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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Come Inside

From time to time popular culture icons die, as you'd expect in the circle of life, and in doing so bring up memories of things that were once significant in some way or other. Wendy Richard died a couple of days ago. She loved Malta. So much so that she picked to have her honeymoon there just a few months ago, after getting married for the fourth time. My fond memories of her come from years of watching Are You Being Served? in the 1970s but also from a very brief personal encounter at the Paris Theatre in London just after the recording of an episode of the popular BBC radio game show Just A Minute in 1988. With her sad passing I couldn't help but think how ironic it was that she picked Malta for her last proper holiday...particularly as this was a divorcee's honeymoon. And there she was in the only EU country where there's no divorce legislation. How quaintly exotic!

I see from my Facebook newsfeed that people in Malta are now experiencing one of the first round of utility bills under the new tariff system. Apparently this is just as controversial as the topic in the previous paragraph, if not more so. How soothing it is to think that I can loose myself in my podcast every weekend, just to get away from it all for a little while.

The 153rd edition of Mużika Mod Ieħor sees the return of two acts whose music was featured in my selections last year. The first of these is Richard Micallef, who has taken a leaf out of his dad's book and is now recording under his first name and his middle name, as Richard Edward. This is understandable when you have to put up with butchered pronunciations of your family name over and over. Hopefully people will focus more on his music and beautiful singing voice, as can be heard in his new single entitled Allowed to Cry.

Chris Enriquez is someone whose voice and music are completely new to the MMI podcast. It's always refreshing to feature material by performers who have never appeared on the series before. An Angel in the Making is one of two songs I found on his MySpace page. It's quite good and this quality of work makes me firmly believe that this is not the last we've heard from Chris Enriquez.

Keeping it completely new to the podcast I next turn my attention to a band called Sepia. They haven't made any studio recording yet, but we can still hear them from a number rough garage demos they've uploaded to the MySpace page. White Scar is a good way to samples this bands grungy sound. To my ears they could do with a good singer but then again they're quite tight musically so perhaps you will not miss the vocal line as much as I did on a second listen. Once again, you can rest assured that if/when a studio recording from this band crosses my path I'll be including it on a future edition of the MMI podcast.

This is precisely what happened with London-based band Ethnamorte, which includes Malcolm Callus among its founding members. After featuring a rough(ish) recording from this band last year, they now return with a very nicely done studio recording of a song called Shades of Beauty and Madness. At 10 minutes and 14 seconds, that a little too long to include in its entirety on my (roughly) 20 minute weekly podcast. If you'd like to hear the whole thing you can just head on over to their MySpace page, where you can also find other recordings and dates for their upcoming London gigs.

A couple of months ago, Pamela's debut CD Whispers, consisting almost entirely of songs written by Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan was released to great acclaim. It appeared few weeks to late to be featured in the 2008 MMI Listeners' Picks poll, but it's one which will be definitely nominated along with all the other 2009 releases in the album category. I've already had the opportunity to play a couple of my favourite songs from this album when they first appeared, particularly in the Malta Song for Europe festival. To mark the release of the album as well as Pamela's upcoming gigs in Canada I've selected the song Turn Another Page. It's a really appropriate way to bring this week's podcast to a close, until we meet again for next week's edition.

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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