Finnish music videos from the vaults part 1: The Sugarrush & Elliot Scale

Maybe this linking of youtube videos is getting out of hand in this blog, but I’m still going to start this new section and add some old or new finnish pop videos once or twice in a week. It’s an easy & quick way to praise the bands that you love. And on the plus side I also remember to watch these videos of songs that once meant a lot to me. And well still do, because I just end up watching that Sugarrush video about ten times in a row.

 

The Sugarrush:  Stereo

The best way to start is throwing in The Sugarrush’s Stereo. A video that I’ve probably seen hundreds of times and I don’t even think that’s an exaggeration. The Sugarrush is the hardest rockin’ pop band in the world and one of my own huge favourites.  Stereo is an opening track of their second album Mirrorball Ballerinas that was released back in 2001.

The Sugarrush at myspace
 
 
Elliot Scale: Innerspace

Elliot Scale’s Innerspace featured in the Meet The Scene compilation, but unfortunately the rest of Elliot Scale’s excellent song material was never officially released, because sadly Olli Linna (aka Elliot Scale) passed away way ahead of his time in 2002. Olli Linna was a great musician, producer and an all around nice guy.  He featured in bands like Time Flies and Cartoon Tree, but Elliot Scale was his solo project. It’s a shame that he never had the chance to finish that Elliot Scale material, because he had a lot of great pop songs. I lost those mp3s in a hard drive failure few years back, but thankfully Innerspace is still available at youtube.

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Emitt Rhodes

emitt

Just before hitting the sack, myspace alerted me with a friend request from Emitt Rhodes Band. It appears to be that Emitt Rhodes is back in the studio making new  music. Other big news is that there is also a documentary coming out and last but not least. Universal is planning to release a four cd box set of Emitt’s solo albums. Now that would be worth of one of those onechord.net imaginary culture awards. Emitt was a truly magnificent pop songwriter (often compared to Paul McCartney) in the early seventies and especially his self-titled album is a true classic.  Unfortunately most of his records are nowadays out of print. Is there anything other available than Rev-Ola’s The Merry-Go-Round best of that has The American Dream as a bonus (The Merry-Go-Round was Emitt’s band before solo career. That is excellent stuff as well). Therefore it has been a struggle to get hold  of these masterpieces. I’m actually still missing the Farewell To Paradise album. I sincerely hope that plans of the box set are true and some myspace geek isn’t just winding me up. It would be about time to let newer pop generations learn the greatness of Emitt Rhodes.


The Emitt Rhodes Band at myspace

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Recent love affairs with records: Tinted Windows & Alela Diane

tinted

A power pop record of the year 2009? Well that’s too early to say, but this really is a wonderful pop record. Tinded Windows is obviously the new band where pop legends Adam Schlesinger, James Iha and Bun E. Carlos have joined forces with Taylor Hanson. Self-titled debut has been out now for few weeks and it’s getting rather mixed reviews. For me it’s hard to understand why popmatters gave this 2 out of 10 and said it might be the worst release of the year so far. Heck, if this high energy pop blast is the worst of the year, it must be one hell of a year. Sure this might be just whole lot of fun packed into simple, energic pop songs about the girls they either have, have lost or are only dreaming about, but exactly when did that become a bad thing. For example Messing With My Head is just one gorgeous pop song with a real killer chorus. Where’s that Taylor Hanson fansite? I wanna join in. Oh, and when mentioning James Iha every self-respecting pop snob has to say that James Iha’s solo debut Let It Come Down is a fantastic album (for example better than anything The Smashing Pumpkins ever did, not that I have anything against Smashing Pumpkins) and please James make another solo album.

Tinted Windows website
Tinted Windows at myspace

Alela

And then something completely different. After being entertained by Tinted Windows, it’s time to let Alela Diane’s amazing voice carry you into the most beautiful surroundings. Be still and be captivated. Alela Diane is a true great among folk artists. She has found some masterful way to make this highly artistic music be so easily accessible. As you well know, I’m a rather simple boy (that Tinted Windows praising being a good example) and my problem with folk chanteusses often is that eventhough I appreciate the artistic value of it, I just find myself getting bored in the long run. Joanna Newsom is a prime example. As much as I would like to love her, I just have to admit that I don’t. But Alela Diane. I love her. That acoustic beauty of the songs. Those amazing vocal melodies. Like hugs wrapped around your heart. To Be Still. Alela Diane. An incredible album.

Alela Diane at myspace

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The Lucksmiths call it quits

lucksmiths on a ferry

A few hours after writing that previous entry about those two australian pop bands, I stumbled upon the website of The Lost and Lonesome Recording Co and some sad news from the australian pop front hit my heart. The Lucksmiths have decided to break up next fall after a farewell tour.

They’ve been around for a long time and done more than their share in the holy quest of filling the world with perfect pop songs. They can fully enjoy their retirement after such a career, but it’s still hard not to feel sad when we lose one of the most consistent performers in the pop field. None of their records failed to deliver and they were always on the top of their game. Now they are ready to enter the indie pop hall of fame (or should I say hall of no fame but an incredible amount of wonderful pop songs) and I’m ready to take a game misconduct for using hockey jargon in an entry dedicated to the legendary australian pop group The Lucksmiths. Shame on me. I’ll leave you with one of my own favourite The Lucksmith songs Untidy Towns.
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The Lucksmiths website

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Crayon Fields (aus) & The Motifs (aus) at Dynamo, Turku 14.05.2009

Thursday will be an exciting day in Turku. First, Inter-TPS football derby at Kupittaa and then two great australian pop bands hit the stage at Dynamo. I really loved Crayon Fields’s debut album Animal Bells back in 2006. I gave it 4 1/2 hearts back then and it appeared as #11 on albums of the year 2006 list. So I’m definitely excited about this concert. The fact that their new songs might be even greater does not exactly make my expectations lower. This is wonderful dreamy and sugary pop music. In my Animal Bells review I apparently jumped to the feared namedropping mode and threw in names like The Heavy Blinkers, Ashley Park, High Llamas, The Zombies, The Beach Boys, Harry Nillsson. Was I getting carried away. Maybe, but a bad reviewer like yours truly just couldn’t find a way to describe Geoff O’Connor’s greatness. Years haven’t made me a better reviewer, but Geoff has gotten even better as a songwriter. Here’s a new song:
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Crayon Fields at myspace

The Motifs
is also an excellent group if you happen to like sweet indie pop like Pipas, The Softies etc and I definitely do. I’m really looking forward to thursday.

The Motifs at myspace

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