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Saturday, October 11, 2008

Big Money

Two memories from my pre-adult life crept across my line of sight this week. While I'm certainly not the nostalgic type, I thoroughly enjoyed a brief exchange with a former teenage girlfriend on Facebook, even if the bottom line was just a realization that we only really knew each other before either one of had grown up. And news of a St Gregory's Church Children's Choir reunion took me back even earlier into my childhood. I was very pleased to see pictures of so many people I haven't seen in well over thirty years.

Both these instances made me aware of how radically my life has changed since my childhood and teenage years. This is probably true for many people, but it's not necessarily so for everyone. I also bring this up in light of the recent developments we're now all calling the current financial crisis. Back then I cared about money even less than I do now. Oddly, however, I find myself peripherally depressed by the economic downturn. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise and this will lead more and more people to appreciate that there's much more to life and living than financial wealth and material possessions. Or at least I'd really like to think so.

It's with these thoughts dancing around in my head that I prepared this week's Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast. It's also not accidental that three of the tracks on this week's podcast come from countries outside Malta. The first features London-based Maltese singer-songwriter Richard Micallef. People in Malta may still remember Richard as part of The Mics. His solo material is quite good and I'm really looking forward to hearing more from him as the years reshape his musical taste beyond the obvious. This man may emerge to be one of the stronger figures of the Maltese music scene in the near future. Listen closely to Take a Minute, which also comes in an acoustic version on his MySpace page, and you'll probably see exactly what I mean.

Keeping it in the family, I thought it was about time I included something by Richard's brother Wayne. These guys are clearly indebted to their father for their musical genes. Anyone who cared about the Maltese music scene as far back as the early 1990s, probably remembers Joe George Micallef, who was among the longer-serving contenders on the local pop scene and hotel circuit. Wayne Micallef's Is Someone There owe's a lot to this legacy, even though it may not appear to do so at first glance.

All the music for rest of the 135th MMI podcast comes from Maltese musicians outside Malta. I've already had the great pleasure of including a couple of songs by the Maltese-Australian singer-songwriter David Agius. I received a message from David via Facebook a few days ago asking people to vote for him on a Sing with Stevie Wonder Competition. He'll certainly appreciate your vote. You can also hear one of his own songs, entitled When I Get Old, on this week's podcast. I'm really looking forward to hearing more from David. It's a pity there's nothing from him I can nominate for this year's MMI Listeners' Picks.

I was also pleased to hear from Ray Buttigieg recently, announcing that he has some new material on the way. Ray's messages tend to be cryptic, so I'm not sure what he's referring to exactly. I did find a new MySpace page dedicated to what he calls his Maltese Rarities. I've selected Imħabba Saltan Fuqi from this collection to bring this week's podcast to an appropriate close, until the next one.

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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