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Saturday, March 06, 2010

I Don't Want To Go Out

Having once again witnessed the devastation property development in Malta has leveled at green areas and small towns across the islands, I am glad to see that a group of environment NGOs are taking to the streets to raise awareness about various issues that have ruined the country's environment. Encroachment of urban areas, illegal hunting and trapping, illegal occupation of public land, loss of biodiversity, air pollution, and water conservation are issues that have gone on for far too long.

Birdlife Malta, Nature Trust Malta, Flimkien għal Ambjent Aħjar, Ramblers Malta, Friends of the Earth, Moviment Graffiti, Greenhouse, and MOAM are leading a National Rally in Valletta at 10am on Saturday the 13th of March 2010, calling on the Government for effective law enforcement. Protests along the main streets of Valletta seem to be coming thick and fast this year. This one is at least as important as lowering utility tariffs and certainly as significant as free speech. If nothing else, let's hope that the government comes to see that something's rotten in this age of hope. Then again, change is inevitable...even if it's not always the sort of change we're after.

In spite of this, Malta remains as fascinating as ever. There's no way I'll stop following the complex cultural formations present there, as long as I'm alive and healthy enough to do so. This is why the Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast has come to the 202nd edition. I'd like to think that if this podcast was a plant it would probably be an orchid.

To shake out the Malta EuroSong earwigs out of my head, I've chosen to open this week's podcast with Petra singing All I Need by Keith and Andrew Zammit. This song stands out head and shoulders above most other new Maltese pop tunes I heard in the past weeks. I would have certainly included it on the MMI podcast if it had come to me by any other channel.

I'm also very pleased to see the new album from Chasing Pandora. The Driver and the Dancer has already yielded two excellent singles - Running in Circles and Time - and now Escape has also been released with a cute music video to help promote the release of the album. It's also quite wonderful that the duo is receiving some much deserved attention from the alternative music media in the UK. So far, this is undoubtedly the most outstanding album released from Malta for 2010.

From time to time I like to dip back into past episodes of the MMI podcast to catch up with acts I like who have not released any new material for a while. David Agius falls squarely in this category. The Sydney-based singer-songwriter plays a mean guitar and I'd really love to hear some new stuff from him in the coming months. His MySpace page is still active, but no new songs have been forthcoming for a while. While we wait, I've picked I'm Not the One from 2007.

Closing off this week's podcast is a new release from Stefanos, ahead of the upcoming release of his album Zero Plus. Unlike most of his other recording, My Flower Girl is actually a song, and features the voice of Brendan Jackson, who many MMI podcast listeners will know as the singer from Eve Ransom. His tuneful voice makes this song well worth a listen and perhaps this track will be the highlight of Stefanos soon to be released album.

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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