Scones and (Creepy) Swedes

I’m not a fan of Eric Saade (read: “Creepy Swedish Guy”) and his Mello entries. IMO the songs have an okay/decent instrumental with overly-repetitive lyrics, which means the only good time to hear them is at work when I don’t want to pay attention to my manager or obnoxious customers. Or maybe when someone wants to analyze how he managed to pull a Carola (3rd, 1st, 5th). His non-Mello entries aren’t that different. They’re still radio-friendly entries to keep people from falling asleep on the bus. I wouldn’t download his albums, but I do listen to his song “Hotter than Fire” at work to deal with stupid scones that belong in southern Sweden (Yes this was a lame Skåne/Scone pronunciation joke).

I probably listen to it at work due to the lame coincidence that a) I wear a red shirt at work that’s long enough to be a dress and b) the lyrics mention a red dress. The shirt’s covered by an apron caked with frosting because I work in a bakery and have to frost (or as they say at work, “massage”) scones. After putting them into boxes of 8, I take my gloves off and close the boxes with bare hands, because it would be a disaster if a customer got frosting on their hands if they picked up a box of scones. But even though there are only a total of 192 scones in the kitchen, there’s always a customer who can’t find the muffins even though they are standing a meter in front of them and another who complains that the cakes suck. Eventually there’s 2.5 hours left to closing and it takes 3 hours to clean. I might as well find a song that picks up my mopping speed so I can get out in time.

If I can get out of the bakery, I’ll be really happy. No more scones!


30 Days of Eurovision Challenge- Day 26


Prompt: A song which you prefer studio over live

When I took physics class over the summer, the sound the projector made when the professor turned it on reminded me of the first note of Germany’s 2013 entry, “Glorious” by Cascada (yes of “Everytime we touch” fame). It reminded me of how much I loved blasting it in the shower and how much the song got reduced to bottom 5 after three consecutive top 10 placings.

Though the song did appear in a lot of YouTubers’ top 10 of XX ESC songs of 2013 when it won Unser Song für Malmö,“Glorious” was too long for the 3-minute performance limit, and they had to get rid of 30 seconds in order for SVT to not yank them offstage once time was up. Since there wasn’t a very good place to obviously cut anything, the German delegation decided to simply hack off pieces here and there and hope that no one would notice.

It didn’t work. Add on some slightly off-key backing vocalists, and the result was 18 points and 21st place.

Simply reminding me of the song didn’t help though. I still fell asleep in class.

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30 Days of Eurovision Challenge- Day 25

Prompt: A song you prefer live over studio

I’m choosing the Common Linnets’ “Calm After the Storm”, and it’s not just because angry birds are going to attack me if I don’t.

When the song first debuted in its acoustic form, I wasn’t the only person who simply thought, “What?” Compared to all the other upbeat entries or ballads, “Calm After the Storm” sounded like it didn’t have very much power. And if Anouk could only get 9th place the year before, were the Common Linnets even going to qualify?

This continued until the semifinals, when they combined the story in the song with visuals, so that the emotion was still there even if the sound was turned off. The odds shortened from bottom 5 to top 5. And they eventually got 1st in their semi and 2nd overall in the contest.

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30 Days of Eurovision Challenge- Day 24


Prompt: Your favourite national final entry

Picking a favourite NF entry is as hard as picking a Eurovision entry. But since I’m still on my Mello fix, it’s probably going to come from Sweden. As of right now (at least for the 20 minutes that I’m writing this post), it’s “Jalla Dansa Sawa” by Behrang Miri from 2013, a.k.a. the entry with all the selfies.

I didn’t watch Melodifestivalen back in 2013, but now that I can watch reruns, “Jalla Dansa Sawa” should have beat Anton Ewald’s “Begging” in Andra Chansen. (Then again, Loreen’s 18x douze pointe win the year before meant a bunch of non-Mello fans voted in 2013, so thanks random Swedish voters). While “Begging” was a typical Melodifestivalen song that upheld the “32 schlagers or One Direction rejects, 90% of which are written by G:Son/Kempe/Ljunggren/Böstrom,” Behrang Miri’s rapping about immigration policy was something different. The translated lyrics were coherent and not just about the 4856th breaking up/falling in LAFS on the radio. And even if I didn’t want to pay close attention to the lyrics, I could relax and jam to the beat in the car.

As of so far, I’ve managed to learn how to stumble through the first verse. Now all I have to do is convince someone that rapping about Swedish immigration policy is beneficial to [insert company here].

Want to see the rest of the 30 Day Challenge posts? Click here to find the rest of the entries.

Mello Fix? Hello Stockholm!

I’ve been having a Mello-fix to get rid of Post-Eurovision Depression. (Or is it just depression, since I’ve been constantly feeling like a zombie when I don’t pump music into my ears, and that’s ≥ 23 hours a day.) Anyways, I’ve been listening to Melodifestivalen entries whenever I get a chance to listen to anything. Most of the time it’s from the this/last year’s NFs, especially 2015’s Semi 2 direct-til-finale qualifiers: Mariette’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Magnus Carlsson’s “Möt Mig i Gamla Stan.”

No relation whatsoever to Journey, and a great pick-me-up from the haters

Viral sign language interpreter included!

And then there’s also Mr. I-Won-Eurovision-But-My-Name’s-Too-Hard-For-Bloggers-To-Type-Because-Of-The-Diacritics Måns Zelmerlöw’s “Cara Mia” and “Hope and Glory.” Yes, I’m going to complain about this for months because I’m too lazy to download a Swedish keyboard to simply type less than 5 words. On the other hand, I’m not complaining about standing in front of the bathroom mirror with a rice paddle trying to perfect my dance moves to Cara Mia in case there’s an emergency Your Face Sounds Familiar.

Since the most played Mello song on my phone right now is probably Möt Mig i Gamla Stan, I wish I could say that the song influenced SVT to choose the Ericsson Globe (which hosted Eurovision 2000 and the 2002-2012 Mello finals) in Stockholm, Sweden. Now would anyone like to sponsor a broke uni student from the USA to go?

Step by step, up the hill

A while ago I was here at Mont Royal Park, which is a great place to see the city of Montreal from a distance. But for people who don’t understand any French outside of “bonjour”, “croissant”, and “douze pointe,” apparently “Mont” means mountain. And for out of shape people with stupid blood that refuses to carry oxygen, that’s not a good sign. 250 meters isn’t bad if it’s a flat road, but it was a 30-35o climb up from the metro station to the top of the hill (read: cell phone tower).

Or is the cross the top of the hill? I don’t remember anymore.

I was out of breath only halfway up, while locals were running up and down the hill, shaking their heads at the few tourists at 8:00 AM who stopped to rest every 5 seconds. But after the 15-or-so flights of stairs, the path was relatively level with just a little bit of climb to get to the top. As my head finally had enough oxygen to think, I just kept thinking “take it slow, learn to run, step by step, one by one.” It felt really stupid concentrating on a Melfest entry in order to not panic, but eventually (read: 35 minutes later) the summit was in view.

On a completely unrelated note, does Rickard Söderberg look a bit like Mario Batali wearing a trench coat and make-up?