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Singers prepare for Eurovision Song Contest May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Greek.
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A Slovenian mock-opera artist, a Hungarian blues singer and a Ukrainian drag queen in a glitzy silver outfit were among 24 competitors in the Eurovision Song Contest, an annual extravaganza of colliding musical tastes.

The showdown in Finland on Saturday will have an Eastern European flavor after former communist bloc countries scored a near clean-sweep in the semifinal that ended in the early hours on Friday. Some 3,000 enthusiasts braved near-freezing temperatures to watch the acts, including pyrotechnic flares and skimpily clad dancers, on giant screens in Helsinki’s central square, broadcast live from the concert arena a few miles away.

The competition, with a record 42 entries, is being held for the 52nd time in an unparalleled show in the Nordic country, which shocked fellow Europeans last year when its latex-masked monster band Lordi stole the show in the Greek capital, Athens.

On Saturday, Belarus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, FYROM, Moldova, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey join last year’s top 10, as well as the traditional “Big Four”, Britain, France, Germany and Spain, which are given automatic participation as the show’s biggest sponsors. The 10 from last year are Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Romania and Finland, which as the 2006 winner hosts this year’s contest.

In the semifinal, Bulgaria’s folklorist entry “Water”, featuring thumping, monotonous drumbeats, surprised many by qualifying for a place on the big night. Others, considered by many Eurovision watchers as favorites, dropped out, including Norway’s Latin-beat dance number and Swiss DJ Bobo’s neo-Gothic vampire song. Israel’s entry, “Push the Button” by the group Teapacks, which fueled controversy months before the competition for purported allusions to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, also failed to make the grade.

Saturday’s winner will be picked by millions of European viewers voting by phone and text messages. Last year, Lordi’s victory with the growling hard rock number “Hard Rock Hallelujah” shocked many traditional fans of the contest, which is known for bland pop songs, camp acts and over-the-top performances. Finns, acutely aware of their image, reacted with horror to the performance, but then welcomed the victory after 40 years of failures, with accolades coming even from President Tarja Halonen. This year’s Finnish entry, a pop song bylocal “Idol” winner Hanna Pakarinen, is seen by many as an unlikely winner.

EUROPEANS > VOTE FOR GREECE!

Related Links > http://www.eurovision.tv

Live gigs in Athens > mark your agenda May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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Therapy > 11 May 2007, Technopolis

Kreator + Celtic Frost > 20 May 2007, Gagarin 205

Suicidal Tendencies > 25 May 2007 Thessaloniki, Ydrogeios, 26 May 2007 Athens, Gagarin 205

Motorhead > 12 June 2007 Thessaloniki, Principal, 13 June 2007 Αthens, Olympic Fencing Hall – Hellinikon

Placebo > 13 June 2007 Thessaloniki, Moni Lazaristwn, 14 June 2007 Athens, Lycabettus Theatre

1st Scorpions festival: Scorpions-Joe Cοcker-Juliette and the Licks > 18 June 2007, Karaiskaki Stadium

Alice Cooper > 21 June 2007, Lycabettus Theatre

Jethro Tull in concert – Tour in Greece Summer 2007 > 22 June 2007 Athens, Lycabettus Theater, 23 June 2007 Heracleion, Nikos Kazantzakis Theater, 25 June 2007 Thessaloniki, Moni Lazariston, 26 June 2007 Larissa, Mylos Yard

Evanescence > 23 June 2007, Karaiskaki Stadium

Ayo > 26 June 2007, Lycabettus Theatre

Rockwave June 29th – Headliners : Robert Plant > 29 June 2007, Terravibe

Rockwave July 1st – Headliners: Heaven and Hell > 1 July 2007, Terravibe

Rockwave July 3rd – Headliners: Metallica > 3 July 2007, Terravibe

Tickets > http://www.ticketpro.gr/?page=index&cat_id=1

PLUS > OMD + GEORGE MICHAEL + MORE!!! BE HERE!

Rockwave Festival > Sun 1 July – Tue 3 July 2007 May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Music Life Live Gigs.
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With a 15,000-seat arena and a host of superb artists set to perform, the Rockwave Festival is renowned as the biggest and best music event in Greece.

Formerly graced by the likes of Blur, Marilyn Manson, Scissor Sisters and Black Sabbath, this year’s event won’t disappoint, with a starry rock line-up. A revived Metallica headline the event, while fans of classic rock can satisfy lifelong ambitions by seeing Robert Plant at his caterwauling best, alongside his Strange Sensation band. Dream Theater, Heaven & Hell and Iced Earth are also scheduled to perform, although the entirety of the roster is still unconfirmed.

The festival is divided into three colour-coded stages; metalheads should make for the red stage, you can rock out at the green stage while the blue stage lets you dance the night away. If the headbanging gets too tiring, there’s also a host of other activities, ranging from bungee jumping, gleaming the cube in the skate park to being wowed by acrobats and jugglers.

Weekend tickets are expected to cost around 75 euro, with a day ticket available for 42 euro. At the Terra Vibe Venue, Malakasa, Athens.

Related Links > http://www.rockwavefestival.gr

Athens in Art May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece, Arts Museums.
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Throughout the month of May, Athens Museums focus on European artists influenced by Ancient Greece.

At the Zappeion, Michael Franke’s abstract paintings inspired by Ancient Greek mythology and Hesiod’s writings on the creation of the world, are showing until May 22.

At the Athinais Cultural Centre through the end of June is an exhibition of the paintings and drawings of Giorgio de Chirico, who was born in the central Greek city of Volos and raised in the country. “A Journey Through Memory” presents 35 paintings and sculptures based on modern and ancient Greek themes.

Also at the Athinais, Patrizia Molinari’s exhibition, “The Secret Light of Greece,” runs through May 31. It includes paintings from her “White tables” project, together with an installation made up of four light-reflecting crystal sculptures positioned inside an artificial lake.

The Benaki Museum is showing a retrospective of Czech artist Nicholas Egon, who first came to Greece in 1949, at the end of the civil war, and painted ancient sites such as Delphi and Mycenae as well as the Greek countryside. The exhibition runs through May 20.

Anna Chromy’s sculpture exhibition is the first by a contemporary artist at the National Archeological Museum of Athens. “Mythos Revisited,” in the Museum’s garden, includes a selection of bronze and marble sculptures inspired by the ancient Greek myths. The show runs until June 17.

Related Links >
www.zappeion.gr
www.athinais.com.gr
www.benaki.gr
www.culture.gr

Greece puts brakes on its racy billboards May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greece News.
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Greek motorists are being driven to distraction by giant billboards, featuring nude or scantily clad models, that crowd the sides of motorways.

Authorities say that up to 10 per cent of traffic accidents can be blamed on drivers who have taken their eye off the road to ogle models advertising cigarettes, perfume and mobile phone services.

Now local councils are being ordered to enforce the law by curtailing the billboards, many of which have been put up illegally with the connivance of planning authorities who are bribed by advertising agencies.

An estimated 15,000 illegal billboards tower over the roads in the Athens area alone. Many of them hide road signs, traffic lights and other vital signals. Particularly dangerous, says a lobbying group, are those billboards that carry a series of rolling advertisements so that the eye of a motorist can be too easily tempted to linger to see what it will show next, especially if it is a curvaceous model showing a lot of skin. Hundreds of illegal billboards are flimsily built and regularly blow away in strong winds.

The Public Order Ministry, which is carrying out a nation-wide survey of hazardous billboards, says that many fatalities occur as victims are thrown out of the car doors on to concrete and metal structures at the roadside.

The death rate on Greek roads, once the highest in Europe, has been in decline as motorways become safer, and drivers take care of their new cars in an increasingly prosperous nation. Yet with the opening of new roads has come a deluge of billboard advertising that is already triggering protests by environmentalists.

Advertising in Greece is largely unregulated, especially in the area of sexual content. Many borough officials are believed to accept bribes from advertising agencies putting up eye-catching signs. Fist-fights sometimes result when municipalities try to take them down. Aggravating the problem is the tendency of many businesses, from private clinics to car repair garages, to cram pavements with directions identical in colour and format to official road signs, confusing drivers.

Archaeologsts are incensed that illegal advertisements often obscure museums and archaeological sites. “There is no political will to do anything about it,” said Victoria Efthymiadou, of the Athens Office for the Unification of Archaeological sites.

The borough of Maroussi, home of the Olympic stadium, last week began taking down hundreds of illegal signs. It said that the task would take a month and a half to complete.

Athens-Sparta exhibition to leave NYC for Peloponnese May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Museums, Hellenic Light Americas.
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The exhibition “Athens-Sparta: From the 8th to the 5th Centuries BC”, which was on display a few months ago at New York’s Alexander Onassis Foundation, was highly successful.

Now the Greek public will also have a chance to see it, as the Central Archaeological Council (KAS) recently approved its transfer to Sparta’s Olive and Oil Museum. The exhibition will open in mid-July and run to mid-September.

The joint collaboration between the Piraeus Bank Cultural Foundation, the National Archaeological Museum and the Fifth Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities will coincide with the opening of a new hall in the Museum.

The exhibition aims at exploring the cultural, political and economic history of the two most important ancient Greek city states. More than 200 works of art, including sculptures, vases, coins and much more, testify to the originality and skill of the ancient Athenians and Spartans. The items on display date from the Late Geometric period, recording the beginnings of the city state, then through the 5th-century-BC Persian Wars and go up until the end of the Peloponnesian War, in 404 BC.

A marble bust of Leonidas, a bronze sculpture of the goddess Athena, inscriptions and bronze spearheads are only some of the finds that are to go on display at the Sparta Museum.

There will be works on loan from the National Archaeological Museum, the Sparta Archaeological Museum, the Acropolis Museum, the Numismatic, the Epigraphy and the Marathon Museums, while items that were on display in New York on loan from Museums abroad will not be shown.

Greek art in London showcase May 11, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Hellenic Light Europe.
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Collector George N. Stathopoulos organizes exhibition of representational paintings at Belgravia Gallery > A painting by Pavlos Samios, will be one of the 12 artists participating in the London show.

For many art collectors, there comes a time when they wish to make their collection public. George N. Stathopoulos, a former international lawyer, began collecting art around 35 years ago. Yet, instead of organizing an exhibition of his own collection, he became interested in giving Greek art, particularly Greek representational painting, international exposure. Around four years ago he took upon himself the task of “exporting” Greek art to cultural venues and art galleries and bringing it to the attention of an international audience.

The group exhibition which opened yesterday at London’s Belgravia Gallery is the first European outing of Greek painting that Stathopoulos has organized. The exhibition will include paintings by 12 Greek painters: Daphne Aggelidou, Stefanos Daskalakis, Kostis Georgiou, Irini Iliopoulou, Manolis Zacharioudakis, Chrysa Vergi, Manolis Charos, Maria Filopoulou, Giorgos Golfinos, Erietta Vordoni, Pavlos Samios and Alexis Veroucas, who are brought together in the show because of the commitment they share in representational, figurative painting.

Enthusiastic about the prospects of the event, Stathopoulos expects to attract an elite crowd, including London-based Greeks. The London event is the third successive international exhibition of contemporary, Greek representational painting. The first was held in 2004 at the Absolute Americana Gallery in St Augustine, Florida, and was reviewed at Art News. “Reflections from Greece” was subsequently held two years later at the Grand Gallery of the National Arts Club in Manhattan, with the backing of the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation.

All exhibitions have focused on the work of a group of painters who emerged on the Greek art scene in the 1980s and 90s. Although not tied together in the group, the oldest ones were identified as the “new, representational painters” and their work established a movement of representational painting in Greece. In the local art market, it is a commercially successful style of painting with ardent followers in the art world.

George N. Stathopoulos is one of them. Operating as a sort of “ambassador” of Greek painting abroad, he says nevertheless that he does not want to turn his love for art into a profession. But he does want to work in a systematic way and to slowly open a new, international route for Greek art, not just organize one-off successful exhibitions. Aided by his international contacts, he has spent many years of his life and studied in the US, Stathopoulos is busy networking and making contacts with the ambition of taking Greek art beyond its borders. The London exhibition is one step in that direction.

“Greek Art Today,” at the Belgravia Gallery, 45 Albemarle Street, Mayfair, London, tel 020 74951010, www.belgraviagallery.com  To May 31.