Brief thoughts on Sicily’s approach to music based on a whole six days there
1. Sicilians love themselves some Pink Floyd. I have no idea why, but for some reason every tenth Fiat you walk past is bumping out “Money”. One of my cousins has even gone to the extent of shoving “Dark Side of the Moon” decals on the side of his Cinquecento like some sort of parallel universe version of Pimp My Ride where Xzibit was replaced by Cedric Bixler Zavala. One of Italy’s leading comedy routines involves some dude wandering on stage and talking about how great Pink Floyd and Genesis are (without irony), before throwing a few zingers out at now-dead 60s Italian crooners. To the Italians, this shit is Dead Parrot, Delboy falling through the bar, and the episode of 2.4 Children where they bought the turkey for Christmas but it was still alive all rolled into one. I have no real comment on this, but I get the feeling a lot of English still feel that Italy’s bloodstream is 99% piano house. It isn’t. It likes its rock stadium-shaped.
2. Tiziano Ferri is still going. No, me neither.
3. English-language musicians who have crossed over into Italy in recent years, based on brief amounts of time catching “Deejay TV” blaring in crappy bars: Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Pitbull. I know for most rap bloggers it’s pretty easy to clown Pitbull as part of some wider “lol tom breihan is a fag” routine, but “I Know You Want Me” probably is the worst single of the year. You want to know how bad it is? When I first saw/heard it, I just assumed Pitbull was English. Like, “Oh, this must be some dude who came second on a reality TV show I never watched and now he’s doing a quick cash-in novely dance single before his career goes away. Fair enough, can’t knock the hustle”. He even looks like a club promoter from, say, Headingley when filmed in black and white. As for Gaga and Perry, I’m 95% sure that just proves that globalisation has worked. And, you know, maybe eventually slowly perhaps sort of kinda we’re coming to the belief here on ILB that Katy Perry is actually… pretty good? I honestly don’t know what more you’d want from a radio pop single in 2009 than “Waking Up In Vegas”.
4. The highpoint of my holiday was watching some swarthy fat dude angrily jabbering into his mobile at Palermo Centrale train station, bellowing “WHERE IS IT YOU SAID IT WOULD BE HERE ON THE TWELVE O’CLOCK TRAIN AND IT’S NOW TWO”, whilst wearing… a B2K t-shirt. I nearly went up to him on some “Girlfriend, on the phone, something something something leave me alone” tip, but I’d forgotten the lyrics. I even did some research when I went home, and “Bump Bump Bump” wasn’t even a hit in Italy, so Dio knows what was going on there. Maybe dude helped counsel Raz-B after the incident and he was given that shirt as a thank you gift?
5. The Italian toy store Giocheria is advertised with a billboard display that features a kid who looks ridiculously like Baby P, to the extent that I’ve spent 48 hours since returning to this country trying to find a photo of Baby P wearing a red jumper to see if it is this. Because I can quite easily see an Italian company just typing “baby” into google and using the first photo it shat out.
Anyway, here’s the theme tune to Love Boat in Italian: