You are here: Home » Entertainment (page 4)

Category Archives: Entertainment

Feed Subscription

Will Bollywood lure Germans?

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it's unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One of India's largest TV networks, Zee TV, now aims to bring these films and other Indian programs into the living rooms of Germany. Zee, which claims to have viewers in over 165 countries, is starting a new channel from Thursday, July 28, in the European country. The channel - which will be available for free via cable and satellite - is broadcast round the clock, and it is part of the network's strategy to expand its presence internationally. Talking to DW earlier this year, Zee TV chairman Subhash Chandra said the channel's programming would primarily be made up of Bollywood content. "However, it will be specifically tailor-made for the German market and adapted for the country," he noted. Germany already boasts a vast number of TV channels and has a reputation as a difficult market for foreign media content. Still, Chandra remains confident viewers in Germany would want to watch Zee TV as "the positioning of our content is happy and celebratory, and it caters to people of all ages." The channel particularly wants to target women audiences in the 19-59 age group, who it believes would be more receptive to Bollywood, filled with emotional drama involving elaborate stories of love and longing as well as dance sequences and songs. Growing presence Few German TV channels and cinemas currently show Indian movies. However, a few years ago, Germany witnessed a surge in interest for Bollywood films when a private German TV station, RTL II, began airing them on a regular basis. At present, Germany is considered to be the second-biggest market in Europe for the films, trailing only the UK. And Indian movie personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan enjoy a significant fan base in cities like Berlin. In 2012, for instance, when Khan was due to arrive for the premiere of his film "Don 2" in Berlin, a crowd of over 1,000 people waited passionately in freezing temperatures outside the Friedrichstadtpalast in the German capital to catch a glimpse of the actor. But overall, the number of Germans interested in watching Indian films continues to remain very limited, as many are not excited by the prospect of watching three-hour long emotional sagas interrupted by dance numbers. Friederike Behrends, CEO of the new channel in Germany, told the DPA news agency that Germans have so far known only a very small part of Bollywood. But it's actually one of the largest film industries in the world, boasting a wide variety of offerings, she stressed, adding: "And that is what we want to offer our audience in Germany." Bollywood vs Hollywood Bollywood, a term that apes Hollywood, refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in the western Indian city of Mumbai (previously called Bombay). Films are also produced in other parts of the country in various languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Overall, India produces more films than any other country in the world, with the South Asian nation estimated to churn out about 2,000 films a year, nearly four times that of Hollywood. However, when it comes to box office revenue, the Indian film industry lags far behind its American counterpart, with US films earning around five times as much as the total revenue of Indian movies. Nevertheless, over the past several years, Bollywood has been following in Hollywood's footsteps when it comes to doing business, striving to push for more professionalization and corporatization of the industry. It's also increasing efforts to expand the sources of revenue with the help of in-cinema advertising, merchandising and the sale of cable and satellite rights. At the same time, there has been growing interest from Hollywood studios to co-produce films in India and partner with Indian production houses. In recent years, Bollywood has also focused more on expanding its worldwide presence, with attempts to woo foreign viewers in overseas markets to watch its films. 'A difficult market' As a result of these developments, Bollywood films have become more popular outside of the Indian subcontinent, and Indian celebrities are making their presence felt at international film events. Overseas revenue collection for Indian movies rose as high as 11.5 percent last year, according to the FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2016. However, the growth is predominantly driven by Indian expatriates, who are ferocious consumers of Indian entertainment products, including films. This is where the challenge for Zee TV lies on the German market - because unlike a country such as the US, where over 2 million Indians live, Germany has a far smaller Indian community, which stood at around 80,000 in 2014. That means in order to succeed, Zee will have to win over the German audience and cannot rely solely on Indians living in the country. Chandra, the network's chairman, underlined that they are aware of the likes and dislikes of the German viewers and "we will select interesting content for them." "Germany is very important, because it is a difficult market for foreign media content. Hence, we feel that if we can succeed in this market, then we can succeed in any other market across the world." Additional reporting by Murali Krishnan from New Delhi.

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it’s unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One ... Read More »

Boney M. producer Frank Farian turns 75

He was the mastermind behind Boney M., Milli Vanilli, and many other chart toppers. German music producer Frank Farian has obtained over 800 gold and platinum certifications. He turns 75 on July 18. Over the years, the German music producer Frank Farian has consistently been creating one hit after the other at a breathtaking speed. The former cook seems to know the tastes of music fans perfectly well. Although he has been achieving this through different bands, his most successful formation remains Boney M. The man who has once been nicknamed "Mr. German Hit" has also produced artists such as Meat Loaf, model and singer Yvonne Catterfield, and the infamous R&B duo Milli Vanilli. In the beginning there was rock 'n' roll Born on July 18, 1941 in Kirn as Franz Reuther, he wasn't really predestined to a career in music. He did receive a guitar when he was 12, but later started working as a trained cook in various restaurants. Why? "I was always very hungry," explains Farian. Rock 'n' roll - and more specifically Elvis Presley and Bill Hailey - then changed his life for ever. After discovering their music, he invested everything he had in equipment to play rock 'n' roll, and decided he wanted to be called Frank Farian. His first band, Frankie Boys Schatten, would do gigs for pocket money. Their self-produced album was recorded in a stable and was sold nearly 1,000 times. At the end of the 1960s, he signed a record contract as a solo musician. He turned into a pop musician and first performed on the German entertainment TV show, "Hitparade." His first big hit was "Rocky" in 1976. At around the same time, the group Boney M. was created. Disco sensation Boney M. "Daddy Cool" was Boney M.'s first major hit. Farian was the true mastermind behind this band. He had picked three women and a man from a catalog of artists for the formation, and the voice on the recordings was his own. Bobby Farrell, the "lead singer" and dancer in Boney M., simply moved his lips in sync to the songs when performing on stage. This never harmed the success of the band. They were a sensation not only in Germany, but worldwide. Boney M. had 38 Top 10 hits between 1975 and 1988 in Germany, with 15 singles reaching the top of the charts. In England, three Boney M. albums - "Mary's Boychild," "Rivers of Babylon" and "Brown Girl in the Ring" - are among the five best-selling records ever. Similar recipe: Milli Vanilli This list of bands under which Frank Farian released his songs seems practically endless and includes La Bouche, Gilla and Eruption, as well as the duo Milli Vanilli. #At the end of the 1980s, Farian created this band in the same way he did fro Boney M. Milli Vanilli's fame was tainted in 1990, when the world discovered that the band members weren't the actual singers of the songs. The scandal was somewhat surprising, considering that Boney M.'s lip-synch performances had been an open secret for years already. However, in the US, this was not something to joke about. The album "Girl You Know It's True" had been number one on the Billboard charts for seven weeks - a feat that hadn't previously been achieved by any other band from Germany. The revelation caused such a scandal that Milli Vanilli's Grammy was withdrawn and a court decided that people who had bought their albums and concert tickets could obtain a refund. The hit machine as a musical In 2006, "Daddy Cool," Frank Farian's first musical, premiered in London's Shaftesbury Theater. It includes not only hits by Boney M., but also Milli Vanilli and Eruption songs. The musical tells the story of Sunny, a young man whose whole life is music - a very autobiographical play. Frank Farian's story is far from finished. He's still successful at 75. That might be because he's so realistic about himself: "I'm a good craftsman, not a great composer."

He was the mastermind behind Boney M., Milli Vanilli, and many other chart toppers. German music producer Frank Farian has obtained over 800 gold and platinum certifications. He turns 75 on July 18. Over the years, the German music producer Frank Farian has consistently been creating one hit after the other at a breathtaking speed. The former cook seems to ... Read More »

‘Co-founder of rock and roll’: Elvis’ first guitarist Scotty Moore dies, aged 84

He helped shaped Elvis Presley's revolutionary rock sound and went on to play with greats like Bruce Springsteen. Guitarist Scotty Moore has passed away in Memphis - where his and Elvis' careers began. "As a musician, I consider him one of the co-founders of rock and roll because of the guitar licks that he invented," said James L. Dickerson, who was both Scotty Moore's friend and biographer. Dickerson confirmed that Moore had passed away Tuesday (28.06.2016) at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1954, a music producer first brought Moore, a local session musician, and the then unknown Elvis Presley together in his Sun Records recording studio in Memphis. Together with bassist Bill Black, they recorded the blues song, "That's All Right." The chemistry between the trio was perfect, with Moore's "guitar licks" complementing Presley's strumming rhythms, and the trio went on to perform numerous major hits, including "Heartbreak Hotel," "Don't Be Cruel," "Jailhouse Rock," and "Hound Dog." It was their blend of blues, gospel and country music that became known as rock and roll - and the trio's trademark. As Elvis rose from regional fame to national stardom, Moore accompanied the hip-shaking heartthrob on tour and also appeared in some of his films. 'Elvis loved Scotty dearly' Priscilla Presley, Elvis' ex-wife, said in a statement Tuesday, "Elvis loved Scotty dearly and treasured those amazing years together, both in the studio and on the road. Scotty was an amazing musician and a legend in his own right. The incredible music that Scotty and Elvis made together will live forever and influence generations to come." However, their friendship was dampened in the late 50s by what Moore referred to as "Elvis economics." In Dickerson's 1997 biography of Moore, entitled "That's Alright, Elvis," he pointed out that Presley had become a millionaire, while his guitarist had earned slightly more than $8,000 in 1956. Moore and Presley went their separate ways in the late 50s, though they teamed up again in 1968 for a television "comeback" special. Moore went on to play with a wide array of top artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Keith Richards, George Harrison, Chris Isaak, Jeff Beck Ringo Starr and Dolly Parton, among others. "Everyone else wanted to be like Elvis, but I wanted to be Scotty," Richards told Dickerson. Born in 1931 in Gadsden, Tennessee, Moore was a World War II Navy veteran. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

He helped shaped Elvis Presley’s revolutionary rock sound and went on to play with greats like Bruce Springsteen. Guitarist Scotty Moore has passed away in Memphis – where his and Elvis’ careers began. “As a musician, I consider him one of the co-founders of rock and roll because of the guitar licks that he invented,” said James L. Dickerson, who ... Read More »

Ken Loach turns 80: A filmmaker for social justice

He just received his second Palme d'Or in Cannes and on June 17, Ken Loach turns 80. DW looks back at the successful and controversial career of the socially critical British filmmaker. Filmmaker Ken Loach is known as an outspoken defender of the disadvantaged and those who feel excluded from society. Many of his films deal with social ills and, now at age 80, he hasn't grown tired of raising awareness for injustice. Last month, he took home his second Palme d'Or in Cannes for his film, "I, Daniel Blake," about a blue-collar worker who struggles with the British social system after suffering a heart attack, and a single mother who is evicted from her apartment. Actually, Ken Loach wanted to retire a long time ago. But he saw too many problems in Great Britain under its conservative government. The country cannot keep telling poor people that it's their own fault that they don't have a job, or that they are incompetent or useless, Loach told the BBC. His aim, he says, is to present reality - not only because it's sad, but because it makes him angry. From law to theater to film Ken Loach was born on June 17, 1936 in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, as the son of an electrician. He later fulfilled his military duty in the Royal Air Force and then studied law at Oxford. It was during his studies that Loach first got involved in theater and discovered his passion for acting. With a law degree in his pocket, Loach nevertheless chose to become an artist, first participating in smaller theater companies before moving to television in the early 1960s. After working briefly for private broadcaster ABC Television, he moved to the BBC in 1963 where he directed the popular police series "Z Cars." As part of the BBC series "The Wednesday Play," Loach also worked on numerous prize-winning films, including "Cathy Come Home" (1966). Even at that time, Loach demonstrated his interest in social issues. "Cathy Come Home" was a gritty drama that portrayed a working family. It was critically acclaimed for its true-to-life portrayal of a father who loses his job and experiences a time of great hardship. Thatcher era difficult for film In 1967, Ken Loach made it to the silver screen with "Poor Cow," a film about a battered woman who joins a group of criminals after her husband lands in jail. The movie was applauded by critics, as was "Kes" in 1970, which portrays a young outsider who finds and raises a hawk. During the 1980s, it became challenging for Loach to realize his ideas. Under conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, he was faced with funding cuts and censorship. Scenes from his film "A Question of Leadership" (1980) about a steel workers' strike had to be removed before it could be broadcast. And a four-part series about the failure of the trade unions during the strike simply disappeared in the archives in 1983 rather than being broadcast. In Louise Ramond's recent documentary about his life, "Versus: The Life and Films of Ken Loach," he explained how decisive politics can be when making movies about the lives of people. First Golden Palm for Irish historical drama In 1990, Loach returned en force with strong social messages. His polit-thriller "Hidden Agenda" was awarded the Jury Prize in Cannes that year. But it was the following year that Loach managed his international breakthrough with the biting comedy "Riff Raff." The critically acclaimed film tells of the downfall of the working class from the perspective of London's construction workers. Then in 1993, Loach released "Raining Stones," the story of a father who works as a bouncer and pipe cleaner to save up to buy a white dress for his daughter's First Communion. Not all of Loach's films touch on Britain's working class, however. He's also made movies about historical events, like the civil wars in Nicaragua ("Carla's Song") and Spain ("Land and Freedom"). And "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," which won him his first Palme d'Or in 2006, is a blatant account of the Irish struggle for liberty against the British government in the 1920s. Critics accuse Loach of left-wing bias Despite frequent praise from critics, Loach has also had to deal with negative reactions from the press. In response to "The Wind That Shakes the Barley," for example, "Daily Mail" asked why Loach hates his own country so much. Even before that, the left-leaning filmmaker was frequently accused of being too biased or creating propaganda. But he proves he's not just a naysayer by revealing his dry sense of humor in other films. "Looking for Eric" (2009), with soccer icon Éric Cantona, turned out to be a true feel-good comedy. His headstrong and consequential approach lends Loach's films a sense of authenticity. He often works with amateur actors that only know parts of the screenplay and often have to improvise. Loach also tends to film in chronological order, which gives his films the feeling of being documentaries. In the documentary about his life, Loach said, "You think, how can I film it so that is seems plausible, so that I really think it's true."

He just received his second Palme d’Or in Cannes and on June 17, Ken Loach turns 80. DW looks back at the successful and controversial career of the socially critical British filmmaker. Filmmaker Ken Loach is known as an outspoken defender of the disadvantaged and those who feel excluded from society. Many of his films deal with social ills and, ... Read More »

Harry Potter heads to the London stage

Five years after the last film, Harry Potter is back - and he's now a father and civil servant in the Ministry of Magic. Preview performances of the next chapter of the successful series begin in London on June 7. Books, films, memorabilia, amusement parks and now, a play: for nearly 20 years, boy wizard Harry Potter has been a global phenomenon and marketing success worth billions. And the brand has also made its creator, British author J.K. Rowling, rich. In 2011, Forbes magazine estimated Rowling's net worth at about $1 billion (900 million euros) - wealthier than Queen Elizabeth II. The first volume in the seven-part series, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," was released in the UK in 1997 with an initial print run of 500. Parts two and three soon followed, and sales began to multiply. The big breakthrough came in 2000 with the publication of the fourth volume, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," which set off Potter mania. Rowling's books were the first youth novels to crack the international best-seller lists. Translated into 73 languages, the series has been read all over the world; age limits and cultural boundaries seemingly don't apply. Parallel universe People were - and still are - enchanted by Rowling's parallel universe, the world of magic that exists hidden alongside the Muggle world. Muggle, Rowling's term for a person that doesn't possess magical skills, has meanwhile joined the lexicon. People now use the term to describe any person who lacks a particular skill or is inferior, or uninitiated. In the world of geocaching, where players are sent on a scavenger hunt with geographical coordinates to search for a cache of items, the idea is to make sure the cache remains unobserved by non-geocachers, or muggles. Not over yet After the last volume, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was published in 2007, fans around the world were forced to grudgingly accept that the story had come to an end. The film adaptation hit cinemas with much fanfare in 2010 and 2011, split into two parts - squeezed for every last penny. Harry's archenemy, Lord Voldemort, had been defeated, and the epilogue showed the boy wizard many years later, grown up, married and sending his own son off to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And it's here, 19 years after the events in the "Deathly Hallows," that the story will continue. The first preview performance of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" will premiere at London's Palace Theatre on June 7, with part two premiering two nights later. To satisfy fans eager for any scrap of information, Rowling's Pottermore website and the play's Twitter feed have already revealed a few details related to the eighth Harry Potter story, including photos of the actors playing the principal roles. These characters are already certain to return: overworked, middle-aged Harry, his wife Ginny and their son, Albus Severus, along with their two other children. Harry's friends Ron and Hermione will also appear, along with their daughter, Rose. Of course, it wouldn't be a Harry Potter story without eternal adversary Draco Malfoy and his son, who apparently has inherited the vile character traits of his father and grandfather. The play will officially open on July 30, with a book version appearing the next day, Harry Potter's birthday. As with its predecessors, the plot remains top secret - standard procedure for the Harry Potter marketing machine.

Five years after the last film, Harry Potter is back – and he’s now a father and civil servant in the Ministry of Magic. Preview performances of the next chapter of the successful series begin in London on June 7. Books, films, memorabilia, amusement parks and now, a play: for nearly 20 years, boy wizard Harry Potter has been a ... Read More »

German Film Awards honor Nazi hunter biopic with six awards

The annual event draws the biggest names in the German film industry to Berlin. One movie performed particularly well at this year's awards ceremony: "The People vs. Fritz Bauer." "The People vs. Fritz Bauer" (German title: "Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer") came out on top at the German Film Awards ceremony, raking in six awards. In addition to getting the most coveted award of the event, Best Film, German filmmaker Lars Kraume's movie also won in the categories of Best Script, Best Costume, Best Directing, Best Production and Best Supporting Actor (Ronald Zehrfeld). The movie, which is based on real events, deals with the challenges faced by German state prosecutor Fritz Bauer, who in the early 1960s fought tirelessly to bring Nazi war criminals like Adolf Eichmann to justice. Many regard the success of the biopic as a posthumous recognition of Bauer's efforts. German actor Peter Kurth meanwhile received the award for Best Actor for his challenging role in the boxing drama "Herbert," while actress Laura Tonke even managed to win two awards - one for Best Actress for her part in "Hedi Schneider is Stuck" ("Hedi Schneider steckt fest") and one for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Mängelexemplar" ("Damaged Goods"). The new production of the classic "Heidi" meanwhile won an award in the category Best Children's Film. Surprises and disappointments Director Tom Tykwer's "A Hologram for a King" ("Ein Hologramm für den König") staring Hollywood superstar Tom Hanks only won awards for best editing and sound design, despite high expectations in advance for the US-German co-production to feature more prominently among the prize-winners. Meanwhile a Hitler satire titled "Look Who's Back" ("Er is wieder da"), highly praised by moviegoers and critics alike and touted to win major awards, failed to rack up even a single win. Even more surprisingly, Maren Ade's comedy "Toni Erdmann," which had been nominated for the Palme d'Or in Cannes and managed to win the International Film Critics' Prize, failed to garner a nomination for the German Film Awards. Conceived in 1951, the German Film Awards, also known as the Lola Awards, are the most highly endowed cultural awards in Germany, awarding prize monies of 3 million euros ($3.3 million).

The annual event draws the biggest names in the German film industry to Berlin. One movie performed particularly well at this year’s awards ceremony: “The People vs. Fritz Bauer.” “The People vs. Fritz Bauer” (German title: “Der Staat gegen Fritz Bauer”) came out on top at the German Film Awards ceremony, raking in six awards. In addition to getting the ... Read More »

Cannes Film Festival: The Palme d’Or goes to Ken Loach

The Palme d'Or went to the British director Ken Loach for his film "I, Daniel Blake." Best actor is the Iranian Shahab Hosseini and best actress is Jaclyn Jose from the Philippines. The winner of the Cannes Palme d'Or 2016 was announced at the end of an eagerly awaited award ceremony held on Sunday evening (22.05.2016). Against all expectations, the jury selected the film "I, Daniel Blake" by veteran British filmmaker Ken Loach (79). Actor Mel Gibson handed out the award. Shahab Hosseini received the Best Actor Award for his performance in the Iranian film "The Salesman" ("Forushade"), directed by Asghar Farhadi. The Best Actress Award went to Jaclyn Jose for her role in the Philippine movie "Ma'Rosa," directed by Brillante Mendoza. The jury selected Christian Mungiu from Romania and Olivier Assavas from France as Best Directors. The Canadian Xavier Dolan won the jury's Grand Prix as well as the Ecumenical Award for his film "It's Only the End of the World." Also among the contenders in the competition and strongly praised by critics during the festival, the film "Toni Erdmann" by German director Maren Ade received ahead of the award ceremony the International Critics' Prize of the Fipresci for best picture. Competition for the Palme d'Or The Cannes International Film Festival is considered the world's most important film competition. Since 1949, an international jury has been selecting the best, most innovative film productions. The main prize, the Golden Palm or Palme d'Or, has been awarded since 1955 and is one of the most coveted awards in the film industry. This year, 21 films were competing for the award.

The Palme d’Or went to the British director Ken Loach for his film “I, Daniel Blake.” Best actor is the Iranian Shahab Hosseini and best actress is Jaclyn Jose from the Philippines. The winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or 2016 was announced at the end of an eagerly awaited award ceremony held on Sunday evening (22.05.2016). Against all expectations, the ... Read More »

In a sensational win, Ukraine places first at the Eurovision Song Contest

After a suspenseful round of voting in Stockholm, Jamala's "1944" was the clear favorite. The song had provoked controversy at the supposedly apolitical event. Australia came second, followed by Russia. 534 points were awarded to singer Jamala, giving a clear victory to her song decrying war, persecution and ethnic cleansing. Second place went to Australia. It had been the national juries' favorite but was knocked off the top position when the audience votes came in. Nonetheless, a respectable 511 points went to that country and to Dami Im's "Sound of Silence." Third place, with 491 points, went to Russia and to the country's elaborately produced entry "You Are the Only One," sung by Sergey Lazarov. Bulgaria and Sweden followed in fourth and fifth places, respectively. The last place went to Germany, whose song "Ghost," rendered by Jamie-Lee Kriewitz, earned only 11 points. The other four countries in the bottom five were the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Croatia and Spain. In the voting system introduced at the Eurovision Song Contest this year, the jury votes were first announced country-by-country. That was followed by the announcement of the television audience vote, revealed in order of succession from the lowest number of points to the highest. During the jury voting round, Australia had emerged as the favorite with a seemingly unbeatable margin. In the subsequent popular vote, the table favorites gyrated wildly, keeping the result suspenseful until the very end. After winning the contest and before singing her song again, a visibly elated Jamala said, "I really love peace and love to everyone!" After the songs and before the announcement of the winners, show hosts Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede had asked the rhetorical question: "Is there a formula for winning the Eurovision Song Contest?" That was followed by a hilarious recapitulation of the tried-and-true tactics: a dramatic beginning, a chorus, sexy male drummers, ethnic folk instruments and the like. The show's winning country, Ukraine, demonstrated that another quality tipped the balance this time: lyrics, coupled with a strong vocal quality and an authentic story.

After a suspenseful round of voting in Stockholm, Jamala’s “1944” was the clear favorite. The song had provoked controversy at the supposedly apolitical event. Australia came second, followed by Russia. 534 points were awarded to singer Jamala, giving a clear victory to her song decrying war, persecution and ethnic cleansing. Second place went to Australia. It had been the national ... Read More »

10 countries qualify for Eurovision final

In the downbeat to this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, the first 18 candidates presented their songs. Most of the popular favorites will go on to the final round on Saturday. "He could go straight to Las Vegas," was the wry remark by German Eurovision TV host Peter Urban, referring to Sergey Lazarev from Russia. One of the country's major pop stars had an unremarkable Swedish-composed song ("You Are the Only One") backed up by breathtaking video effects that had him seemingly climbing up a staircase made of blocks of light and suspended in the air over the stage in Stockholm's Globe Arena. He is now considered a major contender at the final on Saturday. Along with Russia, fellow contenders Hungary, Croatia, the Netherlands, Armenia, the Czech Republic, Austria, Cyprus, Azerbaijan and Malta qualified through TV voting in member countries to proceed to the ESC final. Besides some remarkable stage effects, the show had much same-sounding Eurovision-style fare. A clear standout among the entries was ZOË from Austria, whose beguiling smile and catchy French-language chanson "Loin d'ici" proved irresistible. Cyprus sent the rock band Minus One into the fray and passed the hurdle, as did Freddie from Hungary: a big, brown-eyed jeans model with a straight-beat song: "Pioneer." The Netherlands dispatched an acoustic country music act to Sweden. Douwe Bob's song "Slow Down" has a message: take it a bit slower in today's fast-paced world. The point is underscored in the middle of the performance by 10 very long seconds of silence. Azerbaijan, a predictable ESC favorite, lived up to its reputation with dark-haired Samra singing an energy-laden ditty called "Miracle" in front of spectacular videos. That country's qualification for the final came as no surprise, but the Czech Republic's did. Gabriela Guncikova sang "I Stand," a conventional Eurovision-style piece that audiences don't seem to get enough of. Another minor sensation was Malta's qualification. The tiny country opted for a pop-dance number titled "Walk on Water" and sung by Ira Losco. Nina Kraljic from Croatia was put in a monstrously wide contraption that looked like an inflated dress and would honor Lady Gaga. Viewers will have another chance to enjoy her attire - and her song "Lighthouse" - at the final. Iveta Mukuchyan sang "Love Wave" for Armenia in the customary Eurovision pop ballad sound, complete with flowing hair, very short dress and a strong voice. Viewers were apparently pleased. Many fans were surely disappointed by Greece having fallen through the cracks. Their mix of ethnic folk, rap, a soaring refrain and an upbeat message in times of crisis seemed calculated to please everyone, but apparently it wasn't enough. Estonia's superstar Jüri Pootsmann - blonde, cool and having recently signed a contract with Universal Records - fell by the wayside as well. DW's correspondents will be in Stockholm to report on location from the second semifinal on Thursday and the final on Saturday.

In the downbeat to this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, the first 18 candidates presented their songs. Most of the popular favorites will go on to the final round on Saturday. “He could go straight to Las Vegas,” was the wry remark by German Eurovision TV host Peter Urban, referring to Sergey Lazarev from Russia. One of the country’s ... Read More »

A new album is out but Radiohead fans will need to wait for the actual CD

A week ago, Radiohead unexpectedly deleted its internet presence - announcing a new album for the groundbreaking British band. Don't run to the stores though: "A Moon Shaped Pool" is available online only, for now. On May 1, the official website of the band, radiohead.com, turned blank. All tweets were deleted from its Twitter account - created in 2010 and counting some 1.58 million followers. The band's Facebook page was also void of posts. This had fueled speculation surrounding the release of the band's highly anticipated ninth studio album. Their previous one, "The King of Limbs," dates back to 2011. Two tracks were released on Youtube throughout the week - and immediately went viral. On late Sunday (08.05.2016), the 11-track album "A Moon Shaped Pool" was released online through the website www.amoonshapedpool.com and a variety of online music providers. Not on the list of providers, however, is the streaming service giant, Spotify, which the band has boycotted, with frontman Thom Yorke long an outspoken critic of the streaming service. In 2013, he described its role in the music industry as "the last desperate fart of a dying corpse." Although CDs can already be pre-ordered, physical copies of the album will only be available in stores beginning June 17. With their innovative album "OK Computer" writing music history in 1997, Radiohead has been reinventing not only musical forms but also ways to release albums. In 2007, the band took the unusual measure of inviting listeners to pay whatever they wanted to download "In Rainbows." Radiohead begins a world tour May 20 in the Netherlands.

A week ago, Radiohead unexpectedly deleted its internet presence – announcing a new album for the groundbreaking British band. Don’t run to the stores though: “A Moon Shaped Pool” is available online only, for now. On May 1, the official website of the band, radiohead.com, turned blank. All tweets were deleted from its Twitter account – created in 2010 and ... Read More »

Scroll To Top