365 Days of Mike Patton: “Scalinatella,” Mondo Cane (2010)

In 2010, Mike Patton released his Mondo Cane album, which was filled with covers of Italian pop songs from the 1950s and 1960s. Patton was once married to an Italian woman, and he lived in Bologna for a spell. He’s fluent in Italian, and he was moved by the way those songs were made.

“While there, I immersed myself in the complete culture: the music, art, literature, film, food, and history,” Patton told Spin. “It’s easy to fall in love with. As a country, Italy does a good job of holding onto its rich traditions and culture.”

On this song, he’s backed by an acoustic guitar, and he sings about a “little staircase leading to the water near Posillipo, where a man waits for his lover.” It’s quite beautiful.

“Most tribute records bore the hell out of me,” Patton said. “It’s far more interesting to hear someone who has been inspired by an artist channel that artist using their own talents. There are lots of different ways to make lasagna, and more than one way can be great.”

Here’s an original 1950s version from Roberto Murolo.

One word of advice, though. If you’re listening to Patton sing it live, keep quiet. Otherwise, he’ll tell you to … well, just watch.

To follow along on the 365 days of Patton, click here for a list of each day’s post.

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