
It may have been September 1, but somewhere in Helsinki it's always Christmas....
An artist has always an open ear for another talent..... like incredible bottle player! Maybe she will bring him along to Copenhagen 2014?
And then there's the new Musiikkitalo, House of Music. Imagine. Valentina Monetta and her trio with string quartet giving out a jazz concert here some time soon.... Would you come?
All too soon it's time to say goodbye.... "Quanta vita c’è, non me n’ero accorta mai..."
É stata una giornata bellissima..... grazie Vale!








Monday, September 02, 2013

ESC 2014: JOIN US - Vær med!

After various awakenings and true fantasies, sharing the moment and feeling your heartbeat and the rhythm, being one and lighting your fire in the confluence of sound and under the same sky, next year we simply join in. Eurovision got closer to the people and fans this year in Malmö in terms of the venue and stage, now the Danish want us to join in even more, get more interactive in social medias but also in the parties and the show itself. No traditional postcards apparently to be expected but the focus will be even more on the artists and their feelings and goals what comes to Eurovision. Which is just right. After all it is them who put their face, name and talent to the game, not the broadcasters and countries. It's their party and their show, and it's about the time the focus is on them full time. 

VALENTINA MONETTA TAKES ON THE TALLINN NIGHTLIFE

While the Eurovision party still going on Valentina & co took a trip outside the boat and had some fun in rainy Tallinn night....
Love is blind - or L'amore verrà?
Valentina has also time to check out some venues for her worthcoming Baltic jazz tour, including Clazz club. The stage was ready and waiting for her..... but, sometime in the near future....
Goodbye Tallinn! See you again soon. In the daylight, too!



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