Review: Sea Changes of the Toucan Pirates

Rating: ★★★☆☆
The Toucan Pirates

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Genre: Traditional inspired, mostly insrumental
Rating: G
Target Audience: All Ages

The Toucan Pirates albums are amongst the most difficult to review. With very few (and very specific) exceptions, their music is entirely instrumental. They also tend to use the same instruments throughout – those being steel drums, banjos, accordians, coconuts, and other “period-ish” instruments found throughout the Caribbean and/or Ireland. Like the instruments, the music is period-ish, hailing largely from jigs and such. So while the albums can vary in pace, style, and tone from track to track, the actual differences can be difficult to convey in words. Continue reading

Review: The Pirate Primer

Rating: ★★★★★
The Pirate Primer: Mastering the Language of Swashbucklers and Rogues
by George Choundas

Talking like a pirate is the bane of my existence. As someone generally recognized as a guy who’s “really, really into pirates”, as the host of a fairly sizeable annual Talk Like a Pirate Day Party, and as DJ of a weekly pirate-themed radio show, folks pretty much expect me to “talk the talk.” Problem is, I generally don’t.

The core element to what’s widely regarding as “pirate talk” is essentially a mix of gutteral throat scratching combined with maritime words and a shameless knack for “hamming it up.” But sadly, I’m not by nature a ham. What’s more, common pirate impersonations don’t work well on the conversational level, as everything must be an enthusiastic exclamation. This may work fine at parties or festivals, but if you need to actually convey detailed information (as pirates surely did from time to time,) then one needs to find a way to actually – not yell, not growl, not utter – but yes, TALK like a pirate. Easier said than done, in my book. Continue reading