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Renato Carosone, pride of Napoli.
December 5, 2007 4:30 AM   Subscribe

This is just too charming and endearingly goofy to miss: Renato Carosone's Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano (You're Acting All American). See also: O Sarracino, Torero and Maruzella.
posted by flapjax at midnite (18 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oops, last link (Maruzella) borked. Here it is for real. Mods, any hope?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:59 AM on December 5, 2007


...back before it was meant as a pejorative.
posted by Doohickie at 5:34 AM on December 5, 2007


I caught whiskey and soda, but what other americanisms is he accusing someone of?
posted by MNDZ at 5:34 AM on December 5, 2007


The translated lyrics (from the youtube page)

You're wearing trousers with a tag on the back
and a cap with the visor turned up,
parading around Tuleto
like a lady's man trying to be seen

You're acting all american,
american, american,
listen here: who's asking you to?

You want to be all trendy,
but if you drink "whisky and soda"
you always end up sick!

You're dancing rock and roll,
and playing baseball,
but where'd you get the money
for the Camel cigarettes?
Mummy's handbag!

You're acting all american,
american, american,
but you're born in Italy, listen here:
there's nothing you can do,
ok napoletano?!
You're acting all american,
american, american,

How can your loved one understand
if you're speaking half american?
When you're out loving uder the moon,
where do you get a phrase like "I love you"?

You're acting all american,
american, american,
but you're born in Italy, listen here:
there's nothing you can do,
ok napoletano?!
You're acting all american,
american, american,
...whisky soda e rock and roll

posted by splatta at 5:42 AM on December 5, 2007


Also:

Caravan Petrol

posted by darkripper at 6:08 AM on December 5, 2007


That was great. Love the chewing gum bass, the mandolin rock-n-roll solo and that great little jam at the end. His site bio is fun, too, esp the story of how the original trio got that drummer:

The bespectacled Gegè di Giacomo shows up at 4:30 sharp at the Hotel Miramare in Naples where Carosone is rehearsing with Van Wood. This first meeting turns out to be somewhat comical: the drummer has no drums, since he brought them to be chromed. Carosone and Van Wood are annoyed by this and they begin doubting Gegè who then creates makeshift drums made out of: a wooden chair, a tray, three different size glasses and a whistle.

And retiring before the "new armies in blue jeans" can dump him: genius.
posted by mediareport at 6:14 AM on December 5, 2007


I have always loved Brian Setzer's version. Pretty cool discovery, flapjax.
posted by figment of my conation at 6:24 AM on December 5, 2007


Best ocarina solo ever!
posted by Floydd at 6:34 AM on December 5, 2007


Heh, here is a Lou Bega version. Youtube's "related videos" thing is pretty sweet.
posted by delmoi at 6:34 AM on December 5, 2007


The translation on the youtube page seems a little stiff to me, but overall it's got it right. Mostly I've heard it as "You Want to be Americano", which also scans better when sung in English.
That version of Maruzella, although superior because it's sung by Carosone, is missing several verses which tell the whole story. This clip has a longer version, and isn't half bad.
posted by katemonster at 8:31 AM on December 5, 2007


Oh man, flapjax, your post made me really happy. Just loved that Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano video! Everything good about it, including the mischievous enjoyment they were all having, Renato's typical Italian hand gestures, a non-verbal lyric in itself, cross-cultural fun of traditional ocarina and mandolin used in that energetic jive, fine singing and hilarious lyrics. A great song.

Neapolitan language is such a juicy mixture, a reflection of its rich and varied history, a cultural brocade with influences from every part of the Mediterranean, including North Africa, the Dalmatian Coast and the Middle East. Naples is, imo, one of the most spectacularly attractive cities on the planet.

A couple of takes on contemporary Neapolitan music, Napoli is burning, a dark look at present problems in the city and my favorite, Pino Daniele, "the Bob Dylan of Naples", whose music I've enjoyed for over 20 years.
posted by nickyskye at 8:48 AM on December 5, 2007


I bought the soundtrack to The Talented Mr. Ripley solely because of this song. Great post! And great extra links!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:56 AM on December 5, 2007


Talented Mr. Ripley, as previously mentioned.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:00 AM on December 5, 2007


And! The Puppini Sisters!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:02 AM on December 5, 2007


Naples is, imo, one of the most spectacularly attractive cities on the planet.

Where do you live? Wanna switch? :)

Also, because where are talking about more contemporary music from naples:

Enzo Avitabile e i Bottari di Portico
(the people you see in the background are beating big wine barrels).

Most of the music made around naples today is pure trash: the makers are called 'neomelodici', they only sing songs about feeling, often exaggerating everything (from tone of the voice, to haircut, videos, etc). I blame Mario Merola.
posted by darkripper at 9:56 AM on December 5, 2007


Thanks, I know someone who'll be interested in that.
posted by ersatz at 11:00 AM on December 5, 2007


more contemporary music from naples

Coincidentally, I just got a MySpace friend request today from a Naples-based musician. Nice minimal/drone stuff.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 PM on December 5, 2007


omg Mario Merola is incredibly awful!

darkripper, midtown Manhattan, and would be delighted to switch. :)
posted by nickyskye at 8:24 PM on December 5, 2007


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