Here’s a part II to Monday’s post. While this interview has been around for a few months now, I thought I would still promote it, so you can hear it. Canadian radio station The Antidote interviewed Dave Emmerson from ZAP Records as he talks about music, why he closed down ZAP, and his new plans. It was another great interview and not just because I know both Daves talking to each other. Yes, I’m namedropped briefly, but don’t listen to this interview because of that. It really gives insight into Dave’s ideology in music and creative projects.
Yes, I do listen to some classical and symphonic music while I don’t consider myself well-versed in that field. I recently discovered the Guadeloupean composer Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges after watching a documentary about him. He was a multi-disciplined man who was a virtuoso violinist, champion fencer, composer, and was even the a general, too. It was also surprising since I didn’t know many Black or biracial composers in the classical era and what made learning about him more interesting is that he actually inspired Mozart of all people when the much more famous musician was younger. I’m glad some people in the art music world have been doing their best to revive his works.
Okay, Driver Eight isn’t new to me and some of you know about me liking them in older posts. After watching No New Kinda Story which was a documentary about Tooth & Nail Records, I had a nostalgia trip. While I didn’t know or listen to this band until several years after they broke up, I really like their only album “Watermelon”. They have a good mix of indie rock with a hint of shoegaze. All the songs were good and “Getting This Thing to Go” has a place in my heart for me because that was the first song I learned how to play a guitar solo from. How many people can say that given how obscure Driver Eight are.
Before anyone else says anything, I’m aware they’re named after an REM song. Thank you. 🙂
Now here’s something completely different! I had never heard of Beverley Knight until recently. I heard this particular song while shopping and it was stuck in my head. Naturally, I typed in lyrics of the song to my phone and Googled it after the fact. I think she’s got a great voice and I liked the mix between R&B, soul, pop and some of those disco-esque strings in this song. While this is poppier than what I normally listen to, I actually enjoyed it. I even found out that this singer was from Wolverhampton, England of all places (that’s near Birmingham, by the way). Maybe that city has a good music scene there?
Here’s some music from different time periods, different genres, and from different countries as well. I just needed some positive jams (Hold Steady reference!) to listen to as well as share.
All videos are property of their respective owners.
Here’s something completely different.
One thing I’ve been trying to do to curb whatever internalized anger and depression was to step my culinary game up.
The first picture is angel hair, but there’s spinach, flax seeds, chopped shallots, and white mushrooms with a light sprinkling of olive oil and a dash of Khoisan salt.
For dessert, I had yogurt with flax seeds and organic blueberries. This isn’t just any yogurt, but made with cashew milk. If you’re a vegan or lactose intolerant, then this treat is for you! I got the ingredients the last time I did some grocery shopping, but I wanted to buy individuals foods instead of just microwavable or frozen food. A lot of these things I used are good for you.
Hope things are well with you!
It has been a crazy busy few weeks. There’s been work and me participating in NaNoWriMo. Of course…there’s been everything else going on in the world especially in America.
Relax, I won’t be talking about anything partisan let alone anything political in this post. I can hear the collective sigh of relief no matter if one is to the left, right, center, independent, or apolitical. With that said, I still have been thinking about serious things nonetheless.
In addition to work and writing another book, I have been having thoughts of so many things going on in my life.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been bullied in my life and at times it was quite severe. In hindsight, some of it was very low-key that psychologically affected me. When I would fight back, I would be treated like the bad guy even though I wasn’t being physical against anyone or insulting them. It made me wonder how docile I was while abusive people get away with everything even when I would call them out on their crap. It’s no wonder I can’t stand those who hurt others with impunity as well as never owning up to their misdeeds. I’ve had to own up to my mistakes and sins, so why couldn’t they? It’s like I’ve been getting bad advice for years from people who should know better. Part of me wondered if I should’ve improved in snappy comebacks or insulting people because I’ve always struggled in that regard. It’s sick how I felt like I wasn’t “allowed” to stand up for myself.
There are times where I wonder if it was worth having certain kinds of dreams and goals. I’m sure I mentioned this in a post earlier this year about random goals I used to have like owning a record label, voice acting, or being a touring musician, etc. I guess with COVID, in a weird way, I’m relieved that i didn’t go forward with those pipe dreams. My goals have changed like getting more into writing as well as videography. I have those skills and it allows me to put them to use. There are other ideas for goals that could be more constructive, but I wondered how possible they would be.
The last movie I saw was a documentary about the Congolese Genocide and Leopold II. It was so heartbreaking and it was one of those historical aspects I wish I learned when I was a lot younger regardless of my DNA results. I learned more things and I certainly was uncomfortable with the brutality. It angers me how Leopold never got punished for being responsible for several millions of people dying under his colonizing rule. It was a powerful watch and I think more people should learn about this atrocity.
Those were various thoughts I had recently. I just had to talk about it instead of just a poem or opinions on a news story. Sorry it wasn’t fun. I hope you understand.
There was one comment I got a few weeks ago on one of my posts that’s been in my head for a while now. I won’t name names even though I have nothing against this blogger at all. They discovered Ospreyshire’s Realm through another blogger I follow since I’ve commented on multiple posts of theirs.
To paraphrase what they said, they’ve said that I talk a lot about racial/POC issues.
Do I talk about those issues? Yes, and I’ve been doing so before the recent police brutality cases this year. I’ve shared news stories, written poems with that topic, mentioned it in some film reviews on my other blog, written stories with that as a concept (usually on the more subtle end while doing my best to have positive racial representation), and I even have recordings that allude to racial issues especially with my “They Dreamed of Devastation and Deceit (Circle of Lies)” single and multiple tracks from my first full-length album “Dear Innovare…”. This is something I do care about not just on principle given my heritage, but also because it’s a human issue and I wish more people would realize it.
I wasn’t like this at first when I started blogging when I came up with the Ospreyshire project and eventually my other blogs. I didn’t talk about those subjects at first on here since it was mainly for my first EP, my more innocuous poems, and promoting other people on this blog. Things took a bit of a change where I started to talk about these particular issues in overt and abstract ways (mainly with my creative projects) in my other blogs and it trickled down here. It’s been surprising how supportive people have been with what I’ve been blogging about since I revealed my racial identity, talked about some of my personal experiences on that matter, and to expose more people to these important issues whether it’s with some conversations, poems, music, news stories, film reviews, or personal opinions on different subjects. 2020 wasn’t some trendy thing for me to talk about these subjects. I’ve been doing so before that. I used to shy away from these topics offline most of the time, but I can’t hide or certainly lie about these things. Blogging has made me braver and more outspoken whether it’s talking about racism or at the very least mentioning uncomfortable truths or unpopular opinions.
Before I finish this post, I do have some advice for some of my readers out there on this subject.
1. Don’t make racism a partisan issue at all especially in this election year. This isn’t a left-wing or right-wing issue since both sides have been guilty of bigotry. This is a HUMAN issue, as I’ve said before.
2. Get (un)comfortable learning lesser-known parts of history. Learning about Black Wall Street was the first big example for me of a real life part of American history I never learned about during all my years of schooling.
3. Realize that even so-called “innocent” media can contain harmful subtext. Watch how things can be slanted or what the implications could be in a story, movie, TV show, etc.
I hope this post worked in some way for you. I wanted to do something more constructive than just ranting and raging over everything even with what’s going on right now. That doesn’t mean I’m ignoring these issues at all. Have a great day, everyone.
I have some bad news and good news for you. Bad news is that Dave Emmerson decided to close down his DIY label ZAP Records. It’s quite sad since there were so many good bands associated with that indie label. I’ll be talking about my thoughts on the matter in a separate post. Good news is that his band Dystopian Futures is still going to make music and they just came out with a new song called “Space Junk”! Oh, yeah. I even got to make the music video, too.
Dystopian Futures certainly continue to use their quirky experimental punk rock for this song. It’s a story involving a cosmonaut who has been in stasis in a spaceship for a century while trying to flee from his vice-ridden past. Things don’t go to plan as he’s in the cosmic ocean.
Feel free to buy the song on Visions Press’s Bandcamp!
Did it really feel like oppression?
Don’t misconstrue everything. Everyone isn’t faring so well with this environment at the moment.
Job opportunities become ghosts, masks are everywhere, and hand sanitizer companies are raking it in.
When the comparisons to slavery came up, there was a serious debate on whether to facepalm or to laugh at the sheer lunacy of a statement such as that.
False equivalency detected!
Funny enough (or sadly enough), those same people are paid handsomely for their careers.
This worldwide inconvenience was a shock to everyone and there are no ill-wishes from me, but the level of stupidity and fallacious rhetoric is laughable if it wasn’t so offensive.
Excuse me while I check to see how much sympathy I have…Sorry, I don’t seem to find any for that kind of argument.
A sound mind is rare
When there’s so many emotions that can scare
Overactive imaginations that are everywhere
I researched a bit of the Gullah Geechee culture somewhat recently especially after watching the movie Daughters of the Dust and checking out some of Miss Trudy’s Sierra Leone travel vlogs. I wanted to know about some of the musical parts of the culture and didn’t realize a number of African American spirituals came from that autonomous group. One band known as the McIntosh County Shouters who’ve been around for decades and preserve a lot of the Gullah songs as well as the culture. Not going to lie, I wouldn’t have actively listened to them when I was younger, but I’ve been gaining more appreciation for other types of music. I even bought one of their albums and saw some of their concert videos on YouTube.
I got to see U-Carmen earlier this year. For those of you that have never heard of that movie, it’s a South African adaptation of Bizet’s famous Carmen opera. Not only is this set in the 00s and in a different country, the entire opera is actually done in the Xhosa language (the X is pronounced by clicking). It was a very fascinating take on that classical work. In the movie, all the actors actually sing live on set instead of lip-synching to pre-recorded performances. I would definitely recommend the movie and soundtrack. This song in particular is a Xhosa cover of “Habanera” which is a song a lot of you know even if you don’t know anything about opera or classical music. Just listen to the melody, and you’ll instantly recognize it.
Here’s a band I found out about somewhat recently after finding out that they’ve collaborated with the Congotronics Vs Rockers project. It was a superband involving Congolese bands (mainly from Konono No.1 and Kasai Allstars) and various musicians from all over the world. Two of those musicians happened to consist of the Swedish married couple known as Wildbirds & Peacedrums. I’m a sucker for experimental forms of music and I didn’t think anyone can make a band with just vocals and percussion. They’ve got some avant-pop and jazz kind of vibes with their minimalist approach to music which I found to be unique. I was also a fan of the stop motion filming in this music video.
I’m glad I still have an appreciation for music in these stressful times. Hope you like these selections.
Here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for. I get to answer the questions I got last week for my 10K+ view milestone!
“What was going through your mind when you wrote all those 455 posts? I mean did you ever run out of ideas or did you always had a topic in your mind(if yes you did run out of ideas, what did you do to bring yourself back up)?”
Well, I certainly have more than 455 posts at this point in time now. Haha! Okay, in all seriousness, my mind has been at different points when I made certain posts. I mainly focused on the Ospreyshire project for my spoken word stuff with the poems, recordings, and videos. I expanded to talking about news events and my opinions about different things. I ranged from sad, angry, serious, and occasionally comedic if the time calls for it. However, I think most of my poetry tends to lead towards sad or angry in hindsight.
I can’t say I’ve ran out of ideas since new ones pop up. Some of them will affect this blog since I still have more things to do with what Ospreyshire was made for.
“Who would say is or makes your blog audience?”
from Khaya Ronkainen
That’s a question that I legitimately thought about. I guess the people who I know mostly view and comment on my posts are usually other poets, some bloggers that cover serious issues, and anibloggers given my prowess in multiple blogs. Funny how I have that kind of crossover appeal with different types of bloggers.
“Do you have any favorite poets or collections of poetry?”
Some of my favorite poets include Langston Hughes, Buddy Wakefield, The Last Poets, and so much more.
“Do you think you’ll still be blogging in five years and if so, care to guess how many views you’ll reach by then?”
from Lynn Sheridan
I believe I’ll still be blogging in the next 5 years. I don’t know if I’d be working on multiple blogs at once, but I could see myself managing at least one of them that far in the future. If I were to gauge how many views I could get then, I’d say 20-30K by then. It took 4 years to get 10K here, so I don’t know.
“What do you think is the best story you’ve written?”
Hooray! I’m glad there are people who know about my fiction/author exploits! That is a really tough question. Hollandus Landing was a very important book for me since it was the first time I showed off my cell phone novel projects let alone a full story to everyone as I serialized it live back in 2017. Another important story I wrote would have to be in the Revezia series like Praxis of the Disenchanted or the Electrum Trilogy. By the way, you can get Hollandus Landing for free or donation!
“It seems that you still have some hangups about yourself as it pertains to anger about self-worth based on what others have done to your self-esteem, so having said that, has this blog done more to aid you in self reflection and instilled in you a true sense of self worth or are you letting others get into your head and instill their thoughts, their prejudices, their biases as it pertains to you being bi-racial?”
from Shelby Courtland
Yeah, I still struggle with these issues, but I do appreciate you checking up on me. It definitely shows with some of my poems and some of the news stories that touched a nerve with me whether it’s racial issues or when I did that infamous rant against a certain movie last year. One of my weaknesses is that I can care too much about what others think of me. It’s NOWHERE near as bad as when I was younger, but it still slips in from time to time.
This blog has certainly helped with self-reflection and catharsis. I am slowly rebuilding that self-worth that was diminished after dealing with bullies and people getting away with their abusive behaviors even when I would call them out. There are times where I wished I was more aware about subtle forms of derogation like projection, dog whistles, or low-key insults when I was much younger (I guess taking a psych class might have helped for some of that in hindsight). Speaking as someone who is biracial, I did get my wake-up call years ago about how those who are mixed tend to be treated whether they have a white parent or not. Knowing about that reality certainly allowed me to do my own research about things I wasn’t taught (various historical events mainly like Black Wall Street being a major one for me then). At the same time, I’ve had a bad habit of having to prove my humanity, competency, and authenticity to anyone regardless of my ethnic background whether online or offline. I’m not singling anyone out because I’ve sadly had that mindset with anyone I communicate with. Getting rid of these prejudices, biases, or even assumptions out of my head has been quite the task. Hopefully, this answers your question.
“If you could witness the writing of a poetry collection (or novel), whose would it be, and why?”
from Ashley Capes
If I had to witness the creation of such books, I would’ve liked to have been there to have seen the process of the Circle trilogy from Ted Dekker (I read all the books years ago) or if I were to cheat with manga, I’d say Hikaru no Go. Wow, I sound like such a stan with the second example.
Thank you so much for your questions. I still have something else planned for this milestone!