Thursday, March 29, 2007
Today the US military announced that they would no longer allow army soldiers / marines to have large visible tattoos other than those they already possess.
What a shame I say as it'll lead to less of this:-
In order to ensure that the finest American military guys don't go getting any more tattoos, the army is photographing each soldier. Oh to be that photographer!
I can but dream!!!!
Monday, March 26, 2007
On Saturday night David, Nicola and myself went to see Dolly at Sheffield Arena. It was all very poppy and not as good as the last time I saw her when she played with only a bluegrass band. However, her voice was, as usual, note perfect and she played a couple of the songs I like including Shine, Two Doors Down and Joleen. Sadly though she never did some of my favourites, especially her version of Stairway To Heaven, which is amazing. For me she could have done more bluegrass as I always think that's where she really excels and not in songs like Those Were The Days, but there ya go!
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It's mental and hideously infectious... I'm having a bad feeling.... very bad.
The title change is to avoid the confusion that they had sung "I want to hear you say... Russia goodbye" in the national final version. Apparently they never did such a thing!
Oh they wouldn't have done that to secure a big vote from the anti-Russian lobby in Ukraine. Would they? Hahaha...
They've said "lasha tumbai" is Mongolian, but according to the Mongolian embassy in Kyiv it ain't!!! Who knows!
Вєрка Сердючка - Dancing Lasha Tumbai
Sunday, March 18, 2007
They can't sing, they can't dance, they have zero song-writing ability. They have used every camp, gay innuendo in the book. They represent nothing of the current UK music scene. They are plastic pieces of nothing.
To say I'm embarrassed is an understatement.
I feel sorry for Cyndi (who sang her heart out) and what Wogan did to her at the end. He said that she'd won, when in fact she had come second... however we never saw the result of the televote and it all seems a bit suspicious to me.
I feel sorry for Big Brovaz (who were fucking excellent and took defeat graciously) whose career is now ruined by the idiotic British public.
I feel sorry for the rest of Europe who will have to endure this nonsense on 12 May.
I feel sorry for the country that comes 11th in the semi when we have squandered our automatic place in the final with this.
Wogan should be sacked, how he decries "johnny foreigner" and makes people not take their opinion seriously is beyond me. The opinion of the 41 foreign countries was that Big Brovaz should be first with Cyndi second. Terry made people think that the opinions of the other 41 countries don't matter when ultimately that is ALL that matters. The BBC should pull out of ESC and give it to Channel 4 or take a year's break and evaluate the way they select the British entry.
We deserve nothing more than 0 points with this in my opinion.
And to all those Brits who will decry another abysmal UK result in Helsinki, they should take a look back at the MYMU on 17 March and think... well we only have ourselves to blame.
I was at the hospital for a check-up on my ears when they told me that I've got a new tumour in my left ear. Again. This is the 3rd time now and only 18 months after the last one.
To say I'm gutted is an understatement. It's benign, but is attached to my inner ear so is quite dodgy, which means they need to operate quite soon. So... 3 days after we get back from Helsinki, I'll be in hospital having me head drilled apart... hahaha... soon there'll be fuck all left in there!
I'm so worried that this time I'm gonna lose my facial nerve... I mean how many times can they get in there without doing damage to it... not even to say if the cholesteatoma has damaged the nerve anyway. Because it's in a nasty place the risk of me losing 100% of my hearing in my left ear is about 90% apparantly, but to be honest that doesn't bother me as much as the possible paralasis to my face.
Luckily I saw the consultant who had a proper look inside, which is good as it might have been missed by a more junior doctor who would have said come back in 6 months!
I sound a bit doom and gloom and that's not what I want to sound like... I just want people to know that cholesteatoma is evil and it's not just an ear infection. There's little widespread knowledge of it and if me talking about it helps anyone then that's good.
All I have to say is that the risks are nasty and I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy... I don't know 100%, but I always wonder if I was misdiagnosed with my ear problems as a kid and if I had been correctly treated would I find myself in this situation now.
If you know any kids who have been diagnosed with glue ear, it's worth getting a second opinion from an ENT consultant or specialist. If they detect it as cholesteatoma in its early stages, then it can be removed and the child will likely have a good chance of it never recurring and of regaining 99% of their hearing. Leave cholesteatoma and the tumour will grow as the child grows:- it could then cause total hearing loss, facial paralasis, body paralasis, loss of taste, meningitis, abcesses in the brain and ultimately death.
So... my op is on 16 May and we'll see what happens from there.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
It's called On Top Of The World. Edsilia may end up being on top of the world as this sounds so much better in English and knowing she a can belt out a tune, she should be in with a fighting chance of qualifying.
Edsilia Rombley - On Top Of The World
They couldn't stop the squealing pig woman on vocals either, despite many valiant efforts at trying!
Dervish - They Can't Stop The Spring
It's called Hear My Plea...
It's still shit.
It's quite a desperate plea n all and will no doubt fall on deaf ears as everyone'll've decided to take a toilet / coffee / beer / fag / magazine / pizza (delete as applicable) break within the first 2 bars.
Frederik Ndoci feat. Aida - Hear My Plea
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Cepeбpo - Song Number 1
Monday, March 12, 2007
01 Bosnia-Herzegovina - worst possible draw for Bosnia's ballad
02 Spain - sadly have the dreaded #2 slot, but ok after Bosnia
03 - semi-finalist
04 Ireland - very bad draw for Ireland
05 Finland - ok after Ireland's ballad
06 - semi-finalist
07 - semi-finalist
08 - semi-finalist
09 Lithuania - could've been better
10 Greece - a good draw for Greece
11 - semi-finalist
12 Sweden - good draw before the break
13 France - bad draw after the break
14 - semi-finalist
15 Russia - not too bad a draw
16 Germany - possibly the best draw in the final
17 - semi-finalist
18 Ukraine - will stand out anyway
19 United Kingdom - a great draw between 2 comedy songs
20 Romania - could be a disaster for Romania
21 - semi-finalist
22 - semi-finalist
23 Armenia - could surprise with a great draw
24 - semi-finalist
01 Bulgaria - not a great draw
02 Israel - they'll struggle from here
03 Cyprus - touch and go
04 Belarus - another bad draw for Belarus
05 Iceland - unlucky after Belarus
06 Georgia - not bad between 2 rock songs
07 Montenegro - rubbish song anyway
08 Switzerland - will stand out after Montenegro
09 Moldova - ok
10 Netherlands - likely after a break so bad news
11 Albania - who cares
12 Denmark - good draw
13 Croatia - bad draw
14 Poland - could be a lot worse for Poland
15 Serbia - great draw
16 Czech Republic - not too bad
17 Portugal - so so
18 FYR Macedonia - again so so
19 Norway - will struggle in clutch of similar entries
20 Malta - could stand out before Andorra
21 Andorra - will definitely stand out
22 Hungary - as will Hungary
23 Estonia - great draw for Estonia this year
24 Belgium - pretty good draw
25 Slovenia - very good draw
26 Turkey - excellent draw
27 Austria - possibly the best draw in the semi-final
28 Latvia - not as good a draw as you might expect
Personally I'm not surprised this munter lost his valentine... I'm aghast he even had one to begin with, but there ya go, proof that there's someone out there for all of us!
Follow the link if you dare....
Eiríkur Hauksson - Valentine Lost
Sweden's six week long national final came to end on Saturday night in Stockholm. Ten songs competed in what is known in Eurovision circles as THE selection show.
The winner was The Ark with their glam-rock-disco disaster The Worrying Kind. I guess it's fair to say that I loathe this kind of '70's retro stuff, but I bet there's tons of people, all over Europe, who will love this.
I just have to hope now that the UK don't select Justin Hawkins as I don't think I'd be able to cope.
The Ark - The Worrying Kind
The mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/6addne903d
Portugal's national final was held in Lisboa on Saturday night. Ten songs took part and the public voted for the winner. As ever in Portugal, it wasn't a very inspiring batch of songs.
The winner is by a young girl called Sabrina and she has a pleasant enough way about her, with a bit of a see-through skirt going on to entice the straights!
The song's basically a call for people to dance with her, and if she keeps opening her skirt like that she could well be inundated with menfolk... it's a typically Portuguese Eurovision entry, which means a) it's sung in Portuguese, b) it's about 100 rpm's too slow for what it needs to be, c) there's some heavy brass going on, d) it's all very sugary, e) it's really a bit naff.
However, if that's your idea of a wet dream then you're gonna love it!
Sabrina - Dança Comigo (Vem Ser Feliz) (Dance With Me (Come On Be Happy))
A live mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/yqdpaqbq0a
On Friday Turkish TV revealed their entry for Eurovision, which they'd chosen internally.
You'll remember that the singer Kenan Doğulu had already been picked some months back when I posted his most recent song of the time.
His Eurosong sounds nowt like that!!
I'm torn on this one... it's modern yes and has a nice (subtle) Turkish element to it. Kenan's also doing his best to be Justin Timberlake, but I dunno... is it me or is the chorus like really really really really repetitive?
Listen and judge for yourself.
Kenan Doğulu - Shake It Up Şekerim (Shake It Up Sweetheart)
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Last Thursday evening in Hamburg, the Germans chose their song for Europe and David Hasselhof was nowhere to be found!!
Three songs were in the running, but this swing-lite number swung its way into the public's heart and will be representing Europe's most unnationalistic country come May in Helsinki.
The singer's clearly very good at what he does, with a nice smooth voice that suits this kind of music really well. He carries it off well n all, making it all seem very effortless and he looks the part with his trademark hat. Yeah I quite like him.
The song's nothing original, but the style is very original for Eurovision and I reckon we could see Germany back in the top 10 this year. I think the style is too narrow in the audience it targets to make it the winner, although you never know. I predict a solid result, without setting the scoreboard too much alight.
Serbia held their Eurovision selection on Thursday night in Бeoгpaд. This is the first time Serbia will participate as an independent country after the last vestige of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro, parted company with the Serbs last May.
Ten songs were in competition to be the favourite of both the public and a jury. The winner was this rather ugly duckling going by the name of Marija Šerifović. She's got a better voice than face thank God. The song's about a prayer and isn't quite as dull as it sounds. It's a bit of a big ethno power ballad and is likely to get all the ex-Yugoslavs wetting themselves to call in and vote for Serbia. As regards a Yugoslav peace anthem, I prefer Macedonia's effort... just the lyrics in that are a lot cleverer than in this, but I can sit through it happily enough.
You can watch the video below and work out why they decided to dress Marija as a Laura Ashley sofa.
You can then piss yourself wondering why they decided to decorate the act with all manner of nonsensical acts going on behind the poor woman. The camera operators are obviously having a laugh though as they try, but fail, to decapitate the dancers at various crucial points during the song's proceedings!
Mapиja Шepифoвић - Moлитвa (A Prayer)
An mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/n4jf187luk
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Austria announced their Eurovision entry yesterday after Austrian TV held an internal selection of both artist and song.
The singer's a guy called Eric Papilaya (very Austrian surname!) and he took part in the last season of Austria's Pop Idol competition. Therefore, logic says, he should be able to hold a tune.
The song's called Get A life - Get Alive and is being promoted as the song of the Vienna Life Ball 2007. For those who don't know, the Life Ball is an AIDS charity that holds a masquerade ball every year in Vienna (usually on the same date as the song contest). It raises money for various AIDS charities including Elton John's foundation. It is, therefore, supporting a worthy cause.
It's a pretty uptempo and rocky affair, and pretty enjoyable. It kind of reminds me of stuff by Bon Jovi and he's very popular across Europe... especially in Spain so this could get a fair share of the Iberian votes. The song was originally written for an Anastacia single, but it got dropped when she got cancer and nothing ever happened with it... it would've been interesting to hear Anastacia's take on it.
This is ok, Austrian TV have certainly made a bit more of an effort this year after they took a break last year.
A decent mp3 of the song is here:- http://www.box.net/public/r8zzvpbktd
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
The BBC has announced, and about bloody time 'n all, that the 4th edition of Making Your Mind Up... ie the-annual-shameful-music-show-on-telly-where-a-bunch-of-wannabes-and-ex-famous-people-compete-to-win-a-place-at-the-Eurovision-for-the-UK... will be held on 17 March in Maidstone of all places.
Now Auntie's courting a bit of controversy here, as the official deadline for each country selecting its entry is the 12th. The BBC reckons they knew they'd never be able to make that deadline when they were in Athens and the EBU gave them clearance to use the 17th March as the selection date. Hmmmm... call me dubious but....
Anyway the BBC reckons that it's because they knew they'd have difficulty competing with Dancing On Ice over on ITV. The 17th looked like a better date. But... it may all have gone a bit horribly wrong as a few days ago ITV announced that they were suspending all interactive programming whilst some auditors looked into alleged fixing of phone votes or summat. Obviously Dancing On Ice is affected by this and may end up being pushed back a week... coming back into direct competition with Making Your Mind Up. It seems you can't outwit the outwitted!
Well to be fair to the Beeb, they've not done that bad a job this year, with a couple of songs that would be great entries at Eurovision. Let's just see whether the public can be relied upon to actually pick the best of the lot. I can but live in hope.
Here they are anyway. Have a listen and see what you think. This is probably the order I'd put em in:-
Big Brovaz - Big Bro Thang http://www.box.net/public/5reci4gidv
Justin Hawkes & Beverlei Brown - They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To http://www.box.net/public/3skvejqr09
Brian Harvey - I Can http://www.box.net/public/gccsmeq60s
Liz McClarnon - (Don't It Make You) Happy! http://www.box.net/public/6npxcmcgk5
Cyndi - I'll Leave My Heart http://www.box.net/public/aex02bumn4
Scooch - Flying The Flag For You http://www.box.net/public/fiajdd3oi0
Bosnia-Herzegovina revealed their Eurovision entry on Sunday after Bosnian TV held an internal selection of both artist and song.
The artist's called Marija Šestić and hails from the Serbian Republic in Bosnia. Her Dad's a bit of an esteemed bloke as he wrote the Bosnian national anthem.
Anyway the song's a ballad and it's about rivers! Inexplicably! It's all very deep and meaningful I'm sure, but this ain't anywhere near a patch on Lejla (last year's Bosnian song which came 3rd). To be frank it's more like Za Našu Ljubav from 1996. If anyone's as sad as me to remember that then they'll recall that it came like 22nd out of 23 or summat.
The fate of young Marija is going to be determined by how many of the other ex-Yugoslavs make it through the semi-final this year. If none of 'em do (let's face it... an unlikely prospect) then Marija'll probably do quite respectably and will get high votes from the other countries of the Western Balkans. If however, say 3 of the other ex-Yugoslavs qualify she may find her voting base slips somewhat drastically.
Simply put, where's the hook in this? It's all very charming, but charming ain't gonna do well in Eurovision.
Mapиja Шecтић - Rijeka Bez Imena (River Without A Name)
The mp3 can be found by following the link:- http://www.box.net/public/mb5j1r7g1f
Monday, March 05, 2007
Lithuania's national final took place in Vilnius on Saturday night after one of the most complicated Eurovision selections (bar Spain this year) of all time. It seemed that Lithuanian telly had no idea what the rules were at any given moment and in one final act of incompetence succeeded in one more controversy at the very last moment. More of that in a bit.
The song that actually (or allegedly - depending who you ask) won was this rather subtle and jazz/folk inspired ballad. In the chaos of the Eurovision with artists stripping a go-go, camp dance routines, uptempo pop, screaming singers and general debauchery, this is an oasis of calm and rationality.
It could - with the right starting position - see Lithuania do very well indeed. I like it. I like it a lot.
4Fun - Love Or Leave
The mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/6emg785cdr
However, things ain't that simple.
After the three top songs were selected in the final there was another vote to decide the actual winner. Unnecessary? Yes. Complicated? A little. Confusing? For sure.
Take a look at the following article and see what you think... http://www.oikotimes.com/site/index.php?id=8307
Croatia's national selections for Eurovision took place in Opatija on Saturday night and the winner was this rather bland suedo rock song.
Gone, it seems, are the days of rocking Croatian Eurovision entries. I can't even think of anything to say about this.
Dragonfly feat. Dado Topić - Vjerujem U Ljubav (Believe In Love)
An mp3 can be found here:- http://www.box.net/public/73flu2165a
The Georgian euro selections took place in Tbilisi last Saturday with a bird called Sopho Khalvashi singing 5 songs. The public voted and 51% thought My Story was the best.
It probably was.
It's still not great.
However, Sopho's attempted to sell it by being ill advised to wear a pink blomange that's in serious danger of becoming possessed and eating her! It's no surprise then she looks so concerned!!
სოფო ხალვაში - My Story
An mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/ovsxdem31a
Last Saturday night in Nyköping, the Swedes selected two wild-cards from the 3rd and 4th placed songs of each semi-final to take part in the national final in Stockholm next weekend. In a master-stroke of complication, each song was paired with another and went head to head in a knock-out competition to come up with two winners. You can find 'em below.
Sonja Aldén - För Att Du Finns
Sonja's a great singer and really sells this ballad, which despite being formulaic, is certainly worthy enough of being in the Swedish national final.
Sanna Nielsen - Våger Du, Våger Jag
It's uptempo and lively and if Sanna wasn't as flat as a pancake I'm sure this would be an enjoyable enough 3 minutes... sadly her voice is grating on me.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
The audience actually went with something that has a political message.
And I don't mean something about how we're all so much better off being in the EU or about peace or other such nicities... they picked a song about people blowing themselves up on Isaeli streets.
The group's called Teapacks and it's oh so good... ok I'm not too sure about the rap part in Hebrew half-way through, but this is one rocking song and I think Israel have got it absolutely effin right.
Apparantly there's some talk of a possible disqualification as songs in the contest are not supposed to be political... I say bollox to that... if this gets disqualified then they could retrospectively disqualify nearly every third song that ever took part. And not even to mention the song contest of 1990, which'd be left looking very barren indeed.
It seems to be ok to sing about being European and political unity and peace, but it's not ok to sing about war... I'm sorry but that's insane.
Whilst I personally don't agree with many Israeli policies, I can understand the general feeling of fear in the country and if this is what they want to represent that communal feeling at a European Song Contest then so be fukkin it and screw the lot of em at the EBU in Geneva!!!!
טיפקס - Push The Button
The mp3 is here:- http://www.box.net/public/2rs59p699m
Last Sunday saw the Montenegrins hold their first ever Eurovision national final as a real proper independent country after the debacle that was the Serbo-Montenegrin national final last year. Ten songs competed against each other in Podgorica to represent the world's newest country.
They'll be represented by a guy very famous in his homeland called Stevan Faddy, but oh dear... it's like the last 20 years never happened!!!
Couldn't we just have had the guy banging the drum? ;-)
Stevan Faddy - Hajde Kroči
Here's an mp3 if you're arsed:- http://www.box.net/public/3ae8mn08ju
Armenia's national final took place last Sunday night in Erevan... seven songs had made it through from two semi-finals and a jury (ever the advocates of democracy the Armenians) proclaimed this the winner.
The guy's called Hayko and he's apparantly won some Armenian national music award or summat... I guess it must've been the award for youngest old time crooner because despite his ugly mug, this chap could almost be Matt Monro, but without as good a voice.
The song's a ballad.... moving swiftly on.... ha ha, well it's not without its charm and it'll no doubt provide people with a good excuse for a toilet break during the contest, which is always a good thing during a 3 hour long show.
I think Hayko must've employed the Armenian Olympic Gymnastic squad rejects to perform the dance of the seven veils behind him so the jury'd be hypnotised into letting him win... I see no other explanation for this pile of bland dullness.
Հայկո - Anytime You Need
You can find a live mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/omx2g73jmg
The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia held their national final last Saturday with 15 songs in the running to inexplicably qualify through the Eurovision Semi-Final, but then come nowhere in the main event.
The winner was Karolina Gocheva who you'll no doubt recall got FYR Macedonia an outstanding 19th place in the Eurovision of 2002 in Tallinn. That song (Od Nas Zavisi) was completely different in musical style to this!!! If you believe that then you'll believe that FYR Macedonia ain't gonna get any votes from any of the other ex-Yugoslav countries!!!!
Well it's not terrible, but it's nothing new... let's just see if Karolina throws another hissy fit when Macedonian TV have their annual argument to say that the song can't be performed in English.
Кapoлинa Гoчeвa - Mojoт Cвeт (My World)
Download the mp3 here:- http://www.box.net/public/rfpevzxpqp