Monday, April 25, 2005

Bella ciao - a rebel song, a liberation song

Not as famous as many traditional songs from my town Napoli, nor as "Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)", nor as "Quando, quando, quando", but if I have found more than 100 versions of "Bella ciao" on the net, by different artists, in many different genres and languages, that will mean something to many people. Right?

Surely that was the most played song today in Italy. Today was April 25, the Liberation Day in Italy. Liberation from nazi-fascist regime, reached by Partisans 60 years ago with a popular insurgence, before Allied Forces came to last hit to Nazi.

There are many many versions of "Bella ciao" as I said. Here comes someone.

A splendid ethereal and striking version by Anita Lane, Nick Cave's author and inspiring muse, member of the unseparable Bad Seeds, taken from his album “Sex o’clock” (Mute records 2001).
Anita Lane - Bella ciao

Another beautiful easy listening version of the song by Mirah, Phil Elverum's Microphones female vocalist, from his album “To all we stretch the open arm” with The Black Cat Orchestra (YoYo records 2004).
Mirah - Bella ciao

Another one by Spaceheads from the self-titled album (1996): a really strange version with experimental/avant/jazz/dub/trip/acoustic/techno/space contaminations, committed to the voice of Marion Coutts, singer out of the Dog Faced Hermans, anarcho-punk band from Netherlands.
Spaceheads - Bella ciao

To stay in anarcho-punk community, here comes another version of "Bella ciao" by Chumbawamba, unreleased and dedicated to Carlo Giuliani, the 20 years old italian boy killed by italian police in Genova, in the summer of 2001 during the protests against the G8 economy, liberism and their wild globalization.
Chumbawamba - Bella ciao

For the hard to please ones there is the version by Swingle Singers, famous ensamble made by Ward Swingle in the early ’60s in Paris.
Swingle Singers - Bella ciao

But the non-standard version are so many.
Could someone help me to give a name to this (hungarian?) heavy metal band? Vàltozat?
Vàltozat (?) - Bella ciao

Do you like this speed-folk-metal version by russian 44 Leningrad?
44 Leningrad - Bella ciao

Here you can find the punk version by swiss band PunkSeck
PunkSeck - Bella ciao

So many the ska versions too: german by Heiter Bis Wolkig, spanish by Los Canallas and italians by Banda Bassotti.
Heiter Bis Wolkig - Bella ciao
Los Canallas - Bella ciao
Banda Bassotti - Bella ciao

I finish with the folk version by italian Modena City Ramblers, that also comes at the end of their usual concert in the Piazza del Popolo in Rome, May 1st, International Workers' Day.
Modena City Ramblers - Bella ciao

Resistance. Now and ever.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Frames - Black Forest: an abrasive shower to wash all that buttery pop away!

I acknowledge that I didn't know A Frames before I listen their new 3rd album "Black Forest".

The intro of the record, the opening titletrack "Black Forest I", retrieved me to the recent works made by Liars: raining noise and a distort and pulsing bass that seems the heart of a metallic crawling with life forest.
Then the attack of the next song "Experiment", with that martial drumming, the hopping bass and the guitar as scratching as nails on a smooth wall without any grip, and the voice, the voice that gives a shiver along my shoulder, while a schizoid and epileptic silhouette it draws before my eyes: Ian Curtis. That image does not hint to go out of focus also in the next song "Galena", in fact it wiggles always faster and without any coordination, just like after a tarantula bite.
The injected venom flows under the skin, whacking the body off, just like an electric shock and the body changes as it passes through, mixing the screams with thousands of voices and thousands of echoes, while the past runs fast. The frames are short: the Johnny "Rotten" Lydon's punk in "Death Train", while the virus grafts on a bluegrass substrate in "Files". In "Eva Braun" it re-emerges, dressing like Ian Curtis's Joy Division, even in the choice of the hated nazi imaginary, able to keep opaque lights flaring in the middle of the rotten.
Dark and pealing funk-punk à la Liars in "Black Forest II", with odd tempos, broken by continuous hiccups.
With "Memoranda" an "U-boot", A Frames brings the dark wave back home, in the USA, and here the obsessive rythmes meet the typical american indie-rock guitar wrenching embroideries: two sparkle asters in a black sky.
"My teacher" is a slowly overlapping of dialoguing voices for a tempory apparent calm, which noise and rythm restart from, swithcing till the end funk-punk and dark wave attitudes in “Age of Progress”, “Negative” and the final “Black Forest III", that abrasively closes the record , drowning it under a noisy shower.
Buy "Black Forest" @ Sub Pop records.
Here 2 songs (mp3) from the album:
A Frames - Black Forest - 02 - Experiment
A Frames - Black Forest - 03 - Galena

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Coldplay - 5 songs live + "Talk" from the forthcoming "X&Y"

New Coldplay's album "X&Y" will be out on June 6 as announced on their web site where
you can find the artwork and the track list (12 new songs).
The album will be preceded by single ‘Speed Of Sound’ on May 23.
Moving from USA, last week the band was in Europe to keep on live testing new songs from the forthcoming album.

Some anticipations were already been given to fans during public radio station KCRW-FM's
annual benefit A Sounds Eclectic Evening concert Saturday, March 12, 2005 at The Universal Amphitheatre - Los Angeles

This is the set list of the concert:

Coldplay - Live @ TheUniversal Amphitheatre - Los Angeles
Saturday, March 12, 2005

01 - Square one (download mp3)
02 - In my place
03 - White shadows (download mp3)
04 - The scientist
05 - Daylight
06 - Sparks
07 - A message (download mp3)
08 - Clocks
09 - What if (download mp3)
10 - Politik
11 - Speed of sound (download mp3)
12 - Yellow

And here again a new track from "X&Y":

Coldplay - X&Y - 05 - Talk (download mp3)