I Longed For Someone Like Me

When I was in front of the silver screen or the tiny screen
When I immersed myself in hardcovers or paperbacks
I felt empty on the inside, but didn’t even know it then
As a child, I was impressionable
The others found their heroes (however fictional)
While I looked for others who didn’t look like me
Grasping for something to boost my esteem
As I died on the inside while being oblivious
The others found their heroes or morals
When they NEVER applied to me
The others assumed I was a villain
Who deserved to be punished at all costs
Even when I minded my own business
No prince, no superhero, no fairy tale protagonist
Looked like me
Years later, I was forced to create my own worlds and heroes
While it was constructive, I wished I did it sooner

Music Spotlight: Sami Dan “Hayal”


I really don’t care what anyone says.  I like African music. Whether it’s the traditional stuff, experimental works, or Afropop, I enjoy it. Here’s one singer I’ve known for almost a year now. This is Sami Dan from Ethiopia. I first heard this song last year not long after the peace deal with his home country and Eritrea. Even though I rarely listen to pop music, this had a fun beat and it’s a fun love song of sorts. Amharic sounds great when sung.

Feel free to check out this song.

Why do you care so much about originality and rip-offs?

I’m sure there have been people thinking that question whenever they talk to me especially in this blogosphere. It certainly doesn’t help that I have a full-length concept album coming out in late December that involves innovators in numerous fields. Some of them were unfortunately plagiarized by more popular people and organizations which is quite unfortunate. I have certainly made an opinion post about it earlier this year if memory serves me correctly. Feel free to check that post whenever you can.

I don’t want to repeat too much about what I’ve said in previous posts or to namedrop certain examples especially certain film controversies you all should know about by now. Originality is something I cherish and I know people can really try to make something truly unique. I just shake my head when I hear people say that nothing’s original anymore. Those same people haven’t even tried in their lives. Even in my film review blog, I will even award an extra point or two for originality or at the very least something I’ve personally never seen before. It’s a virtue for me and that upcoming album Dear Innovare is an homage to several people.

Now, I have an issue with rip-offs which you may know. I don’t throw around that term flippantly unless I can back it up with facts and obvious similarities. What I may not have mentioned was that I’ve been made fun of for some of my tastes allegedly being clones. Back in college, I got into a band called La Dispute. They are an experimental hardcore band that incorporates spoken word vocals for most of their songs. They were one of the first bands I ever saw at a basement show in my life when some friends and I saw them, Touche Amore, Into It. Over It., Tension Generation, and Former Thieves in someone’s home in Chicago. It’s weird to think some of those bands would get signed to bigger labels. Anyways, there was a (now ex-) friend of mine who have me crap for liking them because he thought they were a rip-off of mewithoutYou. I liked both bands then, and I disagree with that. Yes, both bands incorporate spoken word elements, but musically, they don’t sound alike. Besides, mewithoutYou isn’t the first rock band to use spoken word elements. Just look at Envy who’ve been around years longer and did post-rock elements before Aaron Weiss and company would do so. Even listening to Gil Scott-Heron or more recently The Last Poets really opened the floodgates wide. I can’t picture mewithoutYou or even La Dispute fans getting into The Last Poets and would be too scared to do so if you know anything about their lyrical content. This infuriated me because I never got my official comeback against this person. One time on Facebook, he admitted to watching the Never Say Never documentary. Yes, I’m talking about the Justin Bieber one and he said he liked it. I verbally thrashed him online telling him he had no right to make fun of me for liking La Dispute if he was a Belieber. What shocked me was the lack of insulting towards him. If I said something like that, I’d be clowned for weeks! Why does he get a free pass?

Part of that lingering resentment still exists with me today. Do you know how many times I’ve been severely tempted to insult bloggers for what they like if I know if something is a rip-off or problematic? Doing that would be like an abstract revenge for being made fun of for liking La Dispute back in the day despite my musical tastes changing since then. It’s like I would be doing unto others what was done to me as I would dish out that verbal barrage. However, I’m not good at insulting people and I feel like I behave in a respectful manner even when I rant. The anger I feel more often than not is towards other bloggers, so it does put me in check that way. With that being said, if someone calls something a rip-off, yet gives a free pass to something that genuinely is, then I will call that person out. No, I don’t need to name examples as to when I would have that kind of talk with someone. I guess originality and striving to be original was an attempt to be taken seriously despite upholding that virtue or a way to prevent myself from being bullied. I’ve certainly been bullied and/or mistreated for far worse reasons, so don’t get me wrong. Toxicity breeds toxicity as I’ve thought about shaming people if they liked something that was a clone whether I declared it to be so or not.

As I’ve said before…liking things is really hard.

Dear Innovare Bio and Release Date Confirmed

Ospreyshire has been on a roll recording things in 2019 so far. Besides some compilation exclusives and a couple of singles made, and another EP, there was one thing missing in this discography…a full-length album. A long player was lacking and the solution involved poems and songs for a whole new concept album. The final results involved forty-one of them.

Dear Innovare…The Souls of Ignored Pioneers Shall Be Renowned is the first full-length album from Ospreyshire and it is nothing like any previous EPs or singles. While his trademark acousmatics, avant-garde leanings, and spoken word vocals do return, there are more great additions. There are more organic instruments used this time around and there are songs that incorporate some programmed elements. It’s also a genre roulette of sorts as elements of electronic, acoustic, blues, post-rock, digital hardcore, shoegaze, acapella, folk, and even rap show up in some forms. The production is all lo-fi and DIY, but the result only strengthens the truthful narrative in these stories.

This is a concept album much like previous EPs. Verses Vs. Anhedonia was an autobiography dealing with elements of depression. Pathos Formula Wave: One Score of Rage was a compilation of angry letters to those who hurt in him the past. Dear Innovare is a collage of stories and narratives about numerous creators. These stories involve inventors, doctors, engineers, musicians, animators, filmmakers, business owners, and many more. Many of them have been overlooked for several reasons and some of those people were ripped off by those more famous than them. These tracks are homages to those who were forgotten and some of them simultaneously bash the rip-offs in question. Dear Innovare incorporates smaller song or poem cycles that are part of the larger concept. There’s the About A Benjamin trilogy which is about African-American inventors all named Benjamin who have contributed to innovations still used to this day even though the history classes have been neglectful in talking about them. The Art Theft trilogy is about three specific African nations who’ve had their art and artifacts looted while being placed in European museums. Those nations (Benin, Senegal, and Nigeria) are trying to get what’s rightfully theirs. Larceny By Dirigible is a five-part acoustic rock cycle which excoriates a certain classic rock band who made a career on plagiarizing various blues, folk, and other rock artists. In hindsight, they’re a glorified cover band at best. Pugnam Contra Fures Leonis is a interconnected trilogy which covers one of the most controversial film plagiarism scandals in history as a certain franchise is responsible for a legacy of theft, cultural appropriation (while grossly misrepresenting said cultures), and even an attempt to block something original from getting exposure. At the same time, it honors two different musicians and an animated series that were stolen.

Dear Innovare…The Souls of Ignored Pioneers Shall Be Renowned is an ambitious album and certainly the most creative one Ospreyshire has created thus far. Feel free to to be enlightened by these poems and songs while also immersed in his experimental forms of audio art.

Oh, and by the way…12/27/19. Pre-orders will happen soon. You’re welcome!

The Drawbacks of Being a Multi-Disciplined Artist

I really need to be real with all of you. I’ve been facing a bunch of burnout. While it’s been fun making the finishing the touches on the Ospreyshire full-length album, I’ve been struggling with other aspects of my life. Sure, there’s the typical adulting with work, bills, and other mundane things which is to be expected. Besides that, I’ve been feeling a bit depressed.

I’m a poet, fiction writer, musician, videographer, and film critic among other things. There are so many endeavors I want…no, need to get finished, but I don’t know how I can catch up with everything. I wish my all of my work wasn’t for naught in all the fields I cover. It’s a miracle people tolerate let alone support me in different ways. I wish I could be better at everything. That and be rewarded for my works.

I just had to be honest. I have no ill will towards you, the reader (and/or follower). It’s been a whirlwind of disappointment at this juncture.

Do you (or should you) separate the artist from the art pt. II: What if the art IS part of the vices?

This was a topic I wanted to revisit again, but I want to cover a certain aspect of it. If you don’t know about my thoughts on whether artists and art should be separated, then you can check out that previous post here.

Now let’s get to the subject at hand.

Some of you already know that I have a very hard time separating the art from the artist especially if they do really bad things. It was interesting seeing people respectfully disagreeing with me for most of my comments. This brings up a question for you: What if the art IS part of the vices? Would you still separate the two from each other?

How could the art be involved in an author’s misdeeds or sins? Here are a few ways that could happen.

I guess one way would be the artist incorporating their deeds in their work or making a message that’s antithetical to their actions. It would be like if some creator had some villains murdering people, yet the author murders someone. That would be far harsher in hindsight. Or maybe they have a message against wars, but they end up howling for blood against another country. Those would be some examples on how that could be the case.

Another case would be if the work is plagiarized. Okay, some of you have seen this coming. Don’t worry, I won’t mention the obvious examples of cinematic plundering done by Disney, Christopher Nolan, or Suzanne Collins since you should already know those examples. I’ll use different examples. Look at Led Zeppelin. They made a career ripping off blues and folk songs. Eventually they got sued and were forced to give royalties and writing credits to most of the songs they stole from. I also pray that Spirit wins that appeal and sues Zeppelin’s pants off for them stealing “Taurus” to make “Stairway to Heaven”. I hate how that band gets a free pass for thievery. If any older person (or at the very least a classic rock purist) says that newer music just rips things off, show them the songs that band stole from to shut them up. Anyways, I need to get back on topic. Art theft gets tricky because those bad things are in their stolen creations. You could even go to those rock artists ripping off Black blues and original rock artists (**cough** Elvis **cough**) without paying dues to who they stole from. You have patents stolen like how Edison totally ripped off Nikola Tesla, Lewis Howard Latimer (there would be no efficient light bulbs had it not have been for his carbon filament!), and Granville T. Woods to name a few for his technological empire. At least Woods sued Edison twice and WON when he proved he made those patents instead of that overrated thief of an inventor. I have no respect for people who steal other people’s creative works. It’s lazy, intellectually insulting, and it shows how they are lesser beings because they stole from someone else. I can’t separate the art from the artist if it’s stolen.

What I wonder is why horrible people get free rides for their creations while others are obscured or demonized? How is it that an originator get crapped on for daring to sue the person or people who stole from them? For those who separate the art from the artists, what would cause you to stop or rather at what point can you not forgive the artist? Hey, I’m just staying in the question lane here.

Feel free to leave your comments on this matter.

The recording process…

Some of you know I’m working on a full-length album. It’s been a couple of months of writing, recording, and mixing so far even though I have a few songs left to complete the project.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll tell you a few things about this particular album. This will be the first full-length Ospreyshire album. Not an EP or some singles, I mean this is going to have way more songs in it. Much like my previous EPs Verses Vs. Anhedonia or Pathos Formula Wave, this will be a concept project. While I’m not trying to make the next Tommy, The Wall, or anything Coheed & Cambria has done, this will have an overarching theme.

That theme involves innovators and creators…some of whom were ripped off.

The tracks here involve various inventors and artists who have been ignored whether they made live-saving inventions, buildings, or stories that either get overlooked, undermined, or in some cases having their works stolen by undeserving people. This album is an homage to them and most of the time uses the perspective of the original inventors and creators. I really hope to get this fully recorded before the end of the year, Nzambe willing.

Hope you’re doing well.

Speaking of which, do you know about various inventors people should know about? Do you know about inventions we take for granted? How about inventions and patents that were stolen? Do you know any form of art or media that were plagiarized? Which creators deserved better? Share your knowledge in the comments section!

Happy 3 Year Bloggiversary!

Has it been 3 years since Ospreyshire and this blog existed now? Wow, time really flies!

I’d like to thank those how have followed me these past 3 years. It’s been a long journey and I know I deviated from the original reason for this blog, but I’m happy there are those who care. I met some great people on WordPress and I’m sure to meet more.

In other news, I wanted to let you all know that I’m over 3/4ths of the way done with my next album!

Thanks for checking out this blog.

Music Spotlight: “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)” by Joe Tex

Recently, I’ve been having a kick of listening to classic R&B, soul, and blues. There were so many artists that I have ignored after listening to so much music that was released when I was alive. After researching music plagiarism and how so many forms of Black music were stolen and appropriated without credit (contrary to semi-popular belief, I’m not just talking about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” or the documentary The Lion’s Share). I underestimated how bad it was in America, but that’s a story for another time.

This is a ballad from the singer Joe Tex which dates back to 1966 called “The Love You Save (May Be Your Own)”. I had never heard of Joe Tex or his music until just a few weeks ago, and this was the first song I heard from him. I stumbled across it when I researched how rock, blues, soul, and R&B were stolen en masse and this song was mentioned. This sound is haunting with the waltz time, orchestration, and Tex’s mournful vocals. The part of the song that really hit me hard was the second verse. Here are the lyrics that stood out to me:

“I’ve been pushed around
I’ve been lost and found
I’ve been given til sundown
To get out of town
I’ve been taken outside
And I’ve been brutalized
And I’ve had to always be the one to smile and apologize”

WOW! Those are tremendous words and it shows how so many musicians in multiple genres are such sheltered cowards while also being extremely relatable even though this came out decades before I was born. The sundown line is brutal since he’s clearly talking about sundown towns. Those were towns where Black people had to leave before night lest they be slaughtered by the white population during the Jim Crow era. The line that really hit me in the feels was the last one in that quote. I have a bad habit of apologizing too much and there were times where I was coerced to do so even when I didn’t do anything wrong. I HATE being treated like the bad guy when others are exalted for worse things! A song like that could ONLY be written by someone like him, but even I could relate to those lyrics even if it’s not entirely for the exact same reasons. How did I not know about Joe Tex or his music until now?

I hope you enjoy the song.

18th Century Ethiopian Crown to be Returned Home from Netherlands — African Heritage

This was a good news and had to be shared. Enjoy! It is from the BBC. ===== An 18th Century Ethiopian crown will finally be returned home after being hidden in a Dutch flat for 21 years. Ethiopian Sirak Asfaw, who fled to the Netherlands in the late 1970s, discovered the crown in the […]

via 18th Century Ethiopian Crown to be Returned Home from Netherlands — African Heritage

Thank you for sharing this news, Dr. Y.

I needed to hear a positive story given the nonstop depressing things going on here in America. I’m happy that Ethiopia is getting what’s there’s back. It’s a lovely crown and that country getting their diadem back is part of a spree of goodness that’s happened to them like the peace deal with Eritrea, getting a former emperor’s hair back from England, and for setting a new world record for planting trees.

This story made me smile when I was in tears the past few days.