Sunday, December 28, 2014

Four Reasons Why Road March is Irrelevant

road march
  1. You can't vibe to Road March tunes after Carnival - Road March tunes are designed to inspire the thousands of revellers to behave their worst in the streets. As a result they usually include a reference to some kinda truck (the bigger the better), may ask you to wield a rag of some sort (please not one that was recently used) and might even ask you to interact with a stage... hopefully by then you're really pumped up and not just 'acting'. These requests often sound strange and dissonant lying in bed or through your headphones at work. Yeah you may pull a napkin in a wedding reception but still.
  2. When last was the Road March winning tune the most popular song for the season? - Historians looking back at 2014 may conclude that "Ministry of Road" by Machel Montano was the song that had the people going that year. They couldn't be more wrong. By a pretty wide margin, the 'it' song of 2014 was "Too Real" by Kerwin Du Bois. Similarly, the top 5 songs of 2012 couldn't smell Road March with Pinocchio's nose. The winner? "Pump Yuh Flag" - a song extolling the virtues of... pumping your flag. And again in 2011, "Wotless" by Kes was the soundtrack of our collective pump for that season only to be 'Advantaged' by Machel Montano's late release. And this is just 3 out of the last 4 years of Road March. Going back further, there are songs like "It's Carnival" featuring Destra and Machel, "Bonnie & Clyde" by Destra etc that are such classics that they still get played in fetes to this day and people assume them to be Road March winners. And do people remember the real winners or are those songs even played now? What do you think?
  3. Carnival Monday and Tuesday is becoming a smaller and smaller part of Carnival - Long, long ago, in an island far far... ok I lie, in our island, road activities on a Monday and Tuesday were unequivocally the largest part of Carnival. While they are still the focal point and climax of our Carnival interaction, in recent times the clothes start coming off as early as September and even earlier. It's not uncommon now to even hear of a Band Launch quite in August. And in between, there are like ah zillion fetes that people attend and listen to music most of which are...NOT road march tunes. So tell me, what is the relevance of crowning a song as being popular for 2 days out of a 5 month period. What is the point? Just to give a man 'ah money'? Which brings me to my next point.
  4. Too much corruption and 'bobol' - Now I'm not saying Road March is totally corrupt. If so then "Wild Antz" would certainly have been a Road March winner right? But at the same time, there are years that just can't be explained. For example, how does two songs get the exact same amount of plays across the country and tie for Road March? I can't see how that could happen even if you were aiming for that specific result. When you get down to the nitty gritty and I hate to break it to you, it's really the deejays that are casting votes. You the masquerader has a very limited say in the matter. Yeah they have to cater to the crowd but they are the ones lining up the selections and pressing the detonate button. Anyway, doh study me eh, Deejays are honourable men. They can't be influenced by petty bribes and such. They don't maintain biases against particular artistes and blackball men etc. They aren't ever lazy and just play the status quo.
So that's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. If you disagree feel free to 'cuss meh' or intellectually rebut me in the comments or pon Social Media when you share it. And most importantly, download the 'We Music' (powered by Trinidad Tunes) app and enjoy over 20,000 songs of Caribbean music, past and present on your Android phone (iPhone coming soon).


Anonymous said...

I agree with your points. A lot of the blame has to be put on us, the revelers as well. Long gone are the days where we valued a song that was actual music.

Anonymous said...

Road march is relevant. It is perfect for the specific purpose of revelry on the road. If you are looking for insightful or meaningful music, its better for you to go look for unicorns in mayaro. Yes the judging system is flawed but too real is not a road song and will never have the nature or energy for stage time (savannah or stadium). You are looking for something that does not exist and maybe your question should be why does soca not have more complex musical cadences and more diverse lyrical content.

Trinbago Rights said...

Bobol is right... and with the increase to TT$2million, it's becoming more pervasive.