1974 was a high point of Trinbagonian creative brilliance. It was the year the visionary cohort of the Independence generation took the gifts of the previous Golden Age generation and created magic. However, that same year our leaders spiritually turned their back on the Golden Age, physically rebuked the innovative class of the Independence generation, and begin the destruction of visionary Trinidad. 1974 is the moment we need to exorcise to reclaim our Destiny.
In 1974, Lord Shorty released the first Soca song- the musical thesis ‘Endless Vibrations’. Although he’d written ‘Indrani’ the year before, it’s with ‘Endless Vibrations’ that the full measure of the ‘Sokah’ experiment blossoms. In that same year Shadow released ‘Bassman’- evidence that Soca was born from simultaneous experiments being conducted by geniuses like Shorty, Shadow, Maestro, Eddy Grant, Andre Tanker, Lancelot Layne, and roots musicians- all experimenting with Trinabgo sound.
The fate of ‘Bassman’ illuminates the reason for our national decline. According to most witnesses Shadow won Dimanche Gras that year- comprehensively dethroning Sparrow. This was in keeping with the organic generational trend of succession in Kaiso- every 10 years a younger voice emerged innovating, taking Calypso further. Attila begat Lion begat Spoiler begat Kitch begat Sparrow… However in 1974 a new breed of ‘culture-judge’ intervened- giving the prize to Sparrow, thwarting Inheritance. Read the rest of this entry
I’m just here to say I love you
A voice from out the blue.
—SuperBlue “Fantastic Friday“
So the talk of the town—justifiably so—is the redemptive return of SuperBlue and the song “Fantastic Friday”. The deceptively simple song is a master-class for all young pretenders on song craftsmanship, economy with lyrics, and why there’s no replacement for melody.
You can visualise the mayhem that will accompany this song in the stadium. Good mayhem. A mayhem of joy…The song is evidence of the best of what Soca Monarch can be: the irresistible force of the great party song marshalled by the mesmeric figure at the centre of soca’s ability to move bodies. I’ve a mental catalogue of transcendent Monarch moments: nearly all Blue’s galvanic performances—from those first years when the Monarch was a few hundred people and a stage on barrels, to Blue’s epic performances whilst climbing scaffolding; Destra’s holy performance of “Carnival” in 2003 when she should’ve won; Iwer’s in 2011 when he should’ve won; Machel’s pitch-perfect multi-media stage-performance that same year that pipped Iwer; and Bunji’s amazing 2005 performance of “Blaze It” when he literally became Ogun… Read the rest of this entry