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  • Three Favorite Italian Tunes for the Soundtrack of Summer 2004
    Our Paesani

    by Francesca Di Meglio

    SEPTEMBER 12, 2004 -- Summer has been unofficially over for only a week now and already I'm nostalgic - even though I was holed up in the house continuing to recover from that dang knee injury that happened in Italy in April. It was music - more specifically Italian music - that brought on warm-and-fuzzy feelings for a summer that I really should want to forget.

    Every day as I did my exercises, I listened to CDs that my friend Antonio from Ischia made for me. I gained courage every time I heard the Italian national anthem play at the Olympics, which helped me block out the Italian national soccer team's lackluster performance at the European Cup. My Zia Maria comes every afternoon to massage my knee and force it to bend, and she keeps telling me that she won't be happy until I can dance again. At the Festa di San Rocco in my hometown, I discovered "Pana, Amore, Cioccolata" an upbeat ditty about making love all night. Whenever I want to put a smile on Zia Maria's face, I play this song in my head and dance on the one good leg.

    The soundtrack of summer stays in our heads long after the beaches are closed and the chill returns. My friend Antonio, a true music aficionado, has been introducing me to the hot Italian music scene, which most foreigners have overlooked - until now. I thought Antonio could be your teacher, too. Here are his top three choices for best Italian summer song of 2004:

  • "A chi mi dice" by Blue: Blue is a British boy band that is just a little prettier and more talented than its American counterparts. The English band has recorded songs in other languages including French and Italian. For much of this summer, Blue's hit singles "Bubblin'" and "A chi mi dice" held the top spots on the Italian charts. The group was able to record "A chi mi dice," the Italian version of their English single "Breathe Easy," thanks to Italian singer/songwriter Tiziano Ferro. The song was released on March 23 and dominated radio throughout the spring and summer. The video reached the number one slot on MTV Italy's TRL. Yes, TRL is an international phenomenon!

  • "Non me lo spiegare" by Tiziano Ferro: Ferro, a smarty pants who studied science in school, has all the makings of an Italian superstar. Besides being a talented musician who has scored hits for other singers and bands, he looks like he could be the fifth member of Blue with his fine features and polished style. He's already had plenty of hits, but he's going to blow up soon to Britney-sized popularity. "Non me lo spiegare" has him asking the question: "How will this troubled but genuine love story end?" Who hasn't asked that one?

  • "Buoni e cattivi" by Vasco Rossi: Rossi is the only genuine Italian rock star, according to his Web site. His look is the exact opposite of Ferro and Blue. Rossi is gruff and edgy. He has an authentic, mature approach to everything. He oozes cool. The video for "Buoni e cattivi," a rock song, is reminiscent of Michael Jackson's famous videos with groups of beautiful dancers facing off against one another. The fires behind Rossi are his way of saying, "I'm hot" - as if we needed a reminder!

    Do you have a favorite Italian band or singer? Who should I write about next? Let me know what you think at

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