This is the blog for Matt Hollingsworth. I'm from Ojai, California. I've worked in comics for 22 years as a color artist.

This blog will largely be used to show my daily life as I live in Samobor, Croatia and as I travel around the region. Lots and lots of photos! Leave me a comment, will you?

All content on this blog is copyright 2013 Matthew Dale Hollingsworth and cannot be copied or used for any purpose without my consent.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Before I moved to Croatia, I had never heard of the Eurovision music contest. And I suspect most Americans have never heard of it.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, Eurovision is a music contest in Europe. Each country selects who they want to send to represent them. And then there's an overall contest between European countries. But, by saying "Europe", it's stretching the boundaries a bit as Israel, Turkey and some other questionable countries are included. Nothing wrong with those countries, but to say that Israel is part of Europe is a bit strange. Anyway, it's sort of like American Idol is for Americans I guess. When you watch, you can then vote for whatever country but cannot vote for your own, either by text message or phone call.

We missed most of Tuesday's runoff but saw maybe 5 acts. And ALL of them were fucking horrible. There were around 20 on Tuesday and 20 on Thursday. 10 are selected each day to go forward to the Saturday final. We watched all of Thursday when Croatia had their turn.

It's sort of sad to watch because so much of the music is really horrible crap. Really, really horrible. Most of the countries choose some extremely cheesy dance music. And most of them sing in English. What the fuck? Latvia had their guys dressed up like fucking pirates singing about being pirates and in English. They're the new Village People! I suspect they'll have a gay dance hit in northern Europe. Lithuania had, by far, the worst music of the night. It was one guy singing. He looked like some weird sort of heavy metal Michael Bolton, singing a ballad called "Nomads in the Night", while accompanied by weird Joe Satriani type guitar. Finland was on Tuesday and had their usual speed metal sort of act. They were funny but at least it wasn't someone trying to be fucking Whitney Houston or something.

The competition takes place in Serbia, which I think is good. Last year Serbia won, though I didn't watch. From what I've heard, and what I've read, the Balkans countries banded together in voting and people were happy that Serbia won, even here in Croatia. I think this is good. Serbia's having a rough time at the moment, so anything that can get spirits up can't be so bad, eh?

Strangely enough, I actually like Croatia's entry. It's genuinely representative of some music from this country. Most other entries seem really western and seem just like crappy dance music that doesn't really represent the culture of the country they come from. They seem more to be pandering to what they think people want to hear and what might increase their chances of winning. Well fuck all of that. The Croatian entry really sounds good and sounds genuine. I've seen the old guy in the video playing music on the streets in the center of Zagreb, accompanied by an accordion player (locally called a harmonica). And he's great. In the act they played on stage, he was funny too. He was like this ancient Balkan rapper. During the act they had an old record player with the giant funnel for the speaker, that sort of thing (phonograph?). And at the end he went up and was scratching on it.

They were great. I suspect that they could even have a chance in the long run because really, on this crappy show they're a breath of fresh air.

We couldn't vote for Croatia, though. So we voted for Turkey. They had a halfway decent rock act. It wasn't the usual crappy dance music either and they sang in Turkish and had some real Turkish flavor mixed into the rock. So there you go.

Croatia and Turkey both made it to the final round on Saturday.

Here's the video for the Croatian act:

And here's the actual video from the Eurovision contest with the old guy scratching at the end:


Bastardo Serioso said...

Ha! I remember Eurovision from when I was a kid and, from the way you describe it--cheesy metal/dance acts singing in bad English with outdated Satriani solos--it hasn't changed much in 20 years.

And the Croatian act was pretty sweet (even with the slick production). I want the gentleman in white to preside over my marriage to the lady in red...

Matt Hollingsworth said...

Yeah, I love the old guy. He's a character.

There were SOME good acts, but it was like 75% horrible. I'll be watching the finals tonight as I work towards my tuesday morning deadlines on both Daredevil and my FINAL issue of Iron Fist.

Also, for those wondering, Eurovision has been around since the 1950s, so it predates American Idol by 50 odd years.

Dec said...

Ahhhh the Eurovision. The jewel in the crown of Europe..........

..............well, not really.

It's a camp shambles that does nothing but make me cringe. Ireland actually won the conetst seven times (including three times in a row in the 90s)

Sorry you went throught the toture of watcin the bloody thing.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff - unmissable craptastic start to finish! And best of all we (UK) came last because everyone hates us! Yeah! - Mike (mpd57)

Matt Hollingsworth said...

I missed the final. I see the Russia won. Wow. They SUCKED.

My girlfriend and I were going on a walk to grab dinner up the hill. Bit of a hike. But we had it timed to arrive back and watch the final. Then the phone rang and Esad asked if I wanted to grab a beer.

Beer wins out over Eurovision every time.

Domigorgon said...

I would have to agree that we finally chose a good representative at Eurovision... the previous years were just catastrophic. "Kraljevi ulice" were even better with that song from two or three years ago, but lost to Severina or some such crap.

And metal acts weren't usual at all until Finland surprised everybody with Lordi. But now the novelty has worn off, I guess... people who make good music usually have little to do with Eurovision. :D