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Thursday, April 28, 2011

What's in my Carnival bag?

On a regular day, my handbag can also be referred to as a survival bag so why would Carnival day be any different? I got my fab green bag by Bacchanal Divas to match my Avalon costume. Kudos to Ms. Diva for a bess bag and professional service. My fave aspect of the bag is the plastic lining! Next year ensure you get your bag from her!

So I packed my necessities and they all fit!

  • MAC blotting powder

  • Clean and Clear blotting sheets

  • Blistex lip balm

  • MAC lipglass

  • Mini toothpaste and toothbrush

  • Antibacterial wipes

  • Mini sunblock

  • Band aid

  • Safety pins

  • Clear nail polish

  • Lomotil

  • Excedrin

  • Gravol

  • Ibuprofen

  • Zantac

  • JA$1000

  • My extra pair of tights!

Carnival Tights....

As I get prepare to go on the road, my one never-go-without for mas is my tights. I'm sorry but my legs are jiggly and flawed and I don't feel as naked with tights so I rather stay home that go without. But tights have also been one of my biggest frustration particularly trying to keep them in pristine condition during the day. There are two major contributors to runs in tights: snags while putting it on and snags caused by the costume. Here are some tips for wearing and maintaining:

  • Stretch tights before wearing.

  • Spray a light mist of hairspray to strengthen the fibres.

  • Place your two thumbs inside one of the while sitting or standing.

  • Place your index, middle and ring fingers along the outside of the tights.

  • Roll the tights leg up to the toe of the hose, using the thumb, index, middle and ring fingers of both hands, while allowing the tights to bunch loosely in the palms of your hands.

  • Widen the opening of the tights for your foot by stretching the tights outward by securing the tights with the tips of your thumbs and pulling outward.

  • Place your big toe inside the rolled tights by bending your knee and pointing your big toe.

  • Slowly glide the tights over your foot, heel, up your leg and over your knee and up to your crotch using your hands, while unrolling the tights as needed.

  • Repeat the same process for your other leg.

  • Pull the panty of the tights over your buttocks and rest the waistband of the tights on your waist.

  • Remember this is a slow process so don't rush it.

  • Trim nails prior to putting on the tights.

  • Remove jewelry as well.

  • If in doubt, wear surgical gloves especially if you are wearing acrylic nails.

  • If you really particular like me, walk with an extra pair.

  • If not, walk with clear nail polish to stop any runs.

Luckily my Avalon costume has plastic gems so they won't damage the tights. If your costume has metal gems, you can coat them with clear nail polish. If there are any sharp hanging decorations and you want to keep your tights run-free, remove them...trust me I've learnt this the hard way...

Mess-tra at Beach J'ouvert

A lot of things were happening at Beach J'ouvert last weekend except Destra. As the headline act, Destra failed to deliver. Since Trinidad Carnival, Destra seemed to have lost her zeal. Can you say boring? And not only was she boring but chatty; she sang for a total of 15 minutes and spoke for 50 minutes. Between the endless wining competitions, her constant reaffirmations and senseless banter, I was near sleep...*yawn*.

In no way are my comments coming from a malicious place. In fact, I may be one of Destra's biggest fans coming from her days in Roy Cape. I mean I even have sections of my thesis dedicated to her; I've done presentations on Destra at 2 academic conferences and written a journal article about her development as an artiste. I've rated Destra as one of the of soca artiste of my generation; not just as a female artiste but a legit soca artiste. So when I crtitique her performance style, it's more of concern that insults. Destra has the complete package- a great voice, an amazing look and quality songs so in my opinion there's no excuse for her to pass off this mess as a show.

Apparently, she didn't get the love in T&T so she came to Jamaica to feed her ego- "I know you guys love me"; "Jamaica has the biggest Destra fans"; "Do you like my body; let me give you a better view"; "I'm gonna have an orgasm tonight"; "Do you wanna have sex with me?"...Just sing yuh damn songs!

Surpringly TC saved this show for me. Although the crowd didn't know the songs, he was clear with a good voice and no ole talk. Probably Destra needs to add some other performers to her set because I could only conclude that she's tired.

Overall Beach J'ouvert did not live up my expectations...I found Private Ryan to be on point with the selections but DJ Bambino with his constant talking just killed the music. What's up with Bambino? Yuh chat too damn much! Again, Bacchanal needs to go back to the drawing board with this one....

Thursday, April 21, 2011

No Costume for Me

It's just my luck that when I got to mas camp to collect my costume, I had to leave empty handed. Although everyone else got their costume, my costume "was not ready". In true Bacchanal Jamaica style, no e-mail was sent and no phone call was made to give any warning that I should not waste my time and gas in order to get through the Holy Thursday traffic to get to mas camp. So "they will call me" when the costume is ready. Well we know how that usually goes; nobody will call me. However, I must say that I am impressed with the costume (not the headpiece); it looks very much like the prototype although persons are complaining about the size being much smaller than standard sizes. Bacchanal, this is why you need sample sizes during the registration process. Also, the bottom piece is a darker shade of green than the bra.

I am also happy that Frenchmen is trying to revamp the exclusive nature of their section. It seemed that over the years Frenchmen got lost among the other sections with no special services except at the lunch stop. Today Frenchmen masqueraders were warned that they should pay special attention to the section rules and stay in their section.

Btw, these pics are of my friend's costume; not mine :(

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ready to Advantage it???

There have been so many requests for Machel Montano by soca lovers here in Ja but Bacchanal responded that he was booked and could not accommodate Jamaica in his schedule....Yeah right because All Island Carnival has successfully booked Mr HD for their J'ouvert on April 29th. Who say Machel? So April 29th is going to be crazy with 3 J'ouvert events being advertised- Bacchanal's J'ouvert with Bunji, Faye Ann and the Asylum band; Joker's Wild and Island Mas' J'ouvert with no performers; and All Island with Machel.

It's obvious that Machel being a Bmobile spokesperson may not be able to perform with Bacchanal, a Digicel sponsored entity although 2 years ago, Machel did perform at Beach J'ouvert so probably at that time there was some break in the contract. But I don't think that Bacchanal is going to lose patrons to All Island. The Lime sponsored event has a non uptown following particularly the Byron Lee following who always come out in large numbers. But I'm impressed with the reasonably priced tickets. And I love the promo video; click here to see it....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kees (Kay ees)....

You all know how much I LOVE Kees Dieffenthaller; yes I am a Kees groupie. And I am not a recent groupie; I achieved groupie status since he was in Gregory's dream. I bet all the newbie groupies never knew that! I only have 2 celebrity crushes- Kees and Damian Marley (so you are probably concluding that I have a thing for red rasta man- yuh damn right!). So it's no surprise that I am so excited about his performace at mas camp this Friday. I've seen him perform so many times this year but I don't care cuz right now I just wotless...any way back on track. Kes the band along with Nadia Batson will mash up mas camp on Friday so look for me up front and center waiting exactly 12 minutes for him to take off his shirt...

Check out my post from last year on his performance at mas camp. You can also view his video for Wotless or his winning soca monarch performance. Ensure that you legally download the album, Wotless Carnival Album. I'm listening to it right now and my fave tracks are Come Gyal, Where yuh from, Heaven and Melee.

Friday, April 8, 2011

More Cusomized Carnival Gear

Another Carnival service is offering customized boots, mugs, bags...I endorse any young person with talent who offers a legit and impressive service for reasonable prices. I really like Bacchanal Divas' blinged out accessories which are not very common for carnival in Jamaica so yay for you for jumping on an opportunity to carry the look to another level. If you really want to stand out as a masquerader you need to go BIG and that means paying attention to ALL details which is what separates a Mas Diva from a masquerader. Check out her FB page and pics and good luck to you Ms. Diva.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Make up or Not?

Ooooh I love the new take on Carnival in Jamaica...can you say GLAM! The bacchanal Jamaica FB group is ablaze with so many persons advertising services for Carnival. You can get your boots and bags customized, Isis wings, hot shorts and accessories. But make up services are the most popular. I've never done professional make up here so I'm not sure how it can compare to Trinidad. A good make up artist can apply make up easily and make you look good but Carnival make up is a whole different technique. Let me first clear up that I'm no make up expert but I know Carnival. The most sigificant concern is that the make up should be long lasting, sweatproof and waterproof. I mean if you are going to be sweating and in the sun for almost an entire day, the make up must hold up. The eye make up must be bright and shimmery...so the brand and colors should follow suit. The regular pharmacy palettes won't work. So if you're going to get professional makeup done, always consult with the artist before; even look at some photos of their work or gather your own photos to help articulate what type of loook you're goin for... You should also consider the following:

  • Use some kind of base to help reduce sweat like an antishine, milk of magnesia or even monistat chafing relief works as a great primer.

  • Ask about the brand of foundation and powder; a foundation with SPF is always is a plus.

  • If in doubt, carry your own but note that your everyday brand may not be the best for the road.

  • Indicate the colors of your costume to the artist to provide an easy match.

  • If you can see a sample of the eye shadow, take advantage of it.

  • The make up should also compliment the headpiece.

  • If you are wearing face gems, ensure the artist can apply them well and that the size and colours match your costume.

  • Ensure that the artist uses a good glue such as spirit gum to apply the gems even if they are self adhesive.

  • If you are doing false eyelashes; do a dry run to ensure you are using the right brand and that they are comfortable or just get them professionally done beforehand.

  • A fix it spray is always good. I like the MAC fix it spray.

  • On average,application can take up to 30 minutes so plan your appointment early enough to get to the shuttle in time.

  • Also the location of the artist should be considered when making your appointment.

  • On the road walk with your blotting sheets or blotting powder (don't wipe sweat! BLOT!), lip balm and lip gloss.

What am I not impressed with is the cost of the make up application. The average cost is between JA$4500 and $5000...which is a lot. But I guess if people are willing to pay it, it's not a problem for everyone. I haven't decided what I'm going to do yet because I don't want to experiment and be disappointed with the results. Gabriella's is the only one that has impressed me because they did the make up for the Bacchanal launch and photoshoot, but Atlantis has offered their FLiners makeup so who knows how long you'll have to wait. Even if you call them now, they can't confirm an appointment for you. The last I heard, they had about 40 appointments...so stay far from there. Some of the persons you can check out :

Jada Thomas- 454-3207

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shurwayne at Mas Camp and Where were the Bajans???

I know that I said I wouldn't go but I was somewhat bored on Friday night and linked up with some friends at mas camp. We got there in time to get drinks at the bar and position ourselves for the show. I must say that Pure Country did a great job as the sponsor that night. They had so many sample drinks that you didn't need to purchase any and if you did, you got a complimentary juice...niceness.

So this is how Simone Morgan from the Jamaica Observer felt about Shurwayne Winchester's performance at mas camp on Friday night: "Camp trembled with excitement on Friday night as the soca prince T&T's Shurwayne Winchester and his band Y.O.U. ignited a bacchanal flame that blazed for the duration of his hour and a half-long performance. Filled with energy, sparks and melodious lyrics the Trinidad and Tobago artiste had the revellers at Mas Camp easily under his command as he delivered a string of hits including Murda, Dont Stop, Tempo, Cant Wait, Party Hard, Wutlis, Wine to the Side, Wine on a Town Ting and Paparazzi...."

Again, I'm not sure about Ms. Morgan's review but this performance was boring at its best. This is the first time that I've seen Shurwayne perform with his band, Y.O.U. after he left Traffik. I always say that not all persons are well equipped to leave their band and Shurwayne is one of them. It was difficult for him to carry some of the songs on his own such as Wine to the side, Town ting, Wotless and Palance....the vibe just wasn't there and his voice didn't hold up to complete the verses. But he did do well with his own compositions- Don't stop, De Band Coming and Dead or Alive which went well with the crowd. He also got the crowd to respond to his water throwing demands which I think is just dumb. I hate to see people waste good water especially since this time last year, we were experiencing a severe shortage of water, and it's just plain inconsiderate to throw a drink on other patrons. But the people love this so give them what they want. And of course the crowd loved the island identification session- "Anybody from..."; let's just say that the Bajans were either pretty quiet that night or just stayed at home....

After the show, Kurt Riley attempted to play some tunes to end the night. What's wrong with Kurt Riley? It was such an amateur session...1 song-stop-talk-play same song-stop-talk some more-play same song- stop- talk louder- talk-same song. So he played 2 songs within half of an hour. And people argue with me that he's the best soca DJ in Jamaica...whatever....

So this Friday, Iwer George will be there so I'm definitely sitting that one out..and preparing for my boy Kees <3

*** the pic came from the Observer since my photographer fire the wuk...so I'm looking for a new photographer :)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Feteing this week and Gully Matters

This weekend things are gearing up for Carnival in Jamaica. It all begins tonight at mas camp with Shurwayne Winchester as their live act...I'm not a big Shurwayne fan especially after that mess at this year's groovy soca finals. Shurwayne has a great voice and I only like a few of his songs- Doh Stop, Carnival Please Stay, Make it Yours (with Maxi Priest) and Murder. Dead or Alive and De Band Coming are my least favourites but these tunes are big here in Jamaica 6 years later. If I get a lime, I'll go but no rush for this performance, I'm saving my excitement for Kees!!!

Tomorrow, Island Mas has moved its weekly fete to Village Blues Bar which is a tiny venue but I'm assuming that they have not been getting the turn out they want at Cuddyz...But they promise all the latest songs from DJ Billy and this week's guest selector, The Firestarter. But kudos to Island Mas for bringing a fresh vibe to Carnival in Jamaica. And finally, you can check out SOS on Sunday afternoon. I've been hearing that it's a more mature crowd but the music is good and the drinks are cheap.

On a costume note, final payments for costumes are due this upcoming week. The Sona section still has costumes and tshirts are also available for Frenchmen and Digicel.

On a Caricom note, just a warning to my Trinis, keep a low profile; you know we could easily be labelled as Bajan in Jamaica; and fake ignorance with any questions about the KMC-Movado feud...KMC who? Gully mi seh!