Monthly Archives: February 2009

Exporting Finnish music

export2If there is something in common between rock band HIM, accordion master Kimmo Pohjonen and Eurovision champion Lordi, it is the fact that all of them have achieved international success. Not only them. Finnish music travels abroad more often every day and it is not a rarity to see Finnish artists in the foreign charts and on stages. The latest available figures tell that the market value of Finnish music exports in 2006 was more than 26 million euros.

Since 2002, Music Export Finland (Musex) is the association that represents the Finnish popular music industry abroad. It stands for musicians, record producers, publishers and copyright societies. Musex Director Paulina Ahokas has become the visible face of Finnish music industry. She firmly leads the efforts to market and export Finnish music in a better way. Last year, the festival Lost in Music showcased dozens of Finnish bands for the international audience attending to the music industry trade fair Music & Media in Tampere. During the event, Paulina Ahokas met Glue and chatted about the situation of Finnish music. Continue reading

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Pop from the underworld

underwater-sleeping-society2The Underwater Sleeping Society is six guys from Helsinki creating what could be loosely described as underwater-art-punk-folk-progressive-pop-rock. They love The Flaming Lips, Pink Floyd and 22-Pistepirkko and getting lost in spacey psychedelic atmospheres. Indeed, it is not the kind of music that you will hear on your commercial radio station, even though their songs include some fine pop melodies. With three full-length albums and three eps, UWSSOC are becoming one of the key bands in the raising indie and alternative scene in Finland.

After a break for the holiday season, the underwater sleepers resumed their extensive touring in Tampere last week and it will continue during February and March with dates in Finland and several European countries. This way, the Society confirms a promising international projection. The Dead Vegas, its last album, came out in Finland and Sweden last autumn and this spring will be released in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Poland, Belgium and Norway. Continue reading

A great deal of discipline

disciplines2I looked around and everybody was laying around the stage, while Ken Stringfellow proceeded with an hypnotizing rant. As strange as it sounds, that is exactly what it happened last week in Tampere at The Disciplines show, the singer’s latest project. The band, formed with members of Norwegian pop rock group Briskeby, presented their debut album Smoking Kills.

Ken Stringfellow is the ‘hardest working man in show business” -type of artist. He made himself a name with his band The Posies in the nineties and since then he has been all over, producing many albums, playing for R.E.M. and the reunited Big Star, in addition to launching a solo career and playing occasionally with his partner in crime Jon Auer and The Posies. But nowadays, The Disciplines are his calling card and first priority. The band is loud, with ripping guitars, growling vocals and good bunch of tough quick rocking songs. Continue reading