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Sunday, June 18, 2006

World at Your Feet

Paul McCartney is 64 today. I read an excellent article by Sam Roberts in yesterday's New York Times; it's really interesting...what a shame the NYT online archive is only available to paying subscribers. I wonder whether I'll make it to 64 too. If I do I'm pretty sure I'll have a very different lifestyle from the one I have now. I'm equally sure that it'll be nothing like I could ever expect it to be now.

My podcast is not 64 yet. It's 26 this week. It's a slightly different podcast than other episodes in the series because in the final section I focus on the Net Neutrality issue rather than the usual sort of music my listeners have come to expect from my podcast. Then again, my most faithful listeners know that although I'm fairly fond of routines, within reason, I also step off the beaten path quite frequently.

It has now become a mental exercise of sorts to include something about (or at least mention) Xtruppaw in every episode of Mużika Mod Ieħor. To do that this week I open the podcast with a song by Maltese melodic prog rock band Stillborn who will be appearing with the Xtrupps at the 2nd Marsaxlokk Rock Festival on the 26th of August. That gig is organized by the Local Council for that town, which clearly has one of the more enlightened mayors in Malta. Broken Circle, the song you can hear from Stillborn on the podcast has a really wonderful section towards the end. Dianne Castillo has a very pleasant voice, which I think works better in the more melodic, less rocky, passages played by Stillborn.

A few weeks ago I played a song by Charlie Muscat, who is better known as Paletti. He emailed me this week and among other things he told me that that it has now been 14 years that he has been unsuccessfully trying to have one of his songs chosen for one of the many local song contests. The most recent disappointment comes from the selection process for the upcoming Independence Song Festival set to take place on the 18th of September. The 20 songs selected for the final were announced a few days ago and needless to say Paletti's song didn't make the cut from the 174 songs that were submitted for consideration. You can hear that song, Fit-Tieqa tal-Futur sung by Tarcisio Barbara, as the second song on this week's podcast.

Paletti's acoustic guitar sound reminded me of another acoustic guitar I heard this week on a song by an artist I discovered via MySpace. The song is called It Takes Time and it's one of 4 tracks on the So Complete EP by Jason Sherri. In spite of the alternative spelling of his surname, Jason is Debbie Scerri's brother. He has already managed to carve out a relatively successful career for himself, most notably in British musicals like Lloyd Webber's Cats and Queen's We Will Rock You in Germany.

I chose to use the rest of this week's podcast to highlight the Net Neutrality issue by playing a clip from an interview with Tim Berners-Lee at the WWW 2006 Conference, which took place in Edinburgh a few weeks ago. As the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim has always advocated that the internet should remain an open network on all levels. The campaign to protect Net Neutrality in America now has a purposely written song to go with it. The song is a little bland for my taste (too reminiscent of a bad cover of Dylan's Mr Tambourine Man) but it most certainly drives the message home: politicians and corporations should simply keep their hands off the Internet. This issue has not really reached Europe yet, but the outcome in the USA will undoubtedly be felt across the world, especially if/when the same idea is adopted by other telecom companies across the globe.

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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