Why do you blog? Who listens to your podcast? These are two questions I'm faced with at least once or twice every week. The reason for the frequency of these questions is undoubtedly tied to my regularity on both my blog and my podcast, of course. The questions usually come from people who still don't understand how social networking on the internet works. I also believe that in most cases they fail to appreciate the advantages of operating outside the constrains of the mainstream media.
Blogs keep me in touch with other bloggers, even though not all my blog readers are bloggers themselves too, of course. Podcasts are how I remain on the forefront of new media developments. It's how I get most of my news about most of the things that interest me beyond radio, television and whatnot. Anyway, this post is meant to outline my most recent podcast, so I'll get off my little soapbox and save my ranting for another entry, possibly due next week as a prepare my first lectures about social networking and podcasting for my students.
This week's podcast is the 40th in the series Mużika Mod Ieħor. The relative longevity of this series and the unparalleled podcasting output in the Maltese language are probably why I wrote what I wrote in the first couple of paragraphs above. Anyway, as we approach the first full year of the Mużika Mod Ieħor series, podcast number 40 is a joyous occasion in its own right.
Last week I played the title track from Limestone, the recent album from Joe Camilleri and Nicky Bomba, released in Australia by Transmitter Records. I thought it was appropriate to open this week's podcast with the music of Nicky Bomba along with his band Bomba, which features another musician of Maltese descent. Michael Caruana is Bomba's keyboardist and occasionally sings and plays percussion too. On the podcast you can hear Bomba's Going Solo from their third album, Learn to Breathe.
There's an Australian connection on the second act featured on this week's podcast too. Ozzylino was born in Malta but raised in Australia. Lino Busuttil returned to Malta again some years ago and started a singing career under the name Ozzylino. He recently appeared on MySpace with his own page, which, so far, does not feature any of his music. You can hear Ozzylino's She's My Kinda Woman on this edition of Mużika Mod Ieħor.
Among other things, this series has made me aware of the impressive number of Malta-related music activity overseas. Some of it would not be thought of as Maltese music or music from Malta by most people. What I have in mind is any body who is somehow, even remotely, connected to Malta through blood or residence. One such act appeared very recently under the name Shockleader. This London-based band features Ryan Abela on drums along with Scottish musicians Willie Scott and Mick Renwick. Ryan is known in the Maltese alternative music scene for his work with Pupi tal-Logħob. I believe he was even one of the founding members of The I-Skandal. Shockleader sound refreshingly fresh in the raw demos they released on MySpace towards the end of last month. One of their songs is called Afraid of the Dark and that's the one I picked to play on my podcast.
This series has also introduced me to the depths of the hardcore metal scene in Malta. Metal has been popular with underground Maltese bands since the 1970s. In the 1980s it was almost a default style for most budding bands. Nothing quite says "rock" like an overdriven guitar power-chord, does it? Over the past twenty odd years a rich plethora of Metal sub-genres have surfaced within the local rock scene, as they have within the worldwide Metal universe, no doubt. I've commented about this before and although I'm not a huge hardcore fan I must admit that I enjoy playing the music of bands with growling singers every now and then. This time I bring you the music of Knockturn Alley (what a great name for a nocturnal band!) who have just released a 3-track EP entitled The Dream is Dead. The Apocalypse Conspiracy is one of the songs on this debut EP and the final track on this week's podcast.
Knockturn Alley's The Dream is Dead joins all the other releases from 2006 on my list of nominations, which will be released for you to vote on in the coming weeks. If you haven't already browsed through that list please have a look and let me know if you think there are any other titles I should consider adding before the voting begins.
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