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May 22, 2006

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.

Posted by john at May 22, 2006 12:34 PM

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Christopher Davis | May 22, 2006 02:48 PM

See also the British feed with Sir Terry's intro ("it's the return of the Klingons and the orcs").

Wakboth | May 22, 2006 03:02 PM

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.)

John Scalzi | May 22, 2006 03:11 PM

Well, Wakboth, you guys have fun with it!

Timothy McClanahan | May 22, 2006 03:43 PM

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.

John Popa | May 22, 2006 04:22 PM

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

cisko | May 22, 2006 04:26 PM

Well really, Lordi is kind of GWAR meets NKOB.

cisko | May 22, 2006 04:29 PM

Sorry, NKOTB. Now I've ruined my boy band cred. Dangit.

John Scalzi | May 22, 2006 04:33 PM

Ruining your boy band cred is a good thing, cisko.

Jan | May 22, 2006 04:54 PM

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.

Jan | May 22, 2006 04:55 PM

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

Tripp | May 22, 2006 04:57 PM


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

I liked both bits. Weird huh?

Ulrika | May 22, 2006 05:12 PM

Lordi: they're no ABBA.

Jill Smith | May 22, 2006 05:43 PM

...but... but... it's the Arockolypse!

Didn't you KNOW?

I'm partial to Jonatha Brooke's cover of "God Only Knows," myself.

Dearth Verbose | May 22, 2006 06:21 PM

"God only knows what I'd be withouchoo." Gasundheit.

Miko | May 22, 2006 09:15 PM

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

David Goldfarb | May 23, 2006 12:46 AM

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.)

John Scalzi | May 23, 2006 06:43 AM


"Er, unless, Bobby McFerrin-like, she's making all those sounds herself."

Pretty sure she is.

Yaron | May 23, 2006 07:06 AM

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.

Yaron | May 23, 2006 07:11 AM

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...

Randy | May 23, 2006 09:16 AM

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

Especially for their song "Devil is a Loser".

Dennis | May 23, 2006 11:15 AM

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?

JClark | May 23, 2006 12:20 PM

"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.

Chris Billett | May 23, 2006 03:56 PM

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.

Chang | May 25, 2006 11:17 AM

GWAR is looking for their schtick for sure.

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

jess | May 28, 2006 06:32 AM

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.

Marc | May 31, 2006 08:21 PM

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.

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