Roma Holiday #2 — Music

Those expecting a list of exciting Italian bands are gonna be let down here. I sensed too much of a disconnect to ask the operators at the couple of music stores we found to recommend locals to me (’cause at about 18 Euros and up they could be spendy mistakes). There was the outfit I saw in a video on hotel TV doing what at first exposure sounded like a class roots-punk number where I stupidly failed to write down their name and the tune was something like “Never Expected This To Happen,” and I couldn’t track ’em down — which may mean I was wrong and they’re minor.

First I would like to re-iterate a series I mentioned before because so much of the general soundtrack of Rome is still rooted in film scores from the ’50s and ’60s — the big pick for me would be the Film Noir set (the final disc is a genius combination).

((Much Better than I remembered — “The Man With the Golden Arm.” Which reminds me that Frank Sinatra and (((OMG))) Walt Disney are way way more prominent in Roma streets than, well, Boston, anyway. Approaching Anaheim. I was crushed to discover that the one Walt Item I wanted to find in Rome did not exist any more. The single explicitly Italian character in the classic Disney Cannon was Magica De Spell, a sexy witch-duck who lived on the slopes of Mt.Vesuvius, created by Carl Barks for Uncle Scrooge Comics as an explicit acknowledgement of Disney popularity in Italy. Her conflicts with Scrooge are some of Barks’ best and I was crushed I couldn’t score a souvenir.))

GoGo Penguin, Man Made Object (Blue Note).

Air France has an outstanding in-flight video-audio program even for proles (well, an entertaining six hours worth, anyway — there was little for me on the return trip). Bouncy, jouncy, consistent and full of ideas (if too much keyboard maybe) , GoGo Penguin was a surprise and a treat and it holds up more than fine back in the USRRA.

Carl Craig, Versus (Infine & Planet E)

Featuring

Francesco Tristano

Les Siecles Orchestra

Conducted by Francoise-Xavier Roth

Orchestral collaboration with techno-house. “Dubious” would be a kind description, right? Except I’m telling you that this project, worked on for 10 years apparently, with final tweaks by Craig himself, clicks on every track. You may dance in your head or on the floor. I’m a serious Craig fan who thinks he has a profound understanding of waves of rhythm and volume, sensuous and mentally engaging at once. And this big undertaking is one of his best.

 

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