Eye Unit: Benjai's Groovy Soca Monarch performance (Video)

>> Friday, February 27, 2009

Here it is. So, a few of you know that when Benjai chopped his locks a couple years back, I was on the radio telling the ladies I had developed a genuine soca crush. So, it was real hard not to smile from ear to ear during his Soca Monarch Unplugged performance of Drunk Again.

I know you're supposed to get points for all manner of things at these competitions...and de boy just came out with his mic and sang! Usually, I'd have words about something like that. Maybe I would call de man lazy, or cheap, or whatever. But I can't hate he had the crowd from start to finish with this one. Plus, de man smart. He's keeping his whole appearance fee!

Big up Brenn - de manager. Great to meet you in the flesh.

...Swanky!

Ok allyuh, here's the artist who put the icing on top (Nurse) Karen's 2009 carnival carnival cake..Benjai!


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Eye Unit: Zoelah's Groovy Soca Monarch performance (Video)

You all know Zoelah took home 4th prize for her performance of Wine Up On Me on Fantistic Friday. I had the best seat in the house, in the media booth...right next to the left confetti machine.

I so enjoyed the show, but most of the night I was in the worst of moods. I knew that I had all-access to the hottest ticket of the soca calendar, but a little carelessness on my own part caused me to leave my camera, and all my money where I was staying. Grrr....

Thank God for You Tube. You go get it anyway!

Zoelah went for the bedroon vibe, and i think all of Hasely Crawford Stadium was in the mood. See for yourself!

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Booster Shot: No, no baby Funji yet!

>> Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lemme keep this short and sweet.  The rumours circulating here in Trinidad on Carnival Tuesday are false.  Fay-Ann Lyons did not give birth to a little girl this week.  In fact, as you would know from reading (Nurse) Karen (Etc),  the artiste is not due to give birth for another month. 


No doubt excitment over Lyons' landslide road march and groundbreaking carnival win left the tongues of gossipers flapping for dear life. When it happens, you won't hear it from a DJ on a carnival truck, OK?

By the way, at this point neither Fay-Ann nor Bunji Garlin are willing to divulge the sex of the child. 


Read the rumour control article in this morning's Newsday

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Booster Shot: Meet Super Blue is 2009 Road March!

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Looking like baby Funji's college fund is now topped up to the max!  Mom-t0-be Fay Ann Lyons successfully defended her Road March title , winning every major soca-related title of the season.


Fay Ann rocking the crowd at UWI Splash last Thursday




Road March
1. FayAnn Lyons - Meet Super Blue (410)


2. Destra Garcia - Bacchanal (76)


Band of the Year:

Small Band
Midas T&T - Empire of the Sun

******

Medium Band

Ronnie & Caro - Bacchanal

********

Large Band (George Bailey Award)

1. Brian Mac Farlane - Africa: Her People, Her Glory, Her Tears
3. Legacy




Destra bringing her Bacchanal to the stage at Dimanche Gras


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Nurse's Lounge: Carnival Tuesday - Evolution Like Ants!

Morning Allyuh, after more than a week in Trinidad...ah starting to show meh red, white and black!  Tuesday on the road was truly a blast.  I was back in Evolution this year in a section called "Guilty Pleasures."  Big up to Umba D'Shepherd for a sweet, organized section full of cool energetic people.  The day started of sweet, and by the end...well lemme just say, my teeth are hurting me!


At different points in the day, Evolution played host to a few Trini artistes who were enjoying a lil jump.  Mr. "Boom-Boomville", Shal Marshall was breezing in his Evolution shorts.  Zan was getting on like a teenage boy, wining down the place, and enjoying the lime with his friends.  Slammer Cutter made an appearance during las' lap to spit a verse from "Hang Over".  It was going great till some revellers who mighta visited the drinks trucks one too many times, decided to carry on stink, and the music had to be shut down.  

If you like bacchanal in a band, Evolution may be the next one to try.  I'm guess we had about 900 revellers, three music trucks, two drinks trucks and a pee-pee truck.  The reveller came out to free up, so the vibes were wild and VERY interactive.  I thought some of the costumes were stunning, but one lady reveller thought her semi-nude body, was a much more attractive site.  My gyel jumped 12 hours on the road in body paint and a panty!  I dunno how de rain ent catch she.  

Big Up to Marxman from KOS and Akil from Associate Degree for holding down the music.  I'm not really a fan of Machel's "Wild Antz", but by de end of the day, I had to give the man a bligh.  De chune was pressure on de road.  Can't figure out why they were pushing that one for road march, when it was obvious through out carnival that "De Road" is the natural favourite.  All that aside, dem HD people real organized, yes!  Machel put in some extra studio time recording Wild Antz dub plates for several mas bands.  He changed up some lyrics to include the band names.  Heard different versions in Tribe, Island People, and of course, Evolution.  He's not the first to try that stunt though.  The Skinny Fabulous camp were hoping to work the same road magic for Head Bad at Vincy Mas in July.  Wasn't enough though.  We'll see if Mr. Montano's luck is any better. 

Who is the real road champion?  That, I dunno.  In our band it was between Destra's "Bacchanal" and Fay Ann's "Meet Superblue." Later on in the day Tusty by Blaxx was played a little more...but I wasn't counting.  I would know by later today, don't fret. 

Today, I'm looking to soak my sore feet in sea.  We did the dog at Carnival 2k9.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Love and Soca, 

(Nurse) Karen

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On De Scene : From J'ouvert to Carnaval!

>> Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If you come to play Mas you have to do j'ouvert, after all it is part of the whole Carnival experience. Well, Karen and I ,played mas with Yellow Devils and believe me ah go be playing there for a while (once I in Trinidad). The music was good, the vibe was good and de people , well de people they could party . So much love to the leaders of Yellow Devils I was more than impressed with their j'ouvert package. Sad to say, sleep got the best of me so I sneaked away very early to catch a snooze before hitting the road.

Both Karen and I overslept that morning and ended up reaching Evolution late (1p.m.). What appeared different to me , was the fact that most bands did not wear full costume on Monday which heightened my anticpation for Tuesday Mas. I wanna thank Dr. Jay ( who was one of the DJs with Evolution) for his assistance in making Evolution Carnival Band my first experinence. We chipped with Evolution all de way to sunset and then made a sneak - peak in TRIBE . After socializing for a few hours, I could hear from de corner my bed and gosh I ran home because there was no way I would have stamina for 7 a.m. on Tuesday if I partied all night.

Ah was up early, no way I was missing the morning. We met up with Evolution at the Mas Camp for 7a.m. Unfornately, I did not wear a costume beacuse my flight back home was only few hours away. Nonetheless I played Mas ! It was a sight to see all the colour combination from the different Bands.Music wise, well ah go tell you "it had a hold of me!" . Faye Ann "Superblue" seemed to be under alot of pressure with Destra "Bacchcanal" but we know who truly dominated grabbing the Road March title again!
Nurse Kare and I on the Road with Evolution Carnival Tuesday







I met up with different DJ's who seemed to be enjoying the Evolution vibe. I did sneak away to catch a glimpse of my St.Lucian posse in IslandPeople but time was against me , so at 3p.m. I left Karen and left de Mas to go catch my flight to St.Lucia.

I will admit that Trinidad Carnival is THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH , which is the slogan they echo throughout their ad's . I want to thank Nurse Karen for making it a great liming experience and others such as Tabia, Jef, Corey, Dr.Jay and all the other people who contributed to making it one of the best Carnivals yet ! Now ah hope all you, who reading making your plans to come play Mas with us here in St.Lucia in July . Pack ya bags and come and if you can't , no worries I will give you the Day to Day run down on the season. Thanks for joining us on our Trinidad Experience 2009 and we do hope you join us again as we journey through our different Carnivals and staying tuned to more Soca News!

Stay Blessed
Rochelle

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Nurse's Lounge: De Mas Shorts Tight...oh-oh no-no!

>> Monday, February 23, 2009

I dunno if I'm loosing my stamina or what, but that jump up nearly knocked me out today.  From Sunday dinner to Dimanche Gras, Dimanche Gras to J'ouvert, J'ouvert to Carnival Monday to B-E-D!  Carnival is WUK.




Rochelle and Me next to the Monday King "Apollo's Lust"



Rochelle and I arrive some kinda late, after sneaking a post-j'ouvert snooze.  Thank God for that Locate the Band service.  Whoever thought of that needs to get a pat on the back, a raise or maybe a free carnival cosue in 2010!  If you didn't hear about it, no worries.  This is a best kept secret I am happy to share.  On carnival monday and tuesday in Trinidad, if you're hoping to locate any of the mas bands, simple text the name of your band to "78247".  In about 3 seconds, they text you back with an intersection, and the direction they're headed.  USE it tomorrow!  Without that, we might have missed the whole thing.  

Evolution met up in Woodbrook about 10 a.m., we caught up with them down South Quay around 2 p.m.  Curtis Eustace was carrying that spinning "Apollo's Lust" costume.  He just placed second for King of Carnival with that.  That route is a long way to haul 400 lbs. Dr. Jay was chipping next to the truck in the fire hot sun.  Also saw Kerwin Du Bois in the band, but he hates posing for shots...and I didn't feel all that snap happy today.

Music was nice, but that's to be expected...is world class KOS DJs we talking about.  *wink*wink*  However, there were a couple of girls with no behaviour that decided to bring they beef to Carnival.  That really spoiled my vibe.   I hate jackassness all the same, but I sometimes expect men to play de @$$.  Now when when girls start shouting, carrying on and flinging bottles and ting...my patience runs out quick.  Just roll yuh bottom and wine.  Shut up and play yuh mas.  Stop ruining it for the rest. 

Evolution's Monday wear

<

Speaking of bottoms.  Check out the Monday wear they gave me to put on !?!  Um....  here's my take:  the tops were cute and comfortable, de shorts...steups.  I know is carnival, but not me and that!  Seems to be en vogue here in Trinidad.  I think I saw at least four bands with all the girls in these metalic semi-transparent, sweaty, pum-pum shorts.  I know it had to be men who chose them.  Sorry to break dress code, but dem kinda pants is too much information...if you know what I mean.

With an old pair of jean shorts and my modesty in tact, that's how it went down in Port of Spain today.   Noticed a few tribe trucks on the road.  Stormed for a bit and said a quick hello to Mr. Slaughter and de X-Caliber fellas.   Took a small wine on Daddy Juice and kept it moving.  

Love and Soca, 

(Nurse) Karen

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Nurse's Lounge: Yellow Devils J'ouvert 2009!

Bess!


...that's one them Trini words, and it pretty much sums up my j'ouvert morning experience.  So, you can go back to whatever you were doing now. I'm done. 

Silly me, I didn't bring a camera to protect if from the paint.  We're gonna have to wait a few days till I get some pic from my buddies.  Before that, Rochelle would hit you up with the details on J'ouvert and the after lime in St. James, cuz that girl had a time!  Carnival is off to a fantastic start!

Love and Soca,

(Nurse) Karen

P.S. Large up Bandit, Hoppie, DJ Dane and any other fine brothers I forgot to mention who had a hand in helping us paint the town yellow. TV personality AJ Calloway, was jumping in the band, and so was St. Vincent's soca sweetie, Tabia.  And yes my Toronto crew, I saw you too!   

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Nurse's Lounge: My first Trini Dimanche Gras

I enjoy a good fete.  You know thatalready, but you may not know that even more than that, I enjoy variety.  My entertainmet has always included activitites that challeng the mind, body and spirit.  So, when I find a little free time at home, I'm more inclined to check out a lecture, art exhibit or a spoken word show, than to go to every single soca fete they have listed on Toronto-Lime .


Variety is definitely the spice of MY life.  So, I mix it up to keep in interesting.  Tonight, my writing assignment was Dimanche Gras 2009/ Mas and Calypso finals.  I made it to the Savannah on time for a 7 pm start, but the rain was coming down, so you know how that goes.  In a nutshell, Chalkdust mashed up calypso, and easily earned himself his 8th ever Monarch title.  In the mas category, Mac Farlane snatched both King and Queen of Carnival.  I love that man's mas...but I gotta say, I disagree with the judges' decisions this time around.  

Granted, the big costumes in Mac Farlane's presentation of Africa are stunningly beautiful, well-crafted and deserve top honours for creativity.  However, if you don't play yuh mas', in my opinion everything else goes out the window.  The King made a bee-line from one side of the stage to the next, never having turned the costume around to fully display its beauty.  The queen - her costume looked very awkward to carry.  Mas people corret me if I'm wrong.  If my untrained eye can see a little struggle going on, it's either a problem with the cosutme design or construction, or an indication that they have to wrong person displaying de ting.  Nah true?

I really enjoyed the show.  I love good Kaiso.  I now feel up to date on Trinidad's hot political topics.  I was happy to see younger, vibrant Calypsonians like Brian London, Karen Asche and Kizzie Ruiz preserving the culture and keeping pace with the greats.  The night honoured the Mighty Duke who passed away the other day. Shadow and Destra made special appearances as guest acts too!



The show itself was wonderful.  But on a sour note, I didn't really feel much love or respect from my media peers in Trinidad tonight.  That was a disappointment. Not only was there no one to around to ensure that I got a press kit, but I had to type up most of that news release while sitting on the floor with my computer on one thigh and my notes tucked under my chin.  

The staff of a certain radio station thought they needed the space in the very limited media box a lot more than I did.  Most of them weren't actively doing ANYTHING other than prying open they cooler for drinks.  But whatever, it's their carnival not mine.  Let them lime...

Bye allyuh...I going and lime too!

Next stop Yellow Devils J'Ouvert...

Love and Soca, 

(Nurse) Karen




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On De Scene : Faye Ann Crowned De Queen

>> Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lewe go back to Carnival Friday ,Yes! Faye Ann mash de place up with "Meet Superblue". Her performance was on point and it gave me goose bumps especially when she put de mic next to her belly and Junior gave his/her rendition of Superblue. It was beautiful to see Superblue himself on stage giving her performance that extra edge. I wanna commend Skinny on his "Head Bad" performance. He was one of the non-Trini artist who got an overwhelming support by the crowd. All in all, I must say that Soca Monarch was a great show which had the best of the best contending for the title.


Now ah go be honest , I reach there late with Vincy artist Tabia so I missed the groovy portion of the show but from what I heard from the Nurse it was just as great. And I am certain most of you were streaming or have viewed it already via youtube so no need to convince you that Fantastic Friday lived up to their name!
Myself, Tabia and Chrystal at Fantastic Friday



After the show , we got a taste of the sour side of Trinidad . Nurse Karen was writing up her article while at the traffic lights and this young boy took de opportunity to open the car door to try to steal her laptop . Thankfully she reacted by screaming and kicking him and saved her laptop as we were driven away. For a moment, we were all in shock , however we could not allow this to get to us. So about 6 a.m. we decide we all go have breakfast by Smokey and Bunty with the toronto-lime.com crew and Corey Graham from Boomtribe. That turned out to one big lime because everyone from Girl Power deh getting on bad to the season tunes, which was a great distraction to the ordeal faced earlier that morning.

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Booster Shot: Fay Ann takes it all!!!

>> Saturday, February 21, 2009

The goods....


2009 Play Whe Groovy Soca Monarch Results

 

  1. Fay Ann Lyons – Heavy T Bumper
  2. Shurwayne Winchester – Make It Yours
  3. Benjai – Drunk Again
  4. Zoelah – Wine Up On Me

 

2009 bMobile International Soca Monarch Results

  1. Fay Ann Lyons – Meet Superblue
  2. Bunji Garlin – Clear De Road (tie)
  1. Iwer George – Ready(tie)

  2. Blaxx – Tusty

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Nurse's Lounge: Asylum and friends at Tribe Fete!

>> Friday, February 20, 2009

Carnival Thursday is now over, and I lived to tell the tale.  Here goes!  After a rather drawn out night at Extempo finals I scurried to file my report...so I could go out and lime!  The action began at Jenny's Car Park for Tribe All-Inclusive.  Last year, Tribe Fete ranked real high on my list. So I had to make a pass through.

Not to be all up in de gyal business, but I was looking forward to see exactly what shape Miss Fay-Ann's belly was taking at juncture in her pregnancy.  Pleased to report she's carrying high and round, with the cutest outtie bellybutton ever.  She even has dem nice juicy round cheeks on she face.  They don't call me Nurse for nothing!

Let me apologize,  I missed Kes the Band's set, and I wasn't able to stay for KMC, since I was making the rounds with the Asylum Family for the evening.  I dunno how these artists do it.  I'm here feeling tired after a couple of late nights.  When these guys have to be up and ready to for 2 to 4 performances everyday. 

The crowd was in love with Bunji, just like the good old days.  It was sweet to see he and wifey singing back up for Edwin Yearwood.  He would seem like and unlikely fit for Asylum, but it brought a sweet cool-out vibe that left viewers hoping for more.  


Beenie Man and Moi




Beenie Man was in the crowd, wining and enjoying himself, even though his song was part of the fete.  Bunji took it on solo and let old Moses loose out his waist.  


Then came a surprise!  Mr. Skinny Fabulous showed up at the corner of the stage, with a cordless mic in his pocket.  We said wassup and exchanged niceties, before he co-opted the hair elestic from my wrist and tied back locks. 

Then it was on.   Skinny performed head bad in the Asylum set.  He has just come from his performance with Machel at UWI Splash.  I found it weird that although he's in Trinidad performing in the HD entourage, Skinny got more time on stage at show he wasn't scheduled for than with HD the night before.  Me eh know.  

Skinny Fabulous and Nurse Karen



The performance was hype!  The two lyrics generals put their own extempo skills to the test for an impromtu freestyle session, poking a little fun at the fact that when Head Bad first dropped, a lot of Trinis thought it was a Bunji Garlin tune.  The crowd lapped it up, as they took a jump together On De Spot.  I bet ya, thanks to Garlin, Fay-Ann and the Fabulous one there's gonna be a lot more people reaching Soca Monarch tonight! 

God willing, I will too!

Love and Soca, 

(Nurse) Karen


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On de Scene: Express yourself University Splash

Written by Rochelle!
So last night, carnival Thursday , Chaguaramas hosted one of the many events on the carnival calendar , the University Splash also known as UWI Splash . Now people, I  go give you a little view of what went down at the UWI Splash when I was there. The Nurse will give you the backstage information and the last performances, which were Fay-Ann and her beau, Bunji Garlin.

Now, I arrived at the Hanger at 10 p.m. because I was under the impression session starting on time. Imagine when I reach not even the doors were opened yet. As to what the hold up was, that is question remains unanswered.

After waiting just over twenty minutes by the entrance, security began to allow patrons to enter. On entry the different sponsors had their sample drinks or snacks giving away, which came in handy because the bar wasn't even ready to open for business at the time entry of patrons begun. 

All the students were meeting up , you could see people entering with their flags awaiting to represent their country and crews once party started. But hear that!!! Party eh start till about 1 a.m.! No joke ! Throughout the wait the diso jockey was keeping de crowd moving. Now to make the wait more interesting ah tell you a heavy rain burst, but that didn't stop the students from partying , so party start full swing in the rain as people chant to whatever soca track was playing.

When the MC summon the crowd , informing them that the event was just about to start ; One could well imagine the opening act would kick things off for Macheal Montano HD. Well if you thought like me, you thought wrong because the man himself open the show, and he had the crowd in the palm of his hands.


Overall I must say what give me an extra kick was when I heard the intro for Skinny Fabulous "Head Bad" track . I mean Kubiyashi, (the producer on this track) has one of the most infectious intros I have ever heard and from that I begun jumping up and down as he performed. Unfortunately, he left early to rest up for today's big International Soca Monarch. Machel bought many down memory lane while incorporating his recent tracks bringing on stage Busy Signal and Patrice to perform on whichever track they were featured.

However the highlight of the Machel Montano HD was seeing Chiney. Gosh that tune BAD! Now if you eh know about Chiney , He is the most recent winner of Soca Star (Local Trinidadian Competition) and something about the track had me  stun  because this was my first tme witnessing Chiney's performance and I was impressed!

By 3 a.m. Machel said his good-byes to the crowd as he exited with his Road March contending track "Wild Ants" , but it seem Machel burn the crowd or was it the over 2 hours wait for the show to start! Who knows but it was quite evident when Destra and her band took the stage. She self admitted whether Machel burn the crowd.

 

Of course she bought out the two soca queens to perform the "Obsessive Winners" track and that turned the crowd around. All the entertainment of each performer wine and just the chemistry had the crowd chanting the chorus as these exceptional women sang this track. So at this point Destra had the crowd exactly where she wanted them and just finished them off with her Road March Contending track "BACCHANAL" and the crowd seemed like they were ready to take the streets for jouvert!

Now Bunji and Fay-Ann were due to perform next, and it was already after four, but I am sorry I ran outta patience from waiting longer than normal for Destra and her Band to come on but particular waiting so long for the show to start in the first place. 

So I will make the Nurse give you the 411 on how that event ended ; but be assured I wasn't the only annoyed patron leaving then. Many of the students were heading back to campus and other non students were beginning to leave. 

By now you may have gathered I was not too impressed with the time delays and I have no facts as to why exactly UWI Splash began at the latest it has in the past 5 years. 

So looking towards exciting news, I hope you all ready for today Fantastic Friday and going out to support this splendid event!

 I go now hand it over to the Nurse so she can tell you what she was up to this Carnival Thursday 2009.

Peace, Rochelle.

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One De Scene: My first experience - Bacchanal Wednesday !

>> Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hi, I am Rochelle from one of de most beautiful islands in the Caribbean , St.Lucia. I am honoured to be covering my first Trini Carnival with the Nurse and you can bet your bottom dollar the atmosphere is everything I expected!

Last Night, was my very first trini fete having arrived at 1 a.m. because Karen and I had no intentions of attending the proclaimed Bacchanal Wednesday which was held in Chagaramas. Nonetheless we have no regrets!

Nurse Karen and I inside Bacchanal Wednesday





When we arrived, we were welcomed with the tunes of Kes the Band and Nadia Batson. Now before I continue, I must tell you all ,that I am a huge Nadia fan . Her vocals and lyrics are just captivating so when we spotted her public for a split second I was star stuck ,yes I was!



Nadia Batson and Myself at Bacchanal Wednesday









Anyways, back to de Bacchanal after Kes the Band and Nadia warmed de crowd up , Destra came on with her band ; and I must say I was more than impressed with Destra performance. Especially her inclusion of the two soca Queens (Denise Saucy Wow and Alison Hinds) on their 2009 track "Obessive Winers"! The performance and chemistry was indeed the highlight of the show for me.

As expected , Trinis went mad when Machel Montano HD came on stage , the crowd was literally going "wild like ants" . What a sight! Machel performed all de way to 5:30 a.m, for a second I thought he would not stop til sunrise. So for my first trini fete , I must admit I think ah catch some sorta party fever and I just want to party now, It is addictive ah tell you!

Many patrons will complain about the long traffic afterwards but I did not mind , because the company on the way home was great and I had a blast at Bacchanal Wednesday. So cheers to Zen for a great show , ah coming tonight again, for University Splash !

So stay tuned , Nurse thanks once again for having me on board.


Take care guys and if you eh in Trini , dont worry The Nurse and I will be giving you the 411 on all the events.

Peace, Rochelle !

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Nurse's Lounge: Bacchanal Wednesday Ah Reach!

If you've never done the Trini Carnival thing, and you're looking for a big  fete with top artistes that won't cost you your month's rent to attend, give Bacchanal Wednesday a try.  Mind you it's not cheap.  Carnival time isn't the time for deals.  


After stick fighting, Rochelle and me rode west to Chagaramas.  We weren't sure what to expect, arriving at 1:00 am to an event that started at 9p.m.  Lucky for us, we were right on time to see performances from Kes the Band, Destra and her Band and Machel Montano HD.

My highlight was the Destra's performance of Obsessive Winers together with Alison Hinds and Denise Belfon.  Beautiful to see those divas on stage together!  I don't have any juicy news, or back stage scoop.  I spent the night liming with friends.  Ran into people I know from Toronto, Chicago, New York, Atlanta and Miami - united in soca!  YES!!!!!

Behind the scenes with Saucy WOW (one night later at UWI Fete)





Boo factor:  So Zen, as a patron of your event, I didn't appreciate that I had to purchase $100 worth of chits if I wanted to drink anything that all.  I wanted water!  Come on nah man...what is that one?

None the less, such a sweet welcome party! We lapped up 4 plus hours of fete, followed by nearly 2 hours of traffic.  Then I was out like a light.  

Ready for me next adventure!

Love and soca, 

(Nurse) Karen

P.S.  I wanna introduce you to a special guest contributor who will be helping me keep the blog up to date for the rest of the Trinidad Carnival season.  Please join me in welcoming my girl Rochelle from St. Lucia, here for her first go at Trinidad Carnival!  Make sure and read her posts and leave her lots of comments!  Lata!




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Nurse's Lounge: Stick Fighting Bacchanal!!!

Guess who's in Trinidad?  One guess.   You're so smart! 


I arrived early yesterday morning, and it's plenty pace.  Now that I have all the logistics set out for my stay.  I will be balancing my time between reporting on culture events for Toronto-Lime.com's Carnival 360 coverage, networking with people in the industry here...and LIMING!!!

That's right allyuh, this is my time to fete too.

Last night, I made the trek down south to Couva to cover the National Stick Fighting Finals.  It was my first time seeing anything like that! About four men g0t their head bust in under 3 hours.  Um...? So, that was just the sport itself.  But, down at Gilbert Park, it was bottles flinging, and drums beating.  Oh, and by the way, have you ever seen a man slap a police officer in the face?  I have.  A female one too! Is like woman beating come in style...Complete craziness. How's that for things you eh go read in my official report?

 All that aside, I gained a real appreciation from a part of Trini culture, I knew nothing about.  No, I don't mean domestice violence.  Gimme a break nah, you know I don't stand for that...and I would never dare call THAT culture.  I'm talking about he way that as aspects of some African traditions have been preserved and embraced by the people.  It's was a beautiful thing hearing the rhythms and chanting, and being in a part of the country, with a group of down to hear real people, that I may not have otherwised encountered.  

I feel real thankful!  Can't wait to tell you what comes next!


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Booster Shot: Ninja Dan charged today

Jonathan St. Rose, known to the St. Lucian public as soca artiste Ninja Dan appeared in court this morning for a crime resulting in the death of Dwayne "Chubby James". According to the St. Lucia Star newspaper, a post mortem was conducted on Monday, citing the cause of death as  "hemorrhagic shock secondary to multiple stab wounds."
St. Rose was charged along with two male associates. At the time of posting to this blog, details are unknown surrounding the specific charge.

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Eye Unit: Destra's Bacchanal Video

>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great Job Guys....

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Booster Shot: Fire Empress is 2009 Tobago Soca Monarch

>> Monday, February 16, 2009

Did you know that Tobago has its own Soca Monarch Competition?  I'm glad to hear it, because my girl Lornette Nedd aka Fire Empress is Tobago's new Soca Monarch Queen!  She gave a memorable performance of Mamalaya, backed by her band Fire Fusion


Nurse Karen and Fire Empress , back stage at St. Vincent Soca Monarch Semi-Finals last July






I believe the Tobago event took place on Valentine's Night.  So, I included a video of her performance before a crowd who is head over heels for her.  Fire Empress is a dynamic performer, with a kick @$$ wardrobe.  She's also a radio personality on the new Bago Bashment radio station.  This won't be the last you hear of her!

  You can count on me to give you more details on the competition as I get them!




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Eye Unit: More videos from the Soca Monarch Semifinals!

This week the big talk in soca circles is who will win the titles of International Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch.  If you didn't have a chance to watch the semis last Sunday, I've collected a few clips to help you not sound chupit in music conversations:


Remember:  The real action begins at 8pm Eastern Time on Friday, February 20th, 2009 for the FINALS!  If you want to watch it live, CLICK HERE  (might be smart to save the link...just saying!)

In the meantime, let me know what you think of the clips...




Iwer and Ziggy Ranking



Fay-Ann Lyons



Lil Bitts and Olatunji Yearwood

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Booster Shot: Guyana Carib Soca Monarch Results

Shelly G was crowned the new a new Carib Soca Monarch was crowned Sunday night at the National Park in Guyana. She dazzled the crowd withe her performance of "Work It" There were 12 artists vying for the crown, with no defending champion in their midst. Last year's victor, Adrian Dutchin chose to sit out of the competition this year and tour with his band Krosfyah.
Cash prizes are alotted for the winner and two runners up. Amounts in Guyana dollars were set at $750,000, $400,000, $200,000. There is also a prize for best newcomer set at $100,000.

So here you have it:

Champion - Shelly G, "Work It"
1st Runner Up - Vanilla, "Rude"
2nd Runner Up - B52 aka Lil Man, "Circuit Overload"
Best Newcomer - Anaconda, "Festival Fever"

See the complete list of competitors below:

‘Anaconda’ - Mark Batson
‘Bonesman’ - Orlando Johansen
‘Brains’ - Roger Hassel
Beverley Williams
Fireclan (duo)
‘Lil Man’ - Wilbur Levans
‘Passion’ - ClintonAdolphus
Purrsonality (duo)
Reflections (duo)
‘Shelly G’ - Shellon Garraway
Tomeeka Thomas
‘Vanilla’ - Melissa Roberts

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Booster Shot: Trinidad Calypso Monarch Finalists prepare for Dimanche Gras

It's time for Sugar Aloes to defend his crown!

The competition is tight, as there are 5 former monarchs vying for the title on Dimanche Gras, Sunday, February 22nd.

Here's a list of the finalists in alpha order:

All Rounder
Bally
Brian London
Cro Cro
Chalkdust
De Fosto
Gypsy
Karene Ashe
Kizzie Ruiz
Singing Sandra
Skatie
Stinger
Sugar Aloes
Tigress
 

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Booster Shot: Ninja Dan turns himself in following a murder in St. Lucia

>> Sunday, February 15, 2009

St. Lucian soca artiste, and 2007 Caribbean Soca Monarch, Ninja Dan turned himself in to police following an altercation on Valentine's Day morning that resulted in the death of another local man.  The deceased is known to be romantically involved with the mother of Ninja Dan's child. 

At this stage details surrounding the incident are impossible to confirm, however, eye-witnesses are reporting that the artiste was travelling with a group of friends in a car that eventually struck the victim. It is alleged that men came out of the car and proceeded to beat on the fallen man. At least one knife was used as a weapon to stab him. The victim was left lifeless and severely mutilated in the head.
    
I hate it when I hear about things like this.  Soca music and the carnivals that support it are about losing your inhibitions and having a great time.  It's easy to forget sometimes that the stars we admire for their musical talent, can be dealing with really tough situations outside of what we see on stage.

It is important to note, that no charges have been laid.  We do not know what role, if any, was played by Ninja Dan, except that he was present at the scene of the crime.  Ninja Dan, however, is known to St. Lucia police and is currently on probation for a previous offense.

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The Rounds: Dominica, Trinidad, Guyana Soca Monarch. Oh My!!!

Good evening soca lovers, I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds. Being the day after Valentine's Day, I'd like to take a moment to share one thing I truly love. (I'm sure Marxman could echo the same sentiment)  We love that Trini Carnival falls in February, while this city is frozen over. That means if you miss me next Sunday, it's because we joined Dr. Jay in Trinidad's lovably hot sun.

In Dominica, soca lovers celebrated Valentine's Day watching 12 competitors do battle for the Soca Monarch Crown. In the end, it was the 2008 defending Soca Monarch Daddy Chess who managed to capture the title once again with a tune called "Ready or Not". Congrats to Daddy Chess! Love that you got love from the fans and judges at home. Last Sunday, he was one of the many artists hoping to impress the international soca monarch judges in Trinidad. But he didn't make it through.

In case you haven't heard, the 23 finalists who will be performing in the International Soca Monarch show in Trinidad were announced early last week. The main event will happen on Friday, February 20 at the Hasley Crawford National Stadium. I have no idea why, but the evening will feature a panel of celebrities who have no expertise in soca music whatsoever, including American film stars Danny Glover and Chris Tucker, plus Trinis: Olympic sprinter Ato Bolden and former Miss Universe, Wendy Fitzwilliam.

Ok, so you wanna know who's in? Fay-Ann and Shurwayne made it to the finals in both groovy and power - while Nadia Batson is in groovy only, although she was a power soca SEMI-finalist too. Toronto's own Kerwin Du Bois will be in the groovy mix come Fantastic Friday, but unfortunately Peter Ram, Red Plastic Bag and Mr. Slaughter will not. For the complete, albeit economical list of 2009 Soca Monarch finalists, visit Nurse Karen Etc at Mustard Seeds dot net.  



Over in Guyana, their Mashramani Carnival celebrations are off to a slow start due to the economic crisis. So far, carnival related events have suffered poor attendance thanks  low promotion. Organizers are blaming that on fading corporate interest. None the less, the show must go on. The Carib Soca Monarch competition was last night. Check my blog this week for the results!

Now, up to Jamaica for some suprising news. Jamaica Carnival is around the corner on Easter long weekend. However, soca lovers in that country have recently come under attack after the government's recent decision to ban explicit dancehall from the airwaves. Many Jamaicans feel that dancehall was unfairly singled out, while soca music is just as bad if not worse in it's sexual messages. Hey, don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger!

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds. If you want to voice out about something you heard me mention. Join me online on the Nurse Karen Etc Blog at Mustard Seeds dot Net. Check back regularly for daily coverage of Trini Carnival 2009! Now back to Jester!

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Booster Shot: Dominica Soca Monarch kicks off on Valentine's Day

>> Friday, February 13, 2009

For many, February 14th is all about chocolate, flowers and streaming romance. But this year soca fans in Dominica will have to reschedule the mushy stuff. Tonight is all about Soca Monarch.

The event takes place at Pottersville Savannah. There will be feature performances from MFR Band and WCK, plus dancehall artiste Wayne Marshall. The 2009 Champion will win cash prize of $10,000 and a scooter valued at $15,000.

In order of appearance, here are the 12 competitors tonight:

De Hunter
Clinty (2008 1st runner up)
Mr. Benjie of Triple Kay - "Fire"
DJ Midian of Esclav - "My time"
Daddy Chess (Defending 2008 Soca Monarch) - "Ready or not"
Skinny Banton of CK4Lyfe - "Get up"
Mr. Mystic - "Take a pause"
Benno of Esclav - "We like it"
Lloydie - "Another year"
Falcon - "Carnival"
Ja Foxx - "Down de road"
Anwa Cadette of WCK Band - "Carnival zombie"


The winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a scooter compliments R.C Enterprises valued at $15,000.

Cuffy said a “bumper crowd” is expected since Jamaican reggae/dancehall artiste; Wayne Marshall will be the headline of the night.

“Mr. Wayne Marshall has promised to come down and deliver a fantastic performance for the ladies. There might be a very special surprise that he may bring in from Jamaica as well, but we will wait and see what is happening. But definitely we know that the acts of Jamaica have lived up to expectations and have delivered once they have reached to Dominica’s shores. Las t year we had Mr. Vegas.

“It’s Valentine’s night. We expect every Dominica to walk with a rag; walk with a flag. It’s the first major event since the opening,” he said.

The MFR Band of Portsmouth, the WCK Band and other bands will also entertain the audience at Potters Ville Savannah.

Tickets can be bought at Bulls Eye Pharmacy, Depex Colour Lab and Frontline Bookstore for $25. The damage at the gate is $30.

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Booster Shot: upset Jamaicans call for a ban on soca!!!

[warning: the content of this post may not be suitable for all readers]

Earlier this week, Jamaica's broadcasting commission implemented a radio ban on reggae dancehall music containing lewd lyrics. I dunno about you, but lewd isn't a word I use every day. What were are talking about is unmasked sexual content, like all this daggerin' business....and 80% of the other songs out there.

So hear what, radio listeners who were upset to learn about the explicit dancehall ban, called in to several radio stations to suggest that soca music ought to be banned as well.

The argument is that the music heard during Jamaica Carnival is more scandalous than anything sung by dancehall artists. Well, let me be the first to say, that is  RIDICULOUS. I agree that modern soca doesn't pay much care and attention to perfecting the art of double entendre, but I have yet to hear F-words in a soca tune. Beyond the use of cuss words, I wanna provide you with some examples from dancehall that no soca artist has ever had the gumption book studio time to record:

  • "Squeeze her breast dem like di trigger of my gun, turn her back way and f*ck her harder make she cum" - Mavado (Squeeze Her Breasts)

  • "Gal you somin tight yes mi love how you hook it baby
    You grip mi right, use di muscle hold it baby"
    - Busy Signal (Wine Pon Di Edge)

  • "Wine wid it, wine wid it, hot f*ck wid it" - Mr. Vegas (Hot Wuk)

  • "Sorry neva mean fi wake you up
    But now me couldn't hide it
    Cause you sidong pon di buddy, balance and ride it
    And mi slip in side it and then when fi slide it
    When she say "F*ck it Out Tony!
    " - Tony Matterhorn (Sidong Pon It)

...to name a few.  To all who want to come bring bacchanal, listen.  I'm not condemning dancehall outright.  What I am saying is that those who are comparing ALL soca to the type of dancehall that is being restricted from airplay are ignorant and ill informed.  In the cases where soca is slack, irreverent and vulgar the same rules ought to apply.  I don't have problems with a society making efforts to restore the rule of decency.  But, let's be real.  The rudebwoy culture of dancehall has been allowed to run amuck in the music of its newest heroes. Soca, even on its worst day has not sunk to the same depths of vulgarity. 

As Caribbean people, we have to be careful about the messages we give to our children, and those we spread about our beloved homeland in the sun.  This isn't just about sexual content, but also violence.  Both music styles have been allowed to vere away from their more edifying roots.  Perhaps it really is time to put a foot down.  Let's just try not to step on each other in the process.

For more info (and other perspectives) on the call to ban soca visit the links below:





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Booster Shot: 2009 International Soca Monarch Finalists announced

>> Monday, February 9, 2009


Ok, be honest!  How many of you were watching that choppy live stream of Trinidad soca semis online yesterday instead of the Grammy's? I did AND I've got the results!  Soca is MY music.  So, I could barely wait for today to reach to find out who the judges were feeling.  


Yesterday, the Arima Velodrome played host to the precursor for Trinidad Carnival's most hotly contested event.  It's the place where careers are made, and soca stars are truly born....the 2009 bMobile International Power Soca Monarch competition and Whe International Groovy Soca Monarch competition.  

Respect where respect is due.  Sunday's Semis began right on time, and stage management was clearly handled with style and finesse.  What seemed like a million and a half semi-finalists managed to take to the stage between 4pm and midnightish , all hoping for one of a handful of spots on Fantastic Friday.  In the power category, there were only six available spaces to fill thanks to what I like to call the Caribbean Prestige Foundation's "Lesser Antilles Affirmative Action Plan." De man dem wan call de show INTERNATIONAL, so they made sure of it this year by actually guaranteeing a slot in the finals to each of the  reigning 2008 Soca Monarchs/Party Monarchs/Power Soca Monarchs from the soca power house islands; Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 

I didn't catch all, but I watched long enough to know that there are quite a few artistes who seriously mean business this year!  The problem is, there just aren't enough spots at the main event for everyone who feels they paid they dues to get there.  It's ONE MILLION TT DOLLARS at stake, so you better believe the gloves are off!

Who will reign victorious? Hell, if I know...but one thing is for sure, there is no place I would rather be on February 20, 2009!

Congrats to all who made it through.  For all my soca family who didn't make the final cut, we all love your music just the same.  Keep giving your all this season. Besides, the fans are the only judges you need to worry about!  

Love and soca..

(Nurse) Karen

I don't wanna kill you with long talking. So, these are the lucky stars who shone bright enough to make their dreams come true.

Power Soca Monarch Finalists:

Bunji Garlin - Trinidad and Tobago (defending)
Claudette Peters - Antigua and Barbuda(seeded)
Khiomal Nurse - Barbados (seeded)
Luni Sparks and Electrify - Grenada (seeded)
Ricky T - St. Lucia (seeded)
Skinny Fabulous - St. Vincent and the Grenadines (seeded)
Berbice - Grenada
Blaxx - Trinidad and Tobago
Fay-Ann Lyons - Trinidad and Tobago
Iwer George - Trinidad and Tobago
Patrice Roberts - Trinidad and Tobago
Shurwayne Winchester - Trinidad and Tobago


Groovy Soca Monarch finalists:

Shurwayne Winchester - Trinidad and Tobago (defending)
Benjai - Trinidad and Tobago
Biggie Irie - Barbados
Fay-Ann Lyons - Trinidad and Tobago
Hunter - Trinidad and Tobago
Kerwin Du Bois - Trinidad and Tobago
Nadia Batson - Trinidad and Tobago
Patch and Mastamind - Trinidad and Tobago
Tizzy and Richard Trumpet - Antigua and Barbuda / Trinidad and Tobago
Zan - Trinidad and Tobago
Zoelah - St. Vincent and the Grenadines


Check Up
Ok, I know some of your favourite artists are missing in this list. That's because they didn't score high enough! In case you need a refresher, view the original list of semi-finalists here. Comment below. I'll save my comments for later!





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Eye Unit: Trini Jacobs and Beenie Man at Soca Semis (video)

Soca Lovers! I try my best to make sure you get all what you need to make your judgments on what's going on in the soca world. I'll do my best to share a few clips of Trinidad's 2009 Soca Monarch Semi-Finals for your viewing pleasure in no particular order (Gimme a break man, a girl has to sleep too, ya know!) See anything you like? Let it be known...




Trini Jacobs featuring Beenie Man




I'll add them to (Nurse) Karen (Etc) as I find them, but continue to check Nurse Karen TV for ongoing coverage of Trinidad Carnival 2009.  De action now start!

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Eye Unit: Watch Trinidad Carnival Live!

Go ahead and thank me! The recession is hitting everyone hard. So, yuh betta enjoy this special chance to watch most of the official Trinidad Carnival events live as they happen for FREE!


(Only catch is that if you're using a Mac, you may not be able to view this stream. Let me know if it works for computers not running windows.)  Also, remember to press pause on the music player on the right hand side of the screen!

In lieu of kisses, I would settle for comments right here on (Nurse) Karen (Etc)
Then you could join Nurse Karen's Fan Club on Facebook


Then add me on Twitter, so you'll never miss a thing again! Now, I guess we'll call it even.





Hope you're enjoying the live stream.  To follow the individual experiences of the Nurse Karen Etc team at Carnival, follow:
www.twitter.com/rochellenoel 
www.twitter.com/knycky 
www.twitter.com/nursekaren

Safe and Happy Carnival All!

Watch Trinidad Carnival 2010 Live. Soca Monarch. King and Queen of the Bands. Calypso Monarch

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Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Shurwayne Winchester!

>> Sunday, February 8, 2009

Shurwayne Winchester rang in his birthday today with a performance in the Power category at the 2009 International Soca Monarch Semi-Finals at the Arima Velodrome in Trinidad.  


He showed his usual energy on stage, so if he's lucky he'll have the chance to perform in both categories on Fantastic Friday. 

Happy Birthday Shurwayne!


Here's some amateur footage of birthday boy with the new band Y.O.U.and Maxi Priest performing at the Wicked in White Fete on January 31st. Enjoy!


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The Rounds: Machel launches his first book, Boy Boy and the Magic Drum

Good Evening Soca Lovers,

I'm Nurse Karen and these are Dr. Jay's Rounds.  First, I want to wish all Grenadians a very Happy Independence weekend.  February 7th marked 35 years since Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique officially became a nation. 

Cruising south in the Caribbean Sea, we hit Trinidad and Tobago.  The Carnival season is really starting to heat up with new results every day!  ...And we're off!  On Friday, season four of Synergy Soca Star came to a close with Richard "Chynee" Valentine taking the top prize. He performed "Carnival Bacchanal" with KMC in Round One to a screaming house, and really sealed the deal in round two with his solo performance of "They Wanna Be Like". Skinner Park sang along word for word, as the one called Chynee sang his way to victory.  He gets a bMobile recording contact and a brand new car.  Sounds like a great start to his new career.

Last night, the hot ticket in San Fernando was the 2009 Chutney Soca Monarch Finals. Ten acts took a shot at the crown, but it was first time finalist Kenneth Salick who would eventually be named the winner.  Salick has made it as far as the semis 3 times in years gone by, but this time around he took it all the way with Radica/Why You Gone.  The results were decided exclusively by mobile text messages from the general public.  So, the fans have spoken.  

Here's what they said.  In fourth place is visually impaired artist, Asha Kamachee, in third is Hunter with Jep Sting Naina.  Ravi B is runner up with Doolarie, and first...you already know that part.

On Wednesday, Machel Montano launched his first ever children's book, "Boy Boy and the Magic Drum" at Trinidad's National Library.   The fictional tale pays tribute to Trinidad and Tobago, as the nation that magically transformed dirty oil drums, into beautiful musical instruments.  Machel told the media that the project took him four years to complete, but he's already got plans for a second book called, "The Perfect Situation."  The pages of Boy Boy came to life yesterday afternoon in  a live musical presentation at the Jean Pierre Complex in Port of Spain.

I'm Nurse Karen and those were Dr. Jay's Rounds.  Check me out online at the Nurse Karen Etc blog at www.mustardseeds.net for video clips of the events mentioned tonight and RESULTS from the International Soca Monarch Semi-Finals, happening RIGHT NOW. Now, back to de docta!

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Eye Unit: Chynee's winning performances at Soca Star Finals (video)

So, there's a new Synergy Soca Star in Trinidad and Tobago.  If you live outside of Trinidad and would like to see if the guy is worth his mettle, here's the proof.


I found you a couple of clips to show you how he handled the stage on Friday night.


Performance #1 - Carnival Bashment (with KMC)




Performance #2 - They Wanna Be Like

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Eye Unit: Kenneth Salick's winning Chutney Soca performance (video)

Here's what you missed last night at Skinner Park in Trinidad. 2009 Chutney Soca Monarch Kenneth Salick, gives his title-winning performance of Radica (Why You Leave).



Congrats Kenneth!

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Booster Shot: Kenneth Salick is the new Trinidad Chuney Soca Monarch!

Trindiad found itself a new Chutney Soca Monarch, in Kenneth Salick last night.  He's not a newcomer to the competition, having competed in the semi-finals on three previous occasions.  The winning tune, Radica (Why You Leave) tells the tale of Salick's  broken marriage. Be that as it may, 2009 brought new luck with a song and performance that was good enough to surpass competition from the likes of Hitman, Hunter, and Rikki Jai. The results were decided exclusively by mobile text votes from the general public.  After last night's win, Kenneth Salick is $200,000 richer.  Each contestant receives a guaranteed $30,000 prize for making it to the finals. 


The 2009 Chutney Soca Monarch Finals took place at Skinner Park in San Fernando.  The evening consisted of a pre-show by the N9 Dancers, T&TEC Gayatones and the Susan Mohip Dancers. The main events feaured performances from ten finalists including the bMobile wilcard entrant, Asha Kamachee who is legally blind.  She managed to cop the fourth place spot.  

Here are the results of the  2009 NLCB Chutney Soca Monarch Finals:

1. Kenneth Salick - "Radica Why You Leave" - $200, 000

2. Ravi B /Ravi Bissembhar - "Doolarie"

3. Hunter / Lalchan Babwah - "Jep Sting Naina"

4. Asha Kamachee - "Kasai Salona"

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Booster Shot: Chynee is latest Soca Star!

Synergy TV crowned its 4th Synergy Soca Star earlier tonight at the Jean Pierre Complex.  Six finalisted duked it out on stage at Trinidad's Jean Pierre complex for a final shot at stardom in two competitive rounds.  Each act wowed the audience with two selections.  Round one featured soca covers tunes, backed by the original recording artist.  Round two showcased performances of previously unreleased selections.


By the end of the night, it was Richard "Chynee" Valentine who reigned supreme.  As, the season's winner.  Chynee walks away with a $30,000 bMobile endorsement deal and a new Diahatsu!  I'm told he gave a truly impressive perfomance, keeping the audience cheering aloud from start to finish.  In round one, he shared the stage with KMC to perform "Carnival Bashement", while round two  saw Chynee holding his own with "They Wanna Be Like".

Here are you final results for Synergy Soca Star, season 4.

1.  Chynee  / Richard Valentine - "They Wanna Be Like" 
2.  Trini Barbee / Sancha Scipio "Carnival Love" 
3.  Ayanna /Ayanna La Borde - "Demonstrate" 
4.  645 /Gregory Basso, Marvin Pollard and Johnson Greenidge - "Jaminal" 
5.  Steve & Chris / Steve Walcott and Christopher Mayer - "Soca Groove" 
6.  Ladies Man / Mark Eastman - "Ladies Man"

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Nurse's Lounge: Fabulous February Digest

>> Thursday, February 5, 2009

(Nurse) Karen (Digest): Fabulous February

It’s February, and boy is it busy!

Here’s what’s new with Nurse Karen...

Random Newness: Nurse Karen just joined twitter, always be the first to know who and what she’s writing about, where’s she’s performing...or the latest with Soca Now. Follow her tweets at http://www.twitter.com/nursekaren

Journalism: At the end of the month, Nurse Karen will be travelling to beautiful Trinidad and Tobago for carnival! This year, she joins the team at Toronto-Lime.com as the resident writer, responsible for writing all of the official news releases that will appear on the popular website from February 18th to 26th. Make sure you check it out!

Travel: Well duh! Didn’t I just say she’s going to Trinidad? If you’re going too, or you just wanna share your knowledge on what to do and what to avoid in T&T, we want you to join the discussion right here: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=7564&uid=44452122605#/topic.php?uid=44452122605&topic=7564

As usual, you can read all about Nurse’s experiences at Carnival and what the artists are up to at the (Nurse) Karen (Etc) blog. http://mustardseedmedia.blogspot.com

Last month, Nurse K was in Washington D.C. for the inauguration and Obama Soca Rama. Take a look at her video from "the moment" ! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8S9lQGPd_c



Poetry: During Canada’s Black History Month/African Heritage Month, Nurse Karen will be making 10 visits to Toronto area middle schools and high schools to share her knowledge on African oral traditions. The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples at York University invited her to perform pieces from her book, T-Dot Griots and teach youth about using spoken word to express their views on social issues and identity. One visit down, nine to go!

Community: Nurse Karen continues to urge soca fans to make a difference in 2009 by joining the Soca Now Campaign to get MySpace to create a soca music category. Want to get involved? Email a support support letter to myspace at ca-help@support.myspace.co

m. Use this really weird subject, to make sure they know what it’s about: ref:00D78NrS.50077iea4:ref . Then for good measure, join http://groups.myspace.com/socanow to show MySpace how many of us really want this to happen!

Oh! Last thing. If you say nothing, we can’t tell if you’re out there. Post a comment and say wassup!!!!

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Eye Unit: Happy Birthday Peter Ram! (video)

>> Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For all you Peter Ram fans out there.  Today is YOUR day!  Barbados' original rudeboy is celebrating a birthday, so I am too.  (celebrating his, that is) I've only met the man once backstage at a KOS fete in Toronto. He was about to get his photo taken and he asked me to pose with him.  All now, I've still never seen that picture!  He didn't know who I was, and back then, that's how I liked it.  



Next time we meet, I go shake his hand, though.  This artist has definitely grown into his unique signature style. He makes soca that moves Bajans as much as it does Trini's or Ja'cans.  As for this Vincy-Canadian, he's OK by me.  Peter darling, in case you're curious, I was the publicist who distributed the Lava Slide Riddim.  I think that mighta been my first soca-related gig...haven't got my life back since!

He'll be in Toronto this weekend to perform at the always sold-out "Doh Cry Ah Leaving" fete.  Then off to T&T to see if he can wiggle his way into the people dem Groovy Soca Monarch Competition.  


Happy Birthday & Good Luck!


Fans, here's your boy Peter Ram with his 2007/2008 smash! Pumpin!




Can't get enough of Peter Ram?  Check out his latest video "Tight"  right here.

Read all previous (Nurse) Karen (Etc) mentions of Peter Ram here. 

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