Wednesday, September 11, 2013
If you intend to play with one of the popular bikini and feathers bands (Tribe, Bliss, Fantasy, YUMA or Island People etc), you should have already registered for a costume and paid a deposit**. You should note that many of these bands have already reported sold out sections. I've heard people in Ja, either boasting about having a "link" or asking about a potential "link" in the more popular Tribe/Bliss or Fantasy. Please be careful. Don't let your desperation cause you to hand over hundreds of US dollars to a "costume scammer". Trust me, they do exist. They masquerade as a friend of a friend's cousin-neighbor-colleague-girlfriend-uncle-niece....
I've also realized that there is a popular perception here in Ja, that if you go to Trinidad Carnival, you MUST play mas with Tribe, Bliss, or Fantasy. I always urge persons to check out other options. There are bands that offer a great costume and experience for less. I am tired of telling people that Trinidad Carnival is not defined by these 3 bands...
****Saying that you are playing in a certain section of a band does not mean that you are. When you have a receipt for your deposit, then you can update your social media status.
If you have not been offered free accommodation at a Trini friend's house by now, you should secure your own. Hotel rooms are limited and expensive, and the more affordable guest houses tend to be booked by the end of the previous Carnival. At this point, if you can't get a hotel or guest house, it may be best to contact a real estate agent. You can also consider accommodation outside of Port of Spain.
At this point if you do the Thursday-Thursday, a ticket can cost around US$500 on Caribbean Airlines. Finalize your airfare as soon as possible especially with the current ridiculous exchange rate. A cheaper alternative is Copa Airlines (through Panama).
I don't think you need to worry too much about fetes before the new year. You should at least have some idea which fetes you want to attend, determine how much of your budget will go towards feteing, and how do you plan to get these tickets once they go on sale. Also keep in mind that it will be necessary to get tickets very early for some events like Vale Breakfast and Beach House.
Diet and Exercise
Once you have registered for your costume, you basically should stop eating.
For first timers, it is important that you understand that Trinidad Carnival is expensive. Try not to get carried away with the hype. Carnival can easily cost you US$3000. Decide what aspect is important to you- don't have Frontline taste with a Backline budget...or VIP taste with a general budget
Saturday, August 3, 2013
I opted to attend the Indulge party on Thursday at the Mona Hockey Field. Indulge was put on by the I Love Soca and Wata Party team, Andrew Bellamy and Ian Bourne, along with Staci Smith. It was advertised as inclusive of food and drink and would run from 4:00-10:00pm. For JA$2000, it seemed like a steal. Luckily, I was able to purchase a JA$1500 ticket which was an even bigger steal.
After my experience at the Tailwind fete, I made sure that I got there early enough because if a party was advertised as ending at 10pm, most likely, it will end at that time. There was sufficient and accessible parking at a nearby field. Upon entry, I immediately headed for the food because I didn't think it would last considering the cost of the party. I enjoyed the barbecue pigtail, chicken pasta, and the roast pork and beef. To my surprise, there was food left at the end and I then had the soup which was sobering, but the shrimp was awful.
Johnnie Walker was one of the main sponsors so the drinks were flowing (probably too much in my case). My only complaint was about the bartender who insisted that I could not get a cup of straight coconut water which was only being served as a chaser. The problem was solved easily by going to another bartender.
|Just me and my Johnnie|
The music was provided by DJs Richie Ras, Cruise, and Selecta Renegade. The music was a good mix of different genres and the patrons seemed to enjoy it. At one point a friend commented that he was appalled that uptown people didn't dance. I mean this was no passa passa session but there were vibes. I really didn't see this as a pose only party; it was just a different party scene.
Monday, July 22, 2013
I missed Carnival Rewine and the SOS cooler fete last month, but was able to attend Soca vs Dancehall and the Tailwind Blocko Cooler fete.
Soca vs Dancehall
July 13, 2013
This was my second time at a Soca vs Dancehall event. It could just be my bias, but for me, it was just okay. I kept reminding myself that it was not an exclusive soca event so I shouldn't expect too much. One of the shortcomings of being a Trini in Jamaica is that we tend to expect soca themed events to be similar those in T&T which is probably why I didn't love this party. I was also told that I got to the event too late (which I did), so I didn't get to appreciate the earlier soca sets. I really didn't mind the dancehall; it's just that the mix of the dancehall and the soca wasn't my thing...
|the best crowd shot I got (still can't master my camera)|
The organizers of Soca vs Dancehall have established loyal followers which include those Jamaicans who are not 100% into soca. Ultimately, I do see it as a staple even for the summer soca scene...
Tailwind Blocko Cooler Fete
July 20th, 2013
Norbrook Acres Rd and XS club
Now this was a strange event and I'm not sure what happened. Much of it can be attributed to the current noise abatement laws and its effects on parties held in residential areas in Kingston.
The cooler fete was advertised as a blocko on Norbrook Acres Rd which looked like a very posh area to me. Not to upset the residents, parking was accommodated at a nearby school and we were shuttled to the venue. Although I was grateful for the shuttle, it was inconvenient to carry the cooler in the bus...
Once in the venue, it was clear that DJ Richie Ras had set the tone and the soca was pumping. For about an hour, I was enjoying my drinks and the music until a little after 10pm when it was announced that the police had instructed the organizers to end the fete. They also said that the fete would continue at XS club in Liguanea Post Mall. What???? This announcement was confusing because my ticket indicated that the fete time was 4pm-12am....
I really didn't want to go to this new venue because I had lost all interest and vibes, but I left for XS anyway. Honestly, the hour I spent there wasn't bad, but this event wasn't an indoor one and I felt like I was in a club and not at a fete, and I don't like clubs. Thank goodness the music was still great and people were enjoying themselves...
The lesson here was clear- end your fete at 10:00pm...
Monday, July 8, 2013
|the actual cricket|
For the first time, I visited the famous Sabina Park for the India vs West Indies match which was a part of the Tri-nation cricket series. Like a good Trini, I opted for the Appleton mound, which is the all-inclusive party stand equivalent to the Trini Posse stand at the Oval in Port of Spain. To my surprise, the Trinbagonian posse was out in their numbers. Despite an unforgiving heat that could be compared to a Carnival Tuesday, the atmosphere was filled with vibes from morning to afternoon which reached its peak with a win for the West Indies team.
|the victory dance (feet are covered in beach sand btw)|
Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Video in a Nutshell:
- Bunji in a viking outfit
- An orgy of a sort in the mud volcano
- Bunji with an axe
- Tribe costumes
- A roman soldier on a horse
- Flashback video of a Roman mas band
- Bunji in a viking outfit
- The sexy chick in the yellow costume
- A spartacus type fight
- More Tribe and Bliss costumes
- A midnight robber
- Bunji in a viking outfit
- K2K Costumes (Screams!)
- People in costumes and regular clothes dancing together with the K2K onlookers in the background
- Bunji in a viking outfit
- Back to the old video and so on
- Nigel Rojas who missed an opportunity for the Matrix appears at certain points
The quality of the video was also a bit off. As I said I am no videographer but maybe the experts can comment on the color correction, HD quality and scene transitioning.
If Bunji had hoped to capture the meeting of the traditional and modern aspects of the Trinidad Carnival, he should have called on people who are proficient in it. I am thinking about Walt Lovelace who did 3 Canal's Mud Madness video, Damian Marcano or even Cowin Thorpe. Personally, I would have kept the concept strictly to mud and J'ouvert, using clips to capture the mix of dutty, orgasmic, release, and cleansing that we associate with the opening of the Carnival. (Am I the only one who thought that Fay Ann would have emerged from the mud semi nude? damn that would have been hot).
I am not attacking Bunji but just the video. I LUV Differentology; it is hands down one of my fave songs ever. I even wrote about it here. If we want our music to match international standards, then its composition, production, performance, and presentation must be of the best quality...
Saturday, April 27, 2013
Last year at the end of the Ja Carnival season, I did a post on how much you could have spent if you went to all events. This year I have decided to specifically look at how much I spent. (Let's work with an exchange rate of JA$99 = US$1):
Mas Camp with Bunji and Faye Ann
VIP ticket: JA$3000
Leh Go Fridays (2)
Food and Drinks: JA$2500
Mas Camp with Kes the Band
VIP Ticket: JA$3000
General Ticket: JA$4500
I Love Soca
Drinks & Ice for Cooler: JA$1500
Sunrise Breakfast Party
Outfits and Accessories
You may think this is a lot but I significantly reduced the number of events I would usually go to. For instance, I only went to mas camp twice and I didn't go to any Frenchmen events which would have been another JA$10000 for Blocko and Bazodee. I also bought less outfits choosing to recycle those I wore for Trinidad Carnival.
The figure could also be more if I considered miscellaneous costs like the pan chicken, and the soup or hot dogs we would purchase after an event"to soak up de alcohol". Because we are in Jamaica, don't ignore the cost of gas especially when you have to pick up and drop off friends and then get to the event.
Most importantly I think I saved between JA$45000 and JA$50000 by not playing mas. How did I come up with such a huge figure? In addition to the cost of a Frenchmen costume, consider the upgrades, make up, tights, boots etc.
If you look at my breakdown, I'm sure that it's quite obvious that there are other ways that I can spend less like with the food and drinks, do general instead of vip or play mas in a cheaper section. I do agree that these would be more practical choices but this is how I do Carnival. Yes, it sounds superficial to complain that I don't have much money and then do VIP at a fete on a general budget...
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Wednesday 3 April, 2013
Hope Gardens, Kingston
I Love Soca has become a permanent fixture on the last week of carnival in Jamaica. This year the organizers opted to do a cooler fete which is becoming more popular in the local fete scene. With a full cooler, I got there around midnight which was a little late since it was supposed to end at 2am.
Like Dusk, DJ Riche Ras and Dei Musicale from T&T provided the music. As I said in a previous post, this has definitely been Richie's year. He's on point with his selections and does not play a standard 7 songs. Richie is clearly in tune with how to play soca and is far ahead of those who are still stuck in the mas camp vibe. Dei Musicale is always consistent and brings that piece of Trini to the Jamaican fete scene that we Trinbagonians miss. I also like that they know what to play for a Jamaican audience.
Hope Gardens was an adequate venue for this size crowd. There was sufficient parking and and just enough space for the patrons. The fete consisted of the usual Kingston soca crowd. I think at this point I can identify almost everyone who attends these sessions.
|Pic taken from Sleek's fb page|
I had a great time with my friends and enjoyed the vibe so much that I didn't realize when 2am came upon us. At that point I regretted arriving so late because I needed like another hour or so. But it was over and sadly I left.
Although I didn't see that many coolers as it seemed that persons opted for bags or to share coolers, the concept is clearly doing well in Jamaica....
Sunrise Breakfast Party
Saturday 6 April, 2013
Constant Spring Golf Club
At 5:30am on Saturday, I was on my way to the Sunrise Breakfast fete at Constant Spring Golf Club. I did not attend this fete last year but had heard great reviews so like most people, I knew that the crew had to check it out this year....
I‘m glad I got there early enough to get parking at the tax office near the venue. We got in quickly and immediately went for the food because at this point I was starving. On our way to the stations we gladly stopped for photo opps with Double M and JW. We were then quickly brought off the gladdist train when we saw the long line for the food stations. After an almost 25 minute wait, we were greeted with stewed chicken, potatoes, provisions, corned pork, bacon, vienna sausage and beans, festival, eggs, samosas, and doubles. Nothing about these dishes really stood out for me. There was also a bad dawg hot dog stand which was the easier option. The thing about a breakfast fete is that food is important. You have to remember that because of the early start, patrons would have usually left home without a meal so after a while, we tend to be starving...
Unlike the food station, it was very easy to get drinks from the bar and they kept flowing. To my dismay there was no Johnnie Walker but Dewars (blasphemy!), so I had to settle for Grey Goose and some shots of Cafe Patron...damn what a morning it was...
The Constant Spring Golf Club was an ideal choice for the venue. I liked the outdoor atmosphere and the layout. Although it is a huge space, the promoters narrowed it down to accommodate the medium sized crowd...
|Another pic taken from Sleek's fb page|
For Ja$4500, we were treated to performances from Blaxx, JW and Machel. I love Blaxx's songs but he is not the best performer especially without his band. I couldn't believe he did the exact thing word for word that he did at all the fetes I saw him at earlier this year. Oh gosh man Blaxx, change it up a little bit nah...
Sunrise lived up to all the hype that was made about it. It had all the elements of a good breakfast fete although the food aspect wasn't that impressive. Kudos must be given to the patrons, especially those who came straight from J'ouvert with their paint and powder. It was evident that everyone had a great time. Who would have imagined that somewhere in uptown Kingston, mid morning on a Saturday, there would be a group of people, drinking, wining, and just feteing away...
For more pics check out Sleek
Monday, April 8, 2013
Saturday March 30, 2013
James Bond Beach, St Mary
Monday April 1,2013
Beverly Hills, Kingston
JA$1500+ a bottle
|Pic stolenfrom Trini Jungle Juice|
Saturday, March 9, 2013
I always opt for VIP if I'm going to a performance night. The area was big enough with an adequate view of the stage. VIP included drinks and food. I got enough drinks, but I had to wait too long because the bar service was way too slow. I also didn't get any food which didn't seem like enough in the first place.
Bunji and Fay Ann's performance was on point as expected. I really like that the Jamaican audience is in love with Bunji's Differentology. Fay Ann also got love from the audience. Her voice was powerful as ever without much help from backing tracks. It seems now that it's hard to get artistes who cannot sing on their own. Bunji delivered his major tunes and did a little freestyle. After almost 2 hours of non stop performing, the crowd was not ready for the show to end. And the funny thing is that they still had songs they hadn't even performed yet.
After the performance, I limed for about another hour while DJ Richie Ras played. Richie is up to date with his play list and his mixing skills are impressive. Finally, a Jamaican DJ that gets it!
This was a great show and I really enjoyed it especially with my Trinbagonian posse. I just hope that Bacchanal can do more about the food and drink in VIP.
**pic is from the Sleek fb page. Check them out for more pics
Thursday, February 28, 2013
But the gap that Carnival here fills is noteable. What I've noticed over the last few years is the emergence of events that are not hosted by Bacchanal Jamaica. I've said it too many times- Bacchanal Jamaica needs to move with the times....too much of the same old. In the costume department, I am very disappointed with the prices and the "holding" of costumes for friends and family. The day when another organization can gain top corporate sponsors and contemporary costumes, will be the last day of Bacchanal Jamaica's dominance of the street parade.
Anyway, back to the major events for the this season which will be updated as the information comes in:
Bacchanal Jamaica Mas Camp Fridays
Venue: Stadium North
Cost: General- JA$1500 (presold) and JA$2000 (at the gate)- with performances
VIP- JA$3000 (presold) and JA$3500 (at the gate)
General- JA$1200 (presold) and JA$1500 (at the gate)- No performances
VIP-JA$2500 (presold) and JA$3000 (at the gate)
Island Mas Soca Village
February 23, March 2
Venue: Village Blues bar
Soca in the City
February 9 and every Saturday throughout the season
Venue: Pulse Compound, 38A Trafalgar Rd
Cost: No cover
DJ Smoke and Jojo's Carnival Central Lyme Sundays
Every Sunday from March 3 to March 24
Venue: Jojo's Jerk Pit on Waterloo Rd
Bellamy's Leh Go Fridays
Every Friday starting March 8
Venue: Manhattan Bar
Cost: No cover
Soca Vs Dancehall
Venue: Devon House
Cost: JA$1900 (early bird) and JA$2500
Passion: The Real Soca Experience
Venue: Village Blues Bar
Cost: JA$800; Ladies are free before midnight
March 13 and every Wednesday during the carnival season
Venue: The White House- 7 Seymour Ave
UWI Mona Carnival
Venue: Ring road, Mona campus
Cost: Varies according to band
Enamel Cooler Fete and Powdah
Venue: Mona Hockey Complex
Sundown Cooler fete
Venue Hope Gardens
Appleton Fantastic Friday
Venue: Ocho Rios
Cost: JA$1500 (women) JA$2000 (men)
Venue: James Bond Beach
Cost: JA$4500 (presold) JA$5000 (at the gate)
Venue: Shenstone Drive, Beverly Hills
Cost: JA$1500+ bottle (presold only)
I Love Soca
Venue: Hope Botanical Gardens
Cost: JA$1500 (presold)
Venue: Jacks Hill
Venue: Golf Academy
Bacchanal Jamaica Jouvert
Venue: Stadium North
Cost: JA$1700 (early bird special) JA$2000 (general )
SunRise Breakfast Party
Venue: Constant Spring Golf Club
Venue: Cherry Gardens
Tailwind Frolic Wrap up Fete
Cost: JA$2500 (presold) JA$3000 (at the gate)
I will keep updating the information as quickly as I can, so keep checking. I will also try to review each event I attend. What are your top picks for the 2013 season?
Saturday, February 23, 2013
For a band like K2K, makeup is extremely important even on Monday. I stuck to who I was comfortable with and made my appointments with Makeda from Shades of Sugar. I was very happy with her results on both days and it held up well.. This year, I also used the No Sweat but along with the milk of magnesia and Smashbox's anti shine. I assumed that my pores just simply closed up because there was no shine at all...
Although I decided to cut back my spending overall, I wanted to purchase a pair of really comfortable boots. Consequently, I purchased a Clarks boots for about US$100 on Amazon and they were worth it. I usually wear a size 7 but I got a 7.5. To my relief, it fit really well even with the insoles and toe protectors. Throughout the day I felt no discomfort and when I got home, although my toes were a little swollen, I had no serious foot pain. The pain free day could also be atrributed to a short time actually moving on the road and a lot more time just standing and waiting near the savannah. On Monday, I opted to wear a Clarks sandals that didn't give me the toe constriction and were extremely comfortable for the road and made it easier for Tuesday. I didn't decorate these boots simply because I love them too much and I want to wear them again...
|Okay, just ignore the other stuff and focus on the boots :)|
I wanted to try something different this year and go with fishnet stockings...well that was me and everybody else. I got a pair at Micles for TT$99. They fit well and I liked that they were thick and therefore didn't rip easily. The thing about K2K costumes is that you don't have to worry about any beads snagging your stockings so I can wear these again...
I know that nails are not a priority but with K2K, these details matter and it's just nice to have pretty nails. Thanks to Solange from Sole Nails, I did a mix of gel polish and minx which held up for 2 weeks. You should definitely check her out...
|"preppy" Minx and black gel polish|
Reuse and Recycle
I used a cross body bag that I already owned which matched fine and held all of my necessities. The same went for my earrings. I wear my hair in a ponytail everyday, so I just stuck to that; no fuss...which was the order of Carnival 2013...
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Another issue on Tuesday was the internal overlapping of K2K's music which was extremely annoying. Again, we only needed 1 music truck for a couple hundred people. Overall, I give big kudos to the Normans (and Peter) for going at it another year and ignoring naysayers like myself. If you were looking for a band to get on bad and party the whole day, K2K was not that band, but if you were serious about parading a fabulous costume, yes, K2K is that band. I had a great time and I loved that only one other masquerader and I wore the same costume. What about next year? I hope so because I know it's going to keep getting better. I am especially considering doing a bigger costume in 2014 or the following year; it's about time right...
Since this goody bag is so important, I'm going to begin there. I know I've been sounding "older" these days but I don't get what's the big deal with the goody bag. Poison never gave me any goody bag and all Legends ever gave me was the costume. Seriously, how many of these goodies do you actually use? Anyways, the goody bag was nice- cher mere samples, degree deodorant, sacha gift voucher, k2k mug, messenger bag, 2 local magazines, and a mini picnic set . Good heavens! there was no soldanza plantain chips or digicel rags...dammit I want a refund. Oh and just for clarification- no one actually brought the picnic set on the road....
The costume for Skeptic was really nice but I thought it would have stood out more. Looking back at my pics, I looked a little like I was wearing a pink big bird outfit. In retrospect, I should have chosen something more slimming. Yet, it held up really well even though some persons complained that the corset's zipper broke. Luckily there was the option to lace it up. Unlike the Monday blazer, I was not hot in the the Tuesday costume. Earlier that morning, I found the top hat and shoulder piece to be uncomfortable so I ditched them. To my dismay, I was probably the only person in the section without these pieces, but bless the masqueraders who figured out how to attach that shoulder piece. The one thing about K2K maqueraders is that they are very serious about their costumes. Honestly, K2k's strength will always be their costume design and quality. And yes, we were one of those bands wearing burkas on the stage. I want a refund for so much cloth....
Another improvement this year was the security. The band was pretty small so keeping masqueraders within the ropes was not too challenging. But what I'm most uspset about is the lack of personal bodyguards. I mean I paid over tt$5000 and no personal security? I want a refund...
Like Monday, the drinks were not an issue. The hubby who drank Hennessy was pleased that he was able to get it throughout the day. This is in no way directed to any specific band, but the coconut water was flowing like it came from the skies...The disappointment was in the lack of an actual coconut vendor chopping nuts and scooping jelly...Please address this K2K...
We got the same chinese lunch on Tuesday from Wok and Roll and Church's chicken in the later afternoon. However, we should be upset over the lack of snacks. Every blasted band got soldanza plantain chips, and we got nada. How can we play mas with only breakfast, lunch and a second lunch? You are lucky some of us didn't pass out from starvation. You need to do better. In fact next year we need a truck solely dedicated to snacks...
K2K chose not to have a rest stop. I mean how dare they torture us by having us on the road playing mas for the entire day with only a rest bus and a mobile spa. How dare they didn't provide blankets for us to lounge. Where were the makeup stations K2k? Shame on you. And why did our foot and shoulder massages in the mobile spa only last for 15 minutes? No facials? No body scrubs? We need answers or a refund...
|The cher mere mobile spa|
Okay, I guess by now you can sense my sarcasm. I admit I was one of those masqueraders who obsessed over every little mas detail (just read my earlier posts), but is that what playing mas is really about? I don't get this paying for "an experience". Besides an artistic costume, drinks, music, and good road management, what else do we want? I think some masqueraders are getting carried away and missing the spirit of Carnival- what about that complete feeling of abandonment for those 2 days? The feeling that nothing else matters- just dancing, wining, and chipping to one of the best music in the world; there's no concern about work, school, bills, family issues or any other personal problems...Mas is also a performance- an embodiment of a character on the streets which becomes our stage while making powerful statements. The legendary Peter Minshall put it best when he said that it's not about the literal costumes but creating ways to express human energy...
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
I know that I swore up and down that I would never play with K2K ever again, but guess what, I changed my mind and I'm glad that I did. I was so wrong about K2K and I'm proud to admit it. The important lesson for me was learning that I stress too much and what a stress free carnival Monday it was.
Anywho, after getting my makeup done quite early by Makeda from Shades of Sugar, I was ready to meet the band on Ariapita Ave. I was glad that K2K chose to start here and end at the QPS. It just made sense because we never got caught up in band traffic.
Kudos to K2K for bringing mas back to Monday. I really don't like this trend of individual Monday wear with masqueraders in the same band wearing their own outfit. It just seems like an ole mas band because there's no consistency. And even better, K2K didn't give us a tshirt or hot shorts, but a well tailored blazer to be worn with our own black shorts, bikini bottom or leggings.
You know when you were with serious masqueraders when most persons refused to take off the blazer even when we felt like we were baking. At some points especially on Ariapita Ave, it could have well been a winter coat that I was wearing, but for the greater look of the band I ignored the river of sweat on my back and chest.
It was also a really smart idea to eat along the route without an official rest stop which ensured that the band kept moving. Some persons found this to be strange and harsh, but I would remind them that rest stops are a relatively new phenomenon. Back in the day (and yes I am old enough to use terms like "back in day"), we ate and rested while waiting. I really don't mind this since the band doesn't lose much parade time and sometimes the long rest makes you more tired.
Our lunch was a large Chinese chicken or fish meal from Wok and Roll. There was also pizza from Pizza boys. Both options were good. For me, the drinks weren't a problem as I only drank water and lucozade.
There was a huge improvement with security which I have to applaud. There was even an extraction team. As far as I know, there weren't any incidents.
My major complaints about K2K on Monday were firstly, the upkeep of the restrooms which weren't very clean and lacked toilet paper. This was especially important in a band made up of mostly women. I also felt that there should have been handsoap, which is not really a big deal to provide. My second complaint was the music. I didn't like that the DJs played very few songs. In addition, at times when the trucks were too close, there was an overlap of the sounds which was just a mess. For a small band we only needed one DJ truck.
Overall, the positives far outweighed the negatives. I had a great time on Monday, and I maintain that for me, a small band provides a better experience especially when the band is serious about their costumes. Again, I'm glad that I was so wrong about K2K.....
Sunday, February 10, 2013
I must admit that it was a while before Machel's Float grew on me but I'm upset that it took me so long to get on board. At the time I was caught up with Superblue's Fantastic Friday which seemed early in the game a clear winner, but I really love both songs. It was only on further examination I came to the conclusion that like many other tunes, they connect us spiritually. I've said this before about Bunji's Differentology, but these songs focus more on physical and emotional movement.
Spirituality is often linked to the "the sacred" meaning that it is "set apart from the ordinary". In this sense, these songs "take us closer to a larger reality" or connect us with a "divine realm". But this is not new. Superblue has been bringing this experience to his songs since Get Something and Wave in 1991 which called for us to lift our hands to the skies. For many, the heavens, spirits and ancestors are all located above us and exist outside of our reality. The wave that Blue, a spiritual Baptist and self proclaimed high priest of soca, demanded, encouraged us to reach to this divine place. It didn't end there as the jump that accompanied the wave became an essential movement that took us off the earth and temporarily into the air. The dance movements for the Shadow, the Iwer, Ronnie McIntosh's Ent, footsteps, jumbie and palance took the individual into the air, closer to the skies. This movement is also common among the African Masai warrior tribe which is known for their jumping dance and shows the "strength and stamina" of the males from the village. Similarly, the constant jumping that we so expertly demonstrate at fetes, night after night does require exceptional endurance.
In Machel's Float, he speaks about levitating, hovering, drinking helium- all actions to come off the ground, to connect with the sacred above. This sentiment was also present in Higher than High and Jumbie. For a true fan of soca, it's more than just simply liking a song, but attaining an emotional connection that takes away from the customary. The job of the artiste is then to take the listener to this level. Like Super Blue says: for every soca that was written to inform, educate, entertain and feel . When you can really feel a soca tune, it is no longer tangible, it is no longer ordinary, it's a sacred form....
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
1. I am not stressing over getting into the perfect band. I'm going with my fave costume, Skeptical in K2K (featured in the pic) and expecting nothing more than a gorgeous costume.
2. I am trying new low cost fetes and keeping one must go expensive fete on my list. The point is that I don't have to go everywhere.
3. I am cutting down on all unnecessary fluff such as matching costume bag, monday wear, hairstyles and any other supposed "carnival necessity". I am definitely reusing things I already have.
4. I am going to keep the focus on my must haves- fab makeup on both days and comfortable footwear.
4. I am keeping in mind that Carnival is also about having fun with my with my friends, family an hubby and not to get carried away on the superficial stuff.
I know I said that I wasn't going to torture myself and play with K2K again after being disappointed last year, but I love the costume and just want to embody it on the 2 days. After all this reflecting, my most important conclusion was that even though I planned everything late this year, the Carnival gods didn't set wrath upon me...
What about you? Have you made any changes this year???
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Some people mentioned to me that they felt that the soca offerings for 2013 were lacklustre. But I think that it is more a problem of quantity over quality. It seems that every time, I listen to the radio, I am introduced to a new song, but not all are good. I wish the radio Djs would stop mamaguying the artistes and stop playing some of these crap tunes. Even one local newspaper estimated that 400 songs have been released so far. Based on what I've heard, these are my faves:
1. Differentology- Bunji Garlin
If you read my previous post, you would understand why I absolutely love this song. Its lyrics and music are unlike anything I've heard in a long time. If it were up to me, this would be hands down my Road March pick.
2. Manager- Nadia Batson
No, I don't love this one because I have a controlling man and would secretly like to end the contract...I like it because it reminds me that female artistes can use the music to empower other women similar to what Denyse Plummer and Singing Sandra had done.
3. No Getaway- Blaxx
I know that we are afraid to love this since we don't want to be disappointed by his Soca Monarch performance which will be just as bad as we predict it to be. The tune itself is a tribute to all the sexy women of Carnival. Blaxx's voice does not disappoint on the track while proving why he's a veteran in this business.
4. We doing this owah- Fay-Ann Lyons
This song didn't need to grow on me. It was an instant hit like many of her songs. I do however, prefer this one over De Stage Open, which she will be performing at the Power Soca Monarch.
5. Indian Gyal- Drupatee and Machel Montano
Yes, Drupatee still has the power to cross over with her authentic chutney soca sound... I really do want to hear this song performed live and hope she can place higher in the chutney soca monarch.
6. The Fog- Machel Montano
What i get the most about Fog is that it just sets the tone for the J'ouvert vibes. For me, it's not a strong Soca Monarch or even a Road March contender. In fact I haven't yet heard a Machel tune that can be clearly labelled a winning tune.
7. Wining Queen- Denise Belfon
Can we just say that the original wining queen is back with her own personal anthem...This is the official bruk out tune of Carnival 2013 especially when she gets to her signature song breaks, "eh eh eh eh..."
8. Wine back- K. Rich
K. Rich released this one by Precision Productions early and it easily became one of my favourite groovy songs. The line "the way how yuh wine yuh waist is a real force of nature so every time you wine on me I does thank the creator" just gets me any time i hear it...
9. 25/8- Lyrikal
"All we need is one extra hour and one extra day..."...well wouldn't that be a perfect world for Carnival lovers...
10. Prescription- Ravi B
I really really didn't want to like this since I'm not a fan of the rum songs, but Ravi this is what a rum song is supposed to sound like, and not something made up by some stale drunk uncles in a rum shop on a Tuesday night.
Songs I just don't like:
1. Friends with Benefits- Ravi b feat Konshens
Chutney Soca and dancehall are not a match made in heaven or anywhere...
2. No Lokani- Prophet Benjamin
3. Unfinished Business- Iwer George
Spell check anyone?
4. Any song about a partier or feter
5. Any song by All Rounder
I know that some of you would like Superblue's Fantastic Friday to be on this list, but I don't love this song yet. I can see him mashing up Soca Monarch with just the line, "De bouncin start" and the crowd going crazy over "water and powder", yet I just like it...Probably by Soca Monarch finals ( if he qualifies), I will change my mind...