Author Archive

Everybody Knows

Saturday, January 24th, 2015


Show notes for the 405th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

For Strings InnTangerine Rock

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=v370PJelzJg

Walrus and the CarpenterOld Soul’s Eyes
We’ve had this Australian band on the MMI podcast at least another time previous, but this is the title track from their debut album, which was released just a few weeks ago, before the end of 2014. The Malta connection remains through frontman Matthew Engerer, of course.

AnidrocAre You Kidding

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=OP7AxgJpc-w

MikaelaI’m Never Around Me

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4wXeDtI_SU

MicrolithUntiteld 15 135
Another one of those hardly known electronic gems from Malta you find online from time to time. This is a new one for me, and it goes without saying that I’d be including it on an MMI podcast sooner or later. Before Maltese hip-hop became my favourite genre from the country, this sort of electronica stuff was up there too.

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. An archive of MMI podcast is also available on Mixcloud. If you have no idea what any of this means, just enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Shake the Ghost

Saturday, January 17th, 2015


Show notes for the 404th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

nosnow/noalpsDisappear

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBewWtYSks8

ChessBattles

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=qkEeqnSR68Y

Raquel Galdes – Stop Haunting Me

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSogKb7Om-A

Kassette feat Eli Orca – Ty
I almost missed this band (if that’s what they are) but managed to finally include them on the MMI podcast.

Manwel TBombastic Ska
Malta’s king of reggae is back with a new track. Good stuff!

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. An archive of MMI podcast is also available on Mixcloud. If you have no idea what any of this means, just enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.

I’m Alive

Saturday, December 20th, 2014


Show notes for the 402nd Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Winter MoodsEverlasting

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kaPO4IV41c

Red ElectrickYoung Again

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykUqWYbhvHE

Clifford BorgComplete
It was a pleasant surprise to run into pianist Clifford Borg one evening a few weeks ago during a screening of Bjork’s Biophilia concert from London at the St James Cavalier Cinema in Valletta. He reminded me to play something from his new album Cross-Origin, which I do gladly. This musician has a special place in M3P history since he was among the musicians who played live at the M3P Foundation’s inauguration back in 2010. Anyway, the track you can hear here is the first one off this album, and it features the voices of Miriam Christine and Qusai Zureikat. The album makes a great Christmas present (if that’s your sort of thing!) and is surely recommended listening to any MMI podcast subscriber.

EthnamorteLa Courtisanne Macabrabelle
A few weeks ago while in London I stopped by an exhibition at Somerset House and there met guitarist Malcolm Callus. This was the first time we had ever met in person as we’ve only ever exchanged emails and other internet messages over the years. Among other things, he told me about the most recent recordings by his band Ethnamorte, which I’m hoping to see perform live in 2015. Meanwhile, here is an excerpt from one of these recent recordings.

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 enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.

A Meeting With the Prime Minister

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014


A few weeks ago, an open letter signed by 26 individuals was sent to Dr Joseph Muscat, the Leader of the Labour Party as well as the current Prime Minister of Malta. The persons who signed the letter included Dr Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici, one of the country's former prime ministers. I also agreed to sign the letter. 

The letter attracted some attention in the media. More specifically, the links relating to a number of publications have been posted at the end of this blog post.

Following the articles which appeared about the said letter, I was informed that Dr Muscat wanted to meet with us to discuss the points that were raised. The meeting was going to be held on 1st December at 4pm. The venue was the Auberge de Castille in Valletta. 

  

Out of the 26 individuals, around 16 turned up for the meeting. We met outside the Auberge de Castille shortly before 4pm so that we could all go in together. 

After being led to a large meeting room right next to the Prime Minister's Office, Dr Muscat came out to shake hands with each one of us. Clean-shaven and wearing a white shirt, the Prime Minister then walked to his chair to start the meeting. We sat down around the oval-shaped table.  

Dr Muscat went through the letter and expressed his reaction concerning each point. As expected, his response to virtually all the issues was characterised by various references to the government's positive achievements following the Labour Party's electoral victory in March 2013.

Surrounded by the portraits of the country's previous prime ministers, almost every person who attended voiced their views regarding a number of topics. I told Dr Muscat that I wanted to speak as a university graduate who was working in the financial services sector, an area that has often been praised as one of the most successful in the current economic climate. I said that even though I managed to qualify for a mortgage, the thought of paying the bank until I was 65 was quite daunting. Previous generations were reportedly often able to pay off their home loans within around 10 to 15 years. Being in debt until the age of 65 led to more pressure and anxiety; if I could no longer keep up with the monthly payments for one reason or another, I could end up losing my home.  I expressed my hope that the government could do something to help ease this burden for the thousands of people living in similar circumstances.

I also expressed my disagreement concerning one of the narratives that had been promoted by the Labour Party even before the 2013 election. More specifically, I told Dr Muscat that I totally disagreed with the notion that there was no longer any conflict of interests between the employer and the employee. My own experience and that of many other workers clearly demonstrated that employers typically squeezed their employees as much as possible without giving fair remuneration. I added that the issue of the conflict between employers and employees formed part of the basis of leftist thinking. I argued that it was, therefore, practically impossible to identify with such a political viewpoint and reject the existence of the said clash of interests.

With reference to the housing issue, Dr Muscat did not offer any reassurance at all. No mention was made of any government scheme aimed at helping existing and potential home-owners to pay off a mortgage within a much more reasonable time-frame. Furthermore, the Prime Minister said that the aspiration to own a home would soon no longer be sustainable given the country's environmental constraints. He added that renting will need to become more popular in the future rather than opting to have one's own property. 

Dr Muscat's reaction was quite disappointing. His response totally neglected the hardships associated with living in debt for most of one's life just to have a stable roof over one's head. Moreover, simply encouraging rent as an alternative does not offer much relief to the countless individuals who wish to avoid the fear of losing one's home as a result of not being able to keep up with the monthly payments. 

Turning to the class warfare issue, the Prime Minister was quite succinct. More specifically, his view was that any focus on the said matter would be counterproductive.

The meeting lasted for around 90 minutes. Dr Muscat concluded by saying that even though his door was open to everyone, he could not guarantee that he would accept every request that was brought to his attention.


                                                                   *          *          *


http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/45958/leftwing_activists_urge_labour_to_return_to_its_fundamental_values_and_aims#.VHz2NmdN3hE

http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20141116/opinion/The-Magna-Carta-of-26-individuals.544178

http://www.illum.com.mt/ahbarijiet/politika/39145/karba_biex_ilpartit_laburista_jsir_aktar_xellugi#.VHz0smdN3hE



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Sleepless

Saturday, November 29th, 2014


Show notes for the 401st Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Infinite LoopLonging For You

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMDOvzwLPio

Dean MuscatTwentysomething

Now that he’s seems to have left last year’s Eurovision Song Contest madness completely behind, Dean Muscat returns with a new track of for himself, just in time to be nominated for the MMI 2014 Listeners’ Picks Poll. He was voted Top Online Release (as Dean Saviour) back in 2007. Will this track manage to see him return to the top of that category again?

Maryse BriffaEmbers of Courage
I don’t think I’ve every played anything from Maryse Briffa before. There’s always a first time for everything. I used to play more of this sort of stuff on earlier editions of the MMI podcast, so I’m quite pleased that I’m able to include this track now that we’re beyond podcast number 400 in the series.

Viper Soup ComplexTaxidermy Hotel
This band came to my attention out of the blue. They are a fairly progressive female fronted band. Here you can hear the second half of a rather long track they released recently called Taxidermy Hotel. As you would expect, this song and band have made it into this year’s nominations for the MMI Listeners’ Picks Poll, so you’ll be able to vote for them (and/or whoever else you like) throughout the month of December.

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. An archive of MMI podcast is also available on Mixcloud. If you have no idea what any of this means, just enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.

Warrior

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014


Show notes for the 400th Mużika Mod Ieħor podcast featuring music by performers from or in Malta:

Jes PsailaStoob
I first heard Jes Psaila play guitar about 30 years ago with the Maltese band Avatar. Later I had the distinct pleasure of playing in a couple of bands with him. It was a joy to have the freedom to experiment on my guitar, while he played some solid chords and melodies. I’m sure that his new album is delight not just to me and his long-term followers but also to new listeners. I’m very much looking forward to his next live gig.

8 UglyHead in the Clouds
I was shocked to hear about the sudden death of drummer Joe Zammit this morning. Just like Jes Psaila, he was someone I first heard play about 30 years. Eventually he was also the drummer in one of the bands where Jes and I played together. It was good to meet him again (and see him perform live) one more time a couple of weeks ago. This was the only recording of his (at least I think so) that I could find. Rest in peace old friend.

SkambomamboSmile

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=oki3tasD8tU

This.CoIsabelle

//www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9AbSTW6yEo

MarmaljaAnti-Eroj
Following their No Bling Show adventure, il-Lapes and Drinu return to their Marmalja roots. It seems that they are keen to return to their streetwise spirit, which they seemed to leave behind in their more recent foray into more palatable Maltese hip hop. I personally prefer them raw and real.

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. An archive of MMI podcast is also available on Mixcloud. If you have no idea what any of this means, just enjoy listening to the podcast on the player right below this text.


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