Just a friendly reminder that the cultural abomination that is the ESC grand finals, are going off on Saturday. For those of you who don’t know what this is here’s a briefing:
Each european country that has anything to do with Eurovision (the company), sends a 3 minute song to the international finals. This is done slightly different in some countries, but it’s all done with voting, so songwriters are just busting out every popular trick in the book to get their song through. This results in mainly eurodance songs with a simple beat, catchy melody repeated over 20 times (often hidden to create the brainwassh effect), of course with a modulation at the end (sometimes more than one). There’s also a huge stage-show, often combined with lightly dressed women and pyrotechnics.
There’s some funny rules that have gone in and out of this contest. Before 1973, song lyrics had to be in an official language of the represented country. Before you also had full secrecy surrounding the songs, this is of course gone with the internet being around and all.
Way back, all the instrumentals were played by a house-orchestra that you would hand sheets to, now EVERYTHING APART FROM VOCALS is on a backing-track. This means that every instrumentalst on stage is just a mime. The fun part of this is that the vocals have to be live and not pitch-corrected, which means backgroud chorus singers, and people singing off key.
This is a festival of insanely shallow stage-shows, bad music and endless laughs. This is probably the only time you will be able to see an accordeon with strobelights in it (yes this happened once, possible more).
The thing will be streamed on www.eurovision.net
Some notable songs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nJcmLMb5to - Last years winner. Pretty catchy eurodance.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXwgZL4zx9o - As a Norwegian I have to post this. Current record-holder for most points. THe winning formula of combining national traditions with an artist of Belarus descent. This guy is an educated violin virtuoso, he also happens to be a terrible pop-musician. Also pyrotechnics
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juaaUoH-3LM - This is a weird reggaeton parody song, note the dancer falling at some point
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECyeUYsU14E - I had to do this.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2JlE-z-hpA - This is an obscure gem from 1973, the first year in which everyone could sing in English. Also from the era where every instrument had to be played live. This ORIGINAL EPIC SAX GUY is stuck on playing the tambourine, so he tries to make the best of the 20 seconds of solo he gets.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAh9NRGNhUU - Also from Finland. This is self-explanatory. See how the title of the video says “Winner”? Yeah.