BussHead: The Video

I’ve been waiting for this video to be released for so many months now. I’d heard snippets from the set from the Producer, and some of the co-ordinators, and have waited with baited breath for its release and finally it’s out.

The video released on The Fader Friday.

My friend Laura at LoopTT interviewed Machel after the video came out, he told her, “The intention was to show the story of this youth acting out of anger and rage… that people were there for him to be able step in and help him channel that negative energy into something positive. That untapped raging energy could easily be used as a weapon to take someone’s life. Instead, the imagery is that two elder people stepped in and showed him that you could channel that energy into something positive so basically he became an instrument of the art which preserves the art and give the art longevity.”

I know that is something Keegan Taylor, one of the songwriters, and Rondel Benjamin feel passionately about. Keegan and Rondel are the principals that formed Bois Academy, a group that is determined to bring the indigenous martial arts of Trinidad and Tobago out of the shadows and into the light.

Rondel truly believes that our martial arts can provide a channel for the aggressive energy some of our youth have, and it through kalinda and jab jab, they can learn to harness that anger and turn it into positive energy.

Jab and Kalinda

Bois Academy has teamed up with Ronald Alfred the King of the Jab Jab to offer training in Kalinda and Jab Jab every Sunday 4pm at St. George’s Grounds in Barataria.

Check them out!

Machel vs Bunji

It’s a Carnival miracle. The blog title is a lie. The feud is over. Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin are together on one track and it’s fire!

Heh HA! Fanism unlocked. I lurve eet!

My friend Keegan Taylor, soca producer, stick fighter is one of the writers. I heard the song and immediately called him to congratulate him on a fantastic track. It’s full of magic. Especially if you know about Trinidad culture; Joe Tamana and patwa. It speaks to your very soul.

The name of the song is Buss Head.

It’s your 2017 Jouvert anthem. You are welcome.

Brian Mac Farlane and the Controversy of Mas

His 2017 presentation, Cazabon: The Art of Living was supposed to celebrate our heritage architecture and the period when those buildings, like the members of the Magnificent 7 were built.

The problems were present from the get go. Those buildings were constructed in the 20th century. While George Brown, the architect who designed the fret work that has become the hallmark of the gingerbread houses moved to Trinidad before Cazabon died, they had little interaction. So the association is messy.

brian-madness
WTF Brian?

But what really upset some people was the section La Belle Dame and Garçon de la Maison. The beautiful woman and the house boy. It glamourised a relationship where one of the partners, in this case the overly sexualised houseboy, wasn’t an equal partner, and probably couldn’t refuse the relationship if he wasn’t interested. Regardless of how beautiful his mistress may have been.

Earlier this week, the band leader held a Facebook live discussion where he apologised for causing offense and dropped the section.

You can read his statement in full here and his website www.Macfarlanemas.com is now live.

I had an interesting conversation with a lecturer in Carnival Studies about this controversy, Trinidad Carnival’s history and society. I also spoke to the leading expert on Cazabon about this. I’m working on that piece now, and hope to have it ready for broadcast soon.

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.

At the Helm with K2K

One of my favourite bands to watch for Carnival has been K2K Alliance. Twins Kathy and Karen Norman bring so much artistry to their fashion meets mas band. That they both work in finance in New York and can bring out an award winning band is madness, but I am grateful for their passion for this industry.

Their presentation for 2017 is At the Helm. I spoke to them as they were preparing for their launch about their vision for their band the business of Carnival.

I got to attend the launch and I have one word, “Wow!” Visually stunning presentation. I went with a friend of mine and she said that she wished that she could create something that beautiful.

I’m one of the persons interviewed in the video below about my thoughts on their costumes.

Still can’t pick one. And you can peep their lookbook here