Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rihanna is a $15 million baby

According to, Bajan superstar Rihanna made $15 million last year from her Good Girl Gone Bad re-release, tours and from her Gucci and Covergirl contracts.

I don't know if that's gross or net, because we know our girl has to pay her sylist, her bodyguard, her managers and for all those hotel stays. Hopefully she'll still come out of it with a pretty penny.

Anyhoo, Rihanna's been on the move recently, being snapped on her way to lunch, dinner, you name it. The sidewalk is her catwalk these days. Good thing she has a bodyguard, cause someone might jack her for those $2,000 shoes....


Monday, July 27, 2009

TC does the double

Congrats to Terencia 'TC' Coward, who won the Mount Gay and LIME Party Monarch Competition yesterday at Farley Hill. TC also won the first ever 98.1 The One Banks Sweet Soca Competition becoming, if memory serves me, only the third female to win that title (Allison Hinds and Natahlee (with Shontelle) have taken the Party Monarch title in the past.)

TC did a great job yesterday and no one deserves the wins more, because she's been one of the most consistent soca performers out there. (Consistently good, that is, unlike some others who will remain nameless.) Interestingly enough, her tent mate Natahlee, who placed second to TC in the Sweet Soca competition, also came second to TC in the Party Monarch competition.

The other places in the Party Monarch went to RPB (third), and Khiomal and Mikey tied for fourth place.

Good job, everyone.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Something's happening....

At last. It's taken a while but I've finally gotten into the Crop Over spirit. I've been enjoying the Party Monarch and Sweet Soca competitions live from Farley Hill for the past few hours and talk 'bout sweet music!

Mikey's "I in Dat", Statement's "All Night Till Morning", TC's "Hot Sun and Riddim" and Natahlee's "Dis is What We Do" were especially hot this season.

I'm relieved that the cream has finally risen to the top and the season hasn't been bogged down by the mediocre tunes that assailed the airwaves earlier on.

As I type, results just came in for the Sweet Soca competition....

5. Blood
4. Mr. Dale
3. Mikey
2. Natahlee
1. TC

Congrats to TC on being the inaugural Soca Monarch. I predict that her song will be massive in Trinidad and will have some longevity. I'm surprised that Blood placed so low, because he commanded the stage during his performance.

Big ups to fellow QC alums Mr. Dale, Mikey and Natahlee. Fiat Lux, peoples!

I'll be back with the Party Monarch results in a bit...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Whitney's back!

On September 1, Whitney Houston's comeback album I Look to You will hit stores, and I'm pretty excited about it.

As an 80's baby I grew up on Whitney's music, and it saddened me to witness her decline in recent years. But, she's back, y'all, and I'm sure she'll bring some class to today's R&B scene.

Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz and R. Kelly are some of the contributors to the album, so this should be a hot one.

Welcome back, Mama Whit!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How it go look?

Two things happened over the past few days that have me puzzled, puzzled. And all I'm wondering, as my Trini friends would say, how it go look?

First, I read that Government was looking to compulsorily acquire the former Sam Lord's Castle for "a mixed development of housing for low and middle income earners, recreational facilitites and tourism development".

While I normally wouldn't mind the ordinary Barbadian having a chance to own (relatively) beach front property, this story has me wondering if there isn't more in the mortar than the pestle. Here's why:

1. I don't see Government using prime beach front property to house locals, no matter how people-centred that Government may be. Least of all Sam Lord's Castle, that has long been a tourism site here.

2. CLICO currently owns Sam Lord's Castle. In my mind, if Government buys the property it lets CLICO off the hook from having to develop it. Many people feel that if CLICO can come up with the millions necessary to develop the site that would prove the company isn't in financial difficulties, as its head Leroy Parris has said repeatedly.

3. CLICO head Leroy Parris and Prime Minister David Thompson are longtime friends. It's the PM's right and privilege to be friends with whomever he wants, but my question is, how it go look?

The other thing which occrred is the leaking of the names of the 18 calypsonians who have made the semi-finals of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition. The leak is only half of this puzzle; what troubles me is the fact that the list of names was leaked BEFORE all the tents were judged! Wuhloss. How it go look?

I'm not surprised that an injunction is being brought against the National Cultural Foundation over this.

Just when I thought the festival would come to an end without any controversy....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rihanna cuts deep

I see Rihana has been reading rule number one in the 'superstar' manual; change your look frequently.

Well, home girl has gone and chopped off her hair some more, creating a severe mohawk messy style. Mr. T must be so proud....


Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 Fave Entertainers - Gone Too Soon Edition

Inevitably, the death of Michael Jackson got me thinking of all those other entertainers who have left us 'before their time', so to speak, some through illness, some tragically. This is a tribute to 10 of my faves, including Michael, who are gone but live on through their music.

10. Selena Quintanilla-Perez (1971-1995)

9. Aaliyah Dana Houghton (1979-2001)

8. Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996)

7. Dalton Sinclair 'Jackie Opel' Bishop (1938-1970)

6. Otis Redding (1941-1967)

5. Sam Cooke (1931-1964)

4. Marvin Gaye (1939-1984)

3. Luther Vandross (1951-2005)

2. Michael Jackson (1958-2009)

1. Robert Nesta Marley (1945-1981)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Farewell, MJ

I'm still a bit teary-eyed from the tributes, so I don't plan on writing much beyond fareweell, King of Pop. Thanks for the memories and the joys of your music.

You are legend and you will live on.

Rest in peace.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Home From the Cold - A Caribbean Cruise Pt. 7

Hi, peoples. This is where Kal-F's current adventure ends. I'll try and convince to give us some on the remainder of his cruise. Here we go....

Satisfied at last with the quantity of salad accumulated through multiple orders, our attention then turns to the main courses. As a vegetarian, the only one at the table, listening to the options being read from the menus, I quickly realize that there are still sizable challenges ahead.

There are four choices: beef, pork, chicken, (all with fancy names too esoteric to mention here) and for me, a glimmer of hope: cous-cous. No one at the table has any idea of what cous-cous is, so I enlist the help of Pedro, the Barbadian waiter, who happens to be wandering by.

Pedro confidently advises that cous-cous is similar to cou-cou. For the sake of the non-Barbadians reading this: cou-cou is a soft pudding-like substance (vaguely similar to porridge without the lumps), the result of corn-meal being boiled and stirred in water and okras, usually accompanied by any type of fish you like, swimming in a plentiful amount of sauce with onions or tomatoes, etc, regarded as a delicacy by some, including myself. At that assurance from Pedro my enthusiasm surges and I gleefully say, "Yes, Alex, I'll have the cous-cous," not sure whether or not the final 's' is emphasized in the pronunciation.

Soon Alex's cart is back again, and the amount of servings on the massive plates is this time marginally more promising than in the case of the original salads. Everyone else has ordered a meat dish but I am alone with my cous-cous. As we dig in, within minutes, I start to get a feeling akin to the 'loneliness of the long- distance runner.' I take a look around the table; everyone seems to be making good headway with their chosen meal. My cous-cous, however, is as different from cou-cou as night is from day, as different as Monica Lewinsky and Mother Theresa when they are on their knees.

This cous-cous has the consistency of gravel that has been downsized in a blender. Cou-cou is smooth and eases gracefully down your throat. The version of the cous-cous in front of me is, without any accompanying sauce, as dry as a wind across the Sahara and so gritty that it can be used as an effective antidote for bones lodged in the esophagus.

"How do you like the cous-cous , Uncle Kal?" asks Shelley, whose cheerful voice tells me that she has had better luck in her choice than I have in mine.

"Oh, just great, Shelley, just great," I lie, "I think I'll ask Alex to get me the recipe."

And so, my first night in the Universe Dining Room is not a night to remember. The final offering, the desserts, are generally not any more memorable than what has preceded them. Except for the Dutch Apple Cake. Aha! finally something to stimulate the sensories. This time I have lucked out and my order has topped all the others. The Dutch, known all over for putting their fingers in dikes and keeping them there for a long time, seem also to have had a hand in cake-making.

The news that my Dutch Apple Cake is indeed a slice of delight spreads like wildfire all around the table. Immediately, my sister Pam, whom I love most of the time, asks me if she can sample a taste. My love for her is now being severely tested because if there is one thing that I secretly have a big problem with, it is sharing food, especially food that I like. I notice that earlier no one asked to sample the cous-cous, and rightly so.

But while I toy with the idea of telling my sister that my love for her does not extend to sharing my food with her, a loud announcement suddenly pierces the general boisterousness of the room and the Captain announces his presence, welcoming us onto the Carnival and then introducing the movers and shakers on the ship, the people he says whose job is to make sure that we all have a great time.

This little formality lasts for a few minutes at the end of which the ship's entertainment supervisor takes the mike and is soon leading all the crew that has been serving in the dining room in a song which I have never heard before but from the general reaction of the crowd seems to be well-known. The song is also pre-choreographed because the crew are all moving in synchronized body movements.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see that Mamma Smith is up and boy she is right in there jiving with the crew, moving her body in perfect harmony. Where she has learned the moves I'll never know but I am convinced that had she been on the Titanic when the band struck up "Abide with me", she would have cheered up everybody.

This temporary distraction has summed up almost everything that has happened to me during the evening. While my eyes are transfixed on Mamma Smith and the jiving crew, my loving sister has reached over and unbeknownst to me, taken my Dutch Apple Cake. Probably like Eve in the garden, she does not at first intend to eat it all but it is better than anything on the menu this evening. As my apple cake slowly disappears into her mouth, she looks at me with her disarming smile, " Oh, Kal, this is so good."

The next time I see Alex, I say, "Oh, Alex, is it possible to get another piece of Dutch Apple Cake?"

"Sorry, Kal, that was the last one."

My sister still doesn't know how perilously close to dying she came that first night on the Carnival Destiny.

The End