Saturday, 27 February 2010

The primordial dawn of electronic

Yesterday night i got the occasion to see one member of the Kraftwerk in concert.
Karl Bartos is now 58 and he's touring around Europe.
I've never been a big fan of Kraftwerk. I read about them as they are considered the fathers of electronic music and traces of their influence are common in some contemporary bands (Daft Punk in primis)
Besides this, their cyberspatial sounds didn't fit with my "modern" tastes.
But then, yesterday i realized i was wrong. I was surprised to see how this music could actually fit in the '70s, while, at the same time, it might perfectly suit a modern club friday night.
Good show, with video screen projection at the beck, and good lights games.

I was thinking at how this guy feels while playing playing Kraftwerk's songs a nostalgic, and probably painful, flashback? Yesterday a couple on their 50's was wearing the Kraftwerk's uniform: red shirt with a black tie. They might have been there for music, but i am quite sure they were there also to remind that time when they used to listen to Kraftwerk, the time when they were young.
Here's the power of music.

It can stop time, and sometime it enables you to go back in time, at least for a while, until you realize it's just a spell and everything is fake. But, even when you finally get wrapped up by melancholy and disillusion, the acknowledge of that feeling, and your personal chance to make it come to life again, will never go away.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Om dansk musik

Here's a post about danish music.
This is such a small country, but it is surprisingly flourishing with alternative bands. Actually good bands.
I would say that the electro element is quite common, or maybe it's just my taste that addresses to this kind of bands, but there's a little bit of everything.
Besides the best surprise i had last fall, my dear SuperTroels Abrahamsen (kind of nordic Thom Yorke) there's some other good stuff I suggest in this short selection.

You're a knife, Built to fall by Veto (SuperTroels' band, quality electrorock in Danish sauce)
61, Smother+Devil by The Kissaway Trails (sounds a bit like Arcade Fire)
Cats on fire, Mimas (a bit post-rock, nice singer's voice)
Superbia, SpleenUnited (electrorock igen, but more dancing)

og meget mere i morgen...
[and many more tomorrow...]


Tuesday, 23 February 2010


It seems coming up from the '60s huh? and yet it's the new single from the Morning Blanders, a Californian band whose new album will be published in March by RoughTrade.

Everything comes back...


Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Nordic/Anglosaxon VS Southern/Classic University system

I came to Denmark for my MA because i felt the need of something new.
I was bored of studying on books, gaining a lot of info and culture that, however , turned to be useless for me as future labor force.
I got a good and wide education in high school, then three years of a "higher high school" (BA), and i though i was enough cultivated to keep digging into culture by myself.
In other words, I wanted something more practical.
Once here though, i realized how poor the preparation i was getting was. I mean, over two hours lecture, i could just say once " oh, this is new and not obvious, today i've learned something!" While in Italy a lecture is so meaty and full of info!
Here, I have class for, at the most, 10 hours a week, usually with one or two days off out of five, and three exams a semester. To get 30ects in Bologna I had to swear on bricks of pages and notes for months, with no-sleeping nights. And then, of course, I had full days nine to five at the university. I got my BA in three years, but in a state of anxiety i don't want to feel never again.
So, coming from that kind of nightmare the first thing one can think coming here is that it is pretty easy. So..yeah, after a few months i wasn't that satisfied with the Danish method, academically speaking. However, i could still affirm the choice to go abroad to be positive.
But it has been since a week ago that i partially changed my mind.
Since I am here I have a lot of free time I use to do stuff that I couldn't have done while enrolled in an italian university: like, for instance, keeping this blog updated, write articles, being active at the studenterhuset by volunteering and organizing events. This is not clubbing or randoming about. This is building something outside the academic profile, something that can undoubtedly help in your future occupation.
For example, I've always thought that the only thing I wanted to do was to work in a publishing house. Now, instead, i've started thinking that also organizing cultural events would be quite amusing, or even work in the marketing department of an international company. Why this? Because i have the time to read other things that those for classes, that, actually I chose not to read. So i think i've found my interpretation of the danish method, or my way of suit to this system. I attend classes, but i don't spend that much time in preparing reading if the topic is not interesting to me. I just use them as, well most of them, as a way to get inspired for the next topic i will write about in the semester project. Above all, i've found out that class discussions are largely overestimated. So, i started reading manuals of marketing of musical events and management of cultural events, besides classes. And it is so rewarding! So i am reconsidering everything. The point is that it's up to you, more than in a classic model. The starting level is quite low, everybody can reach it without getting older on books, but, at the same time who wants more and who's able to organize time and abilities has the time to take care of the rest of his own education and hopefully to start collaboration, or even a part-time job. A real job I mean, nothing to do with washing dishes etc...
Now I understand how Danish contracts for students at 10 hours a week, fit into this system, and how they are built handy enough to go along with students' schedule. However, even if I am happy to be doing my master here, I still think that for a BA a solid academic "classic" education is necessary to gain the basic knowledge that every graduate should have.



Eh, Bon.
Il est six heures du matin. Il fait toujours nuit dehors, et j'écris ma première note en français.
Pourquoi? Parce que je viens de recevoir la nouvelle que j'serai la stagiaire italienne de l'édition 2010-2011 de EuRadioNantes, donc il faut que je m'entraine un peu avec la langue.
En meme temps, je me passionne de management d'événements, de marketing d'événements musicals et culturels.
Je vais écrire sur le système universitaire danois demain.

[Well...It's six am and while it is still dark outside, I write my first post in french. Why? Because I just got a fantastic news: I'll be the italian intern of the next edition of EuRadioNantes, therefore I need to get back and practise the language a bit. At the same time, I get involved in the reading of events management and events marketing books.
I'm going to write about the danish university system tomorrow.]

Voilà une chanson heureuse pour bien commencer votre journée: Hommage à mon aimée Scandinavie, que, hélas, je vais quitter dans quelques mois pour une nouvelle adventure.

[Here's an happy song to start your day. A present to the beloved Scandinavia i'm leaving in a few months to dive into a new adventure.]

Buona giornata
Bonne journée
Have a nice day
Hav en god dag


Tuesday, 9 February 2010


In Danish Ecology is Økologi, which is pronounced something like Ökologhi for Italian speakers. If combined to the Italian word luoghi, it becomes Eco-luoghi (in English Eco-places), which is today's news topic.

Last 4th February at the Triennale di Milano an exhibition called
Green Life has been opened.
It proposes urbanistic projects developed according to eco friendly principles.
In the smoky and grey city of Milan, this international exhibition shows the example of ten European cities that have already developed, or are about to accomplish, some innovative projects in their urbanistic system. Of course Northern Europe represents the
avant-garde. Not only Stockholm and Copenhagen though, but also Hamburg, Friburg, Amsterdam, then down until the closer Salzburg and Vienna.

Unbelievable thinking that Amsterdam has an eco neighborhood with a limited number of cars shared between its inhabitants since 1998. Additionally , those crazy Dutch people want to make their capital the first eco-sustainable city in a few years: the
so-called smart city project that has been launched in 2009.
Well...crazy...I'd rather say ambitious. In fact...if they state something, they usually go straight until the end, or at least that's the impression I got until now.

Amsterdam is ages, even decades, ahead of Milan then, which is, at the moment, only the hosting city of such an interesting and innovative exhibition.
We might hope, once again, that the Expo 2015 will give Milan the chance to start an eco project, and long-term ideas will replace the endemic Italian habit to patch things up, barely enough not to sink. Frankly, I'm quite sceptical though: Italy is a still country where personal interests are always more important than collective ones and où on en parle, en parle, mais rien change jamais. As Tommaso di Lampedusa wrote in his masterpiece Il Gattopardo, the principle that rules Italy is: "Cambiare tutto per non cambiare niente" [Changing everything in order to not to change anything]


Friday, 5 February 2010

Italians...Who are we?

It is quite common that once abroad one thinks more about one's own country developing a new vision, maybe different, of it.
Since i started travelling i've been thinking a lot about Italy and Italians, so that my awkward feeling of belonging/ un-belonging has been strengthened.
Identities are complex and multiple.
Most of the time, I am not proud to be Italian, but when it comes to cooking; at that point, i still feel that spark inside saying: "We are still the best".
Sometimes I also feel the desire to defend my country from insults, but, actually, i rarely have arguments to contrast my interlocutor's thesis. The worst and painful sensation comes when I directly see a typical negative national stereotype coming true right in front of me, and I feel completely helplessy.
I like to think at national identites as good to have a laugh while stereotyping people or to support a football team, but we all saw how they caused wars all over the world.
From the 1648, from the peace of Westphalia, we assumed and absorbed this Nation-State system as it was the only possible forma mentis that enables governments to rule a group of people. Do we really need this system? Will a new system be possible someday?
A fantastic analysis of the relation between
identity issue and nationalism is proposed in Imagining the Balkans by Maria Todorova. Definitely a wonderful historical and sociological description of the denigrated south/east-Europe.

Here instead, an interesting conversation about "Being Italian" between one of the best Italian journalists Corradio Augias and another Italian journalist Vittorio Zucconi (for years correspondent of Repubblica in the US) who got now the American citizenship. Zucconi presents his book Il caratteraccio that was borned from his teaching experience in the US, where
unfortunately, he had to break american students' fairily picture of Italy by telling the truth. The point of view of an Italian from outside the borders, rather, an americanized Italian.

Le storie

Part 1

Part 2

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Hej hej London

I said goodbye to the crawling London to come back to my snowy host country.
By the way, i couldn't come back without a piece of England: a small little block of pages i bought for 8 quid in BrickLane, in a sunny sunday afternoon as an Eastender.
The new book of Nick Hornby. The title is Juliet, Naked. It deals with music and love, and, actually, i can't ask better of a book, i am, immerse in that England i met in another Hornby's work High Fidelity (one of my cult books) the first time. The same England that, after shaping in my mind, i got now to know first-hand. The England of the gigs, of people living with and for music. By eradicating ithe book from its own natural environment i stole it and I brought it some thousands km up north, where it still snows.
A book to reminds you some of the English scent, just in case you forget how it sounds like while away from it.