I always try to find some prime example of Paolo Conte’s music that will make people understand how amazing this suave bastard is. And I always think I fail. I mean, yeah – many of us Uhmericns have heard the “chips chips” song (Via Con Me).
But that doesn’t even touch on this man’s indescribable awesomeness. He has this way with a melody line that makes it unforgettable. His voice and lyrics – like an Italian-French-English mashup of old world European Tom Waits-lite. And his back story is pretty cool, too.
I guess maybe part of why I love Mr. Conte so much is how I discovered him. He was performing in Boston, and my mentor and boss was called in to do the stage tuning. Sometimes an artist would come through and specifically request him – none of that crap with his underlings, they wanted the real deal. I’ll admit, that time of my life I was still kind of desperately searching for a father-figure to fill the void left by my non-father. I kind of worshiped D for that reason. Well, when he got back to the shop after this particular stage tuning, he pulled me aside with kind of a giddy smile and pressed a free pass into my hand, insisting that I go to the show that night. I’d never heard of Paolo Conte, but D was certain I’d love it, that I could appreciate the unique stylings of that music. (Obviously, he was right.)
So, maybe I’m biased by that experience. But I’ve loved Paolo Conte ever since. Plus, I kind want him to be my smoky, suave, questionable grandfather or something.
Here’s a neat video I found, I guess it’s an excerpt from a film I’ve never heard of, featuring “Sparring Partner.” Again, it doesn’t quite hit the mark in showing how great I think this artist is. But it is kind of a hot little scene. I mean, I didn’t want to go full-on tango this early in the week…