I Just Can't Get Enough
Finnish historian Johanna Ahonen is guest blogging on Wired Temples this weekend. Ġużé Stagno has graced my post about readership on the Maltese blogosphere with a cryptic comment. I've just finished recording my second podcast in the new year. And we're having the first non-seasonal dinner party at our place this evening. The menu includes linguini with sundried tomatoes, capers, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil. It finally feels like 2006.
This week's podcast is the seventh in the series Mużika Mod Ieħor. I've decided to pick music that's quite different from the relatively extreme genres I blasted out last week. This time the opening track comes from a funky Maltese band based in Brighton, here in the UK, called Tuesdays Child. I've been following this band since 2003 because my second cousin Keith is the bass player. Keith has an interesting genealogy; the bass player from Freddie Portelli's Black Train is his mother's brother, and therefore known as Uncle Joe. Nepotism apart, Imagination is one of the best tracks I've heard from this band. You can hear other tracks from Tuesdays Child on their website, where you'll also find lots of pictures and the latest news about the band.
Hunters Palace is another UK-based Maltese band. Well, almost. It wasn't always that way. Alex Vella Gera and Adolph Formosa recorded with Peter Sant under that name before Peter moved to the UK last year. Alex and Adolph worked together on another project after Hunters Place called treeears. I've managed to acquire a recording from treeears through Alex this week, however, I chose to play the title track from the Hunters Place 2003 album Idle Times on my podcast. Since Adolph is not on Idle Times, in the coming weeks I'll either play that treeears file I got from Alex or another tune from Hunters Place's other album It's Cold Outside.
Alex is someone I remember from my days as a student at the University of Malta. We were never close. In fact, I didn't even know his name until he recently reappeared on my radar as an erratically interesting blogger. I mention this connection mainly because the next musician whose work appears on Mużika Mod Ieħor is Antonio Olivari. He's known in the Maltese blogosphere as Archibald, or sometimes as The Blogger Formerly Known As Archibald. He recently blogged about an interesting project, which is now publicly available as his new album Mist: Relaxing Instrumental Music. By Antonio's own admission, the tracks themselves are not his best work. However, I'm pleased that he has collected them this way and presented them for public consumption while he works on his new album.
To me, the delivery of this work over the Internet via SoundClick is the most interesting aspect of all this. Olivari was one of a handful of Maltese musicians who published their work through MP3.com back when the site was a non-commercial hotbed of unsigned acts. I discovered dozens of artists from that website before it turned into CNET's weakest link. There's a small handful of other Maltese artists on SoundClick, so I think I'll be playing music from their on my podcast sometime soon.
I've actually sampled two excerpts from Olivari's Mist. For Elani, the second one, is a classic slow rock number that throws me back about 25 years to the days when I listened to Pink Floyd, and other prog rock dinosaurs, day and night. Since I'm not a nostalgic sort of person, I thought it would be most fitting to follow For Elani with Shazam's Aħseb fit-Tifel.
Shazam's single was a huge hit on Maltese radio (there was only one broadcasting organization back then) around 1976. Visions of a broken couple somewhere in the Cottonera area always flash in my mind's eye when I hear this record. For some reason, I also think that she left him for an old boyfriend who had just been released from Corradino Prison, after serving time during the years she lived the wife and mother in the Shazam narrative. I love how dated it sounds today, but I'd also say it has "retro-classic" written all over it. If I thank Stagno (and Mark Vella) for reminding me what a great piece of Maltese pop culture it really is, I guess I'll have gone full circle on today's blog entry. I wonder what happened to it-tifel from the Shazam song.
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