Archive for 2009
Afterhours’ show at the Festa di Radio Onda d’Urto in Brescia of 29th August will be available on live streaming from about 10 pm (GMT +1) on
The show due on August 1st in La Spezia has been CANCELLED.
Afterhours are THE seminal Italian alternative rock band.
After turning down an international deal with Interscope at the outset of their career, they set about building the infrastructure for an alternative rock scene in Italy.
Much like their American indie counterparts, they booked themselves into now defunct clubs (Helter Skelter), put out DIY record releases through an indie store/label (VoxPop), and even self-funded a showcase jaunt to New York City’s bygone New Music Seminar, all the while trying to keep together a lo-fi scene of like-minded musicians, writers and artists in a fast paced high-fashion metropolis.
Nowadays they’ve become a national institution, headlining the large concert halls, sharing festival bills with the likes of Patti Smith and R.E.M., making one-off deals with the major record labels as they please but still striving to support the up and coming talents in their homeland.
Here’s a link to Spin Magazine’s Earth TV site featuring a recent live performance in Rome.
And here’s a profile interview from public radio’s “The World”.
The band done an annual tour of the U.S. going back over the last 5 years.
Afterhours has also won the respect of their peers around the world. Their most recent release I Milanesi Ammazzano il Sabato project was co-produced by PJ Harvey collaborator John Parish and features guest performances by Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs, Twilight Singers) among others.
Lead singer Manuel Agnelli and Afterhours’ creative collaboration with American cult rocker Greg Dulli began when the Twilight Singers joined Afterhours to co-headline an Italian tour in 2004 – the genesis of a relationship which has seen the two bands contribute repeatedly to each others’ work. Dulli went on to produce Afterhours’ previous effort 2005’s Ballate per piccole iene (Ballads for Little Hyenas), an English language version of which was released in 2006 by the One Little Indian label in the US and UK and co-write several of its songs. Agnelli, in turn co-wrote several songs for the Twilight Singer’s Powder Burns. Afterhours then shared the stage with the Twilight Singers for a 25 date North American tour in 2006, the most extensive by an Italian rock band and returned to tour the U.S. in 2007 and 2008.
Other guests on I Milanesi Ammazzano Il Sabato are Parish, Stef Kamil Carlens (Deus, Zita Swoon) and Brian Ritchie (Violent Femmes).
I Milanesi Ammazzano il Sabato (”The Milanese Kill Saturdays”), quickly went Top Five in Italy. The project is lead singer Manuel Agnelli’s ode to his hometown of Milan, a city often referred to as the New York of Italy due to a shared focus on business from finance to fashion. The sound is a potent mix of dark post-punk (ala Gun Club, Afghan Whigs, Joy Division) with elements of vintage Italian prog rock. Critical response to the band in the U.S. has been excellent.
Beware: neither Afterhours nor Manuel Agnelli have any Facebook pages or any kind of blogs.
All that you can find on the net is a fake.
The ONLY official sources for Afterhours are this website and the MySpace page.
Afterhours has been invited to perform at the Canadian Music Week 2010, the most important Music Festival/Conference in Canada, sister festival to the SXSW, held in Austin the following week.
Afterhours is also in this week’s festival spotlight both on the website of the Canadian Music Fest and on the Festival MySpace page.
This Monday’s PRI’s The World broadcasted yesterday a feature on Afterhours, including an interview with Manuel Agnelli made by host Marco Werman during SXSW in Austin.
You can listen to the extract of the Monday show HERE.
PRI’s The World is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. Launched in 1996, PRI’s The World, a co-production of WGBH/Boston, PRI, and the BBC World Service, airs weekdays on over 200 stations across the country.
Italy’s Sanremo Music Festival was the original European song competition that eventually gave birth to the Eurovision competition. This year saw the 59th edition of this massively popular week-long televised event. In an effort to appeal to a younger, hipper audience, the show’s producers invited Italy’s top alternative rock band Afterhours (who are preparing for a U.S. tour – dates given below) to play – an unprecedented move for this very mainstream show.
Much to the consternation of the group’s fans Afterhours accepted and some of their following were critical of the move. But unbeknownst to them the group had plans for using this forum in a very special, culturally subversive way. Lead singer Manuel Agnelli had organized a project called Il paese è reale (”the country is real”), a compilation with 18 independent bands, that were all ignored by the mainstream audiences and major media. His idea was to use the media coverage of Sanremo Music Festival and of Afterhours participation in it to promote music that usually doesn’t get noticed by major media outlets. Afterhours fans who had complained have now apologized realizing that the band kept true to its long held ideals about promoting underground culture in Italy and had made excellent use of this extraordinary opportunity to expose the culture rather than promote their own record sales.
Afterhours eliminated from the competition on the first day, as they expected (imagine Mars Volta competing on “American Idol”!) but the new song they’d performed on the show was awarded the Premio della critica (”Critics Award”), given by the journalist in attendance.
The Festival della canzone italiana (in English: Italian song festival) is a popular Italian song contest running since 1951 and held annually in the city of Sanremo. Usually referred to as Festival di Sanremo, or outside Italy as Sanremo Music Festival, it was the inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest. It is currently held at the Ariston Theatre.
For some years (from 1953 to 1971, except for 1956) each song was sung twice by two different interpreters (singer or band), each one using an individual orchestral arrangement to illustrate the meaning of the festival as a composers’ competition, not a singers’ competition.. During this era of the festival, it was custom that one version of the song was performed by a native Italian artist while the other version was performed by an international guest artist. Notable guest artists of that time were, among others:
- 1964: Peggy March, team partner of Claudio Villa with Passo su passo, semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1965: Connie Francis, team partner of Gigliola Cinquetti Ho bisogno di vederti, # 5
- 1965: Petula Clark, team partner of Betty Curtis with Invece no, # 6
- 1965: Dusty Springfield, team partner of Gianni Mascolo with Di fronte all’ amore, semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1966: Gene Pitney, team partner of Caterina Caselli with Nessuno mi può giudicare, # 2
- 1966: Pat Boone, team partner of Peppino Gagliardi with Se tu non fossi qui, # 14
- 1967: Dalida, team partner of Luigi Tenco with Ciao, amore ciao, semi-finals only, not qualified for main event
- 1968: Bobbie Gentry, team partner of Al Bano with La siepe, # 9
- 1968: Dionne Warwick, team partner of Tony del Monaco with La voce del silenzio, # 14
- 1969: Mary Hopkin, team Partner of Sergio Endrigo with Lontano dagli occhi, # 2
The festival has been used as the way of choosing Italy’s Eurovision entry from 1956 to 1966, in 1972 and 1997. The festival has also launched the career of many very famous italian singers, most notably Andrea Bocelli, Giorgia, Elisa, Laura Pausini and Eros Ramazzotti
AFTERHOURS U.S. Tour Dates
3/19 – Austin, TX – Submerged – SXSW Festival
3/20 – San Antonio, TX – Limelight
3/24 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s
3/27 – Washington, DC – The Velvet Lounge
3/28 – Wilmington, DE – Mojo 13
3/30 – Philadelphia, PA – Johnny Brenda’s
3/31 – Brooklyn, NY – Cameo with Steve Wynn