Friday, March 08, 2013

THE TOP 10 MOMENTS OF CARNIVAL 2013

So its March now, Trinidad carnival 2013 is but a memory in the minds of all who took part, but this year many complained after carnival of a feeling that something was missing , I felt it too, it was good but not the best however that's another blog post.
Looking back at carnival  2013 I decided to list what were for me the top ten moments of Trinidad and Tobago carnival 2013, ten moments that made me stop and think, 'this is a moment to remember.
Here it is...

MASSASSINATION'S TOP 10 MOMENTS OF TRINIDAD CARNIVAL 2013

1 THE RETURN OF SUPER BLUE:

photo:http://studiolafoncette.com
Super Blue’s return did not simply reveal that God given talent and determination can triumph over all adversity, but it also portrayed that substance is king over style and hype. Super Blue’s return also taught us that the foundation stones of culture can and should never be forgotten for without the basic tenants of an art form its is nothing.
2013 was the 2nd time that Austin Lyons has made a victorious return to carnival and in this return or rebirth he managed to inspire all generations, old and young with a style some might today describe as dated but all agreed was spiritually infectious (its substance).
Soca needed Super to return, I believe Machel did too, even with Bunji and Fayann firing on all cylinders Machel is an awesome combination of talent and showmanship a combination that only one gifted with talent and a magnetic spirituality could have defeated Machel.
On the days leading up to fantastic Friday to the morning after the event the name super Blue could be heard in every barber-shop, rum-shop, radio station, taxi maxitaxi and bus. Soca monarch judges tied the two making them both Monarchs but by Ash Wednesday Carnival 2013 was undoubtedly the carnival of Super Blue’s return. DE BOUNCING START!



2 POWDER!

Mac Farlan's Joy Down town POS.
Powder was a most present aspect of carnival 2013, from Machel’s winning tune FOG with the lines ‘powder this is how we celebrate’ to Super Blue’s opening call for ‘water and powder’ in Fantastic Friday. Powder was present in the fetes, on the road for Jouvert and even in big bands on Tuesday harping back to the days of the fancy sailors and even further back to the African use of powder in spiritual practices. Powder in 2013 was an inspiring sight.



3 TED EUSTACE  KING OF CARNIVAL 2013.

Even though the King of carnival competition ended in a draw the crowning of Ted Eustace as a King of Carnival in 2013(Moko in flames) signified the passing of a title and torch from father to son to little brother Keeping the title King of Carnival and the Eustace name synonymous for possibly another decade. From Tedder Eustace to Curtace Eustace and now Ted the tradition successfully continues.







4 THE LAUNCH OF RITUALS OF POWER & REBELLION BY HOLLIS CHALKDUST LIVERPOOL Ph.D

Launched on the 6th of February 2013 the day before the calypso monarch finals in which teacher, Calypsoian and author Hollis Liverpool better known as the Mighty Chalkdust was to compete for a ninth title.
 I first saw this book in the library of London Metropolitan University when doing research for my dissertation in 2010.
 By then the book was long out of print and countless attempts to find it on line or in book shops on both sides of the Atlantic proved fruitless for me. It was only in discussing the important role the work played in my dissertation to the author was I informed it was never available in Trinidad before.

 In my opinion Rituals of Power & Rebellion is indeed a seminal text in the historical and intellectual construction of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival, as well as those in the Caribbean. I advise everyone to get a copy and read it.

5 BUNJI GARLIN'S DIFFERNTOLOGY

All cow joke aside Bunji Garlin the Viking of Soca with Nigel Rojas had arguably the most popular fete tune for the 2013 Carnival season. From its time of release to carnival Tuesday Differentology had the crowds singing out the chorus ‘we ready for the roooad’.
 The tune that almost in fond retrospect takes the listener through a carnival experience probably that of the last week of carnival leading up to Jouvert and Tuesday.  This mixture of dance and soca music was favoured to dethrone Machel in the groovy Soca monarch competition but Bunji pulled out to great disappointment and admiration of his fans. I have a feeling this track has caused a shift in soca music that we will see next year..

6 SAVAGE.

I am a Bunji Garlin fan, I am also a fan of the late Lord Maestro, one of the most revolutionary Calypsoians in the early days of Soca. Bunji’s cover of Maestro’s Savage wasfor me a moment in carnival 2013 because it celebrated the underclass, the part of the society like it or not that laid down many of the foundation blocks of modern carnival. A group that today are being priced out of carnival by a growing ambitious middle class that seem bent on taking over the culture and transforming every aspect of what it looks like. Bunji’s Savage had many locals and returnees alike claiming to be anti stush (or anti posh) thus returning the festival to its roots with the stush being identified as undesirable .

7 MACFARLANE CROSSES THE SAVANNAH STAGE FOR THE LAST TIME WITH JOY THE FINALY.

After dominating the band of the year competition for most of the first decade of the 21st century band leader and designer Brian Mac Farlane has decided to call it a day. To the average Mas player or tourist that comes for Carnival this fact might mean nothing, but to fans of High Mas, love him or hate him, Brian Mac Farlane is the last of the High Mas designers to dominate the face of Carnival, and while there are young designers and small bands that keep the Mas of meaning alive, none has been able to attract the numbers of masqueraders that are needed to make epic presentations as the epic bands of the past did.
This could actually be the end of an era in Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival history.


8 THE PASSING OF PENGUIN.




Road March King of 1982 and Calypso Monarch of 1984 Seadley Joseph - the Penguin passed away on the 27th of January 2013 just as Carnivals climax was on the horizon. The timing of his passing during the heights of the Carnival season is almost an expected aspect of Carnival these days, as it seems like every Carnival a legend now passes on, as if to join some Grand Carnival in the sky. Penguin’s tunes in the 80s were an integral part of the Carnival, one a personal note an integral part of my childhood and his contribution will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace.





9 PETER MINSHALL ATTENDS TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO FILM FESTIVAL TRIBUTE TO HIM

Dalton Narine, Peter Minshall  and Tony Hall. Photo from http://repeatingislands.com
I could hit myself over the head for missing this one, the TTFF 3rd Annual Carnival film series saw Peter Minshall attend two screenings of his work, Rat Race, and Mas Man the complete work. Both directed by Dalton Narine who was also present to answer questions. The two for me are the greatest teachers I ever had in Mas Minshall the Mas Man and Narine whose documentaries gave me insight to Minshall’s works through his documentaries. The two of them in one room, an Epic moment indeed!!


10 BUNJI AND FAYANN BOTH PULL OUT OF FANTASTIC FRIDAY.

Bunji and fayann.
Photo:jayblessed.com 
Bunji and Fayann pulling out of the Soca Monarch competition was probably the biggest upset of carnival 2013. Bunji who arguably had the hottest groovy soca tune of the year with Diffrentology was seeded to walk away with the title if he competed. Fayann always coming strong, the POWER soca monarch final of 2013 had the potential of being the biggest and best in its history. Had the couple decided to go head to head with Machel and Super Blue in the national stadium on that night it would have been mayhem. But the couple decided to pull out and the shockwaves went right through the entire Carnival universe.
What would have been the final outcome if they had stayed?!

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