Thursday, August 31, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion: "Congratulations"

The Eurovision Song Contest has been going on for 50 years now. For those not familiar with Eurovision, imagine an Idol-style show, except that the contestants (solo or group acts) are selected by individual countries. Previous winners include ABBA in 1974 and Celine Dion in 1998. 24 countries took part in the 2006 edition of the contest, from Albania to the U.K., including Iceland, who, for reasons that may never be understood, decided to send Silvia Night, International Superstar:

Silvia's performance was unparalleled in the history of the contest - not only was she booed following her semi-final performance, she was booed before she started. After failing to make it to the Eurovision final, Sylvia had a complete meltdown (WARNING: PG-13 language) in front of the cameras, slapping her boyfriend, swearing at journalists, insulting other Eurovision competitors, and blaming the media for her downfall.

What most people outside of Iceland didn't realize at the time is that Silvia was actually Icelandic actress and singer Ágústa Eva Erlendsdöttir, who created the outspoken, flamboyant character for a TV show (in a similar vein as Ali G, Dame Edna, or Jiminy Glick) - according to her Wikipedia article, Silvia was meant to bring out "all the worst elements of human behaviour in modern society". Apparently she succeeded.

Yeah, I know - I should have played it safe and just thrown in a bizarre Björk video, or something a little more conventional like Írafár. - but this is just a warm-up for next week, as our Scandinavian Invasion comes to it's Finnish (sorry, couldn't resist).

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion: "She's Made of Chalk"

Last week, I told you to be afraid of Denmark. I had the latest in Danish reggae/hip-hop bands (with a bizarre video that involves karaoke) ready to go for today... and then, on a whim, I decided to feed the lyrics through a Danish-to-English translator. As with most machine translations, it wasn't perfect, but it was enough to know that it would probably offend any Danish-speaking visitors to this site. Not that I have a huge Danish audience, but better safe than sorry, right? Besides, I still have my Finnish entry that you should still be very, very afraid of. But enough of that now.

My sister-in-law recommended Mew for the Danish entry in the Scandinavian Invasion, but I decided to go with something different. Here's "She's Made of Chalk" by Kashmir:

Next week: Iceland!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion: Revenge of the Svensk!

Apparently Basshunter wasn't everyone's cup of tea, so at the suggestion of a conspiring Norwegian (you know who you are) I'm going to post an alternate Swedish entry for the Music Video Thursday's Scandinavian Invasion.

It's an incredibly annoying-yet-catchy tune, and the video is quirky and fun to watch. Any wonder that the video for "We're From Barcelona" by quirky and fun-to-watch 29-person Swedish musical ensemble I'm From Barcelona has become another Swedish internet sensation?

Next week: Denmark. Be afraid. Be very afraid. But not quite as afraid as you should be of Finland, but I'm getting ahead of myself. For now, just be afraid of Denmark. Plenty of time to fear Finland after that.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion Week 2: "Boten Anna"

Now we turn our attention to Sweden, home of a DJ who calls himself Basshunter. He spun up a little tune called "Boten Anna" that became all the rage in the northern lands this spring, including being voted the official Russ song in Norway. It's a pretty standard story - boy meets girl, boy mistakes girl for an artificial intelligence, girl tells boy that she's real, boy doesn't quite believe her. It's the same old story. If you don't like reading subtitles, by the way, I hope you understand Swedish, otherwise you're not going to get much out of this:

Programming note: I've got a Finnish entry lined up for the finale of Scandinavian Invasion, and I can probably drop some Björk in for the Icelandic entry, but I don't have a good candidate from Denmark. Any suggestions?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion: "Remind Me"

This week's Music Video Thursday marks the beginning of the Scandinavian Invasion - all the videos over the next few weeks will feature artists from the chilly north of Europe.

We begin the Scandinavian Invasion with Norwegian electronic sensation Röyksopp. The video for their single "Remind Me" ended up winning the 2002 MTV Europe Music Award for best video:

Thanks to Google Video for still being up and running while YouTube decided to take some time off for "putting out some new features, sweeping out the cobwebs and zapping a few gremlins."