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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Island People is Not Sold Out.

Sections are still available at the mas camp as follows:

FEMALE:
Arabian Princess
Harem Girl Pink
Nubians (regular and frontline)
Taureg(regular and frontline)
Cacti (regular and frontline)
Sahara Jumbie (regular only)
Raiders of the Desert

MALE:
Arabian Prince
Sultan
Taureg
Sahara Sunset
Cacti
Mirage

Please note that even though sections are still open for females all bra-sizes are not available. One of my friends registered in Taureg last week only becuase she was a B cup. So, if you are interested in any of these sections check with the mas camp to see if they have your size first.

New Venue for Carnival 2007 will be revealed soon

Today's Trinidad Guardian has reported that the Minister of Culture, Joan Yuille Williams has plans to inform the public of the new venue for mas; I am waiting with baited breath on this one, though I am liking the idea of using the paved area of the Savannah for panorama :

BY CORDIELLE STREET

A new home for next year’s Carnival festival is expected to be announced soon. A source said yesterday that Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Joan Yuille-Williams has received a definitive proposal from the National Carnival Commission (NCC) board for a new venue.

Yuille-Williams recently announced Government’s plans to forge ahead with the controversial $400-million Carnival Cultural Centre, which is expected to replace the Grand Stand on Queen's Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain.

Environmentalists, artistes and some citizens have protested the plans for the cultural centre, which at one time was said to cost as much as $750 million.

Carnival stakeholders have also confirmed submitting proposals for alternative venues to the traditional Queen’s Park Savannah, which was the home to the Parade of Bands and Panorama.

Newly re-elected Pan Trinbago president Patrick Arnold said yesterday his organisation submitted plans to NCC for a new venue for Panorama months ago.

He said they received positive feedback on the proposal to shift the festival to the western end of the savannah, using the paved area obliquely opposite Stanmore Avenue.

“The board examined it; they liked it and they can even entertain the idea of hosting the Parade of Bands there,” said Arnold.

He insisted that a decision on a venue needed to be made as soon as possible, because Carnival Monday and Tuesday, 2007 will fall on February 19 and 20.

However, National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) president Wrenwick Brown said utilising any part of QPS may not be part of the picture.

Both Brown and Arnold admitted that the latest buzz is that QPS may be completely off-limits, a situation with which Brown, for one, is comfortable.

He said there were benefits to keeping the Parade of Bands moving fluidly throughout the streets of PoS, and insisted that the public understood that the savannah stage was simply a judging point.

NCBA also submitted their choice of a new venue, but Brown refused to disclose their alternative.

“We are not going out of Port-of-Spain,” assured Brown.

Meanwhile, the launch of C2K7, scheduled at the end of this month, has been postponed.

NCC Chairman Kenny de Silva confirmed the delay, but was unable to supply a future date for the celebrations.

Attempts to contact Yuille-Williams proved futile yesterday.


©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Dream Team's Website is up!

I was wondering what was going on with Dream Team, seeing as other bands have launched after them and their websites were up and running soon after. Well the wait is over, for those who were waiting, you can now view the costumes and prices at the newly updated Dream Team website.

The professional photoshoot has done the costumes justice I might add, they look much better than at the launch with a greater ability to see the details. My only question is, where are the male costumes for some sections? I see prices for the males but no photos, unless you click on the link to the individual website for the specials sections that have one where you get more photos of the costumes including the male.

Prices seem to be consistent, ranging from $2245.00 to $2295.00 for backline, $2895.00 to $2995.00 for frontline and males at $1895.00. Of all the sections, I am liking Luna Rhythm the best, followed by Exotic Rhythm though I cannot understand the reason for the cape on the latter costume and Chutney Bacchanal which was not one of my favourites at the launch, but it does look good in the professional photos.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Image Nation presents "Jungle" for 2007



I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email this morning on a band which will be making it's debut for Carnival called Image Nation, their presentation for Carnival 2007 is "Jungle". Although it is their first time bringing a band the designer has done designs for "2 Peas and a Pod", a band which entered the Carnival scene in 2006.

To me, it's always great when new bands providing alternative options for Carnival are highlighted since it seems that only the "bikini and beads" bands get all the attention and all the criticism as well. The fact is, which I have been saying all along, there are bands that cater to all tastes and individuals. Those who want bikini and beads by all means find a band that provides that, however do not overlook the fact that bands like Image Nation making a contribution to Carnival as well.

With that said, from the following information provided Image Nation intends to give masqueraders not only an all-inclusive experience, but it is being deliberately catered to only 1500 masqueraders to keep a sense of "community" in the band. Click on the image for a larger view where you can read all about Image Nation and their philosophy behind their presentation "Jungle":

And here is a first look , as well as some information on the costumes from the 11 sections of the band (click on the image for a larger view)




Some more information on Image Nation and their presentation Jungle for 2007, from one of band leaders:
"1.We are doing a large medium sized band which for judging purposes is no more than 1000 people. We want to pamper our people, providing them with the best in service and treatment. we are doing eleven sections at an average of sixty paying mas players per section. To this we will add another 100 to 125 performers and 40 costumed staff and other non paying partners like sponsors. This should top us out at around 800. There will be security and other service people that will add another 75 to 100 people to the whole. Moreso we should have about 10 individuals, which along with the costumes, especially the shields, will give the band the look of a large band.
If the band sells exceptionally well and early we may be able to add more paying patrons.

3. the price range averages at $1800.00 and there will be a separate and different costume for Monday

4. music will be two disc jockeys. we are also looking to have live performers with the djs. they will perform on the trucks with tracks. we are also looking at a 'riddum' section.

5. We will have the full range of drinks - water, energy drinks, juices, sodas, coconut water, soft drinks, malts, shandy, stouts, beer, gin, vodka, whiskey, rum, baileys and alize along with drinks mixed for the jungle theme.

Our track record and experience is one of providing a superb carnival, but that as you will see is only a small part of the whole."

Contact information:
Addresses/Mailing - 39 Buller Street Woodbrook, Port Of Spain, Trinidad
Website: www.imagenationltd.com
email - imagenationltd@gmail.com

Trinidad Junction

Based on all the advertisements already on Carnival Junction for costumes wanted with a few for costumes to be sold, I know the word is out there that the site exists. However, very few people in cyberspace are aware that Carnival Junction also has a "little" sister, the website Trinidad Junction.

The creator and manager of the two websites is a young, Trinidadian lady by the name of Nikkia Reveillac who came up with the idea for Carnival Junction this year when looking for a Carnival costume "late" in the game. Now she has developed Trinidad Junction to highlight Trinidadian talent, being a dancer herself, focusing on different genres such as art, poetry, music as well as dance, with interviews and features of Trinidad artistes on her website. I have been following the website from it's inception and to date have only seen it growing steadily in content.

I am quite pleased to see that each day more artists are contributing to Trinidad Junction since I know that Nikkia feels passionately about having a space where other talented individuals, like herself, can be highlighted. To be honest I always knew that Trinidad had talent but I was unaware so many of our people are out there, overseas, doing well for themselves in fields such as dance and art. I read Trinidad Junction, and The Junction Blog, every day.

So hopefully everyone who visits my blog will take a peek at Trinidad Junction, if only to feel proud that we Trinis have so much talent and help spread the word to other artists who might not even know that a forum like this exists. Hats off to Trinidad Junction for doing an excellent job so far and continued, increasing success for the future.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Camouflaging Imperfections

Carnival Jumbie (Diva) highlighted an excellent product on her blog recently called Dermablend which is used to cover up skin imperfections such as stretch marks, vitilligo and varicose veins as well as skin blemishes and acne scars. Her review is quite comprehensive and she has even road tested the product for Carnival, check out her blog for more information and tips on where to get the product locally.

For those who do not have access to Dermablend as it is somewhat expensive and only sourced at certain cosmetic outlets in Trinidad, Sacha also has a product that promises to deliver the same results. I have never used Sacha Camouflage but did accompany my friend to their outlet on Wrightson Road two years ago so that she could get colour matched for Sacha's Camouflage makeup. According to her it worked perfectly as she wanted to cover up stretch marks for Carnival and has been using the product every Carnival since then.

So, for those who want to play mas in thongs and have worked out at the gym all year hoping to go stocking less only to be plagued by stretch marks on body parts you never thought they would appear, either one of these products can be your solution to "perfect" skin.

As Diva says, if you don't have it fake it!

Mr. Montano

If it is one man who can send me into a total, unbridled frenzy come Carnival time it is Machel Montano. Seriously, when he performs onstage I loose every bit of self respecting dignity and scream his name until I get hoarse, much to the amusement of my husband who sends me into a frenzy for the other 363 days of the year, and I get so high off his music it's like the drug of Carnival. It's as if my body has a mind of it's own when he opens his mouth to sing, discovering moves that I never thought I could accomplish without years of yoga training and nothing gets me in the mood for Carnival more than seeing Machel perform live.

Each year I wait to hear what new soca he has for the season, and each year he never fails to up the ante! Always something new to add to the mix, though I thought the year he brought Junko was a penultimate! I remember the first time I saw her perform with Xtatic was at Jamboree's fete at Pier 1. By that time I was used to the acrobatics of Machel's "Power Puff Girls" so I was expecting another raunchy performance by them, but then he stopped his set and said "Where my girls them?" and a spot light hit the top of a scaffolding high above the stage where Ms. Junko was wining ON HER HEAD. Yeah, jaws took a long time to be scraped off the floor after that introduction. Outside of Carnival I am nothing close to being a Machel fan, I see him from time to time when he comes into my office and apart from a polite smile I go about my business as usual, his power over me is only when he is onstage.

Since the V.I.P. stand came falling down at his concert many years ago I have yet to return to another of Machel's concerts. At that time I was actually in V.I.P. , luckily not on the stands, but being involved in that tragedy where I saw many people injured left a sour taste in my mouth for any type of large concert like that. I prefer to see Machel perform at a fete where I can get up close to the front of the stage and where these isn't a massive crush of people who can get too crazy over Mr. Montano for my liking.

I am still waiting to hear what Machel has new for 2007, apparently those who were at his concert at Miami Carnival already got a taste to wet their appetites. Sadly, all I have to do is wait until his new music is launched in Trinidad.In the meantime here are some videos from YouTube of Machel performing with Walker and Machel at Bacchanal Wednesday. Those should brighten your Sunday morning. And you can also check out his My Space if you are a huge fan.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vive La France

Another private section from Trini Revellers will be having their launch tonight at Cro Bar, this one is called "Vive La France" and it is being produced by D Harvard Section & Young Revellers. The website is now up with photos of both versions of the costumes.

Red, white and blue is not a colour combination that appeals to me for a Trinidad Carnival costume, however I see the relevance to the theme and in this case it looks a little less "Fourth of July" than expected. I was privy to a sneak peek of the photo shoot that was done earlier this month and from that preview I have to say I like the Tri Colour costume, though it looks less like the other clothed sections from Trini Revellers and more like something I would expect from Poison. In that, I can see it appealing to the masqueraders wanting "bikini and beads" as opposed to the other unique designs I have seen for Trini Revellers. For those wanting a bit more coverage D Harvard Section's "Celebration" fits the bill.

I am quite surprised at the prices, to date I think these are the cheapest I have seen an all-inclusive section (on par with Rugeri's "Paris is Burning)! It should also be noted that they also offer online registration with Senvia AND a section DJ.

Young Reveller's section "D Tri Colour" is priced at $1650.00 for the female costume, with backpack option costing $2050.00 and the male costume $1295.00:


D Harvard Section has two costumes, the female "Celebration" at $1550.00 and the male "France under Napoleon" at $1295.00:




Both sections are all-inclusive, which includes the following per the website:
Section DJ - Hocus Pocus
Monday - Security, All Drinks (Scotch, Rum, Vodka, Beer, Wine, Chasers & Coolers, Coconut Water, Water) Snacks

Tuesday - Security, All Drinks
Breakfast (Corn Soup, Pies, Sandwiches, etc.)
Lunch, Snacks

On Carnival Monday we will promote the wearing of a
t-shirt that will be provided and our theme for Carnival Monday would be "To France with dat"


Contact Information

Mas Camp: 637-7248

Tony: 678-2919
Gerry: 680-4513
Miguel: 678-6124
Stefan: 682-7583
Gavin: 767-9936

Email: info@dharvardsection.com

Website: www.dharvardsection.com

Mas Camp: 10 Crystal Heights, Diego Martin
Hours of Business - Mon to Thurs 6pm - 8pm
- Friday 6pm - 8pm | Sat 12pm - 6pm

Les Fetes Gallantes de Versailles

Last evening I attended the offical mas camp opening of a private section from the band Trini Revellers. The section is "Les Fetes Gallantes de Versailles"and the section mas camp is located on 17 Anderson Street, St James. It's the street behind Smokey & Bunty and you cannot miss it, there is a well placed sign as well as you can see the costumes displayed from the streets.

I arrived at the mas camp early since I was headed to an afterwork lime at Trotters, so I don't know how much of a "fete" it turned out to be after I left. Everything was well organised for this launch; the costumes were well displayed, flyers were available with information on the costumes and I was even presented with a CD of photos. In addition there was a live D.J. who kept the soca pumping.

The costumes are attractive, different from the "norm" in that there is no large feathered headpiece or typical beaded belt, the back of the bottom piece is reminicent of a "saucy" little skirt that can be worn long or short. Purple is not my favourite colour for a costume, but the purple and orange combination in this one was done well, I think the design will appeal to both old and young as their are options for a whole suit, two piece with long beads or a skimpy two piece with short beads. My only question is why is the parasol of a netted material? I would think a bonus to carrying it around all day would be to shade you from the sun, as it is it offers no protection and only adds a "cuteness" factor to the costume.

Prices range from $2250.00 for the whole piece option, $2450.00 for the two piece, $2650.00 for the bustier and $1950.00 for the males; the section is all-inclusive .

Bustier Option:




For more information and photos please visit the website.

Contact info:
Telephone: (868) 628-1881
Email: info@lesfetestt.com
website:www.lesfetestt.com

Revolutionaries:
Halcyon Prescott (868) 620-5847
Tosca James (868) 792-8772
Lester Weekes (868) 741-9800

Friday, October 27, 2006

Saucy Wow ......2007!!!

I have heard my first soca for 2007 Carnival, I guess I was living under a rock because this morning was the first time I heard "Bicycle Wine" by Denise "Saucy Wow" Belfon! On first listening I think this is the best soca she has come out with for years "Put yuh feet to the pedal, yuh waist to the base......Pedal back, back back..Pedal front, front, front!!" The song made me feel like it was Carnival Tuesday yes! And you know I cannot wait to see her perform THIS one live!

Another song I heard was "Miss Elias", I believe that is the name, by Impulse and there is a new song by Fireball but I did not catch the name. All I have to say is finally, we have new soca on the air waves! Someone left a comment that Machel also released three new songs at his concert at Miami Carnival, well I am waiting to hear those as well.

It was as if I was injected with the Carnival spirit this morning! Just this week I was lamenting not hearing any new soca and today I was hit with it full in my face, one behind the next. As you guys can tell, I am not even feeling the "jingle bells" and Christmas Carols that are playing ever so softly on the radio right now. I like Christmas , I love getting presents but I don't go all out like I do for Carnival.

There is no baking, cleaning obsessively, buying up a storm ...no people, I get my black cake from my mom, pre-order my pastelles, get my ham and turkey from the Deli at Hi-lo already cooked and once I have drinks I am good to go! So it will be soca blasting at my house (if I am home) on Christmas day!!!

My Boots are Ordered!

Yesterday afternoon I made my way to Vamp boutique on Mucurapo Road to see Natalie about getting my boots made to match my Fireman costume.

Seems like the word has gotten out that she did those fabulous boots the models wore at Island People's launch because to date she has over 25 orders for custom made boots. And, from masqueraders playing in both Island People and Tribe.

I decided to get gold, mid calf peaked boots which she will then decorate to match my costume with red and gold trim and beads. Natalie also offered me the option of a wedge heel or regular flat boots with a one inch heel, I chose the regular boot with the one inch heel. The cost for my boots are $300.00TT or $50.00US. She also does more elaborate boots with appliques and lots of beads, those cost $475.00 TT, but although well decorated it is easier for me to reuse the less decorated boots that I chose by simply removing the trim and beads. So, for me, the $300.00 boots have more potential to be worn again for another Carnival.

The whole process yesterday involved getting a drawing of my foot, then measurements of my calf, height of the boots, ankle, arch etc. When these boots are made they will only be able to fit MY foot perfectly, and I will also be able to wear Dr. Scholls gel insoles with them as they are made to accommodate insoles.

Now I left the decorating up to Natalie, with no specific instructions of how I wanted it done, to me she is the "expert" and all the boots I have seen her create have been perfectly matched to the costume, so I have no fear that she will give me what I want. In addition she has been quite a busy bee, and has designed boots for all the sections of Island People!

I got a peek of the sketches and she is using feathers on the boots for the section Goddess, beads to match Le Soleil Brule and a host of other unique ideas for the other sections. Natalie also told me that she is doing boots for Warrior Spirit in Tribe, among other sections, and shared her ideas on what those will look like as well.

My girl friend, who is also playing in Fireman, will be back to Trinidad on December 18th, so I made sure to ask Natalie if she will be able to order her boots then and she informed me that December is not too late. A down payment of $200.00 is needed upon ordering your boots with the balance payable upon collection.

For those who want to get in contact with Natalie her number is 868-736-8455 or 868-622-8429 or you can email her at vampstore@yahoo.ca.

Natalie only returned from London a few days ago so if you were calling or emailing her before and got no response, she is back now!

Deciding on my footwear and actually ordering them is one less thing to worry about for my Carnival preparations; now I only have to get stockings, make up, body jewelry and my Monday wear over the course of the next three months! It may seem like I still have a lot of time, but the Carnival divas know that we are getting down to crunch time now, November is almost here, after that it is Christmas and soon it will be January with February fast approaching. Time to start preparing people!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chutney



Ronnie and Caroline Mc Intosh have a special section in the band Legacy called Chutney, which incidentally is the costume that I happen to like alot.

The website is now updated with photos of both the male and female costumes and prices of $1995.00 female and $1795.00 male. The section is all-inclusive and includes Monday wear!

Contact information for both Trinidad and New York can be found on the website.

Red Ants in Blue Range this weekend

Trinigyal I am not really into fete promotion, but I looked on the other websites that are into that genre and did not see this advertised so I am posting this flyer JUST for you:

Click on it to make it bigger:

Flying High

Ok, I was NOT going to say anything but I am pretty pleased about having my first article published in a regional magazine thus I will gloat a little!

For those of you who do not know I have dabbled in writing in the past; I have written articles that were published in both the Vox (Trinidad express) and the Trinidad Guardian's Magazine and I also pursued English as my major, with written communication being one of my favourite forms of expression, as you can tell by my dedication to this blog.

Still, it did come as a surprise when I was approached to write an article about Trinidad Carnival for the in flight magazine of Caribbean Star Airlines "Altitude". I must also thank triniscene.com for supplying me with the photographs that will accompany the article as well as Alison and Michele for believing I could deliver what they wanted.

Look out for my article which will be published in the December issue of Altitude Magazine.

Bliss in January

It is official my first Carnival fete for 2007 will be Bliss, TRIBE's 2nd annual all-inclusive event which will be held on January 13th 2007.

For 2006 my first Carnival fete was Island People's Amnesia, a fete which I have enjoyed immensely in the past but failed to meet my expectations this year, so I am giving Bliss a try for a new experience.

This year Bliss was held at Jamboree Park in Valsayn (I hope they keep it there again so I can literally walk out my door and be there feteing in 10 minutes tops!) and I heard from friends who went that there was a variety of food to choose from, with a wide array of delicacies from Arabian, Italian and Caribbean Cuisine to a Soup station and even a chocolate fountain which I sampled at Amnesia the following week and it was awesome!

Carnivalscene.com wrote the following review of Bliss:

Yet again fast on the heels of a fabulous event we had the privilege of attending TRIBE’s first All Inclusive BLISS. Well if heaven wasn’t jealous, we certainly were. Check out our review below

VENUE: Jamboree Park, Valsayn

PARKING: Valsayn North,

TRANSPORT: Within walking distance none required.

Our Carnivalscene crew arrived at 3:45pm just before the start of the party. Jamboree park was transformed into a very ethereal venue, well in keeping with the theme of BLISS. Greeted by ‘Moko Jumbies’, patrons (who were there promptly at 4pm) were ushered down a walkway (after using the ecard, first time in a carnival fete in T&T) enclosed by white cloth and filled with a white mist, to be greeted by the lovely Digicel female angels who presented them with a Digicel ‘rag’ as a memento.

Upon entering to our left, we were pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of food provided by the BLISS committee, all very professionally and meticulously laid out. One booth for special mention would be the fruit booth, with its wide assortment of delectable fruity delites; strawberry, watermelons, grapes, pineapple, portugal and many more, great idea for masqueraders watching their weight. All in all though, it has to be said that the variety and amount of food provided was positively heavenly or sinful depending on whether you were already able to fit into your costume or not.

Again we saw the Fresh Zone booths at the entrance to the restroom area. A great hit with the patrons (this reviewer especially enjoyed the hand massager, marvelous..!!). As in previous fetes, the restroom area was kept meticulously clean, this seems to be a trend in the All Inclusives this year, keep up the good work.

I have definitely kept the best for last. Very nice job by the couple playing the harp and the violin over that loud music (and yes they were playing not faking it..!!). An Ice Sculptor made a very exquisite ice glass for the cans of Red Bull to reside in (on speaking with the Red Bull representative, patrons were supposed to be served some concoction from the glass, but it had a hole L). When I thought there would be nothing else I saw the Ice Sculptor on a platform carving an ice angel surrounded by what can only be described as angels (too bad TRIBE isn’t playing ‘Heaven’ cause that costume was very nice). These lovely ‘angels’ were circulating in the party, generally mingling with us lesser mortals J and having a good time.


ENTERTAINMENT:
DJ playhouse started the fete nice and easy, bringing up the pace according to the amount of people in the fete and the amount of alcohol consumed by the patrons. When, the sun set, enter HI Fidelity and Less Than Zero, pressure !! Their specific purpose was to whip the crowd into a frenzy (mission accomplished). Rest, drink, eat…..while Xtatik setup on the stage, Finally, the Prince of Soca, Machel Montano entered the stage and as usual, delivered a very energetic performance, teasing the crowd to ‘heavenly’ heights. During his performance, he actually got assistance from a crowd member willing to demonstrate his latin salsa moves, while Machel sang a tune (completely in Spanish, well done Maestro), great performance from them both. Very soulfully, Machel sang acapella style, ‘We not giving up’, dedicating it to the TRIBE committee for a job well done. After that rendition, Machel proceeded to raise the energy level of the crowd, making them ecstatic with ‘heavenly joy’. Exit Machel, back on with the DJ who mellowed the ‘vibes’ of the fete giving patrons a chance to relax, eat some more food, drink more beverages. All playing while Atlantik setup for Destra. Onto the stage she came, with helium filled ballons being let off into the air (don’t think many people noticed and not very environmentally friendly L). As usual, Destra performed with great style and panache, letting the masqueraders know that she was in fine form for Carnival 2K6. Little hiccup, Destra introduced Maximus, who regrettable was nowhere to be seen. Not skipping a beat, she continued to perform carrying the crowd until 11:30pm.

Only negative for this fete was, nowhere to sit and eat, venue was a bit too small for that, maybe the TRIBE crew will revisit the use of Jamborree Park next year.

For a first time, this fete gets a ‘heavenly’ 8.0 out of a possible 10 stars

And you can find photos of the event at Carnivalscene.com and triniscene.com.

I have to add that for those considering Amnesia it was a good fete. The space at Pier 1 was maximised to full advantage but in the early evening it seemed that everything was a bit too spread out as people tended to converge in pockets around the venue and you lost that "party" atmosphere. When the performances started however all the action was upfront and the crowds filled the area of Pier 1 where the stage was located. My other criticism would have to be that the food, choices were too limited and for the price I paid, which was $450.00 I expected more to be honest. Other people also had that complaint so I expect for 2007 that issue would be addressed. There was lots to drink, however, including cocktails, Johnny Walker Green (which got me sick) and champagne. I missed out on a massage since I had no idea that patrons were being pampered like this, which goes to show you need to pay attention to all that is being offered at these swanky all-inclusives.

Check out the photos of Amnesia on triniscene.com!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Mas Updates

Island People's in-house costumes are still available in Sahara Jumbie (back line), Nubians (female) , Raiders of the Desert (female ), Cacti and Taureg. That means guys can only get costumes in Sahara Jumbie, Cacti and Taureg and frontlines are available in Taureg, Nubians and Cacti. Interestingly both Island People and TRIBE have just 5 sections left!

D Krewe's website is www.krewecarnival.com and not www.dkrewecarnival.com as I posted before. The error is not mine since the latter website is also posted on the keychains they gave out at the mas camp!The new website is not up as yet, but please update your bookmarks!

Another all-inclusive section from Trini Revellers with a website "coming soon" is D Harvard Section. Hopefully these websites will be up soon seeing as Trini Revellers has not updated their website as yet.

MAS Jumbies

2007 Carnival will see another new band making it's debut, but this time it won't be "pretty mas", but "dutty mas". The J'ouvert band MAS Jumbies will launch on October 29th according to the band leader and designer Brian Wong Won who is also an artist and maintains a very detailed blog about Carnival and his new project for Carnival 2007.

For more information about the j'ouvert band please visit Brian's blog as well as the website Mas Jumbies where you can learn about all that this band has in store. From everything I have read the intention is to bring back the spirit of traditonal old mas and the costumes will be treated as "artwork".

This undertaking sounds very interesting and I am quite curious to see the costumes. From the beautiful artwork displayed on the blog I can only imagine the vibrancy and talent that would be infused into the presentation since the costumes will also be part of his art exhibition which will open on Feburary 6th 2007 at the Horizon Art Gallery in St. James.

Masquerade Photos

Trinicrew.com has photos from Masquerade's media launch last weekend. I believe they compete as a medium band, and their presentation for 2007 is "Golden Heritage - A Tribute to Mas". The offical band launching will be held on November 11th at the Anchorage. From those photos I even see they have an "Indian Mas", which inspite of the headpiece looks pretty good:

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

5 more sections left in TRIBE

Well another section in TRIBE has sold out, the next one gone is Jab Molassie . It's a nice costume, I even like the tail, but I am not liking the headpiece. If the headpiece was done similar to the frontline' s, a scaled down version maybe, to me it would look more attractive, however it is sold out so I guess lots of people liked it. That leaves 5 more sections open, I am taking bets on when the entire band will sell out.

On another note, I wish Island People would kindly indicate on their website what sections are sold out as well. It would save me from having to harrass them at the mas camp yet again to get an update for those persons who do not reside in Trinidad.

Carnival Time Again

The Trinidad Guardian has a nice encapsulated review of the band launchings which occurred over the weekend:



Statuesque Ria Nelson portrays Back to Africa, a tribute to the late George Bailey.

Photo: Lester Forde



Leggy Tiffany Williams and Terry See Tai portray Viva Zapata from a winning Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars presentation.

Photo: Lester Forde


Carnival 2007 is well on its way, so much so almost all the popular mas bands have launchd their presentations. Among the main players still keeping the public in waiting is Brian MacFarlane with his presentation of India.

Last weekend saw main Band of the Year contenders, defending champion Trini Revellers and Legacy unveil their presentations, as well as Stephen Derek with a media launch at The Mas Camp Pub.

On October 14, Legacy launched Hiawatha at The Anchorage in Chaguaramas, with a huge crowd in attendance and, on Wednesday, Masquerade and Chris Humphrey showcased Golden Heritage—A Tribute to Mas at the Cruise Ship Complex.

Legacy’s Hiawatha is based on a native American Indian theme, Hiawatha being the title of an epic poem written in 1855 about a fictitious American Indian personage of the same name. The band will pay tribute not only to that civilisation but also to our local traditional Red Indian mas form.

The Legacy launch kicked off at the adjacent Tsunami Beach Club with a VIP/media reception. Walking through the entrance, which had been transformed into a wigwam, the specially-invited guests were greeted by a group of masqueraders dressed in authentic Indian costumes and presented with feathered necklaces.

Guests were treated to a complimentary premium bar and hors d’oeuvres in anticipation of the special showing of Legacy’s 2007 costume designs. A total of 22 sections were displayed, bearing catchy names like Apache Fire, Cherokee Trail, Laughing Water, Indian Summer, Seminole Nation and Soca Warriors.

Judging from the enthusiastic response, the audience was well-pleased with Legacy’s offering for 2007. The showing of costumes was repeated at the public event at The Anchorage with a similar show of appreciation from the large audience.

Of special note were the sections Pow Wow and Rainbow Dancers which were displayed by bodybuilders Richard Noel and Gabby Gonsalves and which elicited thunderous applause and screams of delight from patrons.

Legacy road music band Caribbean Traffik Jamm put on a high energy performance showing that they are more than ready for the upcoming Carnival season. During his performance, Iwer George paid tribute to bandleader Mike Antoine and the Legacy team and had patrons following his every direction as they partied into the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Masquerade/Humphrey media launch was also attended by a number of past and present bandleaders, and sponsors, the latter representing corporate citizens like Digicel, National Flour Mills and Ansa McAl Motors.

With special tribute paid to past Masquerade designer/leader Wayne Berkeley, who was in attendance, also at the launch, and receiving tokens for their contribution to mas, were Shane Lee Heung (son of Stephen and Elsie Lee Heung), Raoul Garib, and representatives of Irvin McWilliams, Lionel Jagassar, Stephen Derek, Peter Minshall, George Bailey and Edmond Hart. Other prominent people seen were Michael Headley, Donna Cox, Marita Laurent, Frank Martineau and Lennox Toussaint.

According to Masquerade co-designer Chris Santos: “Golden Heritage—A Tribute to Mas is a tribute to the creative minds and designs of the golden era of Carnivals past as we look back to the many memorable and prize-winning presentations of such greats as George Bailey, Harold Saldenah, Edmond Hart, Stephen Lee Heung, Wayne Berkeley, Irvin McWilliams, Raoul Garib and Peter Minshall, interpreting their creation with a modern twist.” Gregory Medina and Elwin Johnson are the other designers of Golden Heritage.

The Masquerade/Humphrey band will have its public launch on November 11, at The Anchorage.

Legacy’s Mas Camp on Carlos Street, Woodbrook, is open for registration daily from noon to 8 pm. Costume designs and registration information can also be obtained from their web site at http://www.legacycarnival.com


To jog your memories, here are the two sections modeled above from the band Masquerade in drawings:

Back to Africa :


Viva Zapata:

India, The Story of Boyie

Brian Mc Farlane will be launching is 2007 presentation "India..the story of Boyie" on November 30th 2006.

His website has been updated with a new frontpage with this information, and I have to admit I cannot wait for his launch! I am excited already and I have yet to see a costume.

More details to follow soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Heineken the Beer of Choice for TRIBE

Beer lovers playing with TRIBE be prepared to have a "premium" beer added to the drinks menu, Heineken has singed a two year contract to be the premium beer of choice at all TRIBE/Red Ants related events for Carnival 2007 and 2008. Check out the advertisement which appeared in yesterday's Express:

Clkick on photo for larger pic:


Now, I was alerted to this new development in TRIBE's sponsorship by email, and the author was concerned that even though she was not a beer drinker when she does drink beer Heineken is not her beer of choice. In addition she sees it as another form of "exclusivity".

Thanks to a diligent beer drinker who called TRIBE on this issue, we now know that STAG and Carib will ALSO be available for masqueraders, giving them even more choice with the addition of a premium beer as well (hence the reason this post is edited at 8:36PM.)

By the way notice they used the Fireman hat in the advertisement!

I have to admit I also do not drink beer on the road (too many trips to the bathroom when I do) I love my Johnny Walker Black and coconut water, so if they replaced Johnny with lets say Dewars I will be quite peeved. However when I am drinking beer it is either STAG or Heineken, I really cannot stomach anything else.

So what do you beer drinkers think, are you happy with these new developments, do you prefer Heineken seeing as it is a "premium" beer and considered superior to STAG or Carib? Or with the money you are paying for your costume do you want the luxury of choice? Do you think exclusive sponsorship also translates to band exclusivity? I would love your comments on this issue.

The Million Dollar Question

My morning was spent trying to find out from the powers that be what plans are in place for masqueraders come Carnival 2007 and I have found out nothing. From all indications it seems as if there are no concrete decisions made as yet on whether there will be a stage constructed at some location or if we will be parading nonstop along a pre-determined route. I was assured however that Carnival will continue as normal for 2007, to which I replied "I know since I have already made a downpayment on my costume".

I guess I have to continue my investigations over the course of the next few months and report any new developments as they arise. Stay tuned for an answer to the million dollar question.

National Carnival and Arts Centre

I was able to get my hands on some of the drawings for the planned Carnival and Arts Centre.
(for much larger views click on the photos)

This is showing the existing facilities at the Savannah and the outline of where the new Carnival Centre will be located in relation to that:


Five levels, including a basement, make up the centre with the third level being the Public Concourse which replaces the Savannah stage. When the centre is completed this is where masqueraders will be parading.Note the seating terraces, food and beverage areas in red and V.I.P. area in blue:



The other levels include a V.I.P. Level above the Public Concourse and a Media Level to the top. Below the Public Concourse is the Undercroft level which houses a Carnival Mueseum as well as offices for NCC, TUCO,NCBA and Pan Trinbago.

And finally, here are some more drawings of the National Carnival & Arts Centre:






View from inside, imagine this is what we masqueraders will be seeing as we cross the stage:


Birdseye view of the roof:


Somehow I think the aesthetic looks incongruous in the Savannah To me the design is ambitious, wonderful to house a museum, concert stage for Diamanche Gras and artistes to perform but I just cannot see myself crossing that stage in an atmosphere that looks so sterile. Hopefully I will be playing mas the year this Centre debuts and will be able to judge for myself then. Here is hoping construction will be on schedule and that the final product does the designs some justice.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Legacy's Prices are up.

I must say the prices are reasonable, ranging from $1500.00 non all-inclusive and $1998.00 to $2700.00 all-inclusive, although if you add in the War Bonnet head piece and bustle the most expensive female "frontline" costume can total $505.00US or $3030.00TT. Males are either $1500.00 non all-inclusive or $1998.00 all-inclusive with long pants and an additonal $300.00 for the large Chief headpiece.


Apache Fire - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 416
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
Detachable Bustle (at back of belt): US$ 15 extra
Headpiece and Bustle: US$ 55 extra
MALE OPTIONS:
Large Chief Headpiece – US$ 50 extra



Cherokee Trail - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 400
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
Detachable Bustle (at back of belt): US$ 15 extra
Headpiece and Bustle: US$ 55 extra
MALE OPTIONS:
Large Chief Headpiece – US$ 50 extra


Comanche Warriors -ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 383
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
Detachable Bustle (at back of belt): US$ 15 extra
Headpiece and Bustle: US$ 55 extra
MALE OPTIONS:
Large Chief Headpiece – US$ 50 extra


Gitchee Gu'mee - BIG SEA WATER -ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 383
MALE PRICE: US$ 333


Indian Summer
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 266
MALE PRICE: US$ 250


Laughing Water - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 383
MALE PRICE: US$ 333


Pawnee Star - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 350
MALE PRICE: US$ 333


Pow Wow - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 450
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
Detachable Bustle (at back of belt): US$ 15 extra
Headpiece and Bustle: US$ 55 extra
MALE OPTIONS:
Large Chief Headpiece – US$ 50 extra


Prairie Town - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 366
MALE PRICE: US$ 333


Shaman Dream
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 266
MALE PRICE: US$ 250


Rainbow Dancers - Strong Men & Rude Girls - ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 433
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
MALE OPTION:
Large Chief Headpiece: US$ 50 extra


Sioux Ghost Dancers -ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 416
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
Detachable Bustle (at back of belt): US$ 15 extra
Headpiece and Bustle: US$ 55 extra


Soca Warriors -ALL-INCLUSIVE SECTION
FEMALE PRICE: US$ 333
MALE PRICE: US$ 333
FEMALE FRONTLINE:
Large Bonnet Headpiece: US$ 50 extra
MALE OPTIONS:
Large Chief Headpiece – US$ 50 extra


FEMALE SPECIAL OPTIONS:
Whole-Piece Available: US$ 10 extra
Tankini Available: US$ 8 extra
Pom Pom or Boy Shorts Available: US$ 8 extra

MALE OPTIONS:
Short Pants Available – no extra charge

REGISTRATION DEPOSIT: minimum US$134

Trini Revellers goes French for Carnival 2007

There was an article in Friday's Trinidad Express where the author reviewed Trini Reveller's launch from the perspective of a delegation of French nationals from the French Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago. The general concencus among those folk were that the costumes were "magnfique!". Trying to find that article online has proved futile, but suffice it to say the French were impressed!

The Newsday also had an interesting write up on Trini Reveller's launch:

It is going to be another epic of the grandest proportions to be presented by the Trini Revellers team.

Come Carnival Monday and Tuesday next year, Port-of-Spain will be flooded by 26 sections depicting various aspects of “The French Revolution,” that will surely captivate the attention of all witnessing the presentation, given the spectacle they created at the band launch at Pier 1 in Chaguaramas on Sunday.

Known for their winning presentations such as “Shanghai” and “The Gathering of the Tribes” before venturing in the big band category, Trini Revellers will be coming in full force to retain their title as Champion Band of the Year for a fourth consecutive year, having previously won the title with their 2004 to 2006 presentations “The Arabian Nights,” “Conquest of Indies” and “Rome - The Empire” respectively.

Indeed, “Le Roi Louis XVI” and “La Reine Marie Antoinette” will be coming to conquer the streets of Port- of-Spain with other sections portraying the “Royal Court,” “the Nobility,” the “Paysans,” the “Monarchy,” ‘the “Aristocrats,” “La Bastille,” the “French Soldiers,” the “Austrian Soldiers,” the “firing of the cannons, “Paris brule,” “September Massacres,” “Riots, the Reign of Terror,” the “Call to Battle,” and “Declaration of the Rights of Man.”

Fashion and culture of the Aristocracy will be felt in “The Masquerade Ball,” “Haute Couture,” “Les fêtes gallants de Versailles,” “ La vie de Marie An-toinette,” “Passion for Fashion” and “Liberté.” Even the Caribbean will be represented in “Les Antilles” and Trinité et Tobago.” It is a French band and the story will be told in French and English. The Tricolor will be flying high via Fraternité et Egalité and will end with “Vive La France.” It promises to be an experience to astonish the Trinidadian public.

Enrico Rajah, Public Relations Officer, is very ecstatic about the new presentation for Carnival 2007. Famous for their historical presentations, and with colourful designs by Geraldo Vieira Jr and Aaron Schneider, and led by two Kings of Carnival, Trini Revellers will unleash another historical spectacle on the streets of Port-of-Spain.

To achieve this remarkable presentation, Vieira Jr and Schneider are the main designers for 2007. Top Section Leaders include Deborah Bath-Gift, Wayne Newallo, Annie Jacques, Christine John, Tony Stanford, Gerald Moore and Gavin Alamani of D’Harvard Boys, Young Harvards with Stefan Stanford and Miguel Marquez, Dave Maharaj, Evelyn Herbert, Mike Johnson, Dexter Hosein/Ronald Clarke, Brennan King, Arlington Stewart, Curtis Atchinson, Joan Wilson, Roland St George and Richard Abraham, and Rabs Immortelle.

Dave Cameron and Jeff Gillette, the band producers are putting together the 2007 presentation with individuals such as Georgie Wilcox, Rudi Granger and Richard Commissiong, Jungle Fever, Friendz - Toronto, Raj/Ann Maharaj, Halcyann Prescott, Kyle Matas, Christine Sadler and Jason Jeremie who are joining the Revellers for the first time.
I did not add to my list of favourites the Royalty section by D Krewe, since I had said earlier that I really like their costumes. However, I think I should mention again that this is one of my favourites, and I was doubly pleased to see that they also included a full figured model wearing another version of the costume at the launch. Now this is a trend more band leaders should adopt in MY opinion, the young lady looks quite nice in her costume and masqueraders get to see what the whole suit/tankini option of the costume looks like on a realistic model:



Close up of the beautiful bra and headpiece:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

No Savannah Stage for 2007

Rumors were swirling around that construction of the new Carnival Entertainment Centre at the Queen's Park Savannah will not begin until after 2007 Carnival, giving masqueraders a lagniappe and renewing hopes that 2007 will indeed see us crossing the Savannah stage.

Taking the bull by the horns I asked one of the Directors involved in the project if there will be stage for us masqueraders at the Savannah seeing as construction has yet to begin. He replied convincingly that they were awaiting bids for new contractors and as soon as that was in place construction will begin and there will be no stage for Carnival 2007. I read today that it is true; the Newsday has reported that the Minister of Culture, Joan Yuille Williams has indicated that construction of the Carnival Entertainment Centre will begin before year's end:



Carnival Centre coming

Clint Chan Tack Friday, October 20 2006

CULTURE and Community Development Minister Joan Yuille-Williams yesterday announced that construction of the new $450 million National Carnival Entertainment Centre, at Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, will begin before year’s end.

Speaking in the Senate Budget debate, Yuille-Williams said Opposition Senator Wade Mark was incorrect to say the centre will cost $700 million.

To those claiming the design of the new centre was flawed and had no local input, Yuille-Williams said this was not the case and the design has been deemed by a panel of international judges as the best in the Caribbean.

She dismissed Opposition claims of no funding for two academies of the performing arts that are to be built at the Princes Building Grounds in Port-of-Spain and Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. Stating that the former costs US$60 million (TT$378 million) and the latter costs US$40 million (TT$252 million), Yuille-Williams said Government has already worked out a loan arrangement with China to build these academies.

“So don’t complain about funds,” Yuille-Williams chided Mark.

She said funding for Pan Trinbago’s unfinished headquarters at Trincity was included in the last budget and the current one as well. The Minister explained that because the matter is in court, no work could proceed on it. However, she said the relevant papers have been sent to Attorney General John Jeremie and once she receives the green light from him, work will resume on that building. Yuille-Williams also denied reports that she told members of the Chutney Foundation to speak to Prime Minister Patrick Manning about funding and said the ministry does its best to address the concerns of all groups that approach it. Commenting on the contributions of Opposition senators Ato Boldon and Raziah Ahmed during the debate on Wednesday, Yuille-Williams assured them that no group is being marginalised. She also explained that it takes a multitude of interventions to address the concerns of many vulnerable groups.

Yuille-Williams defended the construction of the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, saying that the country has been crying out for sporting facilities and now that Government has the resources at its disposal it would address this matter. She reminded Boldon that the stadium is only a small part of what will be a massive sport and education complex which could be used by locals as well as foreigners. Recalling the numerous visits he made to schools as part of a joint initiative of the Ministries of Education and Sport, Yuille-Williams urged Boldon to continue to be “part of the solution.”

Now I have seen the designs for this Carnival Centre, and while ambitious in it's concept I don't have much faith that the end product will be the same as what is on paper, just take look at the airport to see what I mean. For all the grand plans that were touted, the airport looks like a big warehouse. Apart from the futuristic design with retractable domed roof, ramped entry to the grand stage, enclosed seating for patrons and plans to house a Carnival library and archives I agree with the critics that there has been little thought of the practically of the Carnival Centre for it's intended use.

I doubt if anyone of those designers and architects have played mas religiously on the old, wooden Savannah stage to know that we masqueraders do not want the stadium atmosphere and artificial, sanitary feeling of being herded into an enclosed venue to experience our climatic release of energy and euphoria. I for one love the sun beating down on my body as I wait to cross the stage; I love the heat, the dust, seeing the spectators lining the route in the Savannah, being able to buy one more drink before crossing the stage because the drinks truck has disappeared. What will happen to the vendors, to the children that line the stage exit to beg for your costume? To me the Carnival Centre just makes everything very "proper" and "contained" which is the very thing Carnival is not.

All that was needed, in my humble opinion was a better, bigger stage , proper stands since the North stand was always in fear of falling to the ground come Panorama semi-finals and a modified access route to the Savannah so bands will not have to endure a lengthy wait to cross the stage. I guess now panorama semi-finals will never be what it was in that rickety North stand, with rhythm sections blazing and rum flowing like water.

So that brings me to the question of where will be crossing the stage for 2007? Will it be at the Stadium? Will we be constantly on the move with several judging points along the route? After the dust has settled on all the band launchings and costume choices this is the most important question of the day and I have read or heard nothing on the subject.

Come Monday be sure I will be calling up a few people who might be able to give me answers to this burning question. Investigative reporter Saucy will report the findings to all those who want the same question answered as well. Until then I can only speculate on what will become of the Carnival parade as I have known it all these years......

p.s. Thanks to Carnival Jumbie for the pic of the Carnival Centre.

Another Look at Saphyre

It was only last week that I wrote about the launch of Saphyre, and I was left wanting for some more information about the band itself. Well the fact is that Saphyre has been around offically since 2001, prior to that they were known as Showcase Associates which was founded in 1977 and has produced a band every year since then. To get some history behind the band Saphyre, have a read of the National Carnival Band Association band profile here.

Apart from that informationI also receieved the following email from the events co-ordinator for Saphyre:

"Our band is comprised of 9 youths (ranging between the ages of
17 to 25 years) and 8 senior members. We once were known as Showcase and
Associates some years ago however, times have changed and the senior
members decided it was time to pass on reigns to a younger more vibrant group of
individuals. We thus changed the name to Saphyre as Showcase is or was
a band of the past and we the youths are now in control with the senior
members guiding us.

Our camp is located at 118 Oxford Street Port of Spain (Between
Frederick and Pembroke Streets upper Port of Spain) and we are opened between the hours of 9am to 10pm Monday to Saturday.

Contact Carlene Greaves 678-7349,Colin Greaves 779-7075 or Aleema Ranjisingh at 732-7825 for more information."

Personally, I think it is refreshing to learn that the band has youths at the helm, with the elders passing the baton.Competing as medium band now, I wish them all the success for 2007. If you want to see more photos from their launch, there is a gallery of photos at Trinicrew.com.

Friday, October 20, 2006

More Legacy Photos

Triniscene.com , Trinicrew.com and Islandevents.com have galleries of Legacy launch photos and I have found some "lost" costumes which are missing from the website, like these:















Jean bites the dust

According to TRIBE's website the section Jean and Dinah is "SOLD OUT", however they also have this posted "The DINAH option of Jean & Dinah is STILL AVAILABLE". Like they cannot make up their minds if the section is sold out or not.

Anyways, I am going with Jean and the male costumes are gone, but you can still register for Dinah, which is no surprise since I never liked "Dinah":



It still amazes me that Bat Frontline and Pierrot are still not sold out!!!I guess the issue with Bat is that the backline is overpiced at $3185.00 while the frontline is only $210.00 more at $3395.00, the obvious choice would be the frontline over the backline since the backline has that inspid headpiece. And I so thought that at $2595.00, the cheapest section in TRIBE , Pierrot Grenade, would have been sold out as well. Maybe to some people the cheap price also reflects a cheap costume.

Oh, and both Dragon and Jab Jab frontlines are still available "surprise, surprise" though to it's credit when I saw Jab Jab frontline in person the costume looked really pretty. Honestly, to me the price for both costumes is not worth a revamped version of the backline with a bigger headpiece, they should have added a really elaborate back pack to justify the price and make the costumes worthy of being called a frontline.
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