Pizza my heart: Alan Goffinski sings his love of C’ville slices

Alan Goffinski’s Pizzas of Charlottesville album—12 lighthearted jingles for a dozen local pizza spots—comes out Friday, June 5. Photo by Eze Amos Alan Goffinski’s Pizzas of Charlottesville album—12 lighthearted jingles for a dozen local pizza spots—comes out Friday, June 5. Photo by Eze Amos

At any given time, at least 20 percent of Alan Goffinski’s headspace is occupied by pizza.

“Pizza’s the best,” he says. It’s his favorite food, and he has no qualms about admitting it: “If anyone tells you [their favorite food is] anything else, they’re lying.”

“Pizza’s there for the best times,” Goffinski continues sincerely, not an ounce of cheese in his voice. “That’s what makes it so important. It’s the meal you eat with your buds. It’s a celebration meal.”

His reverence and enthusiasm for the pie inspired Pizzas of Charlottesville, an album of 12 jingles for local pizza places out this Friday on Bandcamp.com.

Goffinski is perhaps best known as the director of The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, but he’s a musician, too. In the early 2000s, he toured and made a couple records with indie rock band The 1997, and this past December, in collaboration with a few other local musicians, released Smells Like Music, an album of 20 goofy-sweet children’s songs under the moniker Little Skunks.   

So Goffinski’s been in “a playful songwriting headspace,” and with local pies of all kinds always on his mind, he says the jingles “developed organically.”

“The idea was that this would be my love letter to pizza, and to local business,” says Goffinski, who chose to focus the ditties on area spots (i.e., non-national chains) that serve primarily pizza and that might knead a little boost right now: Vita Nova, Lampo, Christian’s, Belmont Pizza, and the like.

Each jingle reflects a restaurant’s individual style, says Goffinski, and none “could easily be swapped out for the others without some rearranging. If your pizza restaurant has a brick oven pizza, I’m mentioning the brick oven. Or if you make a particularly large pizza, I’m going to maybe mention that.” (He definitely mentions that.)

Goffinski will donate Pizzas of Charlottesville proceeds to the Charlottesville Restaurant Community Fund, and he’s working with local artist and Burnley-Moran Elementary art teacher Ryan Trott on some merch, too, just in case the jingles catch on with fellow pizza-lovin’ locals.

That’s the purpose of a good jingle, he says: they’re short, simple, slightly repetitive. “They’re all deliberately a little obnoxiously catchy, the kind of thing that maybe you wish wasn’t stuck in your head, but because it is, you embrace it, smile, and curse my name when you’re falling asleep at night.”

Goffinski emphasizes that none of these jingles have been officially sanctioned by the restaurants they celebrate, but some seem to be on board with the idea. “I have no expectation that any of these pizza places are going to use these jingles in any way, shape, or form…especially if they’re trying to maintain any sort of air of professionalism,” he says with a half-self-conscious laugh. “But I would invite them to!”

Goffinski might eat some of these pies more than others, but each has its merits, he says, and he loves them all. “There’s no such thing as bad pizza. Even bad pizza is good pizza.”

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