Monday, 23 February 2009

San Remo

Apparently, Italians think they're too cool for the Eurovision Song Contest. One can't protest too forcefully against this, given that both Arnold Judas Rimmer and Carlton off of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air are too cool for Eurovision as well. At any rate, I once checked on Wikipedia how long it had been since the Italians entered a song in it. It's been quite a while.

They do, however, have their own annual song contest held yearly at San Remo. Monica told me, after being made to endure the Balkan delights of the European contest of song, about it in a sort of wistful way that made me think I would like to watch it. She was perhaps less keen to watch it when we were actually in Italy to see it. That's nostalgia for you I suppose. No-one's allowed to hear the music before the festival or the song gets disqualified, but the lyrics are fair game, so "Ti voglio senza amore” (I want you without love) was being criticised in advance.

I was looking forward to it anyway, and decided it would be a good thing to blog about. That's what I'm doing now, don'cha know. Here are some of the songs I liked. RAI has the videos online, but I don't seem to be able to embed them:

  • MARCO MASINI with "L’Italia” (Italy)
    I like the way he sings with his hands in his pockets.
  • PATTY PRAVO with "E io verrò un giorno là” (And I will come there one day)
    This one grew on me, though I'm not sure her voice works too well in the chorus. She's famous from way back. Not at all sure about the eye make-up.
  • POVIA with "Luca era gay” (Luke was gay)

  • "Luke was gay. Now he's with her." - I liked this one musically. I can't vouch for the words; they're about a man who stops being gay, so it's pretty controversial. Monica says they're not good.

This one I wasn't so keen on, and he sings in a strangulated style. However, the chorus really stuck in my head:

FRANCESCO RENGA with "Uomo senza età” (Man without age)

These are the top three in the main contest.

  1. MARCO CARTA with "La forza mia” (My strength)
    Nothing special.
  2. POVIA with "Luca era gay”)
  3. SAL DA VINCI with "Non riesco a farti innamorare” (I can't [manage to] make you fall in love)
    Again, nothing special. Perhaps a little annoying.

Marco Carta is from Italy's X-Factorish style reality/pop show 'Amici' (Friends - even though they're clearly not) which is probably why he won - it certainly wasn't the outstanding quality of the song. It was certainly no song to win a national contest with. Monica's Dad and Lorenzo both chalked it up to bribery. To my mind, there's no reason to attribute to corruption what can be acounted for by the poor taste of the public. I think William of Ockham would back me up on this, but on the other hand, I wouldn't exactly be surprised if shady dealings had been dealt. Makes a change from complaining about the Balkans anyway.

This song won in the 'Proposte' category, which is to say they're newcomers:

ARISA with "Sincerità” (Sincerity)

We liked it. It's nice. The girl is the antithesis of stage presence though. She must be shy. Plus, I wonder where she got the NHS-style glasses from.

This last one is the winner of a new category this year, which was voted for on the web. I think the web has quite a bit to offer on the whole, but the category is a bit of a gimmick in my opinion. The song's not terrible or anything:

ANIA with "Buongiorno Gente" (Hello people)