New Soca

Two soca songs created a bit of buzz this week. The first being from novelty act Uncle Ellis. Uncle Ellis shot to spotlight earlier this year for his now trademark dance, originally performed outside KFC Independence Square by a music cart.

Well he’s capitalising on his notoriety, and has released a song for Carnival 2017. It’s getting some early Jouvert hype. Not sure if that assessment is genuine or if they are pappyshowing the man. Time will tell.

The second has been out for a bit, but the video dropped this week. It was filmed during Chinatown (a fete). I want to like the video, the look of it is of the highest quality, but the video has no story. Before you tell me that it’s a fete video, so it can’t have a story, let me point you to Machel Montano’s The Fog. That director used his shots better, and took enough to create the narrative of a bess fete, that is overly joyous. He was able to single out several story lines: the lovers; the friends; the performers on the stage, including the artist who is almost incidental to the party. It’s a winning production.

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Calypso of the Year, 2016

The Calypso of the Year is Paradise by Helon Francis. The video above is his Dimanche Gras performance. Below is his performance from Calypso Fiesta.

Calypso on Nelson Island

vintage-calypso-flyer

In commemoration of Calypso History Month, the National Trust will host its 2nd Vintage Calypso On Nelson Island on Saturday 22nd October 2016, with Lord Superior and a full cast accompanied by the Reflection Band.  

 This year we will have the pleasure of hearing Bro. Valentino, Bro. Mudada, Twiggy, Abebele along with the iconic Lord Superior.  We can look forward to an exciting evening of nostalgia with calypsos from the 50’s through the 70’s.

 

·         Place:  Nelson Island Heritage Site

·         Date: Saturday 22nd October 2016

·         Time: 3.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

·         Transportation:  Water Taxi Service

·         Cost: Members : $200, Seniors: $225, Non-Members: $250 and Juniors $150

·Tickets are available at: National Trust Office, 68 – 70 Sackville Street and Water Taxi Terminals, San Fernando and Port of Spain.

 The Water Taxi will depart from the San Fernando Water Taxi Terminal at 1.30 p.m. and from the Port of Spain Water Taxi Terminal at 2.30 p.m. 

 Come out and support our iconic calypsonians, take the opportunity to learn about the Nelson Island Heritage Site and the Five Islands and enjoy a relaxing evening of old time calypsos.

 For further information and to confirm a booking for tickets, please contact the office of the National Trust at 225 – 4750 or 277 – 6105 or by return e-mail.

Top 20 Calypsos of 2016

The National Action Cultural Committee (NACC) has released a list of the top 20 calypsos for 2016.

The list, without further adieu, and in alphabetical order:

           CALYPSO                                           ARTISTE

  •  A Matter of Trust                    –       Sasha Ann Moses
  • A Murder A Day                      –       Lady Adana (Marsha Clifton)
  • All Lives Matter                      –        Amrika Mutroo
  • Beyond the Tape                    –        Ezekiel Yorke
  • Bring Back the Love             –        Karene Asche
  • Brotherly Sisterly Love          –        Ife Alleyne
  • By Other Men’s Faults            –        Heather Mac Intosh
  • Cheers to Life                         –        Voice (Aaron St. Louis)
  • Fruits Aint Ripe Yet                        –        Kerine Williams-Figaro
  • It Eh Go Wuk                         –        Chucky (Roderick Gordon)
  • Modern Nursery Rhymes        –        Duane O’Connor
  • NGP (No Grace Period)          –        Kurt Allen
  • Paradise                                 –        Helon Francis
  • People                                    –        Kes (Kees Dieffenthaller)
  • Respect God’s Voice          –         Devon Seale, also the Calypso Monarch
  • Too Many                              –        Gypsy (Winston Peters)
  • Waiting On the Stage              –        Machel Montano, also the Road March  winner
  • We Calypso                             –        Superblue (Austin Lyons)
  • We Tobago and Trinidad        –        Brian London
  • When Trini Get Vex               –        Chalkdust (Hollis Liverpool)

Awards will be presented for these calypsos at the Top 20 Stars of Gold and Calypso of the Year Ceremony to be held on Saturday October 15, 2016, at the Central Bank Auditorium from 7 pm.

Jus Now – Alone

I love this song, and look at that, the video has just been released. Jus Now is the Trini-UK duo of Kashav Chandradath Singh aka LAZABeam and Sam Interface (really Chadburn).

Listen to their catalogue, it’s really good. They’ve done a lot of work with Bunji Garlin. But recent projects has seen them spreading the love quite a bit, and with great results. Take a listen to Laventille. It’s hauntingly beautiful.

Their sample library for Indigisounds should make it easier for producers to use steelpan and the percussive sounds of the Laventille Rhythm Section in their music.

The Alone video is Kiwan Landreth Smith directorial debut. You’ve probably seen him playing guitar for 3Canal’s Cut+Clear band. The video was obviously partially filmed in St. James. Their Facebook page says it was also shot at Villa Being in Tobago, where vocalist Chalmer John is from, Friendship Stables and various beaches.

Enjoy.

Notes on presenting a Soundscape

The physical environment Indoor environments are better because of how the sound travels in space. The soundscape maybe tailored to the type of space it will be presented in. Specific audio playbac…

Source: Notes on presenting a Soundscape

So proud of my friend Afifa for the groundbreaking work she is doing.

A Caribbean Culture Reader

Meagan Sylvester shared this on her page last September 2nd. It popped up in my Facebook reminder and I thought, that this is the best place to post it, because it’s such a great list of papers and essays on our music and Carnival customs etc. So without further adieu:

Mason, Peter. 1998. Bacchanal? The Carnival Culture of Trinidad. London; Philadelphia: Latin American Bureau; Temple University Press.

Liverpool, Hollis Urban. 1998. Origins of rituals and customs in the Trinidad Carnival: African or European?. TDR/The Drama Review 42, no. 3: 24-37.

Liverpool, Hollis. 2001. Rituals of Power and Rebellion: The Carnival Tradition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1763 – 1962. Chicago, Trinidad and Tobago: Research Associates School Times; Frontline Distribution.

Stolzoff, Norman C. 2000. Wake the Town and Tell the People; DanceHall Culture in Jamaica. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Rouse, Marilyn A. 2000. Jamaican Folk Music: A Synthesis of Many Cultures. Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music. Vol. 66. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press.

Regis, Louis. 1999. The Political Calypso: True Opposition in Trinidad and Tobago, 1962 – 1987. Barbados; Gainesville: Press University of the West Indies; University Press of Florida

Besson, Gerard, and Angostura Bitters Limited. 2001. The Angostura Historical Digest of Trinidad and Tobago. Cascade, Trinidad and Tobago: Paria Pub.: Angostura.

Cowley, John. 1996. Carnival and Calypso: Traditions in the Making. Cambridge; New York, NY: Cambidge University Press.

Dudley, Shannon. 2008.Music from Behind the Bridge: Steelband Spirit and Politics in Trinidad and Tobago. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Dudley, Shannon. 2004. Carnival Music in Trinidad: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture. Global Music Series. New York: Oxford University Press.

Elder, J.D. 1972. From Congo Drum to Steelband: A Socio-Historical Account of the Emergence and Evolution of the Trinidad Steel Orchestra. St. Augustine, Trinidad: The University of the West Indies.

Feld, Steven. 1984. Sound Structure as Social structure. Ethnomusicology 28 (3): 383-409.

Frith, Simon. 1996. Performing Rites: On the value of popular music. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Gibbons, Rawle. 1994. No Surrender: A biography of the Growling Tiger. Tunapuna, Pantheon Books.

Guilbault, Jocelyne. 2007. Governing Sound: the cultural politics of Trinidad’s carnival musics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Hill, Donald R. 1993. Calypso Callaloo : Early carnival music in Trinidad. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Lipsitz, George. 2007. Footsteps in the Dark: The Hidden Histories of Popular Music. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Liverpool, Hollis. 1990. Kaiso and Society. Diego Martin, Trinidad, W.I.: Juba Publications.

Nettleford, Rex M. 1995; 2002. Calypso monograph. Caribbean Quarterly Monograph. Mona, Jamaica: Caribbean Quarterly.

Rausert,Wilifried. 2000. Negotiating Temporal Differences: blues, jazz and Narrativity in African American Culture. Heidelberg, Germany: Heidelberg.

Rohlehr, Gordon. 1990. Calypso & Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad. Port-of-Spain, Trinidad: G. Rohlehr.

Ryan, Selwyn D., Gloria Gordon. 1988. Trinidad and Tobago: The Independence Experience, 1962-1987. The University of the West Indies. Institute of Social and Economic Research St. Augustine, Trinidad: Institute of Social and Economic Research, The University of the West Indies.

Stone, Ruth M., Verlon L. Stone. 1981. Event, Feedback and Analysis: Research Media in the Study of Music Events. Ethnomusicology. Vol 25 (2): 215-225.

Williams, Eric Eustace. 1984. From Columbus to Castro: The History of the Caribbean, 1492-1969. 1st Vintage Books ed. New York: Vintage Books.

Williams, Eric Eustace. 1964. History of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. New York: Praeger.

Alleyne, Mike. 2009. Globalisation and Commercialisation of Caribbean Music. World Music Roots and Routes. Collegium. Tuulikki Pietila. (ed). Studies across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences 6. Helsinki: Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. 76–101.

Hope, Donna. 2006. Inna De DanceHall: Popular Culture and the Politics of Identity. Kingston: Jamaica. The University of the West Indies Press.

Howard, Dennis. 2012. Rantin from Inside the Dancehall. Jamaica: Jahmento Publishers

Families Beg Soca Junkies to Please, Please Get Help

The Ungrateful Soup

Soca junkie 1After months of watching their loved ones suffer from the symptoms of soca season withdrawal, aka tabanca, families across the Caribbean have issued a desperate plea for them to please seek professional help, now.  

“We can’t bear to see them like this,” said one tearful mother who reached out to UGS revealing that her two daughters haven’t eaten in weeks and keep saying the words “Go dung [sic]” over and over again.

“Do you want to see your mother cry?!” screamed their father as he heard the sounds of Destra coming from inside the bathroom. “Because you’re making your mother cry again!”

“These lifeless, disembodied soca junkies are a problem we have to deal with year after year,” explained a local expert from the Addiction Treatment Services Council. “It’s all fun and games when they can get their fix, but once the season is over, it’s their loved ones that are…

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Bird Song Needs a Home

It was a pretty high powered panel that came out on Monday to speak about the eviction notice that was handed out to Birdsong Academy. The owner, Ramdath Maharai will take possession of his property on March 15.

Birdsong say they will not challenge his order but they need 2 years to find a new space.

They already started paying down on this lot of land a short distance from their current location on St. Vincent Street. The land was owned by the Tunupuna Rising Star Friendly Society, but because the friendly society is closing down its assets are under the control of the Registrar of Friendly Societies. There is no Registrar at present so the sale of the land can’t be finalised at this time.

The academy is staying positive, their annual concert takes place this Saturday at Queen’s Hall.

I think the take away from this incident is that we need a national policy on culture, and on pan in particular.