Urban Symphony

Posted: May 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Estonia, eurovision, music | No Comments »

Urban Symphony’s First rehearsal (Eurovision Estonia 2009)
Such a great song. Eurovision Song Contest takes place already next week!

Dima Bilan wins Eurovision

Posted: May 25th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: eurovision, russia | No Comments »

I was wrong in underestimating the song and the efforts Dima made in order to win. The song is not bad and Dima did deserve to win, in my opinion for not winning with Never Let You Go, which is was my favourite. Russia hosting the Eurovision is another opportunity to ignate democratisation in the country and kind of gives Eurovision certain relevance (who would care if it was held in some traditional European place?). This year’s Eurovision was special due to where it was held and the possible impact it has on Serbia, which until recently was not so eager to join the EU.

I did not vote for Dima Bilan, as I thought the song was a little average. I do like his music and him, I have seen him in concert twice (once in Estonia and once in London at World Music Awards 2006). My votes went to France and Ukraine. Sébastien Tellier was a nice discovery for me and I am looking forward to hearing his new album Sexuality.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest had a lot of good songs (I counted ca 10 I liked and the voting showed that more or less the same 10 songs were universally liked). Therefore there is no need to talk about geographic voting. The result was pretty universal, the only thing I would change is to have pan-European votes, where every vote counts the same (not voting by country). This would mix up the contest and make it a real song contest for European people, not nations.

Eurovision Song Contest 2008 – 2nd semifinal

Posted: May 22nd, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: eurovision | No Comments »

So here we go again. Estonia’s out and it is fine, as the song did not deserve a place in the final. I should also tell who is my favourite for this year, not having seen all the songs: it is Sébastien Tellier’s Divine, which is the French entry. I think he will win as well. Whether this will be so will be clear on Saturday, but today are the semifinals. I hope there will be more people and better songs in this one.

My dislike of the Estonian commentator Marko Reikop cannot be quantified. He is just so incredible annoying. The hosts are also annoying, but not as much.

1. Iceland – They have sent a couple of disco-singing and dancing sexbots (himbobot + bimbobot). They try too hard, but it is simply too gay for me, and the song is not something nice either.

2. Sweden – At first it seemed like a singing corpse-bimbo, but then the colour emerged to uncover a not particularly Swedish-looking blond vixen (is that a good word to use here?). I like the lasershow, but the song is too generic and boring for me.

3. Turkey – Nice and good rock song. Sung in Turkish, the song was not particularly memorable, but not bad either.

4. Ukraine – Brilliant. Powerful, cool and encompassing. A probable winner of the whole contest. Kirkorov has done it again, Dima Bilan should take notes.

5. Lithuania – Nice performance, simple and focusing on the song itself. The whole thing has a bit of Phantom of the Opera feel. Not for me though.

6. Albania – Boring, I cannot follow the song due to it being boring, so my mind drifts to other things.

7. Switzerland – I like the piano and the song and the performer is kind of cute. But there is something missing, I don’t know exactly what. Above average.

8. Czech Republic – Cliché alert! The hooded DJ and the turntables are so not cool any more. The song is average, like so many songs this year.

9. Belarus – A slightly more macho Dima Bilan lookalike. The song is quite good, and there is definitely effort, but not overdoing it. The ending fireworks was cool.

10. Latvia – Pirates are also a bit out alread, but the song is somewhat entertaining. It reminds me of the one-hit techno-country group Rednex.

11. Croatia – Old guy is cool, but missed the song completely. 

12. Bulgaria – Cool long instrumetnal entry, I like the sound and the show, some of it is over the top a litlle (why are the turtables on fire?), but on the whole I would like them to on to the final.

13. Denmark – The guy looks a little like Gael Garcia Bernal, who I like a lot. Very cool song and performance. One of my favourites.

14. Georgia – Quite cool, I liked, although not my favourite.

15. Hungary – Nice ballad, it has certain quality I like.

16. Malta – Just because they sing about Vodka, they have to pass. Alcohol-hating prudes beware! Should go to the final.

17. Cyprus – Nice, but I do not like the song, it is too messy.

18. Macedonia – Nice style, cool song. A favourite, although the singing voice could be a little better.

19. Portugal – Her voice is nice, but the song I do not get at all. Might be a cultural thing.

So I hope that the following songs go to the final: Turkey, Ukraine (the best of them all), Belarus, Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary, Malta, Macedonia.

Finalists are: Ukraine, Croatia, Albania, Iceland, Georgia, Denmark, Sweden, Latvia, Turkey, Portugal.

Eurovision Song Contest 2008 – 1st semifinal

Posted: May 20th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: eurovision | No Comments »

ETV has pissed me off again, Marko Reikop is commenting and being obnoxious as usual so I just try to ignore the blabber. He should move to a deserted island with people like Andri Maimets and other Estonian press people covering the event.

Here are my comments about the songs, because it is all about the songs and not countries or even perfomers:

1. Montenegro – OK performer (looks a bit like Pete Wentz gone a bit fat), boring, unremarakble song

2. Israel – Very nice performer, again a boring song;

3. Estonia – Peeter OJa’s voice had not recovered, but the song was so different from the regular Eurovision song so it might even work. It is catchy, but then again I have heard it too many times;

4. Moldova – I thought at first that she does not sing in English, because of the accent. The song is too complicated for me, a mess. She was very nice, though;

5. San Marino – Little David Copperfield. The voice is quite powerful, the song also has power. I quite like it, especially the guitars they put in there;

6. Belgium – Cool outfits, the song is strangely addictive, very melodic. The live instruments are a nice touch. Best song so far.

BREAK – Why are they performing in an empty hall? Where are all the people? Too expensive tickets, boycott? I hope there will be more people for the finale, otherwise it will be quite embarrasing.

7. Azerbaijan – OMG! This is what Eurovision is about. Angels and devils, soft pop-rock and gyrating dance girls. It is like a light musical version of Lordi. Brilliant and welcome to Eurovision, Azerbaijan!

8. Slovenia – Green woman in captivity, this is scene from some sort of S/M disco, is it not? I have not been so I don’t know. But no, everything turned all colourful and bright, a regular disco (I have been). Great perfromance, shame about the song not being very good;

9. Norway – Great song. The performance and the performer did the song justice. Classy, laid-back and pleasing. One of my favourites.

10. Poland – Too big cleavage and abnormal skin colour. I am sorry, but it disturbs and distracts me. Boring and empty ballad, the voice is too thin and weak. The whole things seems fake for some reason.

BREAK – The hall is completely empty! They should have given tickets away for free. “Large Eurovision family” which the hostess referred to seems not to be present (or were the tickets to Belgrade really so expensive?). Seriously, there are like 100 people watching the show in the hall.

11. Ireland – The singing turkey. I like it, it is catchy and not nearly as creepy as Kreisiraadio. Irlande douze points, indeed.

12. Andorra – Disco queen singing a disco song, and it is not such a bad song either (perhaps a bit generic). I guess it will go on to the finals, but not really my taste. The singer is really feisty an energetic.

13. Bosnia & Herzegovina – Really interesting, but it is more a conceptual performance than a song. It does not stop me liking it though, it is something really different and also strangely addictive. A favourite.

14. Armenia – Paula Abdul lookalike. Nice and energetic song, and properly sung. Decent performance, but nothing earthshattering (although the fireworks were great).

15. The Netherlands – Nothing remarkable. Generic arabic rhythm, especially after the more powerful and original Armenia.

16. Finland – The Finns have fallen into the let’s try what worked once trap. However, poppy hard rock is no longer a novelty and singing in Finnish does not help. Again, nearly not enough and the song is a bit boring.

17. Romania – There is always one sugary sweet romantic ballad. Too bad I do not like them, especially something so ordinary as this one. The more energetic midsection does not help, it feels out of place.

18. Russia – Dear Dima, what happened? You used to have great songs. Now you come with this mediocre Timbaland production. I expected more and even gyrating on stage barefoot and ripping open your shirt cannot hide my disappointment. It is better than much of the songs in this contest, but this is so selling out even by my very very low standards.

19. Greece – Nothing special, but not too bad either. The song was OK, but nothing too memorable.

I hope the following songs will go on to the final (in no specific order): San Marino, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Norway, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ireland, Andorra, Russia (and Estonia).

Novak Djokovic seems nice, he will throw the huge tennisball at the audience to begin the vote. Is this really safe?

So the voting starts…

So the finals will include (my favourites in bold): Greece, Romania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Finland, Russia, Israel, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Poland and Norway

Eurolaul 2008

Posted: January 29th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: eurovision, music | No Comments »

So I saw the contestants for the Estonian final of the Eurovision Song Contest on TV today. I have to commend ETV for coming up with a decent stage design (the big LED screen is great).

1. Leto Svet – Kreisiraadio. I am a longtime fan of Kreisiraadio from their Kuku radio show, but I have no idea how they would work in an European stage. Nevertheless, it is a fun, decent song and in my opinion the best chance we have. So my recommendation is to vote for this song.
2. Real Big Money – SKA Factor. I have never heard of this band, but I really like the laid-back and more poppy style of some of the new Estonian songs. Unfortunately this is a bit too bland for my taste.
3. One on one – Rolf junior. This is a song that I was most proud of and positively surprised about as there has not been a gayer song on Estonian ESC. It’s okay to be gay! Shame that the song itself is not so good and that Rolf junior could not carry it.
4. Question Man – Taavi Peterson. A Bowie-esque song and performance. Nice try, but not suitable for Eurovision. Started to get boring at the end. But Taavi Peterson and Rein Rannap seem to be able to have a good working relationship. Still my favorite Rannap Eurovision song was Opera on Fire from ages ago, which I thought was robbed victory.
5. Üksinduses – Kristjan Kasearu & Paradise Crew. I am not sure if it is the prison military service, which has taken its toll on Kristjan Kasearu or is it the blandness of the song, but this did not impact me at all. I guess the rebellious rock thing sounds a bit tired now as well. An extra point for singing in Estonian though.
6. 365 Days – Birgit Õigemeel. I am no really into the Superstaar thing, so I do not know the appeal or capability of Birgit Õigemeel. The song was nothing special, a good pop vehicle for her I guess, but nothing special. This is not music, it is product, so I feel really indifferent towards the song.
7. It’s Never Too Late – Luisa Värk & Traffic. Nice pop ballad. I liked it but not enough. Imre Sooäär should continue with songwriting.
8. Stefani – Supernova. Not my cup of tea, similar to Latvian Brainstorm or Ruffus. I kind of like the vocal but the song seems to be missing something, it is a bit lifeless for even a light rock song.
9. Ice Cold Story – Iris Vesik. Iris seems really special and the people on the stage are interesting, but agains, the song is not really anything to write home about. Perhaps it is a grower, but in Eurovision it does not matter.
10. God Inside Your Soul – Luisa Värk & Margus Vaher. Although I did not like Margus Vaher especially in Kaks Takti Ette contest which he won, he does have a good voice. But this is just a prizewinning song and not anything special. Boring.

In general I am happy there was a variety in songs and fewer bland female artists and product-songs. I think Kreisiraadio should win, it would be an interesting choice. Let’s see what the public decides on Saturday.

So Estonia did not get to the ESC final…

Posted: May 11th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Estonia, eurovision | 1 Comment »

The performance was OK, and the song was good enough for Eurovision. But there were so many songs with great performances that it probably just did not stand out enough. I do not think one should look for any political motives here, I did not vote based on that. My votes went to three songs: Denmark, Belarus and Austria.

Eurovision is dead, to be replaced by … ?

Posted: October 22nd, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: eurovision, thoughts | No Comments »

The Eurovision song contest, which I somewhat enjoyed a few years ago (esp. the day when Estonia won as it marks another important date in my life), is now officially dead for me. Looking back, I do not really know why I liked it, perhaps for my perception European nature of it. The 50th anniversary show of the Song Contest is on at the moment (from Finnish TV) and it is sad to see how it declines.

Perhaps at some point in its history it was really a television event to remember and also to have some high ideals. But the idea seems totally irrelevant now. Europe is more integrated than ever and Eurovision does more to create friction and deepen fears and distrust of other European countries. There were bright moments, celebrations of tolerance and unity. But these days are long gone. So after 50 years, it is time to call it a day and close up shop.

What we really need is a pan-European TV show (or channel), which would be truly borderless. A song contest such as the Eurovision song contest could be held on the basis of talents from all over Europe, not based on a country and voting would also take place not on country basis but at the same time and using the same system all over Europe. Without strong transboundary culture, the economics and politics of EU will remain scattered and not harnessed to their potential. It is a sad state of affairs if Eurovision will be the closest thing we have.