Thursday, December 15, 2011

Joint Pop is Trinidad's true Rock 'N Roll band

Last night was Joint Pop's Annual Christmas party/charity fundraiser entitled 'Noise 'n Toys'. We all bring a toy for an orphanage and the members of Joint Pop deliver the toys to the kids.

To us 'grown-ups' Joint Pop delivers the goods - 'Rock 'n Roll style', and last night was another great performance by a band that has led the underground music scene in Trinidad for the last 15 years.

It's something that not many a band can boast of - 15 years together, let alone in a small country like ours with a microscopic music scene, unsupportive radio airplay and a population only concerned about what's the next soca hit for the Carnival season.

So, to say that a band has been around for that long, travelled all across Europe, released a handful of studio albums, on its' own merit, is one hell of an achievement.

And last night, the Pop gave everyone a good kick in the butt.

Rock 'n Roll will never die, and the music of Joint Pop will live on!

It's the lil things that count

Over the last few weeks, two of the schools I teach guitar at had their various Christmas concerts.

Both had the 'guitar troupes' play a song. At Fatima College, I accompanied the boys as we performed 'Dust in the wind' for three nights in a row. At St. Andrews School, I watched from the audience as the primary kids played along to 'Summer of '69'.

It was very honoring and humbling to see the 'fruits' of this endeavor to teach children guitar. All the performances went quite well (Thank God!).

What was surprising to me was the vote of thanks I got from both schools regarding the guitar program. It made me feel that 'Well, maybe this is a worthy cause, and that it is working out for the children, and they are enjoying playing guitar and learning music.'

I guess it's always every teacher's concern if they're doing a good job and if the students are actually learning. So it was a joy to see the kids playing their hearts out.

Now, none of this will ever hit the newspapers, nor the Billboard charts. But this certainly was an achievement for all the children involved.

This was just one of those 'lil things in life that makes the world of difference.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Floods in Port of Spain - 19th & 21st November, 2011

About two weeks ago, one Saturday morning, the rains came pouring heavy, rained for over an hour, and next thing we knew, our family's street was a river, and for a moment, the waters were almost at our gate. While we dragged a few heavy bags of sand inside, we saw the waters reside, but in it's wake, there was debris everywhere.

Then we heard the news that Maraval was hit the worst - walls came tumbling down, houses were flooded, some houses even fell apart. That was Saturday.

Monday afternoon, the rains fell again, and parts of Maraval went underwater, there was a mudslide down a mountain, a few cars ended up in the river. It was a disaster that no one had seen in years, if ever at all.

While clean-up began immediately, the story was told last week that two communities in the area have many homeless people now living in two shelters.

Today I met one of them. She's a young mother, who works at one of schools I teach at. Ironically her school was flooded badly on that Monday. And today I asked her 'So, you guys had excitement at the school last week?' She tells me how she lost her home, that it came down with the rain, and she's now living at the shelter.

I told her I hope everything gets resolved asap, which seemed as empty as anything. The truth is, I wish I could help her find a new home, and quick.

I got to put my thinking cap on.