Category Archives: Musical Interludes

Happy Independence Day – Part 2

Yes, Lithuania has two independence days — March 11 marks the declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.  In honor of Lithuania’s independence, here is the Lithuanian national anthem (accompanied by beautiful photographs of Lithuania).

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Another Sappy Pop Song

Lithuania has chosen its contestant for Eurovision 2011 — and, as you may guess from the title, personally I’m not overly impressed.  But then Eurovision songs are not typically my taste in pop music.  I will acknowledge that she has a good voice and is very pretty and I hope she takes the Eurovision crown for Lithuania.

I have always thought of Eurovision winners as “one hit wonders.”  Maybe they have a music career in their own country, but the rest of the world never hears from them again. Of course, this is an entirely American-centric viewpoint, since they might have gone on to great musical fame in Europe and just never crossed the Atlantic. However, I learned recently that there are actually a few Eurovision winners who went on to international fame.

ABBA – The Swedish pop phenomenon Abba won Eurovision in 1974 with the song “Waterloo.”  ABBA is, of course, one of the greatest pop bands ever and more than 25 years later is still popular.

Celine Dion – you are correct, Celine Dion is Canadian and Canada does not compete in Eurovision.  Celine won in 1988 for Switzerland, so apparently countries are allowed to import singers to be more competitive.  Millions of people love Celine Dion, made evident by the fact that she now has a Las Vegas show.

Katrina and the Waves – anyone listening to pop music in the mid-1980s knows this British band’s song “Walking on Sunshine” and anyone who has listened to commercials since that time also knows the song.  In 1997, Katrina and the Waves won Eurovision with the song “Love Shine A Light.”   This is the opposite story, however; Katrina and the Waves hit it big and then, towards the end of their career as a band, won Eurovision.


Musical Celebration

Last night I attended a concert at the National Philharmonic in Vilnius commemorating Restoration of the Lithuanian State Day (as February 16 is officially known, hearkening back to the medieval kingdom as the first state).  Jauna Muzika, a fabulous a cappella choir, performed several songs.  I saw them twice at St. Catherine’s concert hall in 2009 and they never fail to impress.  You can listen to three of songs on their website (click on the songs in blue, #1-3).  And here is a video of a performance at St. Catherine’s…


My New Favorite Band

Last December I posted a youtube video of “Sninga (Snowing)” by the band Saulės Kliošas.  Last night I saw them live at Tamsta, a great live music venue in Vilnius.  They are fantastic!  I really enjoyed their music and their stage presence.  Unfortunately they don’t have a CD out so I can only listen to them on youtube.  Here are a couple of songs so you too can enjoy their blend of jazz and funk.


Party Music

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with some funky electronic jazz by the Lithuanian band Brassbastardz.  Welcome to my disco!!


Merry Christmas!

One of my favorite Christmas carols, performed by Seattle singer/songwriter Robert Deeble.  You can get a free download of this song here.


Kaunas Commute – Winter Version

Almost any trip from home in Kaunas, begins with a walk through Ramybės [Peace] Park.  This is how my commute through the park looks these days.

Given the recent pattern of daily snowfall, I often sing this song as I walk through the park – “It’s Snowing, Snowing, Snowing” by the Lithuanian jazz/funk band Saulės Kliošas.  Enjoy!

 

 


Welcome to Lithuania!

InCulto, Lithuania’s 2010 Eurovision entry, with their 2006 song “Welcome to Lithuania” (the land with the beautiful ladies!).