Sal’s website. Based in Rome, Italy.

Entertainer. Content Developer.

Graphic Designer for digital and print media.

Bachelor of Science in Media Informatics.

Needs a lot of coffee.

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We are living in the golden age of nonsense

Good points made by Hasan Minhaj on Patriot Act about the current state of the news industry:

Think about where you get your information. Between cable news, Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. We are living in the golden age of nonsense.

The business model of “breaking the news” all the time has definitely broken the news industry. A twitter comment is now considered breaking news. This is insane. I wonder how much longer this model can sustain itself. People clearly yearn for something different, away from a 24h-cycle of non-stop sensationalism.

And when good journalism disappears, you know what’s gonna fill that vacuum? Russian bots and bullshit like this.

I think we’ve already crossed that line a while ago.

Regret – What to do about it?

The Hydra devours a big chunk of regret in this podcast episode! Yummy. Everyone has regrets. What is the right course of action? How should you cope with it? Can you turn regret into positive action? Is regret a sign that you live in the past or is it a testimony for your capability to analyse and improve your actions?

Did Joe Rogan sell out to Spotify?

The Hydra is hungry and feeds on information! What happens once Joe Rogan will become available exclusively on Spotify? What are the technical, philosophical and practical implications? Did he sell out? Will everything remain the same? Will Joe regret the deal? Should he have gotten more money?

Three heads are better than one!
If you enjoy chatting and chuckling on psychological and physiological topics, we hope you’ll enjoy this as much as we do! The Three-Headed Hydra podcast is the fruit of Sal, Den and James’ experiences and research on a given topic in each episode.

Why the hydra?
In archetypal mythology, dragons guard piles of gold; overcoming fears can bring great rewards. We won’t shy away from challenging ourselves and each other in this podcast and we’ll have a great time doing it!

Enjoy!

The government places its bets on the Immuni app. Will Italians trust it?

There’s an app developed and promoted by the Italian Ministry of Health called Immuni – but will Italians trust it?

The goal is to track and contain new COVID-19 cases.

A comment by Massimo Mantellini on Internazionale points out some concerns:

La ventilazione forzata in terapia intensiva da applicare a molte decine di pazienti contemporaneamente mal si accorderà con una meditata analisi del General data protection regulation (Gdpr) o con un interessante scontro di posizioni sul tipo di licenza open source da utilizzare per Immuni. Così come le molte ragionevoli perplessità sulla privacy dei cittadini messa a rischio non terranno conto delle ampie e ripetute lesioni di quegli stessi diritti che quei medesimi cittadini subiscono da anni nell’indifferenza generale. Improvvisamente Immuni, un’app pensata in fretta per salvarci, sarà il canestro dentro il quale osservare tutti i mali del mondo.

Of course the app is backed by the same government bringing you other “successful” apps such as IO (Just released in April. Anyone ever heard of it? It promises to digitalise all interactions with the public administration…  on paper), the same government that promises a discount for bicycles purchased after May 4th 2020 (conveniently forgetting to mention that you should also ask for an invoice, not just the receipt. No luck if the government runs out of funds first, either). All from the comfort of an app – which, by the way, the Ministry of the Environment hasn’t even developed yet.

Will Italians trust the tech side of the Immuni app?

In order for this to work, it takes a lot of trust. The app is based on contact tracing technology by one company that has a fairly good reputation regarding privacy – or at least appears to be trying hard and one that doesn’t seem to care too much about it.

But let’s assume people don’t care or understand how the data is kept private behind the scenes.

Will Italians trust the government?

They still need to trust the government. The same government that, due to a technical glitch, displayed private and sensitive data of citizens to complete strangers just weeks ago. The same government that introduced the obligatory electronic invoicing system last year, amid massive technical problems.

And I’m sure some older readers really have a special place in their hearts for a government famous for putting into action such trustworthy policies, as happend on the 10th of July 1992 when citizens woke up and wondered why they had less money on their bank account. Yes, the Italian government had the glorious idea to withdraw 6% from every bank account in Italy – the so-called “prelievo forzoso”, the forced withdrawal, over night. Just like that. Some still speculate this could happen again in the future.

So will Immuni be a success? What can possibly go wrong.

About race and discrimination in the U.S. and Italy

Yes, I parlayed the persistent rejections of society, which today might be called micro-aggressions, into reservoirs of energy to achieve. I learned that from my father, himself active in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 1960s.

In a way, I am who I am precisely because countless people, by their actions or inactions, said I could never be what I am. But what if you don’t have this deep supply of fuel? What becomes of you? Who from historically disenfranchised communities, including women, LGBTQ+, and anybody of color, are missing—falling shy of their full potential because they ran out of energy and gave up trying.

This post of Neil DeGrasse Tyson made me think of my grandfather from Abruzzo who lived in a world seemingly different compared to the one we live in today.

He arrived in Germany as a guest worker in February 1960. Luckily there were many people willing to help him, but undeniably racism was still very much present in post-war Germany as well. Some of it was covert, some in the open. From what I remember from his stories, the covert racism often was worse because someone would wear a friendly mask in front of him, while plotting against him behind his back, but there was no lack of open display of racism either.

Luckily he was a tough cookie and the more he was challenged, the more his “deep supply of fuel” would motivate him to double his efforts. He mastered the German language in a record time. He always worked harder than anyone else. He always set a positive example. And he passed on his tenacity to everyone in his family.

Whenever I was called “Spaghettifresser” or “Pizzafresser” by some idiots at school in Germany or if a job interview started with a challenging: “So… you are Italian!?” I never thought much of it. But that’s probably because most of the time, if nobody knew my Italian name and if I wouldn’t dress up too “Italian” (Yes, that’s possible. Believe it or not, there was a time during my teens when I went all Jersey Shore, clothing-wise), nobody could tell or suspect or even be tempted to create an “us” vs. “them” dynamic, because nobody knew they could apply the “them” tag to me.

Of course that was only possible because I am white. So if incidents of racism and discrimination could happen to my grandfather and, in some circumstances, to my younger self while I lived abroad, what happens if you do not have the luxury to just transition into “stealth mode” and go on with your life? What if just by being a black person someone can attribute a “them” tag to you at any time, in any circumstance – and that alone can put your life at risk? Just because you’re walking down a street? Driving in your car? Going for a run? Or because you’re simply travelling home?

But don’t be fooled. While the amount of incidents in Italy don’t seem to be comparable to those in the U.S., they do exist, slavery still exists very much in plain sight and there is a history of violence, bigotry and discrimination here as well, both within the country (North vs. South) as well against other ethnicities. Some data suggest that Italy is possibly one of the most racist countries in Europe. Something you wouldn’t expect of a country known for its beaches, Mediterranean lifestyle and hospitality. Does this mean that everyone here is racist? Of course not.

Many of these problems are very complex and the solutions will be different within every country or even state, region and county. Not every act of discrimination is racism. When you choose your friends you are discriminating against other people who will not be your friends. Discrimination can also be a choice of preference in the kind of partner that you like vs. one you do not like (without any malevolence versus the other person you did not choose). When it is dark and you see a group of young males hanging around in a dark part of the street and you switch to the other side of the street, you may not be racist but applying a risk analysis.
Not every failing of the state is caused by imperialistic tendencies (in fact, if anything, the Italian system of bureaucracy has been equally inefficient and frustrating for most citizens, independent of race, age or gender). Not every person yelling at somebody of another race is racist. We all know that we Italians can be very passionate and loud, independent of who we have in front of us.

Whether it is possible to change people’s minds, either by open conversation or by shutting down fascist and racist institutions, whether more equal and more powerful laws will eliminate the problem, I don’t know.

I guess it’s a good start to just not be racist. To judge everyone individually for their actions. A good person is a good person no matter where they are from. An asshole remains an asshole, independent of the color of their skin. Simple as that.

150+ live music venues that let you perform live in Rome, Italy

So you’re looking for live music venues in Rome, Italy? The file below could be a good starting point and a useful document to organise your own venue research.

Why did I create this live music venue reference?

After my arrival in Rome, Italy almost a decade ago and while exploring this beautiful city I began to make notes about live music venues I came across. From small pubs hosting a random event to professional live music venues with a proper backline. Later, after socialising more and getting to know more people, I collected additional information about who to contact to get gigs.

I also added any complementary information I would find out about a specific venue. During this period, more often than not, I was passed on from one person to another until I finally found out who actually manages the live music in each venue. This was a very frustrating and time-consuming process (especially since it involved a lot of walking). But in the end every result has been useful to me and was added to my notes.

Download 

There are many stories to tell about those times, but I won’t bother you with these in this post. So long story short, the collection of my old notes are all now made available in the following table that includes about 180 live music venues where you can perform.

Disclaimer: Please note that this file is from 2015. I haven’t updated it since, but a new, updated version is planned. If that is something you are interested in, let me know

Obviously, since 2015 a lot of venues do no longer exist. Rome, on one hand, is a very static city and little does change over long periods of time. On the other hand, live music venues keep shutting down one after another. This happens at a greater pace than new ones are being opened.

As if things aren’t bad enough, the landscape of venues will be looking very different post Covid-19. Still, if you want to find gigs in any city i figure it’s a good idea to be organised, first gather all possible options, make your strategies about how you think is the best way to promote your work and then take it from there.

The list is provided both as a PDF for easy reference, but you can also download it as an Excel or Numbers file and of course you’re free to use it as a starting point for your own research.

I hope you find it useful!

Stay safe!
Sal

Download as  PDF (96 downloads) | Excel (34 downloads)  | Numbers (15 downloads)

P.S.: I have removed some of the more unfiltered and unflattering notes, however for your amusement I kept one comment regarding stoned staff members in one venue. Of course, this is no longer true and said staff no longer works there.

What’s next?

If you want to get involved and help me create and maintain an up-to-date list, get in touch here.

Once I have created an updated 2020 version of this file, I will publish it here. Either check back in a few weeks, or conveniently use the bell icon (in the lower right corner) to receive notifications about any new posts here!

Also, if you got a gig thanks to this list, consider getting me an espresso. ☕️

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Hey!

Welcome to my new website, home of my podcasts, projects, thoughts and resources I like to share and who knows what else in the future! Exciting times. If you haven’t done so already, consider activating the notifications on this website, so you will be notified whenever I publish a new freebie, such as a list of over 100 venues for live music, very useful if you’re a musician (or you know one) who is looking for gigs in Italy.

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #28 – Dave Adams

In this episode of the Hey, Sal! Podcast I talk to Dave Adam is a singer-songwriter from Georgia. He’s been working hard on his debut album release, “Why”, and has also been busy traveling and playing gigs across Europe. He’s been studying at the St. Louis music college in Italy and his influences include Clapton, Dylan, Sting, Dave Matthews, and all the old time great blues musicians of Chicago and the Delta. He reached the semi-finals of Poland’s “The Voice”.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #27 – Dominique von Rohr, James Egerton

Dominique is a journalist and content writer from Switzerland. She lives in Rome and writes “stories of living abroad’s more awkward moments” on her blog https://www.vonrome.com.

James Egerton is an athlete. He has participated at the Iron Man Race, the New York Marathon and dozens of other races and teacher at the International House Accademia Britannica in Rome.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #26 – Peter’s Farewell!

This is going to be a rather unusual episode of the Hey, Sal! Podcast. Intern Peter has been with the podcast for a few months now and been an integral part of the show eversince. In this episode we look behind the scenes and check if Peter actually enjoyed working on the team.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #25 – Fabrizio Fontanelli

Fabrizio Fontanelli is a songwriter / musician, blogger, events manager, producer and traveller. If you are in the music scene in Rome, Italy you have met him. In this episode we talk about his time in Ireland and how he got to know and became friends with personalities such as Glenn Hansard (you can see them perform together in this clip here, too):

Hey, Sal! Podcast #24 – Nino Tropiano, Grace Guzman

This week Sal had a chat with movie maker Nino Tropiano and artist Grace Guzman. Nino Tropiano’s new movie “NDOTO YA Samira” premiered in Zanzibar this summer and premiered at the RIFF Awards at the “Nuovo Cinema Aquila” in Pigneto, Rome. It tells the story of a Zanzibari woman, Samira, who aspires to have a family like all of her friends but is also determined to pursue higher education and a career. Throughout 7 years of her life, social pressure and the respect of traditions, constantly confront her to choosing one or the other. Grace Guzman began her career modelling at the age of 9, before studying music and dancing and collaborating in various projects, before reaching national recognition with her appearance in the popular Columbian music reality show “Yo me llamo”. She has been featured on “Revista SoHo” in Columbia and on the cover of “VIP” and premiered as an actress on the TV Series “Chica Vampiro” in the role of Marylin Monroe.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #22 – Elisabeth Cutler (Songwriter, Guitarist)

Singer-song-diarist Elisabeth Cutler cheekily calls her style ‘My World Music’. But it is a world of emotions every one can relate to: Heartbreak and passion, promises and fears, discovery and loss. Intimate and honest and drawing from folk, jazz and rock, her songs find unique ways of speaking of these familar places through the beauty of intense, memorable imagery. It is a fresh take on an old theme, a poetic dialogue between words and music – and certainly a lot more than 3-chords-&-the-truth.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #21 – Patrizia Di Gregorio (CEO of Expats Living in Rome)

The story of Patrizia di Gregorio is one of struggle, defeat, but also motivation, hope and victory. Patrizia Di Gregorio is the founder of Expats living in Rome, the number one international social network based in Rome – in this podcast she opens up about a side you may didn’t know about her!

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #20 – Kate Nicholls

Kate Nicholls is one of those personalities whose life seems to come right out of a novel. She was born in London, is an author, a homeschool teacher and an ex-actress. She had a successful career as an actress before deciding to move her family to Botswana to work for Women Against Rape. She now lives in Rome. In this episode we talk about her adventures, her book (check out a sample below), homeschooling, feminism and much more!

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #19 – Gary Cassin (Personal Trainer, Bootcamp Leader)

I am always fascinated by those who are not only capable of summoning the energies to get out of bed and get ready to conquer the world, but who also have the motivation, patience and skills to inspire others to join the ride. Gary Cassin is one of those people. He is a personal trainer, bootcamp leader and OCR coach. He has opened his own studio next to the Colosseum where he helps people from all walks of life, from athletes to housewives reaching their personal goals. We talk about that and also all the hoops he had to go through to open up a business in Rome, Italy.

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #17 – Enrico Terrinoni (Academic, Literary translator)

Enrico Terrinoni is an Italian academic and literary translator. He has written several books and regularly publishes articles regarding Irish matters on “Il Manifesto”, an Italian newspaper. He has also translated several books by James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Brendan Behan, Francis Bacon and many more.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #16 – Tarik Barri (currently on tour with Thom Yorke)

Tarik Barri was in Rome to perform at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, since he is currently on tour with Thom Yorke and Nigel Godrich.

Tarik Barri on tour in Rome with Thom Yorke

Tarik stopped by to have a chat with me. Learn what got Tarik into visual art and how he approaches new projects.

Tarik also shares his interesting story about how he first met Thom Yorke. Other topics include Tarik’s preference of one computer platform over another. Last but not least they discuss how musicians can avoid being exploited.

I really enjoyed getting to know Tarik Barri and listening to his story and everything that lead to this day performing with Thom Yorke. It was very clear that he is very passionate about visual arts and music. He was very patient and kind enough to do an episode even though he had to perform later that day.

A quick note regarding the production of this episode: This was the first day in our new podcast studio and ironically I didn’t do a great job recording the sound. I hope you still get something interesting out of this episode.

Join and listen or watch other podcast episodes!

 

Hey, Sal! Podcast #13 -Gino Bottigliero and Paul Staunton

Gino Bottigliero is co-founder of the first Irish owned and run pub in italy called “The Fiddlers’ Elbow”, which was opened in the fall of 1976. Being such an old pub,and having been the first in Italy, has led the pub to becoming very well known not just in Italy but also in many other countries around the world.

Paul Staunton is a musician, composer and photographer from Dublin, Ireland.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #12 – Alessandro De Filippo and Antonio Valentini (Er Gin)

Er Gin is the first and only Roman gin, a result of the collaboration between Alessandro De Filippo, Antonio Valentini, Emiliano Valenti and Francesco Peruzzi. Alessandro De Filippo is an Italian entrepreneur with businesses both in Italy and the United States. He has co-founded “Er Gin” and is also co-founder and CEO of Your Place in Rome, an innovative solution for university programs and students seeking short term housing accommodations and related services in Rome. He has also created the Borromini Study Center and is involved in several other projects. Antonio Valentini is a biologist and one of the co-founders of “Er Gin” and together with other scientists has also created a startup called “light Science” with the goal of making blood tests safe, fast and cheap – from home.

Hey, Sal! Podcast #08 – Chiara Cortez and Daphne Nisi

Circlesinging is a unique experience that combines improvised vocal music composition and community singing practice, but not only! It is a concept inspired by Bobby McFerrin’s Circlesongs, originating in traditional and ancient singing rituals. Circle Singing Roma, organized by Chiara Cortez and Daphne Nisi, brings this unique phenomenon to the Italian capital and in this podcast we talk about and discover what it is all about, show a live example, learn where it comes from and why more and more people all over the world are joining Circlesinging!

Hey, Sal! Podcast #07 – Mirka Farabegoli and José Witteveen

Mirka Farabegoli is a Dutch artist who graduated from the Arnhem Art Academy ArtEZ in 2009. She works mainly within the field of drawing and printmaking. 📷 Mirka’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mirkachocola/ 🌎 Mirka’s Website: http://www.mirkafarabegoli.com/

José Witteveen studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. In the last years, she has dedicated her work to the eternal city of Rome through portraits of its streets and people. 📷 José’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/josewitteveen/ 🌎 José’s Website: http://www.josewitteveen.nl/

Both artists just returned from an art residency in Salina, Sicily and in this podcast they share their experience.