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Interim report Q3/2020

The musical monitoring period of July–September caused a slight electric shock-like jolt to the testicles and an uncharacteristically fierce celebration, in which one's fist is pumped wildly in the air five times in a row. This resulted in a pair of rubbery Mr Spock's ears falling behind the radiator and a can of Megaforce energy drink spilling all over the keyboard.



This past weekend, our company celebrated the announcement of the results of the third musical quarter of the year with an exclusive gig on Instagram Live by DJ Timmy, Finland's most unknown backyard DJ.


The set, condensed from the attached playlist, was eventually cut down to just over half an hour due to the updated copyright regulations of the social media platform in question. In our opinion, this is by no means an excessive precaution limiting artistic freedom. The gig thrown on the terrace of a semi-detached house located in an unnamed district of the capital region could be heard by up to two domestic cats enjoying the exceptionally beautiful October sun.


Our in-house top analyst, Renate Cameron-Hurtta, whose monitoring responsibilities include – in addition to electro pop – gummy bears and powerful water guns, stated that the third quarter was "a grind of epic dimensions". And she is right. The most stellar new release of the quarter, Erasure's The Neon – a more detailed analysis of which can be read herewould have been enough to keep our company afloat and nail us, strangely hypnotised, to watching some embarrassingly gawky dad dancing until the wee hours.


From The Neon, we have selected the four most up-and-comers for the list. Among the success factors of the monitoring period, we would also like to draw attention to Be a Rebel, Hygiene Strip and Say Something, which we have previously selected as picks of the month. In addition to these, our CEO Heikki Nykopp-Kaarela – causing a shared sense of shame –was unfortunately able to comment on a few other top performers of our Q3 results, mostly through the memories they evoked. This is what he babbled into the karaoke mic at our launch event:




This cheerfully cheeky anthem penned by Sia Furler and producer genius Greg Kurstin salutes Steps' extravagant image with its wacky dance patterns and all. It's definitely one of the year's most joyous cuts.


The song vividly reminds me of a moment in junior high school when I was sitting in front of the reception of the school nurse in a beige corridor with headphones on and staring at the already slightly faded health education posters. One of them pictured wild strawberries threaded on a straw and an anti-smoking message that – roughly translated – urged you not to mess up your senses with tobacco but smell and taste the summer in all its glory. The other featured a popular Finnish athlete of the time, Arto Härkönen, winner of the men's javelin throw at the Los Angeles Olympics.


In the poster, Arto urged young people to take care of their genital hygiene. I kid you not. This ambassador of clean private parts was presented in all his hairiness, soaping himself in the shower. Arto's "javelin" was not pictured, not even covered with foam or a pink heart, which was favoured by Finnish authorities who censored the late-night cable TV porn in the 90s. But at least Arto had a firm grip on the phallic shaft of a shower gel bottle shaped to fit in a manly man's hand.




Rod Thomas, who took his stage name from the famous line in the movie Gremlins, has released an album that almost rivals his debut offering. I've come to know Bright Light X2 as particularly skilled at portraying feelings of heartbreak, longing, and abandonment, and he doesn't disappoint this time either. This track is the gem of an album consisting entirely of duets with guest stars.


The song made me think back to my past love interest, who I thought was perfect: she wasn't bothered when I recited Klingon poetry about the strategy of warfare. She didn't get angry even when our basement filled up with non-functioning pinball machines I scavenged on the Internet, along with Japanese "adult" comics, and superhero statuettes. She was completely happy to occasionally watch football with me, enjoyed her hot dog with dried onions, and downed a long-necked bottle of beer faster than me.


We could talk about everything and nothing: antique synthesizers, discontinued sweets from the 80s such as our childhood favourites Scrooge McDuck's coins and Jambo chocolate bars, and how Monty Python's Flying Circus was originally considered to be called Vaseline Report or Owl Stretching Time.




I think this easily ranks among Kylie's classic singles. It achieves the glamour of her iconic golden hot pants and demands you to join in the dance with its seductive call of do-you-do-you-do-you. Finland's own home-grown talent Teemu Brunila should be proud of his participation in the process of creating such a funky beat.


However, the songwriters who ingeniously capture the shameless hedonistic atmosphere of the discotheque always make me jealous and regret that I myself have not fulfilled my creative ambitions and calling, for example as a sketchsmith. My sketch series Sketches and violence could have had its moment back in the day. Especially a sketch called "Hello, this is CEO Poppycock from Turd & Willy Ltd!" can cause a sketch addict such as myself to almost achieve a momentary feeling of superiority.


I have indeed been diagnosed as a sketch addict, but I don't consider it a real disease any more than I do being a hobby horse enthusiast or originating from the Savonian province. So what if I happen to think about skits every six seconds? Or if sketches dominate my thoughts so completely that I sometimes have to lock myself in the bathroom to draw up sketches in order to satisfy my hunger for them? Or is it really so dangerous if I stay up all night online hoping to find even more absurd ideas and get my kicks from ever more daring sketches?


Of course, I realise that the endless need for sketches can push me over that last boundary, and eventually I end up distancing the whole sketch format so far from its roots that I no longer remember what made me do it in the first place. I may drift into self-serving absurdity, absurdity for absurdity's sake.


So far I've avoided indulging in forbidden pleasures, but I realise that if I continue to make these dangerous choices, it's only a matter of time before I get caught and am accused of fake artistry, lazy background work, or maybe even plagiarism. And if the timing of laughter is completely off due to all my overblown self-assertion and a burst comes out too early or alternatively gets completely stuck in one's throat, I can lose my grip on laughter. Then the foundation for everything is lost.


Maybe I have to simply slow down. I don't want to arrive at the punchline of my life too soon. Nowadays there is a cure for premature laughter. There's no shame in admitting a problem, is there? Right?


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