If you're in Malta (or any warm/dry place) right now, I think you'll be amused to find out that I have not been able to go anywhere this week without my umbrella. It's a glorious British summer...meaning it's foggy and rainy. This is to be expected after the 3 weeks of practically continuous sun we've just had.
What's not expected is the termination of the BBC's FM Russian service. What is being called "propaganda" cannot be as completely suppressed now as it was in the days before the widespread use of the Internet, of course. As I see it, this is a blessing in disguise for Internet services in Russia. Filtering the internet is quite easy for powerful entities like national governments but by its very nature the Net is structured to overcome such blockages. Media freedom now means something quite different than it did during the Cold War.
Off to a brighter place: the 79th podcast in my weekly Mużika Mod Ieħor series. It looks like I will not be taking a proper break this summer. So I'm covering acts on the gigging circuit in Malta, which seems to be at its busiest in August. Poxx Bar in Paceville has clearly become one of the hotspots for great live music. This weekend it's hosting three gigs from acts I've chosen to play on this week's podcast.
On Sunday night, Andre' Camilleri's Broken Hearts will join The Beangrowers and Shostakovitch's Nightmare in what sounds like a fairly eclectic mix. Camilleri's lastest CD album One Fine Day has already been featured on MMI. From it I've selected
I Got A Little Drunk.
My Journey by Marc Galea is another CD released earlier this year. I played the title track months ago but now I return to it to bring you something quite rare on my podcast: a cover version. There has to be something really special for me to play a Maltese cover of a song by a great like Jimi Hendrix. Galea's version of Voodoo Chile is sung by Grimaud. That's more than enough for me. It's an excellent recording that showcases the mighty voice of Tony Grimaud just as we knew and loved it 25 years ago when the singer was at the peak of his game. If this is what he (still) sounds like now I can't wait to hear more recordings from Grimaud.
Back to the Poxx Bar, where this weekend's line-up featured no less than two foreign bands on separate nights. The Italian band Soul Drivers take the stage tonight, supported by local newcomers Vinnie Vintage. I discovered this band's YouTube page and it features a set of single camera recordings in their garage. Listen to Sea to the Salt and you should be able to get a glimpse of things to come from this band.
Swiss metal rockers CardiaC are the other foreign act on the circuit this weekend. They're both at Poxx and Remedy, with a plethora of Maltese metal bands. Although as derivative as anything else you're bound to hear in this genre, I find CardiaC's approach quite original, mostly because they employ the Spanish language extensively in their songs. In some ways they remind me of the way Norm Rejection use Maltese in some of their tracks. El Tiempo brings this week's podcast to a close in a delightful way until I return with the 80th edition or an unrelated blog entry...whichever comes first.
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 add the latest episodes to your My Yahoo! page. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.