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Helsinki's Heavy Metal Hillbillies
August 6, 2014 7:23 PM   Subscribe

A Finnish band named Steve 'N' Seagulls (site in Finnish) plays bluegrass covers (in English) of Iron Maiden's 'The Trooper', DIO's 'Holy Diver' and AC/DC's 'Thunderstruck'. Because... why not?

warning: contains questionably stereotypical and culturally appropriating costumes... and heavy farm machinery
posted by oneswellfoop (28 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
The thing you have to understand about Finland is nothing.
posted by srboisvert at 7:32 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Like the music, hate the headdress.
posted by mochapickle at 7:33 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


See also: Hayseed Dixie. They've been tilling similar soil for years.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 7:33 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


The thing you have to understand about Finland is nothing.

Spent a few days in Espoo in February once. People were nice enough, but if there's a colder place on Earth I'm definitely not interested.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:35 PM on August 6


Like the music, hate the headdress.
Yes, that was the first thing that made me cringe, but as I got further into it, I realized the whole "hillbilly chic" they were doing was cultural appropriation - of a culture you can get away with appropriating. Sigh. Still, upon a second listen without the visuals, I liked the music even more. Certainly better than "Cotton Eye Joe" by "Rednex" back in '95...
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:01 PM on August 6 [3 favorites]


I really like Thunderstruck. I actually understood the lyrics.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 8:28 PM on August 6


"Spent a few days in Espoo in February once. People were nice enough, but if there's a colder place on Earth I'm definitely not interested."

Heh. Teemu Selänne, a hockey player from Finland complained about the cold in Winnipeg MB where he played and I lived for a couple of years.

It's not even close. Winnipeg is on average twenty degrees F colder in the winter than Espoo. It's the month of March in Winnipeg before the average low temperture warms to the average low temperature in the depth of winter in January in Espoo.
posted by vapidave at 8:41 PM on August 6


This is like Finland's answer to Leningrad Cowboys.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:42 PM on August 6 [5 favorites]


I just heard their "Thunderstruck" on KGNU in Boulder a couple of minutes ago. I took it for a particularly energetic Yonder Mountain cover or something until the DJ said otherwise.
posted by brennen at 8:42 PM on August 6


...been tilling similar soil for years.

First thing I thought of.
posted by uraniumwilly at 9:03 PM on August 6


I love their version of Thunderstruck. I'd always suspected that the lyrics were kind of inane but of course I couldn't really tell. Now I know I was right, which kind of diminishes the song (but not really).
posted by ashbury at 9:23 PM on August 6


This reminds me - I was camping up in Mendocino the other week and turned on radio, wondering what kind of jams they liked to play in norcal - this kind of jams, it turns out
posted by thedaniel at 9:58 PM on August 6


I'm more of a Slayer fan.
posted by palbo at 11:19 PM on August 6 [1 favorite]


Double. Sort of. The Iron Maiden cover was posted here last month.
posted by koeselitz at 11:53 PM on August 6


Double. Sort of. The Iron Maiden cover was posted here last month.
posted by koeselitz at 1:53 AM on August 7 [+] [!]

I memailed oneswellfoop: "Oh god I hope it [your post] doesn't get deleted for being a duplicate and you won't see me complaining. ... it's not like there is a surplus of Finnish bluegrass bands playing heavy metal covers on Metafilter."

Also bluegrass interpretations of metal tunes are my new excuse for not sleeping. The following two fucking mow.

Enter Sandman.
Iron Man
posted by vapidave at 12:16 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it is nice to see their work fleshed out a bit.
posted by koeselitz at 12:31 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


>This is like Finland's answer to Leningrad Cowboys.

My humor detector must be malfunctioning. I can't decide whether you are making a joke, or if you have missed that Leningrad Cowboys is a Finnish project.
posted by AxelT at 1:39 AM on August 7


I've been listening to bluegrass covers for a decade now. Iron Horse (as linked to be vapidave, above) are my favourite practitioners by a long stretch. I think what sets them apart is that they have a genuine enthusiasm for both the music style and also the music they choose to cover. There's no sense of deliberate novelty to what they do, and the covers generally do justice to the originals. I'd single out their albums of material by Modest Mouse and The Shins as especially good examples.
posted by pipeski at 3:20 AM on August 7


AxelT -- well, yes. But deadpan seemed appropriate here.

My first thought was to wonder whether any of these guys are former Sleepy Sleepers like the Cowboys, but they all look too young for that.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 4:01 AM on August 7


Sweet.
posted by Flood at 4:44 AM on August 7


McCoy -- yes, deadpan was definitely appropriate. But even as I was giggling I found myself doubting and thinking bad thoughts of ignorant youth. Sorry about that :)
I wonder what Steve 'n Seagulls story would be if Kaurismäki made a movie about them..
posted by AxelT at 5:50 AM on August 7


Like the music, hate the headdress.

They're 1/64th Cherokee. Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandma was the chief's niece.
posted by ChuckRamone at 6:35 AM on August 7


This just gives me bad flashbacks to oompah bands trying their hands on some AC/DC anthems in the beer festival tents past 9 pm…

Still not as good as that French troupe that I saw at a, well, "ren faire" recently, where it really took me a while to notice that the background music to their juggling and acrobatics was basically pseudo-medieval Maiden instrumental covers.
posted by pseudocode at 7:46 AM on August 7


Like the music, hate the headdress.

Headdress = blackface.

But Why Can't I wear a Hipster Headdress?
posted by ikahime at 8:18 AM on August 7


Here is another "Country" cover band that I am fond of, The Boss Hoss "Hey Ya" this one is out of Germany ,and This is a awesome cover of "everything counts". Lots of country western drag, no Indian head wear, The booty girls with horse heads is a nice touch though (first video).
posted by boilermonster at 9:30 AM on August 7


Headdress = blackface.

Exactly. I feel like, OK, if you can't bother to avoid offensive, completely needless appropriation (or even in the meta way I think they intend it: which is appropriation of a culture that participates in appropriation, is bizarre) why should I bother to listen to your music?
posted by mochapickle at 9:56 AM on August 7 [1 favorite]


They are not from Helsinki, but from Central Finland (could not google where exactly but I'm guessing Jyväskylä region). Also, daily high temperatures have been +25C or warmer every day for the past month or so. It's not always cold here. That is the single most annoying Finnish stereotype I can think of. Yes, we're a nation of violent knifestabbing speechless alcoholics, ugliest of the Nordics, stupid and prone to suicide. But it's not always cold here.

Re: headdresses, I saw George Clinton play a couple of weeks ago at a local music festival and one of the guys in the band was wearing one. I had no idea that someone would find that offensive. For me it was just costume party headwear, same as wearing a cowboy hat: a strange American thing. Although he could have very well been wearing nothing but a pope hat and speedos and few people in the audience would have been offended. It's not always easy to understand these kind of cultural sensitivities from our weird little monoculture.
posted by ikalliom at 11:49 AM on August 7 [3 favorites]


Well, thanks to this thread I've been listening to the Bad Livers all day.
posted by Elmore at 3:43 PM on August 7


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