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Saturday, June 03, 2006

Chapter 24

Last night was a memorable night. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to be there to witness it in person. I don't actually need any reports to know that it was an historic event. Is-CD tal-iXtruppaw is finally out.

Aside from the whole Eurovision can of worms I opened, Xtruppaw are undoubtedly the most exciting thing to ever hit the Maltese music scene. That's the gist of an article I wrote about them for Manic (the magazine published with The Malta Independent on Sunday) originally intended for this week's issue. For some reason, Manic will appear with next Sunday's Malta Independent. The magazine doesn't have a website, so I'll reproduce the text on my blog once the article appears in print.

Meanwhile, you can enjoy the 24th podcast in the Mużika Mod Ieħor series. Yes, Xtruppaw are in it but there's also another three great tracks I believe deserve to be heard much more than the mainstream media cares to play them.

The first is Pop Music Broke My Heart from the most interesting trio called End of John. I hear they've been very well received on the alternative gig circuit in Malta. I discovered them on MySpace and I must say that from the two tracks I've heard I'd love to see them perform live. A whole album from them is also something that I'd look forward to.

Next from MySpace is another singer-songwriter from London of Maltese descent. Like Joseph Aquilina, who I featured in my podcast a few weeks back, Charlie Calleja is half Maltese. He is gigging fairly regularly around London this summer, so if you happen to be there for one reason or another I wholeheartedly recommend you check out his MySpace page to see where he's playing next. If you like Nick Drake and wondered who (besides Hunters Place) ever wrote and sang those kind of songs while Maltese blood ran through their veins look no further than Charlie Calleja.

Moving away from MySpace I recently discovered another Maltese singer-songwriter of note. I'd never actually heard of him before. He's really good...and I'm not just saying that to be nice. Teddie Zammit's Riflessi won Best Arrangement in the 2001 L-Għanja tal-Poplu. You can hear that song on this week's podcast and not only appreciate why he got the award but also enjoy an unusually wonderful Maltese song.

Speaking of Maltese songs, there's no way I can forget Xtruppaw and their simply amazing debut album. Not only can you hear Glorja Tonna in its pristine glory but you can also listen to me pointing out the precise number of bars I heard them record at Steve Lombardo Attard's Hell Next Door Studio in Gudja when I first met them last March. The explicit lyrics may still sound jarring in Maltese, but there's no denying that this is the most excitingly original rock band to emerge from Malta in decades.

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.

Blogger James said...

Xtruppaw, BNI and Pupi tal-loghob make very good Maltese music with an attitude. Is-CD tal-iXtruppaw has the most original tracks I've ever heard locally, my favourite being 'Il-Puberta'.  

1:49 AM, June 10, 2006

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