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Saturday, October 03, 2009

Call Me

As we approach the end of the fourth year of weekly podcasts in my Mużika Mod Ieħor series, the show is now sponsored by Vodafone. I'm grateful that we now have the required support to not only continue promoting music from Malta but also a new push towards the possibility of develop things even further in the coming months and years.

I've just embarked on a year-long academic sabbatical to focus or research and professional development. The Franklin Furnace book remains the first item on my research agenda, of course, but I'm also looking forward to embarking on my next research projects. These fall into two general topics: artistic practice in virtual worlds and Maltese popular culture. The first ties in directly with my work on Franklin Furnace but it goes beyond it in a number of ways; more about that in the coming weeks/months. The other research area has me working on building critical longevity from my weekly MMI podcast into collaboratively gathering and disseminating documentation of cultural practice from the Maltese islands. I've been alluding to this for some time now, but by the end of my research leave period I'm hoping to have taken this idea into a solidly practical phase, which should become the center of gravity for much of my day-to-day work.

That's the plan. Getting there requires a generous amount of elbow grease, which obviously includes more of the MMI podcasting series. The 182nd edition contains four new tracks that will find themselves among the list of nominations for the 2009 MMI Listeners' Picks poll, which will be launched on Facebook towards the end of November. The first of these tracks is the new single from Eve Ransom. Technically speaking, Evergreen is being premiered on my podcast ahead of the radio release in a few days time.

Up next is the first single from Chasing Pandora's album, planned for release in 2010. Time shows that this duo will continue to amass an impressive repertoire of original songs. It is through those songs that they continue to delight new fans, not only in the Maltese islands but also in various intimate venues around London. They will be appearing there in the coming days: Monday (5 Oct) at The Bedford on Balham, Tuesday at the 12 Bar in Soho, Thursday at The Water Rats at Kings Cross, and on Friday they will be upstairs at The Garage in Islington.

I'm always on the prowl for new acts to include on my weekly podcast. The music website that appeared from Malta earlier this year at is a welcome addition to the local scene. It's through this site that I discovered Jerico Sincrest's Rain. Apparently it comes from an album called The Dark Flows but the website offers very sketchy details and Jerico's MySpace page isn't bursting with information either.

An album that should be coming out before the end of this year is Scar's second CD, entitled Breaking Radio Silence. Ahead of this release, Scar have issued a single called Mind the Gap. This song has been receiving considerable radio airplay in Malta and it will undoubtedly serve the band well to raise expectations for their second album. I, for one, am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the CD as soon as it becomes available to the public, if not before.

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 or on MySpace. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here or listen to the podcast on the player right below this text.

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