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Saturday, July 08, 2006

All the Young Dudes

I've have a fairly large number of tracks lined up to play on my Mużika Mod Ieħor series. Some of them are bumped around on a list of possibles from week to week until they eventually make it onto a podcast. The first three tracks on this week's selection have been on the list of possibles for several weeks.

Andre Camilleri's Cats and Dogs is one of various songs this musician has recorded in his folksy country style. He is not well known in Malta, partly because in recent years he has lived in Australia. I must say that I quite like his voice and I find his songs ideal for a late night or early morning listen, along with Leonard Cohen and Rufus Wainwright.

To compliment this mellow mood I chose to play a song by Adolf Formosa next. Adolf has already appeared twice on Mużika Mod Ieħor; once with Hunters Palace and another with Treeears. He has the ability to blend and enhance even his own sounds on Is This The End? -- a solo recording that gives a good hint as to why other musicians have sought to collaborate with him.

MySpace continues to be a veritable source of new Maltese music for me and many others. I find myself roaming the network for at least a few minutes every day. Oliboy was one of my first "friends" on MySpace. He is one Oliver Saliba (I believe) from Victoria, Gozo. Oli is a teenage rapper who has recorded at least one track in Maltese. The song is called Ħajti and you can hear it on this week's podcast, even though he has replaced it with new recordings on his MySpace page. The white rapper phenomenon hit Malta about 5 years ago with the rise to fame of Eminem. Now Oliboy joins Hooligan and Buggly B as one of the more prolific rappers from Malta who use the Maltese language quite comfortably in their rhymes. Even if rap and hip-hop are not your cup of tea, I'm sure you'll find this stuff interesting if you're as interested in Maltese pop culture as I am.

I do know that some listeners of my podcast tend to only like one style of music (and similar genres) so it's understandable that some people will never like, nevermind appreciate, rap, folk, or dance music if they prefer hard rock, punk and metal. Thankfully, few are so narrowminded in their tastes. In my opinion, they are the ones usually grow older thinking that "today's music is crap" and that "they no longer make them like they used to". I'll stop this little rant now because it's not really called for, even if it is based on an old stone in my shoe.

Some people will forever remember this weekend for two things: Dripht's London gigs and the 2006 World Cup finals. This week's podcast marks both these events. You can hear a song by one of the British bands also playing with Dripht in London, Mr Happy Chainsaw. You can find more from them on MySpace.

As for the World Cup, it's not easy to find Maltese music associated with this major event. Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu as a young man in the late 1960sThis is understandable when Malta's national team has never made it to the FIFA tournament presented ever four years. Playing the Beangrower's Maradona when the games started was something of a stretch on my part but Antoine Cassar, who put together a special blog to follow the games from a Maltese perspective, reminded me of World Cup by Fredu Abela l-Bamboċċu and his brother Renald from 1970. This makjetta is a true gem of Maltese pop folk music, which rides on the coattail of the classic song Taxi Mary. I haven't the slightest doubt that a young Bamboċċu from the 1960s would have rapped his heart out in Maltese if the genre had been in vogue at the time. The photo on the left shows him as he appeared before the huge success he enjoyed in the early 1970s.

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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