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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Half Way Up The Hindukush

Since this week's podcast is the 50th in the series I thought I should do something different with it. Modesty apart, I'd say that 50 podcasts in any series is an impressive number. It's not really a significant anniversary edition, but 50 is half way through to 100, which should certainly be cause for celebration. These round numbers seem like something significant for some reason. Have you seen today's entry at Wired Temples?

There are two special elements in the 50th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast. The first is that it I've chosen to only play music by singers and musicians who have never appeared on the series before. The other element is the availability of an enhanced edition of this podcast, following last week's debut release in that format.

If I were in Malta this weekend I would have most certainly attended Pinkpube's Headplug at Liquid in Tal-Ballal. Pinkpube is one of Malta's most underrated sources of new music. Perhaps they like it that way and this is why they've been so prolific in the year and a half they've been around. From their one year celebratory release One I've pick the track Trying The Knife by Danjeli. Other PinkPube artists have appeared on Mużika Mod Ieħor podcasts but this is the first time I've included anything by Danjeli.

MySpace is a great force for music distribution. I clearly don't need to reiterate that to people like Colin Zammit Lupi, who delights his many fans with a number of songs on his MySpace page, showing that he has a checkered CV outside his new life as a supporting performer in major West End shows like Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera. Like his brother Aidan, he has now dropped the Lupi part of his last name but remains one of the most delightful performers of his generation. It's quite a pity that he's not a household name in Malta. Perhaps this will happen once he manages to acquire more fans abroad than he could ever dream of having in his home country. Listen to his song I'd Love You Anyway and I'm sure you'll agree that Colin is an unassuming star.

I'm delighted whenever I discover another musician with Maltese connections who is virtually unknown in Malta. Michael Azzopardi was born in Sydney into a family of musicians who emigrated to Australia several decades ago. He is a jazz pianist and you can hear him play a tune called Ten Seconds Later with his quartet. If you know of any other performers of Maltese descent I haven't already included in my podcast, please contact me. I'm sure there are others I haven't heard of and I'd love to include them on a future edition of Mużika Mod Ieħor.

Country is not a genre embraced by many Maltese musicians. Andre Camilleri is a name that should immediately come to mind for regular listeners of my podcast. In Malta the one name that's possibly becoming synonymous with Country music is Marty Rivers. He recently surfaced on MySpace so it's about time we heard one of his songs on Mużika Mod Ieħor too. Out of the Blue is my personal selection and it shows that away from American cliches and other cringe-worthy aspects Marty can deliver pleasant material for any music lover.

I'm somewhat surprised with the return of the enhanced version of Mużika Mod Ieħor this week because I've received no feedback about it yet. It's about half an hour worth of extra work for me to produce it. Feedback or no feedback I still find it rewarding. I thought I would just create it for special editions, such as last week's Listeners' Pick for 2006 or this week's 50th podcast. I may keep producing it regularly anyway, but I'd still like to hear from you if you download it.

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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