Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Thalia Zedek Tour Report #8

Wednesday, October 27th, Milan, Italy. Venue: La Casa.

This is one of our best shows. We have been used to playing big concert halls, so it has taken a little time to adjust to smaller rooms and to learn how to adjust out amplifier volume to suit the room. La Casa is a good place, run by the energetic and scruffy Roberto. We met some nice people... another Thalia, who helped put the show together, another Francesco, a writer for an Italian music magazine called "Blow Up", and Marica, who does publicity for the band in Italy. I met a musician named Giuseppe, who has music out on the same label as the Empty House Cooperative


Thursday, October 28, Reggio Emilia. Venue: Calamita.

On the way to the show, we stop for an acoustic live radio show with interview at www.antennaunorockstation.it and Daniele from www.kalporz.com does the interview. Usually these are done in a small room with one microphone, so
We get the pleasure of playing with Francesco's band tonight, called the Juniper Band. Francesco has been very helpful navigating from place to place, and with translation and general tour stuff. I now know how to say "a double coffee in one glass with cold milk", but still, it's hard for me to say, so I hand cafe staff a paper with the words written out, like a mute person might do. Still, I got some strange combinations, like a large glass of milk with 2 single shots of espresso in 3 separate glasses, or today i got a large cup with one shot of espresso, instead of the usual tiny cup. The Italians that I know all say that americans drink way too much coffee.

There appears to be a lot of "food rules" here. Customs and traditions are well set. I heard about my friend Heather once asking for a Limoncella at the beginning of a meal and everyone was shocked. Limoncella is a dessert liqueur that signifies the END of a meal. It reminds me of what might happen if a bride wore black to her wedding.

Thalia did a song with Juniper Band. Francesco sings and plays bass, and wrote a song with her voice in mind, which was recorded with Thalia at a beautiful countryside studio called Red House Recordings in a small town called Senigallia.


We've started include an old song called "House of the Rising Sun", a New Orleans flavored rocker, currently my favorite song to play, because it is open to very loose interpretation.

We had a good show, and then stayed at the local promoter's house after a long winding journey at remarkably slow speed for empty Italian roads.

Friday, October 29, Gradara, Italy. Venue: Teatro dei Cinque Quattrini (Theatre of the Five Coins)

Today we play in a castle. Someone told us that it is the place where Dante wrote "the Divine Comedy". Daniel is exceptionally excited about this and we all hear a lot about Dante from him. Later we found out that it was a place where Paulo and Francesca lived. They inspired two Dante characters in "the Divine Comedy". She was known for poisoning her lover or something. Who knows if it's true?

We all tour the castle, starting with the dungeon and ending with a chapel for church service.
Nikola, who switched places with Francesco as our helper, thinks the dungeon is fake, for tourists, with a head-chopping block and chains on the wall, and a pit with prison bars covering it.

The theatre is in the small village within the castle walls. It's a small red velvet seats affair. Our hosts are a collective called "Pop Gruppo", and we are the first concert ever at the theatre in the castle. When we first arrived, they were playing the music of Chris Brokaw, our dear friend.

Daniel and I took a lot of pictures.

Thalia really liked the poster they made. It was a portrait of her with the face missing.

We sleep in a flophouse in the next town... I guess there were no vacancies in the castle.

Only ghosts live there.

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