Category Archives: Branobag

A playlist for a group of colleagues eating fish le mercredi soir

This was a playlist which I proposed via email to colleagues of the LoNNe Network at the end of our management committee meeting in Toulouse, France. Among other parts of the story I remember: having a very bad cold on the last day, thus cancelling the “BMP interview” with one of the project members; street musicians which I recorded on video, proposing a place with live music for dinner in the first evening.

On this first-evening dinner…the place was a kind of tex-mex restaurant serving huge portions, and extremely noisy. The recommendation for the restaurant came from the receptionist of a hotel next to where I was staying. I recall walking with the workshop participants at least twenty minutes out of the city centre, and that when we reached the place some folks decided not to have dinner there. (TO BE EXPANDED..if you would like more details now, please write to

The second evening there was another social dinner, which was in a fine place and was a fish restaurant. I recall either not being able to reach the place since during day 2 of the workshop I had a rapidly worsening cold, or having to leave before the end…the day after I sent to the colleagues who were there an email with some musical recommendations, inspired by the dinner conversations (so I must have been there for some time):

  1. Alan Sorrenti, Figli delle stelle (Star children), Italy 1978
  2. Daniele Silvestri, Salirò (I will rise), Italy 2002
  3. The Who, The Seeker: a tune about research. UK, 1971
  4. The Guess Who, American Woman: Live in Winnipeg full version (14’…if you are familiar with the Lenny Kravitz cover, you will recognize this from minute 6. Please see also the real thing in Canada 1970.
  5. Last but not least, another song about “uprising”…Ana Carolina, TÔ SAINDO. In addition to an amount of energy which exceeds the sum of all the songs above, this has a peculiar mix (or today we would say “mashup”) with the chorus from Help by the Beatles (Help – I need somebody becomes Help – Eu preciso sambar… I need to do samba). Brasil 1999

Lithobag #1: Rock and a Hard Place

In the Participatory Lithology project we are opening the sixth season of our branobag blog series. Given the context of the project, the articles will be issued as “lithobags”. If you don’t know what a branobag is, you can easily find out from this page.

There will be two important differences with respect to previous branobag series. The first one is that on this round we will make an effort to publish also the English version of these articles (most of the site is maintained in Italian and English, but due to their daily frequency and length of some articles, in the past we preferred not to translate the original Italian versions). The second one is that for the lithobag series the playlist has been created in one week from the launch of the project, as a brainstorming exercise by various folks with the base quartet of the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band. In the past the each track was selected “on the spot” by pibinko, day by day.

On this round we had the response of various musicians and music experts from Sassari (Sardinia), going North. They responded to the call of the Participatory Lithology project to play as “entertainers”, suggesting tunes which are related to rocks, stones, minerals, etc. These tunes will help to give the other characters in the project (we have collectors, classifiers, and sponsors, and please see the project presentation to review what these roles should do). As the project unfolds, we will be introducing to you our DJs, and we will relate them to one or more elements of the project (one of the samples in the process of being classified, some other character, etc.).

Take for example the header image, where you can see sample Z012. This comes from Guido and Valeria’s collection in Tatti. At the time of writing we don’t know what it is, but it reminds me of a bird’s eye view of the town portrayed in Dark City.

How long will the lithobag series last? This will all depend by suggestions we receive. At present we can run the show for about a month.

Without further ado: let us hear the track which inspired the motto for Participatory Lithology (“between a rock and a hard phase“).

…and we start with “them”, as Gabriele from Sassari calls the Rolling Stones. HE and his family are so incredibly into the Stones that they don’t even need to name them…and to refer to Keith Richards they just call him “him”. Below you will also find the Italian translation of the lyrics, made on-the-fly by Mauro Tirannosauro. In addition to being a participatory lithology expert, Mauro also has an excellent command of English, since he spent several years in the UK when he was a kid. Enjoy our lithomusic, and talk to you tomorrow.

The fields of Eden | I campi dell’Eden
Are full of trash | sono pieni di mondezza
And if we beg and we borrow and steal | e anche se preghiamo, prendiamo in prestito o rubiamo
We’ll never get it back | non ce li ridaranno mai
People are hungry | la gente ha fame
They crowd around | si raggruppano qua e là
And the city gets bigger as the country comes begging to town | e la città cresce mano a mano che la campagna viene a elemosinare in città
We’re stuck between a rock | siamo fra l’incudine
And a hard place | e il martello
Between a rock and a hard place
This talk of freedom | Queste chiacchiere di libertà
And human rights | e diritti umani
Means bullying and private wars and chucking all the dust into our eyes | voglio dire maltrattare i più deboli, guerre private e tirarci un sacco di terra in faccia
And peasant people | e i contadini
Poorer than dirt | più poveri della terra
Who are caught in the crossfire with nothing to lose but their shirts | stanno in mezzo al fuoco incrociato, con niente da perdere se non le loro camice
Stuck between a rock | presi tra l’incudine
And a hard place | e il martello
Between a rock and a hard place
You’d better stop put on a kind face | meglio che tu ti fermi, fai un’espressione gentile
Between a rock and a hard place
We’re in the same boat | siamo sulla stessa barca
On the same sea | sullo stesso mare
And we’re sailing south | e viaggiamo verso sud
On the same breeze | con la stessa brezza
Guiding dream churches | guidando chiese da sogno
With silver spires | con spire argentate
And our rogue children | mente i nostri bimbi molesti
Are playing loaded dice | giocano coi dadi truccati
Give me truth now | ora dammi la verità
Don’t want no sham | non voglio finzioni
I’d be hung drawn and quartered for a sheep just as well as a lamb | mi farebbero impiccare, sventrare e squartare comunque
Stuck between a rock
And a hard place
Between a rock and a hard place
You’d better stop
Put on a kind face
Can’t you see what you’ve done to me | non riesci a vedere quello che mi hai fatto

Apr. 9, 2019 branobag: Yesterday’s Mistakes

[First edition, Sep. 9, 2012 and then July 2, 2015, ecspobag]

Enti Comunali Spendono Parecchio Oggi

This is a very gentle, not necessarily sad, song by Oi Va Voi, and anglo-something-yiddish band from London. All the album from which this song is taken is very, very cool.

I was told that “oi va voi” is an expression meaning something like “oh my!” in Yiddish. At the end of the Arno river they would say “oimmèna”.


Don’t need another resolution to feel | non ho bisogno di un’altra decisione per avere la sensazione
As though I’m going somewhere, somewhere | di andare da qualche parte

You said you needed me | hai detto che avevi bisogno di me
Or at least that’s what I thought | o almeno, è ciò che ho pensato
At times the memories | a volte i ricordi
Seem to be knocking at my door | pare bussino alla mia porta
I’ve seen the film a million times |ho visto questo film un milione di volte
Feels like I wrote the storyline | sembra che abbia scritto io la sceneggiatura
I refuse to replay | mi rifiuto di ripetere
The mistakes that we made yesterday | gli sbagli che ho fatto ieri

I like to think I’m stronger now | mi piace pensare che sono più forte, ora
Victim of common sense | vittima del senso comune
The truth is that I know I still | la verità è che continuo
Confuse the past with the present tense | a concondere il passato con il “presente prossimo”
Condensing what we had | condensando quello che abbiamo avuto
To a single frame | in una singola immagine
That sticks in my mind | che si incolla alla mia mente
As I try to move on | e mentre cerco di andare avanti
The same image comes back every time | quella stessa immagine ritorna sempre

They were yesterdays mistakes | erano gli errori di ieri-.–
And they were yesterdays mistakes
Yesterday’s mistakes
Somewhere | da qualche parte

Forgive my selfishness | perdona il mio egoismo
I’d be grateful if you can | te ne sarò grato se potrai farlo
Forget my ingratitude | dimentica la mia ingratitudine
You think I’m twice the girl I am | tu pensi che io sia due volte la ragazza che sono
They say we should forgive| dicono che si dovrebbe perdonare
But not forget | ma non dimenticare
What has gone before | quello che è successo in passato
I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday

And they were yesterdays mistakes
Yesterday’s mistakes
They were yesterdays mistakes

I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday
I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday

I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday
I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday

I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday
I refuse to replay
The mistakes that we made yesterday

2019-03-30 branobag: Cherub Rock

First edition, Dec. 3, 2012 – TO BE TRANSLATED

Cari branobagsters, oggi più che al bag vorrei dedicarmi al brano, perché contiene in modo totale il bag.

Questo pezzo lo avrò ascoltato, come tutto il disco Siamese Dream -di cui nei branobag abbiamo già proposto Mayonaise tempo addietro- almeno mille volte, e non basta.

Suggerimenti per l’ascolto

  • se non avete un impianto utile, cercare un amico/a che ne abbia uno, e che questo impianto sia un un posto dove si può fare un po’ di volume per cinque (5 minuti)…non vogliamo arrecare disturbo a vicini non consapevoli.
  • alzare il volume a un livello importante
  • far partire il pezzo
  • inspirare sul leggero attacco di rullante (primo “rullo”)
  • espirare sul secondo
  • mantenere il ritmo del respiro nell’attacco del riff di chitarra (4 x)
  • quando parte la batteria e tutto il resto, fate voi (se dico cosa ho in mente io, che gusto c’è ?)…e magari fatemi sapere come avete interpretato l’ascolto.

Qua propongo la versione dall’album. Se poi volete una vera esperienza “energetica”, provate la versione del release party del disco, nel 1993, e quindi la prima volta che la cantarono per il pubblico (non adatta a tutti).

Sulla traduzione, non sono sicuro di tutti i passaggi…Corgan è un maestro dell’ellissi, dell’ermetismo, e anche dei tagli di capelli un po’ estremi, dei telefilm di fantascienza..insomma: non sarà James Joyce in Ulysses, ma non è semplice da leggere. Più o meno per me dice questo:

Cherub Rock – Il Rock dei cherubini

Freak out | uscite di testa
And give in | e cedete
Doesn’t matter what you believe in | non importa quello in cui credete
Stay cool | state tranquilli
And be somebody’s fool this year | siate lo zimbello di qualcuno per quest’anno
’cause they know | perché loro sanno
Who is righteous, what is bold | chi è bravo, che cosa è l’essere coraggiosi
So I’m told | così mi dicono

Who wants honey | chi è che vuole il miele [o “le cose dolci”, “i chicchi” in Toscana ?]
As long as there’s some money | fintanto che ci sono i soldi
Who wants that honey? | chi è che vuole quel miele ?

Hipsters unite | gente strana, unitevi
Come align for the big fight to rock for you | mettetevi in fila per la grande ressa per fare rock per voi (o per agitarsi per voi ?)

But beware | ma state attenti
All those angels with their wings glued on | a tutti quegli angioletti con le ali appiccicate
’cause deep down | perché, in fondo in fondo
We are frightened and we’re scared | siamo spaventati e impauriti
If you don’t stare | se non guardate bene

Who wants honey
As long as there’s some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out | fatemi uscire
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Tell me all of your secrets | dimmi tutti i tuoi segreti
Cannot help but believe this is true | non posso fare a meno di pensare che tutto questo sia vero
Tell me all of your secrets | dimmi tutti i tuoi segreti
I know, I know, I know | lo so, lo so, lo
Should have listened when I was told | avrei dovuto ascoltare, quando mi dicevano (che…)

Who wants honey
As long as there is some money
Who wants that honey?

Let me out
Let me out
Let me out
Let me out

Feb. 7, 2019 branobag: have a coffe break thinking about that dress

[first edition, Aug. 17, 2012. The Italian version of this post has a lot more context explaining the title. The 2019 edition has a first pass on an Italian cover for the song, as a work in progress by the Metalliferous Hills Jug Band]

Old enough / Matura

You look pretty in your fancy dress | Con quel vestito sembri un bel bijoux
But I detect unhappiness | Pero’ mi pare che tu sia un po’ giu’
You never speak so I have to guess | Te ne stai zitta e io ti dico: “su’”
You’re not free. | …non sei li-i-i-bera…

There, maybe when you’re old enough | Ehi, quando poi sarai matura
You’ll realize you’re not so tough | Scoprirai che non sei una dura
And some days the seas get rough | Col mare grosso non sarai sicura
And you’ll see | vedra-a-a-i

You’re too young to have it figured out | Sei una bimbetta, non ci hai ragionato
You think you know what you’re talking about | Credi di sapere del futuro e del passato
You think it will all work itself out | Credi che alla fine sara’ tutto aggiustato
But we’ll see | ma chi sa-a-a

When I was young I thought I knew | Da giovane ero sicuro di me
You probably think you know too | probabilmente lo sei anche te
Do you? Well do you? | lo dici te…lo dici te..
I was naïve just like you | ero ingenuo, come te
I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do | pensavo di sapere che fare di me
Well, what’s you gonna do? | be’, ora dillo te!

And how have you gotten by so far | e come hai fatto ad arrivare sin qua
Without having a visible scar? | senza nemmeno una fe-rita?
No one knows who you really are | nessuno sa chi sei in verita’
They can’t see | non lo ve-e-e-dono

What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do) | ora che farai (ora che farai)
What’s you gonna do now | o-o-ra
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do (what’s you gonna do)
What’s you gonna do now
What’s you gonna do now

The only way you’ll ever learn a thing | il solo modo per imparare
Is to admit that you know absolutely nothing | e’ ammettere di ignorare – tutto
Oh nothing | oh, tutto
Think about this carefully | tieni questo bene a mente
You might not get another chance to speak freely | potresti non poter riparlare liberamente
Oh freely | liberamente

Maybe when you’re old enough | forse quando sei matura
Maybe when you’re old enough
Maybe when you’re old enough
You’re not free | non sei li-i-bera
You’re not free

Here we go with a new edition of the “branobag” article series

TO BE TRANSLATED – this is to present a new version of the now historical “branobag” article series, with one song each day. The series is maintained only in Italian, so you may switch to the Italian version of the site and find all the songs using the branobag category

Momenti di una partita di palla a 21 (Piloni, settembre 2018).

Chi di voi non ricorda di Dik Dik?” disse il pianobarista la sera della cena del torneo di palla a 21 a Scalvaia 5-6 anni fa. E Fabione gli rispose, in mezzo a 120 persone: “mi sa te!“, dato che nell’ora precedente l’artista si era esibito in una serie di pezzi tutti molto famosi e alltugederevribodi, ma suonati non proprio bene. Per capirsi: sembrava Rocco Tanica quando fa i pezzi un po’ con la metrica a caso e le stonature di un semitono, con la differenza che Rocco Tanica fa apposta, mentre il pianobarista della cena di Scalvaia no.

Dunque, la musica è importante per molti di noi, ma l’effetto che la musica ha su di noi cambia sia in funzione di chi la propone che del contesto. Quello che doveva essere un tappeto musicale un po’ lounge per allietare la conversazione di una cena di paese è diventato un tormento.

Ragionando sul senso della musica per me, nel 2011 ho iniziato a condividere con un pubblico aperto un esercizio che avevo iniziato già nel 2000 in circoli di colleghi e amici, cioè far ascoltare musica spiegandola secondo me e accostandoci altri elementi affini.

Questa idea si è gradualmente strutturata in una rubrica pubblicata tramite blog, che ha avuto varie serie, come spiegato in questa pagina. Può anche essere utile vedere la sezione “Musica e poesia” di per capire meglio il contesto.

Il logo dei branobag di

La cosa ha un suo seguito, e via via incontro persone che chiedono quando ricominciano i brano bag. Con il 2019, ho deciso di fare un piccolo sforzo editoriale e ripubblicare gli episodi branobag usciti finora sul nuovo sito di Seguendo lo schema “dal lunedì al venerdì” l’operazione dovrebbe coprire buona parte dell’anno in corso, e sarà l’occasione per riascoltare, rileggere e rivedere brani, testi e immagini che molti avranno scordato, e molti altri ancora non conoscono. Alla vostra destra, il nuovo logo della rubrica.

I branobag saranno dunque reperibili nella sezione notizie di, con il tag branobag.

Ma perché i branobag si chiamano così?

Per ulteriori informazioni:

A new series of blog posts: boscoriserva

After the 2012 experience with the  branobag series, here we go with “boscoriserva“.

This will be a series of daily posts on my personal blog, where each working day (typically MON-FRI) you will get an article containing a song video, and some comments about this.

The  116 episodes of the branobag series were written with a wild rover approach: music from different eras, genres and continents.

boscoriserva has a much more defined scope: providing my view on the songs from the Woodstock Festival. This is not related to a specific anniversay, but might be tied to an event which may take place in Spring.

The boscoriserva posts are available from

The articles are published in Italian, but you may inquire in English-French-Portuguese if you are curious of learning more about any of the articles.