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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Granpa's Grave

I've been having very unusual dreams lately. Maybe it's because there a sense of change in the air, particularly from the American political circus, which almost merits its own blog entry. Or perhaps it's because I've been spending way too much time doing my research in Second Life. More simply, it could be that I haven't really had a break this summer.

Last night I had a dream about the remains of my paternal grandfather, who died a few months before I was born. I am named after him. He was buried in the crypt beneath St Helen's Parish Church in Birkirkara, which is where I imagine he was baptized towards the end of the 19th century and married early in the 20th century. They stopped burying ordinary people in Maltese church crypts soon after the end of the 1960s and unless you came from a rich family your remains often ended up in the so-called well of bones after some years to make room in the limited burial spaces. I have no idea what actually became of my grandpa's remains, but in this dream I had we kept looking for them, finding and reburying them, only to have them returned to the well of bones again. This took place several times during my dream, just like the eternal recurrence of the same you read about in Nietzsche. Don't ask me how we recovered them from the well; DNA testing may have had something to do with it in my dream logic.

This dream follows hot on the heels of another death-related nightmare I had just a few days ago. Performance theorist Phil Auslander is someone I know personally, but not that well. I say this to explain that I see no reason why in dreaming that he died (may you live forever Phil!) I was somehow appointed the executor of his will...and most of it had nothing to do with performance theory. Do I need a holiday or what?

Until I can get a decent vacation, even if a mini one, I continue to find reprieve in my weekly podcast. Last week I was interviewed by Marlene Galea for the Maltese service on SBS Radio in Australia; I will be telling you more about that once it has been aired. As I was chatting with Marlene about the Maltese music scene, she mentioned Jay P as a newcomer on the Maltese-Australian scene and urged me to check him out. As a kid Jason Portelli (to give him his real name) was raised in Xagħra before emigrating with his family to Australia. He returns for a gig in Gozo on the 3rd of September. So, it's fitting that this week's podcast opens with the song Rain from his debut album 1565 Patiently Waiting.

A couple of weeks ago I was sent a CD compilation released by Stagedive entitled Alternative Sounds from Malta Volume One. This is an excellent collection and a must have for anyone who wants to sample the rich range of alternative music from Malta. I'll be playing a couple of tracks from this CD in the coming weeks, starting right now with Danjeli's delightful Ħaġa Muħġaġa. I'm also looking forward to more volumes in this series. It really behooves the Poxx Bar to back these CDs.

Young singer Amanda Friggieri records as Amelia. Her debut song A Blind Girl's Whisper shows that she can easily shine among all the local Eurovision wannabes. Her MySpace profile mentions bands and work on an album of original songs rather than pop aspirations. This makes me think that we'll be hearing more good stuff from this performer in the coming months.

This week's edition of the MMI podcast comes to a close with a song called Promise written by Billy J with Edward Ferry and Jean Paul Debono from the band Black on White. Malcolm Pisani sings the song with the band and I must say that I like this style of song better for him than any other material I've heard him sing. He recent solo single Press Play is not bad, but to my ears Promise is better.

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. If you have no idea what any of this means, just click here.

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