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Sunday, April 30, 2006

Space Truckin'

This past week I've been exploring MySpace. It's a great social networking site, which offers user profiles, groups, photos and an internal communication system. It seems to be designed mostly for bands to promote themselves. In any case, it's clearly an excellent example of the way Web 2.0 works.

MySpace is also an excellent resource for finding tracks to play during my weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast. All the music on this week's podcast comes from MySpace. I thought I'd do this after I mentioned it during last week's show when I featured the music of Gozitan band Tears of Revenge.

Since there are plenty of fairly established acts on MySpace along with new and relatively unknown musicians, I thought I'd start by playing something by Corkskrew. I've been meaning to include them on my podcast for quite some time but for some reason I never got around to it. So it seems appropriate that rather than play yet another track by one of the other bands I've already had on Mużika Mod Ieħor, I should finally get around to giving one of Corkskrew's songs a whirl. I chose Her Noir, which is one of the tracks you'll hear if you visit them on MySpace.

It's really amazing what you can find on MySpace. Something tells me I've only just scratched the surface. One interesting band I came across yesterday goes by the name of Aquilina. I was immediately struck by the name for the obvious Maltese connections. The band gets its name from Joseph Aquilina who's a Londoner from Brixton, but I'm quite sure that he's of Maltese descent. There's nothing explicit about his Maltese connections on MySpace or on the band's website, so I stand to be corrected. The song you can hear on my podcast is called More To Ask and opens with what to me sounds like a very Mediterranean chant. It's a really great acoustic combo and I'd love to see the band live sometime in the not too distant future. If you've never heard this band before, I highly recommend it...regardless of your musical taste. This is simply good music!

There are both pros and cons to not living in Malta, of course. Some things combine the advantages and disadvantages in an odd way. One such experience is the discovery of an act called Astrometry on MySpace. Apparently, Astrometry has been very active since 1993, the last full year I lived in Malta, but I had never heard the music from Astrometry before I discovered it on MySpace. Astrometry is promoted by Awaken Events and more music is also available at, so there's plenty of it around. I must have been living under a rock instead of looking for new music from Malta in the last several years.

This weekend was a great one for music lovers in Malta. Friday's free show by Explicit at Naasha's served as an excellent prelude to The Rifffs reunion gig at Tattingers, and Sunday night's double bill at the Poxx Bar with French duo John et Jehn and the Beangrowers is an excellent warm up for tomorrow's Graffiti's May Day concert at the Msida subway with Particle Blue, Vince Fabri, Walter Micallef and a bunch of others. John et Jehn are very active on MySpace so I thought I would be appropriate to close this week's podcast with one of their songs. I chose Lovin' Dead, which they've also made available as a download on their MySpace page. John and Jehn are actually Nicolas Conge and Camille Berthomier, who play an interesting blend of punk and beautifully crafted minimalistic ballads tinged with highbrow arrangements the likes of which should go down really well with alternative music lovers in Malta.

My MySpace odyssey will undoutedly go on in the coming weeks and months. I'm really looking forward to adding more MySpace friends to my network and discovering all sorts of music from Malta and beyond. Meanwhile, my podcasting may turn a little irregular and different from what I've been doing in recent months because I'm getting ready for a visit to Greece in mid-May. I'll be there for the Eurovision Song Contest but if you know me you know that not only will I be there for more than that but I'll also bring and take a non-mainstream view to this most mainstream of events. More about all this next week.

The RSS feed for the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast is available here or you can simply click here to subscribe directly with iTunes. You can also add the latest episodes to your My Yahoo! page.

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