A Musical Dichotomy

Finally got a chance to catch the Eurovision performance of Finnish band Lordi’s “Hard Rock Hallelujah,” which won that particular musical contest, proving without a doubt — if there still was one — that This is Spinal Tap was not comedy, it was prophecy.

To clean your brain, here’s Petra Haden’s lovely acapella version of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows.” You’ll need it.

26 Comments on “A Musical Dichotomy”

  1. Compared to and contrasted with the rest of the performances (mostly nauseatingly generic Europop odes to co-dependent love), Lordi’s intentionally over-the-top monster rock style couldn’t help but win: you’d need more than that (admittedly very nice) song to clean your brains after listening to that sludge. :)

    (I’m a Finn, and incredibly biased in favor of Lordi; we haven’t won the Eurovision contest in forty years, and I, for one, intend to gloat about it for the next few months at least.)

  2. Speaking of strange musical performances – you should do a search for the UK Uekelele Orchestra’s version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

    The vocals mean it’s nowhere near as good as Tori Amos’ cover, but the music is actually very nice.

  3. Um, we’ve had GWAR over here for a long time now. Did no one tell Finland?

  4. I thought a capella meant without accompaniment? If I’m not mistaken, there’s a full range of background instrumentation on that song.

    Nice tune, though.

  5. Er, unless, Bobby McFerrin-like, she’s making all those sounds herself. In which case, the drum noises are particularly impressive.

  6. Wow.

    There truly is no such thing as “excess” when it comes to art.

    I liked both bits. Weird huh?

  7. …but… but… it’s the Arockolypse!

    Didn’t you KNOW?

    I’m partial to Jonatha Brooke’s cover of “God Only Knows,” myself.

  8. The Eurovision Song Contest is the only place where Lordi could ever be the most tasteful thing around.

  9. I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the Lithuanian entry. Their song was rather silly, but you have to give them points for chutzpah.

    (In case anyone who watches the link wonders, they came in 6th.)

  10. Jan:

    “Er, unless, Bobby McFerrin-like, she’s making all those sounds herself.”

    Pretty sure she is.

  11. I was discussion this latest Eurovision with a friend, who said that the obvious winner of this European song contest is the superior American culture.

    There really are some good bands, singers, songs, etc, from many countries who are also Eurovision participants. But it’s very rare for one of them to actually become a participant.
    And this year was worse than most.

  12. Err, that was supposed to be “discussing”, not “discussion”.
    Spell-checkers work fine, now for a working grammar checker, and then a working logic checker…

  13. From the music I heard on Lordi’s website, Alice Cooper should demand royalties on that.

    Especially for their song “Devil is a Loser”.

  14. John, don’t fear the day of rockening!
    The live version is not as good as the
    Plus, zombie cheerleaders! Who doesn’t love that?

  15. “I thought a capella meant without accompaniment? If I’m not mistaken, there’s a full range of background instrumentation on that song.”

    Nope, that’s all her, and just her voice, no instruments. She records herself imitating each instrument and layers them over each other. I have one of her CDs, Imaginaryland, where she does all classical style arrangements this way. Some were done manually on a four track recorder. It’s quite amazing, actually.

  16. David Goldfarb: I clicked comment to do exactly that! I loved the Lithuanian entry… not at first, I loathed it, but as soon as the [pardon the use of a useful defining characteristic but] bald and older aged man on the left starts dancing! Oh, sweet mother of all that is musically talented, that was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. Haha.

    Also; Lordi = ‘for teh win’. Brilliant. They were designed for viral distribution via YouTube and blogs! Fame was obvious from the start. Haha.

    Great soccer.

  17. GWAR is looking for their schtick for sure.

    Seems Finland is forgetting Rule # 6: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

  18. The spinal tap allusion was right on the money. I know that Lordi was supposed to be the alternative to sappy pop music but that was just as cheesy as most croonny love songs. Very amusin.

  19. Lordi wasn’t too bad, actually. Musically, they sound more Metallica/Maiden than GWAR, and that’s a good thing.
    Actually, for a pretty decent US band with a similar costumes gimmick, check the Darkest of the Hillside Thickets, who do songs based around the Cthulhu Mythos.