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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Taboo Pics

Not to be confused with Taboo the Band these are pics from the Taboo fete that was held last Friday during D.C. Carnival. Click on the image below to be taken to the gallery:



Photo credit:DC Kermit

Friday, June 29, 2007

Tulip Carnival Store



For those of you familiar with Port of Spain there is a branch of Tulip Productions on Frederick Street, now for those who do not wish to venture into Port of Spain for their Carnival supplies there is a newly opened branch right on the corner of Ana Street and Ariapita Avenue.



Tulip Productions has a range of supplies, including party items, but the Carnival section offers beads, fringes, sequins, palettes, boas, masks and headpieces. The variety is not as wide as Samaroos however we are not in "Carnival" season so who knows if their stock of items will increase coming closer to February.

For the moment though they do have a nice assortment of fringe and beads that are perfect for making Monday wear or even a section of your own. So if you are in the area, pop in and check them out and most importantly keep them on the list of go-to places when you are looking for Carnival supplies.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Carnival Virgin Band Launching 101


1. Carnival Bands in Trinidad launch the following year’s presentation usually between August and November, with Harts having dibs on being the first to launch for a number of years. This year band launching “season”, as I like to call it, starts on Friday July 27th with Harts launch.

2. Tickets for the band launch are usually pre-sold at the mas camp or some other designated venue. The normal procedure is the band contacts masqueraders who have played with the band before via email or telelphone with information on when and where the launch will take place. After that everyone, masqueraders and non masqueraders alike, will have an opportunity to purchase tickets. The exception being Harts who traditionally have kept their band launching only for their masqueraders in the past though last year tickets were on sale to the general public.

3. The main focus at a band launching is to showcase the costumes for the following year’s presentation. Unlike a regular fete it is best advised to arrive early to see the show, if live models are being used. Though the costumes are the main attraction at the band launch a live band or performer is usually used to distract the crowd before the show begins.

4. If your goal is to get a first hand view of the costumes know that the live models usually walk some type of stage , much like a catwalk, and only those patrons who are closest to the stage will get a good view of the costumes. If you stand further back chances of getting a detailed look are limited.



5. For those so inclined you can walk with a camera though many of the photo websites such as Carnivalscene.com, triniscene.com and trinipulse.com do take photographs of the models in costume for their website. The caveat is that you have to wait for the photos to be published. With your own camera you can take shots of the costume and review them at your leisure. The only problem I have encountered is getting really good, full bodied shots of the costumes are difficult. The photographers from the aforementioned photo websites usually have a media pass and are allowed backstage so they can get up-close shots of the costumes while you have to get a quick shot positioned at the side/front of the stage while the model saunters down the catwalk; much more difficult a feat to accomplish than it seems.

6. Some bands distribute promotional material at the band launch showcasing the costumes such as booklets or calendars where professional photographs of models in costume are displayed. These booklets are also extremely helpful as they list the name of the sections/costume as well. Make sure and secure one of these especially if you do not walk with a camera.



7. You will not be able to register for your costume at the band launching. Bands will announce the dates when the mas camp will be open and the website will be up and running following the launch, pay attention to those dates. Harts mas camp is the only one that I know of which opens it doors on the Monday immediately following the launch, but even then the website launches at a later date. TRIBE has been known to open for a pre-viewing of the costumes (you still will not be able to register) where they are displayed at a designated location and persons can have a much closer look at the costumes. Following the pre-viewing masqueraders will then be informed of a date for registration. TRIBE’s system is such where both online and in house registration begins at the same time. Other bands simply open their doors for registration at a later date following the band launch.

8. A band launching is not a Carnival fete so do not expect to see patrons dressed in sneakers and shorts ready to jam and wine down low. In fact I saw the most fashionable and trendy ladies at Island People’s launch (from all the launches I went to last year) sporting all the latest trends while the people who went to TRIBE’s launch tended to be a bit more casual in jeans and cute, sexy top.

9. There will be many band launchings occurring between July and November, for both smaller and larger bands and even private sections of bands. The more popular band lunches include Island People, TRIBE, Pulse 8 and Trini Revellers. I expect that new bands such as D Krewe, Ronnie and Caro and Taboo will also attract interest for their 2008 debut. Choosing which band launches to go to will depend on where your interest lies though it is worthwhile to go to a few of the bands you might be interested in!

10. Finally if you are coming from overseas especially to attend a particular band launch DO NOT purchase your flight ticket until the date has been CONFIRMED by the mas band. Dates and venues can change up to the last minute; I remember Island People changed the date of their launch in both 2005 and 2006! So unless you get an email or phone call from the mas camp please do not take the “alleged” dates to heart, even if you read it on this blog!

Let the season begin!







Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More DC Carnival pics.

Check the gallery at DC Carnival.com:



And this gallery from Plentipeppa.com which boasts over 600 pics!

Choices: Roots, Reality, Culture

Today is National HIV Testing Day in the US and I have been asked to bring a project to the attention which marries our West Indian Culture with the facts about HIV. Set against a backdrop of Trinidad Carnival this 10 part Mini Series entitled "Choices: Roots, Reality, Culture" on MTV's Tempo seeks to addresses sexual health, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, along with other issues.

Viewers of the videos are encouraged to give feedback via SMS, online votes or joining the discussion forum for each episode in the Choices community.

You can view the video of Episode 1 on the Choices website and a synopsis of the episode is given below:
Episode 1: Let The Games Begin
We meet SHAUNA, BRENT, and TREVOR on each of their home turfs, and see their reactions of joy upon receiving the message that says they’ve won an all expense paid trip to Carnival. BRENT witnesses a guy leaving his girlfriend’s house as he approaches. When he rings the doorbell his girlfriend ALANA answers wearing a towel and seems surprised to see him. Something’s not right, they argue.

Viewers are encouraged to give their feedback on these questions:

BRENT has some decisions to make. What should BRENT do?
* Leave ALANA she’s trying to play him for a fool
* Trust her

Personally I think the series is a very interesting one and I will be looking at each episode to see how Carnival and our culture is portrayed in it's role of perpetuating the spread of Sexually Transmitted diseases. I know the fact that sex and Carnival ultimately goes hand in hand is an issue that many tend to sweep under the carpet. Reality is though that within the "freedom" of the Carnival season people tend to throw caution to the wind, fueled by alcohol and a sexually charged environment with scantily clad sexy bodies and even sexier music coming together in an orgy of bacchanal! How many stories have you heard of people "hooking up" for Carnival or a rise in the numbers of babies being born nine months later in November? So I hope all of you who visit this blog checks out this series by TEMPO as any medium used to get the message of HIV awareness and prevention out there has my full support andendorsement.

Here is some more information about the series Choices from the official press release:

TEMPO Launches Interactive Scripted Series Choices - Roots, Reality, Culture.

Series to Educate and Empower Young People Regarding Sexual Health, and HIV/AIDS Awareness & Prevention in Partnership with PSI, MTV Staying Alive, and UNICEF

Rising rates of HIV infections amongst Caribbean youth, spurred TEMPO, PSI, MTV Staying Alive and UNICEF to launch a new interactive drama titled Choices - Roots, Reality, Culture to air on TEMPO beginning June 21, 2007. Part of TEMPO's One Love pro-social initiative, Choices, - Roots, Reality, Culture is a ground breaking interactive scripted series of shorts. The scripted project takes viewers into the world of a group of young people who meet at Trinidad Carnival and become fast friends during a pure Caribbean adventure. As their stories unfold, characters traverse issues surrounding sexual health, pregnancy, impaired decision-making due to alcohol consumption, HIV/AIDS testing, trust, and peer pressure. At the conclusion of each episode the audience will have the opportunity to vote to decide on the choices faced by an individual character. Choices - Roots, Reality, Culture will be complimented by a weekly online blog and articles written by an advisory panel of youth health experts, artists, educators, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention experts.

TEMPO is pleased to have worked with a diverse array of Caribbean talent in the production of Choices: Roots, Reality, Culture. Jamaica's screen star and artist Cherine Anderson; Trinidad actor/artist Arnold Goindhoo, model Angel Ross; and St Vincent actor/artist, Bernard John have all lent their talent to this project. The series will air on TEMPO and online via TEMPO's broadband player moretempotv.com. Through partnerships with MTV Staying Alive and UNICEF the series will go on to air on other MTVN properties including www.staying-alive.org, and serve as a format for other Staying Alive productions. The series will be made available rights free and at no cost for broadcasters, around the globe.

Choices: Roots, Reality, Culture was conceptualized in partnership by TEMPO and PSI. "Like our Badness Outta Style Campaign that confronts the rising rate of violence in the region and encourages positive resolution to disputes, our CHOICES campaign seeks to encourage thoughtful decision-making regarding our sexual health. Tempo is committed through our One Love Pro-Social campaign to always being part of the solution and to battling all vices that may threaten our way of life. In the spirit of One Love, we are excited to partner with PSI in this common objective to educate and inform Caribbean people towards the best CHOICES," said Frederick A. Morton, Jr., Founder, SVP & General Manager of Tempo ("Mr. Tempo").

"PSI is thrilled to be partnering with TEMPO in this first of its kind series designed to raise the bar on HIV/AIDS awareness communication in the Caribbean. TEMPO has been an ideal partner in keeping with PSI's focus of speaking with and not down to Caribbean youth in novel ways that young people can relate to. It is hoped that the relationship between TEMPO and PSI will "grow from strength to strength" and we look forward to working together on future initiatives", said Ms. Pamela Faura, Regional Director for PSI in the Caribbean.

Audience members are encouraged to vote and comment on the series at choices.gottempo.com. Voting will also be registered via mobile phones via shortcode 7425 pan-regionally and 444-7425 in Jamaica only.

Facts about HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean:

o 250,000 persons in the Caribbean are currently living with HIV.
o With an average HIV prevalence of 1.2%, the Caribbean is the region of the world with the second highest prevalence after Sub-Saharan Africa.
o In 2006 alone, 27,000 individuals living in the Caribbean acquired HIV.
o In some countries in the Caribbean the number of female adolescents between the ages of 15-19 living with HIV/AIDS has been found to be two to six times higher than the number of adolescent males of the same age group.
o The vulnerability of young women to HIV infection is well documented. In the Caribbean, young women now comprise more than two-thirds (69%) of all young people living with HIV/AIDS.

About TEMPO
Envisioned by native son Frederick Morton Jr. and launched by Viacom, Inc.'s MTV Networks, TEMPO brings the Caribbean vibe to Viacom's roster of popular and highly targeted cable networks which includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike TV, by representing every island in all its glory. TEMPO brings to life all the richness and influence that the Caribbean has to offer. Connect with TEMPO at gottempo.com. TEMPO is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. MTV Networks also operates and offers joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby its programming can be seen worldwide.

About PSI
Population Services International (PSI), a non-profit organization founded in 1970, measurably improves the health of poor and vulnerable people in over 60 countries around the developing world, principally through social marketing of family planning and health products and services, and behavior change communications. PSI's social marketing approach engages private sector resources and uses private sector techniques to encourage healthy behavior and make mar kets work for the poor and for those at higher risk for health-related illnesses. Recently selected by "Fast Company" magazine and the Monitor Group as one of the world's top social entrepreneurs, PSI combines creativity and ingenuity with business solutions to address global health issues. In the Caribbean, PSI implements a regional social marketing program for the prevention of HIV. www.psi.org

About MTV Staying Alive
Launched in 1988, Staying Alive is a multimedia global HIV and AIDS prevention campaign that challenges stigma and discrimination associated with HIV and AIDS as well as empowers young people to protect themselves from infection. The Emmy Award-Winning campaign consists of documentaries, public service announcements, youth forums and web content. Staying Alive provides all of its television programming rights-free and at no cost to 3rd party broadcasters globally to get crucial prevention messages out to the widest possible audience. The Staying Alive campaign is a partnership between MTVN Networks International, Kaiser Family Foundation, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and other partners. More information about Staying Alive can be found at www.stayingalive.org.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s mandate is to ensure that the principles and rights set out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child are upheld and respected to offer opportunities for the full development of all children and adolescents. UNICEF works to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. UNICEF is one of the key UN organizations committed to the global response to HIV/AIDS on account of its strong history of cooperation with governments, extensive field presence, recognized track record of helping the world fight infectious disease, and its mandate to ensure the fulfillment of the rights of children and young people. UNICEF works in 191 countries around the world.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dear Rascalz Masquerader

Seems as if Rascalz had some on the road issues for D.C. Carnival 2007, the following apology was sent to all their masqueraders. Hey, at least they apologised!

Dear Rascalz Masquerader;

The purpose of this letter is to convey to you our sincere apologies for any inconvenience you may have experienced last Saturday with respect to the confusion surrounding the distribution of food. We understand your disappointment and the logistical problems that ensued. There is no question that this incident was not the very high standards you have come to expect and should continue to demand from Rascalz.

In our effort to improve the overall quality of your Rascalz experience, we intended to serve food and refreshments along the parade route while you were jumping to the sweet sounds of our DJs. To facilitate this addition to your overall experience, we rented a converted “ice cream” truck, which was packed with your food and refreshments. However, before the start of the parade we were approached by DC government officials and told that our truck was considered a vending vehicle even though we communicated that no refreshments or food were being sold. We were instructed to remove the truck from the parade, pay $1,000 for a vending license and go to Banneker Park with the rest of the vendors. As you can imagine, the idea of having our truck removed from the parade was one that we could not entertain. After intense discussions, a compromise was reached, which allowed the Rascalz truck into the parade with the condition that no food be served along the parade route. Any violation of this would have led to the truck being removed from the parade.

We decided that, based on the compromise, food would be served at the end of the parade either on Georgia Avenue or V Street. However, at the end of the parade, our trucks were told that they could not park on Georgia Avenue or V Street. Our DJs were also instructed that they could not announce our new location at the intersection of Florida and Sherman Avenues. Due to the unexpected revision to our already revised game plan, we had no adequate way to notify you, our masqueraders, in a timely and effective manner. At this point, we had to rely on word of mouth to get the message as to our new location. In retrospect, we should have notified you along the parade route, a misstep on our part.

Let us assure you that what happened is not typical of the level of service that we intended to provide to you last Saturday. We continue to be very committed to providing
you with the highest standards of service and entertainment. We can promise you that we will do our very best to ensure that this type of incident will not happen in the future because protecting our reputation for delivering, to you, a great overall DC Carnival experience is a key priority for us. Once again, we are extremely sorry for the inconvenience and annoyance this incident caused. We look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial relationship that we have shared over the last few years.

Sincerely,

Rascalz

Trini Revellers Launch

Trini Revellers will launch their 2008 presentation "Viva Mexico" on September 23rd. Mark your calenders folks, band launching season in Trinidad will be soon upon us.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Island People 2008 Launch

Ah yes, the rumours are flying and the date given for Island People's bandlaunching is August 12th.. if this is the real date remains to be seen! But it is finally good to be working with dates and not just general asusmptions of the month. We ready for mas again !

We have a date....

Well amid all the rumors swirling around the alleged launch of TRIBE's 2008 presentation "Myths and Magic" one date is seemingly confirmed; July 28th is supposedly D day! And before you rush out and book your airline tickets please call the mas camp for verification or wait for the official email.

D.C. Carnival Pics!

Check out this flickr gallery for photos of D.C. Carnival which passed this weekend. Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Checking In and Checking Out

I was banned from bringing my laptop on a sojourn away from home this weekend but I am just "checking in" to say to all those who look out for my daily posts that today I am on a mini hiatus enjoying a "Mini Break in the City" weekend.

So I will check back in with you guys tomorrow! Enjoy the rest of the weekend and D.C. Carnival for all those who are there.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Carnival in DC this weekend!


The feteing started on Thursday with TRIBE's first international fete "Ignite" and several of the bloggers who frequent this blog met for the first time to lime and party with each other and after seeing the photos of that night I can only conclude they had a great time. Last night was the fete showdown with legendary Taboo versus newcomer Secluded, I await the reports of those who went to either party but I am sure patrons had a great time whichever one they went to.Today the parade starts at 11:00am and I know many of you in DC will be jumping with several of the popular bands, if you are looking for Caisoqueen she will be with Rascalz! On that note from what I understand DC Carnival will see the return of the green string, you know the I.D. band of all Carnival bloggers, so if you are going down to the parade be on the look out for the "kermit' green string.

Click here to check out photo excerpts of events that have already passed for D.C. Carnival 2007.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Baje accused of size discrimination

The following article appeared on Islandevents.com;

Jun 21, 2007
A complaint about discrimination and the unavailability of large-sized costumes for “thick revellers” in the popular Baje International Kadooment band, Lost Tribe has been circulating in Barbados.

According to a report in the Daily Nation a few full-sized women who wanted to jump with the band, said Baje only made five "special orders" for each of its eight sections. "Comprehensively, that means that for the eight sections each will only have five 'big' people. What statistical survey was carried out to come up with a cut-off number of five?" one would-be reveller asked in an email signed "Discriminated". Adding that Crop-Over was "apparently not" for everyone, one person also asked whether Baje's agenda and strategies for this year were effectively communicated to the public.

However, bandleader Richard Haynes said that there was no new agenda and that the special orders – which included items like thongs, whole-piece bathing suits, hot shorts and tops in double and triple XL sizes – were ordered based on amounts bought by revellers in the last three years.

"But Murphy's Law caused us to have more double and triple XL customers than anticipated. We also brought in more double XL tops. So by no means have we discriminated against anybody. Absolutely not.”

According to Haynes, those complaining probably sought their costumes too late, since more than half of the 1 600 costumes were sold on June 9th, the day after the launch.

Noting the trend of an early rush for costumes in recent years, he said the band had sent out correspondence to its customers in anticipation of this year's rush.

Stating that up to Tuesday, only 40 female costumes remained – all medium-sized – Haynes said a further 42 had been offered for sale within the last week. This came about because its Trinidadian section catering to 200 saw 158 being ordered in Trinidad on June 9th.

"When we realised how quickly they were going in Trinidad, we decided to stop sales there and keep the remaining 42 for the Barbados market," he explained, noting these would have included full-sized costumes.

Haynes also expressed regret about not being able to cater to larger numbers, but added that after last year's experiment with 2 000 revellers, Baje was forced to revert to the 1 600 limit.

Similar complaints were levelled against local band Tribe in 2006.

© 2000-2007. Blue Wolf Interactive. All Rights Reserved.

What about the good old days when costumes were made when a masquerader registered and to their specific measurements? Seems like Baje has adopted the practice of pre-ordering costumes in only specific sizes. To me it is quite an ingenious way of catering only to the type of masquerader one wants in their band. Of course the same thing happened in Trinidad for Carnival this year, that is the "larger" ladies were also told that certain sections in a certain band were sold out and were "placed" in other sections where their size was available; after the Nylon Pool and Tales of Benguela whipping of TRIBE I thought other bands would have been taken to task for "size discrimination" as well, but the media was not as savvy this year. The media attention and outcry by our Bajan sisters is very admirable and I say if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck please Baje, don't try and tell me it isn't a duck!

So Fresh!

July 4th, breakfast fete at The Island, Brooklyn N.Y. ...check flyer for details.



Thursday, June 21, 2007

To Set the Record Straight

In an earlier post about Poison UK I mentioned the fact that on their website it stated that a section would be designed by legendary Peter Minshall. Well, following several comments that were made on that post, Ansel Wong of Paddington Arts ELIMU left this bit of information concerning Minshall's involvement in Notthing Hill Carnival 2007:

Four Mas Bands - Paddington Arts ELIMU, Poison UK, Dragons and The Lighthouse Players - together with the London College of Fashion, The Victoria & Albert Museum, Kingston Upon Thames Carnival and The Thames Festival have commissioned Minshall to design, make and stage a Mas Production at a number of events and venues in London from August to September 2007. This is year one of a four year project leading up to the 2012 Olympics when we hope that Mas will be given some exposure to be represented at the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics. There will be 2000 Mas players at the highlight of the event in Hyde Park on Carnival Sunday. Then each of the four bands will display their Mas on Carnival Monday on the streets of Notting Hill.

It is a challenging and exciting project that was planned since 2005 when the Arts Council gave a R&D grant to plan this event. This is the fruits of this planning. If it happens, it will be something to behold as Minshall when he visited London two weeks ago to meet the Mas Bands excited us all with his ideas and plans.

Ansel Wong
Padington Arts ELIMU

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Power X Four website is up!

Though the band launch is scheduled for June 23rd Power X Four has updated their website with full costume photos. Of the sections available I am liking Sonic Boom and Ablaze. I also like the fact that they included shots of the whole piece for all sections and that the models all look quite "healthy" and toned! Check out the website for more costume photos as well as information on Crop Over events.

Click on all photos for larger view




Shanghai Dreams

On July 1st Sesame Flyers will launch their 2007 Labor Day presentation "Shanghai Dreams". Click on the flyer for more information:

DC Carnival Band Line Up

The DC Carnival Parade takes place on Saturday June 23rd, beginning at 11am from Georgia Ave & Missouri. Below is the order of appearance for the 2007 parade.

# - Band Name - Category - Presentation

1. BAHAMAS JUNKANOO ASSOC. (Small Band) - “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN”

2. JACKIE & ASSOCIATES (Large Band) - “FROM THE 1ST TO THE LAST QUARTER”

3. SUPER JOCKS (Small Band) - “GIFT OF LIGHT”

4. VIRGIN ISLANDS (Large Band) -“RAIN DON’T STOP CARNIVALTROUPE, INC. DEH CARNIVAL”

5. STEFMUS PRODUCTION (Small Band) - “FETE IN DE VALCANO”

6. ROOTS & CULTURE (Small Band) - “CONQUEST OF THE CARIBBEAN”

7. WASHINGTON RAMPAGE (Small Band) - “D’ MASK BALL”

8. CARIBE, INC. (Large Band) - “QUEST FOR GOLD”

9. PANISHA (Small Band) - “VICES & VIRTUES”

10. BASEMENT KNOKER’S ENTER. (Large Band) - “DAMAGE CONTROL”

11. DE ISLAND MASQUERADERS (Small Band) - “OUT OF AFRICA”

12. AFRI CARNIVAL (Large Band) - “AFRICA’S GREATEST LOVE AFFAIR”

13. FAMILY AND FRIENDS (Small Band) - “SAFARI, SOMETHING WILD“

14. ICE CARNIVAL (Large Band) -“A TRIBUTE TO DANCE”

15. TRINI NITE LITERS (Small Band) - “PARTY TIME”

16. RASCALZ (Large Band) - “ANGELS & JUMBIES”

17. GRENADA JAB JAB (Small Band) - “FREEDOM DAY”

18. HAITIAN SENSATION ASSCOC (Large Band) - “REFRECHI” LIVE HAITIAN BAND”

19. GARAGE BOYZ (Large Band) - “MUD JUMBIES”

20. PAN MASTERS (Steel Band) - “PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN”

21. TRINI PAN AMERICA (Steel Band)

22. DC PAN JAMMERS (Steel Band) - “FANCY SAILOR”

SOURCE:http://www.toronto-lime.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

So many choices, just two days!!!

With all the rumours swirling around about all the ultra fancy, uber sexy, unbelievably gorgeous costumes in store for us masqueraders in 2008, you know the ones that tell of the myriad of colours and themes we can expect, I am seriously wishing that Carnival was one week long! Just the thought of having to whittle my choices down to only ONE costume has me toying with the idea of being a two section H.O. Last year I did explore the possibilities of donning one costume on Monday and another on Tuesday but practicality and pocket won out in the end. I figure if I plan ahead and budget accordingly the idea of a two section H.O. might be quite possible.

The burning question I had about the whole two band/section quandary is what happens to the first costume when you wear the second one the next day? One answer I was given is that costume number one is sold at a discounted price to some hapless masquerader still looking for a costume for Carnival Tuesday. In that way I guess you still get a monetary return on your enjoyment investment. The other question was the most obvious, how does one afford two costumes at the price of costumes these days? Therein lies the power of being a woman; sponsorship. Obviously there are some women who do fork over their own money for two costumes, but then there are those who are actually sponsored a costume by the husband, boyfriend, sugar daddy, the band itself or in one case their boss! Maybe I should start soliciting for a costume for my birthday or Christmas!

Of course I cannot ignore that part of my brain that thinks the whole idea, though exceedingly decadent and exciting, is just too extravagant. Does it really add anything more to the overall Carnival experience to pay for two different costumes, for two different days? I mean really it is still the same band with the same music, food and drinks plus creating Monday wear can be a thrill in itself. Which leads me to the whole enigma of the Two Band H.O which I explored in this post last year and which is personalized my Wendy Fitzwilliam who embodied the whole concept this Carnival playing in both Harts and TRIBE on the SAME day. Apart from Wendy I did meet a real, non celebutante two band H.O. this year; the lady in question played in TRIBE on Monday and Island People on Tuesday and by her accounts had a great time in each band. How fabulous it must be to have two different experiences for Carnival with two diverse bands! The flip side being suppose you enjoy yourself more with one band over the other, are there any regrets? I guess you can always leave the band that is less fun and return to the band that is more fun but that defeats the purpose of playing in two bands doesn't it ?

So I am both excited to see all the costumes for Carnival 2008 (can it be band launching season soon enough?) but part of me also dreads having the headache of making the ONE costume choice! And to add even more complications a new thought just occurred to me, is one frontline worth TWO different costumes? Ah, the choices, the questions the lure of being a H.O for 2008 .!! What do you think, if you could would you?

Machel Montano HD - Caribana

If you missed out on Machel in Madison Square Garden this one is for you:

click on image for larger view


De Jumbie mash up T&T... flatten NY... and now coming to Toronto... RAAH!!!
DATE: August 4th 2007
VENUE: Lamport Stadium,1151 King Street W
Toronto, Ontario Canada M6K 1E9
PRICE: $40.00
FOR MORE INFO:
Phone: 416.391.5608~ 416.676.6504 ~416.985.8488 ~416.565.4079
Website:http://www.caribanafestival.com,http://www.islandboyz.com,
http://www.ticketbreak.com
Email : info@caribanafestival.com

Monday, June 18, 2007

Boat Cruise in Bim

click to enlarge


For tickets email socadiva70@yahoo.com

Take Note Carnival Divas

One of the most sought after services for Carnival 2007 was a makeup artist. I had people emailing me for a makeup artist at the very last minute since many of the popular ones were already booked solid from very early. So, I have another makeup artist to add to the roster; Katrina Lutchman. Katrina did makeup for TRIBE's 2007 band launching, and though she does not have a website as yet you can visit her profile on facebook where you can see photos of her work. Her business card is posted below:



True Divas know that when it comes to costume and accessorising lots of planning goes into every detail, from what we wear on our feet to what type of body decoration will be used. Some of the lucky masqueraders in TRIBE got ear-rings along with the costume, which made one less thing to worry about, but little did many people know those ear-rings were custom made to match the costume. When you have someone design an ear-ring to match your costume as opposed to getting a generic pair picked up on the cheap from some Asian country one should feel very special indeed! For those who did not get the matching ear-rings do not worry, you can order your custom made, one of a kind jewelry made specifically to match that fabulous costume direct from Sweet Eye Designs, regardless of your band or section.

For more photos and information on Sweet Eye Designs you can visit the official website or the facebook group where you can photos of all the items

Fireman section
with matching Sweet Eye ear-rings



Sweet Eye Designs "Frontliner"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Lucian Carnival update

Popular St Lucian Carnival band Red International has sold out all of the six sections in it's 2007 Carnival presentation "Viva Las Vegas" ! It seems as if Lucians are not making joke when it comes to their mas, another band, Just for Fun has also sold out all but one of their four sections. Other bands with costumes still available are XS Energy "Quest- In search of the Infinite" and St Lucian Spirit "All Ah We Is One", but that will not be for long as XS Energy also has a few sold out sections already!

XS Energy "Zombie"



St. Lucian Spirit "Caribbean Blue"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Volunteers Needed

If you live within or around the Hampton Roads Area of Virginia and are interested in a good cause. The Virginia Caribbean-American Cultural Association is currently seeking volunteers for our 2nd Annual Virginia CaribFest being held in Norfolk, VA (July 14th-15th).Click here to be forwarded to the page for futher information.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Toronto Revellers Sold Out Sections

Toronto Revellers have sold out a record 4 of their 7 sections for this year's Caribana presentation "Viva Las Vegas". The sold out sections are Casino Royale, Sin City,Showtime and Wedding Blitz.

Showtime


From toronto-lime.com:

As the season draws near, Jamaal's Magloire's CARIBANA™ presentation is seemly becoming a crowd favorite for 2007. Over the weekend, the Toronto Revellers Mas Band had reportedly over 600 registered masqueraders already signed up. That's almost double the numbers from last year, according to Jamaal.

The exceptional response is of no surprise to the CARIBANA™ sophomore's. The Revellers suprisingly placed an respective 5th place at the CARIBANA™ competition in their inaugural year for 2006. In 2007, Jamaal Magloire has his eyes set of winning the big prize (Band of the Year).

Magloire credits much of this year's success to a new supporting cast which not only incorporates young designers, but also includes key figures from the entertainment industry. The 2007 Toronto Revellers are joined by Caribbean Vibrations (OMNI TV program), Ian Andre Espinet (IAE Entertainment) and FLOW radio personality Dr JAY (SocaTherapy.com).

For more information about Jamaal Magoire's Toronto Revellers and to register with the band visit www.torontorevellers.com

Refugees

Though Refugees website is not up as yet here are photos of costumes from their 2007 Crop Over presentation "Imagine":











Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Band for Miami Carnival - Island Elite

So, former partners of the band Generation X are bringing their own band for Miami Carnival 2007. Island Elite is the name of the new band and their presentation is "Into the West". The band launching is slated for July 14th at Big Fish. Keep an eye on their website for updates!


Do You Taboo?



I have reliably been informed that the launch of new band on the scene for Carnival 2008, Taboo is tentatively slated for August 25th. For more information on Taboo you can check out my archived posts "Taboo the Band" and read the responses from the bandleader Addae on the post "Taboo Speaks".

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Generation X Miami

What I have been told is the biggest and best party band for Miami Carnival, Generation X will be launching their 2007 presentation on July 28th with live models on display at Bayside Hut. Click on the flyer below for more details on the upcoming launch:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Myths and Magic, get ready all you frontline H.O.s!

And I quote:


"Shhh.......de launch is in August.....and is not the same weekend with Cropover....but it could be any of the 2 weekends after......costumes done, model search on.."
For all of you on Facebook you know the source. And for all of you purring and stroking crystals you KNOW what an irony this is. Mummylicious looks like we heading to the bandlaunching together; do not forget the high tech thing we spoke about so I can upload pics as soon as I snap them!!!

First Out The Gate

Until the dates for other band launchings are confirmed Harts is first with their launched scheduled for either July 27th or July 28th. More details to follow as soon as a venue has been advertised.

Monday, June 11, 2007

More Crop Over Costumes

In the wake of Baje's impending selling out and Power X Four's delay here are some other bands to consider:

Berger Boyz which opens it's mas camp today , however the website is not fully loaded with costumes as yet. A sneak peak of the sections can be seen in this flyer:




Campusboyz whose costumes look very much like modified Genesis costumes and this abridged version looks much cuter!!! Check out the website for more sections.

Campusboyz Feng Shui


Genesis Dancers of Sparta



PHOTO SOURCE:
Genesis
Berger Boyz
Campusboyz

Two Sections Sold out in Baje

Online registration is now closed for those of you still mulling over which one of Baje's costumes to choose though they did state on the website that they are working to provide more costumes for online registration, check back later today for an update. In the meantime Storms of Africa female and Isle de la Caribe are sold out. With Power X 4's launch date pushed back to June 23rd something tells me Baje will be totally sold out by then!

Poison UK

Though Poison Trinidad is now defunct the name lives in London under the banner Poison UK and they will be making at appearance at Notthinghill Carnival with three costumes from Pulse 8 (Sex on The Beach, Sapphire Ice and Mai Tai) available to masqueraders for the choosing. The website also states that the headline section "Rezzarek" would be designed my Peter Minshall, and that I am very interested in seeing. Somehow Peter Minshall's mas alongside Pulse 8 costumes is a concept that I cannot fathom as they are two different genres of mas. I guess it is a totalitarian concept at Nottinghill this year. For more information and to see the costume themselves have a look at the official Poison UK website. For those of you on Facebook you see photos of the launch in the group "Who Playing Mas for Nottinghill?".


Model at Poison UK Launch

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Machel on BET the review

The long awaited documentary featuring a behind the scenes look at Machel Montano’s Madison Square Garden concert and the events leading up to the event premiered on BET Jazz yesterday. Though I missed the beginning of the documentary the first time it aired I was able to catch the repeat at 7:00PM and caught the book singing at J&R records, his interview with Wendy Williams and even his taste of “soul food”. What I liked about the documentary was that within the limited timeframe the producers were able to convey to the audience, even though they may not know who Machel is, a little of his history and his contribution to soca music in Trinidad and beyond. The best part of the whole thing for me was the fact that we got almost 30 minutes of concert footage including the opening performance, Dougie Fresh beat box session and the Jumbie finale. Believe you me I was doing the Jumbie Thriller dance!

Some scenes tried to convey a sense that you were sharing something never revealed to the public like Machel’s interaction with little Marley Montano and his mini divo tantrum when the dress rehearsal was not going as planned; I guess that was the “human touch”. My minor gripes would be that the dancers were sometimes not coordinated which was distracting and the sound quality did not capture the essence of Machel’s live concerts. Kernel Robert’s “fresh water yankee” accent when he was interviewed was both hilarious and disturbing at the same time; I don’t know why when some Trinis are thrust into the spotlight they confuse speaking proper English with speaking with a foreign accent! And Patrice Robert’s performing Band of the Year was a bit shaky, maybe it was being on the big stage at Madison Square Garden, the preppy attire SO did not go with a breakaway soca song either.

Finally, I absolutely got the irony in the fact that the obligatory Carnival clip did not feature masqueraders from Machel’s section “Sahara Jumbie” in Island People but instead they highlighted some of TRIBE’s sexiest masqueraders in Nylon Pool and Angel Fish having a great time on the Savannah stage! If you missed both shows yesterday or just want to relive the experience one more time, the following are scheduled airings of the documentary:

BET Jazz:
Saturday, June 30 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 14 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Saturday, July 28 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

BET:
Wednesday, July 11 at 2 a.m.

Wednesday, August 1 at 2 a.m.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Baje's website is up

Baje International launched their new website yesterday evening. Interested masqueraders can view costumes as well as register online; the registration process is not instantaneous however. The procedure is you fill in all the information, then receive a confirmation email and await a call from someone from the mas camp to verify all your information. I hope by the time the call is returned the section you registered for is not sold out!!

From the costumes available I really like Storms of Africa, the red and black combination stands out amongst a sea of pastels and I am loving the headpiece. Second choice would be, for me, The Lost Tribe as I love the colours and headpiece on that one too. I just wish they had the option to view the costumes much larger than that tiny window view. The use of jewelry instead of the standard neck piece is a nice departure from the other costumes. I only have one criticism and it is that some of the bras look as if they offer no support for ladies larger than a B cup!

STORMS OF AFRICA


THE LOST TRIBE


Is it just me or do the costumes all have that "Made in China/Neckelmann's" vibe going on? Seriously, this is not bashing Baje but all the costumes have that "look", you know where the bra and waist band is decorated with every inch covered in patterned sequins and the skimpy beads fall in a certain way; even the headpieces look as if they came as part of the package. Nevertheless it works for them, China made costumes or not, and I wish them all the success for Crop Over.

PHOTOS: www.baje-intl.com

Friday, June 08, 2007

Animal Instinct


Sources have just informed me of two sections for Island People's 2008 presentation "Animal Instinct"; one is Zebra (which will be the second section) and the other Panther which is reportedly Sonia Mack's all black section . I have also been told that prototypes of costumes will be reviewed today and initial reports are that they are all smoking HOT!!!!!!! Hopefully the date for launching will be decided upon soon as well. Any fears of Sonia Mack leaving is totally unfounded as she will be section #1, leading the band as usual.

Word on the street is......

For all those awaiting a date for TRIBE's band launching that it might be revealed soon in order to facilitate overseas masqueraders who want to return for the launch. What would be really cool, in my opinion, would be some nice "teaser" publicity material from all band leaders so that we masqueraders have something to salivate over as many of us are dying for any hint of a costume. The first year Island People debuted as a band they incorporated this policy showing off three costumes at a media launch and then using the butterfly costume on flyers; brilliant strategy which created a lot of hype. TRIBE and the now defunct Island Events also used billboards in the past to highlight a glimpse of their presentations. So this is an appeal to all bandleaders to throw us a bone and keep us a little bit satisfied until band launching season beings at the end of July.

Just 4 Fun .

St. Lucia Carnival takes place this year from July 16th to 17th and while some bands have yet to update their website one band is already almost sold out! Just 4 Fun has sold out five of their 6 sections.

For a list of other bands that are still open check out the official Lucian Carnival website.

Lucian Carnival Schedule:
Sat Jul 14, 2007
8pm Calypso Monarch Finals
Sun Jul 15, 2007
8pm King & Queen of the Bands/Caribbean Soca Monarch
Mon Jul 16, 2007
4am J'Ouvet
11am Parade of the Bands - Day 1
Tue Jul 17, 2007
1pm Parade of the Bands - Day 2

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Saldenah's Rainforest



EXOTIC FLORA $140.00


WINGS OF A TIGER $145.00


AMAZON ROSE $140.00


ANGEL FALLS $140.00


WATER LILLIES OF THE CONGO
$140.00


JAVARI $140.00


WOMEN OF THE AMAZON $140.00


PARADISIO $140.00


FLORA $140.00


MEIO DO MUNDO $140.00



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