architecture, culinarism, music, second hand, vintage

Freida Mo’s – Finally!

Remember the rant I had about missing out the opening weekend of a new vintage boutique the last time I was in Liverpool?


Well, I finally got there – may I introduce you to Freida Mo’s bakery, vintage and vinyl shop on Lark Lane!


The lovely garden gate invites you to step in to the small but enchanting place of everything cute.



I have to confess having a serious fan girl moment when asking in a shy Scandinavian way if I could take some pictures for my blog. The nicest owner (below) was thrilled and even accepted posing for me in one of the shots!


This is the day dress I got – placed onto the chair while I was taking all the pictures I needed.


The collection consists of selected pieces prior the 1980’s. Students like me can also appreciate the reasonable prices: with 20-30 pounds you can have an ageless piece of clothing.


The owner told me that all of the jewellery on the table is hand-made by her.


Like promised in the sign outside of the shop – there are special find for the vinyl enthusiasts as well!



You know that you have found a good place to shop when even the toilet is decorated well and according to the theme. It’s not about running your business just because of the money but because you really care about giving your customers an overall experience that will make a lasting memory.


But Freida Mo’s isn’t just about what to wear – it’s also about taking a deserved moment of rest with delicious tea and dream-like cupcake (or two).


Like my companion said, the secret in succeeding these days is not just what you sell, it’s how you sell it – otherwise, what you have to offer in the post-modern economy based on fast, disposable consumerism. I feel that it has become a time to step away from the faceless capitalism into a more community-based form of sustainable living where you know what you’re buying and from where it has came from.


Luckily there are places like Freida Mo’s who provide a sense of truly whole-hearted customer service and a unique collection of carefully selected high-quality items!



music, popular culture

My Fav Versions of I Will Survive.

The other night I took some time to watch the classic 1994 camp film ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert’ with one of my favourite songs portrayed in the scene below.

Like I have noted before, the best way for me personally to get a song stuck in my head is to do some more investigation into pop music history. (And play the song over and over until I get bored or the neighbours will threaten me with an eviction.)

The original song performed by the legendary Gloria Gaynor (above) has been covered by many in the duration of the past 40 years. Thanks to the compilation video I found (below), I don’t have to post all of the different versions here.

We even have our own cover version in Finnish called ‘Oon voimissain’, published a year after the international version. Originally performed by Virve ‘Vicky’ Rosti in 1979, the translated lyrics and strong vocals pretty much sums up the original story (only in the Finnish context).

The Finnish lyrics asks if the man who dumped her ‘can’t remember how you left laughing?’ and how she ‘gathered all of her strength in order not to die’ out of the initial shock and heart break that his sudden departure caused her to go through.

Notice the way in the performance (video below) how the more the ex-in-a-suit removes his belongings around her, the more emancipated she becomes with the newly gained space around her. This woman grows from the experience of having to passively watch from the side how her loved one packs and leaves into owning her own space with dancing and being to sit on her own chair.

The end result is rather victorious; if he doesn’t voluntarily drop the intentions of getting back together and leave, she is even ready and willing to throw him ‘out into the cold winter freeze’ (which in Finland is actually a relatively horrifying scenario). Way to go, girl!

Moving on to the actual subjective part of this post: which of all of these covers is my personal favourite – and why. To be honest, nothing (for me) can beat the original disco classic, but in my opinion there’s always room for new interpretations for a fresh remake of the song.

And I have to admit listening to this emancipatory anthem at least a couple of times a week. Blame marketing etc. but the version of Demi Lovato pops up in the search results every time on Spotify. Without knowing a lot about the singer and her previous career, I actually really think she nailed it in this version – originally used in the 2016 Angry Birds film.

The three versions mentioned above were the ones I had acknowledged before making this post. The case with pretty much every big song is that they most probably are covered a million times in all kinds of reality-TV singing competitions all around the world.

Out of all the versions found on YouTube, this one really caught my attention. There is something really raw and deep in the timbre of the voice of a competitor in The Voice Portugal 2016, Laura Vargas. I especially love the way she starts the first part of the song, before the rest of the live band joins in the party.

The version performed by Nils Landgren (below) is one of the covers performed by male vocals. As much as I enjoyed it, I have to be wondering: what does all the pictures of the beautiful models have to do with the actual song and its historically important message to women?

Despite of the fact that the quality of the video below doesn’t perhaps match the standard level of even slightly popular Youtubers these days, I somehow found the performance really refreshing and original after listening to (vocals starting around 2:50) countless people who are trained and trying to sing as flawlessly as possible.

In my opinion, this style of performing really suits this song; the singer Petra Magoni succeeds in passing on the feelings of feminist emancipation. Of course, someone in the comments section calls the performance as ‘a cruel torture for a great song’ but in my opinion they did something different and rather unique – and that is something that should be valued. Perhaps it has also something to do with the culturally constructed social norms of the ways the majority of people still think women should sing…

On a side note, I think that it is not only possible but even likely that Destiny’s Child song ‘Survivor’ from the year 2001 has been inspired by ‘I Will Survive’. And surprise surprise – the two songs have been combined in a mash-up at least as early as 2011 on the television show ‘Glee’s’ third season.

However, the version below was the first mash-up that I came across with; performed in the reality-show ‘Rising Star Indonesia’ by the 17-year-old-competitor Talita Arsyta. I think it was a pretty good show!

(Finally also Gloria Gaynor herself with the powerful background choir sang a mash-up of the two songs at the 21st National Television Awards back in January 2016.)

After multiple days of torturing my dog, my neighbours, and a little bit myself too, I finally think that I am done with this song… for some while!

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section and please feel free to give me suggestions if you have any ideas of the next song I should cover! (Not like record a cover and put it here but… you probably got what I meant!)



alternative, music, popular culture

The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here?

Check out my latest discovery in the music world. I’ve been a major fan of the grunge band Alice In Chains since the 8th grade when I saw a music document about the band’s early years in the 90’s. However I had rarely gotten familiar with the band’s latest production – not until now when the 2013 album ‘The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here’. As a fan of somewhat surrealist titles there was no way I would have passed such a captivating phrase! And what I found, was pretty much gold for a critic like me.

I am wise and you don’t know
A cloud is my home
Only some get in
Got imaginary friend
The devil put dinosaurs here
Jesus don’t like a queer
The devil put dinosaurs here
No problem with faith just fear

I personally don’t have problems with any known religion – as long as they are based on love, understanding, tolerance and free will. In other words, it’s not Christianity itself but some of the ways especially the patriarchy has been interpreting and guiding it since the early years of its formation. In my opinion, every text should be read and interpreted in its temporal context. What you decide to take from the meaning with you, is always a personal choice where your own personal background affects. Of course, people like my grandfather, who sadly have been told since their early childhood that for example being homosexual is a sin, hardly won’t drop their beliefs even if the surrounding culture has changed into a more tolerant direction. And I get that even though I cannot fully accept it.



Finland, music, popular culture

California Blue in Finnish is No Good!

After the new found passion for the works of Chris Isaak, I stumbled upon Roy Orbison on Spotify. California Blue is one of the tunes framing my early childhood in the Finnish countryside. I didn’t actually realize that the successful album ‘Mystery Girl’ was released as late as 1989 (just a couple of months after Orbison passed away, sadly). I somehow connected Orbison to the early sixties – which was the commercial peak of his career, indeed.

Lately I have absolutely fallen for Orbison’s unique and soft voice that is ageless and somehow very passionate, yet in the most respectable way. Also, based on his shy charisma, Orbison seems like a super nice and sympathetic person. (Correct me if I am wrong.)

Here’s the lyrics of the hit ‘California Blue’ – which seems like rather a contradictory title since California seems like a warm and exotic place. Definitely something you’d go spend your honeymoon or start your family life in. Being blue on the other hand feels rather cold – like a winter night or a thick blanket of glittering snow? How can you be depressed and sad in place with almost a tropical climate, though?

California blue

Dreaming all alone

Nothing else to do

California blue

Everyday I pray I’ll be on my way

Saving love for you

California blue

One sunny day

I’ll get back again

Somehow, some way

But I don’t know when

California blue

California blue

However, the Finnish lyrics for the song pretty much ruin everything for me. I’m not a linguist but I tried to make a direct translation of the  for you below:

In the time of full moon

Underneath the ash tree

You stand by my side

You belong only to me

Do you remember the secret island?

And the kiss

We did it

Underneath the ash tree

In the time of the full moon

Not to mention the singer Kari Tapio’s victorious emphasis on the fact that they completed the deeds. OMG. Sounds like penetrative heteronormative outdoor sex in a romanticized and exoticized surroundings to me.

Where the meaning of the original English version is tied to Orbison’s gentle voice singing about his sadness (and fidelity) over the distance for the significant other, the Finnish version is basically about a bored, wear-out worker’s lust for sex. Good job in translating the romance, dudes!



Finland, music, popular culture, Russia, traveling, vlog

Russian Punk in My Home Town.

A small disclaimer in the beginning… This post was originally scheduled to be published right after my small adventure in my home town. If you haven’t read that, you can find it from here. However, as I ended up doing a small flaneur in Porvoo, the picture material just seemed to be too juicy not to be published immediately. Hence the Porvoo trilogy mixing up the timelines. (Any other science fiction fans out there?)


Anyway, the story goes like this: I decided, on a very spontaneous base as usual, to pay a visit to my home town’s independent music and event scene after I learned that there’s going to be some Russian punk performed! I’ve been volunteering in the venue before at the small vegan cafe corner but this time I was a bit more focused on photographing the event for you, guys. (Not to say that I would’ve in any way neglected the sacred coffee-making responsibilities.) I was even more astonished to hear that the band was actually from the same small Russian town I used to live as an exchange student for a while!

Here are the Scrap Monsters!

I also took some video footage that I sent to the band as well. Such a sweet Russian punk boys they were – even reusing each other’s plastic cutlery because they didn’t want to make any extra costs or waste! I also enjoyed the chance to practise my Russian even though my abilities kinda declined as I got more tired throughout the night. Sorry about that, guys…

Here’s also some video footage of the venue called ‘Kulttuuritallit’ (direct translation would be ‘Cultural Stables’). I think I will do a more in-depth post about the place and its rather significant history later… Anyway, I absolutely love love love the place with its free anarchistic community-oriented spirit!

Sorry for the inconvenient video files: I only took the raw material straight out of my phone so it is what it is. At least it gives you some perspective of the experience! What did you think about the post; would you be interested in visiting ‘Cultural Stables’ or even perform there yourself? We are welcoming all kinds of alternative bands (as long as you’re not a Neo-nazi of any sort). Please let me also know if you liked me to do more music posts about the upcoming events in ‘Cultural Stables’! It’s always a pleasure for me to visit there and help them out so you guys being interested would only give me a good reason to plan some more trips…