Dante HH

Dante HH is a “psychobilly blues, hard rock” band from L.A. —Dread Central

The motto, Dosis facit venenum, implies “The dose makes the poison.”

Os Mutantes, A Divina Comédia (ou Ando Meio Desligado) (Polydor, 1970)

os-mutantes-a-divina-comedia-ou-ando-meio-desligado“Along with the fascinating cover art — which finds the middle ground between the lurid, low-budget, exploitation cinema of filmmakers like Jean Rollin or Mario Bava, with the higher aspirations of gothic literature, à la Edgar Allen Poe — the literal English translation of the title suggests further hints towards the notions behind the album, with A Divina Comédia (ou Ando Meio Desligado) interpreted as The Divine Comedy (or I Walk a Bit Disconnected), with the reference to walking disconnected pointing towards 1960’s stoner culture and the various preoccupations with the living dead (once again, check out the Gustave Doré referencing cover art for more…). It sums up the spirit of the album perfectly, with continual references to Dante’s eponymous collection, religious cults, black mass, Satanism and the teachings of Aleister Crowley. It’s all a bit more tongue-in-cheek than the influences would suggest, with the band famously making loving pastiche and parody of the California rock scene, as well as including a straight-as-straight-can-get version of a doo-wop song that ties in nicely with similar tracks that Frank Zappa was creating for the first Mothers of Invention album, Freak Out! (1966), in particular the likes ‘Go Cry on Somebody Else’s Shoulder’ and ‘How Could I Be Such a Fool’?” — Robin Tripp, Review for Head Heritage, June 19, 2007

Contributed by Pearl Nelson-Greene (University of Kansas, 2020)

Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs’s album Gates of Hell (2014)

Gates of Hell” is an album released on July 31, 2014 by Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs. The band hails from Toronto, Canada, and are a self-described “6 piece rock n’ roll band from hell.” — cited from Bandcamp.com

The album features 10 songs:sam-coffey-iron-lungs-gates-of-hell

  1. Gates of Hell – 3:31
  2. Hold Me Close – 2:32
  3. Birthday! – 1:31
  4. Communication – 4:04
  5. Get Pumped Up – 1:32
  6. Season of the Witch – 2:46
  7. Heavy on Queen St. – 3:16
  8. Calgary Hill – 3:13
  9. Seventeen – 2:58
  10. Brides of Satan – 3:31

Watch the music video for the song “Gates of Hell” below:

Learn more about Sam Coffey and the Iron Lungs on their website, and follow them on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Soundcloud.

Pia come la canto io, Album by Gianna Nannini (2007)

“Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Gianna-Nannini-Pia-come-la-canto-io-Dantedolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.

“Torna, sento già la tua luce nell’anima.
Sei qui con me, sono le braccia tue che stringo.
Per quanti mesi e notti e giorni,
non saprei dire, non lo so ma questo è certo:
ci fu l’inverno, poi primavera,
la vita torna nel castello ma non per me.
Guarda se ne va questo sogno di te.
Là batte l’onda e un cavallo galoppa.
Ma l’amore, il nostro amore, marcisce dietro a questa porta.

“Ma l’amore, questo amore, marcisce dietro a quella porta.
Fa sempre freddo, in quelle mura,
il cielo è chiaro ma la terra resta scura.
Poi il primo verde, la lunga luce,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.
Dolente Pia, dolente Pia,
Dolente Pia innocente è prigioniera.
Col capo chino, la fronte al seno,
pensa a quei giorni del passato ricordi in fior.”

–“Dolente Pia,” from the 2007 album Pia come la canto io by Gianna Nannini

Listen to the song here.

For a comparative analysis of Dante’s Pia with Nannini’s, see the blog laletteraturaenoi.it.

Contributed by Anna Lisa Somma (University of Birmingham)

Mono’s 9th Album, Requiem for Hell (2016)

mono-requiem-for-hell-album-dante“Perhaps the most surprising thing about Mono making a record inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy is that it took them nine albums to do it. Since their dramatic 2001 debut Under the Pipal Tree, the Japanese ensemble’s arrangements have only swelled, growing ever grander and more orchestral—like a lot of instrumental post-rock bands, they’ve often struggled with how to one-up themselves. So on Requiem for Hell, their ninth album, they look to nothing less than the mother of all epics, Dante’s account of the journey of man’s soul, on a song cycle patterned around the rhythms of life and death. If that all sounds lofty, it is, but no more so than any other Mono album from the last decade. At this point in their career, going big is their default play.” — Evan Rytlewski, “Mono: Requiem for Hell: Album Review,” Pitchfork.com

Contributed by Pete Maiers

Weezer, “L.A. Girlz” (2016)

Weezer-LA-Girlz-Dante-Beatrice-2016“L.A. girls, please act your age
You treat me like I have the plague
It’s the Gyre and Gimble in the wabe
L.A. girls, please act your age
Sweeten up your lemonade
And meet me down at tower twenty-eight
So would you mind if I was pregnant?
I’ll sleep on the edge of your bed
Like Dante and Beatrice
We’ll light up our candles
But how is this going to end?
The kids are asleep
We’re haunting their dreams
And some women swear it’s more painful than labor
To die with your sins on your head” — Weezer, “L.A. Girlz,” The White Album (2016)

Watch the video for the song on YouTube.

Contributed by Megan Alvarado (University of Texas at Austin, ’18)

Caparezza, “Argenti Vive” (2015)

Argenti ViveItalian rap-rock icon Caparezza‘s new song, “Argenti Vive” (“Argenti Lives”), opens with a recitation of part of Canto 8 of the Inferno, when Dante is crossing the river of Styx and has an encounter with Filippo Argenti. This is followed by a vengeful rap in the voice of Argenti.

Watch the full music video here.

Contributed by Sam Gaglio (University of Texas at Austin)

Thrillpeddlers’ Club Inferno (2015)

Club Inferno“Club Inferno, a Glam-Rock Musical based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, is ‘one hell of a good time’, blending sinful women and kick-ass rock with a classic story of the afterlife.”    —Thrillpeddlers

The musical, which plays at the Hypnodrome in San Francisco, is put on by Thrillpeddlers and features a cast of characters like Dante, Xaron, and Cleopatra.

Read more about the show at SFGate.

Contributed by Bob Watt

Steve Miller Band, “Jet Airliner”

Jet AirlinerOne line of Steve Miller Band’s 1977 single “Jet Airliner” will sound familiar to any reader of Dante’s Divine Comedy:

“You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.”    —AZ Lyrics

Listen to the full song here.

Contributed by Kelly Clark

“Ziggy Stardust’s Reading Habits”

ziggy-stardusts-reading-habits“Plenty of music fans could have guessed that David Bowie was a fan of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, since Mr. Bowie once aspired to produce a musical based on the novel. Now we have 99 other book recommendations from the Thin White Duke…”

“Elsewhere, there’s Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Iliad and The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Min‘ by Julian Jaynes. As the A.V. Club put it: ‘David Bowie has once again shown that he’s not only far richer, sexier and more fabulous than you, but probably smarter.'”    –John Williams, The New York Times, October 1st, 2013