Posts Tagged ‘finland’

when-the-doves-disappeared

I just finished reading Sofi Oksanen’s new book “When The Doves Disappeared”. “When the Doves Disappeared” is a story of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Estonia during and after World War II. The novel follows the experiences of three characters: Roland, a principled independence fighter; his cousin Edgar, who will do almost anything to hide his secrets and maintain his connection to those in power; and Edgar’s wife Juudit, who is buffeted in turns by her love for a German officer, her fear of returning to her unhappy, unconsummated marriage, and her bond with the idealistic Roland.

The book is based on historical facts and switches between 1940’s and 1960’s. The biggest character is Edgar who is willing to do anything to stay in power and who collaborates with Germans in the beginning of WWII and then with Russians who also invade Estonia. Edgar hides all traces of him collaborating with Germans and starts to collaborate with Russians delivering to them lists of people who collaborated with the Germans. He is married to Juudit but in fact Edgar is homosexual. Edgar is a master at forging documents and making up backup stories. And he is also very paranoid about being discovered who he really is. Roland is a true Estonian man – brave, honest and loyal to his own country, he saves people when he can and has principles. Juudit is a complex character because she is unhappily married to a wrong man, then she starts an affair with a high German officer and then has a strong bond with Roland also. She also has a drinking problem and she stays with Edgar until the end.

This book is catchy because with every chapter you get a little piece of a puzzle and you just want to get the whole picture together and keep on reading. It’s also a complex story that switches through time and needs thinking along when reading. The ending is surprising and confusing at the same time. I think the reader must draw his/her own conclusion in the end.  I liked the story, I found the characters interesting and I had a lot to think about when I finished the book.

Here are some other reviews about Oksanens new book:

Oksanen masterfully constructs her world; paranoia and fear drip like sweat from the pages.

—   Me Naiset (Finland)

When the Doves Disappeared is powerful and convincing. Oksanen lives up to all the expectations… Oksanen unites political history, micro history, and fiction in an intelligent way. She explores how human kind adapts to ever-changing circumstances.
— MTV3 (Finland)

Sofi Oksanen’s new novel was worth waiting for… As in her previous works, the personal is strongly political also here. The individual, who is torn in the crossfire between different ideologies, crouches in the wings that conceal secrets, shame and fear. Although certain decisions can have terrifying consequences, they are not necessarily a result of evil. A betrayal can be the only route to survival. Oksanen is a master at rendering people in precisely those circumstances.
— Kaleva (Finland)

I definitely recommend this book. It’s something different 🙂

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Day 6 –  a person you’d like to change places with for a day.

NIGHTWISH

RAMMSTEIN

I would like to change places with the manager of Nightwish (Ewo Pohjola) or Rammstein. Then I could meet these musical geniuses, see how they work in their daily life and talk with them about music and about whatever comes into my mind.

The city of Helsinki gives out “Best of Helsinki” awards. Many times “The Best Nordic Oddity” has been Tuska Open Air Metal Festival. This year the Tuska festival that was held in the heart of Helsinki – Kaisaniemi park took place from 2nd to 4th of July. And this year it was a totally new experience for me. Previous years I had been just a visitor but this year I went there also as journalist and interviewer – and that was something totally new for me.

Some info and impressions about the festival can be heard from the videos I made. But I wanted to add a couple of things here too.

Best performers for me in the festival: Satyricon, Swallow The Sun, Kamelot and Megadeth

The artist to whom people made the biggest moshpit: Cannibal Corpse

New finds from the festival: Hypocrisy, Blake, Turmion Kätilöt

As good as always: Tarot, Overkill, W.A.S.P, Sotajumala

Best after-Tuska party: Ronnie James Dio Memorial Gala

Organization: I was very happy with the way things were organized because everything started at time, there were security guards moving around in the festival area and on the 3rd day even some police officers – so it was felt that the environment was safe. There was a medicine tent, a little tent where you could leave your stuff (like your big bag or something like it) and they’d be watched over for a small amount of money, there were many rock shops out there so you could also buy band shirts, belts, hats and everything. This year there was also this military kind of tent where you could buy military related stuff.

The food and drink: as always you could bring your own food and drink along. I actually did not do it. When I wanted something I went and bought it from the many food and drink places that were there. But many Finns had brought their own stuff.

The venue itself: festival area consisted of three stages: Radio Rock main stage, Inferno side-stage and Sue side-stage. I’ve always thought that the two side-stages are a bit small and they are too “shed-like”. That’s why in a way I understand that next year they want to hold the festival in a new and bit bigger place – Suvilahti. This place is still in Helsinki but just not in the centre part of the town. I understand why they want to change the venue but still I like Kaisaniemi park. Our hotel was quite close to the park, many rock pubs and clubs are close to Kaisaniemi and even rock shops are near there. But Suvilahti is farther away. But we’ll see next year how they will pull this off. As they say – don’t judge something if you haven’t been there yourself. A big plus this year: they added a big screen next to the main stage and there where camera men who recorded the performances so people could see better what was happening on the stage.

People: as always Finns are known for two things – being very friendly and being totally drunk. Both of these “qualities” were present in that festival too. The drinking did not bother me – it’s a festival, you come there to have fun and as long as you are not disturbing other people around you it’s your business. And I always highly appreciate the friendliness of the Finns – when you ask them something they are always willing to help and they are always willing to share with you things. And of course they know how to have a good time. What I appreciate also is the fact that when a band comes to the stage the Finns already have hands in the air and they are cheering for the band. To make a comparison – in Estonia it takes a bit more time for the people to really get into the music. But the Finns get into the music the very first second a band steps on the stage. And in my opinion – that’s a really good thing.

Most negative aspect: as I said in the video – the overly hot and sunny weather. We got sun burnt and it was not so fun, on the last day I had to have a scarf over my shoulders. But the organizers were keeping the crowd safe – during the gigs they turned on the water sprinklers and spread the water over the people – in that way they prevented the people getting sunstroke. They also handed out for free Dr.Pepper and some kind of other energy drink.

Best experience on a personal level: meeting with the members of Swallow The Sun, Satyricon and Megadeth. I’ve been looking up to these people and I finally got to meet them, interview them and get a short glimpse of what kind of people they are in everyday life.

My overall judgment for the festival: definitely 5/5. The Finns just know how to make a good and memorable festival. And it really is the best Nordic oddity.

ALL THE INTERVIEWS ARE UP AT THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

http://www.freemagazine.fi

http://heavymetalnewsweekly.webs.com

Here are the videos about Tuska Open Air 2010:

Well, I’m writing about Eurovision. Again. I once promised that I’m not writing about it because it’s a load of crap. But it’s a strange thing this Eurovision. I know lots of people who say to me every year that they are not watching it and after they tell me detailed recap of the show. To those of you who don’t know – Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest broadcast  tv-show in the world that is held every year by the country that wins that years competition. I have been watching Eurovision more closly since 1998. So, I thought I’d bring out songs from 1998-2010 that I personally have liked the best. I’ve put them into two parts – first songs that I really liked and then songs that are good for just crazy-dancing or working out.

Songs that I like:

1. Latvian song from 2000 Brainstorm-My star – I was such a fan of Brainstorm and this song just suited that time of my life

2. Romanian song from 2002Monica Anghel and Marcel Pavel – Tell Me Why – both of the singers have a powerful voice and the song has a beautiful melody and good lyrics.

3. Greek song from 2002Rakintzis – S.A.G.A.P.O – this song is pretty simple actually but I like that it’s kind of electronic. And it’s catchy.

4. Norwegian song from 2003Jostein Hasselgard – I’m Not Afraid To Move On – handsome blond boy behind a piano singing – when you’re in your teens you just can’t resist it.

5. Germany’s song from 2004Max – Can’t Wait Until Tonight – beautiful song, good lyrics and great atmosphere.

6. Norway’s song from 2005Wig Wam – In My Dreams – it’s a rock song from a band that resembles Kiss. I liked it.

7. Denmark’s song from 2005Jakop Sveistrup – Talking To You – good performers, nice lyrics, good vibe.

8. Lithuanian song from 2006LT United – We Are The Winners – mocking the Eurovision a bit but in a good way. The main singer has a great rock-voice and one of the other singers looks like Wilson from House, M.D. And the bald singer rocking out – just awesome.

9. Finland 2006Lordi – Hard Rock Hallelujah – a classic. I was sure that this song is not going to win but I liked it anyway and oh the joy when Lordi truly won the competition. The best song of the Eurovision in all time (to me at least).

10. Israel 2007Teapacks – Push The Button – a political statement and good performers and a funny song that stood out from the others.

11. Iceland 2007Erikur Hauksson – Valentine Lost – a great rock ballad.

12. Czech Republic 2007 Kabat – Mala Dama – a good rock song, I especially liked the singers raspy and low voice. And good lyrics also.

13. Moldova 2007Natalia Barbu – Fight – a good combination of soft rock, violins and a great voice. Plus the lyrics about standing strong for your dreams – just a good song.

14. Finland 2007Hanna Pakarinen – Leave Me Alone – a great hard rock song, Hanna has a unique voice and brings out the emotions of the song.

15. France 2007 Fatals Picards – Amour A La Francaise – such a cool song song mixed with French and English lyrics, funny guys in the band and a fun performance.

16. Ukraine 2007Verka – Dancing Lasha Tumbai – this is a song that is weird and cool at the same time, I had seen Verka’s movie before and I knew what a funny character he-she is and the song is just catchy.

17. Finland 2008 Teräasbetoni – Missa Miehet Ratsasta – I listened to Teräsbetoni before and their entry for the competition was good.

18. Estonia 2009 Urban Symphony – Rändajad – I know I maybe should have put more Estonian songs here but to me “Rändajad” it the best Estonian Eurovision song entry ever.

19. Noway 2009Alexander Rybak – Fairytale – at first I hated this song to be honest – it was too catchy and the lyrics seemed too cheesy. But after a while I just couldn’t resist the violin parts in the song – they are awesome.

20. Turkey 2010maNga – We Could Be The Same – a great song from Turkey, has a nice melody and nice lyrics.

Songs that are good for crazy-dancing and working out:

1. Spain 2001 – David Civera – Dile Que La Quiero

2. Cyprus 2002 – One – Gimmie Gimmie

3. Turkey 2003 – Sertab Ebner – Every Way That I Can

4. Greece 2004 – Sakis Rouvas – Shake It

5. Cyprus 2005 – Constantinus Chrisoforu  – Ela Ela

These are my favorites so far. Every year I also say that it’s a pointless show and the songs are shallow but I watch it anyway. Why? I guess it’s the same as with the cat – they say that curiosity killed the cat. It’s with me also – I’m curious about what more nonsense could come, what will be the show like, why some songs work and others don’t. In a musical sense it doesn’t really give me much if I am completely honest because there are a lot of songs that don’t have a melody, don’t have any credible lyrics and the performers just leave a very bad impression. But it’s interesting  – maybe next year they have even worse singers or show. So, that’s why I watch Eurovision.

Ok, as I promised some new updates regarding “Heavy Metal News Weekly”. Last week I got a conformation letter that I got media accreditation for Tuska Open Air Metal Festival 2010. It means that I have access to the backstage area and I can do some interviews. I’m planning on doing a special report from the festival and interviews with people on the festival also. All the material will be published on my Youtube channel and on my web page, maybe some pictures here and all the interviews and the whole report of the festival will go to FREE!Magazine. Yay! I’m very excited about it since I’ve always wanted to be in the backstage area to see how things really are there and secondly I have a great opportunity to interview some awesome bands. It seems that this summer is going to be interesting and totally awesome 🙂

I also bought a new camera. So now the annoying beeping sound in my videos should be gone. Although I must confess that I’m not really used to this camera at the moment.With built-in camera it was easy – I could see what I was recording in a big screen and I knew where to look. But with this camera it’s a bit different. I guess it just needs time to get used to it.

And I am continuing my studies to get a masters degree. But I’ve changed my study field a bit. I have a bachelors degree in government and politics which is basically political science. But I’ve found in myself a new side – I want to pass on my knowledge’s to other. And that’s why I’m planning on entering masters studies to become a history-civics teacher. I’ve always been fascinated by history and I’ve always loved learning it, plus I already have a degree in political science so the civics side should already be ok.  Now I’d like to pass on my knowledge’s to younger people to inspire them to more interested in what’s going on around them, how can they learn from history and how can they be a part of everyday political life. I know some goals may seem all too idealistic but that’s what I’d like to do. We’ll see if I manage to accomplish this goal 🙂

This week I found myself thinking – what kind of song would describe me? One of my friends suggested that “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. That was an interesting choice. But still…..So question to think about this week – what kind of song would describe me best?