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Saturday, September 20, 2008


Having finished the chapter on performance I was writing for a book on Learning and Teaching in Second Life (to be published early next year by a Norwegian academic press) I am now able to apply myself to other things. This may be as close as I'm getting to a break before the new academic year. I plan to make the best of it and stay away from the sort of things that have kept me extra busy this past summer.

One of the things I'm keen to see happening over the next few days is actual on-air use of a videoconferencing system I've been testing with David, Ruben and Lino from Where's Everybody? This is scheduled for an upcoming edition of Bondi+. I don't have full details about the show yet, but I can tell you that I should be appearing on air using Skype with iSight and the built-in mic on my MacBook Pro, which is being fed directly into the video mixer by the WE technical team via the S-Video output on a Windows-based laptop. I'm able to see and hear what's going on in the TV studio through a simple set-up that consists of a decent microphone and a Skype-friendly webcam aimed at a studio video monitor. Not a very sophisticated set-up by professional broadcasting standards, but it should do nicely as another pioneering moment in my media output in Malta. You'll be able to judge the output as soon as the thing goes on air (details to follow in another blog post) and/or on YouTube if/when I get clips from the transmission.

Since it's the weekend it's also time for another edition of my weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast. The 132nd offering in the series is quite the rock show, featuring all new tracks from four diverse bands that share a passion for distorted guitars. First up is the new single from Stillborn. Following up with the first release since their last year's album Thy Feeble Soul, Angel showcases singer Diane Castillo's excellent voice very well. I hope the band continues to take their stuff to a mainstream audience the way they did last year at Rockbaze. Check them out at Rookies next Saturday night and see what you think.

Subculture return with a new line-up and their fourth CD. Revolt is released tonight at the Remedy Rock Club in Paceville, with a gig that includes sets from two other Baħri+Ħamiemu bands: the indestructible Abstrass and the earthshaking RAS. Shattered Pride are also on the bill so it should prove to be quite a night. Subculture now includes teenage bassist Dani Dolt and singer Ramona (the Cat). Ramona is a welcome newcomer to the alternative scene. Listen closely to the track The Earth Dies Screaming and you'll hear much more than the type of voice you expect in any punk band. Although I haven't heard the new album yet, I have good reason to believe that there are other tracks on the CD where Ramona's voice can be appreciated to the full. I'm really looking forward to it. Ejja Ray!

To make sure that fans of Ray il-Baħri know what he's up to (you know he's too cool or just plain old busy to update the status line on his Facebook account regularly) I thought I'd play a track by another band that now has him in its line-up. Publik Waste has been around for a couple of years with members coming and going but now they've released a new recording with the current line-up. The song is called Nobody Listens and provides a great doze of classic punk complete with off-key singing.

Since this week's podcast has taken on a very rocky sound I thought it would be most fitting to close it with the black metal sound of Lustre. This is a new duo that has emerged from a collaboration between Martin Ciappara (know to MMI podcast listeners through his Prayer of the Dying project) and Sarrum from Turkey. Divine Fetish is as good a sample of their work as anything else you'll hear from Lustre...that's if extreme metal is your cup of tea.

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 follow each new episode through the MMI Podcast: Facebook Fan Page. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.

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