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Sunday, April 30, 2006

You want me to what your gasolina?

We're in the final stretch now, after this is the top ten. This week the official CD should be out, and who knows if that will change my rankings. However, it will be too late to go back (but not too late to shuffle around the top ten). Here are 11-15 for your enjoyment:

15. Netherlands
Treble - "Amambanda"
Reaction: Ah, the fantasy language song. I actually really like it. The guitar and drum sound and ethnic feel are good, and the made-up language thing isn't annoying but actually kind of charming (I'd better get used to that; getting Sims 2 soon).
Best Part: "There is a way/To understand without a language/Don’t be afraid"
Rating: 3/5

14. Sweden
Carola - "Invincible"
Reaction: This song truly is invincible: I have tried to resist it after it not being my favorite at Melodifestivalen, but I just can't. It's by-the-numbers Swedish pop, but I can't stop listening.
Best Part: Key change
Rating: 3/5

13. Poland
Ich Troje - "Follow My Heart"
Reaction: This song has shades of "My Number One" which is a good thing, and "Gasolina" which I'm not sure if it is. The large number of languages used doesn't make the song worse. It's a great catchy song that I hope will do well.
Best Part: "Toma mi gasolina"
Rating: 4/5

12. Finland
Lordi - "Hard Rock Hallelujah"
Reaction: For a "novelty" song, this is pretty good. Despite it being hard rock like the title implies, the structure is pretty pop. It's very listenable, and I like it more than Norway's last year, also rock. Oh, and anyone who says they are scary is a wimp (and this is coming from me, who is scared very easily).
Best Part: "It’s the Arockalypse/Now bare your soul"
Rating: 4/5

11. Malta
Fabrizio Faniello - "I Do"
Reaction: This year has a lot of great solo male uptempo numbers, this being one of them. It's not as good as last year's (which was my favorite of that competition), but is still very good.
Best Part: "cause I do I do I do/I do I do I love you like a fool"
Rating: 4/5

That's all for this week. Next week I'll have 6-10.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Well, Bravo...Bravo

It seems like I can never watch all of a season of Project Runway. Even though I have no life, the one time I happen to have prior commitments is when PR is on. The last two seasons, the school play interfered with my seeing all the shows on time. And now, the third season is premiering, which is a great thing and is another thing to add to the "Best Summer Ever" list, except...

The season premiere is July 12, and I don't get home until July 13! I won't be able to watch the first episode because I'll be in Amsterdam. Sure, being in Amsterdam will be awesome, but my PR obsession overpowers that. At least I won't be so late that I can't watch repeats.

In related news, the DVD of Season 2 (pictured above) is out June 27, and is sure to make me even more broke. But from what I've read, there will be better extras than S1's (I thought the deleted scenes were worth it, though) so that's a plus. I hope it's easier to find than S1.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Mp3 Monday: I wanna play only T.V games

And not do work.

Watch the brilliant green - "I'm A Player In TV Games"
Download the brilliant green - "I'm A Player In TV Games"

Sunday, April 23, 2006

4 Underrated Songs...and Greece

Sorry for a late (in the day) post, I was very busy and couldn't get around to posting this until evening. This week we're in the top 20 songs, and you can continue to expect more surprises in my ranking as the weeks go by.

20. Greece
Anna Vissi - "Everything"
Reaction: I know, I know, this is the hot favorite on all the message boards and betting sites. Whether it's because of excited Greece/Anna Vissi fans or just many people who truly think this song is the best is anybody's guess, but for me it's in the middle (of a very strong group). It's a strong ballad, though a little overdramatic, but I feel there are other stronger songs (and ballads) in this year's competition. In one word: overrated.
Best Part: Key change
Rating: 3/5

19. France
Virginie Pouchin - "Il Etait Temps"
Reaction:In one word: underrated. A very lovely ballad, and I do prefer it to Greece's. Although it is lovely, I can understand the poor opinions of it because it really isn't memorable and France's poor track record in recent years. Still, it is worth a second listen.
Best Part: "Il était temps qu’enfin le ciel se rappelle de moi"
Rating: 3/5

18. Ukraine
Tina Karol - "Show Me Your Love"
Reaction:The people responsible for choosing the Ukranian entry must have learned a lesson after last year's poor result, because this song is pretty good. Especially in the chorus, it's very catchy; it includes many of the elements of last year's winner. Unrelated to the song, I like her hair.
Best Part: "Show feelings everydaaaaaaaaaaaaay"
Rating: 3/5

17. Armenia
André - "Without Your Love"
Reaction: This song is also very catchy, and is a very good first entry from Armenia. This song will not only be Armenia's first impression in the contest but also the first impression of the songs in this year's contest: he performs first in the semi-final. However, there are other stronger uptempo songs with male singers that I prefer over this.
Best Part: "Tell me what I have to do/Since I love you"
Rating: 3/5

16. Andorra
Jenny - "Sense Tu"
Reaction: This song is overdramatic like Greece's (the subject matter is even the same), but unlike Greece's it is not dramatic in a desperate way but in a diva way. From the video, you can tell that the singer has an attitude that gives the song a boost, and the arrangement gives the song a bit of an edge.
Best Part: "Sense tu/sense tu/sense tu!"
Rating: 3/5

So, mad at me yet? Feel free to comment and tell me if I'm right or wrong. Next week I'll go through 11-15, with some potential winners among them.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Mp3 Monday: Like Fire Tonight

Welcome to the second edition of Mp3 Monday! We go from Taiwan last week to Sweden this week.
The Irish Eurovision fansite, All Kinds Of Everything, has listed 40 songs from the national selections that didn't make it to Athens, but were still good. Most of my favorites were on the list, with the exception of two, both from Sweden. One was "Jag Ljuger Sa Bra" by Linda Bengtzing, which made it to the final, and the other was "Like Fire Tonight" by Gunther and The Sunshine Girls.

Most G&tSG songs have sexual content, for example the popular "Ding Dong Song" (if you have not heard it yet, what are you doing on the internet?). Their song for Melodifestivalen, "Like Fire Tonight", has a little less of that, but is still a fun dance song that showcases the Sunshine Girls more than Gunther.

Download Gunther & The Sunshine Girls - "Like Fire Tonight"

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I Hear Your Song

Another Sunday, another five Eurosongs. I've watched four old ESCs (on eurovIL), and seen one actual winner perform (it was Celine Dion, but still), so I think I have enough credibility to do my rankings.

25. Moldova
Arsenium & Natalia Gordienko - "Loca"
Reaction: This is a nice song, mostly in English with a little bit of Spanish. I think this, under different circumstances, could be played on US radio. However, I don't think it'll do well because it's not very exciting.
Best Part: The Spanish parts, because I can understand them all
Rating: 3/5

24. Ireland
Ireland - Brian Kennedy - "Every Song Is A Cry For Love"
Reaction: This is a nice ballad, and the newer arrangement improved it greatly. However, it is a little boring and there are better ballads.
Best Part: "Being strong, being tough/Never tender, always rough"
Rating: 3/5

23. Latvia
Ireland - Cosmos - "I Hear Your Heart"
Reaction: Latvia's entry this year is a lot like their entry last year - young men singing a ballad over soft (or in this case, no) instruments, and while I really want to hate it, it becomes irresistible beyond reason (it must have been temporary insanity that made me buy Walter & Kazha's cover of "Fly On The Wings Of Love" off iTunes). The a capella is a good idea, they sing very well, and the song's pretty good. The only thing keeping it from a 4 is the awful first 30 seconds where it doesn't sound like they know what they're doing.
Best Part: "There are days when we will die/If one more stranger tells us no"
Rating: 3/5

22. Turkey
Sibel Tüzün - "Süper star"
Reaction: I like this year's song from Turkey better than last year's. It's pretty catchy, and should probably have an exciting performance. Also, the umlaut in the title.
Best Part: The chorus
Rating: 3/5

21. Estonia
Sandra Oxenryd - "Through My Window"
Reaction: This is one of the big favorites to qualify from the semifinals. As shown by my ranking, I don't agree, but not because I don't think that it's good. While a strong song, it sounds too much like Germany's and Sweden's songs, which are stronger.
Best Part:"What about the sun you made shine/What about the rain you cried on my pillow"
Rating: 3/5

Well, then. Another 5 songs ranked and analyzed. Next week I'll do my 16-20, and most likely make a lot of people mad, because there is one of the favorites to win in that bunch.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Ad Space Dollars At Work

Welcome readers coming here from! I bought a few months of advertising on that site to A) support a site I like and B) get more readers, and I hope both those happen. So enjoy the blog and feel free to leave comments (I like getting them). I'll have lots of new stuff up soon so don't lose interest just yet!

Other places make me feel like a dork

I never go to concerts. Besides local shows, I've only been to four. Since I go to them so infrequently, I can stand to spend a lot on the tickets. So less than an hour ago I made an attempt to buy Madonna tickets for one of the shows at Madison Square Garden this summer, and...

Good: I will be seeing Madonna in concert!
Bad: Well, not really...(my seats are in the way back)

Good: I got tickets without having to join the fanclub first!
Bad: They were expensive.

Good: I will hear all my favorite songs from Confessions On A Dancefloor!
Bad: It's a given that she'll do "I Love New York" too.

Good: I will have the best summer ever!
Bad: Also the shortest.

Mp3 Monday: For Real!

Welcome to the first for real edition of Mp3 Monday, where I upload an mp3 that I think other people might enjoy. Hopefully this will actually be a weekly thing.

This week's song is from a Taiwanese girl group called S.H.E, who I first heard about through the great mp3 blog Club Contact. My favorite songs of theirs are the ones written by GEO of Sweetbox, but I also like hearing their covers of Western pop hits. Since I mentioned yesterday how much I liked "Everytime" by Britney Spears, I thought I'd put up S.H.E's version of the song, called "Bie Shuo Dui Bu Qi", which translates to "Don't Say Sorry".
Download S.H.E - "Bie Shuo Dui Bu Qi"

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I Know Why Angels Cry

Hello and welcome to the next installment of the girl from America who can't vote in Eurovision talking about the songs. If it seems that I hate all the songs, that's only because I only talked about the bottom 7 so far. Starting with this post, I'll get to talk about songs that I actually like.

30. Cyprus
Annette Artani - "Why Angels Cry"
Reaction: Annette did not write this song. She did write "Everytime", the best ballad about Justin Timberlake ever written, and that makes me wonder if she herself could have written something better than this. It's a dramatic ballad about wanting peace and love and angels crying. Anytime someone brings out the crying angels I bring out the cynic in me. It immediately reminded me of an original song I read in a fanfiction once that I thought was a bit overdramatic, but this one is much worse because I can hear it (and she gets a little shouty towards the end). It's not awful, but it's nowhere near my favorite ballad this year.
Best Part: ""Why do the angels cry?/Innocent children die"
Rating: 2/5

29. Israel
Eddie Butler - "Ze Hazman"
Reaction: This is a nice song that is in no way bad, but I just find it boring. The singer sings well, but I just don't feel anything, good or bad. I feels kind of American Idol-like. On another note, this is one of two songs (the other being Sweden's) in this contest where I'm not sure if the song's about a lover or God - it's the "raise your hands and pray for love together" that does it.
Best Part:"I know that we/we can make it if we try"
Rating: 2/5

28. Spain
Las Ketchup - "Bloody Mary"
Reaction: This is the line between "songs I dislike" and "songs I like". The lyrics are funny, almost like Croatia's entry, but making more sense. They deserve votes simply for the line about swearing to Dior (instead of Dios, which is God in Spanish. See, it's a pun!) However the music itself is a little boring, a little elevator music-y, and it lacks a chorus. Also the "duty free, duty free, DUTY FREE!" is more than a little annoying.
Best Part:"Un bloodymary por favor" or "Juro por Dior que no quise"
Rating: 2/5

27. Albania
Luiz Ejlli - "Zjarr e Ftohe"
Reaction: This song is very underrated. Every ranking by other people that I read always has this song very close to the bottom. I really don't think it's that bad, but it could use more oomph. The verses seem to drag on and it doesn't get to the chorus soon enough.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 2/5

26. Denmark
Sidsel Ben Semanne - "Twist Of Love"
Reaction: I really do like this song; it's very fun and catchy. I love the bridge for some reason. The only problem is that it's very old-fashioned in both sound and subject matter (the twist). Although it took a while, it grew on me.
Best Part: "A twist of love/a twist of pain/a twist of me and you"
Rating: 3/5

Well, that's another five songs. Next week I'll have songs 21-25, and I'll say things about them. Will those things be positive or negative? You'll just have to wait and see!

Friday, April 07, 2006

Just One Dramacon After Another: Dramacon Vol. 1

What's this? A manga review? Why, I haven't done one of those in ages! Well, I've decided to do one right now on the first (and so far only) volume of the English language manga Dramacon.

The title is very apt: It's about an anime convention where a lot of drama happens. A girl named Christie goes to her first anime convention. Now, at my first anime convention, the biggest drama I had was trying to find a ride home and debating whether to buy a Gackt CD or not. Christie's drama is much more than that: she breaks up with her boyfriend and falls in love with a cool mysterious guy who wears sunglasses all the time. Of course, this never happens to normal people at normal anime conventions, but whatever happens to normal people usually doesn't make for good entertainment. Also, each volume seems to be a convention, and each volume is a year apart. While that means it's easy to read the first volume as a standalone volume, I'm not sure how it'll work out as a series (there are two more volumes planned).
On the plus side, it's actually pretty funny. There's a lot of anime/convention in-jokes that fans will laugh at. The art is also nice too, some of the better American manga-style art I've seen in Tokyopop's releases. I would definitely reccomend this to Meghan and people with similar tastes as hers.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Getting Started On My School Spirit

All the other pop culture blogs are talking about the band Dangerous Muse today. I've been on a dance-pop kick for the past couple of months, so I decided to check them out. They're good, but they're not the best thing ever like so many high profile bloggers have made them out to be. I was about to delete their single "The Rejection" from my computer when I discovered an interesting fact about them:
Both members of the band attended Fordham University at the Bronx, NY campus. Coincidentally, that is one of the schools I did not get "the rejection" from and was accepted to for the upcoming fall term. Although it doesn't mean I'm instantly going to love them and buy all their music and merchandise, it makes me like them a little more and keep on listening to them, even if I don't end up going to Fordham.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


The video game Kingdom Hearts 2 was released in the United States last week, and the theme song "Sanctuary" by Hikaru Utada is remarkable in that it sounds like parts of it are backwards. It certaintly isn't the first time a pop song with backwards parts ("Work It" by Missy Elliot is the first example that comes to mind), but it's still not very common and makes an interesting piece of music. Since I'm obviously an expert at finding hidden backwards messages in pop songs, finding intended backwards messages should be a breeze. So, I took out my Audacity and, as Missy would say, put my thing down, flipped it and reversed it to find out if there were indeed backwards messages in the song.

There are! "I need more affection than you know" appears many times throughout, in the choruses especially, and two other phrases, "So many ups and downs" and another one that isn't quite intelligible that appears around 1:45 appear once each. The same backward phrase appears in the Japanese version ("Passion") too.

So, there you have it. The secret message is that Hikaru (or more likely, either Sora or Kairi from the game) needs more affection than you know.

Canções De Nada

I'm back for the next installment of rating the ESC songs. My list is kind of like the US News college rankings: the top ones are all very good and #20 can still be just as good as #1 (in fact, my #20 is currently very hot in the betting) and you shouldn't be worried if I put your favorite in a low position. I can find something to like about most of the songs. Except these five I'm discussing today.

35. Switzerland
six4all - "If We All Give A Little"
Reaction: This song is very boring and painful to make it through. And that's just the music - the lyrics are sappy. However, it's destined to get a lot of points because the group was put together for this contest and has members from six European countries. Smart move, Switzerland. Luckily this song is first in the final so hopefully most people will have forgotten it.
Best Part: "There's so much we gotta do/to overcome the bitter blue" What's a bitter blue?
Rating: 1/5

34. Bulgaria
Mariana Popova - "Let Me Cry"
Reaction: The verses are boring and slow, and the singing in the chorus is painful. There's just a lot of loud boring noises in the background and it makes me head hurt.
Best Part: The "honey honey, please let me cry" in the background
Rating: 1/5

33. Belarus
Polina Smoyova - "Mama"
Reaction:This is the only time I will make fun of a singer's accent, so here goes: it's hard to tell that this song is in English. It's pretty mediocre, but at least the chorus is kind of catchy. It gets old easily, though.
Best Part: "The guys before him were a sort of junk food"
Rating: 2/5

32. Portugal
Non-Stop - "Coisas De Nada"
Reaction: No, this isn't Bosnia & Herzegovina's song from last year. At least that one was fun to dance to and had two key changes. It tries to recreate the fun of that one but it just kind of plods along.
Best Part: "I'm gonna make you dance/Make it with style!"
Rating: 2/5

31. Monaco
Severine Ferrer - "La coco-dance"
Reaction: It's a nice summer song to dance to - about dancing in the summer. It was really hard for me to put this song this low because it serves its purpose well, but I just can't get into it and I wouldn't dance to it.
Best Part: "Eho, coco dance, é upa upa aroha"
Rating: 2/5

Had fun? Agree? Angry? Well just wait until next week where I'll discuss songs 26-30 and I'll really get you clapping in agreement/mad and sending death threats!