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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

I am a horrible horrible person

I just realized that yesterday.

I was watching American Idol with my roommate last night. After six seasons that take up an entire school semester each, I am beginning to tire of it. As the show ended and the phone numbers were shown again I had an awful thought:

"If [Roommate] wasn't here watching me, I would so be voting for Sanjaya as a joke". In fact, I will do it next week (if he is still around).

This is an awful thought on its own, but if you combine it with the fact that I disprove of people who voted for Scooch as a joke, it makes me a hypocrite too.

Also, remember how I was supporting Me & My in the Danish Melodi Grand Prix because they had a song in Dance Dance Revolution (also, their song was amazing)? Well, it turns out that Scooch did too! "More Than I Needed To Know" was in DDR MAX 2 for arcades. So for the third year running, there is a DDR artist in the Eurovision final! Not as good as Vanilla Ninja nor as prolific as Daz, but they'll do. Next year, though, get someone good like!

So, dear Scooch fans and casual "supporters" of Scooch, I apologize for anything I may have said about them. I still don't like "Flying The Flag" but I won't complain if come May they get some points.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Let's Save These Songs (and my internet)

Sorry for not posting this yesterday, but my internet was not working. Here is the next group of Eurovision songs and rankings:

35. Croatia
Dragonfly f/Dado Topic – “Vjerujem u ljubav”
Reaction:This is boring and bland soft rock. The female singer has a pleasant sounding voice, but it isn’t enough to save a slow boring song. The song also has a weird ending – it sounds like it might fade out then ends abruptly, with no build up to it. Normally I would support the Croatian entry but unfortunately this just isn’t good enough.
Best Part: The parts with the female singer

34. Lithunia
4fun – “Love or Leave”
Reaction: It’s a pleasant soft song…and a bit too soft. It’s this close to becoming a lullaby and putting babies (and everyone else) to sleep. It’s just too sleep-inducing to remember, but at least unlike some other songs that bore you to death, it will pleasantly put you to sleep like a glass of warm milk.
Best Part: It all sounds the same to me
Rating: 2/5

33. Czech Republic
Kabat – “Mala Dama”
Reaction: I suppose it’s the most hard rock of any of this year’s songs, but that doesn’t make it any better. The verses are boring and not sung well. The chorus starts off in a bit of a sing-a-long way, but it doesn’t continue.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 2/5

32. Andorra
Anonymous – “Salvem el mon”
Reaction: These kids are obviously influenced by blink-182 style late 90s pop-punk. Unfortunately, they are not an adequate homage. The melody is not as interesting as any of blink-182’s work and the vocals are nasal and whiny in a way that only teenagers/pre-teens can appreciate. There is a nice key change, but it is to the key that they should have been in all along.
Best Part: Key change
Rating: 2/5

31. Austria
Eric Papilaya – “Get a life, get alive”
Reaction: This is not the most interesting pop-rock song this year, and there’s nothing really memorable here. This song has a good positive message, but aren’t those a dime a dozen in Eurovision? Although the “get a life, get alive” message promoting life and health shows that whoever wrote this song has their heart in the right place, telling someone to “get a life” might imply that they are an asocial loser. As we have seen last year, at least some asocial losers are in the audience (I don’t mean to offend any metal fans; I am probably in the loser group too), so this might not work as well as intended.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 2/5

Hopefully I will have next week's post up on time!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Mp3 Monday: Ooh You Touch My Talala

I recently discovered the game Audition. If you haven't heard of it, it's a free online music game that has had several versions in many east Asian countries in the past two years, and just this month debuted in North America. GoAudition, a great fansite of the game, has the soundtrack of most of the versions of the game.I downloaded some songs and found this little gem. It's called "Talalala" and is by Park Myung Soo. It appears to be a Korean cover of ..."Ding Dong Song" by Gunther & The Sunshine Girls, and really must be heard to be believed. The music video is a little weird so watch it at your own risk.

Download - Park Myung Soo - "Talala (Remix)"
Watch - Park Myung Soo - "Talala"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Don't wanna go kaput ka-snooze

Today is the first of a 8-part series, the 2nd annual The Goggles Do Nothing Eurovision Song Contest coundown, or TGDNESCC for short. I will count down five songs every week, with the exception of this week, in which I will have to do seven. This week brings my seven least favorite songs. They may not be the worst ever (obviously, since many people voted for them somebody saw something good in them), but it's my blog and I can say whether I like something or not. Here goes:

42. Latvia – “Questa notte”
Reaction: It’s not easy to be my least favorite out of over 40 songs, especially since I think I have a fairly open mind, but “Questa notte” managed to “win” that “honor.” I hate those opera/traditional pop “man bands” that are directed at bored housewives who want to listen to classy music sung by handsome young men with pleasant voices. However, this song is not classy (just because you sing in Italian doesn’t make you classy), only about half of their voices are pleasant, and even less of them are young and/or handsome. Unfortunately, bored housewives will eat up this obvious attempt to gain their votes, will qualify for the final, and I will bang my head against my desk.
Best Part: None
Rating: 1/5

41. Montenegro
Stevan Faddy – “'Ajde kroči”
Reaction: This is the most boring rock song this year, and since there are quite a few less-than-perfect rock songs this year, that’s saying a lot. Even the chorus fails to excite. There's just something about it that makes me press the forward button every time it comes on.
Best Part: Can’t think of one
Rating: 1/5

40. United Kingdom
Scooch – “Flying The Flag (For You)”
Reaction: I can’t believe it could get worse than “Teenage Life” but it did. At least “Teenage Life” had a positive message and a somewhat catchy chorus. This is a complete joke - bad europop (and I have a very low standard for “good”, but even this doesn’t reach it) with a boring chorus with a heavy dose of unsexy sexual innuendo.
Best Part: “Would you like a complimentary drink with your meal sir?” Yes, and I don’t even drink, but after this I may need to.
Rating: 1/5

39. Ukraine
Verka Serduchka – “Danzing”
Reaction: At first this dance song is somewhat catchy, but then you get to the second half. This part features background singers going “Lala lalala” with voices that sound like dying cats. And when Verka herself screams “Tanzen” at you, you wonder what you have done wrong to have her scream at you like that. It sounds like something from a surreal children’s television show that scares sensitive children like me.
Best Part: The beginning
Rating: 1/5

38. Israel
Teapacks – “Push The Button”
Reaction: I don’t hate the political message. What I hate is that, even at three minutes, this song is way too long. Eventually it just sounds like a long jam session.
Best Part:”And I don't wanna die/I wanna see the flowers bloom/ Don't wanna go kaput kaboom”
Rating: 1/5

37. Armenia
Hayko – “Anytime You Need”
Reaction: This song is a sincere ballad, but the melody is kind of boring. The lyrics, too, are nothing special and overly simple. This song was co-written by Karen Kavaleryan, which I don’t understand, because I like the other Eurovision songs that he co-wrote, so this must be a fluke.
Best Part:The last chorus in Armenian
Rating: 1/5

36. Albania
Frederik Ndoci– “My Plea”
Reaction: I tried hard to like this, because he puts so much emotion into it, but it’s just so boring, and there really isn’t a melody. It has good lyrics, but that might not be enough.
Best Part: Chorus
Rating: 1/5

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Deja Vu

This week in Eurovision brought some stuff we've seen before. Another drag queen, two more songs about dancing, and many more rock songs. Some of these were very good, and some of these were not. I'll try to keep my comments short.

On Tuesday, France chose "L'amour a la francaise" by Les Fatals Picards. It's a cute rock song, but I would have preferred "Galbi" or "On and on". Really I'm just happy that "Bye Bye Papa" didn't win; it sounded too much like "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys for my taste. I noticed that from 1:04 to 1:06 there are some strings that sound identical to the ones at the beginning of "Work Your Magic", which, if Belarus makes it to the final (if you haven't figured it out yet, I hope it does), could work to France's disadvantage. Austria's song, "Get A Live, Get Alive" by Eric Papilaya, is an okay rock song, but isn't really anything special.

Germany chose "Frauen regier'n die Welt" by Roger Cicero. It's a nice jazz/swing song, but as hard as I try I cannot get into that type of music. Forget what I said about other the other ballads, Serbia's soung, "Molitva" by Marija Serifovic is my new favorite ballad. It has a great chorus and Marija has a great voice. I love the drums towards the end. Turkey's entry was revealed Friday after much anticipation, and luckily "Shake It Up Sekerim" sounds nothing like "Yassou Maria". It sounds sort of like a Turkish Justin Timberlake. Ukraine chose "Danzing" by Verka Serduchka and it is a dance song much scarier than the one about vampires. It sounds like it should be the theme song for a children's TV show - one of those surreal ones that gave sensitive kids like me nightmares.

It took us until Saturday for us to get a Lordi rip-off as close as the Czech Republic and their song "Mala Dama" by Kabat. I say that because it is a rock song with growling vocals. It's a good first try for the Czech Republic.
Portugal chose "Danca Comigo" by Sabrina. I wonder if the Portuguese voters have been listening to the songs already selected, because this song is somewhat similar to "Ven a bailar conmigo", and not just because of the name. I prefer Norway's song, but I'd wait until the draw for the running order to predict who will do better. Hungary released "Unsubstantial Blues" by Magda Ruzsa. Like the title implies, it is a singer-songwriter style blues rock song. It's not that bad, but it's in the middle of the pack for me.

And of course, Sweden chose "The Worrying Kind" by The Ark. Remember when I said their style of glam rock isn't really my thing? Well, after listening to more of their songs I have realized that it is. The song is very good and too fun for its subject.

The songs from Russia and the United Kingdom haven't been revealed/chosen yet, but you will have to wait until later for my opinions on them because next week I'm starting my 2nd annual countdown of the songs chosen, starting with my least favorites next week and ending with my top 5 the Sunday before the actual shows.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Cheesy At Any Price

So the cheesy, cheesy video for "Work Your Magic" was released today, and it made me notice something that I should have noticed a while ago: Dmitry Koldun looks strangely like Ashlee Simpson pre-nose-job. Please tell me I'm not the only one who sees the resemblance.

In other news, the part where he points to the camera 2:49 makes the song/performance winning material. Other good things include: the Harajuku Girls-style dancers, the drummer, the guitar player who makes faces at the camera.

On the opposite end of the video spectrum is Natalia Barbu's video for "Fight", which was released a while ago but I only found out about it today. This video made me cry. Seriously. This is so low budget that it makes me worry that she isn't getting paid enough. I remember the video for "Loca" being a little flashier than this.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pushing buttons and saving the world

Hey hey hey, it's Eurosunday time again! This week seven songs were selected/released. First, on Tuesday Israel chose their entry by Teapacks, called "Push the Button". I have to say, I'm not a fan of this song. First, it is too political for a show that is supposed to be entertainment. Second, it just goes on way too long. I know that it's three minutes but it feels like twice that. Greece chose "Yassou Maria" by Sarbel. It's a good, fun song that makes you want to dance, but I don't know if it's winning material. Also, the "shake it up"s in the chorus make me worry that it might be too close to the Turkish song.

Andorra's song, "Salvem el món" by Anonymous, was released. On their MySpace these boys list blink-182 as an influence, and it shows. It's a pretty good imitation of their style. The only bad part is that they are copying the blink-182 of ten years ago ("Dude Ranch" era), so it could sound dated to some. But even back then, blink-182 could write a good melody, and Anonymous don't seem to have that level of skill yet. I think they need time to work on their songwriting. This year, however, I see it getting votes from teenage boys perhaps.

On Saturday, three songs were selected. The first, and my favorite, was "My Story" by Sopho Khalvashi for Georgia's first entry. It's a quirky and dramatic song that with the right stage performance could do well. The next one was Dragonfly featuring Dado Topic for Croatia with their song "Vjerujem u ljubav". I was hoping that Croatia would pick a song that I liked, and I was disappointed when this was selected. It's yet another rock song, but isn't much better or worse than the others selected. Finally, the long pre-selection in Lithuania came to close and the winner was 4fun's song "Love or Leave". It's a pleasant sounding song that would make good background music for an afternoon at home, but it just isn't interesting and memorable enough to make an impact in a competition.

Today, Bosnia & Herzegovina unveiled their song, "Rijeka bez imena" by Marija Sestic. With Ireland's song, it is one of my two favorite ballads of this year so far. Like the titular river, it starts off small with just the singer, a guitar and some drums, and as the songs go on more instruments and voices are added until the sound is big and dramatic. Definitely my favorite song selected this week, and a good way to end the weekend.

Before I go on to list next week's group of finals, I want to mention Sweden's Andra Chansen round that took place Saturday. I was pleasantly surprised that my two favorite out of that group of eight ("För att du finns" and "Vågar du, vågar jag") made it through to the final! That means, out of ten songs in the final, I like and would be happy with the victory of five (the other three are "The Worrying Kind", "Cara Mia", and "Samba Sambero"). Okay, maybe I'd be disappointed if "Samba Sambero" made it over the other four, but still, it's a very strong final that I will be excited to hear the outcome of.

Next week is the last week that I will be covering the national selections before I go on to my ranking of all the songs like I did last year (which means that you'll have to wait until the ranking for my opinion of the UK's song, as well as any other country's song that is revealed after next weekend). It will also be the week that I start spring break, so I have a full week to sit around and perfect the order of the songs and write the little reviews because I know I won't have time for it later.

Next week there will be finals in Czech Republic, France, Germany, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, and Ukraine. Also, the internally selected song for Turkey (which I can't wait to hear) will be presented. Songs for Austria, Hungary, and Russia still haven't been presented yet, so hopefully we will hear those this week too.