Nurse's Lounge: Adventures in BK, part 2

>> Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cafe Omar was so so. For me, the best part of it was liming with friends and re-living a bit of the energy of Vincy Mas. But seriously, I can't take New York police officers. The fete ended abruptly at 4 am...with the lights coming up to end Bomani's performance. The security went batty on the crowd, forcing people to get out the club.

Nurse Karen and Blaxx at Fire Fete, Toronto Caribana 2008

From (Nurse) Karen (Etc)

Then the po-po weren't even letting people get they little sidwalk pimp on. RUDE. Anyhoo...I certainly didn't come to NYC to pick up, so if we hadda go... we gone. Next stop, the annual Foreign Base Backyard Party.

Nurse Karen and Jalena (Cafe Omar - Brooklyn, NY a few hours ago!)

From New York 2008

That was a fete. I have to shout out Toronto's own Blackberry Sound Crew for keeping the vibes flowing sweet sweet till morning.

Blackberry Sound Crew....sweet for dayz (at the Foreign Base Backyard Party)

From New York 2008

Blaxx was there, Skinny, Problem Child, Jamesy P, Jalena. I'm sure there were others before I reached.

Nurse Karen and Jamesy P (Cafe Omar - Brooklyn, NY a few hours ago!)

From New York 2008

Here's a small sample of the vibes at almost 6 in the morning Sunday. The bar was still moving units after 7. Only in New York!


Nurse's Lounge: Vincy Fete at Cafe Omar

The action last night was late in coming...but eventually things heated up Brooklyn stylee! One thing I kinda like about the New York vibe, is that no matter where you're from... you can find a group of your people from back home liming at all hours. We hit up Cafe Omar in Flatbush.

That was where most of the Vincies dem were making merry. I joined in for a bit.

Big up to all the performers: Dennis Bowman, Gideon James, Dani.O, Lively, Icon, Skinny Fabulous, Jamesy P, Bomani.

Soca Jones, as always...I appreciate what you do. Keep promoting the culture. time walk with your phone, but thanks anyway!


Nurse's Lounge: NYC is time to party!

>> Saturday, August 30, 2008

Can you believe it? I haven't been in New York at all since carnival last year. In 2007, the metropolis played host to the ISA Soca Awards. I enjoyed the op to see what the fuss was all about, but I have higher hopes for this year's event in St. Kitts. Hopefully, the cooperation of a Caribbean tourist board will give the event a much needed dose of class.

Well, I'm back! Manhattan has a lot of Summer construction going on. Brooklyn is on fire with Carnival spirit, and people seem to be visiting from everywhere. I guess that includes me. I came down from Toronto yesterday accompanied by two awesome gal pals. We passed up on Soca Jones' infamous boat ride and opted to check out Elements in Manhattan instead.

From Trinidad 2K8

Big up Mr. Walshy from Black Chiney. You really threw down. I haven't sweat like that in ages! About 5 am or so we even ran into Raphael Saddique catching all-day breakfast with his friends. Special shouts to the young men from Brooklyn who made sure us T-Dot Girls had the sweetest time.


The Rounds: Rudder gets patriotic with Bunji and Faye-Ann

>> Sunday, August 24, 2008

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds. I don't mean to start off with bad news, but it just occurred to me that for all the students listening. The start of the school year is just a little more than a week away.

In Trinidad with Shawn "Ma$tamind" Noel and Natasha Andrews Noel (February 2008)

But don't let that depress you. These days school is full of all sorts of wonders! For instance, Brooklyn New York's Coskel University is sponsoring the last of their summertime soca unplugged series tonight. The event is called De Tamarind Seed Sessions. Throughout the warm months it has played host to people like Shawn Mastamind Noel, Kevon Carter and Trinity....but tonight it's all about learning your history. Dane Gulston will educate the people on pan, and music legends like Crazy, Black Stalin and Lord Nelson will all join the jam session.

Take a look at the video I compiled from Labour Day Carnival 2007. I also attended the 4th annual ISO Soca Awards. You'll notice clips featuring Crazy and Trinity as well as Dane Gulstan on pan...

From History we move to Civics. How many of you know that Trindad and Tobago became and independent republic on August 31st, 1962? That means next Sunday marks the 46th anniversary.

Down in Trinidad, Ian Wiltshire of Island Style Music thought of the perfect way to mark the occasion. He got David Rudder, Faye-Ann Lyons and Bunji Garlin in studio to record a patriotic new song called "3 Colours"

Your "Nurse" with Bunji and Faye-Ann in St. Vincent (July 2008)

Some of you know Ian as the man behind the international Glow carnival fetes and annual Glow soundtracks. This past year, Ian decided to take a break from releasing a new Glow album due to decresing soca music sales across the board. His Canadian distributor (JBS records) wasn't so happy about this and convinced him to compile a "best of" album instead. Well we all know how those things go…all your favourite hits, plus a couple of updated remixes for good measure. 3 colours actually started off as a 2008 refix of Trini 2o de Bone. But lo and behold when creative people get together, innovations are bound to happen. It was co-produced by Ian Wiltshire, Ibo Joseph and Alan Brizan.

Trini to the Bone - David Rudder

There's yet one more surprize in store when the song comes out this week. Ian tells me the intro and samples feature an iconic voice from Trinidad's past. He won't say who…but if you find any political figures listed in the multiple choice, that would be my guess!

Still with me students? Time for Geography. Soca Summer has landed firmly on London England this weekend for Notting Hill Carnival. Everybody's over there…well, except for me this year.

Nurse Karen goes to London and Notting Hill Carnival (2007)


But that's OK, next weekend when the action moves to New York, so do I! It's all about the Brooklyn West Indian Day Parade. And after Labour Day, my young musical apprentices, it's time to hang up the dancing shoes and study your books!

Enjoying the vibes on Labor Day Monday 2007

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. Please leave me your comments online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple w dot mustardseeds dot net. Never miss a beat when it comes to soca news….download The Rounds Podcast at Soca Therapy dot com.


Booster Shot: Blakey checked into rehab

>> Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This afternoon,Vincentian calypsonian turned drug addict, Blakey, was checked into the Turning Point Rehabilitation Facility in St. Lucia. After several months of significant progress under the careful watch of family members and his musical team, Blakey will continue treatment in the care of qualified medical professionals

Meeting a reformed Blakey for the first time at Insomnia 2008 (Arnos Vale, St. Vincent)

When Project Blakey began in St. Vincent in the Spring, many people believed it to be a gimmick. A soca artist (Skinny Fabulous) and a producer (Kubiyashi) took a homeless drug addicted vagrant, brought him to the studio and made him an instant star. Blakey's "No More Long Talk" rose to the top of the nation's charts over night, and an alcoholic crack fiend was accepted as a legitimate performing artiste. The duet with reigning Soca Monarch Skinny Fabulous has begun to take hold outside of the archipelago, now in the #4 position on the soca chart.

Booster Shot: August 19, 2008

Producer Kubiyashi

Throughout the Vincy Mas season, Blakey did his best to remain sober out of respect for the persons who took interest in his welfare. However, he suffered a major relapse on Carnival Monday which drove him back temporarily to both the bottle and the pipe.

Those who recognized Blakey's latent charm and previously unappreciated talent have continued to financially support him on his journey. Along with the aid of Skinny Fabulous and Kubiyashi, Blakey's stint in rehab was made possible through contributions from local businessed Tha Hook Up and Pulse, as well as the Vincy Soca Dans and Vincentian glamour model Odini Sutherland.

Hanging with Skinny Fabulous in Toronto


The Rounds: Machel on the cover of Billboard this week!

Grenada crowned its first ever road march Queen this past week. Miney ruled the road with her reveller's anthem 10,000 masqueraders. The song was produced by grenada's Shawn "Mr. Roots" Mitchell…who also plays bass for Machel Montano HD. The song was co-written by Wayne Green of Homebase Ent, who worked with Kasey Phillips from Trinidad's Precision Productions to create the roadmix that had the Carenage jumping on Tuesday.

1000 Masqueraders (2008 Grenada Road March) - Miney

In the ongoing saga of who-beat-up-who outside Zen Night Club in Port of Spain in April 2007…the names oftwo of the accused have been cleared. Victim Russell Pollonais told the magistrate that Zan was not involved in the beating, and that Kernal Roberts did not assault him. He emphasized that his memory did not need jogging.

Here I am in Trinidad with Kernal Roberts, drummer/musical director/producer extraordinaire

So that leaves two soca celebs yet on the hot seat: Machel Montano and Benjai. Here's an upate on what those guys are doing, instead of worrying their heads over the charges. Machel Montano continues to blaze the trail to international soca stardom. Look out for your favourite Winer Boy on the cover of Billboard Magazine on shelves now.

Blaze D Trail*** (2008 Trinidad) - Machel Montano

Liming with Machel

Machel is the first ever soca artiste to grace the cover page, however, fellow Trinidadian calypso greats the Mighty Sparrow and David Rudder shared that honour in 1993. Machel was interviewed by Veteran writer Pat Moschino while in Barbados for Crop Over.

As for Benjai - He's getting ready to head to Berlin for the first time for a couple of shows on September 6th and 7th alongside Germany's Soca Twins.

Hanging with the Soca Twins

That's all fine and dandy, but the real news is this. Benjai's management is looking to launch a new band for the artist…and all of the musicians will be female. So, if you're a GIRL and you play keyboards, drums, guitar, bass, or violin. There might be a job out there for you!

Whole Day*** (2008 St. Lucia/Trinidad) - Benjai


Booster Shot: Miney is Grenada's Road March Queen

>> Thursday, August 14, 2008

I know what you're wondering...

Who is Miney? ...AND....What happen to Berbice, and Tallpree, and Lavaman, Boogie B, even Soca Banton? To tell you the truth. I really can't answer any of that.

However, I do know I've been vibing Miney's tune since Homebase Entertainment sent it to me weeks ago.

10 000 Masqueraders is Grenada's new Road March. The sound is significantly different from the anthems of years gone by. Two reasons: the artiste is still wet behind the ears and she is a SHE.

1000 Masqueraders (2008 Grenada Road March) - Miney

Here's what Miney had to say after learning her song got the most spins at judging points on Carnival Tuesday:

I would like to thank the Almighty Father, my parents and relatives, my co- writer Wayne Green, My number # 1 producer Shawn 'Mr Roots' Mitchell. For putting together the best road mixes Grenada has ever heard Kasey Phillips and Wayne Green. My performance Manager Deleon Walters for making me look good, all the rest of the Homebase Family. the DJ's cuz without you winning would not be possible. All the Radio Announcers, the Mas bands and the 10,000 Masquerader for loving the song. Friends and supporters who gave me the encouragement to fight on as a first time female artiste, and Ritch Image Productions for the wonderful photos and everyone else who have given their support and words of encouragement, you know who you are.

Thanks to all


Congrats Miney!! Keep repping for all the ladies. I'm happy for you and GRENADA!!!


The Rounds: Lavaman withdraws from Grenada Soca Monarch

>> Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's rounds. What a big week in the world of soca. While most of you were recovering from a wild and wonderful caribana season…so much of the Caribbean was smack dab in the middle of the action. Carnival still abounds! So this edition of the Rounds is all about RESULTS.

First to Antigua: It's no secret that Claudette "CP" Peters is still her nation's soca queen. She's dancing all the way to the bank this week after winning both the Groovy and Tempo Party Monarch competitions. This is the 4th year in a row that she's won the Party Monarch title. But this year, her Tempo win with "Bring It On" lands her automatic entry into Trinidad's international soca monarch competition in February. There, CP will compete against TnT's top acts as well as reigning monarchs from across the region like Khiomal, Ricky T, and Skinny Fabulous!

width="300" height="110">Bring It On***(2008 Anitgua)*** - Claudette CP Peters & Taxik Band

Moving along, Monday and Tuesday was all about Red Hot Flames in the Red Hot St. John's Antigua heat. Oungku called it! Antigua's new Road March is none other than Musical Bomb a.k.a Scyattah.

Scyahttah***(2008 Antigua)(Road March) - Red Hot Flames F. Oungku

Over to sunny Barbados... There's this guy de people and dem refer to as De General. Known for consistant hits with his legendary band Krosfyah, Edwin Yearwood is smiling after an oh-so-successful Crop Over. The song is called Handle Yuh Business. And it's obvious - that is PRECISELY what he had in mind when he performed his way into 1st place at the Peoples' Monarch show last week Thursday.

We On De Way(2008 Barbados Crop Over Road March)*** - Krosfyah ft Edwin Yearwood

Then Monday was the big finale…The Grand Kadooment parade. Why stop at one title when you can have two? Edwin walked away with Tune of the Crop as well. (For the non-bajans out there…that's Road March. This is the 4th ever Road March win for Mr. Yearwood. Congratulations Edwin – Handle Yuh Business!

Grenada is in the height of Spice Mas right now! On Wednesday, Yaga Miser became the brand new Groovy Soca Monarch. His performance of "Someone to Love" beat his closest competition (Terror Kid) by 19 points. Last year's winner, Scholar, chose not to defend his crown.

Someone To Love*** (2008 Grenada) - Yaga

In the Power Category, the the action took place on Friday. Luny Sparks and Electrify took top marks with Clear D Way. Mr. Killa in 2nd and Mr. Legs 3. For you Lavaman fans, I should note that your boy withdrew his name from the competition due to a discrepancy over the rules that came to light at his Village Soca Monarch performance early in the week.

Someone To Love*** (2008 Grenada) - Yaga

(Let's be real...that's what the management is saying in an official statement released to the media, but the evidence speaks for itself.) Lavaman was performing at the Village Soca Monarch earlier in the week. He had the crowd real going crazy. He instructed the fans to go down by the judges. So they did - the only problem is they were carrying chairs, torches and big flags. As he sang SPLASH wet up, wet up, the judges got a public bath. Needless to say...they didn't like that too much.

Splash - Lava Man

It was a real scene. See it for yourself.

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. Please leave me a comment online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at triple w dot mustardseeds dot net. Now back to de docta!


Booster Shot: Antigua Carnival Results

>> Friday, August 8, 2008

Antiguan massive!!!! How was your carnival this year? I heard amazing reviews from some of the members of Atlantik and the studio 758 crew. They really enjoyed the party vibes while they were there. Can't wait to experience it for myself.

In case you haven't seen the results, here's the big news out of Antigua...

Road March:

1. "Musical Bomb" Scyattah! - Red Hot Flames (Oungku, yuh called this one!)

Musical Bomb (2008 Antiguan road March Winner) - Red Hot Flames

2. "Jump Up In De Iron Band" - Burning Flames (Still sorry I missed your show in time)

Iron Band - Burning Flames

3. "Mardi Gras" - Taxik

width="300" height="110">Mardi Gras*** (2008 Antigua) - Taxik F. Claudette Peters

Antigua doesn't mess around when it comes to the band thing. I like to see that. In most other soca nations we're seeing the rise of solo artists. While the celebrity aspect is important to the development of the soca genre in terms of international marketing. This is a cultural thing. Carnival is a community thing..and our music is a communal thing. Caribbean showmanship fluorishes in the presence of live intrumentation and collaborative creativity. That's my two cents anyway. Kudos Antiguans for supporting your bands!

Now for the Party Monarch results:

In Groovy...

1. Claudette "CP" Peters

2. Tian

Bring It On***(2008 Anitgua)*** - Claudette CP Peters & Taxik Band

3. The Blade

In Tempo (What they call Power Soca in Trinidad, Grenada and St. Lucia)

1. Claudette "CP" Peters

Bring It On***(2008 Anitgua)*** - Claudette CP Peters & Taxik Band

2. Lord Satalyte

3. The Blade

CP, Congrats on another great year! Goes to show you truly are the queen of your nation where soca is concerned.


Booster Shot: Edwin is King Again....

>> Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Can somebody please tell me why so many great carnivals all take place at the beginning of August?

It makes it very hard for a girl to give everything its due.

So my Bajan posse, please forgive the tardiness of this post. Crop Over done since Monday and The General is still in control. That's right ladies, Edwin Yearwood takes "Tune of the Crop" for the fourth time for "Handle Yuh Business". He won Peoples' Monarch last Thursday with the same song.

Handle Yuh Bizniz (We On The Way)*** (2008 Barbados Road March Winner) - Krosfyah F.Edwin Yearwood

Not a bad showing for Krosfyah this year at all. Edwin's fellow bandmate Khiomal Nurse (no relation to yours truly!) is the reigning Party Monarch. Dat little cutie performed "Unleash the Beast" looking like a bright green monster. But dat don't scare me! I still wanted to give him a hug.

Unleash The Beast (2008 Barbados Party Monarch Winner) - Krosfyah F.Khiomal

The international community can look forward to seeing Krosfyah at a fete near you. A few friends in Barbados were mentioning that they hoped the band would jazz up the set a bit in time for Cohoblopot. Instead, they've been bringing the same show for the whole season. Where I'm concerned, I guess it doesn't really matter....cuz clearly, it's working for them...and after all I haven't seen it yet.

Congrats to Edwin! The count is now up to 10 titles. 5-time Party Monarch , 4 - time Road March King (Tune-o-de-Crop)...and 1 Pic-o-de-Crop crown....and one new chune that will forever long for the sweetness of carnival at home!

Not Missing Me - Edwin Yearwood

Still bringing hits. Still getting on bad. Still well loved by the people.

Yuh Large!


Booster Shot: Skinny Fabulous Leaves Heads Bad in Toronto

>> Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Skinny Fabulous Leaves Heads Bad in Toronto

Toronto, Canada – St. Vincent's own Gamal "Skinny Fabulous" Doyle took Vincy music to higher heights last weekend at North America's largest Caribbean Carnival - Caribana.

The 3-day tour consisted of five separate performances at well known events such as K.O.S. J'ouvert, Fire Fete, Soca Rave and others. More than ten thousand fans paid top dollar to see Skinny Fabulous live in Toronto.

Skinny Fabulous shared the stage with top Caribbean artistes, such as Destra Garcia, Bunji Garlin and Faye-Ann Lyons,

Iwer George,

Problem Child,

Shurwayne Winchester, Ricky T and the list goes on.

Just one month after "Head Bad" (On the Spot) earned Doyle the 2008 St. Vincent and the Grenadines Soca Monarch crown, the Green Hill native is enjoying a solid slate of international bookings throughout the month of August. The uptempo soca anthem was heard throughout Caribana season, both in fetes and on the road.

Toronto is just the beginning. Skinny made a brief stop in Barbados yesterday to entertain the revellers at the Grand Kadooment parade from the Baje International truck. Today he descends on Tortola carnival. The Fabulous 2 D World Tour continues in New York, Montreal, Florida.

At the end of August Skinny Fabulous will attend the Carifesta expo in Guyana as part of the official delegation from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

For more information on Skinny Fabulous

Watch Skinny Fabulous' radio interview with 2-time ISO Best International Soca DJ award winner, Dr. Jay de Soca Prince(Toronto – August 3, 2008):

Watch clips of Skinny Fabulous' energetic performance at CVR Entertainment's Fire Fete (Toronto – August 3, 2008):


The Rounds: Caribana Results

Good Evening Soca Lovers, I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds. Caribana in full effect…yo! If you are one of those stay home and avoid the crowd kinda people, you picked the wrong weekend for that. Thursday and Friday Lamport Stadium was THE place to be for the King and Queen show and Pan Alive.

Too many results to announce them all…but here are a select few: Congrats to Joella Crichton and Toronto Caribbean Connection on their Queen of the Bands win for the portrayal – Rhapsody. Ronald Alleyne from Callaloo won best King for The Mystical Dragon.

At Pan Alive, dem Montreal people from Salah's Steelpan Academy caused major bacchanal in Toronto for the 2nd year in a row. The two-time pan alive champions have Afropan, and Silhouettes settling for 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Now to the road. Yesterday's Caribana Parade of the bands was a sight to behold. Beautiful Mas on the Lakeshore. Thousands of revellers. Music and food and competion for so. No more long talk... Here are your unofficial results for Band of the Year.

In third place, I took a small wine on one of their 3 trucks alongside Flow's own Jester, and Soca Sweetness from KOS after my feet already had their fill of the pavement in the Stingray section of Tribal Knights (yes Marxman, big up).

If you haven't clued in yet, I'm talking about Carnival Nationz. They walked the plank straight to 3rd place for their presentation of Pirates.

In the number 2 spot this year is historically Toronto's winning-ist band Louis Saldenah Mas K Club with THE DEEP.

Congratulations to Jamaal and Marion MaGloire, all the masqueraders and the top notch entertainment like Dr. Jay the Soca Prince for defending their 2007 Band of the Year title with a vengeance. Their presentation of Alkebulan dazzled onlookers with the colours, patterns and textiles of Africa to win 2008 Category A Band of the Year. If you're like to keep score...those are the same bands in the same spots as last year.

Yours Truly with Toronto Revellers' Band Leader Jamaal Magloire earlier this Summer

Before I go, a lil gossip for de maccos and dem: St. Vincent's Shaunelle McKenzie has been liming in Toronto for about a week on business. My girl decline a few carnival gigs so she could work her WAISTLINE at fetes instead.

Nurse Karen and Shaunelle Back Stage at SVG Soca Monarch Semis 2008

Earlier today, I heard St. Lucia Soca Monarch and Road March King Ricky T was detained in the US customs area at Pearson International Airport here in Toronto.

SLU Records Family, Me n Ricky T in St. Lucia

I think his passport was a little too colourful for them, and somebody prolly wanted to get his autograph. I would too, after all he mashed up the dutty side of KOS J'ouvert on Friday. He was travelling with fellow Lucian Teddyson John, who was allowed to board his flight as scheduled.

Nurse Karen with Teddyson John at St. Lucia Soca Monarch 2008

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's rounds. Check me online this week for more info on Caribana as well as lots of news from BIM, GREENZ, Tortola and Antigua Carnival at the Nurse Karen ETC blog at triple w dot mustardseeds dot net. Now, back to de docta!



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