When You Walk In You’re American…

Sorry to be both a Last-Minute Larry and a Self-Promoting Samuel, but tonight Mr. Ben Legg and I will be hosting a big celebration of European pop music at the 201, to kick off Eurovision season.

Eurovision, if you’re not aware, is this big pageant of schmaltz, wherein all the countries of Europe compete for dominance through the power of three-minute pop song.  It’s been going on since the fifties, and it’s spawned such classics as “Volare,” “Love Is Blue,” ABBA’s “Waterloo,” and Gina G’s eternal “Ooh Ahh…Just A Little Bit.”  Last year’s festival was AMAZING, and featured one Ukrainian pop diva who sang and played a flaming drumset while being dragged across the stage by dancers dressed as Centurions. (Sadly she only came in 12th.)

This year’s finals, held in Norway, are a week from Saturday, but we’ll be celebrating TONIGHT, spinning some classic Eurovision songs, some of this year’s hits, as well as some other classic pop songs from Iceland to Israel.*

Oh, and It’s free.

After the jump, my three favorites from this year:

Here’s Switzerland’s Michael Von Der Heide, with Il pleut de l’or.”  Yes, he looks like the young version of the old man from Magnolia, but his song–an Amber-influenced James Bond theme–is really lovely:


Next up is Romania’s Paula Seling and Ovi, who do the dueling piano thing for their 20 Fingers-influenced song “Playing With Fire”:


Finally, for those of you that prefer dramatic ballads, here’s Poland’s Marcin Mrozinski with “Legenda,” which is possibly the cheesiest song of all but also one of the best.


The 201

[*Technically not part of Europe, true, but Israel’s part of the European Broadcasting Union, and they’ve been a part of the contest since 1973, having won three times.]

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