Thursday, July 29, 2010

BLISS VS TRIBE

Well unless you have been living under a rock, you would know by now that the management of the band TRIBE has decided to produce a new separate band called BLISS. BLISS is being touted as the "Intimate Experience" with the smaller band size while TRIBE is still the "Ultimate Experience". Since this revelation I have been bombarded by questions about the differences between the two and find myself almost being a marketing representative for the new band Bliss So much so , that I did not even want to tell anybody about when I first found out because I thought it was such a fantastic idea. I have personally been campaigning for a smaller Tribe band for some time; there was my social commentary The Tribe Mentality where attempted to determine what was the driving force between the obsession to get into Tribe,then there was The Lost Tribe where I lamented the loss of the 'Tribe experience' and then there were several other rants about TLC. I also have this theory that Tribe being spawned from Poison had a great advantage and increased probability of being successful by being able to learn the ropes and get their working formula sorted in Poison before creating their own entity. In such a way, I have no doubt in my mind that BLISS as spawn of Tribe can be just as successful as they already know the gameplan. I am therefore an avid supporter in the venture! Will I actually play with them???...well that remains to be seen.....

Firstly, I think a reality check is in order:
  1. TRIBE intends to reduce their band size for 2k11 to approximately 4000 ppl or so
  2. BLISS will be a small band with approximately 2000 ppl or so
  3. There is no more TLC
  4. According to a Bliss committee member: TLC is not a requirement for Bliss nor is previous participation in Tribe.You just need to know a committee member willing to register you.
  5. It is unclear how the abolishment of TLC will affect the TRIBE band sequence of registration.
  6. You cannot shuttle back and forth between Tribe and Bliss.Each masquerader id band entitles you to ONE band i.e drinks, permission to be behind the ropes
  7. Everybody can't be in Tribe!!!
  8. Everybody can't be in Bliss!!
In my opinion, part of the reason for creating Bliss is so that all the people who can't get into Tribe will have somewhere to spend their money that is still in the realm of Tribe but not have to move to another band completely. This is not a bad idea at all cause you still 'kinda' in Tribe and still get the level of service that you are accustomed to. This works even better for those who don't want the jam session Tribe.

Unfortunately I think BLISS is shooting themselves in the foot (or maybe even the head!) for several reasons:
  1. The Costumes: You would think that as a new band they would ensure that the costumes are ALL hot!!! Now I think the costumes are pretty good but very few can be considered great. My personal hypotheses: If I pool all the costumes and take my top 5 picks, my first 3 will be in Tribe and my 4th and 5th would be in Bliss. Even though I loathe,hate and detest the overcrowding in Tribe I am CERTAINLY not throwing down a hard $5 grand on a costume that is my 4th or 5th choice! Comparatively if my costume selection went like #1 in Tribe and #2 in Bliss or even vice versa I would be there in a heartbeat!It only takes one look at Saucy's polls to know that in Tribe the popularity of the costumes are evenly distributed between 3 or 4 sections. In Bliss ,one costume has almost half the popularity! So true talk, doh lie!! Point in fact again, Knights Templar vs Ice Warriors. Same designer, one in Tribe and one in Bliss respectively. Templar is clearly superior so if I am fiercely loyal to this designer why would I not go for her best costume first?And yes I know that Bliss size is limited and I not telling TRIBE how to run their operation but I should also point out that people will want to know why this private section designer has a section in both bands while others do not. I'm jus sayin....
  2. The Costumes!! Lets not forget how skimpy they all are ! I love my skettel costumes and I am not playing in any section with no set of cloth but some of the choices in BLISS take things to another level. Yes wire bras are popular but contrary to popular belief not everyone wants one..especially not in if you just want a floor costume. So Bliss as just excluded the average female masquerader who has an average body type who does not want to be so risque by limiting their options (on top of their first 3 choices being in Tribe). Considering that they have also placed many of the older Tribe committee members (25-35 age group) on Bliss' new committee it can be expected that many of their market are also more mature and quite likely more modest in their choices. So having older people market over skimpy costumes to older people (25-45) makes no sense to me. Its almost to the point where you wonder what you are getting for your money cause I am not seeing as many of the wonderful accessories like Templar has or Xi'an has on most of those costumes. Should I therefore expect a cheaper price???
  3. Marketing: Exactly where are the costumes? No seriously, where the site?Where the book? Where the mas camp? Hell, who selling for allyuh?? Tribe sent out this info blast announcing the band Bliss and since then ...nothing!!! You guys seem to forget that it has now been a week that people have been talking TRIBE costumes non stop! They go on the site they stare at the costume , they hold telephone conferences with books in hand, they shopping for boots and they designing monday wear...all based on a TRIBE costume that they can SEE. To add insult to injury, we all know the demand in Tribe is so high so if I have access to a private section that I have stared at for a week , even if i was contemplating Bliss I am going to make sure my spot in that private section is booked! Why? Because I am not going to hang my carnival future in my bff band Tribe on uncertainty for something I have not seen or have any info on. I have nothing to compare, no prices, no perks. I would love to know how they splitting the music trucks up.
  4. Exclusivity: Right now Bliss seems to be so exclusive that everyone is afraid to even try to get in! Because of the lack of information and explanation of the registration process, many people I know who are interested are either intimidated or turned off at the prospect of Bliss. At the end of the day (past costume choice) they still want to be with their friends and no one wants to feel that if they get themselves in, their friends are going to be out. Bliss has not hit the road and they already have a stush reputation.By being so clandestine in all their dealings they are actually repelling some of their target market.
So in summary, the typical current Bliss masquerader is 30 something (average), with a really hot body, who knows all the right people to know, does not care about how much they like their costume, happened to decide up front that they want the smaller band and did not really like Tribe costumes to begin with. Any how you take it,it's going to be really difficult to find 2000 people that fit that criteria.I really do not want Bliss to suffer the same fate of "Poison 2". If you don't know what that is then you should probably be in Bliss! Bliss please get your act together!!! Let us know what is happening!!! Its an easy fix...hot costumes...more information....where do i sign up! Don't let me down!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

BLISS 2K11: REVIEW

Well I certainly got my wish when I asked the TRIBE gods to give me a smaller band. Unfortunately I am not sure if all my other criteria has been met because although I wanted a smaller band I did not want to give up the stage or my favourite costume. It will really be tough for some people to decide between the two depending on what their priorities are..size? friend quota? costume? stage?

If nothing else these costumes were designed to keep people moving as there they are all very skimpy. Floor sections with cage bras well boy! This might be the most ventilated band ever, less people, less costume. Soo my take on the costumes:

CAPRICA

Things were off to a strong start with this one. This is one of my favourites. I really loved the colour combination. It really caught the light very well. I like both versions but would probably pick the starburst headpiece version for myself.

ICE WARRIORS

Its a basic costume but still very attractive with a popular colour combination. The waistband gives very little coverage and is more like a gemmed belt really. I do like the gems used to decorate the bra. I do think however, that the collar on the FL is hidden by the massive head piece. So much so that in pictures they blend into each other.

PELE

Very nicely done but everything here is teeny tiny. You MUST be in top form for this one!I am really loving the plunge bra option for the floor. Its interesting to see a cage bra option for floor as well. Reminds me of Machu Pichu which is one of my fav costumes of all time. The Frontline monokini is gorgeous but I am not really feeling the choker. Love ,love the headpiece!!

CYCLON

Well this year is definitely the year of the shoulder pad and I love them! No feathers and lots of silver give this costume the robotic look that I believe the designer was going for. I really like the headpiece.

SOLARIS

I don't know where they hiding the rest of this costume. The frontline is so skimpy it is almost invisible, i dunno if that was the intention. I guess the beauty is meant to be in the accessories like the leg/arm pieces and the head piece. Even so I don't really like the leg pieces. Would love to see how much this one will cost.

TRAKSON WARRIORS

This colour combo is always difficult to get right but I think it came off pretty well. I really like the bra but not so sure about the waistband. I think the headpiece could have had a bit more to it to give some sort of wow factor. The sleeves are an interesting idea but I would like to take a closer look at them before I decide if I am feeling them or not.

IZUMI CLAN

Another one of my favs. A very pretty colour combination and I love the detail on the bra. The waistband is also very skimpy but it has some detail and the fabric helps to balance it off. The floor shoulder pads are too cute! The frontline is also gorgeous and I love the necklace! The wire bra is very daring but I like how it ties into the waistband.

TITANS

A top pick for sure. Love all the monokini options. The use of the fringe is very well done. I would have a hard time picking which version one I would want if I was in this section.Love it.

So my top picks are (in no order): Izumi Clan,Pele, Caprica, Titans
My least favourite : Solaris

Tribe seems to be taking their time to get Bliss' website up and running and I would love to take a closer look at them all. I think if you choose the Bliss experience you wont have a problem finding a costume you really like however the choice may be driven by how much flesh you are comfortable with showing. Choose wisely!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

TRIBE 2k11 : Way of the Warrior review

Ok, my apologies for not getting this out sooner but had a whole lot going on this weekend and staying up after the launch to blog was just out of the question. Right! So TRIBE !!!! I really must applaud Tribe for their marketing strategies this year with the social media. Most especially for those teaser videos!!! By the time the teaser video with the costumes was released I was bouncing off the walls in anticipation.


So lets talk launch.... we found ourselves back to where it all began in the Savannah. I actually prefer this venue because although you may have some parking issues, I would rather fight for a park than sit in traffic for 2 hours. Also the venue holds so many more people that it does not feel like a outdoor sweat box as Pier 2 tends to. As per usual I was running late only to realise when I got there that I had left my memory card for my camera home, so meggie if you were expecting pics. Quite unfortunate cause I actually had one of the best spots I have ever secured without having to elbow anyone out the way or fight with the 'real media' for shots. I got some pics via my blackberry which should have posted to twitter @carnivaljumbie but didn't! So please peruse www.carnivaltribe.com , Saucy's galleries and the many other online media outlets pics.


I did not have to wait long for the show to start and thought the stage looked great with the all white background and the long runway. In general the show was good not great. Compared to past years the models did not look like they got their rehearsal time in, several looked very confused and even bored at times. I was quite amused to see one having a full conversation while on stage when trying to decide if she should proceed or not. I was pleased when at one point a portion of a costume fell off and the model maintained her fierce stride, I was horrified when on her way back she stopped to pick it up. I really wish they would spend some more time with the models to display the mood they want as well as where they supposed to walk. And of course it would not be TRIBE launch unless we got to watch costumes in the dark. I really cannot understand why after all these years they STILL cannot get that crucial factor right!!!! We all came to see costumes and we need LIGHT to see costumes. It was quite ironic that they actually had a male costume equipped with built in lights.... yeah that one we were able to see.


As we all know, we were to be presented with costumes from both Bliss and Tribe and as two separate bands i will comment on them separately as well. In general, I prefer Tribe's costumes overall compared to Bliss as I can see many more options to my liking in Tribe. This might surprise some people as I have been one of several clamoring for the Bliss experience. With that said, I want to play in a TRIBE costume in Bliss.This goes to show you how important costumes preference may be to some ppl and it may even outweigh their band preference. Both bands have extremely skimpy costumes! So here is my review on Tribe:

GLADIATORS

Like it don't love it. I think it has a really strong presence visually but some of the details are just very typical to what I would expect a store bought 'gladiator' costume to look like. More precisely the strips hanging down and the arm bands are a bit boring . I would absolutely love to bling out that shield with gems so I hope that would come with the costume. I think what troubles me the most is the bra, is it a bra or is it a bandeau top?It does not seem to have much structure to it which cheapens the look. I guess I will find out soon enough. For those of us who are not very well endowed, a bandeau top is the equivalent to me duck-taping my breasts flat, they will disappear. I would definitely want the option of a strapless bra for this one like we had with Dragon. I do like the asymmetric strap detail . Of course the headpiece is fabulous. Its a safe costume with a literal translation and what you see will be what you get.

MONGOL WARRIORS

I really appreciate the design elements in this costume and I love it. The shoulder pads are fantastic and for that alone I would play in this section in a heartbeat. Rihanna eat your heart out. I can't wait to see it close up to figure out how she got the bra too look like a copper metal moulded bra which is very Princess Leia (my number one female warrior) and I love the bent wire details around the bra. The wrist pieces just rock and I love the waistband with its different levels of banding. I have yet to figure out how you get into it and from experience I hope there is room or adjustment cause if you are a bit thick in the waist those bands are going to just cut into your skin and be very unflattering. The FL version is even more edgy and I was a bit on the fence about the spikes in the headpiece. But I do get it and just for the inspired design I will give it a thumbs up.

PERSIAN GOLD

I think I am going to have to give this costume my top choice award! I love it. Wow! There is nothing I would change. Now before anyone says I am a bandwagonist because I played in this designer's section twice before, let me just say two things. One, I voted for a purple costume for next year as its a colour I have never really played in and two, my all time favourite colour on the planet is teal. Purple+ a hint of teal= no brainer for me. Aside from my personal preference the costume is well put together in every detail. It's just gorgeous. As Saucy says, yes its a girly warrior but really very few of my costumes have ever directly gone with the theme. I don't particularly care either way. My intention was to scale back a bit on the costume but how could I when the FL bodywear is calling my name? I have always gone for the bras with a halter style as it helps the cleavage.Although I am not a big fan of the bejewelled panty where the gems are stuck directly onto the bottom piece,this was a clever way to get the same effect thing without being limited by the fabric stretch. I love how the rings are used to hang the belt decorations which means the stretch is not limited by the fabric. You can tell how particular the designer is with the almost obsessive detail in the bra.I I absolutely adore the arm pieces and I think that's my favourite part of the whole costume. I have had bad backpack experiences before so I probably would not wear it anyway as beautiful as it is. I will be too happy get a rest and have that small FL head piece after Loulan.

XI'AN WARRIORS

This costume caused quite a stir when it hit the stage. The headpiece is sky high!! This is one of my favs in the band. I love how they used the metallic feathers rather than regular feathers for the headpiece and backpack of the frontline. The floor costume is gorgeous with its dripping gems and the frontline is just fierce. I like the style of the cage bra and although I am not a personal fan of the bejewelled panty , it looks good. You definitely need a banging body to pull off this one!

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR

A very pretty costume. I thought the choice of colour was a bit odd for the theme, I am sure the Knights Templar never saw hot pink in their time but I am sure it will be a very popular section. As with some of the other sections I think the arm pieces are my favourite part of the costume. The floor waistband is extremely skimpy and it basically depends on large gems for coverage.My one issue with this section is that the floor and frontline are too similar. A casual observer would probably not notice the difference other than maybe the headpiece size. I always modify my costume whether it is floor or frontline but I think that if I were to have the backline here that it would not be a stretch for me to bring it up pretty close to a frontline. The frontline does have the perk of having a blinged out arm piece for each hand.

IROQUOIS

You can't have a TRIBE without the traditional american indian mas. The headpieces are fantastic. The floor costume is simple but effective. I really like how the diamond pattern was translated to the frontline wire bra. I actually prefer the wire bra option to the monokini option because I like how the wire bra is decorated compared to the monokini. .I do think both versions could do with some more accessories. It would love to see a bustle option on this costume. This is sure to be a popular pick.

SASHURA

I must admit this costume took a bit to grow on me.It is definitely one of the better costumes from this designer in recent times. My first impression was "I hope that is not irridescent purple plastic sheeting in that waistband". Thankfully its not, its completely gemmed out and I like both the bra and the waistband. I think I would probably have preferred if the waistband had chains hanging instead of the strips but that's an easy mod. I was also a bit concerned about the white fur at first but when I saw how it was used in the foot pieces to look like mock fur lined boots I was sold. The head pieces are nice as well. I am a bit on the fence about the shoulder pads on the frontline. I live the shoulder pad idea in principal but this version is a bit too wide and too busy to be cute. I think the length and type of feathers was not the ideal choice.I would definitely like it much more if it was just a collar . I don't understand why you would have such an overdone shoulder pad and then still have upper arm pieces. Then there is the back bib..why?Overkill. The jury is still out on the frontline bra until i see it in person.

AMAZONS

Beautiful colours and one of my top 3.I love how the bra has the illusion of being made of metal. The waist band is teeny tiny but has lovely feather accents. The frontline is absolutely gorgeous! The back pack is one that really made me saw wow! Wow! Really can't say more than I love it.

MASAI TRIBAL WARRIORS

I love the fact that the male and female are contrasted with a multi colored female to a black and white male. There was a lot of hype to this costume before the unveiling and I must say I am not disappointed. I cannot wait to see the beading on the bra close up as it seems so intricate. It is really fabulous. As is the norm, the costume comes with fantastic accessories and is that a standard I see!!??? Can't say when is the last time I saw one of those but love the idea with the draped cloth. I also like the beads draped across the chest. There is so much colour in this costume that it will look vibrant on the road and I think the male and female mix with create quite a striking show.

ARCTIC WARRIORS

I have very mixed feelings about this costume but I think it is my least favourite in Tribe. I really think I need to see this in real before I make my final conclusion on it. I like the monotone and the construction of the head piece, arm and leg pieces.It looks like the bra and waistband is blinged out which is good but I am not sure if I like how it was decorated especially the waistband We shall see. The finger pieces are a novel and interesting idea but are actually very Thai inspired.I think what really disturbs me is the frontline version of this section which was the first version I saw close up on stage. There is really nothing I like about the costume other than the head piece. The wolverine claws are not cute and the bodice portion had me wondering what if you could stab yourself if you bent over.Not the best bra and I do not like this waistband at all! Oh btw the male costume headpiece gave me bad flashbacks.

MAYAN EAGLE

Fantastic!I absolutely love this costume, the colour alone sold me. The design of this costume is both original and innovative. Imagine a costume with no waistband!! All the decoration is within the neck piece. The neckpiece itself is just gorgeous. The style of the body wear is different to what we have seen before and I this is another costume where I can appreciate the design elements in this costume. I love the bra from the back as well. Although I love it I don't think the style of the body wear is suited to me personally but it surely will be a top seller. When i saw the booklet one of my issues was the chain belt should have been made with the circular decorations. I was glad to see just that as a larger circle belt was used at the launch. This section has my favourite male costume hands down.

Ok, my top picks in no order : Mayan Eagle, Persian Gold, Amazons, Xi'an warriors, Mongol Warriors

My least favourites: Arctic warriors and Gladiators.

The rest of the party was just a blur and I spent most of the time chatting with friends about the costumes and not paying much attention to the party itself. The party itself is rarely worth staying for in my opinion but it was a nice lime all the same. Next up...Bliss!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

YUMA Media Lauch:ZODEAK


Well this evening we finally got to see the most anticipated sneak peak presentation for one of the newbie bands,YUMA. The launch was held in a lovely upscale residential venue which is quite familiar with some of you who partied in the CRIBS days. The bar was fully stocked and the hors d'oeuvres were never ending!

The theme of the band is called "ZODEAK" which is inspired by the traditional Zodiac signs plus one more section for the "Oracle". After a short introductory speech by Yuma's representative, Terri Leigh Bovell we were presented with the frontline and backline for the sections called " Aquarius "and the "Oracle". At the forefront of their design team is Richard and Anthony who are well known for some of Tribe's big costume hits in the past and were also very much involved with the first two SPICE productions. I apologise for not remembering the names of the other members of the design team that Terri mentioned. We were all disappointed however that the lighting was so bad that getting good pictures were almost impossible unless you were on stage with the models.

I have never been one to bite my tongue when it comes to my opinion on costumes and truth be told I have both bashed and sung praises to Richard and Anthony in the past. It is without reservation that I say that I was very impressed with the presentation this evening. I was expecting them to be nice but I did not expect them to be as bling and as hyperbolic (yes i looked that up) as they were. So here is my take :

ORACLE

The frontline is absolutely fantastic. Gorgeous!! It is so stunning in person that I dare say I can find no fault in it. I have not even seen it in the light close up yet and to me its as perfect as it can get .The shade of purple seems to be very rich (it may look slightly different in the light).The body wear of the FL is a different twist to what we have seen with some of the longer neck pieces recently and all together gives the illusion of a one-piece short bustier. The waistband is super skimpy (but what 'hot costume' isn't?) but still appears well detailed. Both top and bottom are bejewelled with bling. The wings...omg...those wings. I LOVE the curve of the wings in the backpack..this is not no bat out of hell costume.....this is truly an elegant design. The wings are comprised of peacock feathers but they are purple tinged as opposed to the typical green tinged variety. In addition to which there are further hanging fabric entrails in the back. On top of all this is the huge headpiece. A whole lot going on but the collective effect is just wow. The backline is just as beautiful and the headpiece for that is also so large it is unheard of in recent backline offerings. I would love to know if that is standard or an option. I also heard that there is an even bigger version to the Oracle FL. Humph well Oracle is right, I can definitely see my future in this one!

AQUARIUS

Bling,bling and more bling.You might go blind if you look directly at this costume for too long. I am a sucker for a blue costume.... always was. I mean ppl may say this colour is overdone but fact is, it always stands out and is always a great seller. The colour will always be a winner in my books no matter how many times its done. I must admit when I first was introduced to this diamante netting material in SPICE's recent press release I did not like it. However Yuma has taken this same diamante net and done much better with it. If you want to be dripping in bling, this is the costume for you. The FL has diamante net mini dress over a partially (?) decorated bra and a string bikini. For a FL I think the bling dress is a lovely idea . I do have some concerns as to how this may fit ppl of different shapes and sizes and wonder if there will be some size restrictions in this section. I doubt the manufacturer makes S,M and L in this. It is more than likely a one size.(I could be mistaken). Of course allowances must be made for the movement of the loose fitting dress on the body but when it falls the right way it is very cute. For some, it may be a chore to make sure its always falling the right way if the fit is not quite right.I would definitely like to take a look at the neckline of the dress which has gems hanging and the extent of the decorated bra underneath. The headpieces of both FL and BL are gorgeous blue and blinged. I absolutely love the foot pieces with the flare from behind the legs. It is very Greco-Roman with the winged feet! I quite like the bra of the backline but I have some mixed feelings about the waistband. It looks pretty for sure! However, there is quite a sizable piece of material covering the bamcee and although it does not give much coverage because of the voids in the net , I personally would like it more if it was narrower or cut in steps so that became narrower. I am pretty sure the reason it is the way it is is because of the limitations of the material itself so there may not be much they can do (or you can do). The model was also wearing a more conservative bikini bottom which is definitely not a Brazilian cut bikini. I hope they have a brazilian bikini option cause I don't think I would dare wear that t-string thong lol.The front waistband also looks pretty but I found i had to look at it from a distance to see what I think they were going for which is is a blinged out sarong with a front tie. When I look at it like that I like it, but from the sides it has a hankerchief shape that I am still on the fence about. Overall its still gets a thumbs up as although I may not like every detail it is still a very attractive costume.

I unfortunately did not get a media package as I guess we bloggers have yet to get 'media' status hence the lack of 'media passes' to get into events that we tweet/blog about. Please view my few pics here and Saucy's pics over here. If this introduction to YUMA is a sign of things to come well I'm very glad to meet you.

Oh....right btw..to my friend driving PBP 7714..the next time you want to come ppl function and lime late try yuh best not to be forcing a park and blocking people in. I could have been in my bed a hour ago. :-p I would like to thank the Yuma committee member who was very helpful in getting out that jam.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

J'ouvert in July


For those of you going through Carnival withdrawl because your Palancil prescription has expired... Cocoa Devils will save you. This weekend they are having their J'Ouvert party at Pier 2 .It's $350 all inclusive and yes, prepare to get dutty. i.e you will get a bucket of something over your head.
Now I have never actually played J'Ouvert (yes the Jumbie never has,long story) but anyone who has knows is one of the most fun filled parts of Carnival. For those who have never dared, its a good opportunity to break yourself in gently before the real deal in 2k11.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

TRIBE PORK LIME

So Tribe had their pork lime Friday night. Its a semi annual event that they have just to get together and have a nice time with their colleagues and friends. Attendance was by invitation only and they were indeed checking names at the gate. However security probably was not as tight as they intended and I saw quite a few stormers making their way inside lol.

The festivities were scheduled to start about 6pm and people slowly but surely trickled in. The pig was already roasting away on the grill. One very interesting cutter available that I have never seen before is the 'Chip stick' which is basically a spiral cut potato on a stick which is then deep fried. You can then put an assortment of powdered 'flavours' onto your Chipstick. Flavours range in everything from garlic to pizza and even fried chicken! Quite a novel idea and it was a big hit in the lime.*Yum*

By about 9pm the lime was turning into a full jam session with food and drinks flowing and a live dj. I must say , hands down that is the best roast pork I have ever eaten. Unfortunate if you were one of the ones who missed out on that! The latecomers were consoled with geera pork with paratha and jerk pork with potato salad. The crowd became thicker as the evening progressed and several people commented that the crowd may very will be those who have the access to get registered in Bliss. I don't doubt them lol! The evening would not be complete without the recommended dose of Punchy Punch and the lime was no doubt in full swing up until the music was turned off. Tribe again justifying their new tag line that "Nobody can fete like we."

Thursday, July 08, 2010

SPICE:Signature Collection First Thoughts

Well I was not one of the privileged few to attend Spice's Media Launch for 2k11. In general ,I prefer not to make too many comments on a costume I have not seen at a launch or at the mas camp for myself in fairness to the designers. Saucy was able to take some pretty good pics which she is kind enough to let me borrow for this post . So at least which I think I can still give a first impression.

Overall, I think its a good start to a relatively newer group of designers. I like the colour combination used in Tres Chic (d pink one) and I definitely concur with Saucy's observation that the necklace is a carbon copy of Mystery of Loulan's necklace this year. Looks like gladiator foot pieces are here to stay as well. Its still very pretty and pending closer observation I am inclined to give it a thumbs up and I think its the better between the two.
Jubilee Diamond is also attractive overall but I can see myself having some issues with some of the detail . Its a white and silver costume so I wont criticise the colouring although I tend to like some more colour if I were to choose for myself but the sparkle in the diamante helps in the sunlight to give it a lift. I guess the cage bra is here to stay as well. I personally am not a big cage bra fan although I think on some people it looks fantastic. What I do not fancy is cage bras that require pasties underneath to be wearable as is the case here. The head piece is cute too , a bit reminiscent of "Sunken Treasure" but on a more blinged scale. The wings are fantastic and its probably what I like most about the costume. Overall although it looks cute I think its a bit sparse, the necklace is minimal and so are the arm and leg pieces. Maybe that's what they are going for...skimpy and then fabulous in the backpack . However, as a consumer I get a bit disgruntled when my waist band has minimal decoration as I certainly won't be wearing wings both days. What does that leave me with for Monday if I want to wear my costume? I reserve my final consensus when I see it close up. I am definitely interested in seeing what else they have in store.
Oh and I must give thumbs up to the design team for being very well put together themselves for the occasion.

Monday, July 05, 2010

BLISS IS BORN!

Well the secret is out today!! Official word from Tribe that they will be offering a second smaller all inclusive band as well as the original TRIBE. As per their info blast today :
"As Carnival continues to evolve and the masquerader demands shift,TRIBE's cutting edge approach enables us to adapt to these varying needs.As such, Tribe has heeded your suggestions and willoffer two different Carnival experiences for Carnival 2011. We are pleased to introduce two smaller bands,TRIBE & BLISS, which will improve managability and manouverability on the road, thereby significantly enhancing your Carnival Experience.
Those of you who enjoyed the "organised bacchanal" can continue to "palance" in TRIBE..THE ULTIMATE CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE. Those who desire a much smaller band with the same high quality product and service that they have become ccustomed to in TRIBE, now have teh option of BLISS...THE INTIMATE CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE.
This carefully studied and planned approach allows each band and its respective masqueraders to have its own distinct identity with each having its own parade route and band management."
Well I for one am glad that my prayers have been answered and have great respect for the fact that Tribe is consumer aware enough to actually take action and do something to solve their overcrowding problem. Personally I am on the fence about which one I would choose. With reduced numbers and still a very high demand across the board (and TLC is where?) it still remains to be seen how they going to decide who gets to go where. Its already serious stress for any 'group' of people to register in one section in Tribe...imagine trying to get your whole crew into Bliss! Then you need to think about whether you want to stick to your preferred designer.
Although I appreciate the 'intimacy' that Bliss proposes...it doh mena I want to palance any less...I just want to be able to palance in my costume without 10 people on top of me and 3 people trying to break my backpack/headpiece. Well we all wait with bated breath to see how this works out.
Oh btw..newbie bands that is a spanner in yuh wheel if I ever saw one. Humph!! Hope them costumes HAWT!!

Skullduggery: The Dance of Deceit Band Launch Review

I was most looking forward to this launch for several reasons. One, of course, it is the first official launch for the season. Two, the promotional material for the band has been most impressive and intriguing. A lesson some other newbie bands should take note of. And three, the entertainment.....you can't go wrong with 3 Canal and I looove David Rudder...for $100? Can't go wrong!!

The event was held at he new Anchorage (I presume its still called that ) which really and truly just got a bit of a facelift...its not all that different but its still a good venue for an event of this size. The turnout was quite good and upon entrance we were greeted by the first of the many ,many skulls of the night. The decor although minimal was quite effective with neon fabric strung across the ceiling. What got your attention were the numerous characters dressed in skull-wear with neon colours and skeleton leggings,chains, bustiers and the like. Some were trapped in bamboo cages while others were left to roam. At one point we had some hanging from the ceiling!

The action started with Charlie's Roots , they seem to be getting in gear to be well present for the season. Soon after 3 Canal hit the stage and give a very energetic performance. During the performance there was a side show with the fire breathing blue devils. It was during the next lull that I decided to get something to eat. Well who tell me do that ? Like half hour to get a burger...there was absolutely no system to pay and collect (or line for that matter) and the man act like he was doing me a favour by selling me a burger. Steups.

Ok so then we had the costume presentation hosted by Michael Cherrie. The stage itself was quite small but it did the job as I think the crowd was still able to get a good luck as the costumes made their way through the crowd to the stage. One of the best things was that they put a little platform on each end which elevated the costumes even more. At times it was difficult to hear the costume introductions and I missed quite a few of the monologues. Well now for my costume comments.

I was quite pleasantly surprised that there were so many sections. I really have to wonder here what band size category they are looking to compete in. Overall I liked the production, and it was every bit as interesting as I hope it would be and in that respect I was not disappointed. I do have some concerns about how practical some costumes will be on the road although I do think they will create quite a show regardless. One thing I loved about all the costumes were the recurring skeleton leggings. What a welcome change from the blah stockings we (might) wear every year!! I am sure that is going to help out a lot of people lol. See full Skullduggery pics here.

BAA-JOHN

I love that they had a graphic tee as the costume top. Although that is a tee I would buy as a souvenir , it would become a tube for on the road for sure! The caged undercarriage is quite dramatic and although it might take some getting used to in order to manoeuvre it should not cause too much discomfort. I would have liked to see a bit more working on it but I guess it would begin to get heavy. The tattoo sleeves are nice to look at and go well with the theme but I know for me personally will be a bit to hot. The male costume was simple and maybe a bit too casual for me as a 'costume' as most of them were . I suppose most men like to wear something not too complicated but those long pants are iffy.However it looks like the pants are those adjustable ones with the zip that allows you to alter the pants length. If that is the case..problem solved! From my position it was difficult to get a really good close up but it seems that many of the skulls were affixed with safety pins to add to the industrial look. It also work out well if you plan to use the pants again.

BAMBOOZLE
Out of all the costumes I think this is my least favourite. Its a great theme and I guess the mix of colours is too illustrate confusion but I really don't see what the head through the picture frame has to do with anything. It just looked very uncomfortable and the full bodysuit is not going to win any points with me either. I don't even want to ask about the orange spheres. I find it difficult to envisage a group of ppl with their head through a picture frame trying to interact with each other on the road. Hmmm..that may need some tweaking.

BLIGHT
This costume was a stark contrast to all the others as it had the least amount of colour. Not really sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing. Again, I like the ease and convenience of the tee but I preferred it here paired with some puffy sleeves. The leg pieces in the white fur (?) just was not in my personal taste although it would be a nice accessory if it were in tulle. The cat on the cat is not really recommended but.... ok its an unlucky symbol. I don't know how the pants on the men's costume can be helped since it seems to be made entirely of white fur (heat!!!) and i doubt men want to go down the road in a white tulle pants lol. and the headpiece on the men is a black cat......????? hmmm. Not sure how to feel about this one.

BOL-FACE

Bol-face was one that I also did not quite understand where they were going with it. I liked the use of the black sheer over the coloured base to make the skeleton pattern but maybe the contrast needed to be a bit more. I don't really understand how the Bol-Face theme comes into this as it just has a few orange skulls (which i imagine represent the band itself).I think in general, from a garment construction perspective, it looked quite ill fitting and I don't know how they can ensure that this has a flattering fits on each individual who registers. It also seemed to have less decoration than most other costumes. and is more like a bad prom dress. The headpiece is bewildering, and it was difficult to really get a good look at it as the models kept their heads tilted down most of the time. I was trying to determine how well you can see with this basket overturned on your head. I guess Bol-Face is a play on Bowl-Face??? Can't see myself wearing it and you can forget about peripheral vision. If it rains..you safe!

BACCHANAL WOMAN

I'm not really sure what makes this woman a bacchanal woman. A cosquelle woman might be a better description. (And I mean that in a good way ). It was difficult to see how the skirt was supposed to fit, I would have liked to see the model drop it at some point in time. For that reason I can't tell if i like the costume or not. As with Baa-John, if you were to take away the overlay the base would be very plain. A pair of hot pink sequin booty shorts would have been fabulous. I love the head piece on this one as well as the lunch box standard. The first thing I thought when I saw that is if it could open and close could that would be the best carnival bag ever !! Yeah so I would like to see bacchanal woman become cosquelle woman and that would jump it from I like to I love.

GREASE-HAN
This was another of my favourites. I was a bit intimidated by the thought of a full on cocktail dress on the road but I think anyone can totally rock this one. The interpretation was very well executed in both male and female versions. Love the headpiece and the umbrella. Don't know how that man is going to feel in the full on suit all day...a waistcoat would probably be just as effective. One of the best showings of the night!

HORN-CHILE AND HORN
Ok so I guess a horn begets a horn chile..fair enough.... but for the record..woman does horn too. I would have like to see a horner woman too. Nonetheless I think the horn chile was very whimsical and the model definitely sold the costume with her antics. I loved the knee highs but the full skeletons on the dress is a bit reminiscent of the "dead baby" ala the infamous "Baby Doll" costume that was ultimately condemned from Tribe's line up in 2007. I probably would not have thought nothing of it if i had not witnessed 'dead baby' for myself but its kinda hard to get that image out your head once you have seen it. Stick to the skulls. I loved the model's enthusiasm in portraying the horn. That full suit might need to be sleeveless but I was glad to see the waistcoat underneath. The fact that it was a man-halter...not so much. The male head piece was also fantastic and overall another great portrayal.

JAGABAT
Loved it. I need to give the model a round of applause too cause she got very much into character. Love the wings ,love the makeup, love the costume. This was an excellent way to do a Jagabat lol. One of my top 3!Would not change a thing.

MACCO
I really liked the use of the newspapers in this costume. This was another one that did not look like the fir was quite right. Liked but did not love, I think it could do without that longer part of the skirt or rather if the bustle was constructed better. It looked a bit of a mess. Loved the newspaper leggings though. I think the headpiece needs some work as well. The model kept her head down most of the time on my side so I had a hard time figuring out how it looked upright and to me it looked a bit too floppy for someone who supposed to be maccoing.I would have liked it more if it fit similar to the Grease-Han headpiece. The same could be said for the male who hid behind his umbrella. I loved the umbrella but the male costume was difficult to see.

MAL-YEUX
So this costume appears to be a very literal translation of evil eye. I must say I was a bit confused at first because I have a few Arabic friends and they always told me the blue eye was a symbol to ward off evil(and I checked,it is) .So I guess the costume is meant to repel the bad eye and not represent bad eye itself.I dunno. I liked how they used the chains to make the skeleton frame on the body and I like the colour combination. Overall its a very literal interpretation made with very basic materials so I would be interested to see how much this one is going for.

MAMAGUY
I liked this costume, if for nothing else its sense of humour.The tongue in cheek take on bikini mas as mamaguy is very well thought. The waistband itself does not seem to be of the best quality but I am not sure if that's intentional or not..but I guess it works either way. The bones on the collar and the mesh skelleton bodysuit is a nice touch as well. Even the male costume is a full out pretty mas compilation. The male headpiece is a bit lacking in the feathers department, again..intentional or not ?

RATCHIFEE
I know Sauce like this one but for me its one of my least favourite. Maybe its cause I don't understand it.Plaid for Carnival ? hmmmm. The backpack..why? Maybe that's the point? It just ratchifee? Oook moving on.

SKETTLETON
LOVE EEETT!! Love the skeleton bustier with the hot pink piping.Love the rainbow skirt. Love the poofy sleeves. I would probably rock it without the long undercarriage but its still great regardless. Even the play on words is great.

TWO-FACE
Another over literal interpretation.I dunno, I am not liking the smiley faces and I don't particularly like how the costume was put together. The men's version was also not very attractive. The method to the madness escapes me. A bit disappointed with this one as I think it has a very strong theme.

VIE-KI-VIE
Now I really liked the bustle, the sleeves and the headpiece on this one. The T-shirt dress on this one left something to be desired. As I said to Sauce, it looks like I could make it home. Given the tee had a great graphic on it but the dress looked poorly constructed.

WARAHOON
This section was ok . Nice colour combination and the male and female were tied together well.

SKULLZMAN
This male costume was simple but I really liked the skull and chain overlay on the black tee. I have a feeling the guys are going to love the skull walking stick.

SOUCOYANT
This costume was definitely a crowd pleaser. As AC said, there is some irony in the fact that the finale costume was the one that was a bikini especially after the tongue in cheek "Mamaguy". I really liked it nonetheless. When Tribe was doing "Ole time something' I was begging for a Soucoyant or a La Diablesse. Glad to see someone came up with one!! It's a winner! The model was fantastic in this also. Absolutely loved the bustle. Personally I am not a fan of red costumes in general and I may have like dto see some orange or yellow tones in there since soucoyants are supposed to be made of fire. The collar was also very interesting, I would love to see it close up. The one thing I probably would change is the poonky skull, a bit unnecessary.

So overall I would give Skullduggery a thumbs up on their presentation as there is a whole lot of creativity involved here. I really like the fact that they seem to have found a middle ground between 'sexy' mas and traditional mas. I think many younger masqueraders would consider them although judging from the crowd in attendance their audience was more mature. I still want to see a La Diablessse in there somewhere...what more deceitful than that?

So my top picks (no order) : Sketteleton, Soucoyant,Jagabat,Grease-Han
Least Favs(no order) : Ratchifee, Two-Face, Bol-Face

The night could not have ended better than with a jam session by David Rudder and Charlie's Roots. Rudder never fails to disappoint and gave an energetic performance that was on par with his full concert showings.

PICS AND VIDS NOW UPLOADED

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Get in yuh section!


Ok I just found my new favourite show! Imagine bringing reality t.v to Carnival!! Well Doux Doux Darling Productions is doing just that. Headed by Natacha Jones and Dawn Cumerbatch, Doux Doux Darling is developing a 13 part reality series called "Get in yuh section" all based on designing mas!!!! Sixteen contestants will put their mas designing skills and creativity to the test all with the promise of winning the opportunity to design for an entire section of a popular local band. The contestants will be sequestered for a period of 3 months and will be mentored by 3 Canal's Wendell Manwarren. The show is carded to be shown on CCN TV6 in November.

I am so excited to see what becomes of this!! This event was featured in today's Trinidad Express Woman but it had such a BLAH title I was like how would anyone know what this was really about. For more information email douxdouxdarlingproductions@gmail.com.To apply email getinyuhsection@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Pay de devil.

Things have definitely changed since my early days of playing mas. Back then, a band launch before Boxing Day was blasphemous and the hottest section could be bought for $800 TTD. Although people may not have had as long to put aside for their costume at least they did not have to find some people’s whole month’s salary!


Well in this age of recession, the ever critical band registration period fast approaching and the fact that a series of unfortunate events have had money jumping out my hand, I have started to sweat a bit (for the first time in history) about where exactly this costume downpayment money coming from. I realize I have to get my hustle on !!! To be honest , I had actually considered giving it a rest next year because my dear band of Tribe just does not seem to have any intention of addressing what I believe to be their biggest issue…their excessive numbers. In all fairness, I had plenty of the jam session in Poison days and I don’t recall any serious issues with the numbers other than the torturous wait to cross the stage but that is arguably a road management issue and not a band size issue. I was still shocked to hear that Tribe’s customer polls resulted in a majority of people liking the jam session. When I really thought about it I realized it has a lot to do with your previous experiences and your financial status. When I was begging a costume or had it bought for me I would take whatever I got which usually meant whatever was left Carnival Sunday. On the road I wore just the basic bra and waistband and maybe the ‘one feather’ headpiece. As I got older and started pelting out my own money for a costume then the choices became wider, the costumes by this time were much more elaborate and I demanded value for my money. So whereas before the jam session was bearable with a barely there costume, the jam session does not work for any frontline costume! Furthermore, if ALL you know is a jam session how would you even be aware of the benefits of a band with controlled numbers like Tribe circa 2005. (That is directed at smallies who only know Tribe as a jam session). I think the majority of people in my age group would much prefer to go back to the breath of fresh air that was Tribe’s and Island People’s first two years in terms of numbers.


Nonetheless, I think the only acceptable excuse for not playing mas is being dead or knocked up (but hey, that’s just me) and I am neither just yet .With all the competition on the horizon now I can only hope that the numbers will be spread more evenly amongst different bands and we can all enjoy ourselves freely regardless of what costume we are wearing. More so… I also hope that the prices will be competitive!!! So with only one more payday or so inside before your band of choice opens registration I suggest you get yourself in order and get YOUR (legal) hustle on to ensure that you can pay that downpayment. So here are a few of my suggestions to come up with the money:

  • Sell stuff. No time like the present to have a garage sale. I have tons of stuff I have only worn once and even more stuff that I have bought and never worn and then decide I don’t like it anymore. Even if its used, you would be surprised ! People will buy anything. I have had people try to buy a handbag off my shoulder already. Video games , dvds, figurines, dinner ware, bedding, books nothing is safe! But PLEASE don’t sell stuff that does not belong to you!!!

  • Recycle! Yes you can literally collect some glass bottles and carry them in for refunds. I am sure quite a few of you have a case home from the world cup lime. However there are people who will also purchase your old costume (see above). Several Carnival or parade events happen all over the world throughout the summer and people are willing to pay. Gay parades rock! Some time ago I actually put my costume on ebay..ok so it didn’t sell but I have gotten an offer for this year’s costume that will cover my downpayment. But be fair people ,you will not get a 100% return on a USED costume.

  • Cut back. When times got rough, I really surprised myself by how long I could make just $100 stretch. I thought to myself, why don’t I do this all the time? You don’t have to buy lunch everyday , go in the club every weekend, buy sushi every Friday or even use Oil of Olay deodorant. Avon works just as well for the fraction of the price. Every little counts….focus!!

  • Offer your services. Although dancing on table tops and the like has become quite acceptable in the U.S and Europe I don’t recommend it. What you can do is offer some other talents. Maybe take orders to cook lunch for your coworkers for a small price. Teach (academic)lessons over the summer to a small group of children. Tis the season of summer camp. Please doh set up the youths if yuh dunce or give people bun bun rice to eat. Also, if you get involved with the band of your choice early on (volunteer or model) you usually get some sort of concession either in terms of payment to offset the cost of your costume. You also get first draft for more events later on in the season.

  • Get a job at a sponsor. It is a fact that the band sponsors e.g Bmobile, Digicel get a quota of free costumes. The bigger the sponsor, the more costumes they get allotted. Some bands allow you to choose your section, others give you the dregs and some like Tribe offer a secret section for sponsors.(That’s the costume you never see till Carnival Monday on the road). If you just want in on the action , I would not be too picky. Free is free. Just make sure to hold your job till Ash Wednesday.
  • Play ah mark. Ok this not guaranteed to win you anything but to win you have to have a chance lol!Whatever you do , don't play 4,8,15,16,23,42!!!

  • Sell your soul. I don’t mean to the devil (although you might still need to chat to him if you want in for certain bands). But asking any friend or family member for money for your costume is tantamount to selling your soul. Cause as long as they have that on you , you are at their mercy to do their bidding. You become a chauffeur, a gopher and a baby sitter instantaneously. My advice ..don’t ‘borrow’ money get it ‘given’. I am fortunate that my birthday is always in the vicinity of Carnival. If by Christmas I think I may be a bit short to pay off my costume then I start campaigning for ‘costume contributions’ as birthday or Valentine’s day gift. You can’t be reproachful for a gift now can you ?:-\


Finally, to all of you who ‘trying to decide if to play’ …. BIG STEUPS. Stop being in denial and sign up because when you see everybody else getting their costumes in order you are going to be jealous .You will then proceed to call your friends and annoy the hell out of them by moaning and groaning how you want to play now and get a costume for you. Be warned…..doh call me!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!C2K11!

Hellllooooo everyone. I would like to welcome you all to a brand new Carnival season. It seems that with band launch number #1 happening this weekend , all the marish and the parish have come out the woodwork. So today has unofficially become the start of the season and hence the start of my blogging. Unlike Saucy I take a 'off season' which is the period between Ash Wednesday and the first band launch where I cancel my gym membership and eat everything to my heart's content. And I must admit I have been a bit lazy cause although a whole lot of interesting stuff has been going on behind the scenes I have been just been operating as a source and not a journalist. As the time draws near (and ppl throwing words for me to get off my ass and write something hmmmm) its good to have everyone's different opinions on all the goings on to give all our dedicated readers a varied perspective (however biased it may seem lol!).

So what do we have...we got a plethora of new bands...First to the plate is Skullduggery taking a bold move by launching early. They are churning up a whole lot of interest and I must say I am quite intrigued to see what they bring to the table. Their marketing thus far has been quite commendable. I am hoping to be there to see the action for myself this weekend (send something nah) more so since I see 3 Canal and David Rudder in the fray. I absolutely LOVE David Rudder as he is cool and ole school. Then of course we have YUMA who is still somewhat of a mystery. Then we have Oasis rising from the ashes of the now defunct Elements (not my fault!!) who seems to have gotten some rejuvenation financially judging by their very fancy bandhouse on Rosalino St. I certainly hope they fare better this rounds. Then we have some shaking up at the established bands Tribe and Island People partially due to the new players in the game. All the while there are some musings in the background that could be a game changer for all the pretty mas bands , it remains to be seen who will survive that death blow! All I have to say is humph, it will either work to their advantage or be very very bad for some bands.

Now that we have a new government and a new culture minister (peace OUT Marlene,Marlene,Marlene. Say it 3 times for all of her) and one that is deep into our culture, Mr.Winston Gypsy Peters, hopefully we will have some more positive changes in the festivities. I almost jumped for joy when I heard he is talking about taking things back to the Savannah, a matter that completely escaped Marlene,Marlene,Marlene who for some incomprehensible reason said that 'masqueraders prefer the road at the Savannah'.Gypsy holla at me, I have your solution to the problem that I think would make all those for and against the Carnival center happy.

Carnival is bacchanal...let the bacchanal begin!!