Archive for May, 2015


May 23, 2015

A little close to the finals, but hey, life happens. And now, onto a look at the 2nd Semifinals. Of my picks:

Ireland (IRELAND!), Portugal and the Czech Republic were sent home.

Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Slovenia made it.

I turned my benevolent gaze away from Poland,  Sweden, Norway, and Montenegro. Yet they progressed?

Six of mine made it through. WUZ IRELAND ROBBED?

Yup. Good song, real performers, Molly was a charming colleen, the fuck? Mad you can’t vote England off earlier, targeted their nearest neighbor? YE BASTARDS KNOW THE FIRES AWAIT FOR YE YE FECKING FECKS!!!!
I feel, better. Now. Let’s look at my winners:

Cyprus – John Karayiannis with One Thing I Should Have Done

Still digging it. Sure, mellow, no back up impressionistic dancers. Good song, good job, son.

Azerbaijan – Elnur Huseynov with Hour of the Wolf

Ok… I loved the simplicity of the original video, still love the song. BUT TEH FUCK WITH THE WEREWOLVE BALLET DANCERS? Honestly, besides loving the song, the best part was when he pushed away the Baku Lycanthrope Dance Troupe and the crowd went wild. Kick ass, Elnur, but please, go to a simpler performance. You don’t need the goth glitz.

Latvia – Aminata with Love Injected

Good job. Good balance of the fierce and the fromage. Definitely needs to be bought by the CW channel for their next vampire love triangle show.

Israel – Nadav Guedj with Golden Boy

Love that Nadav got the New Kids On The Block to be his back up dancers. Fun song, has some chutzpah about the time limit, and golden sneakers made of the Ark of the Covenant. GO FOR THE GOLD, BOYCHIK!!

Lithuania – Monika Linkyte & Vaidas Baumila with This Time

Respect for the straight, gay and lesbian kissing. Monika, girl, you fine. The song is a nightmare one night stand of ‘Glee,’ ‘Nashville’ and the Mumford and Sons coming to kill the parents who abandoned it for the wolves to eat… ONLY IT ATE THE WOLVES AND CAME FOR VENGEANCE.
Plus Baidas looks like a serial killer. Sorry, Monkia. Run while you can. I can’t support this Branson worthy cheesefest any longer.

Slovenia – Maraaya with Here For You

Not perfect, but poppy and catchy.Yeah.. the air musicians are kinda strange. As are the ear phones. BUT GO YOU STRANGE PEOPLE!!!

Here’s the ones the rest of Europe picked:

Poland – Monika Kuszynska with In the Name of Love

God.This.Song.Sucks. The staging is bland, and you cover the wheel chair with a wedding dress? Why? Plus enough cherry blossom imagery to make even the most dedicated kotaku have an allergic reaction.

Sweden – Mans Zelmerlow with Heroes

Ok. So Mans is the the Swedish manly version of the Dazzler, making really crappy music into solid light projections and holograms while he dances awkwardly and smiles about demons in his brain. SWEDEN, YOU CAN DO SO MUCH BETTER!!!

Norway – Morland and Debrah Scarlett with A Monster Like Me

Uhm… this song live is so much better than the video. No, really. They dropped the weird food fight and stiff performances, and SANG THE HELL OUT OF IT. You won me back, land of Ibsen.

Montenegro – Knez with Adio

They liked the angry back up singers? Knez has a world fan base us Americans don’t get? No clue.

So, of the  Second Semi’s, I’m backing Israel, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Slovenia, with Norway kicking Lithuania to the curb. From the first semi’s I’m picking Estonia, Romania, Belgium and Serbia. Estonia is my overall favorite. From the guaranteed countries and the guest- UK, Austria and Australia.

Estonia remains my pick. UK doesn’t have a chance in hell, but I hope they do well. Getting into the top 15 would be amazing for them. BEST OF LUCK, NEIGHBORS!

So, tune in Sunday night, and we’ll see what happens!!


May 20, 2015

So, today, it began. Cheese, politics and yes TALENT coalesced in Vienna for the first of the three nights of Eurovision, 2015. I of course, was at work, so I followed along with the live stream from the Daily Mirror. Say what you well, but they’ve been good for this.

Oh, and I finally remembered how to properly embed video. Push the button.


I did pretty darn good on my picks. Of the final 10, 5 out of my 6 picks made it in. Only Macedonia didn’t make it. Shame… ‘Autumn Leaves’ was a good song. Energetic performance, slightly out of sync poc backing trio… different feel from the video. Hell with it. YOU WUZ ROBBED!

Honorable mention for Denmark. Anti Social Media, you tried, lads. The early 1960’s waves fondly and wishes you well.

Dishonorable mention for Moldova. I still don’t think it was a good song, but… fuck it. You went for it you mad juvenile delinquent sexhibitionist! And your performance was backed by the Super Troopers! RESPECT WITH MY SCORN AND DERISION!

Conchita was a fabulous and gracious host, btw. Ok,  let’s look at who made it to the next round.

My picks that made it-

Albania – Elhaida Dani with ‘I’m Alive’ –

Ok. Points for the simple performance, but it was rough. I’m glad she made the finals, but she needs to get some tea, honey and oomph. fast.

Hungary – Boggie with ‘Wars for Nothing’

Still a lovely little ditty, but the cocktail dresses and take away from the performance a bit. Plus, it just feels flat.

Estonia – Elina Born & Stig Rasta with ‘Goodbye to Yesterday’

THERE YA GO! Simple choreography, dramatic lighting, CHEMISTRY,

Georgia – Nina Sublatti with ‘Warrior’

OHMYGOD THE FUCKING MORRIGAN IS BEING SWALLOWED BY HER LIGHTS AND FOG!  Fierce! But, not really compelling. Glad it made the semi’s, but not the winner. Unless she goes with blood magic. MORRIGAN! BEHAVE!

Serbia – Bojana Stamenov with Beauty Never Lies

Struggling with earpieces? Bizarre and simultaneously over explanatory choreography? STRIP TEASE AND DISCO? you go to the finals, girl!

Finalists I didn’t pick-

Belgium – Loic Nottet with Rhythm Inside

The song is a massive earworm, plus Loic is just less creepy, more charismatic live. I think Belgium has a better chance than I thought before the live performance.

Armenia – Genealogy with Face the Shadow

Ok. Softened the imagery, but the lyrics made clear this is one of the happiest/self-helpy “FUCK YOU’S!’ ever,. Minus that, the song was still five songs at once, and overly dramatic. Crowd loved it, me less so.

Russia – Polina Gagarina with A Million Voices

Girl, that dress is selling what you don’t got. Just saying. Supposedly, this is the front runner. Screw that. Bland, fake dramatics, and THIS IS FROM PUTIN’S RUSSIA. Nope

Romania -Voltaj with All Over Again

Decent live performance, nice message. You won me back guys. Glad you made it.

Greece – Maria-Elena

Snoooorrreeeee. Wait, did I miss something? Sorry. I support Greece in their economic struggles and trying to right their government after a dip into right wing lunacy, but the song sucks.

So, we got some swaps here. From the finals, I’m picking with my #1 pick: Estonia, adding Romania and Belgium. I’m keeping Serbia, because they just went for it.
See you late Thursday, early Friday for more


May 15, 2015

I’ve been barreling through the 38 (38!?!?!) entries to Eurovision 2015, learned about whole countries I never head of before (HATE THE SONG, BUT LOVE YOU, SAN MARINO! PEACE!), failed to dodge the Europolitics and my own biases, but hey.. that’s Eurovision for ya.

The first eight of the Second semi finals were a little disappointing. I picked Ireland without reservations, Portugal, the
Czech Republic and Lithiuania made it through with mixed enthusiasm.

Onto the Final Nine.

1) Israel            Nadav Guedj            Golden Boy

Yeah, politically, this one is dead in the water. That being said.. it’s actually a fun song. Tel Aviv shouting out to “THIS IS HOW WE DO IT?” Rainbow flags? (Accusations of pink washing to follow…) And an actually good tune? Yup. One of my picks.

2) Latvia            Aminata            Love Injected

Nice Latvia didn’t just go for the sexy-sexy. Wait.. nice that they DID. Another song perfect for a tv show title.. CW, start watching Eurovision. Not bad. A pick.

3) Azerbaijan            Elnur Huseynov            Hour Of The Wolf

Save for some last minute extra gospel choir cheesiness ( cause gospel choirs are what Azerbaijan is all about.) this is just a damn good song. Turkish version ain’t bad either. Wow. Competition has gotten FIERCE!!

4) Iceland            Maria Olafs            Unbroken

Remember Denmark’s Emmelie de Forest? Well, Iceland found a distant relative hers, I guess.. and, yeah. Kinda disappointed. Iceland puts out so much amazing music, that they pick this? YOU CAN DO BETTER, GUYS!!

5) Sweden            Måns Zelmerlöw            Heroes

This guy is either a big Aviici or Firefly fan, or both. Song sucks. At one point he sings “The Greatest Anthem Ever Heard!”
Or is it a tribute?

6) Switzerland            Mélanie René            Time To Shine

Yay, fierce woman. Serious boo on the Native American drag.. unless she’s trying to be a Viking. No… later in the video, fringe leather jackets. Yup, Native American drag. Not a great song, we’ll just pretend this never happened, Switzerland.

7) Cyprus            John Karayiannis            One Thing I Should Have Done

Wow. Just a good, simple song. No snark necessary. Good job, John. PICK!

8) Slovenia            Maraaya            Here For You

Naked bored chick singing in the snow while her band’s instruments are ruined by said snow? Dude air-guitaring to everything?


Actually, a fun song. Another pick. Way to go SLOVENIA!

9) Poland            Monika Kuszyńska            In The Name Of Love

Wait, what? Was I typing a blog post about Eurovision? Sorry. Song put me to sleep. Much love, Poland, I guess Monika is world famous there, but sorry. lame.

So, of the final 17, here are my picks:

Czech Republic

Plan is to watch as much of semi’s on YouTube, repost, and spread the joy! And the musical cheese.

So, anyone else watching?


May 15, 2015

So, you can look back on my last 3 posts, checking out the first 16 and guaranteed grand finalists in this years Eurovision aka ‘Building Bridges’ aka ‘We don’t really hate the UK, but we we kind do.’

We’re now moving on to the next 17 countries, in two posts. Why? Because there is only so much Eurovision cheese even I can take at a time. It’s good cheese.. sometimes great cheese. But a lot of cheese.

1) Lithuania            Monika Linkytė and Vaidas Baumila            This Time

The video claims these people heard the song for the first time. I don’t believe that for a second. Points for Monkia – points off for her and Vaidas clearly having little chemistry, points for the gay and possible poly people listening. It has a pleasant ‘Nashville’ meets ‘Mumford & Sons’ vibe. But bland.

2) Ireland            Molly Sterling            Playing With Numbers

Ok. Not counting my massive bias towards Ireland- TWO TIME SIX NATIONS RUGBY CHAMPIONS, BOYO!- I like this song. The bards of Europe, having sent Jedward twice, a lame techno act, and rioted in the studio over the last Eurovision pick, did right with this one. Emotional, yet not sloppily sentimental. Not too many pointless vocal acrobatics. And no awkward ‘fuck off’s’ to other nations. Yup… one of my picks.

3) San Marino            Anita Simoncini & Michele Perniola            Chain of Lights

Ok… I didn’t know San Marino was a country. My bad. But, their bad for this cheesy travelouge/industrial promotion featuring magic iPhones and generic lyrics of working together. Yes, I get that being a small nation surrounded by Italy can be tough.. like how Austin is surrounded by Texas.. but, sorry.

4) Montenegro            Knez            Adio

If you ever get the chance, party with Montengrans. Seriously. In fact, look at this previous Eurovision entry to see a REAL Montengran party.


Knez is an aging Ricky Martin wanna be. Sorry.

5) Malta            Amber            Warrior

So, like, I have to become a Warrior, for like, love, and stuff. And Amber… kinda scary girl. And why is Death her mutli-instrumentalist/DJ? Nice, blandly epic song that should be the sound track of a CW show. Not grabbing me. Sorry, Malta.

6) Norway            Mørland & Debrah Scarlett            A Monster Like Me

Ok.. Morland is prettier. Sorry, Debrah. Don’t poison my wine. They are bored, we are bored. C’MON, NORWAY! YOU GAVE US ‘YLVIS!’

7) Portugal            Leonor Andrade            Há Um Mar Que Nos Separa

I have no idea what Leonor is pissed off about, but she’s singing over a decent U2 lost b-side. What the hell! She’s a pick.

8) Czech Republic            Marta Jandová and Václav Noid Bárta            Hope Never Dies

Muscled dude who sounds like Danzig and fauxhawk girl who I guess met at the gym sing so soulfully their words set the air on fire in the shape of their words? SINGING A BOND MOVIE SONG? FUCK IT! QUELLE FROMMAGE! THEY ARE IN!!

Ok. So the first eight of the second 17 was kind lame. Of the 8, I pick

Ireland- IRELAND!!!!
Czech Republic
Lithiuania.. ok. you just squeeze in. Thank Monika.



May 14, 2015


So, this series of four is now a series of five. Why?

Because the American charged into the challenge without researching, looking the fine cultural details, and kinda not caring.


You see, Eurovision has politics. Oh does it have politics. People vote in blocks to favor their region, to kiss ass to other nations, mostly to piss of the United Kingdom. Every one from the UK- I mean everyone, be they from Wales, Scotland, England or Northern Irish backing the UK in the competition – believes deep in their hearts. Everyone else in Europe agrees.

Another big political sticking point is the BIG FOUR.. no, BIG FIVE pre-qualified nations. In 2000, France,Germany,Spain and the UK demanded to be pre-qualified since they spent the most money on the bloody thing. In 2010, Italy got added to the final list. One of the several reasons Turkey bolted after 2013. Oh, and Russia is trying to organize their own. because they know they aren’t likely to win. And like the old days of the Warsaw Pact and Russia somehow ALWAYS WINNING AT WARSAW PACT FOOTIE, they want that old guaranteed win feeling back.

A side note- please do not assume the slightly (ridiculously obvious) anti-Putin tone is because I’m American born, bred, and based. I could be mad at Putin, because as an Irish dual-citizen, Russian bombers buzzed over Ireland to get to the UK over the channel. I could be mad because of the invasions of Georgia and Ukraine and the turning of Russia from a broken democracy to a theofascist kleptocracy that’s making gay bashing the new pogrom.

I know America is an evil sprawling capitalist consumerist culture destroying nightmare who invaded Iraq for no good reason. We also happen to be a place and culture everyone wants to be part of, where we are ever moving toward better diversity and inclusion, and oh yeah… are doing a good job of fighting our internal war hawks from going on further pointless invasions.

We have so many issues, we have volumes. Putin’s Russia has so many volumes they have libraries.

Got it? Good.

Anyhoo… besides the big 5 we have the Austria and Australia. Austria because they won last with their bearded beauty, Conchita Wurst.


Can’t deal with bearded beauties? Piss off. Again, Eurovision’s best songs are also great Bond movie songs. HEAR THAT, UK? MAKE IT HAPPEN!!! CONCHITA SINGS THE THEM TO SPECTRE!!!

Here is Austria’s pick for this year

Austria            The Makemakes            I Am Yours

Not bad. Actually, I’m really liking it. Good, laid-back 70’s vibe, I could totally see this song in a Cameron Crow movie. Nice change from Conchita- her beard is far prettier than the pianist’s, though. Like Denmark, Austria probably doesn’t want to win again, because, well, IT’S FUCKING EXPENSIVE, but this is a genuinely good song.

Australia is in as a guest country. Since so many Aussie’s have sung at the thing, and are part of the bloody Euro-culture, why not? More political maneuverings to follow as this is only a ‘one-time thing.’

So, this is their big toe in the water.

Australia            Guy Sebastian – Tonight Again

Cool. Nice Bruno Mars/Jamiroquai retro vibe. Not the most memorable song ever, but a lot of fun and funk.

Now, for the BIG FOUR, NO… FIVE!!!

Spain            Edurne            Amanecer

Now, Spain puts money in their Eurovision videos. They certainly put some pesetas in this homage to the Lord of The Rings and Ladyhawke- complete with the implicaiton that the real Eurovision trophy IS THE FRICKING ONE RING! And, oh yeah… lots of implied sex. I mean, Mount Doom is all but Mons Pubis. It’s not just me, right? Look, the singer, the model, the tiger and the oh-so noble falcon are FABULOUS, but the song is bland. Dramatic, sweeping bland.

France            Lisa Angelk            N’oubliez Pas

Blah. The video is a lovely tour of the French coast.. hey look, A GERMAN PILL BOX!, And yes… the sentiment is important, rebuild in peace, always remember. But… sorry. Blah. Bland. Also, I get grudges- eh. Just feels off.

Germany            Ann Sophie            Black Smoke

There are lot of jokes I won’t be making about the title. Fun song, but honestly, meh. I get English isn’t her first language, but I’m not getting any real impact from her singing. I mean, wo ist der Schwung? Der Oomph?  Blah.

Italy            Il Volo            Grande Amore

The only grand love I see is for American culture. I mean, come on, guys. Loud noises. OPERATIC SWEEPS. We play the clay scene form “Ghost?” Forget about it.

United Kingdom            Electro Velvet- Still In Love With You

Honestly, the UK, as stated, doesn’t have a chance in hell. Politics and what not. That being said, fun song. Feels English- poppy swinging fun with a delightful touch of cultural appropriation- and both the song and video would have ruled ‘Top Of The Pops’ for two minutes in 1986. This is one of my picks.

Yes, I’m rooting for the Rugby rivals. Sure, I want Ireland to win ( and have someone else fecking pay for it), but the UK deserves more than being in the lower 20 for… for… REASONS!

So, picks so far, both Semi-Finals 1 and the guaranteed finalists:

United Kingdom.

Maybe I’m biased for bands singing in English. So sue me. But I try.

Next up, the last 17 nations in two parts.


May 13, 2015

Last post, we braved the odd politics or Eurovision, and found two actually good songs, from Macedonia and Estonia.

Onto the next 8.

1) Serbia            Bojana Stamenov            Beauty Never Lies

Ok, so there’s a 50% chance every Eurovision song is alternative universe Bond movie song. Just keep that in mind. Next, this song feature’s Belgrade’s answer to Martha Wash and near naked pretty cavorting.. THONGS AHOY!!!… while no love for Bojana. Also, no creepy coded nationalist messages. So, simplistic message, but I’ll give you a disco thumbs up, Serbia.

2) Hungary            Boggie                        Wars For Nothing

Going for a ‘Once,’ naturalist vibe, Boggie goes for a Eurovision staple- the anti-war song. GOOD FOR THEM! Especially given the drift of the government. Sweet song, good video, good job Boggie.

And no, that’s a tear in YOUR eye. Bitch.

3) Belarus            Uzari&Maimuna            Time

Disco strings, techno beats, odd imagery, random violin… yeah, this song was written to win Eurovision. Kinda lame. You bop your head,but, nah. No soul. Screw it.

4) Russia            Polina Gagarina            A Million Voices

Ok. If this wasn’t coming from Putin’s Russia, this bland number with a cute blondie and slightly diverse people with big teeth might be ok. But seeing as how it IS from Putin’s Russia, screw it.

Just creepy as fuck.

5) Denmark            Anti Social Media            The Way You Are

Ok. Nice boy band doing- some trying to be the Beatles- singing a cheerful little ditty. Good job lads. But you know you’re not going to win. Denmark doesn’t want you too.

You see, if your country wins Eurovision, you win the honor of hosting the next years finals. And paying for them. AND THEY ARE FECKING EXPENSIVE. In 2013, Denmark won with Emmelie De Forest’s – Only Teardrops.
Great song, another “Eurovision Song That Should’ve Been From Ireland But Wasn’t!.’ Denmark won, and want to do well, but not win. So, sorry Anti Social Media. You’re good, but not going to take it all.

6) Albania            Elhaida Dani            I’m Alive

The video- a touching shout out to working women everywhere who are paralyzed in their workplace (literally), but, seriously folks, a touching little ditty about overcoming grief. Not bad.

7) Romania            Voltaj            De La Capat/ All Over Again

Kind of happy about this. Nice song, good little message about the hardships of families being split apart for work reasons. Last couple of years, some political parties have been targeting Romanian immigrants/guest workers to appear… I dunno, less racist because Romanians are white?

Not a fave, but good choice, Romania.

8) Georgia            Nina Sublatti            Warrior

Ok. Sure, multi-ethnic models with weapons is always a great way to get my attention,but this is fierce. Plus, I love that they include the image of the traditonal folk dancers. Nice contrast to point out that resistance can be cultural as well as physical. Maybe some slightly coded messaging toward Russia, who annexed Georgian territory back in 2008.

But fierce.

A tip of the hat to Romania and Denmark, but honestly, my top 6 of the first 16 are:


Next time, we move to the Second 16- in two parts of 8, and more of Western Europe and the rest of Scandinavia. AND THE UK ENTRY!

It’ll be fun.


May 13, 2015


So every year, the nations of Europe (and Israel, and now, Australia because why the fuck not) have a huge ‘Battle of The Bands’ that was essential they model for ‘American/Pop Idol’ and ‘X Factor.’ Mostly, it’s cheesy awful, to cheesy goodness, to occasionally some actually good songs. It’s also mostly sung in English, the English get their asses kicked for political reasons ( and their songs aren’t the best. Sorry, loves,) and some good songs sneak through.

The semi-finals are coming up. I’m splitting the two 16 song competitions into four 8 song blog posts, because, sanity.

Now, some countries I have biases for- which will absolutely not effect my thinking because this isn’t bloody rugby we are talking about.

– Ireland (Ireland, IRELAND!)

-UK.  For godsakes, people. However much you hated Thatcher, move on. And giving votes to Russia won’t keep them from invading you.

– Denmark- First country in Europe I ever visited, a great place dear to my heart.

– Romania and Austria- my Dad’s side of the family. Plus, Austria get’s props for Conchita, the beared drag queen who is FABULOUS!!!

And now- the first 8.

1) Moldova            Eduard Romanyuta            I Want Your Love

Eduard is a androgynous, 12 year old boy who, on the run from the Moldavian cops – in Brooklyn – has a torrid love affair with one of the officers chasing after him, in his bitching Camaro.

Or does he?

Song is bland, plus points off for not staging a cool chase in Moldova. Although… BROOKLYN IN THE HOUSE!…


2) Armenia            Genealogy            Face The Shadow

I’m not going to be overly snarky. The song is word salad, the video is a big, glowing, heartfelt fuck you to Turkey over the Armenian genocide. Which, is fair. Bold move, but not going to win, nor to be fair, a good song.

3) Belgium            Loïc Nottet            Rhythm Inside

Ok, kinda funky video of people not achieving their idealized selves, until they get that it’s ok, and smear each other with blood, while some slightly creepy dude talks about ‘brap-bap-baping’ tonight.

Not bad. Really, not bad. Just kinda.. strange and dark for Eurovision. Hey, is Belgium kinda strange and dark minus the colonial history? Discuss.

4) The Netherlands            Trijntje Oosterhuis            Walk Along

For a second, I was “Why is Ruth Connell, Supernatural’s Rowena, in a Dutch band trying to be the Coors?”

Seriously. Pleasant song, but girl, you fierce. As in kinda scary. GRAB THE TATOO BOY WITH THE SPANISH HAT AND MAKE HIM YOURS!!!

5) Finland            Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät            Aina Mun Pitää

Finland loves their metal. And these fine gentlemen certainly rock. But I don’t see this winning.

6) Greece            Maria Elena Kyriakou            One Last Breath

Ok. A bland ballad, hopefully not a subtle nod to the current economic crisis. I miss Koza Mostra.


7) Estonia            Elina Born & Stig Rästa            Goodbye To Yesterday

Dude, even if the English isn’t great, love this song. Nicely moody video, great horns, pretty people… Hell with it. I LOVE THIS SONG!!!

8) F.Y.R. Macedonia            Daniel Kajmakoski            Autumn Leaves

Another really good song. Nicely personal, dramatic, but not overly so, cute video. Good job, Macedonia!

So, of the first 8, Macedonia and Estonia are my favorites. Sorry, Moldava. Shooting car chases in Brooklyn won’t sway me.

Next time.. THE NEXT 8 OR THE FIRST 16!!!!