Azerbaijan's Surprise Win In 2011 Eurovision Song Contest Upset To Favorites

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2011 02:52pm | Post a Comment

Excerpt from Eurovision Song Contest 2011 Winning Entry by
Ell/Nikki, "Running Scared"

While it may have been far from the mind of the average American, last night's Euro mega TV event, the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest, was an extremely big deal to those on the other side of the Atlantic. Now in its 56th year and with 43 countries participating, last night's evening-long, live televised Eurovision Song Contest drew an estimated 100 million viewers, many of whom had bet money on this year's two hotly tipped favorites, Ireland and the United Kingdom, winning this year. Those gamblers lost when the small country of Azerbaijan took this year's Eurovision title! Nigar Jamal and Eldar Gasimov, who go by the name Ell/Nikki, earned the most points for their pop ballad "Running Scared."

UK entry in 2011 Eurovision Song Contest: Britain's Blue "I Can" came in #11

The Eurovision Song Contest is an American Idol like contest with a dash of soccer fan enthusiasm thrown in the mix. Unlike Idol, all songs are new original compositions. But like Idol and similar TV music contest shows, many in Europe are quick to dismiss the glitzy, much hyped pop music TV event as irrelevant "rubbish." Regardless, a hundred million devoted European viewers tuned in to last night's contest.  And it's been estimated that up to 600 million view worldwide in virtually every country but the US. Last night's contest was broadcast from a sold-out stadium in Dusseldorf (Germany hosted because they won last year with singer Lena's song "Satellite"), where 36,000 enthusiastic fans screamed along and proudly waved their countries' flags. Last night's final followed two weeks of festivities plus two semifinals and a kind of dress rehearsal, a jury final, on Friday evening.

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Songs Are Like Tattoos: Blue by Joni Mitchell

Posted by Miss Ess, December 26, 2008 06:15pm | Post a Comment
joni mitchell
Speaking of Wintertime, another album that always calls to me when the skies turn grey and the temperature drops is Joni Mitchell's Blue -- maybe because the song "River" is the best Christmas-themed song ever, maybe because the chill in the air always makes me feel more introspective, maybe because it's one of the best albums through and through...I inevitably put it on the turntable as the holidays approach.

Each song is a confession, a poem, a truth. Although I love the whole record, side two is really where my heart lies, starting with "California" and running through "Last Time I Saw Richard." All in all, the tracks capture the whole heady feeling of falling in love-- the anticipation and longing, the obsessive and insatiable qualities of it all. "River" is a break from that falling, looking back on ajoni mitchell david crosby relationship failure with loss and regret. After jumping right back into love with "A Case of You," side two then winds down with "Last Time I Saw Richard," a song about the bitterness of one who has found and lost love and understands its mechanics, countered by the unstoppable dreamy hope of a romantic still searching. Even though this album is celebrated by music fans world-wide and has been for decades, I somehow always feel like it was written just for me every time I put it on. That's how the best albums always feel, I think.

Even though the December sky has turned grey, I can still see touches of blue out there.

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Little Earthquakes

Posted by Miss Ess, September 18, 2008 02:05pm | Post a Comment
It's crazy what a little nostalgia can do sometimes:

tori amos piano

After reading the list of the Gayest Albums of All Time, according to Out Magazine, I realized I hadn't listened to Tori Amos in about 10 years, so I dragged out my old Little Earthquakes CD, ripped it onto little earthquakes tori amosmy controversial I-Pod and went out for a stroll down my street, feeling a bit blue.

Within about 2 seconds of hearing "Crucify" I was feeling giddy, taken back to another time and place, but also hearing the songs in a new light since it'd been so long. Little Earthquakes is an incredible record. Between the raw lyrics and the acoustic piano, when it came out in 1992 it was like nothblue joni mitchelling else of its time. I feel like it sliced through all the other overblown stuff out there (like Michael Jackson and Guns N Roses), utterly idiosyncratic, and then managed to float alone above it all. I don't know how I'd forgotten how delicious a record it is. Walking down the street with Tori whispering and crooning in my ear, simultaneously brutally honest and seductive, the entire timbre of my day changed. It's that kind of album.

I remember reading Tori was influenced by Joni Mitchell's Blue, and now, years later, having become a fan of that record as well, I can really see what she meant. Both Little Earthquakes and Blue are extraordinarily confessional, sincere and frank. And favorites of mine.

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