August 30, 2012

KEXP gets hip to Jovanotti

I wondered on this blog in 2010 if America was ready for the Italian world-music superstar Jovanotti, whose songs I love and believe in, as he readied a musical invasion on these shores across the Atlantic (after two decades of collaborating in Europe with everyone from his pal Bono to Ben Harper, Sergio Mendes, Michael Franti, and The Beastie Boys).

Later that summer, I shared my massively radiant delight at getting to interview him on a pier in Santa Monica about music, creativity, social justice, and the importance of rhythm. I’ve argued vociferously that his music can enrich and expand your aural life, even if you don’t parlo a lick of italiano. The way his voice flows over the consonants and vowels is hypnotic — at times blissful like a sedative, at times ennervating like a tumble in a rock polisher where everything gets smooth and brilliant.

Now Jovanotti has gone and visited Seattle’s KEXP (!) to record his first ever U.S. radio performance – a completely delightful session that I hope will convert legions of you guys to his music. After a jaunt down the West Coast this month (including a stop at Amoeba Music), he is on tour across the U.S. for the first time in October, playing all sorts of wonderful venues that you know and love. I guarantee you (as in, I will reimburse you the cost of your concert ticket) that if you take a chance with him, it will be one of the most mind-bendingly exuberant concerts you have ever seen. The KEXP session feels more like the sedative we talked about (a happy sedative), while his full show is a spettacolo of rhythm and color.

Jovanotti just released his first album of music specifically for an American audience, the Italia 1988-2012 collection, on the venerable ATO Records imprint (My Morning Jacket, Alabama Shakes, Hey Rosetta!, Allen Stone, and Two Gallants, among others). The tracks are hand-picked for us and our American tastes –whatever that means– from Jovanotti’s long and varied career, and forego some of his massive European hits (that are as fun as hell to sing along to, or to watch Italians sing along to) in favor of a whole different feel.

As KEXP host Darek Mazzone says to Jovanotti at the end of the session: “you’re gonna blow up, your lives are gonna be different — you’re gonna make it in America.” The KEXP write-up speculates that Jovanotti is on the brink of success in the U.S., after playing Bonnaroo (and Outside Lands, and Austin City Limits Festival come October). KEXP’s Ian Robinson writes:

“[This was] one of the most interesting interviews ever conducted in our studio not only because of his thick accent (the way he says “giraffe” is worth it alone) but also because the truly beautiful and inspiring things he has to say about what music truly means to an individual and what that means for the world.

Also I’m pretty sure he’s wearing Air Yeezy 2s.”

October 1 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
October 2 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero
October 5 – Boston, MA – Royale
October 6 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
October 8 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse
October 9 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
October 10 – Miami, FL – The Fillmore Miami Beach
October 12 – Austin, TX – ACL Music Festival
October 14 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
October 15 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
October 17 – Chicago, IL – The Vic Theatre
October 18 – Detroit, MI – Saint Andrew’s Hall

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1 Comment

  • I was fortunate enough to go see Jovanotti live in NYC last night (10-6-12). Being Italian-American and strongly attached to my roots (my parents came over 40 years ago)I love all Italian artists, especially Jovanotti. I feel fortunate that I am fluent in Italian, and understand the lyrics, BUT, my friend who went with me doesnt speak Italian, and he said he could fully appreciate Jovanotti’s energy and talent. I think that as generalization, MOST people in the US listen to only music in English, whereas the rest of the world is more open minded. If as a whole the people here embraced music from other countries, a wealth of outstanding discoveries would await them

    Ciro Festa — October 7, 2012 @ 11:27 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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