Il-Blog tal-Fre

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Life Should Not...

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body,but rather to skid in sideways,Champagne in one hand, strawberries in the other,body thoroughly used up,totally worn out and screaming...
(misruqa mill-quit message tal-Yowgart)

Kemm ilni ma nikteb ostra! Kienu xhur busy hafna dan l-ahhar. Iz-zmien jahrab qieghed. Bic-cajt ic-cajt iz-zmien li kellha taghmel Kate hawn ghadda wkoll, u issa marret lura gewwa Chico, CA. Kienu xhur intensi immens. Mad-Dripht, kellna l-ewwel mini-tour gewwa Londra, li kienet esperjenza unika. Wasal il-festahwid ta' dis-sena, u ghadda wkoll. Il-Pini u s-Sur Ellul, waslu l-iSkozja wara xi gimghatejn jiggerew ma' l-ewropa kollha u diga sabu flat u xoghol, u Simona giet tghix ghal dejjem Malta maz-Zghiru. Lil Mario caqalqulu l-ufficju u issa ha nkun ma 2 nisa wahdi. Kulhadd jidher li qed jiehu triqtu, qisna minghajr ma nafu. Qed nistenna sa Ottubru imbghad nimxi minn hemm. Hemm hafna affarijiet x'nikkunsidra qabel niehu certu decizjonijiet...minn naha l-ohra naf li jekk nibqa' niehu l-konsiderazzjonijiet, ic-cans nasal ghall-decizjoni jista' ma jasal qatt.

Qed nipprova nigbor erbgha rittratti ta dawn l-ahhar xhur halli mbaghad naghmel gallery zghira. Jekk xi hadd ghandu xi rittratti tal-Beerfest jghidli please.


Lebanon Massacre

X izzob qed jigri hemm? Ghadhom ma xebghux bid-dmija? Il-bniedem ghandu habta jitlef kull sens ta' sensittivita meta jidhol f'ciklu ta' vjolenza. Huwa obbligu tal-Amerka u l-Ewropa li jaraw li l-ebda pajjiz ma jkun bully fuq pajjiz iehor. U qed nirreferi ghall-Izrael hawn. Li ntik daqqa ta ponn, ma jtikx raguni biex tkissirli ghadmi, tbiccirni imbaghad tqaxxarni haj, u ddendilni ma salib. Ghax hekk hu l-kas. Bl-ebda mod ma tista tiggustifika l-atti u l-hsiebjiet tal-Hizbollah, u ghandu jsir sforz fuq kull front halli factions musulmani bhal dawn jigu mwaqqfa. Minn naha l-ohra kif tista' tiggustifika tfigh ta bombi fuq villagi mimlija tfal u civili? Trid tkun annimal prim. Anzi, trid tkun bniedem prim.

Naasha jew mhux Naasha?

Vera waqajt down meta sirt naf li il-Lenny u Mickey bieghhew in-Naasha. Meta mort hemmek, hassejtni dhal go post totalment gdid. Nies kollha godda li qatt ma rajt f'hajti. Imbghad bdejt nghid li ahjar mort nara lir-Rifffs gewwa l-Beerfest minflok. Lin-Naasha rajtu jitwieled u jinbidel u jsir iktar popolari. Norqod hemm kien jonqosni biex nibda nghix fih, ghalkemm gieli ghamiltha wkoll. Inqum il-Hadd filghodu fuq xi sufan hemm gew. Mickey telqet lejn l-Israel, imma hallietli qisha ashtray li ghamlita hi, vera sabiha, u xi messagg fuq wara. Halliet wahda lil Kate ukoll. Miskina, kienet orrajt Mickey. Lil Lenny narah il-Camping li ha jsir il-weekend li gej. Nies kbar Lenny u Mickey. Sewwa ghamlu bieghhu kollox. Nies bhalhom mhux tajbin ghall dal-pajjiz, fejn jekk tipprova ma taghmilx bhal massa u tipprova tohrog b xi haga gdida issib il-bsaten fir-roti, jew sahansitra jghidulek "SATANIST". Sewwa ghamlu.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Anger Is A Gift

FUCK this shit, fuck people trying to control your life, fuck everyone putting demands on you, fuck people being so hypocrital, fuck people beating on their chests at mass on Sunday, and then stab you in the back, fuck control freaks, fuck university, fuck all those dickheads pretending they're god's gift to earth, fuck shitty music, fuck Grace Borg and her stupid anti-piracy campaign, fuck George Bush and his cronies, fuck global warming, fuck war, fuck greedy corporations fucking up our earth, fuck the conservatives, fuck politics as we know it, fuck money, fuck stupid excuses like religions, fuck television, fuck the whole media circus.

Yeah.

.FUCK YOU ALL.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Lampost

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ghanja ta' L-iXtruppaw

Qomt ma niflahx sew. Grizmejja imnejjkin sew, u anki deni telghali- imma xorta ghadu kollox car go mohhi. Il-bierah kienet gurnata kbira fil-history tax-xena underground ta' Malta. U ma nahsibx li qed nesagera. Kien il-jum tal-launching ta' "Ic-CD ta' L-iXtruppaw".

Ma ridtx nemmen kif wasalna hemm. Konna jien, hija u Kate u ovvjament ma stajniex nsibu parking ghax l-area tal-Parking tal-Luxol kienet mehudha ghall-ostra kuncert ta' Sting li ha jsir dalwaqt. Mur ejdilhom li vicin fejn kien ha jdoqq Sting, dak in-nhar kien se jkun hemm gig tal-Madonna maghmul minn-Maltin, DIY, minghajr hafna bullshit u hafna izjed li jirrifletti ir-realta lokali. Ir-realta' tat-triq nghidilha jien, mhux realta' tal-Bay Radio jew ta' l-MTV.

Balla nies. Imma hafna. Kien hemm il-kju barra u kif fl-ahhar dhalna il-Luxol Bar kien mifqugh. Imma mifqugh ta!. Kienu ghadhom kif bdew il-BNI li nammetti ma tantx kelli mohh nismaghhom ghax kelli balla panic fuqi peress li d-Dripht konna se ndoqqu dalwaqt. Biex tasal sal-bar u ggib bicca drink trid taghmel weghda lir-Redentur. Rajt lil Patrick u l-Marvin imma bil-kemm kellimthom. NIESSSSSS, kulhadd jaghffeg fuq xulxin, u rassa inkredibbli. Nofs il-birra li kelli f'idi hlejtu bl-iskossi tan-nies jahbtu go fija. Imbghad intfajt wara Kate, peress li kellha il-kuragg toffendi lil kulhadd u tixher b dahka fuq wiccha u n-nies bdew jersqulha. Ghaddast rasi l-isfel u bdejt miexi warajha....

Insomma mhiniex se noqghod nitkellem fuq id-Dripht. Naf li hadna buzz tal-ostra indoqqu. Is-shana kienet tremenda, u d-dawl go wiccna kompla dahhalna fl-atmosfera. In-nies kienu inkredibbli. Nicky bhas-soltu kien se jmut. Kien hemm energija inspjegabbli, allinqas sa fejn bdejt nara u nisma' jien. Kollox u kulhadd kien jidher vera "into it...".

Insomma wara li spiccajna, l-iXtruppaw damu seklu biex jibdew. In-nies kompliet tizdied u r-rassa kienet insapportabbli. Shaaaannna, gharaq, ghajjat, rassa. Hrigt naqra barra ghall-arja. Kif izzobb setghu jidhlu dawk in-nies kollha hemm gew? In-nies l-iktar li impressjonawni. Kien hemm minn kollox. Hbieb ta' l-iXtruppaw, punks, rockers, bikers, nies 'straight', nies li gew ghall-kurzita', tfal, DJ's tar-radios, xjuh! (vera rajt xi zewgt ixjuh ihufu!), u kulhadd jaghffeeg go xulxin.

Biex ma ntawwalx. L-iXtruppaw taw show ta' kristu. Irnexxielhom jaghtu package shih. Lyrics jigdmu u u tad-dahk fl-istess hin, melodiji kbar, image u props u gimmicks on stage - 10 minn 10. Nies imutu fil-pit. Imma hafna nies. Il-Butler u c-Ciz f'telfa totali. Iz-Zghiru kien hara m'Alla, jiehu r-rittratti bil-kamera li xtratlu simona ghall-birthday qisu qatt ma qabad kamera. Birra ittir ma' kullimkien. Harist lejn il-gnub tas-sala u nara erba' zaghzagh imcappsin mal-hitan li taqtaghhom li posthom is-Sibt filghaxija huwa go l-Axis jew il-Havana u mhux il-gig ta' l-iXtruppaw...halqghom miftugh u ccassati. Bdejt nipprova nimmagina x'hinu ghaddej minn go mohhom. X'qed jigri? X'izzob qed ikantaw dawn? Dak id-dawl idur maghhom, u l-hwejjeg li kienu libsin nimmagina li kissrulhom il-wires ta' mohhom. Lyrics hamalli imma jintqalu b'mod li verament ma jistghux jaghmlu izjed sens jekk tghidhom b'mod iehor.

Mhux bin-nejk, l-iXtruppaw irnexxilhom jaqbdu l-dawn in-nies kollha u jcappsulhom dil-verita' ma wicchom. Il-verita li f'Malta hawn bands li ghandhom livell gholi ta' muzika u li jistghu vera jipproducu xi haga sura. Mhux bands jew artisti tal-"Eurovision" b-lirika falza ta mhabba u romanticizmu cheap. Imma bands bil-bajd li lesti jkunu brutalment onesti, tad-dahk, u li jtuk siegha buzz ta' vera.

Ezempju:

Bicca mid-diska "Maltin gewwa l-Awstralja"

"Izda jiena art twelidi, m'jiena ser nitilqek qatt
Anzi nhallik tahra f'idi, imbghad nieklu minn gol-platt
Malti bhali, Malti veru, Malti hadd"

Kellu bzonn dawk tal-Viva Malta u l-ANR ghandhom nitfa, imqar nitfa minn dan l-umorizmu li-iXtruppaw ghandhom bir-rimi'. Ghax ejja nghiduha kif inhi. L-iXtruppaw u ahna l-"imgandrin" u tal-"Generazzjoni tal-Meqrudin" ma nhubbux lil Malta inqas minn kemm ihobuha tal-Viva Malta u Norman Lowell. M'ahniex tradituri kif ihobbu jghidu. Imma nsomma, ejja ma ndawwrux is-suggett.

Xtruppaw thanks talli tajtuna c-cans inkun parti mill-gurnata kbira tal-bierah. Verament napprezzaw u onorati! Proset kbira wkoll lill-BNI li verament jissapportjaw ix-xena bil-fatti...ghax dejjem verament idoqqu fil-luanches ta' bands ohra minghajr ma jithallsu, u minghajr interessi ohra. Proset kbira ukoll lil Steve Lombardo ta' production ta' kristu ohra tac-CD ta l-iXtruppaw! U Jeffrey int bniedem kbir!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS Toni, f'gieh l-ostra. Ara x'taghmel u kkonvinci lill-iXtruppaw jikkontestaw ghall-Eurovision. Jekk tinhadem sew, u bil-ghaqal, tista tirrivioluzzjona il-muzika lokali. Mhux bin-nejk.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New Wine in Old Bottle

This review recounts the experience of the gig of last Saturday by The I Skandal launching "Skaccomatto", held @ Naasha, according to Sociology lecturer Marvin Formosa...Photos from www.naasha.com

New Wine in Old Bottles

The I Skandal launches Scaccomatto


In past two decades or so ska-Punk has been wrongly proclaimed ‘dead’ quite a number of times. This is not only true for Malta but even with respect to the UK and the United States. You do not hear many horns on MTV. Buy any magazine off the counter - Uncut, Q, Rock, Rolling Stone, whichever - and you will not find any long features on ska-punk. You will also find it hard to buy ska-punk records from any chain record store. You want ska-punk? Then check the finer lines under ‘other releases’. You might find something if you are lucky. Truly, there are a lot of underground labels and websites on ska. But, for that matter, there are also a lot of sites on inflation fetishism. So it came as somewhat of a surprise as I listened to The I Skandal’s ‘Como Estas?’ after I had downloaded it on my computer from the reciprocal records site. It just blew me away! A leading up tempo guitar with horns and trumpet adding depth, the drummer keeping time, vocals adding a rich melody, and a bass riff that makes me want to jump around. Utter bliss!

I decided there and then that I had to check The I Skandal at their next gig. I was lucky. They were going to launch their EP Skaccomatto at Naasha on the 14th of May - Mother’s Day Eve to be exact - with BNI as an opening act. My romantic side and I arrived as BNI were performing what I believe is a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’. Then, BNI were

quickly full steam ahead in ‘What Can I do?’ Sipping my beer I wondered how The I Skandal’s performance would turn out. When the band got up the poduim, there were more people outside than inside. This put me in a better position to get a good look at the main protagonists. Dino (the drummer) sported a black/white styled hat to compliment, I presume, the background and CD cover which depicted black and white boxes to go along with the ‘Scaccmato’ theme. His eastern trinkets and ornaments suited him majestically. Iz-zghiru (lead vocals) was wearing a pork-pie (trilby) hat that concealed his punk hairstyle and reaffirmed the band’s interest in Jamaican ska. Nico (trombone and lead guitar) and Ruth (saxophonist), were dressed in normal casual attire and looked very at ease. Il-Fre (rhythm guitars) was wearing the ‘dark suit, narrow tie and pork-pie hat’ style which reminded me of Jerry Dammers from those Specials album covers. Finally, watching Kieth il-Pini’s (trumpet) partially shaved scalp, punk outfit, and his ‘as if there is no tomorrow’ attitude was simply therapeutic. I could not help but thinking that this gig was going to be fun.

Our first taste of The I Skandal came through The Phyzics song which offered a groovy slice of ska that owes more to the swinging soundtracks of 60s B-movies than any more recent ska-punk record. Creating a sultry tension by alternating its emphasis on rhythm, lead and bass guitars on one hand, and saxophone and trumpet signals on the other, The Phyzics Song came across as a booty-shaking ska song. By the first string The I Skandal has already put forward its distinct personality through the bass guitar licks of iz-Zghiru and lush saxophone/trumpet solos from Ruth and Il-Pini. Life found The I Skandal delving into a kind of bracing and punk-tinged ska that also highlighted their first attempt in social critique. The lyrics took aim at people who forsake romanticism to become part of a cold-blooded ‘adult world’ whereby they experience both personal and impersonal forms of alienation. I saw this track as more lyrics and attitude rather than anything else as it did not attempt to avoid the typical verse-chorus structure. Although the lyrics conveyed some level of class-consciousness I was disappointed to see it completed before coming across as either a fiery rocker or a fervent slice of social review.


She dies inside was introduced as ‘dik in naqa’ heavy’. Although not a crowd pleaser it was an interesting piece of work, coming across as the bastard son of the union between Deep Purple and Franz Ferdinand. This track was characterised by a stylish, raw sound with excessively sharp guitars and a punky-yet-danceable beats. ‘She dies inside’ was not entirely a bad thing. On one hand, I saw it as a vibrant catharsis which gave the band respite from having to doggedly stick to ska-punk formulas. On the other hand, it gave them an opportunity to crank up their performance with an unabashed dose of glamour, campy humour, sugar-buzz energy, and love of hedonism. Ghala? was undoubtedly the gig’s first highlight which - reminiscent of The Clash’s London Calling album - contained both rich lyrics with strong images - e.g. “Kwantita ta’ hsara estensiva/Frott ta’ sistema rigressiva/Integrita misruqa, ghalxejn tfittxu/Raguni mitlufa, le m’hawnx sagrifficju” and “Tistax tghidli ghala jigri hekk? Kollox qisu m’hu xejn! Hlief bis-silenzju skiet perfett/ M’hawnx unur u m’hawnx rispett” - as well as a complex musical scenario together with a catchy verse and chorus. The result is simple enough to allow the lyrics to take center stage but harmoniously strong enough to attach itself to your recollection.

Living a lie was a slow-tempo ska track less frenzied than what you might expect of The I Skandal. As befits its underlying theme, Is-Zghiru succeeded in shrouding it in an environment of paranoia, deep pessimism, and gloomy despair. The real hero here was undoubtedly Dino whose stomping beat managed to drive the track all way home. He succeeding in anchoring in place the throbbing rhythm section when all might have been lost with the band losing steam half-way before they finished it. Here, one must note that its lyrical arrangements were also slightly too cheesy e.g. : “It seems that I have been cast away…I’m not sure that I am going to stay”. You can do much better!

However, all this was quickly forgotten as we heard the intro to Como Estas? with the crowd going apeshit. Without doubt, the gig’s highlight : a strong horn section, light drums, the ska guitar, bass lines that pull everything together, and vocals loaded with soul that make your body move with passion. What more do you want? As the song progressed, tempos quickened, the brightness ascended, the tension lessens so that everybody felt being dragged hypnotically in ‘dancing the ska’. Iz-Zghiru was massive in ‘Como Estas’, showing that he is a hell of an intrigiung frontman, a melodic singer but with a penchant for shouting slogans.

A message to you Rueben was another highlight as it brought out again the best of The I Skandal’s dabbling in ska-punk. Fre’s rhythm guitar riff got my feet moving, while the trumpet/trombone/saxophone notes filled my body with so much love that I did not want the song to end. The vocals, of course, were the cherry on the cake. The night felt great! With a beat like that nobody was thinking about the future. All inconvenience in our lives vanished into thin air. We all metamorphosed into twins of il-Pini! Next was a cover - MadnessOne Step beyond - which to paraphrase one online review of the original track blew us with its sheer exuberance straight across our heads. Indeed, ‘One step beyond’ was pure mayhem that continued to slap our arses from the opening shout to the closing note. The I Skandal, especially Ruth, have to be congratulated for providing us with a musical roller coaster. As it was completed I took a look around and saw everybody set with wicked grins and giggles, smug with themselves and feeling proud of their dancing moves. It was simply aphrodisiac! Adjectives, another highlight, was a highly exuberant and diffident track. There was a rich and effusive arrangement amongst all band members that was sweetened by its horn arrangement that makes you want to go grab someone to dance along and smack a wet kiss on his/her beer-dripping lips. The nice skankin’ guitar riffs made me think that the guys on stage were drunk. But if so, so what! Not only did this track bring out such fantasies in my mind but it brought a lovey vibe. I was feeling nothing but happiness during this track. Finally, the band offered Como Estas? and One Step Beyond as encores.

My only gripe relates to the structure of the setlist. My impression was that everybody had the feeling that The I Skandal shot their load prematurely as ‘The Phyzics song’ and ‘Como Estas’ were first and at the middle of their set. This way, the gig was experienced as anti-climatic. I know that there are no formulas and, for God’s sake, let us rewrite the modus operandi of gigging. Yet, it still remains difficult to de-socialise yourself from the domineering ways in which set-lists are constructed - that is, leaving the best for the end and then let the crowd beseech for the encore with the band then agreeing to perform their best song again. It was strange being given two encores when we had barely started to chant “Irridu izjed/Irridu ohra”. Nevertheless, The I Skandal offerred a hell of a gig. Truly an exellent deal! They may not have too many ammunition at this stage but the little they have are red hot. The I Skandal pulled that trick which has eluded so many Maltese bands - that is, to offer local versions but original, booty-shaking, ska-punk. I feel that the band is still growing in terms of musicianship, and popularity, and am sure that much greater things are yet to come from The I Skandal. I will be there.

17th May 2006

Review written by: Marvin Formosa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Time Management

Inkredibbli kemm m'ghad ghandi hin naghmel xejn!

Ehe. U issa x'se naghmel? Noqghod ingerger? Irrid nara kif se nwaqqa' kollox f'postu.

"Time management, Fre. Time management."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Skaccomatto!

Ilni ma nippostja naqra hawn gew. Il-hajja ghandha habta titfghek f'cirkostanzi li ma jhallukx taghmel l-affarijiet li kont qed taghmel qabel, minghajr ma lanqas biss tkun qed tinduna. Imma ma xtaqtx noqghod nerga' niffilosofizza. Dan l-ahhar qed inkun mghaffeg bir-rehearsals, l-aktar b'dawk ta' The I Skandal. Ha nilloncjaw ic-CD jismu "SKACCOMATTO" dalwaqt allura tistenna li nkunu daqsxejn mghaffgin. U allura se niehu l opportunita' biex naghmel riklam hamallu iehor lill-band tieghi:

DATE: 13th May 2006
Venue: Naasha Events Lounge
Time: 9:30 pm doors open
Supporting act: Batteries Not Included
Entrance Fee: Lm 1.50 or else by EP at special price of Lm 3.50 and enter for free...you also get a free drink when buy the EP...bil-Malti qed nghidulkom: IXTRU IC-CD u mhux tikkupjawh minghand il-hbieb taghkom...m'ahniex il-METALLICA ahna...hehehe

Is-site il-gdida ghada ma telghatx ovvjament ghax in-Nico qaghad jitghazzen, pero' xorta tistghu taraw fiex waslet billi tikklikkjaw >>HAWN<< href="http://www.reciprocalrecords.com/media/The%20I%20Skandal-Como%20Estas.mp3">http://www.reciprocalrecords.com/media/The%20I%20Skandal-Como%20Estas.mp3

Nispera li narawkhom in-Naasha dak in-nhar mela...u tigux tard, ghax il-pigs dan l-ahhar ghandhom habta jigu u jfottu l-buzz wara nofs il-lejl...