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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Electric Barbarella

Duran Duran have finally performed live in Malta. It's about 20 years too late, if you ask me. Then again not everyone is as allergic to nostalgia as I am. To be fair Duran Duran have remained active and released some interesting material since they were the huge pop sensation we remember from the 1980s. Back then I didn't really like the band but eventually I came to appreciate some of their stuff in ways that people who know me well could find rather surprising.

There may be some parallel between all this and this summer's other most significant gigs: Danjeli's Kakofonija live, the reemergence of Xtruppaw (with The I-Skandal) and even last week's return of Hunters Palace along with the cabaret by Alex Vella Gregory. Perhaps the connection (or lack of it) relates to the true significance of money and glitter within the music scene; and not just locally, of course.

Being away from the Maltese islands I find solace in seeking out as much new material as I can. In this spirit, this week's Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast features four brand new tracks. The first is by a duo closely associated with Metrokueen: former singer Shawn Ryan and guitarist Billy Lee. They recently appeared on MySpace under the name Dayline with There's Another Place, which they describe as an "impromptu song whilst jamming."

Frank & Chris is/are another duo that broached the local scene this summer. Frank Cachia entered the Virtual Rock Star contest singing alone and a capella last year. He has a wonderful baritone voice, it appears that Chris Peregin appreciates it enough to team up with him for this year's edition. Sadly, they didn't win. Their Toad Song (am I the only one who hears a delightful homoerotic undertone here?) is a worthy effort but their best work is undoubtedly still ahead of them. Any songwriter looking for a good singer should give Frank a good listen. He has one of the best male voice I've heard coming from Malta in quite some time.

Fr Karm Debattista mssp has just released a new CD of songs in English. The album is called Dance of Joy and I've included the title track on this week's podcast. He is currently in Australia, where just a few days ago he launched this new CD at the World Youth Day events in Sydney. I'm sure this record will be well received by fans of Christian music down under and beyond.

Radio-friendly pop is not one of the genres featured frequently on the MMI podcast. However, from time to time there are some tracks that cannot be overlooked. Thea Saliba's Musilicious is one such song. She is a trained musician and not just another diva wannabe, even though she chooses to swim in those shark-infested waters. From where I stand, we need more Theas on the local pop scene to make it a little more palatable. Still, I doubt it will every be as palatable as I've found some of the Duran Duran sounds beyond the obvious hits that everyone at the Luxol Ground expected them to play tonight.

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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