EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Monsters” by Saara Aalto, Finland

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Finland, “Monsters” by Saara Aalto, written by Saara Aalto, Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, and Ki Fitzgerald. The song is performed in English. Once again talent shows played a part in the performers launch; Aalto is a veteran of both The Voice of Finland and X Factor UK, both of which she was the runner up on during her respective seasons; she also did the Finnish voice for Princess Anna in the Disney film Frozen. The song will be performed 15th in the competition order during the first semifinal on May 8.

I will admit that this song is incredibly catchy – I find myself grooving to the beat every time I play it. Aalto is almost channeling Katy Perry or Pink here, with the same kind of glossy yet vulnerable vocal. The video is interesting as well. Whether or not it will make the US Charts I can’t say, but if it got a good push, I think it could see some action in the lower reaches of the Hot 100, and definitely on the dance chart as well. The song appears to be a fan favorite with EuroVision fans, so it could really perform well in the televoting at both the semis and should it make it through, the Grand Final as well.

Finland made its EuroVision debut in 1961, and has appeared 51 times over the years. They got their first and only Grand Championship finish in 2006 with one of the most popular EuroVision winners of all time, Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah. But it also should be noted for historical accuracy that they are also part of EuroVision’s equivalent of Dancing With The Stars‘ Kenny Mayne Club, having finished dead last ten times, actually receiving “nul” (zero) points for their song enteries in 1963, 1965, and 1982. I don’t think they’ll have to worry about THAT this year…heh heh heh…

Here’s the official music video  – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

In case you’re interested, I will post my list of all 43 songs in the order of my favorites at the end of our song by song preview in early May, so keep tuned in!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, Cypress

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Cypress, “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, written by Alex Papaconstantinou, Geraldo Sandell, Viktor Svensson, Anderz Wrethov, and Didrick. The song is performed in English, although the Spanish title word appears throughout the song. Foureira began her music career in 2007 as a member of the Greek girl group Mystique, and has been active with a popular solo career since the group disbanded in 2009. The song will be performed nineteenth and last in the competition order during the first semifinal on May 8.

The song is a typical Eurodance style number, and will probably get played in tons of dance clubs throughout the continent. Its chances on the US charts is limited however; perhaps an even more frenetic remix would give it some exposure in the larger dance clubs on the east and west coast. Foureira is a more than competent performer, but I’m never been terribly fond of this overall style, and as such a song, it’s really kind of basic and pedestrian. It’s a good song, and I’ll definitely give it some play, but it’s not going to be on “repeat” a lot on my player. it does seem to have a solid following with EuroVision fans, however, which could see it in top ten territory at the end of the results at the Grand Final.

Cypress made its EuroVision debut in 1981, and has appeared 34 times over the years, with occasional years off. Their best finish has been fifth place, which they’ve done THREE times, in 1982, 1997, and 2004.

Here’s the official music video  – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “O jardim” by Claudia Pascoal, Portugal

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Portugal, “O jardim” by Claudia Pascoal, written by Isaura. The song is performed in Portuguese. It seems like many performers at EuroVision over the past few years have been involved in television talent shows, and Pascoal is no exception; she has appeared on Idolos (Portugal’s “Idol” franchise entry ) and Factor X (which is, hmmmm, Portugal’s ‘X Factor’ franchise? Heh Heh). As last year’s winner and this year’s host in Lisbon, the song gets an automatic “bye” advance to the Grand Final on May 12, where it will be performed eighth in the competition order.

The song is a very lush ballad, well suited to Pascoal’s beautiful voice, and has a bit of the Celine Dion factor, although not quite as dynamic; perhaps Sarah McLaughlin would be a better comparison. Although the song is performing well in views on the EuroVision official YouTube channel, it’s one of those songs that will probably find success in Europe, but in all honesty, I doubt it has much of a chance to dent the US Charts. THe song is also extremely short, clocking in at just under 2:45 , which is short even for a EuroVision entry.

Portugal made its EuroVision debut in 1964, and has appeared 49 times, missing the finals 8 times since semi-finals were introduced in 2004, and they missed five years altogether for various reasons. They held the record for the longest record of participation without a win until last year, when they finally found a Grand Champion in Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois“, a slow jazz waltz-tempo song which was a huge favorite on the continent apparently, but left both Kim and I (and a LOT of American Eurovision fans) scratching their heads…I STILL don’t get this at all, or why many music critics insist it was one of Portugal’s best ever entries…blame it on not being One Musical World, I guess…

Here’s the official music video from the Portugal national contest – take a look!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Toy” by Netta, Israel

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Israel, “Toy” by Netta, written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger. The song is performed in English. Netta launched to stardom in her native land on the tv series “The Next Star”, which is the founding show of the “Rising Star” franchise where viewers pick winners live as the show is telecast. The song will be performed seventh in the first Semi Final on May 8th.

If there was ever a song that might be on an unstoppable ride to the top of the Grand Championship this year, then “Toy” may be it – the song has already hit #1 in Israel, and is presently #1 on EuroVision’s “most watched’ monthly video charts, and for good reason – this song KICKS ASS, BAR NONE! An unashamed tribute to self esteem full of “grrl power” vibes from a big girl who knows she’s big and embraces it, and deals with what it has been like for her, Netta’s performance is utterly stunning. And absolutely AWESOME!  The song is a cross between Meghan Trainor and Lady Gaga, with a little Pink or Katy Perry thrown in. The video (but NOT the current version available on Spotify) appears to have some naughty language in it, but that could be beeped if need be. And I don’t get the clucking noises, but then again I don’t get Gaga’s chant during “Bad Romance” either! It certainly doesn’t make the song any less fun. Of the songs I have heard thus far this year, this song has the best chance to make some MAJOR moves on the US Charts whether it wins the contest or not – get this beautiful girl a US label release and push it to the moon, and “Toy” may well become the first EuroVision song since 1968’s “Love Is Blue” by Paul Mauriat to climb all the way to the top! My gut says she’s got a MAJOR US hit on her hands if we can get it out here.

Israel has had great luck at EuroVision over the years; they have participated 40 times and have won the Grand Championship three times – in 1978 with “A-Ba-Ni-Bi” by Itzar Cohen, in 1979 with “Hallelujah” by Gail Atari and Milk And Honey, and in 1999 with “Diva” by Dana International.

Here’s the official music video: enjoy!  If you haven’t seen it before, you’re in for one HELL of an experience!!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM in the next week or so as I complete my research!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “You Let Me Walk Alone’ by Michael Schulte, Germany

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, sometimes more than once a day,  we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Next up on our Song-By-Song preview is the official entry from Germany, “You Let Me Walk Alone” by Michael Schulte, written by Schulte, Thomas Stengaard, Nisse Ingwersen, and Nina Müller. The song is performed in English. Schulte came to prominence from videos he posted of himself on YouTube, then came in 3rd in Germany’s version of The Voice in 2012, during its first season, kickstarting his career.

The song is a “lost your love” power ballad, with a very John Meyer/Jason Mraz style when it comes to the lyrics, the Josh Grobin-like camera presence of Schulte, and a smooth, sweet melody. It could easily hit the US charts, but might find more success on the Adult Contemporary chart over the Hot 100, although it could easily find fans of both genres. The official video is actually a bit disappointing; just Schulte standing and singing to a microphone in what looks like a music rehearsal space, but he does have the noted above camera presence – and as an aside, any fan of American indie wrestling might immediately tweak to the fact that Schulte bears an uncanny resemblance to the (now-retired) young Southern California-based wrestler known as the “modern day hippie”, “Li’l” Nate Nickerson.

Germany’s history in the EuroVision contest is storied indeed; they have participated more times than any other country, present EVERY YEAR but one since the contest began in 1956, missing out only in 1996, when they were eliminated in a pre-show elimination round, which means they have appeared SIXTY ONE times – WOW!; They have won the Grand Championship twice – in 1982 with “Ein bißchen Frieden” performed by Nicole, and in 2010 with “Satellite“, performed by Lena. As one of the “Big Five” along with the UK, France, Spain, and Italy, they get an automatic “bye” advance to the Grand Final every year.

Here’s the official music video: enjoy!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM next week!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Qami” by Sevak Khanagyan, Armenia

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Today’s song is the official entry from Armenia, “Qami” by Sevak Khanagyan, written by Sevak Khanagyan, Anna Danielyan, and Viktorya Maloyan. The song is performed in Armenian. Like a number of performers before him from various countries, Khanagyan came to prominence via competitions on TV; he was a contestant on Russia’s version of The Voice in 2015 and also won X-Factor Armenia in 2016.

The song is a slowly building ballad, and has a ton of power behind it, as Khanagyan’s voice powers through several different levels of the song. Although it’s not unheard of for songs in a language other than English or Spanish to hit the American charts, it IS a rarity, thus I am not too sure of this song’s US chart chances.

Armenia has participated in EuroVision eleven times since debuting in 2006, and has yet to land a win in the contest; they have finished as high as fourth, which has happened twice, in 2008 and 2014. The entry will be performed as the 16th song in the first semi-final on May 8th.

Here’s the official music video: enjoy, but fair warning – the flashing and spinning at the end of the video was making me a bit queasy…no joke…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM next week!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

Rex Manning and Co heads for the Great White Way – “Empire Records” becoming Broadway musical

I don’t know whether to be jumping for joy or running for the hills scared to death – Deadline.com is reporting that the 1995 cult classic “Empire Records” is being groomed as a Broadway musical to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary in 2020…(T-T TWENTY F-F-FIVE YEARS?!? ::Gasp:: MY HEART!!)

The film told the story of a harried day in the life of a group of close knit employees of a large mom and pop record store in Jersey, when washed up pop star Rex Manning was coming for a signing after revitalizing his career with a George Michael like career revival. The film barely got a release, and got horrible notices from the snooty film critic community, but the fans embraced it, and time has been very kind to the critics’ reaction as well. At the time I was working in a record store, and ALL of the employees immediately embraced it for its realistic situations, its off the wall sense of humor, and its stellar soundtrack.

The film helped launch the careers of Liv Tyler, Ethan Embry (then known as Ethan Randall), Renee Zellweiger, Robin Tunney, Johnny Whitworth, Debi Mazar, and Rory Cochrane, and also starred Anthony LaPaglia, Coyote Shivers, James “Kimo” Wills, Brendan Sexton III, and of course, Maxwell Caulfield as Rex Manning.

Deadline reports that the film is being developed for Broadway by producer Bill Weiner, who’ll work with the film’s original writer Carol Heikkinen, with new music and lyrics by Zoe Sarnak, the 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant winner for her upcoming musical Afterwords.

All I know is that the new music for the show better damn well leave “Sugarhigh” alone…it’s one of the best numbers in the film, it’s a shame the recorded version doesn’t have Zellweiger’s vocals on it as well, as it does in the film…

We’ll keep you posted…I know I can’t wait for this…I think….just don’t screw it up, please…

EuroVision ’18 Song By Song: “Crazy” by Franka, Croatia

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually in random order, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Today’s song is the official entry from Croatia, “Crazy” by Franka, written by Franka Batelic and Branimir Mihaljevic. According to Wikipedia, Franka says she had written three different songs to enter in this year’s contest, and selected “Crazy” because she felt “it was the only right choice’.

The song, a scorching mid-tempo, torchy love song, sounds like what you might get if you crossed Celine Dion with Beyonce; it’s an excellent choice as an entry, and I like it quite a lot. It definitely has the feel that most US hits of this type of song. Will we see it make the charts in the US?

Croatia has participated in EuroVision off and on since making their debut in 1993, and has yet to land a win in the contest; they have finished as high as fourth, which has happened twice, in 1996 and 1999. The entry will be performed as the 12th song in the first semi-final on May 8th.

Here’s the official music video: enjoy!

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM next week!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

CountDown To EuroVision ’18: The Past Two Years

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica will have daily coverage of the days counting down to the Eurovision Song Contest 2018!

Over the next five weeks, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Today, TC has prepared playlists of his favorite songs from the two most recent contests, the only two aired thus far in the US!

Here’s the five songs from the 2016 contest that TC loved!

And the playlist of his favorites from the 2017 contest as well!

You may notice that the winner of each year is NOT among my choices…I’m sorry, neither of them did anything for me…my top pick for the winner for each year is the first video in the groups…

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites! The daily artist and song profiles will appear on each site, with some past winners and historical info coming to TKR and PlanetBM next week!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!

Countdown to EuroVision ’18: Sneak Peek

eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BibiloMusica begin their daily coverage of Eurovision Song Contest 2018 with a preview of most of the 43 songs that will be a part of this year’s contest!

Over the next five weeks, we will bring you daily previews of the contest, spotlighting each of the songs individually, where they come from, who will be performing them, and more, as well as some historical info on the contest and some of the past winners and participants.

Check out the two official videos from EuroVision below: each one highlights which songs and countries will be included in which semi-final vying for a spot in the Grand Final on May 12.

The first Semi-Final happens on May 8th, and will include the following selections:

The second semi-final happens on May 10 and will include the following selections:

Join eCinemaOne, The Kirkham Report, and Planet BiblioMusica each day through the finals on May 12 – be sure to check each site, because some of the features will be exclusive to just one of the sites!

Catch all the official EuroVision action at their official Website and on their official YouTube channel! And don’t forget to watch the show May 12 on LogoTV!