Posts Tagged ‘3 canal

29
Sep
08

The Shadows in the Dark are Blue Devils: Turning the World Upside Down

This is Ataklan again, with more video of Trinidad of a quality and nature that I could only hope to make myself. We have heard from Ataklan before on this blog, with “The Sun Starts to Rise,” which came around the time of the summer solstice, by lucky chance. Now as we enter into a darker fall, today we have “A Shadow in the Dark.” As is often the case with Trinidadian songs and videos that I like to feature here, my comrade Guanaguanare has posted this on her blog a while back, and transcribed it: see her post here.

More in a moment, but first here is the video:

I like the video for its messages of humility, tactical restraint, its suspicion and critique of dominant power, and the daily grind of those placed and held in the gutters of society:


Man, I’d rather be a shadow in the dark,
Than a big fool in spotlight.
I’d rather be a dog without a bark,
Than a loud dog without a bite.

It’s 3 Canal time again, with a video of Blue Devils dancing, classic figures from the pre-dawn J’ouvert of the Trinidadian carnival. There are many reasons why 3 Canal is the featured musical inspiration of this blog, not least of which is their rescuing of the potent political symbolism of carnival-as-resistance, their consistent critiques of capitalism and hegemony, their philosophical dwelling in the working class street, and of course their hybrid musical inventions.

Today Washington crooks cook up a transfer of public wealth into the mismanaging hands of the super wealthy, because otherwise the failure of “capitalism that works” (we have been fed a diet of propaganda of how capitalism is the best possible system, the only system that works, no viable alternatives) might have caused some “shock” to people in growing tent cities, in jobless lines, people losing their homes? Those realities of dispossession and loss will continue regardless of Wall Street’s improved health, and indeed, because of it.

This is a “world turned upside down” in another sense than the one intended by 3 canal — this is Americans’ much hated “socialism” (public funds wielded by an interventionist state) coming to the rescue of capitalism. And they will pay for it very dearly. In the meantime, John McCain entertains fantasies of no new spending on social programs, but lots of new spending on national security — an aspiring “war president” of perverse proportions, who thinks you can run an army without an economy, presumably because he is confident that China and the Gulf States will continue lending the U.S. money for its imperial adventurism? McCain looks more like an old guard figure of the declining USSR, a war-a-holic headed for the same exit, coincidentally also stuck up his melanoma in Afghan sand.

  • Public financed private wealth
  • State bailouts for the “free market”
  • A national war economy funded by foreign lenders
  • Securing economic health (for the dwellers of the tent cities?)
  • An aspiring VP Palin, who thinks the bailout is about health care…

Enjoy it, it’s your state sanctioned madness.

3 CANAL

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26
May
08

Revolution (3 Canal): “This land is ‘mines’ “

Another of my favourite Rapso pieces from 3-Canal, a visually very attractive video in my eyes, one that manages to bring out the revolutionary shades of the Trinidadian flag itself, in an act of reinterpretation. The last quarter of the video, showing the singers and dancers splashed in black oil, paint, and beating biscuit tins is a fairly good representation of what one would see during J’Ouvert street celebrations at the dawn of Carnival in Trinidad. If Soca has been associated with Carnival, then one might argue that 3-Canal is a J’Ouvert music band given its consistent use of J’Ouvert imagery. J’Ouvert is arguably the last, largely non-commercial, non-competitive, free, open, even home-spun activity of the Carnival season. Costumes are improvised, humorous messages quickly painted on placards, little acts performed in the street, with a deep plunge into otherness in the depths of the night — it’s in J’Ouvert that Carib breweries might throw a few dollars at a small band called Taliban, giving us “Carib Taliban,” a name loaded with cannibalism, terrorism, and beer. In J’Ouvert, everybody “loses it” for a good while, Trinidadians and foreign visitors alike, brought on by a mixture of trance, drunkenness, heat exhaustion, arousal. It’s great to be part of a pulsating throng of dark silhouettes in chaos moving through the streets of Port of Spain at night, getting a spiritual sense that anything could happen, that the world has fallen away, that something new could come. No wonder that 3-Canal’s cutting lyrics are accompanied by this J’Ouvert ethos. Enjoy the video — I know you will be back to see it again when three days from now you find yourself humming it without any provocation.


12
May
08

Talk Yuh Talk, Mocking Pretenders

A music video from Trinidad’s 3 Canal (named after a cutlass [machete] with three grooves), titled “Talk You Talk” — my favourite Rapso piece.

Thanks to Guanaguanare for transcribing these great lyrics (see below the video).

Yeah! Revelation!

He promised the fire next time
He promised the fire next time
He promised, He promised, He promised, He promised,
He promised the fire next time, next time
And who ain’t dead they badly wounded
Who ain’t dead, badly wounded
Who ain’t dead, they badly wounded
Who ain’t dead, badly wounded!

Talk yuh talk, you mocking pretender
I check your lyrics and a come fuh test you
Far too long yuh foolin’ the children
Fillin’ their head with brainwash education

Doomsday reach, boy plan your retreat
Cause the children coming to take back the street
The power of the word in the conscious stylin’
Paving the way for a brand new morning
I say, the power of the word in the rapso stylin’
Rocking the roots of the vampire system.

Talk yuh talk, you mocking pretender
talk yuh talk, you bloody deceiver
talk yuh talk, you serpent master
Talk yuh talk, you friggin’ oppressor

Right down to the heart of the matter
Where reality bites and illusions shatter
Right down to the heart of the matter
The tide go bust and reality scatter

He promised the fire next time
He promised the fire next time
He promised,He promised, He promised, He promised,
He promised the fire next time, next time
And who ain’t dead they badly wounded
Who ain’t dead badly wounded
Who ain’t dead they badly wounded
Who ain’t dead badly wounded!

Talk yuh talk, you mocking pretender!
I check your lyrics and I come fuh test you
Far too long you foolin’ the children
Fillin’ their head with brainwash education.

Doomsday reach, plan your retreat
Cause the children comin’ to take back the street
The power of the word in the conscious stylin’
I say, paving the way for a brand new morning
The power of the word in the rapso stylin’
Rocking the roots of the vampire system

Talk yuh talk, you mocking pretender!
talk yuh talk, you bloody deceiver!
talk yuh talk, you serpent master!
Talk yuh talk, you friggin’ oppressor!

Chatter, chatter, chatter, only cealesss chatter
We going right down to the heart of the matter
Chatter, chatter, chatter, what is the matter
I can’t seem to stop this ceaseless chatter
Chatter, chatter, chatter, going round in my head
Oh lord, oh lord like they want me to dead
Everybody talking, nobody listening
Oh my god, what, what really happening?…….

Revelation vibes!!!




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