Europopnewsletter April 2013



the online magazine and encylopedia about european pop and rock music


Newsletter, May 2013


"Hello Europopmusic fans..."


It is that time of the year again. In two weeks time Europe will unite again to celebrate its diversity and unity in song. With English, and sometimes Engrish, being the universal language nowadays we were happy to see that at least 18 countries decided to sing in their own language. As each year we put them in alphabetical order of country (just to make sure we are not being blamed of pushing our own favourites) and added some extra background info. And singing in your own language can also mean trouble. Or so Dutch songwriter John Ewbank found out when he wrote the official song for the inaugaration of the new Dutch King and Queen. The grammar was so awfull (in favour that sentences would rhyme) that the song became the laughing stock of the day. Luckily renowned DJ Armin van Buuren was there (with an entire orchestra) to show why the Dutch electronic music scene is internationally famous. The King and Queen were obviously fans and, breaking protocol, stepped onto the stage to shake hands with Armin (and wave to their subjects of course). See Youtube for a clip.

More controversial music news comes from France where Indochine tries to give a wake up call against bullying and gay-bashing. Not for nothing with bullying in schools starting to get a political issue with several suicides in European countries under young students due to this. And not for nothing because around the time the French governement decided on same sex marriages Paris was shaken by some very violent anti-gay incidents. In that sense a message of love and understanding coming from many Eurovision contestants is perhaps much needed nowadays.

Put let us not put you down. Spring has finally arrived in Europe and let us indulge you once again with musicnews and album reviews. As always: ENJOY THE MUSIC.


  Music news and background articles  

Eurovision 2013; 18 countries sing in their own language

Only 18 countries sing in their own language this year, which is one less then in 2012. But then there are less contestants overall with 5 countries dropping out this year. So relatively it is not a bad score. Traditionally we depend highly on the ex-Yugo countries and their neighbours to have the guts to sing in their own language. Most Western European countries sing in English in the hope of winning. Not completely without merit. The Netherlands and Ukraine come up with some really good songs and will probably perform well. If you look at the list of performers there are not much local superstars who try to have a go at the finals. But what is striking is that this year the battle is not with the performers but a whole string of acclaimed songwriters who gave their talent to write a killer song. Goran Topolovac, Anouk, Boris Bergman, Agathon Iakovidis, Roberto Casalino, Desmond Child, to name just a few. All names that you might know for being credited on numerous songs. As each year we selected the countries that sing in their own language, added extra info, a review of their chances and of course the clip of the song. Go to our special ESC 2013 page.


New video by Indochine shocks France

In our review of Indochine’s latest album 'Black City Parade' we already stated that it features several political statements, more then usual with the band. One of the songs ‘College boy’ handles the subject of bullying and anti-gay harassment. It was featured several times during the same-sex marriage discussion in France. But Indochine went one step futher and released a shocking and very violent video directed by Quebec director Xavier Dolan. The video shows a homosexual boy who is a regular victim of bullying and eventually gets killed and crucified by his classmates. Read on for more. Two local newspapers supported the video by prominently showing it on their website. The video can be watched on Vevo. Check it and form your own opinion


Drama around Petr Hapka

Besides being a gifted composer and a keyfigure in Czech popmusic Petr Hapka (68) became the subject of a string of drama and scandal the past months fitting a TV-soap opera. It started last year when Hapka started a relationship with young singer Kateřiny Klepišové gone sour. And now evolved in Hapka being hospitalized with a probabel diganosys for Alzheimer. So far, the results of tests for Alzheimer's disease are not known, but his family are bracing themselves that these likely will be confirmed. It would be a great loss for Czech music as his anniversary last January would turn out his last musical statement. Read on.

Sarita Montiel (85) passed away

Spanish singer and actress Sara Montiel (or María Antonia Abad Fernández as she was really named) died on april 8 at the age of 85 in her home in Madrid. Sara Montiel was the first Spanish actress who achieved success in Hollywood. She was born in the village of Consuegra in central Spain and launched its first international success in Mexico. Sara Montiel played in some fifty films and grew to become the sex symbol of the fifties and sixties. Despite her last film dates back almost 40 years ago, she has retained its image of glamorous diva. Sarita comes from an era (the fifties and sixties) when the songs from the big screen were immediatelly hits on the radio and in the streets. "I am sometimes disappointed in my beauty," she once said. "The appearance is a handicap. Critics prices only my beauty, but never my acting talent". Sara Montiel married four times. Go to Sara's bio in our encyclopedia.

Paradis Naiv
Peter Plate:
Schüchtern is mein glück
La Femme:
Psycho Tropical Berlin
Filippo Neviani
Nynke Laverman:
Emma Marone:
Jean-Louis Murat:
Vive la Fête:
Maryla Rodowicz:
Rarytazy I, II & III
Jacques Higelin:
Beau repaire
Neon Spektra:
Neon Spektra
  Europopmusic artists (added to the encyclopedia)  

Tata Bojs (Czech republic)

Not burdened by the heritage of making music during the Soviet era Tata Bojs was one of the first to adapt Western Britpop influences to a Czech version of indiepop. They stuck to singing in Czech which gave them a bit of handicap because the Czech youth was very anti-domestic in the nineties. In the new millenium their fame grew however. And for the right reason because this duo/trio makes some good sounding alternative Europoprock. Although Huňát and Cais are the core duo they are open enough to adapt to any newbandmember that comes up. As a result the sound of the albums can differ somewhat..Go to artist page


Phoenix (Romania)

Phoenix is a good example of a band where one can ask oneself what would have become of them when they did not originate under a dictatorial regime and were therefore forced to be ultra-creative in what sort of albums they released. Because with all the obstacles, censors and bad equipment an album like 'Cantofabule' (originally called Cantafabule but the governement designers got the lettering wrong) still sounds amazing. Who knows what it would have been when recorded in a proper studio without any political pressure. My theory is that it would not have been made at all. This is the kind of artistic product that can only be made under pressure. And of that this band had enough. But the album excists (making even more curious what brilliant music was lost in the seventies) and if you ask any Romanian to name one classic album changes are big they name one of Phoenix.Go to artist page


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