Sunday, December 26, 2010

Comfortable by John Mayer......

I just remembered, that time at the market
Snuck up behind me and jumped on my shopping cart
And rode down, Isle 5
You looked behind you to smile back at me
Crashed into a rack full of magazines
They asked us, if we could leave

Can't remember, what went wrong last September
Though I'm sure you'd remind me, if you had to

Our love was, comfortable and
So broken in

I sleep with this new girl I'm still getting used to
My friends all approve, say "She's gonna be good for you"
They throw me, high fives
She says the Bible is all that she reads
And prefers that I not use profanity
Your mouth was, so dirty

Life of the party and she swears that she's artsy
But you could distinguish miles from Coltrane

Our love was, comfortable and
So broken in
She's perfect, so flawless
Or so they say, say

She thinks I can't see the smile that she's faking
And poses for pictures that aren't being taken
I loved you gray sweat pants, no makeup, so perfect

Our love was, comfortable and
So broken in
She's perfect, so flawless
I'm not impressed, I want you back

Jesus came by yesterday to see us...on Christmas day

So....

Merry Christmas....and what a day!!!!....Jesus came by to see us yesterday morning, bright and early around 8AM....remember the saying 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me?'

Well....there's a homeless guy who visits us from time to time, and he came yesterday morning, so we gave him some food and a cup of coffee....he was really hungry and glad for the meal....he always passes back by our kitchen window afterwards to tell us thanks....that made us all feel as if it was Jesus himself....I know all the non-believers would be laughing at this....but I don't care....we all felt lighter after he left our place

I pray all homeless people who suffer in this life make it to heaven straight away when they pass on from this earth.....

Kevin? I hope to see you someday in heaven, after I've spent awhile in Purgatory.....save a seat for me please.....

God Bless you always


Friday, December 10, 2010

Gone fishin'- Bing Crosby & Louis Armstrong-Ed Ruth Menezes

Gone fishing....

So, just like the song says (Thank you Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby!), last sunday I went fishing....haven't been in years....and the last time I fished, well......

got up after 4AM, picked up a few friends after 6, and then went down to the boat dock, relatively good size boat, took my gravol (thank you Gravol!) so I wouldn't get sick....

We left land close to 8AM, reached as far as Venezuela, was thinking we might get arrested by
El Guardia Nacionale, but no....and we started to fish....I threw down my line and caught a fish! Look at that! It was a Racondo (hope I spelt it right). And I caught another and another.

Truth be told during the day I caught a few small Grunts as well, a Moonshine and a Salmon. I never caught this much fish in my life.

We all caught a fair amount of fish, including a few scary looking eels.....scary suckers I tell ya.

What else happened you say?

Well....we saw a school of dolphin (what magical creatures) and I even drove the boat a good bit of the way while the rest of the gang trawled the ocean floor...

Of course scaling the fish after was fun...but hey....now I can say....

I'm a fisherman!


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Who I'm listening to....4th installment

soooo...

haven't listed this in a while....so here goes...mostly Canadian stuff....I find Canadian artists so infectiously eclectic

Sam Roberts Band
Great Lake Swimmers
The Tragically Hip
Sarah Mclachan
Jayme Stone and Mansa Sissoko
People Project
Red House Painters
Cranston Foundation
Theset
Hot Hot Heat
Matt Mays & El Torpedo
K-os
Alexisonfire
Grand Theft Bus
Big Wreck
B-D Gottfried
Hawksley Workman
Jessica Graham
Matthew Good Band
Neverending White Lights
Likewater
Novillero
Pan Out Now
Our Lady Peace
Oliver Schroer
Sloan
Tannis Slimmon
Shawn Colvin
The Tea Party



Damn Good times

I dropped an old friend home on monday nite after band practice. He took his guitar out of my car, and I realized then just how many good memories I have of dropping him home after a jam.

How many times, over the years as teenagers and yound adults, we sat in his yard, jamming along to the late hours of the morning.

How much music I learnt from him.

The last time I saw him at his house was in May of 2002, when he was migrating to France. All his friends were sad to see him go, but we all knew he was bound for greatness.

Now, dropping him off last week, I remembered how much fun we had all those years, and it's great to have him back among us, even if just for a short while.

God bless you always Mark Dopson - son of Trinidad, and one of the most amazing guitarists I've ever known.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Learning and un-learning

It's never too late to change, nor is it ever too late to do something different.

You always hear people say 'You see, you learn something new everyday!'

I'm learning to re-wire my mind, jump through some unknown phobias I have.

Like football for instance, I suck at playing. But I've been going with a few friends recently to knock some ball, and even though I still suck, they keep on passing me the goddamn ball. But hey, I haven't broken any toes yet, so I will run with the ball.

Even if I scored on my own team, and never mind I gave away the ball many times to the opposing side today, I will learn how to play football.

I'm also trying to learn how to get over my phobia of sight-reading music. You put a piece of music in front of me for the first time, and I will piss my pants. Well, maybe not literally. But as my eyes scan the score sheet, all I can think is 'Holy S#@t, you mean those are triplets right next to a dotted semi-quaver and a quaver rest?, Good Lord!' At that point the bloody key signature has gone out the window.

But hey, nothing stays the same forever, eventually I'll be a good sight-reader of sheet music. I maybe 57 at that point, but why not.

I got my whole life ahead of me to learn new things and un-learn how I do things that might be hampering my progress on this journey called life.

Might as well start now.

Doing that is.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A prayer to the thieves from last week

This is not for myself, but for three friends, three fellow musicians who lost their laptops last week.

All the music they ever created was stored on those laptops. And although this maybe a waste of time. I'd like to make an appeal to anyone who knows Coreysan, Keshav and Stanton to please help them find their laptops. Spread the word, anyway you can.

They use them to write and create all their music, they are the tools of their trade.

Having lost all my gear a few years ago, I can only imagine what they're going through, and still, this maybe worse as this was their life's work stolen. Not just a piece of equipment.

It is a sin to steal and I just wish people to resort to such low levels of existence could have a heart before they commit such a terrible act. Shame on all criminals. You rob decent people of their way of life

Shame on you!

I hope Coreysan, Keshav and Stanton by some miracle find back their laptops and all their music.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Live music is happening on the Ave in Trinidad...

Something great is happening in Trinidad. A few venues are having live original bands on a regular basis and the crowds are coming.

People are enjoying original music and are coming out more and more to support the bands, they're singing the songs and slowly but surely, we're all building a strong foundation for a well thriving, self-sufficient, competitive but co-operative music scene here.

And all the bands and artists are benefiting.

It's a great time to be a musician in Trinidad.

Sesame Street: Martians Radio

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ana Vidovic: Valses Venezolanos 2 y 3 - Antonio Lauro

Doing what's right for oneself

Doing what's right is a hard thing to do. We all know what's right for us, but we all are scared at various times to do the proper thing. We all fear what will happen if we stand up for ourselves. We all fear loss, rejection, fighting a battle, we fear making a problem, we fear ruining the status quo, we fear stepping on someone's toes. There's so many different scenarios where fear plays a terrible and important role.

We fear so much that we forget to treat ourselves good.

Treating ourselves doesn't mean abusing other people or being selfish or unkind or inconsiderate to others, because no one lives in a bubble. But treating ourselves good means being kind to ourselves, forgiving ourselves, being honest (but not cruel) and believing enough in what we do to stand up for what matters to us. Without harming anyone including ourself.

Doing the right thing is hard, but it will always be the right thing, and nothing or no one will ever change that.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Why drive so crazy

I don't understand why people have to drive so careless here in Trinidad. You'd swear to God that we are the safest drivers in the world, all at top speed.

We break traffic lights, create lanes where there are none and we hardly give any chances to other drivers.

And yet, every year the number of vehicular deaths rise. And the sad and scary thing is, rather than change our driving habits, we're going the next way....we're driving to hell in a hand basket faster than ever.

The really sad thing is all the innocent drivers who get killed or hurt in the process, trying to get out of the way from all the hooligan, crazy drivers, who are making their own rules of the road.

And my question is, where are the police? and why aren't there more traffic tickets being handed out for road violations?

Why can't we drive safely in Trinidad & Tobago?

Why

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Some friends of mine you should listen to....

Here's a few friends of mine that I would like to humbly suggest for your listening pleasure:

People Project


Jayme Stone


Phil Motion & the Easy LO-FI



Hope u dig it....

Friday, October 22, 2010

New music....and radio

New music....I get new music from friends, from random links from Youtube videos....and from podcasts like BBC Oxford Introducing...

I'm not the most savvy person when it comes to finding new music...but I think....everyone wants a new band to sink their teeth into....new music is like finding a great secret, you're not too sure if you'd like to share it with everyone or keep it to yourself.....but sooner or later....you gotta let the cat out of the bag.

New music is the life blood of the music industry, but still....the veterans are the ones we all look up to set standards, break the rules and keep us guessing, many years later.....then some new band comes along and freaks the crap out of everyone....and the rules get changed again....and we have new music.....

I just wish mainstream radio could be more positive and proactive in breaking new bands....rather than just playing it safe....

anyways....wishful thinking....but I know in years past...radio was king in setting trends....now they're just happy to earn money on replays.....

Behind the scenes though, this new music probable took years, even decades to reach a wide listening audience....so it's not really new.....but it is fresh....and we need it to sustain our ears....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Afro beat and other wicked stuff

Check this crazy stuff out......now this is music!!!!

http://analogafrica.blogspot.com/

People make life difficult

I always hear people say life is hard. But I'm starting wonder, is it really?

I also hear people say that life is what you make it. And this very true.

But I've also realized that human beings by their hatred, fear, selfishness and unkindness make life difficult for others.

When we refuse to share, lend a helping hand to someone in need, share a kind word to those around us; we make life harder, we make the world colder.

It's almost as if there's people out there who catch a kick out of being cruel. How can you be happy being cruel? To be cruel to others is just wrong on so many levels - morally, spiritually, you name it, it's wrong.

Life maybe hard, but it was made so by people. Not by God or Mother Nature, or anything else. We are the cause of all the trouble in the world and all our unhappiness, and we're too bloody selfish and greedy to see that.

Shame on us all.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Horns, Alarms, Mufflers, Engines & Tires

Is it me, or has anyone ever noticed how bloody loud all these parts of a car can be?

And people around here use it at all hours of the day AND night! We have buses, taxis blaring music at all hours of the morning.

Now, is it also me, or do you find that your mood instantly changes to one of irritation the minute you hear a loud, obnoxious car horn, or an alarm going off repeatedly, a loud muffler, screeching tires and last but not least, a revved engine? Is it me?

Maybe it's because I live next door to a roadside mechanic who fixes cars on my doorstep. And no matter how many times he has been spoken to, he still continues. And never mind numerous calls made to various authorities (public health, police, minister of works), never mind all that, no one can stop this mechanic, he's on a roll. In any other country, this would be illegal, but not Trinidad, no sir, we brake rules for a living. And everyday, I still hear all the wonderful noises a car can make, over and over.

And my life is irritable the minute I hear all those noises. And I've come to the conclusion, a car is really a noise-making machine isn't it? A speedy, noise maker.

I wish they made silent cars that ran slowly, then our lives would be quieter and there would be no accidents, because people wouldn't be able to speed.

That's my euphoric solution to that problem.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Should music be free?

I was having a friendly debate with an artist last week who does graphic art pieces for a living. He was telling me that all music should be free, that no one should have to pay for music.

My response to him was if everyone feels that music should be free, then how do people expect musicians to make a living? His response was that people shouldn't have to pay for an entire album when there's only a few good songs on it. That fans make a band, and that all money can be made from advanced tickets sales for shows and tours.

Now in a perfect world that may work. But how can an indie band survive, much less book shows or even aspire to a tour (all self-funded) if all their money is being spent initially on producing an album, so that people could hear them in the first place? An album is after all, like a calling card. So if you don't have one, no one takes you seriously. Music on various websites can only do so much, but having an album to sell yourself is a must. But mind you, you must now sell yourself without making ANY money from your music.

So if no money comes from album sales, and if people have a right to have music for free, how can musicians make a living?

We don't go to doctors, lawyers, accountants and say 'well, there's so many of you guys around, I'll just take your service for free.'

My graphic artist friend, who has 41,000 songs on his hard drive, doesn't know all of the songs on it, because put simply, who has time to listen to all those songs. But we have become such a download-driven culture, that we don't even know what we have on our hard drives anymore, we just download for the sake of downloading. We're addicted to downloading for free.

The one thing I forgot to tell my artist friend, after just attending his art show a few weeks ago, was that maybe if I took a picture of his art and then photocopied it onto color gloss paper, it would be okay because I'm entitled to share his work among my friends and spread the news that he's a great artist, for FREE.

Something to think about.

But for all those folks who download excessively music, and for all those who say you love music, I just have to say that you're killing our livelihood and when there's no more musicians around to make music because we were forced to take a normal job, then I hope you can understand the part you played in contributing to our demise.

And you may I'm whining or bitter, but I don't care. You're not trying to make a living from music.

All I'm saying is, if we musicians are a profession like every other profession, and a vocation, and if we spend our savings on our vocation, and if we are adding value to people's lives and society, then shouldn't we be receiving some sort of value back in return for this?

But the sad fact is that everyone loves music, but nobody sees us musicians as a profession itself. Just like all other professions. So everyone takes for free now, because it has become the norm.

What this amounts to is greed on the part of the listener who somehow feels that they're doing us a favor by spreading our name around for FREE.

How about this? Everyone who downloads excessive amounts music for free should give away something of theirs that they value for free? How about that?

Fair is fair. Isn't it?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Who I'm listening to....third installment

Who am I digging nowadays.....

BBC introducing podcasts where I'm finding out new music all the time...yes sir!!!!

and.....the following local bands....

Joint Pop
12
Oddfellows Local
Orange Peel Groove
Incert Coin
Tamper Evident
Kes
Imij & Co.

and my own bands - Brothers Grimm, Big Eyed Grieve, The Sonic Revival Project

and I'm still jamming the Roots.....a true gem of a hip-hop group.....great musicians in my humble opinion......

Things too damn expensive here

On this lovely little isle of mine, the cost of living is ridiculous for us locals, after all food prices are going through the roof, the cost of construction is sky high. In fact the cost of everything - a mortgage, a car loan, groceries, gas, consumables, everything is expensive. Hell, liming here is blasted expensive.

There's two ways to live here - 1) Makes loads of money or 2)Thief

I'm trying to create a third way - 3)Believe that it's all good, think that it's not expensive and life is great here and somehow, I will live just fine and have everything I want, just when I need it.

Sounds crazy, but I'd rather do that than fight up with the rat race.

But seriously, things are damn expensive here....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Filling the void in one's soul with love or fear

I've been thinking that maybe we all have a void in our lives that needs to be filled. Maybe we are all meant to do something great, maybe we are all meant to love, and I don't just mean romantically, I mean love one another, as God loves us.

Faith, Hope and Love are the greatest gifts that we humans can possess, and of those three the greatest is love.

So, I've been thinking, if we're all built to love, then could it be that some people don't know how to love properly, or even worse, have replaced love with something else? In the absence of love, could something else grow. e.g, fear, hatred, lust, anger, bitterness and envy? I think it could happen. Because we see so many people wondering around like a lost soul - angry and bitter.

And we ask, where is the love? (thank you Black Eyed Peas)

We're all meant to love, but love is a gift and any gift must be cherished and nurtured. I once read somewhere that if you harbor bitterness, happiness docks somewhere else.

If we don't love then we fear instead. Fear produces every negative emotion we know, fear stifles and suffocates our lives, it straps us in mentally and keeps us from living our lives truly free, as God intended us to be - free.

Love, true love, not the media version of love is the ONLY thing that can save our souls from perishing. Love is the only healing agent, the only cleanser that makes everything alright.

That line from Moulin Rouge has been stuck in my head for years now - 'The greatest thing you'll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.'

What am I listening to

Sooo...nowadays I'm digging up these guys:

Crown City Rockers (Earthtones)
DJ Krush (Zen)
The Roots (various albums...)
Q-Tip (Amplified & Renaissance)
Tears for Fears (Elemental)
Primus (Miscellaneous Debris)
Death Cab for Cutie (Plans)


Look out for the next installment soon-ish!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Who I'm listening to....First installment

You know, it dawned on me....I never write about who I'm listening to...I mean, I'm a musician and I never write about who I'm digging....so here it is.....my first installment of what's playing today, this week, right now as we speak....on my home speakers:

Jean Louis
Victor Lafuente - Six strings for one heart
The Roots of Chica - Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru (Various Artists)
Shakti with John Mclaughlin - Natural Elements
Morglbl - Grotesk
The Mothers - Fillmore East - June 1971
John Frusciante - The Empyrean
African Virtuoses - The Classic Guinean Guitar Group
John Abercrombie - Class Trip
Meshell Ndegeocello - Bitter



And thats a wrap.....

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quality vs. Money.....Rock vs. Soca

I went to see CHECKlist and Skid Nevely last night at Casa de Ibiza. Every Thursday night is 'Live Alternative' music there, it's been drawing a fairly decent crowd over the last few months. Both bands were tight each have a very unique sound. The overall acoustics of the venue needs to be worked on though, last night I couldn't hear the vocals at all.

I was talking after to Drew Gonsalves and Jason Kernahan about the state of music, the pop market and the TNT music scene. I was lamenting that Rock/Metal/Alternative doesn't get any funding as say compared to 'Our culture' - SOCA, which is sponsored heavily, on both a government and private corporate level. Soca is lauded as our pride and joy. but if you talk to many musicians and music lovers alike, they will ALL agree that the quality of the average soca song is TERRIBLE - songs lack originality (in some cases stealing music from foreign acts), lyrical content is a joke, and it's not uncommon to have a few soca songs each carnival season 'sharing' the same music. I mean, the exact music, same key and everything.

After all, original soca ideas are hard to come by. Didn't you know?

It was then that Jason said, 'Yes, but look at the quality of Soca vs. the quality of Rock here'. Nearly all rock/alternative bands here are self-financed. It's truly a labour of love for the average rock musician, and clearly the quality of the product shows. And the rock bands are getting less, they're growing. Their songs are well crafted and the fans are loyal. Sure the market is small, and media could do a lot more to help promote the 'scene' here. In fact, it's fair to say that radio, which has the power to promote has more often that not, held back local artistes here, ESPECIALLY with respect to the local rock scene.

Still, nonetheless, it was refreshing to hear Jason's point of view, that for all the funding and publicity that soca music and their artistes get, their music is below sub-standard and almost anyone with a brain can see that. Well at least, that's my opinion (the brain part at least).

Heck, the fact that this little rock scene has survived all these years without public, proper support from the media, the private sector and the government is a success story in itself.

I only hope someday soon, the general public will awake to see that rock 'n roll in TNT is a great thing, and it's only getting better. Will little or no money to be made from this, it truly is a labour of love.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wish I could play in a symphony

So, I sat yesterday watching the ARTS channel with my dad, he loves the classics. I told him, 'Man, I wish I could play guitar in an orchestra'.

But then we both realized after counting all the instruments there, that guitar is seldom used in symphony. I mean there have been Concertos featuring guitar works in the past, surely (e.g. Concierto de Aranjuez).

But usually, guitar is not included among other orchestral instruments.

Why? is my next question. I have heard and seen guitar played with other stringed instruments in a 5-piece chamber music movement, but not in a full-scale symphony.

So....I'm putting this out there. I hope someday to play an entire suite, on guitar, alongside a full orchestra. Heck, I'll even wear a tux!

If not, I'll settle for playing guitar in a chamber setting, or getting one of my songs used as score for a movie, that's another dream of mine, but that's another blog altogether.

Monday, July 5, 2010

One of those unexpected moments that you treasure forever

So....I teach guitar for a life (not a living). I teach privately and at two schools - St. Andrews and my old high-school - Fatima College.

Friday, 2nd July I was asked to recommend a few of my students to perform at the orientation ceremony for newcomers to the school. So we decided the easiest thing to play would be 'Redemption Song' by Bob Marley. We even had a singer, some random kid who just started coming and sitting through the guitar class early on in the term, he didn't want to learn guitar, but he said he wrote lyrics and sang.

So here we were - four student guitar players, one teacher accompanying them and one singer, performing to the freshmen of Fatima College, along with the Principal, teachers and parents.

We got a great introduction by the MC, who even mentioned that I was an 'Old-Boy' giving back to my school.

Things were going pretty decent, we got through the first two verses and choruses, had reached the bridge and for the final verse, the singer grabbed the mic, rocked back and started clapping. Next thing I know, the entire hall (which was jam-packed) is clapping along.

It was great. It was a moment totally unplanned and perfect.

It was one of the best feelings I've ever had performing. I know it was just one song, and I know it was at my old school. And no one said after 'Hey, that was great!' But somehow, I had a great sense of happiness and fulfillment when it was all over.

Thank you God for the miracle of music in my life. Thank You!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Anyone can change if they want to....

Change is the only thing that's constant as the saying goes.

Change also doesn't come easy. Sometimes it happens overnight, (like a thief taking away in one fell swoop what you took years to build) and other times it's slow and painful.

When it's personal change, then it's an on-going struggle really, because deep down we know what needs attention within ourselves - be it medical, physical, financial, emotional or spiritual. We know but we don't always accept the truth.

Our old ways want to trick us into thinking that there's nothing wrong with us. But if we are on a path to continuous self improvement, we must be willing to face the music and be truthful with ourselves.

Truth hurts. It does. The truth about ourselves isn't always pretty, but then again life isn't always a bed of roses either, it's a continuous cycle of build, destroy and rebuild again.

The purpose of all of this is not to accumulate massive structures within our lives, but to enjoy the journey and be willing to improve ourselves so we can be the best for ourselves and other people.

Positive change is the hardest thing to do, I think.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A New day in Trinidad

Most of us here in Trinidad watched our TVs last night at first with anxiety,then hope and finally jubilation as we voted a new government in office yesterday. Not only did we vote a new government, but we also voted in, for the first time in our small, twin-island republic's history, a female Prime Minister.

This is a huge step for our country.

It seems as if we all collectively took a responsible step in finally taking care of our land, rather than deciding on tribal politics motivated by race. Rather than letting a government get away with EVERYTHING. And this last regime got away with everything and the kitchen sink. Rather than letting that sort of cowardly nonsense continue, we stood up and changed things.

Now this new regime of the People's Partnership, led by Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar has a tough job ahead of them. Our land is in dire need of healing and transformation, so that ALL citizens can prosper. There's no reason for poverty, sickness and crime on this beautiful twin-isle republic. Absolutely no reason whatsoever.

So we, the citizens have to encourage them to do their best for the country and we have to hold them accountable to us. We voted them in, they are responsible to us. We have to take an active role in our country. This is our land, not the government's. All resources are owned by the people. The government is just a steward, doing what is best for its' citizens.

So now, we begin a new era of hope and prosperity for all in Trinidad & Tobago. And it's up to ALL of us to ensure that we make our country a better place, for all generations to come.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Always a terrible thing to judge

Last week, in an escalated incident that almost turned nasty for myself and my friends, I judged a group of people harshly and openly. Naturally they reacted to what I said, they were well within their rights. Things could've turned out really badly looking back on everything.

But amazingly we were able to patch things up with these strangers. I guess we were trying to be as civilized as possible, maybe we were just being adults. Maybe we were human after all.

I am glad how things eventually turned out, but the whole ordeal could've been avoided if things were said less harshly on my part. So my promise to myself and others - not to judge without taking in all the facts. Not to talk down to anyone but rather to state my position humbly and calmly, with room for disagreement. And always be willing and ready to make amends. Because we are all human and subject to mistakes. And we all have our opinion.

It is always a terrible thing to judge one another.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Refusing to change

So change is in the air in Trinidad, political change.

For well over eight years, the ruling party here has stifled many of its own citizens while fattening their own pockets. We're listed very high on the corruption index, no wonder.

And now, on the eve of a no confidence vote in parliament, a snap election is called. This is something so many of us have been waiting for - a chance to get these wicked, egomaniacs out of power. We go to polls in a month's time.

This is a gonna be a fight to the finish. Most of us seemed anxious to get the government out of office.

But sadly there are many who will still vote the ruling party back in power. The reason - race. Politics in Trinidad is of the tribal kind, based on race. The ruling PNM is mainly black (or Afro-Trinidadian for the sake of political correctness), and the opposition UNC is mostly east Indian (Indo-Trinidadian). Some stupidly myopic citizens have been quoted as saying they will vote PNM again just because 'indians are for indians' so they must be for their 'own kind'.

To that I ask how small minded can you be? For a party that has engaged in blatant misuse of public funds, unapologetic corruption and for their absolute incompetence in fighting rising crime levels; for all of this our current government needs to be flushed out of power.

Change comes whether we want it or not. For those who are unwilling to smell the change that is coming (because it's not hard to miss really), for those who insist on sticking by a party that only serves a select few, even neglecting their 'own poor black people'; for those persons there is no hope. You are putting race before country and shame on you for being so racist. In such a multi-cultural society as ours, shame on you for not seeing the truth about this government. It is plain to see, anyone who has a brain can see the rotten and hateful job this government is doing to ALL of us!

The current PNM administration is the worst government this country has ever seen. But have no fear, change is coming and hopefully the good guys will win a landslide victory this time. You can feel it in the atmosphere.

God knows we need change. We need to save our land from the vultures that hold office.

May 24th is our liberation day from our bondage.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A year and a half over in 20 minutes

I just spent the last year and a half of my life studying for my music exam, Grade 6 to be precise, with the Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music, London. I sat Grade 5 back in 1998, so I had a lot of revising to do to get to this level.

I practiced daily the three pieces I would play, along with the scales and arpeggios. I sight read constantly (which was a thorough pain in the arse for me as my sight reading is absolutely horrid), and to top it all off, I took aural ear-training lessons weekly. Before all of this, I had no idea what the word 'aural' even meant.

I'm glad to say that for the most part the exam was okay, although my sight reading was bad. I did try my best, but still, there's tons of room for improvement.

But what amazes me is how we can spend so much time preparing for something and when that moment comes, it passes so quickly in comparison to all the time spent in anticipation.

The exam was over in 20 minutes, that was it!

I'm glad it wasn't longer, but the ratio is 1 & 1/2 year(s): 20 minutes

I remember when I graduated from university a few years ago, and as we all walked on and off stage to collect our scrolls I thought 'Is that it? Four years of studying for exams and mid-terms which we all acknowledge now by walking to collect a certificate in public. The certificate collection process took less than a minute for each of us.

It's strange but the public display of any procedure (whatever it may be) could never truly reflect all the preparation that it took to get to that point. What we see as the end product, as great as it may be is only a glimpse of all the hard work that it took to get to that stage. But still, it's noble to acknowledge persons and certain events in public.

The end is not the goal, it's the journey that's the true lesson, the true joy. At the end of it all, we all wonder 'Now what?'

Anyways, I'm glad the exam is over and now, I gotta start getting ready for Grade 7. Oh boy!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Life really is too short

In a rather bizarre sequence of unrelated occurrences, three of my friends' parents died over the last few days. Two were sick for a while and the other died from a sudden heart attack Sunday night.

Two funerals were held today, back to back, so I went to both.

All I could think of throughout both services is that life really is too short, there is truly never enough time to spend with those we really care about. We sort of take it for granted that those folks that mean the world to us will always be there. They'll grow old with us and never leave our side. It sounds silly and naive but it's true. Who really wants to think of their parents, friends and loved ones leaving them? Who really wants to be left alone on this earth?

It is a terrible and sad fact of life that no one is here forever and throughout the course of our own life we will have to say goodbye to someone we love dearly.

If the thought of that doesn't wake us all up to spend any precious time we have with those we love, then I don't know what will. We should make it a habit to devote spending a good portion of our day with those we say we care about. Because a job, house, car, possessions and bills will all go along their merry way without us when we're gone. We wouldn't miss those things anyway, those are all the material aspects of life. And even if we did miss it, we could always buy a replacement.

But we would miss our family, friends and loved ones dearly. And that's the one thing we can't replace - those persons in our life.

We all are God's miracle to each other and my only hope is that I can spend the rest of my life with those I care about.

May Damon's dad, Michelle's dad and Johnny's mom all rest in peace.


Sunday, March 14, 2010

No such thing as coincidence

There's no such thing as coincidence.

Not if you're thinking about something and the next thing you know that same said thing happens. e.g. you're listening to the radio, thinking about hearing a particular song and next up on the playlist is your song. That's right, playing on the radio is the song you were just humming in your head.

Surely, that's not coincidence?

What about you're reading a book and a few things that are mentioned in the book are spoken to you by someone a few days later. Now how could that person know what you've been reading?

Here's another one: your mind runs on someone, shortly after the phone rings and on the other end of that call is the person you were just thinking about. How could all this be just by chance?

Me personally, I think it's the powers that be working in harmony with our mind and soul. When our mind and soul are in harmony with the universe strange things start happening, things that we can't explain. We decide to give these occurrences a name, so we call it coincidence.

But what if there's no such thing? What if what we think eventually comes to pass? What if our thoughts dictate our own world. Almost like we are writing our own movie, changing the script of life as we go along. If so, then we can change what we narrowly define as our reality. We can change our thought patterns and change our actions and by extension our lives.

Now if we could just harness that whole process to make the world a better place for all of us, because we are all inter-connected, we all affect each other's survival; if we could just do that, then I think we would be doing humanity and the world a great service.

Don't you think?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Talk about a change in the weather

So this time of year we usually have what we call our dry season here in Trinidad, and this year it's not dry, it's sweltering. Usually we get a bit of rain but not this year, no sir. We haven't seen rain in months.

By contrast, the end of 2008 till early 2009 was rainy all the time, which is unusual. Normally we don't see constant heavy rainfall till May, June. But this year, oh man we are having a heat wave and we are in trouble.

Our water supply is running low and I think everyone is a bit worried. I mean when exactly is it gonna rain? Trees and grass are drying up everywhere and our mountains are on fire, literally burning in the day and night. It's rather sad and downright scary. When will it rain? It can't come soon enough.

I love the rainy season more than the dry season, especially on days when it rains the whole day through. The place gets really cool and everything seems just to slow down a bit more. Everyone seems to be more chilled out when it rains here. Some people won't even venture out their house on rainy days. Yes sir, it's that much of a deal.

On days like that, a good movie, a book or even a few hours playing guitar is all good relaxation really.

Here's hoping and praying that it rains soon, because our lil twin island of Trinidad & Tobago needs it. I heard that our fellow Caribbean islanders are also suffering from a very dry season.

For all of us here in the West Indies, rain can't come soon enough.

Let it rain! Soon!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Two things missing here in Trinidad: Common Sense and Efficiency

So I'm gonna use this post to bitch about two things that happened to me recently.

Friday I parked in a car park on Tragarete Road to go play guitar for a yoga class, and there was nails and broken wood all in the car park. I went over some wood, luckily my tires were okay. All of this was left over from a few porter potty stalls that were built so patrons of Carnival could have a bathroom facility. Now, all of that is cool and all, but couldn't the same people who put up the stalls, couldn't they remove all the debris after they demolished the same said stalls? You think? Where's the common sense here? Did they use any at all? Common sense that is.

And now today, I go to Office Express on same Tragarete Road - 12 cents a copy, to make a few copies, probably about 50 pages in all, of four (4) not 40 guitar books, just four books. The level of bad service and attitude I got when I showed the sales clerk the books was uncalled for. I was told to leave it and pass back later, we agreed on 2PM. When I went back at the agreed time, nothing was done, no apology, nothing. When I took my books back and complained how nothing was done, I was told that the sales girl hadn't eaten yet. Now I can empathize with a heavy workload, but even a heart-felt apology would've been okay. I'm still waiting to receive it. So clearly Office Express doesn't know how to spell much less deliver efficiency in their productivity and service to customers. Don't think I'll ever go back there.

I asked someone on friday at Yoga class, 'why can't we trinis be efficient in what we do? why can't we have common sense? His answers to both my questions were 'Yuh forget where yuh living or wha? Is Trinidad!'

Yeah, for sure we heading for first world status, by 2300 probably.

Now if I don't laugh, I will cry. Lord, please help?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jam-It: 3 Canal's show

So I normally don't write about music, so here goes.

I went to see 3 Canal on Saturday past at Queen's Hall.

Every Carnival season they put on a show that runs for about two weeks leading up to our annual celebration. It's not a fete with soca artistes, it's a show. It's musical theatre if one can even call it that.

So I went on Saturday. Now I have been to a few plays now and again, and I've lost count the number of concerts I've been to, especially over the last seven years but this was something totally different.

First off: the story line - the history and the subtle double meaning behind everything that was happening was just intense, comical and as real as life could get for us here in Trinidad & Tobago.

Add to that the music of 3 Canal - infectious, groovy rapso sung by three charismatic singers in their own right, backed up by solid guitar riffs, heavy bass lines, intense samples/mixes/re-mixes, as well as a few guests including one of the few great kings of modern day Calypso music - Maximus Dan; and you have one heck of a show.

In all honesty it was one of the best shows I've ever been to in my entire life. It was blow mind. It was all Trinbagonian. It was all about us and it was just beautiful.

Thank you 3 Canal for creating such great music and for putting on an amazing show like this. I just can't believe I never went to see guys do this sort of thing before.

Keep on making great music and see you next year.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

We must help any way we can

In this time of terrible crisis for all our brothers and sisters in Haiti, the first thing that should come to mind is, how do we help?

We've got to help, because this could easily be us. Anything we can give them will help ease their pain and get them back on their feet. The Haitian people are tired, scared, frustrated, hungry and who can blame them? They've lost everything. I'd probably be doing the same thing if I was them, fighting for survival with everything that was left in me.

We've got to help our Caribbean brothers and sisters, we have to help them. It's our duty to our fellow man and woman.

May God be with them in their hour of need.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here's to a new year, a new decade

So here's 2010. It came quickly, before we all knew it 2009 was over and out.

We all make new year resolutions, most of us don't keep them, most of us can't even remember what we resolved to do.

I've decided on just one resolution this year, to be more honest with myself, even if it means facing the painful truth sometimes. Even if it means telling someone off, even if it means making myself uncomfortable while I try to find peace and truth in my own life, in some little way.

Being totally honest also means taking ownership for what's working, and what's not and getting rid of any unnecessary waste and stress in my life. There's things that we all do that aren't good for us, but we do it because we claim to not know any better, or worse yet we're scared to get rid of it (whatever it may be).

So this year, I'm gonna try my best to be more honest with myself and try to live at peace with myself, honestly speaking.