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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Autumn Leaves

The autumnal turning leaves in the UK don't seem as pretty as those reddish bursts I had become accustomed to in the States. They're beautiful in their own way here. They also need to be picked and cleared from the pavements or wherever they fall. I spent most of the afternoon today picking up dead leaves that fell from the huge tree at the top of my organic garden, just a couple of yards away from my vegetable patch.

There are still plenty of leaves on the tree. They won't be there much longer. Clearing the leaves that have already fallen at this point seems necessary, otherwise there'll probably be more than are manageable in one afternoon session. As an activity, this is probably as far away from my weekly podcast as I can get on a Saturday afternoon. It's great to be away from activities that require cerebral engagement to one degree or other. In the garden I feel very in touch with nature. It's very peaceful and I always feel better after spending even just a couple of hours pottering about.

On to the 87th podcast in the Mużika Mod Ieħor series, which opens with a new single from The Characters. One in a Million shows this popular band in top form. It appears that they're on their way to releasing a new album sometime next year. Nothing has been revealed about that yet, but all the tell-tale signs are there.

Paul Abela is one of the most prolific Maltese pop song writers. I think he's also one of the most underrated musicians. Listening to tracks from Tristan B's debut album Fallen Angel, you can most certainly sense his prowess, especially if you pay particular attention to the song structures and the instrumental bits between the singing. Life is a Beat has a particularly North African tinge and I've selected to play it on this week's podcast to highlight the point I'm trying to make here. Manuel Balzan, or Tristan B as he is known, is a pop singer in the pin-up mode. Unlike many other wannabes he is blessed with the a crop of original songs written by a great composer. It appears that they're building a pan-European marketing strategy for years to come, but only time can tell if this is just another case of pearls for swine.

Since we're in a pop gear today, I thought it most appropriate to include a song by Thea Saliba. The CD album from this former JESC performer is called About You. I must admit that I haven't heard the whole record by I'm chose to include Bring it Up a song written by Billy J, after hearing it on his YouTube page. It feels good to see that there are relatively intense performers in the local pop scene. There's nothing I hate more than bad pop. Thea certainly does not fall within that category and is actually an excellent example of a decent pop performer.

Aside from the mainstream tunes on today's podcast, I wanted to include something from the trenches. The MMI series is possibly the only regular source to listen to Maltese music and musicians that are absent from radio playlists for one reason or another. Wayne Camilleri has just made to demo recordings. He has released these instrumental tracks on ReverbNation. I expect to see them on his MySpace page sometime soon too. Meanwhile you can hear It's All Okay as the closing track on this week's podcast.

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. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.

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