Thursday, October 09, 2008

Even Italians like Miley Cyrus!

For the first two weeks of September I was very lucky to go on a family vacation to Italy to do some touristy stuff and visit more family. The last time I was in Italy was almost 10 years ago (1999). Anytime I leave the country, whether it’s across the pond or close by like Canada, I always like to know what music is big there.

During our trips to Italy in the 80s and early 90s, there were a few artists that were big in both there and at home…Madonna and Bon Jovi leading the way. I think 1994 is when the gap started closing. This partly could have been because that was the year we discovered MTV UK on our grandparents’ TV. That summer I think we saw the video for “Black Hole Sun” by Soundgarden anytime we put it on that channel, which was also being played on MTV at home. However, I do recall discovering a boy band called Take That, and their song “Back For Good” being on heavy rotation, and you may recall this song as it was their only US hit. This video also introduced my 14 year old self to the beauty that is Robbie Williams.

In 1999, the gap seemed even closer. However, MTV UK had been switched for MTV Italia, and so more Italian artist were played along side the American and British Acts. Again, Robbie Williams was on the screen, however this time as a solo artist. The video for “Millennium” was popular and was on what seemed like every 10 minutes. Even though the song and album were released in the States, it wasn’t as big of a success. Another song I remember seeing the video for was Skunk Anansie’s “Secretly” which was used in the movie Cruel Intentions.

So this time around I knew there would probably be no gap in what was big here and what would be big over there. According to Death Cab For Cutie, “Information travels faster in the modern age” and I couldn’t agree more. Due to the internet, mainly, anyone can find out what the number one song is in any country, discover the latest bands through sites like MySpace, or network with other fans across the globe and file share. And I was right, the music that is being played on top 40 radio here in the States is the same music being played on the radio and MTV Italia. I loved watching their TRL to see what was hot. There were some Italian artists on the countdown, of course, but you saw the familiar tween favorites Miley Cyrus (“7 Things”) and Jonas Brothers (“Burnin’ Up). Summer hits like “Disturbia” by Rhianna, “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry were also in heavy rotation. One video that was also played a lot was “Sex On Fire” by Kings Of Leon.

At first I was surprised to see it on during the morning mix or even on TRL, but then I remembered that KOL always seemed to have a bigger following in Europe.

Another thing I ended up watching part of on MTV Italia was this special on German sensation Tokio Hotel. If you are unfamiliar with this band, just ask any 14 year old with jet black hair at Hot Topic. I first found out about them in April when my friend Morgan said her 15 year old cousin was coming up from Kansas City to see them here in Chicago (one of their only US dates) However, they never made it due to vocal problems. Mascara and eyeliner ran for days once this news was announced, I’m sure. What was even funnier was my cousin, Alice, had lead singer, Bill Kaulitz’s picture as her cell’s wallpaper.

However, if I had to pick one song that I will associate with this trip it would have to be The Ting Tings’ “Great DJ”

It was played everywhere, no matter what city we were in. I heard it on the radio. I heard it in stores. I saw the video plenty of times. I think I even heard it as a ring tone. I really like this song, so if something was going to be stuck in my head, I’m glad this was it.


P.S. Oh another random music moment from my trip was when we were at Heathrow on our way back to the states. We had to take a bus from one terminal to another. After the short video they show you about how to make your travels smoother, music started playing softly. It took me a minute to realize what it was because it was so low, but once I figured it out I looked at my brother and pointed up to the speaker. We then laughed. It was Pulp's "Common People." One of my all time favorite songs, but very random to hear on an airport bus...we were in London though!

I love reading about all your music adventures! I also love coming to your blog and discovering new music!

I LOVED your Italy pictures, by the way!

Miss you!
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