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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tomorrow's Dream

Very recently I was asked about the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, more than once. Perhaps it's not inappropriate to air my position on this publicly, especially since I've never really done this before. There are very few children (i.e. under 15s) I'm particularly interested in hearing sing or watch perform. Shaheen Jafargholi is one recent notable exception, of course. While I think that it's never to early to start if you have talent or if you'd like to nurture one, I'm also particularly concerned that certain kids are pushed by their parents into this scene for one reason or another. I find this an uncomfortable position to create good music and in most cases the results are quite atrocious.

So, as you can see, I do have limits. To put it simply, brilliant child performers are very rare. Good ones are hard to come by too. A quick browse through seven years of Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries only confirms what I feel about child performers. I'm also aware that this will not necessarily go down well with young wannabes and/or their families. Still, calling a spade a spade is essential.

It's therefore unlikely that I'll be featuring child performers on my weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast anytime soon. It's not a Eurovision thing, it's all about personal tastes in music. While I do play the odd track that doesn't really align with my own tastes, I never include anything I wouldn't want to hear more than once or not at all. I always try to balance my own taste with that of my listeners.

The 189th MMI podcast addresses three things listeners have asked for. The first two come right away in the form of two songs from Sasha & Sam. The last time I featured their music on my podcast, listeners reacted positively to them like they've hardly ever done with any other act. People in Malta can catch Sasha & Sam live on two separate gigs in the coming days. On Tuesday 24 November they will opening for Jesse Cook at the City Theatre in Valletta. Then on Friday 27 November they will be at the Black Pearl. They're also about to launch a CD album entitled The Space Within. From it I've selected two songs to open this week's podcast: My Life and Something to Say. The album will be nominated for the 2009 MMI Listeners' Picks poll, which will open for voting via Facebook in the coming days.

I was quite amused to hear of the Female-fronted Extreme Music Festival (FEM), which is taking place this evening at the Sky Club in Paceville. FEM is a cool idea and if nothing else it shows that rock is no longer a boys' club in Malta. The bands appearing on the bill include Weeping Silence, Oblique Visions, The Imagery, Virginia Queens, Six.Point.Circle, Deluge of Sorrow, Sepia and Indigo. Most of these acts have appeared on previous edition of the MMI podcast. From this FEM line-up I've picked to play a track from Indigo, fronted by Marvic Lewis. Delve is a following track to the Struck album released a couple of years back. It's the sort of thing that gives both females and males great hope for an even better rock scene in Malta than the one that has clearly already developed in recent years.

For some people, electronica seems as far away as you can get from rock on the genre spectrum. Kurt Chircop is one of the more prolific exponents of this type of music in Malta. Recording as l urk, I look forward to including his music on the MMI series from time to time. This time he has really topped himself with a track entitled He Named His Cat "Leo". It also makes for a lovely little interlude in a MMI episode packed with wonderful tracks.

Freddie Portelli returns to the series to close up this week's podcast. The One and Only is one of two singles he released this year. He is currently finishing work on a new album of songs in Maltese to be released next February, when he's also scheduled to return to Australia for a number of shows for his numerous Maltese-Australian fans especially in Melbourne and Sydney. The current single sees him exploring Ska within his distinctive style, featuring his daughter Claudette as backing singer and a scorching guitar solo by Robert Longo.

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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