2/9: Prisencolinensinainciusol

A quick lesson in Italian popular music history: Lucio Battisti is apparently one of that country’s greatest pop/rock legends. I found Anima Latina after scouring a few blogs and downloaded it because the album cover was great. Turns out the music is great, too. The title track from this album is featured in this week’s show. Unfortunately, there’s not much else in his discography that sounds as good. Most of his early music has a nice bass-heavy pop feel to it, with plenty of electric guitars and references to American rock, funk, and jazz. But, nothing is as playful or unusual. At least, not without being cloying at the same time. Eventually he ventured into prog-rock territory and then took off into electronic music, recording albums that sound a little bit like Depeche Mode or The Thompson Twins. His last album, recorded in 1994, is called Hegel and sounds as awful as the title suggests: imagine elevator music or smooth jazz combined with Hall & Oates. But, at least we have Anima Latina. If you want to check out some of his other stuff, I found some Youtube videos. I can’t get behind everything he did, but there are a number of good songs scattered across his career, many of them sounding a bit like the psych-rock and pop that was coming out of the US in the ’60s. First up is Italy’s best selling single from 1976:

Fan-made video, but I like the song a lot:

with Mina Anna Mazzini:

And while we’re on the topic of Italian rock ‘n’ roll, I thought I’d share a video that’s been making the rounds on the internets. Credited to Adriano Celetano and titled “Prisencolinensinainciusol,” it features a classroom singing gibberish in an attempt to sound like American speakers. Apparently this is what we sound like to foreigners. Cut in with the classroom footage is some kind of weird dance routine in black and white that features blonde bombshell Raffaella Carrà dancing and head-banging. Turns out the two performances were spliced together. You can see the mash-up here and the two separated skits are below. One is basically a truncated version of the other set to some kind of comedy sketch. The song rocks hard, but it doesn’t look as though Adriano did anything else like it.

That’s going to do it for this week. Hope you enjoy the show. Thanks for visiting.



01. Charlotte Gainsbourg “IRM” from IRM (2009) on Because

02. Gil Scott-Heron “New York Is Killing Me” from I’m New Here (2010) on XL Recordings

03. Prefuse 73 “Nuno” from Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives (2001) on Warp

04. Plug “A Sublte Blend” from Drum ‘n’ Bass for Papa (1997) on Nothing

05. End. “World Went Down” from The Sounds of Disaster (2004) on Ipecac

06. Chicago Underground Duo “Spy on the Floor” from Boca Negra (2010) on Thrill Jockey

07. Brothers Unlimited “Who’s for the Young” from Who’s for the Young (1970) on Capitol

08. Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro “Yellow Soul Force (Parts II & III)” from Mountain Mocha Kilimanjaro (2009) on Jazzman

09. Portishead “All Mine” from Live at Roseland (1998) on Go Beat

10. Lucio Battisti “Anima Latina” from Anima Latina (1989) on Numero Uno

11. Olivia Tremor Control “Hideway” from Black Foliage, Volume one (1999) on Flydaddy

12. Jim O’Rourke “Therefore, I Am” from Insignificance (2001) on Drag City

13. Beach House “10 Mile Stereo” from Teen Dream (2010) on Sub Pop

14. Amen Dunes “Two Thousand Islands” from Dia (2009) on Locust Music

15. Clinic “2nd Foot Stomp” from Internal Wrangler (2000) on Domino

16. The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “Killer Wolf” from Plastic Fang (2002) on Matador

17. Tortoise “Monument Six One Thousand” from Beacons of Ancestorship (2009) on Thrill Jockey

18. Brian Eno “Third Uncle” from Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy (1974) on Virgin Records

19. Colder “Losing Myself” from Heat (2005) on Output

20. Kraftwerk “The Man-Machine” from The Man-Machine (1978) on KlingKlang

21. Papa M “Beloved Woman” from Whatever, Mortal (2001) on Drag City

22. The Clean “Chumpy” from Unknown Country (1996) on Flying Nun

23. Zelienople “All I Want Is Calm” from Give It Up (2009) on Type


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