Tag Archives: Music

Belated Eurovision Roundup

22 May

Last week marked the time Europe went crazy and I apologise to those who follow me on Tumblr or Twitter because I live-tweeted the Eurovision Song Contest and it got a little bit out of hand. Especially my Amercian followers must have thought I was crazy but I just had soooo many opinions and a few of my Twitter friends were also watching. Fun times!!

This is not going to be a neatly organised post about this years Eurovision Song Contest. If you’re looking for that, I direct you towards Kirsti’s blog because she has covered both semi-finals (here and here) and the grand finale (click). I, on the other hand, was suffering from a medium-sized thesis-related meltdown (of which I am still recovering). The pesky thesis is also the reason this post comes so late that nobody even cares about it anymore. Anyhow…

To be honest, I’ve never been very interested in the ESC. The voting is a shame because neighbouring countries vote for each other based on politics and preference. This year though, for the first time, I sat there and had fun. Not because the event was of better quality or because my favourites won, no, because I finally realised that the contest is about crappy entertainment which let’s you point your snarky finger at your neighbouring countries. It’s not a serious singing competition. Far from it and if you consider it as such, you’re in for disappointment. Just sit back and enjoy the ridiculous ride. And that’s what I did, snarking the stuff on Twitter and Tumblr because I live on the internet.

I had a fantastic night! Denmark won and I cannot say anything against it. The song was great europop and the singer had such a beautiful face that I lost any ability to care.

Then there was the controversy about Finland’s entry because at the end of the performance, two ladies locked lips (which had never happened before in the 57-year history of the contest) which resulted in an outrage from more conservative members of the Union like Turkey who threatened not to broadcast the show. Not sure if they followed through but since Turkey didn’t even qualify I guess they didn’t care much altogether. I’m still not sure why it was part of the act; if it was just to attract the male gaze or a stance on marriage equality. The singer said she wanted to oppose Finland’s stance on refusing to let gays marry but I’m not sold on that interpretation. The song was kinda awful but so very catchy. Europe’s best and I am sad it didn’t score any higher. They only got 13 points which resulted in the 24th place out of 26 contestants. Not cool.

Germany did score 5 points more (21st place) which was not a big shock to me. You just cannot go to the ESC with a song that sounds exactly like last years winner. It doesn’t work that way.

Euphoria is still a fantastic song and after a year I think I finally understand most of the lyrics. Ha! That’s something.

My favourite part of the show was Romania’s entry though. I cannot keep from laughing as soon as he opens his mouth and I dare you to sit through his performance with a straight face. Gay Dracula was robbed of his win (or at least a higher place) is all I’m saying because this was just fantastic entertainment. This is the essence of Eurovision. Something that stays with you even after the event and even if it’s just due to a horrible costume or performance (not saying his performance was shitty because I can’t sing that high and I’m a woman). I WILL NEVER BE OVER GAY DRACULA! So. Fucking. Amazing.

And on a last, a little bit more serious note, Iceland’s entry. He sang in Icelandic which I, of course, do not understand. It still sounds beautiful and is a testimony to his father. I like it very much.

Now I have to wait another year for more of this ridiculous mess *pouts*

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That Christmas Post

17 Dec

I effing LOVE Christmas but that wasn’t always the case. When I was younger and my parents were still married, Christmas was a hard time. The family gathered at my Granny’s place for dinner and gifts on Christmas eve and for lunch on Christmas day. On at least one of those days someone started a fight and yelled at someone else. THAT, I hated. After my parents divorced and some time passed, it got better.

By now, it is my favourite holiday because of all the great food, advent calendars, spending time with family and cookies. Oh, and presents of course! By now, I don’t even hate ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham! anymore. ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ sung by Dean Martin, ‘White Christmas’ by Bing Crosby and ‘Winter Wonderland’ sung by Frank Sinatra make a huge smile appear on my face whenever they are on the radio. Seriously, I couldn’t grin wider if I tried.

I love the cold weather – when the sun shines but the air of minus degrees attacks your face, makes your nose and cheeks all red and gives you the gift of snow. I cannot get enough of it! We had all that last week. It was deliciously cold, it snowed, the sun shone and I was giddy for no apparent reason. Yes, I can be pleased that easily but please keep this to yourself. I wouldn’t want the word to get around.

Last year, my hopes were pretty high for Christmas, I wanted it to be the best celebration we ever had because I knew it would be my Mom’s last Christmas (no, she wasn’t even that sick back then, but some part of me was prepared for her death, even then). But it wasn’t as great as I hoped it would be. There is still the beginning of a post I was going to write about it in draft form on here. I don’t even know what went wrong, it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I foresee something similar happening to me this year but I don’t care. I am so looking forward to it despite the fact that Mom’s not with us anymore. I still have family though and I love them. I may not always agree with them and their views, but I truly love them. And I am thankful for my life, my friends and family – for the opportunities I had so far, the trips I was able to make and the places I got to see.

Last week, on the 13th (which is also my cousins birthday) was Lucia which is a Christmas tradition In Sweden. There are special Lucia-songs that are sung on this day, lussekatter to eat and many celebrations to take place. While I was In Sweden 2 years ago, I was part of the university choir and we did the Luciatåg that day. I actually only partook in the first concert in the morning since I had a final the next day or class later. I’m not entirely sure. It was a fantastic experience though. In the evening I met with my friend family and we went to see the big celebration in church, where High School kids perform like 3 concerts back to back. I was blown away by their talents. The atmosphere was fantastic and I miss not getting to see it year after year. I miss putting on my Lucia gown and singing the beautiful songs that are as dear to my heart as the Christmas songs I grew up with.

If you look real close, you can see the text I wrote on the candle holder because I wasn't able to remember all the lyrics to the songs.

If you look real close, you can see the text I wrote on the candle holder because I wasn’t able to remember all the lyrics to the songs.

On Saturday I bought my last presents. I’m not very good at gift giving but I tried my best, which is how I ended up with 3 different books and 2 gift cards. But hey, I thought about every one of those gifts long and hard even if it doesn’t sound exciting. I like to give gifts that I would enjoy and I hope I chose right. What about you? Do you already have all your presents?

As much as I love Christmas, I also cannot wait for 2012 to be finally over and 2013 to begin. Hopefully it will be better than this year but it won’t be too hard.

Wherever you are and if you’re celebrating Christmas or not, I hope you have a good time and great company. Here are some videos of my favourite songs from Sweden. Seriously, they give me chills! There used to be a video of SVT on Youtube with these songs sung in ‘my’ church in Växjö but it’s not on there anymore.

30 Days of Books – Day 05

5 Nov

A book that makes you happy

Previously: Favourite book of your favourite series

There are a lot of books that make me happy, look at Day 1 and Day 2 for example but I’m trying not to repeat myself in this 30 Day challenge so the book that makes me officially happy is ‘Sing you Home’ by Jodi Picoult.

This was my first and still only novel by Jodi Picoult and I absolutely loved it. As I gather from looking at some of her other books, there’s this typical way in which she constructs a book. Splitting it in parts that are told from the main characters of the story. In this book those are Zoe, her soon-to-be ex-husband Max and Vanessa. Zoe and Max have tried for years to get pregnant, they spent all of their money on in vitro but it never works. At the beginning if the novel Zoe is pregnant and quite far along but she looses the child and is naturally devastated.

Her marriage with Max has been crumbling around the edges for a long time and after the miscarriage they split up because it’s too painful for both of them. Zoe is a musical therapist and while she struggles to accept the loss of her hopes and dreams she becomes friends with Vanessa, a high school guidance counsellor. Vanessa is gay though and after s while, Zoe and Vanessa fall in love with each other. They get married and decide to try to have a baby with the few eggs Zoe still has stored at the fertility clinic. They need Max’s approval though and that sets off a whole fight for marriage equality and so on. While Zoe has found her new romance, Max found refuge in a rather conservative church which advocates against same sex marriage…you see where this is going…a big courtroom showdown.

What initially drew me to this book was the title because I love to sing and music is a constant in my life. The note on the back is very careful not to mention any of the lesbian part of the story and so I was kinda surprised but in a good way. I’m quite thankful to this book because even though it might seem stupid but it made me once and for all realise that I’m gay. The way Vanessa describes how she was always different from the other girls in her class and how she pretended to like the guys all the girls had crushes on even though she knew it wasn’t real for her. I found myself in her character on so many levels it was freaky. I read the 600-something pages in a bit over 24 hours which is FAST for me, really fast. I was THAT invested in the story.

Next: A book that makes you sad

The One in which I ramble again

12 Jun

So I have some time to kill before work and I thought, what better way to waste my time than by blogging?! Sorry, of course, blogging is not a waste of time.

As it turns out, I don’t really have anything to say, so I just ramble on for a bit and share the music that is floating around my head for some days now. I’m listening to it right now because it’s a little bit like drizzling honey on my insights. What I’m talking about is the band Uh Huh Her and two acoustic versions of their songs. Usually they are more electro than this but I like the acoustic versions better.

Maybe a link would be good? Ok, here it is then:

and the second one:

I can’t stop listening to them. They remind me of some songs from Sheryl Crow’s album ‘Wildflower’. I remember having that one on repeat after it’s release.

What else is there to share? Hmm, I have some drafts saved on WordPress but they don’t seem to be fit for publishing. The problem is, I start writing them late at night, then I get tired, I save them and the next day, my reason for writing about whatever it was is gone or shifted and so they probably end up forever as drafts.

Finally the sun is coming out again, it has been raining for most of last week and it’s nice to see some change.

I also wouldn’t mind a change of scenery. I long to see the ocean again, feel the waves around my feet and the sand between my toes. I miss the sound of the waves and the wind; the wind that always seems to be blowing harder at the coast. I want to wake up early to go and see a sunrise on the beach, walk into a sunset. I miss having water close by, but even a big lake is not as magnificent as an ocean. Growing up, my family spent a holiday every year at the sea on some island in the North Sea. Now, I haven’t been there in a couple of years and I hear the longing of my heart for it. The longing for something so familiar, so much part of myself like my curly hair.

I see that I spent enough time on here now and before this one becomes another destined draft I’ll just hit publish and go off to work. See y’all!

Music and Me

15 May

Music and me, we go way back. Back to a time when I still was in primary school. I didn’t know anything about the english language, nevertheless I recall feeling the urge to sing along to Janet Jackson’s ‘Whoops Now‘ mimicking the sounds of the words I didn’t understand.

As I am currently reading ‘Sing you Home‘ by Jodi Picoult I have to think about what music in general and certain songs in particular mean to me.

My family is not the most music-affine family you can find around, my mom barely knows any songs by their names and even my granny is not so good at the singing. I noticed it the few times I sat beside her in church where I usually fail to sing along properly cause I don’t know how the melody and lyrics of the church songs go together.

Music for me though is a means of coping with my feelings, of expressing joy and sadness. I feel that a day without singing is a lost day.

When I was sixteen I wanted to become a singer-songwriter just like Meredith Brooks (you may know her only big hit song of the 90s Bitch), needless to say that I failed at it, well I didn’t really pursue it that much but whatever.

It can take me quite a while to finish brushing my teeth because I stop to sing along my favorite tunes.
In my car the radio is always on and I modulate the volume according to my liking of the song that’s currently playing. The louder the more I like it. I don’t care if the other people who drive by me think I am crazy when my sidewindow is down and I’m belting out ‘Love is a Battlefield’ when I feel like it.

There’s the Sheryl Crow album I had on repeat while reading 1984 or WASP Star [Apple Venus Vol. 2] by XTC during Lords and Ladies (Terry Pratchett) and they remind me of chapters I read in those books.

I can’t help but start to smile and in some form dance along to the Macarena and The Rigga-Ding-Dong-Song because they’re a part of every good theater party. As soon as we hear the song we align on the dance-floor to do the group dances that goes along with them. Needless to say that I love it.

The summer after I left school I had to do an internship for my following studies which had me leaving the house quite early. When I drove to the firm I sometimes just wanted to turn my car around so badly just as the lyrics of that song told me to. I never did though.

Hearing the ‘Plans’ album by Death Cab for Cutie, I always picture myself sitting in a car, the windows down, my long brown hair fluttering in the wind, cruising through the ever changing sceneries destination nowhere. I’m independent and free. I see mountains and beige grass along the never ending road I’m traveling on.

Thanks to my best friend (he studies baroque music) I’m no stranger to gorgeous classical music that sometimes lets me think I’m inside of Pride and Prejudice.

I have my problems though, with music without lyrics because I love to sing along too much and sometimes it’s really hard to hum along a piece of classical music.

Granted my singing voice is not the best one can wish for but it’s a decent alto and I know I can hit the right notes. Sometimes I just sing them a little off on purpose because I want to make it mine, my version, my interpretation of a song, a melody.

Of course there are more songs that mean something to me, only this is all I can remember at the moment so instead of boring you further, I’d much rather ask you to share some of the songs that are special to you.

Spotify is finally here

13 Mar

Maybe I’m on a major sugar-high or whatever, these days I have to enjoy the little things. I’m also procrastinating at the moment I should add.

Here is what made my day: The swedish music streaming service Spotify has finally launched in Germany this morning. It was already there when I woke up this morning! Amazing!

I first fell in love with it during my stay in Sweden and I was waiting ever since I returned home for its launch. I read rumors on the internet for the last couple of weeks that the start would be immanent and I’m glad they were true. So I’m enjoying streaming music I don’t own totally legal right now. I’m still debating whether to get an Unlimited (paid for) account, but I don’t wanna rush things. After all it took me several hours to change the set country of my old account to my current location.

What else can I write so I won’t have to open that pdf-file with 220 slides about coal fired power plants?!

Of course there were other alternatives here in Germany to Spotify but after I tasted the real thing it seemed like cheating to settle for a copy. So I waited, got jealous when it finally launched in the US last year, and then Austria and Switzerland in last November.

What makes it so special you might ask yourself. Well, it has a huge selection of music by all major labels and a lot of independent ones. And then there is my favorite gimmick, the one I missed in iTunes over the past year: The ability to queue your music! Out of every track you can just add it to a Queue list and it plays the songs in the order you want it to. I love it!

If you are a lucky one, living in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, The Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, the US and Germany, go check Spotify out. I’ll try to focus on studying now.
Haha, good one, I know *g*

 

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