Fire with Fire

Show notes for the 214th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers in or from Malta:

BittersideLeft Alone
I don’t think if seen as much Twitter saturation as I’ve seen for this new single from Bitterside. It comes with an accompanying video produced by A Butterfly Effect Productions. When the time for nominations on the 2010 MMI Listeners’ Picks poll comes around at the end of this summer, I’m sure this will be one of the ones that will attract some attention in the video category.

Victoria OsborneCounting Butterflies
Regular listeners of the MMI podcast will have heard me play other songs by this wonderful Maltese singer-songwriter with a strong London connection. I’m very fond of her sophisticated yet simple songs. I’d love to hear her play live one of these days, but I’m not sure if she is really interested in that sort of thing. If that’s the case I should really start working on a way to help her change her mind.

Andre CamilleriSouthern Star Travelling Music Band
Moving to Australia has proved to be a good move for Andre Camilleri’s music output. He has recently released his third album. This one is called Heaven & Hell and features a bunch of seemingly more thoughtful songs than the ones he has released in recent years with the Broken Hearts Band. I really like how consistant Camilleri manages to be without repeating himself too much. If he keeps it up (and I have no reason to think otherwise) he’ll most certainly be remembered for many years to come.

Għanafest 2010 – Żaqq u Tambur
When folklorist Ġorġ Mifsud-Chircop passed away a couple of years ago, many wondered if anyone could really pick up where he left off with the successful Għana Festival he established. With the more recently established GħanaFest, composer and musicologist Ruben Zahra has managed to reinvent this annual celebration of traditional Maltese folk music, augmenting it with a contemporary twist featuring bands like Brikkuni and No Bling Show, not to mention some remarkable performers from around the Mediterranean basin. Zahra has managed to demonstrate with some ease what Mifsud-Chircop had always maintained: folk music is alive and pertinent to modern lifestyles. If you read this in time and happen to be in Malta this week, see if you can catch one of the many performances on this year’s bill.

Fredu Abela il-Bamboċċu + George Azzopardi l-Makk – Maxi u Mini-Skirt
To follow up on plugging GħanaFest, I thought it would be a good idea to play you one of my favourite Maltese folk singers of all time. Taxi Mary was the big hit from il-Bamboċċu way back in 1970/71, but there are other songs that deserve equal attention even though they never received the same amount of airtime. I think it’s time that a new generation discovers il-Bamboċċcu and some of his contemporaries, especially as there now seems to be a new wave of improvised rhymed folk song, championed by the likes of Jon Mallia (aka Pan Demonium). I’d love to hear some of this old stuff sampled in new work that a younger generation can appreciate.

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