Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Completely Random Thoughts 16: She Crown

So, as you probably know if you’ve been reading for any length of time - In regards to the carnival season, the jewel of the various events for me personally, is the Soca Monarch. Of course the Road is a beautiful thing, but if you can’t tell, I’m almost strictly a musical person and being married, stealing brief glimpses of ass on the road has become an increasingly difficult task over the years. So while I do appreciate that pageantry, watching or participating, I’ve yet to find ANYTHING in music, not an artist clash (how I love them so), not a sound clash, not anything, which can recreate or top the feeling when someone pushes a dominant (or even a nearly dominant performance) in a Soca Monarch. It presents the perfectly equal equation of MADNESS to BRAINS (as in keeping track of who you think is winning) to keep my full attention challenged.

So, with that being said, here, at the end of July, we find ourselves not at all far removed from St. Vincy Soca Monarch, St. Lucia Soca Monarch, Caribbean Soca Monarch, Bajan Soca Monarch (whatever the hell they call it) (biggup Blood & TC), and looking ahead to Spice Mas Soca Monarch (which will be Mr. Killa) and Antigua Soca Monarch (of course, CP is going to win that if she’s participating and if not Tian Winter will), and of course there was Caribana and I believe even the UK got in on the festivities as well. That is a lot of fucking Soca Monarchs crowned, but I believe it was somewhere in the middle of watching the six and a half hour - thirty performance St. Lucia Monarch (which was . . . Yeah it was pretty bad), that I just genuinely started to miss a human being that I’ve never actually formally met, but whose presence I’ve been in more than enough to know that her presence that night would have just made things so much better. Of course, I’m talking about Fay(e)-Ann Lyons. The greatest Soca performer I’ve ever had the privilege of watching in person has been, of course, Mr. Fay-Ann, Bunji Garlin, but over the last few years or so, he’s most certainly been outdone by his Wife, both in the studio and on the stage and not only that, but even though you know I swear by Destra and respect the Queendom of Ms. Alison Hinds, in all honesty, Lyons has been THE most consistent big name female Soca performer around, again, both in the studio and on stage, it is TRULY her time.

And this comes in a year which saw her not take home any hardware (but, arguably, still have the second best season of ANYONE, taking second places in Soca Monarch, Groovy Monarch and on the Road), but still at (I THINK) a few months shy of thirty years old, she figures to be into her prime years for the next four or five years or so -- not to mention that clearly not at her best last year - Incredibly pregnant - she took everything there was to be taken -- which means that should she be able to carry such consistency, by time she’s done, perhaps not in terms of numbers of winnings, although maybe (but that seems unlikely because ‘back in the day’ people like Lyons’ Father, Superblue (Boy) used to literally COLLECT crowns), she stands to become one of the greatest of all time and certainly the greatest after the turn of the century.

Getting back to the stage, what Lyons has, even at nowhere near the height of her powers, is a confidence which borders on indifference. It’s almost as if she’s saying that she’s doesn’t particularly care what happens with the results because she knows that she’s going to do well and it is a quality shared by Garlin and a few others (not necessarily Skinny Fabulous, who certainly does have confidence, but also seems to go through a great deal of thought in doing his shows (wherever he is he’s almost certainly of a mind how he can grab Vincy Monarch number four in 2011) and in doing so he's managed to successfully 'charge me up' giving me energy that has lasted for the rest of the damn month) such as the aforementioned Mr. Killa and watching some of the recent performances (even a few in Vincy Monarch), it just seems as if so many people are afraid to make mistakes and even if their tunes are good, it doesn’t end up working out too well because playing not to lose, as opposed to playing to take the crown is absolutely NO way to win any type of crown in my opinion. And she’s never seemed to have that and while she certainly takes her shots at others (mainly Garlin), her performances have become less and less about who else and more and more about herself.

Of course, she’s also very easy on the eyes and very nice to listen to. She’s rather quietly, in my opinion, become one of the most proficient of Soca lyricists to the point where the Dancehall head in me wishes . . . Yeah. So her songs, sans performance and sans the road and the ‘display’ have consistently gotten better and will, at least presumably, continue to do so. The result of that is an artist who . . . Like I said, I just MISSED not being around while watching the likes of I-Cultural and Bonesman (biggup Shelly G) at OECS and . . . Hell pretty much everyone at St. Lucia Monarch. Where it is written that she couldn’t just roll out of her bed and take care of them both (of course she wouldn’t win actually because she isn’t St. Lucian), I don’t know, but if you find it let me know, because it’s some bullshit.

So biggup Fay-Ann Lyons - Partialities notwithstanding (biggup Destra) (biggup Alison Hinds) (biggup Saucy) (biggup Patrice, the heir apparent) - She’s quickly becoming an artist with many many many peers in the game, but not too many equals.

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