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Robert Niles

Okay, members in Europe...

May 22, 2006 at 4:31 AM

Explain yourselves for *this* choice:

(Skip to 40 seconds in for the band to start playing. For U.S. readers who don't follow European news, the band, Finland's Lordi, won the annual Eurovision song contest. Think 'American Idol,' but less contrived and with even higher TV ratings.)

I just want to add that Laurie picked up the chord progression and was playing along on her violin within 30 seconds of listing to this. Then she begged me to shut it off so she could practice in peace.

From Elizabeth Chavez
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 4:46 AM
From Ben Clapton
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 5:58 AM
American Idol - they've got nothing on Eurovision. Eurovision (which is in it's 51st year this year) is a massive song contest which between many countries counts as to who supports who. There's lots of politics involved in it (eg If you vote for us, we'll vote for you) because you can't vote for yourself. You can almost predict who will vote for who in some circumstances.

Personally, I love the finnish entry. I really hope that they do an Australian Tour, because I reckon that it'd be an awesome show.

From janet griffiths
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:07 AM
Now you can see how difficult it is in Europe
a)encouraging children to take up the violin
b)implementing a practice routine when a grunt and a thump will do
From Robert Niles
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:24 AM

Second place: With the classic lyric, "Flesh on my flesh; bone on my bone...."

Third place, WITH A VIOLIN!

From Laurie Niles
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:34 AM
Ok, I liked the third-place one best. Not just because of the fiddle; it actually had more than two chords. In fact, I believe it actually modulated.
From Karin Lin
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:36 AM
Oh, my goodness...

I thought Europeans always had more class than Americans.

Finnish is pretty cool-sounding, though. I have to say that.

From Robert Niles
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 6:54 AM
Okay, going deeper into the results: U.K.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 7:40 AM
Ben, thanks for your explanation. I think that all three songs were awful. I found the third place one more tolerable than the others because it was less raucous, but it was too soupy for my taste. I'm sure that someone in Europe could come up with something far better than these. Yuk! I'm appalled!
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 7:44 AM
PS. Robert, I love your new photo.
From benny atkinson
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 10:13 AM
Have to admit I did not watch it on the night. The funniest thing on this clip is the commentary in French : it says something like: with a song like that they haven't got a chance to win !!!
From Daniel Broniatowski
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 12:29 PM
Well, it's loud, vulgar, and they can't sing - sounds like American music!
From Rick Baccare
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 12:53 PM
I think this video and the music is a disgrace, but even more disturbing, is the people who keep this trash alive. Just my opinion.
From Boris Kupesic
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 1:01 PM
Hail LORDI! Remember, this is a pop music competition, after all. Anyone who takes this dreck seriously is a twit. Kids need to be forced to take violin lessons, in most cases. If you don't want them exposed to the "garbage" of the Eurovision song contest, which is light years beyond American/Canadian "Poop Idle", then don't buy a television which will do so. It's not the worst thing on TV, look at Pat Robertson, CNN, Benny Hinn, FOX News, Bassmaster.....etc. The list is endless and pointless and useless to argue. TV is an awful medium to learn about "culture."
From Boris Kupesic
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 1:27 PM
PS. As I forgot to mention in my incoherent babbling tripe of a comment, this is a Gwar rip off. They happen to be American and are on the same level of camp.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 2:20 PM
ROFL!!!!!! Oh my goodness Finland has come a long way (in the wrong direction) since that is just unbelievably bad.
From Maura Gerety
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 2:22 PM
Actually I rather like the Bosnia-Herzegovina entry that got third. Very pretty.
From Robert Niles
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 3:16 PM
As for the U.K. entry (mericfully finishing way back in the pack), last night I finally realized where I'd seen that act before.
From Marty Dalton
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 4:23 PM
You're right, Boris. This is a complete rip-off of GWAR...except GWAR had the decency to drop off of the planet...
From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 5:40 PM
Eurovision's most famous outputs have been
ABBA (with Waterloo) and CELINE DION, to say nothing of Cliff Richard.

Eurovision is nothing to do with American Idol (yes, we have nth variaitons of those on out TVs too, incl an Ameican Idol + Big Brother combined). But it is all hearsay, as I just don't have the patience to watch such stuff myself.

Yes, there is politics, even within the countries as to how the representative is chosen. Here in Spain, the most awful syrup gets sent year after year, which has nothing to with its popular music scenein this country.

The one time they sent a "real singer", many years ago, the orchestra (yes, eurovision used to have an orchestra!!) actually got up and applauded. She came in second nevertheless, and in fact is now the "teacher" in the idol-cum-brother show..

Well, the Finnish guy said, quote-behind all these costumes is an ordinary guy who walks the dogs, goes to the supermarket, and is really too boring to get to know-unquote.

From parmeeta bhogal
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 5:50 PM
By the way they also have Eurovison Junior (!!!) and

Eurovision classical musician contest.

Do I need to add that most people have never heard of the existence of the latter as it is not even broadcast by the public tv that sponsers it, at least here in Spain, not even on its "cultural" channel 2? Not even in the middle of the night?

From Robert Niles
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 5:56 PM
Hey, have them send us a video link. We'll show it!
From Daniel Broniatowski
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 9:28 PM
Boris said: "Anyone who takes this dreck seriously is a twit."

Last time I checked a huge majority of Europe takes Eurovision VERY seriously. Despite the "light" nature of a Rock contest, this is a continental-wide expression of nationalist sentiment on the part of the judges and audience members. Note that I am not criticising but merely am stating as is.
Do I think there are political ramifications? Not at all - but it's an interesting exercise for socialogists in examining the attitudes of the judges and audiences.

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on May 22, 2006 at 11:09 PM
The rapper was Ali G? He's funny! Nothing beats his interview tapes.
From Boris Kupesic
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 2:49 PM
Daniel Broniatowski said: "Last time I checked a huge majority of Europe takes Eurovision VERY seriously."

Being a twit is not just reserved to those who watch American Idol religiously. There's twits everywhere regardless of nationality. Just because a large group of people take The Eurovision Contest seriously does not exclude them from this. This of course is my opinion, no matter how jaded, harsh or ignorant/arrogant it may seem.
Anyhow, this is a board about Violins, Violinists, Violists,Cellists, "good music" etc etc etc. I have no idea why we're even discussing Eurovision. It's too lame for words and not worth the bandwidth this tyrade is typed upon.

From Robert Niles
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 3:40 PM
Because it's fun?

I'd love to see something like this is America. Having songwriters compete beats the heck out of 'Idol," which is nothing more than a singing contest for over-managed, pop-voiced youngsters.

I saw some interesting musicians in Eurovision. And there is *much* than any musician can learn from the contest about stage presence and "selling" a performance to an audience. Music can be art, but it is more often entertainment, and there's no reason why an artist cannot develop the skills to deliver both.

And, my heavens, if we can't make fun of "monster rock," what can we make fun of?

From Boris K
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 4:06 PM
Haha, well, OK then!
From David Layode
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 4:55 PM
No one really takes it too seriously. There is definitely a kitsch element to peoples enjoyment of it and a humour component as well. From this point of view, I enjoyed some of the entries, especially the reworking of the St Trinians public school theme by the UK. Some of those St Trinian films are classics. There's no need for everything to be taken so seriously, although I know we have a lot of old fogey curmudgeons on this board. Certainly in attitude anyway.
Posted on May 23, 2006 at 10:57 PM
As a European and a Greek I am really ashamed about this...We won last year's competition and everybody got crazy,like we won the most important prize in the word.It's only a pop music contest but in europe it has a great importance(don't ask me why)..It's like they choose the worse songs and send tham to the contest!people think that playing classical music is weird and boring,but listening to these garbage it cool.I can't undertand people who watch these things and they get passioned.My european apologies to the word..
From Jesus Contreras Espada
Posted on May 24, 2006 at 7:09 AM
well, the only possible explanation I can give is that they didn't count on me to give the first prize, otherwise Radu Lupu would have been the winner, of course! :)

Regarding Karin's comment "I thought Europeans always had more class than Americans", I used to think the same way but now I've changed my mind.
Not long ago I talked with an "old lady" in Munich about classical music and about the wonderful orchestras in her city, and she replied "we have good beer too". When I told her about the magnificent museums and architecture she went on talking about the football (soccer) teams, the size of the airport and I don't remember what else... I'm disappointed with the "europeen class", but I must regretfully admit that I've never been to the states and I can't judge by myself. Most of the people I "know" in the usa are those who blog in, and this isn't probably a representative sample. I mean, I start to get the idea that every american knows Kabalevsky, Goldmark, Korngold... and it probably isn't true, is it?

I would say "class" has spread uniformly all around the world, but it hides behind beer and football.

From Boris K
Posted on May 25, 2006 at 12:35 AM
Hehe, in the true spirit of beating a dead horse to death, and for those interested in seeing where Lordi basically ripped off their image, i present to those not in the "know": GWAR.
They have not vanished as previously stated and are still touring. I think they look like the rolling stones, wrinkles and all....minus the walkers and defibrillators all over the stage in case Keith Richards decides to "Fall" out of a tree again.

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