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October 30, 2005

Music in Italy: Party Like it's 1983

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Perugia, Italy:

I don't dance and most new dance and pop music I hear makes me want to throw up all over myself. However, most of the bars in Perugia have small dance spaces and the music is, as a consequence, dance/pop music. It's all over the place and I often find myself humming bars of irritating tracks I can't recognize and loathe. After a while, however, my standards have dropped. I now have a standard for judging these songs, classifying them as (1) Awful, (2) Just God-Awful, and (3) Kill Me Now. If it's in the first category, relatively speaking, I like the song and hum it to myself like a recently-lobotomized imbecile.

I don't think all of this music gets played because Italians love to dance. To the contrary, most of the people dancing in these places are drunk foreign girls, while the Italian element consists of the guys who want to grope them. One night, about a week ago, a bunch of us were sitting in the bar Merlin, drinking beer and taking a look around. A group of three or four girls, the whole lot of them pretty much pickled from too many white martinis, was stumbling around to the music, trying hard to pick up some rhythm and not fall over a table.

"They're Americans," said my friend Argentina (Florencia).

"How do you know?" I asked.

"They're the only ones dancing to '50 Cent.'"

I looked around. Damn. She was right.

At another club a few days later, the bunch of us realized that the saying that European clubs are stuck in the 80's remains dead-on accurate. You cannot go to a club that does not, at some point, play "YMCA" by the Village People. They are legally required by law to play this, just as they are legally required to play "Disco Inferno" and tracks from "Grease". Fifty years from now they will still be doing this.

The only good thing going for the music scene is the Spanish music they play. If it isn't English, chances are you are hearing Spanish and not Italian. I don't know if the Colombian "Juanez" is getting any play in the States with "Camisa Negra," but that song and others like it are the one's I find myself humming here, despite myself. I might even admit to liking some of the Spanish Shakira songs, but nobody should quote me on that and I might deny it later. As for Italian pop, it isn't all bad. Only about 95% of it is.

Posted by Joshua on October 30, 2005 05:39 PM
Category: Italy: Journal of Gluttony and General Sloth

Still got the Buenos Aires itch?! Espressoman still thinks fondly of B.A., and a bit selfishly of its cafe culture. Espressoman was just reading an article about how many of the South American universities equate higher education with political agitation, and as a result sacrifice the former to the latter. Who knows? Still, envious of their bookstores.

Posted by: Espressoman on November 3, 2005 10:25 AM

Still got it. In fact, heading out to some travel agencies soon to look into booking the ticket (or tickets...). I don't want to leave Italy but at the same time I can't wait to dig into an extra-rare bife de chorizo steak and go back to Cafe Tortoni. Can't complain, can I?

Posted by: Josh on November 4, 2005 05:42 AM
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