Even this picture is a bit fuzzy, which is how I’m feeling. I had a busy weekend. I cooked a lot and though I would like a break, it has somehow given me more ideas and energized me to do more!
I received free tickets to Heineken’s Jammin Festival (last year I saw Depeche Mode free, yay!) but I decided not to go as I wasn’t that excited about any of the bands, and instead we went to the Festival Bar concert in Milan.
Good thing I didn’t go because a freak “tromba d’aria” (whirlwind-tornado) went directly through the concert grounds and blew over light towers and destroyed the concert area. 30 people were injured and everything had to be cancelled. Luckily there were no deaths, but it is a shame because it was the first year at the new location (before it was always held at Imola), the concerts were pretty much sold out – it was day 2 of a four-day concert and the camping grounds (new this year) were totally sold out.
Some of my colleagues that were there said that the sky went completely black before the whirlwind came through. The closest I’ve been to a tornado was in 1998 when I was living in Texas and we were on tornado alert!
Back in Milan, we were lucky, but the weather went from terrible and rainy that day to nice and balmy for the evening. It was clear and great weather for mosquitoes, who somehow managed to communicate among their cousins and arrive in full force at the Piazza del Duomo for the concert. Festival Bar is a funny concert because it’s a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg scenario – it’s more like a way to introduce you to a series of songs that you will then find on the conveniently-named “Festival Bar Compliations,” which in my opinion happen before the concerts are even scheduled, and then forces the attendance of the artists to at least one of the concerts somewhere.
There were some big names (especially in Italy) and I saw Elisa, Neffa, Negramaro, Zucchero, Nek, Giorgia & Pino Daniele, and Biaggio Antonacci and a bunch more, including Jared Leto’s band which was NOT the highlight of the night.
My favorite part of the Festival Bar concert was when they said, “According to the Questura of Milan, there are 150,000 of you here tonight!”
I can just imagine them pulling out their high-tech crowd measuring tools to estimate the people per square meter from the top of the crane overlooking the piazza, or perhaps they have a guest sizeologist (what kind of scientist would this be) there that evening who gives a precise count periodically throughout the night.
Or perhaps, more realistically, the organizers asked one of the Carabinieri behind the stage for an estimate, and after trying to radio his boss repeatedly (who was busy judging the impromptu wet T-shirt contest) he called a friend of his “good with numbers” out in the audience.
“How many? Boh! There’s a lot of people here….A lot! I would say…100, 150 thousand?”
- Check out the “Gay Pride” parade this past weekend in Rome. Though it’s a understanding that Milan has a larger gay-lesbian community, they had the parade in Rome, for some reason. Could it be to respond to Family Day with their own remarks? Be sure and check out the photo galleries – faces – parade banners – and general photos
- Shelley also has some (related) coverage on the “Gay Village” in Rome today.
- I’m not sure who let Rod Stewart in Italy to get married again (Isn’t he like 87?) Let’s cut him some slack – it’s just his 3rd marriage, he has some time.
- Some bad news for Alitalia – it’s possible Aeroflot won’t bid for them. Who does that leave? (Article in Italian here)
Since I can’t leave you with a boring news-only kind of post, here’s two videos for you to enjoy.
The first is a singer named Sia – I first heard her dance remix in 2000 – “I Drink to Get Drunk” which I LOVED, and then she collaborated with Zero 7 on two of their albums (excellent, immediate buys!). She has a smokey, hypnotic voice.
Here’s a semi-recent video for her song “Breathe Me” which I think is really interesting since it uses Polaroid pics for many key scenes.
This is a pretty new song (released last month) and I have a feeling it’s going to be a nice summer dance song. The best thing about summer in Italy is the “summer” locations that open up – outside and under the stars! Sophie Ellis-Bextor is probably most known for her song with Spiller – “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” but she’s done pretty good on her own as well. This is from her third album, Trip the Light Fantastic, and the song is “Me & My Imagination.” Enjoy!!