Monthly Archives: March 2009

Land of 1000 longings

markohaavistoAmerican roots music and Finnish traditional music are the two worlds that collide in Marko Haavisto’s music. Part Buddy Holly, part Olavi Virta. For over ten years, he has travelled through both worlds with his band Poutahaukat. Now it is a good time to review his career with the compilation album Tuhannen Kaipuun Maa (Land of 1000 longings).

“It was very exciting to look back”, comments Marko on the phone, “there are many memories, good memories”. He formed Poutahaukat in 1997 with the intention of making and developing his own music. But at that time, Marko Haavisto was not a newcomer. He had played in several bands before, most notably in the Badding Rockers between 1986 and 1993. The Badding Rockers were inspired by the music of Rauli Badding Somerjoki and they also brought the spirit of classic American rock and roll when translating into Finnish songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Doc Pomus, among others. Continue reading

Advertisements

Alive

samae2“Some people say I am a genius, but that is not true”. Singer and songwriter Samae Koskinen is at the top of his game. Critics are raving about his second solo album, Elossa, a collection of episodes in the lives of several characters that will collide. Nyt, the entertainment weekly of Helsingin Sanomat, featured him on front page and many other magazines dedicated several pages to him. He is on top, but on the contrary to what it might be expected, he is a down to earth person, humble, and even shy.

At the same time, he seems positive. Full of life as his album title. The album reflects his move from Riihimäki to Tampere, a new personal relationship and a period of full artistic activity with his solo projects, his band Sister Flo and even as part of Kauko Röyhkä’s band as a bass player. On this lengthy interview, the singer talks about life in Tampere, his new album and the life a full time musician in Finland. Continue reading

Pop dreams

pintandwefall2In the indie rock and pop scene in Finland, there is an exciting buzz about Pintandwefall. Four young girls behind a Zorro mask, who never intended to become a band, but have already released two albums of “direct, spontaneous, dangerously sticking, wild and conquering music”, as they describe it. Get to know Finland’s funniest band.

In 2006, these young girls from Vantaa renamed themselves to Crazy Pint, Tough Pint, Dumb Pint and Cute Pint and grab an instrument they would not have played before. “I always played bass in others bands, so I wanted to play some guitar. It would be easier to play and sing”, tells Dumb Pint. She is the main guitarist in Pintandwefall, but enjoys shifting to bass or drums. “We all want to do everything”, admits Tough Pint. “It’s harder to sing and play drums or bass at the same time, so singing is a reason to change instrument”. Continue reading

Sensitivity, intelligence, courage

jorma-uotinen3Movement and art. For nearly forty years, dancer and choreographer Jorma Uotinen has used his body to create art, either in the form of dancing, singing or acting. Born in Pori in 1950, warm, extrovert, peculiar, Uotinen is one of the Finns with the most international success and recognition.

Having just arrived from Budapest where he premiered a new production of his piece Piaf Piaf, Uotinen accepted to have dinner with Agenda. Over a traditional salmon soup at Café Engel, in the heart of Helsinki, Jorma spoke about his career and reflected on the art of dancing.

Starting in 1970 as a dancer of the Finnish National Ballet, Uotinen’s career is so extensive that it is difficult to know where to begin. In 1976, he moved to Paris to be part of Carolyn Carlson’s group at the Theatre de l’Opera. That stay gave him a charming French accent that adorns his talk with spontaneous voilà and très bien. In the ‘80s Uotinen achieved international recognition with revolutionary solo performances. In the late part of his career he has embraced new challenges – he started a singing career, approached a wide audience by lending his voice to Skinner, in the Finnish version of the animated film Ratatouille and was a referee in several episodes of the TV show “Dancing with the Stars”. Continue reading

Drink Palma

palma2Palma was a sweet and refreshing soda in Finland. For a bunch of friends and musicians that was the stimulating thought they needed to ease their hangover at the rehearsal place in Helsinki. Palma became the band’s name. Be Bold and Mighty Forces Will Come To Your Aid -a quote from the film Almost Famous, is the band’s first album, a collection of indie pop songs, rooted in seventies sounds and with a danceable groove.

Singer Samppa “Sancho” Lappalainen talks enthusiastically about the band a few days before the album is released. He is talkative and does not save times in his replies. But above all, he shows himself as a real music lover. Continue reading