March 2004

on 2004-03-12

March 2004
    - Features: 
       1) Finland at SXSW
    - Business
    - Live News
    - Behind the Numbers / Behind the Scenes

Finnish singer/songwriters grace the stage at SXSW

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Music Conference in Austin, Texas 18th-20th March will once again display some of the dynamic and fruitful pickings of Finland’s harvest of talented artists.

The Latebirds
Thursday 18th March at 10pm, Lava Lounge Patio (405 East Seventh)
“One of the coolest bands on the planet!” Wayne Kramer/MC5
This unique combination of dark pop, moody ballads and hard-driven rockers have two outstanding album releases:  Fortune Cookies shows the band in full form featuring guests like Marc Ribot (Tom Waits) and Ken Coomer (Wilco), and Latebird focuses on lead man Markus Nordenstreng’s sensitive side. The Latebirds have previosly performed and written songs in NYC and LA with legends like Ken Stringfellow (REM, Posies) and John Stirratt (Wilco/Autumn Defence).

Erja Lyytinen 
Friday 19th March at 12 am, Momo’s (618 West Sixth)
“A classic!” Rytmi
An unparalleled guitarist who plays everything from dobro to slide guitar. Diversity is an integral part of Erja´s style, drawing influences from all over the musical map - blues, jazz, pop and even country, her songs defy easy categorization. Erja’s second album Wildflower (Bluelight Records) received exceptional responses from fans and critics alike. Erja has also supported Koko Taylor and Bonnie Raitt, both huge influences of hers. 

Music Export Finland can be found at the joint Nordic stand L3+L4 near the main entrance to the exhibition grounds, right next to the SXSW delegate’s registration. The effervescent Finnish compilation album Finns Ain’t What They Use To Be that received an enthusiastic response at Midem will be launched for the US.


PLASTINKA RECORDS & BMG Finland will release Kemopetrol‘s third album Play For Me domestically on 24th March. This long awaited album was born healthy and full of life in late January after 9 long months of work in the studio. My Superstar, the first single cut from this new album, is currently gaining airplay on Finnish radio stations and its video will be released to coincide with the album. Kemopetrol will be touring Finland from April 8th onwards with its conclusion at Tavastia, Helsinki on May 12th.
Domesticity, the new album from STUPIDO RECORDS mesmerics Giant Robot, will be released in Finland on 15th April prior to their performance at the opening of new a Finnish Institute, Finnagora in Budapest on 31st March. Hypnomen’s acidic juggernaut of light grooves is on the move again with new album Crystal Skies (released 17th March). And finally, attention all party goers! If you´re lucky enough to have grabbed a golden ticket for Stupido’s 15th anniversary party in Helsinki’s legendary Tavastia and Semifinal clubs on Saturday 13th March, you are in for a treat. Performances will include Boy Novice, Boomhauer, Hypnomen, Giant Robot, Kumikameli, Rollstons, Treeball, Duplo plus surprises. You’ve had plenty of notice!

EMI’s wild child Velcra is making waves through Europe! Velcra’s music video for the riotous single Can’t Stop Fighting has climbed to number 6 in the charts of UK’s Sky digital channel Scuzz TV this week. In all, it will surely be a busy spring for Velcra: on top of preparing for their next album the band is constantly on the road, so keep you ears alert. Their two-week German tour with Oomp! will begin on 22nd April. Tour info>>>

Bitch Alert (GAGA GOODIES/POKO REKORDS) have their claws firmly embedded in the UK soil after two of the best gigs in their career so far at the legendary London clubs Metro and Camden Underworld on 8th & 9th March with Velcra. Bitch Alert performed tracks from ..Rriot album to a hungry crowd of fans and music business head honchos from Virgin music UK, Xtaster as well as MTV UK and Sky channels, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and Rock Sound. Bitch Alert’s ..Rriot will be released in the UK soon. 

HIM begins their first American East coast to West coast tour in April this year. The band’s ever accelerating Anglo-American crusade was fuelled by the rocketing sales of their Love Metal album in the UK. Tour info>>>

The metal crossover chameleon Waltari‘s history so far has included flirting with unpredictable fusions of techno, ethno and ballet. Their tantalising return is announced by new album Rare Species and tour in Germany, Switzerland and Czech Republic (17th-30th April). Tour info>>>
All the prog-rock aficionados, beware! Accordion terrorist Kimmo Pohjonen‘s Kluster duo have got together with King Crimson musicians Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn and have come up with a dynamic new sonic collaboration Kluster TU. The World Premiere of Kluster TU will take place in Helsinki’s Nosturi on 7th April followed closely by four concerts in Tokyo all of which will be recorded with a future album in mind. Tour info>>>
Just having returned from the roaring UK tour, Boomhauer will be joined by Kometa and Disgrace to make a series of gigs in Germany, Holland, Switzerland and Czech Republic (19th March - 4th April). Tour info>>>

Behind the Numbers: ‘Massive’ wouldn’t be adequate to describe The Rasmus’ international breakthrough year in 2003, bouncing to top spots in the charts throughout Europe. The energetic quartet have been picking up awards for their achievements walking away from Finland’s Emma Awards with four statues including band of the year, and in Germany they collected an Echo for the Best International Newcomer. In 2004, the adventure continues: Dead Letters will be released in the US by Interscope this spring.

Behind the Scenes: Marking a change from the last few years, the hot business trend right now seems to be going independent. Singer-songwriter Markus Nordenstreng and Lemonator’s Lasse Kurki founded Grandpop Records, and the ex-BMG A&R, composer guru Kerkko Koskinen started a production company. Teja Kotilainen, the guy who discovered The Rasmus almost a decade ago left his A&R position at Universal Music Finland to start his own management agency/production company, and Finland’s current no.1 Timo Rautiainen decided to move from Universal sidekick Spinefarm to his co-owned record company King Foo.

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