Playlist for a night run
Participating in the Helsinki Midnight Run has become a nice way of celebrating the end of the summer. It’s a ten kilometres run through the city centre as the night falls, and today will be my fifth participation. Even though, running without the purpose of going somewhere can be considered a pointless activity, it is an excuse to spend some time to make a playlist. Below you can see the tunes I’ll be listening between 9-10pm tonight while running through the city.
This time I decided to start with some neo-psychedelic sounds (Tame Impala, Unknown Mortal Orchestra) to build up momentum for some power up rockers (Queens of The Stone Age, Pearl Jam, The Black Keys) before wrapping it up with two sweet mid tempos. In the middle, as a transition, there’s a lengthy, groovy jam by the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, which should keep me entertained for over a couple of kilometers.
Rosvot turns one: What am I doing here?
Hooray! The Rosvot gang turns one year and we are celebrating the first anniversary with a series of posts in which these bandits turned writers face nostalgia and recount their beginnings as music bloggers. Myself, being one of the oldest members of the gang, I will not dare to try remembering my first attempts at music blogging because there were too many, too embarrassing. I will just say that Glue started in 2009 with a bunch of interviews to a diversity of artists and those adventurous readers can dig in the archive over glue.fi.
For over five years now, I have been that weird foreigner keeping an eye on the music made in Finland, primarily by upcoming new bands. I could say that I had the dream of being on the tour bus singing Tiny Dancer with the band, but the only reason for blogging about Finnish artists is the music. There is a lot of talent and good music done in this little cold country and I’m glad to spread the word. Go and listen to it, go and see the shows.
But since we are in a nostalgic mood, let me remember the first time I heard a Finnish band, consciously knowing that they were from Finland. This is not a very original fact, but that band was, of course, Hanoi Rocks, whose video appeared on music tv one summer night in the late nineties. During the first years of university, I spent summer breaks staying up late at a friend’s house, drinking cheap beer, watching music videos and arguing whether Rory Gallagher was a better guitar player than Jimi Hendrix. What else a bunch of 19 years old guys would do with too much time in their hands and little money in their pockets? I can’t remember how many times we watch The Song Remains The Same (movie scenes included) or the bootleg video of Guns N’ Rose Live at the Ritz -arguably the coolest rock show ever filmed, but at the end of the summer, the videotapes were worn out. YouTube would not come until a few years later and those tapes were our most valuable musical treasure.
We had the tapes and we had MTV and VH1, which at that time they still showed music and had killer rock programmes late at night. We had to watch Bon Jovi’s Always too many times, but usually every night there would be some other cool videos from other glam rock bands. One of those nights, there it was: Don’t You Ever Leave Me by Hanoi Rocks. It was glorious. The clip was hair metal at its best, from the shot of Razzle pointing out his drumstick at the camera to the beautiful androgynous blonde singer. One guitar player looked rockabilly while the other seemed to have fallen into the gutter. The song was classic, a power ballad with the punch of a punk song and made clear were Guns N’ Roses had found a good deal of inspiration. Once seen, the video and the song could not be forgotten.
After watching that video, I located Finland in the music map, and soon after that I got to know The Flaming Sideburns, another Finnish band that released one of the three greatest albums of the high-energy, garage rock, Scandinavian rock wave at the end of the 1990s. The Flaming Sideburns had tight connections with Madrid and Spain though the label and promoters, so it felt natural to get interested in the music Finnish scene.
At that point, I could not imagine that I would move to Finland, but more than a decade later here I am. During these years, I even got the chance to meet both Michael Monroe and Eduardo Martinez and write stories about them. But it might be better to leave these stories for the second anniversary.
Happy birthday, rosvot!
Mirel Wagner – The Dirt
By now you may know that folk singer Mirel Wagner writes gloomy, dark lyrics, often dealing with death, and you may also know that she performs them in a sparse, lo-fi manner, often not requiring more than her whispering voice and a few notes of her acoustic guitar. Now the singer also visualises her own songs as she co-directed with Aki Roukala the video for her latest single The Dirt. You guessed it. The clip also has a grim, spooky feel, set in an abandoned house where the spirits of a mother and a child seem to rest. This is not Saturday night music, but the songs are timeless as well-aged blues and folk.
The singer latest album When The Cellar Children See The Light Of Day is out now on Sub Pop.
Flannelmouth – Forgotten Tapes
Flannelmouth have adorned the Helsinki music scene for some time now with pretty, elegant indie pop as their two outstanding albums testify. Finally back with the first taste of a new album, the band is embracing a more straightforward, guitar-driven sound, leaving behind the extended sound palette of previous recordings. With a catchy chorus, Forgotten Tapes is pretty rocking song but Tuomo Kuusi’s vocals retain their charismatic melancholy to keep the band’s self-imposed label of optimistic drep-pop.
Flannelmouth’s third album is set to be out later in the autumn.
Check out the video directed by Finn Andersson and see the lonely vocalist singing to old tape recorder.
Flow Festival: 10 Finnish acts to see
Festival goers, make yourselves pretty, this weekend it’s Flow time. The festival located between gasometers at an old power plant in Suvilahti has become in Helsinki’s most important summer festival -at least for non metalheads, and it is a great showcase opportunity for Finnish bands.
Check out below the ten must-see Finnish acts playing at Flow this year.
After nearly ten years together, Turku band Magenta Skycode will call it quits at the of this year. Their precious dreamy sounds will shine once again at Flow festival before a final show later in the year.
With her second album about to hit the stores, songtress Mirel Wagner returns to Flow and gets a prime time slot at the beautiful Balloon 360° stage under the night sky. In such a setting, her strip-down folk tales will create a magical and emotional show.
Riitaoja reunites a bunch of experienced Finnish musicians got together last year and released a collection of shivery songs, rooted in dark blues and folk.
Earlier this year, Regina’s singer Iisa Pykäri released her debut solo album, which is a laid-back electro pop affair with sweet beautiful melodies.
Finnish-Nigerian rapper Noah Kin was one of the most acclaimed acts at last year’s Open Source Stage, so this year he returns to Flow to present his latest release Now You See in a bigger stage. Future hip hop star in the making.
After being forced to cancel a few shows earlier this year due to health reasons, it is a great joy to see Astrid Swan return to the stage at Flow Festival. The piano-driven pop songs of her last album Astrid4 will sound playful again.
Labelled as punk-jazzers, the trio Mopo are too much fun to miss. Saxophonist Linda Fredriksson leads the way supported by a smoking in-your-face rhythm section.
The apocalypse post-punk of Beastmilk is one of the most hard-rocking offers at Flow. The band is spending most of this year on the road presenting their debut album Climax, so the guys should be in pretty good form to offer an epic show before the world ends.
Jaakko Eino Kalevi
Once a tram driver, electro-pop artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi has been releasing plenty of music for some years and he finally attracted some good attention with his latest release, the Dreamzone EP, which contains the enchanting and dreamy single No End. Following his gig at Flow, everything is line up to hit big with his debut album, out soon.
The hipsterest of the all the hipsters. Gim Kordon shook the Helsinki underground scene this spring with their 90s inspired alternative rock. Like Dinosaur Jr and The Lemonheads singing in Finnish.