Sunday, July 29, 2007

TRIBE Band Launch Review

So the squad pile into the car to head to the anxiously anticipated launch of Tribe's presentation for 2008 "Myths and Magic". Being that this was a must attend event we made every effort to be on time. We thought we were doing well until we hit the Westmoorings intersection and saw that trafficwas backed up all they. I instantly got annoyed. Showtime was scheduled for 12pm and we were sure to be late.Given that they could not have had it in the Savannah as usual, I was still hoping for an alternative venue.i.eone that did not require me to sit in an hour of traffic. I would have been good with Jean Pierre Complex or even the stadium carpark.

So after sitting in nearly an hour of traffic, I get to Pier 2 to park and parking is full.I had to bat my eyelids to get the man to giveus a bly.I could not believe that many people turned out for a band launch. We arrived as Slaughter was finishing his set and hurried inside.The entrance was decorated to look like you were walking into a castle but no time for pics cause we were late!The e-ticket system went smoothly and I had no issues there. The stage was huge and well decorated. Closer inspection saw lots of pyrotechnic devices on stage so I was expecting lots of razzle dazzle. I positioned myself as close to the stage as possible with Saucy on one side and the rest of T& T media on the next. No time for drinks cause I did not want to lose my vantage point.

At about 1am the music suddenly stopped and the stage went dark.Then their was an earsplitting pop as some pyrotechnic misfired. This was not part of the show and they nearly blew out the ear drums of everyone close to the stage.Shortly thereafter,a short monologue was read in the background as dancing fairies graced the stage.The show had begun. Gasps and oohs and ahhs were almost instant as the first costume hit the stage. I was a bit perplexed as why no one was calling the names of the costumes(and why we never heard from the narrator again) since they had not handed out their trademark booklet. They should have put the name up on one of the projector screens as they came on stage. They completely raced through the show. It was very difficult to get pictures as the models barely paused at any mark on the stage to hold a pose. When I thought it was just me, every photographer around me was struggling frantically to get shots. It was not long befor ethey were telling the models to slow down.Many a time the models looked a bit confused as were to be which showed some lack of rehearsal. The costumes however were stunning . Overall much better than last year. Many more options of 'hot' costumes are available. I was a bit concerned about the theme and hoped they would have stuck in one or two local mythological sections. I honestly was not looking forward to fairy wings. I still am not but I can live with it I suppose. From the decor it seemed the them was more along medieval lines. I was a bit disappointed that several costumes although fabulous were along the same fairy-like theme. Then you had some sections that did not seem relevant at all. For instance Isis is an Egyptian Goddess and Mythological India is just that.So if you went a bit off the beaten track to incorporate them you could have gone a bit more and cut back on the duplicate fairy mas and put in some more Roman myths or local folklore . Where was Merlin by the way? One of the most prominent magical figures in Midieval legend.Lots of myths, few magics.

Some highlights of the night included the Black Magic girls coming up from the floor of the stage. I was very amused by the model who wore 'Lady of the Lake' who apparently invoked the spirit of She-Ra. I do not know what she was trying to do with her portrayal but her poses were strange . (see pic)More often than not her teeth were bared and the poses were just unatural and inelegant. I really think she did the costume and injustice by not displaying it nicely.I guess we could palm it off on nervousness but when she gave that She-Ra pose I almost died laughing.She was however not the only model who seemed to not know what they were doing, or rather how to pose to display the costumes, she was just the funniest. Others spent a great deal of time with their back to the audience or walked with their heads down (aside from speeding). A lot of the pyrotechnics generated smoke that for the most part did nothing but obscure the costumes and try to choke me to death. Noticeably missing were the male costumes. Not ONE male model took the stage.Another big moment was when the individual costume for Amalthea took flight.See the video here. Although this spectacle was impressive visually, it could have been executed a bit better. The whole set up for it seemed interuptive.It was pretty obvious when the stage hands dropped the apparatus for the ring of fire onstage. More obvious when the costume walked on stage and stood up and they tied her harnass to the suspended cord above. The entire time this was being done I clearly saw the costume. The impact that the presentation could have had was significantly reduced. I really don't know how they could have gotten around this considering the venue but the stage at least needed to be a tad darker. Better yet they should have had an interlude and bring back the dancing fairies to distract people.

The finale when they brought all the costumes back on stage was a bit jumbled but it was probably the best time in the entire show where I was able to get half decent pictures. The entire show lasted about 30 mins. Which was good since last year the show was painfully long. However at the end of this show I still could not tell you which costume I liked. And if I had any inkling I had to refer to it as "the silver one nah".So we saw the costumes but unless you had previous knowledge you would not have known what you were looking at. As the models exited the stage a very hyped up Shurwayne Winchester started his performance.
I completely tuned him out cause I was more studying how good my pics came out. And most ppl at the front of the stage seemed to be concerned about the same.
The rest of the party was ok. Not great. The vibe in their launches has been generally mediocre in the past few years. I don't know if its because people lose interest in the event after the show is done in a sort of anticlimax or what but I usually see to extremes post show. People who REALLY bored and people who REALLY having fun. When I finally got to the bar to get a drink I was glad to see 2 for 1 premium drinks for which they did not charge me separate for my red bull. I did not like that the complimentary bar (that yuh pay for) did not have any vodka.I could be mistaken but when I reach it only had rum and beer and soft drinks. I don't recall teh invite saying free vodka either.If I was a vodka drinker I would have been pissed but I had come prepared to buy drinks anyhow.
I exited the party fairly early around 4am to avoid traffic . I was most annoyed that I did not get a booklet as I was leaving. I saw a girl with like a pile and asked her for one cause I thought she was giving out. Only to find out that she is a patron and she take for her whole family. I mean come on, it free yes but FOUR? If yuh family did not take the time to pay their money and come down in the venue to see the costumes live then its not critical that they get a book. They could wait for the website to come up next week. I now need a book cause I have blog to post and have to sit down and have an immediate conference with my ppl to decide what costume we wearing. I eventually got lucky and my bro got one left for him on his windscreen. Why is it that the VIP parking and the Pier 2 parking did not get booklets placed on their cars yet ppl parked in BASE carpark did...Who knows.I must say the booklet is not as nice as it usually is. It is smaller for one and you can't see the costumes as well as you usually do as everyone is shrunk. The costumes were shot in a studio and then a mythical backdrop added. It does not look bad but I think alot of the "wow" factor was lost. Tribe's trademark has always been these on location photoshoots. These shoots have alwys produced fantastic pics which are a high point in selling the costume. I think that is one tried and tested feature they should have kept. The book also made it quite clear that the women are the stars of Carnival. The male costumes are typical and not as creative as last year. The male models could have been hotter as well. I would love for someone to tell me why almost all the feet of the male models seemed to have been vapourised.I dunno if they were going for a 'standing in the grass effect' but it seems kinda weird since the female model right next to them is standing normally in stilettoes.
I managed to get home in time to post pics before I knocked out for the night.
Up next ...jumbie's costume review!


I really tried my best guys, them models were moving like they was running the NYC Marathon. Many pics have them going out of frame but you get the idea......
Check it out HERE!
I still have some video to upload so you can pretend ike you was there lolol!
Stay tuned for my review of the show.

Edit: Fixed link!

The show

So show is over and if you blinked you would have missed it. The stage show started abruptly and they raced thru with no indication of what was what. No booklets were handed out to peruse. I can safely say that all the costumes are nice.some are better than others. What I think is silver mist is a bit over rated. Its not in my top three. I still have to look at the pics before I give the word. Tribe tried to impress with special effects and flying fairies but it mostly hindered the view of the costumes. The skin coloured body suits caused a stir. The lead sections are over the top! ?stay tuned for more details later . I laying low cause I just see a girl in my top!.oh die!
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Somebody stickin

Now reach in the dance! Show to start soon! Traffic was pressure
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Traffic for so

Sitting in traffic on the west side all from west moorings .Hope I make it in time for the bewitching hour!
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Its Carnival!

As far as I am concerned Carnival does start with the first band launching! Last night was SUPPOSED To be HARTS launch but it was cancelled. Rumour has it there were some sponsorship problems. Anywho, I don't care cause TRIBE is out the gate tonight at Pier 1 with their Launch of "Myths and Magic"

I am most excited. I know you guys have not seen or heard from me for awhile but that is because I was trying to focus on other things and I can't focus if I am thinking about anything Carnival related. I swear I could give myself and anxiety attack just thinking about costumes.I see Saucy has distributed the list of Sections. I had some knowledge of this as well but I did not want to buss the files till today.

So....the consensus is that the costumes are HOT!!!!! Word on the street is that decisions will be difficult as there are many sections that will have us over excited. Last year I honestly felt Tribe's costumes were lacking and the choice if nice costumes were limited. This year we may be in for some serious conferencing among the carnival lime. Which I think is good because everybody won't be rushing one or two sections as has been Tribe's trademark in times past. Year one was Machu Pichu vs. Achaen Odysessy, Year two was Angel Fish vs Nylon Pool and Year three was Dragon vs. Jamette/Fireman. And not only are the costumes great but the head pieces are as well!

So hot sections to look for.... Leasel Rovedas with Silver Mist. A Silver and white costume which I heard is ridiculously skimpy and gorgeous. But we know she love to buss price!!No way this costume is under $3000. Monique Nobrega's with Black Magic. I heard is the best black costume in ages. Lana Nobrega (who we always appreciate) with Pixie Dust which is Teal and cream/white. Look out for the purple costume designed by Monique. Generally the costumes are getting skimpier and I have mixed reviews on how prices are going to be. I have not heard what will be the costume of the season for those who are a bit more modest. I will of course be at the launch to open the gates and give my full review. Paparazzi in 'da building!!

P.S..I get a blackberry...look who posting remotely!!!! Well..if I can figure out how to use it by then lol....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Just how smart are TRIBE "TLC" Smart Cards

So I came home last night to meet this letter from TRIBE in my inbox. So Tribe's Loyalty Card gives loyal masqueraders (those who play every year) the opportunity to register before all the masses who have never played with them before. Now last year this was both good and bad. Good because I was pretty well assured a costume in the band. Bad because I STILL had to get up early to make sure my friends got into the section of choice.Being the smart men (and women) Trinis are , they still managed to find loopholes to getting and using the cards to register with priority. Not that it really made a difference overall since the band never really sold out. It is a fact that certain people who NEVER played with Tribe and were there 1st day of registration. Others loaned their cards cause they knew they were going with Island People( or wherever) for sure but wanted to keep one foot in Tribe for the long run . Of course others just sold it outright.

The email took me a little while to process cause I had 3 mojitos in my head. But from what I gather, if you registered and did NOT play you got kicked to the curb cause its all who actually PLAYED who get TLC cards. How they going to figure that out I would love to know. I know that if you sold a costume, they were supposed to update the TLC card with the new name. But on the same hand I could have sold the costume and given you a authorisation letter to collect it and the database will still show its my name.Suppose I paid and picked up the costume and then sold it? Still my name!....and I did not play.I would still get a TLC card this year. And if you played with them before and NOT in 2007 you can now "apply' for a card on a priority basis. I would love to see the official ranking.

As a 'loyal' masquerader I have played in Tribe since their inception as their own band. I never played with them in Poison cause i used to get a free floor costume but we all knew that was the best liming spot.But that doh make a difference at this point anyway. We talking about Tribe as a band now.Now being that I got into my section of choice with no stress, I never really made a big issue out of it. Best believe if I hadn't gotten my section it would have been a very different story. If i play EVERY year for 3 years and I signing up FIRST DAY of registration too, no way in hell anybody who now reach should be getting a costume before me. I should have my own registration day for being there that long. Even with this new system I not seeing how it really going to give me an advantage over someone who played this year for the first time. On the other hand, as such a super loyal masquerader should I not have at least one guest who I can pull in with me for early registration? I have family who live abroad and have not played in 4 years who want to come for 2008.For argument sake, if I want to buy two costumes, one for Monday and one for Tuesday, will I be allowed to? I actually had the experience last year of having one of my bottom pieces deleted from my registration cause somebody decided that I could not possibly wear 3 bottom pieces for two days.I signed up for all three because I can never make up my mind what I feel like wearing until Carnival Monday morning and I like options. But it is just as possible that I may have been anticipating getting my period or getting a thong ban from my b/f. Note that I am paying for this and did the same thing the two years before. Yet I was told that I could only get two.I did not fuss cause between registration and collection I got something else for Monday but I was a bit peeved that somebody else decided I like a boy short better than a thong. Anybody who knows me knows I am definitely a thong person.

When I actually went to the site to register for my card. I got a (bigger) headache. Why are the info boxes a yellow background with white lettering? I could barely see what I was typing. When I hit submit they eh even ask me to preview it before submitting so I had to hope that what I was typing and could not read was correct. They say this card is for long term use. I eh know what to think about THAT. Its good for the environment recycling and all but really..... its a good chance people will lose it. And who paying for that? Me? I saw a comment by Saucy that said that we are all big people and if you treat it responsibly like a credit card or license that you will keep it safe. THAT is EXACTLY what I worried about. You can't tell me you you NEVER misplace your license or credit card. I am not a careless person but it HAS happened at least once. A time I came out my car and my license fell out from the door. I noticed with a few hours it was misssing and turned everywhere upside down. I stall for a whole week before i make up my mind I had to pay and go through the hassle to replace it (and I damn vex cause it was 3 months from expiry). Only to have the mail man drop it home for me cause he pardner from a next route find it. One thing I am famous for is I losing my car keys on a daily basis.Well ok, more like forgetting which part of the house I rest it cause it eh really gone for good. So much so that I have taken to using a clip on my hand bag.The TLC card has no monetary value so subconsciously you may not be as viligent with it. Now I have the responsibility to make sure to keep it safe from now till next year and make sure I doh get too tight in the band launch and lose it cause like its my launch ticket too.

I really appreciate the fact that Tribe is leading the way in modernising the Carnival process and introducing new technology to make it more efficient. Insert applause here.However,there are certainly a lot more arguments that can be made for the whole definition of 'loyalty'. In addition to which technology is not without its problems. Registering online still has not been ironed out. They still have problems with the database on registration day and at times had to revert to hand registration. I just hoping for the best cause up till last registration day I was STILL having flashbacks and anxiety attacks from that awful day in 2005 when we the whole world was trying to get in Angel Fish and Nylon Pool. That has somewhat been alleviated since the process was very painless last year. However everytime they decide to try something 'new' i get concerned.

Allyuh realisin we in JULY and talking about band launch month end?WTF!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Sweet Eye Launch

Yeah so today I went to the Sweet Eye Jewellery Launch. The jewellery is designed by Solange Shaw-Gopaul and it is her first formal showing of her pieces Solange is the person behind the earrings that came with many of Tribe's costumes last year. You may have also seen her booth at Tribe's registration, she is also the office manager at TRIBE.

Well I did not get to the showing till about 4pm although it started about 1pm. That was definitely my mistake as by that time almost ALL the pieces had been marked as sold. Not bad at all Sol. All her designs are original and use a variety of stones and beads and sometimes feathers. If you see something you like you can request it in a particular colour or variation but she tries to keep each piece as a one of a kind as far as possible. There were several pieces I wanted but of course they were all SOLD. I know next time not to stick. Her prices are also very reasonable ranging from $60 to $200 dollars and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the great prices before demand pushes up the price. As it is, I may not be able to get the pieces I requested if she does not have material remaining.

You can visit her site Sweet Eye Designs or search for the group of the same name on facebook for up to the minute updates and first looks at the new items.Both sites have some closer up pics to see specific items.