The last couple of weeks have been quite unusual for me. Aside from the whole trip to Malta and Greece, the aftermath of my prediction has been something that I'll remember for the rest of my life. I must publicly thank not only the many people who left comments on my last blog entry and those who emailed me privately, but also Peppi Azzopardi, Norman Hamilton and Lou Bondi for inviting me on their respective TV programmes. I should also thank my MaltaMedia colleagues, especially Martin Debattista who has finally blogged again.
At first I was tempted to follow up on the 50+ comments on my blog with a response to some of the questions and points raised by my readers. Time is a very precious commodity, so instead I've decided to move on, especially because I'm one who believes that moving on is good not only when dealing with things that upset us but also with things that we delight in. Too much of a good thing is still too much.
On the Saturday before the Eurovision I spent the evening at Naasha's in San Gwann. I went mainly to see BNI play as guest act for The I Skandal's new EP launch party. BNI are one of the most entertaining punk bands in Malta, so I'm not surprised that they've also been invited to fill a guest slot at Xtruppaw's debut album launch party at Luxol next Friday. More about that in the coming days.
This week's Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast opens with a track called Għala? by The I Skandal off the new EP Skakkomatto, published by Reciprocal Records. The production on this EP is outstanding, not only from a musical perspective but also in terms of the package. The CD's accompanying booklet is among the best I've ever seen for an EP.
Keeping it ska, the second track is the new single from The Rifffs, Life of Crime. It was a great joy seeing Rayvin from The Rifffs at Naasha's for the Skakkomatto launch party. A large part of that joy comes from the fact that he was accompanied by his brother Pierre (Portelli, the artist) who entertained us with an old anecdote about my first pair of prescription glasses. The story goes that the frame for the first pair of spectacles I wore as a teenager to correct my shortsightedness came from a case I found at Ateatru in Tigne. A couple of years after I started wearing them, I bumped into Pierre in Valletta who told me that my glasses looked exactly like a pair he had lost in Tigne. It doesn't take a Sherlock Holmes to deduce that what he lost I had found and used without a second thought that they were anything other than a theatre prop.
Back to The Rifffs. About a month ago, towards the end of April, they played a couple of comeback gigs. Apparently the reunion has been very successful, not only yielding the single I mentioned earlier but also making way for an album that may be seeing the light of day before the end of this summer. This would be the very first album from The Rifffs since they've only every released two singles. Alex Grech should be wholeheartedly congratulated for promoting the coming together of what is undoubtedly one of Malta's best loved bands. Through Reflex Promotions he is even providing those of us who weren't able to attend either of the two April gigs at the Tattingers a glimpse of the way things were though lots of photographs and a couple of amateur video clips. Meanwhile, there's also an official website for The Rifffs.
Speaking of new material, launches, and gigs in Malta, today is the day to head out to Ħagar Qim for what promises to be an amazing evening of world music. A quintent that goes by the name of Tribali is launching its debut CD tonight. You can hear the first track from this album, Sunrise on Teheran. I've known Peter Paul Galea and Jo Sapiano from this band for a long time and I must add that I am very pleasantly surprised with the musical directions they have pursued in recent years. Tribali sounds like no other Maltese band but at the same time there's something uniquely Maltese about them. I haven't managed to put my finger on what that is. Something tells me that if I could attend their show at Ħagar Qim tonight I'd have a better sense of what I'm on about.
Since the first three track for this week's podcast are all new, I thought it would be appropriate to end with something fairly old. My good friend Mario Axiaq has just given me a recording from 1970 made by The Boys. Marc Storace was the singer for The Boys at that time, just before they turned into Cinnamon Hades. The song is called Our Love's Still There and although it is an interesting recording of one of Malta's most popular beat groups from the sixties, it falls far short of the rockier sound they had adopted for their live sets by this time.
At the end of the The Ghost Song on An American Prayer, Jim Morrison says, "I have a splitting headache from which the future is made!" I am beginning to understand exactly what he meant, especially because I know that a couple of paracetamol won't do the trick this time.
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