So I’ve been on a jazz kick recently…Here’s Stanley Clarke.


I used to listen to some jazz when I was a kid mainly because my mom would usually have the jazz station on (RIP WNUA 95.5) whenever she would drive me somewhere. I had a long hiatus of sorts during my teens as I listened to a bunch of indie rock, metal, J-pop and punk during my teens and early college years. My tastes have certainly changed since then as I’ve been getting into avant-garde stuff, African music, funk and back into jazz.

I’ve been listening to the classics and more modern stuff with composers, bands, and organ trios of all things.

Wow was I not aware of Stanley Clarke back then?

I randomly looked for bass solos on YouTube and found this video of this legendary bass player just tearing it up with an upright bass. This blew my mind and I listened to some of his discography and his superband SMV with Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten.

It’s been awesome getting into jazz again. Maybe I can improve as a musician to play some of that kind of music.

Ospreyshire Origins: Halstead’s Trophy

Lyrics:

I no longer wanted to be down
After you took my crown and cashed it in for millions of pounds
So shamelessly

I had to strengthen my heart
To withstand all your darts that multiplied from the start
Of your thievery

Originator be my guide
May justice be on my side
Halstead will be filled with pride with the trophy that’s rightfully mine

You think you can do what you will
I made you admit your guilt
How does it make you feel that you’re forced to know my name?

Take a picture now (X6)
To immortalize your shame


Do you want to know what can really suck about plagiarism cases? It can force me to actually defend mainstream pop stars on certain occasions when I would never do so otherwise.

This is one of those times.

Meet Matt Cardle. He’s an acoustic pop singer/songwriter hailing from Halstead, Essex, England. Yes, the name of the song refers to his hometown. Cardle has been quite popular in the UK even though he’s unknown in America. He got his big break after winning on X Factor, so he certainly has several ears throughout Good Ol’ Blighty. He had a song on his first album called “Amazing” which was a minor hit in the UK back in 2011. Wouldn’t it be crazy if another Brit were to steal his song? Whoever could it be?

THIS GUY!

Image result for ed sheeran

That’s right. Ed Sheeran stole someone else’s song! That is just annoying since his fanbase defended him and called Matt Cardle some nobody. Sure, Matt Cardle doesn’t have as much of a worldwide popularity as the Ipswitch-based pop star, but I wouldn’t call him obscure especially when it comes to English music. Matt Cardle has sold over 2 million records, has been on major labels even to this day, and like I said earlier: he’s an X Factor winner and I know that show is popular in the United Kingdom. Here’s some more context. Do you want to know who Matt Cardle beat out in the finals of X Factor in the same season he won it? Cher Lloyd and this one boy band that no one’s heard of called ONE DIRECTION! Yeah, think about that for a minute.

In case you’re wondering, the song that ripped off “Amazing” is “Photograph”. Sure, it wasn’t as big of a hit in America compared to “Sing” or “Thinking Out Loud” which were on the same album, but I know I heard that song playing on the radio whenever I was shopping or eating at some restaurants. To be just, the verses themselves are independent, but those choruses…WOW, Ed didn’t even try besides having different lyrics. Here’s a video of both song’s choruses and tell me he didn’t listen to this Essex crooner’s song!

Matt Cardle’s co-writers/producers actually sued Ed Sheeran and the beat him down in court! Sheeran was forced to give writing credits and royalties to everyone involved who made “Amazing”. Good on them for doing that. I never thought I would have to defend someone who won a freaking music reality show, but that was the day.

Much like both songs, I decided to do a light acoustic ballad, but with my ukulele as a main instrument and I got to use my “pop star” voice which is a rarity as Ospreyshire for obvious reasons. I hope you also appreciate the stealth puns with both songs in Halstead’s Trophy.

You’re welcome, Essex!

The album cover of Matt Cardle is from Wikipedia and is property of Syco music.

The photo of Ed Sheeran is from The Independent.

Ospreyshire Origins: Larceny By Dirigible series

Larceny By Dirigible I Lyrics:

Do You feel shame stealing melodies? (X2)
The spotlight must feel so nice
You can’t see the enlightened leaving you

Its larceny in your backyard (X2)
Don’t act like you’re so confused
You put ignoramuses in a big daze

You live atop a mountain of theft (X2)
I hope endless water floods your realm
You won’t rise anymore

How many years must you get away? (X2)
I guess your fans became a shield
Protecting you from swift justice

Joan Baez
Anne Bredon
Jake Holmes
Bert Jansch
Howlin’ Wolf

Larceny By Dirigible II Lyrics:

Quit complaining that success was the only reason you got caught
You need reality to set you straight, not a whole lotta fantasies
Your excuses are lemons better suited for lemonade to quench your desires
Watch your step on that killing floor, you band of pirates
Keep trying to bring your subterfuge

Willie Dixon
Howlin’ Wolf
Robert Johnson
Albert King
Bobby Parker
Sonny Boy Williamson

Larceny By Dirigible III Lyrics:

There will be no hats off
To the glorified filchers of rock n’ roll
Raking in millions for their laziness
Resting on instrumental talent
Its time to shake this fake originality down to make way
For real innovators
There will be no more pinching and crediting one’s self in this zone
That will never happen
Since people have been lambasting you

Moby Grape
Bert Jansch
Bukka White

Larceny By Dirigible IV Lyrics:

Did it feel good opening for that band?
Did it excite you when you wanted that heavenly acoustic riff?
Did it arouse you to become rock gods from one song?
Did it please you when their leader drowned saving his son?
Did it heal your soul that the plaintiffs didn’t match your bank accounts?
Did you smile even when that constellation called you on your stolen bull?

Jay Ferguson
Mark Andes
John Locke
Ed Cassidy
Randy California
SPIRIT!!!

Larceny By Dirigible V Lyrics:

You think crediting someone’s mom was good enough?
How pathetic
It shows how much you don’t care
You’re too busy making custard with blues legends’ works
Heads are hurting from your ill-gotten success
Yet the masses continue praising
You when it was undeserved on so many levels

Sleepy John Estes
Bukka White
Blind Boy Fuller
Ritchie Valens

Oh, so now you want to start acknowledging others?


I’m going to tick off some people with this Ospreyshire Origins post especially with classic rock fans and potentially those who are older than me. What annoys me is when people from older generations crap on newer music today by saying it’s all garbage or it steals from others who came before. To be just, a lot of modern mainstream music is trash in my opinion, so I do have some agreements over there in that regard. As far as stealing other people’s music, yes, it does happen and I do talk about it in later songs on Dear Innovare. If I do hear that in real life especially about ripping off people’s music, then I have the right question to ask them.

“Do you listen to Led Zeppelin?”

Image result for led zeppelin

For starters, I was never a fan of their music. It was roughly ten years ago when some musician friends of mine told me that Led Zeppelin had a career full of plagiarizing other people’s music. I thought it was crazy until I listened to some examples which were mind-blowing. There’s one specific one that involves the band picture I used for this post which I’ll describe later on.

Led Zeppelin fans annoy me with how much in denial they are about this mega-selling influential classic rock band ripped off a good portion of their discography from blues artists, folk singers, and other rock bands. In each installment of Larceny By Dirigible, I explicitly name each singer and songwriter Led Zeppelin stole from their albums. The fact I number them in roman numerals is a parody of LZ’s discography and the songs from each album. Here’s a list of songs that were stolen. Funny enough, Led Zeppelin actually LOST against some of those singers in court like Jake Holmes (the real writer of “Dazed and Confused”), Anne Bredon and Joan Baez (“Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”), and Willie Dixon (“You Need Love”) just to name a few. I hate how Zeppelin fans are saying “Yeah, but they did it better.” That excuses nothing and I know they wouldn’t say that if the situations were reversed. Led Zeppelin would be NOTHING without the several musicians they stole from. I believe it was Howard Stern who called them “The World’s Greatest Cover Band” which I find to be hilarious because there’s truth to it. With those blues musicians, one could make a case that they were guilty of cultural appropriation since them and several other classic rock bands probably think that stealing from black people is alright if the rock stars who steal them are white, but that’s nothing new in history.

From a musical standpoint, it was fun recording and writing since it involved some of the most folksy and bluesy songs I’ve ever written under the Ospreyshire moniker. I wanted the recording to be simple without that many effects even when I busted out the Omnichord in one of the songs. I also had to practice my ukulele lead work to give that acoustic rock and blues vibe for most of the tracks. This was my way of homaging the original artists without coming across as an anachronism even though the Larceny By Dirigible songs are WAY more straightforward compared to most Ospreyshire tracks on this and previous works.

If there was an example of something that really got my gears grinding, it involves the topic of Larceny By Dirigible IV. That was the angriest song of the bunch despite being a mostly acoustic ballad with some subtle keyboards in the background. The song in question is “Taurus” by the band Spirit. My jaw dropped when I heard that guitar riff and I thought “OH MY GOD! ZEPPELIN STOLE THIS TO MAKE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN!”. This was the musical equivalent of watching a certain Osamu Tezuka anime and realizing that a certain American animation company shamelessly stole from it (you should know what I’m talking about at this point). Zeppelin even opened up for Spirit for some of their first American tours, so they totally knew that song. Seriously, check out this video and tell me no one from that famous band stole from Spirit.

This was maddening and I’m sick of people defending that band even when they lost some of their lawsuits. At the time of this post, Randy California’s (from Spirit) family is appealing the plagiarism lawsuit against Led Zeppelin. His story is so tragic and I referenced part of it in IV. Randy California just waned his band to get credit for “Stairway to Heaven”, but Led Zeppelin refused. Not only that, but he died saving his son from drowning in the ocean after that. Randy California and Spirit didn’t deserve this.

Wouldn’t it also be funny if one of the members admitted to stealing? Oh, wait…

Seriously, shame on this overrated band of thieves and especially that pedophile Jimmy Page. How is it that R. Kelly is locked up and not him for sleeping with minors?

The image of Spirit is from Ultimate Classic Rock.

The image of Led Zeppelin is from Variety.

Ospreyshire Origins: Scraping for Blanched Crops

Lyrics:

There was always a lie
That someone of my complexion never invented anything
They surely never met me
I was known only as Ned
I created the cotton scraper
Much like how my master took humans like me, he took my invention
So, Stewart. How did you come up with my scraper again?
Even the patent office rejected you again and again
You’re so typical in your laziness
When I cried, sweated, and bled more than you could imagine


This would certainly count for a good portion of the previous tracks on Dear Innovare, but this is still a good way to honor an unknown inventor to kick off Black History Month!

Even though he would only be known by the name “Ned”, I’m still going to give him credit and recognition when most people won’t. Ned was a slave who invented a cotton scraper. Think about it, cotton was king in the south which made the plantation owners multi-millionaires. Too bad their lazy butts couldn’t innovate let alone work on their own, so guess who had to do everything and not get the credit? His captor Stewart literally stole Ned’s idea and tried to patent it himself. This was during the time where black people couldn’t patent anything legally in America (expect this to be a common motif), but Stewart couldn’t prove that he invented this money-making machine. Shame how much money was denied for Ned who was the REAL inventor of that agricultural device.

Here’s a fun fact about recording: I actually used a fork to scrape against a vent for the acousmatics.

Ospreyshire Origins: Art Theft series (Benin, Nigeria, Senegal)

2000px-Flag_of_Benin.svg

Benin Lyrics:

[Yoruba]

O ti ja aworan wa
Mase paro ki o so pe o se awon ohun-oso wonti
Awon ile iso re je awon ewon
Je ki a je ki eyi se alaye si o

[French]

Rends-nous notre art maintenant!

Image result for nigerian flag

Nigeria Lyrics:

[Igbo]

I bu ihe nleda anya

[Yoruba]

Nitori ti o ji wa aworan

[Hausa]

Bidajen kayan tarihin ku ya sa aka kama su. I ghotara?

You better return what’s ours!

Image result for senegal flag

Senegal Lyrics:

[Wolof]

Luy sa tiis?
Am nga tere xewoonu Afrig?
Yeena ngi saacee yi

[French]

Comprends maintenant?
Vous ne possedez pas notre histoire!


Here’s a triple header for the Art Theft series! These were challenging songs to write lyrics and Art Theft: Benin was actually an Ospreyshire first for me. That was the first poem I wrote that contained absolutely no English words in it! The Senegal one was even tougher because I really had to work on my Wolof since you can’t use Google Translate or any easy online sources for example. Fortunately, I bought a book on a whim that has words and phrases in Senegal’s native language.

These three countries among others in Africa are quite ticked and rightfully so. Their art, crafts, and artifacts have been looted by Europe. They’re held in museums in that continent and these African nations are suing these countries to get their stuff back. To add insult to injury, some of these nations are giving things back…as LOANED items. No, I don’t want to see loans whether temporary or permanent. You stole them, so you give them back to these nations! I really hope these nations get full returns on their art.

Here are some videos from Dr. Mumbi about the matter:

Even Dr. Y. had some choice articles about this situation:

Europe’s Largest Museums to “Loan” Looted Benin (Nigerian) Artifacts back to Nigeria

Bronze Cockerel from Benin Kingdom to be returned to Nigeria

France urged to change heritage law and return looted art to Africa

Wouldn’t it also be crazy if this situation was featured in a mainstream movie even though a character is portrayed as the bad guy for wanting the artifacts back? Oh, wait… Side note: Notice how Benin is mentioned in this clip.

Say what you will about Killmonger, but he was absolutely right about his questions involving the curator’s “ancestors” and that’s historical fact even though Wakanda doesn’t exist.

Here’s another random fact: I’m also part Beninese and I have a tiny bit of Senegalese in my DNA from my mom’s side. #ForTheCulture

The Beninese flag is from Wikipedia.

The Nigerian flag image is from Wikipedia.

The Senegalese flag image is from Wikipedia.

All videos from the Dr. Mumbi show are from Dr. Mumbi’s YouTube channel.

The museum scene is from Black Panther and is property of Marvel Studios.

Ospreyshire Origins: Sincerest Form of Laziness

Lyrics:

Falling from the empyrean
They managed to ascend on the earth
Their names were in lights with infinitesimal points
The innovators pushed to the side from the emulations with their ways and mores of supine larceny
Denials echo as earworm choruses worldwide with tunes, moving pictures, and museums
The masses become allured now knowing or caring that these were imitations
Originator, suffer not the true catalysts of Innovare
Penniless and undermined
The descendants want to demand restitution
Some emulations were honest, yet it was worse with excuses for the trendiest prints of ignored canvases


Imitation isn’t the sincerest form of flattery. It’s only the sincerest form of laziness.

You want to get on my bad side quickly? Try ripping someone off so shamelessly. I think that explains this track and my real life feelings in a nutshell. Sincerest Form of Laziness is a steel drum interlude of sorts that transitions from one section of Dear Innovare to the next. The first several tracks were about so many pioneers, but from here on out this is going to involve several people who had their works shamelessly copied whether it was attempted or sadly involving cases where the clones become more popular than the originals. Expect several truth bombs in musical and/or poetic form.

This meme is from some e cards.

Ospreyshire Origins: Keep On Building, Otis!

Lyrics:

His mom’s heart stopped beating
Those tears were enabling
To ensure every heart can keep
Beating at healthy paces
Keep on building

So many robberies and extortion
Plagued many businesses
The front end would take the
Brunt of it until he improved
On those registers
Keep on building

Monitors, keyboards, and programming
Would craft into a high-tech archetype
For an eventual household and office item
Games, research, and work can be done
Nothing personal, just a computer
Keep on building


This edition of Ospreyshire Origins involves the inventor Otis Boykin. He’s got a bunch of patents under his belt. These verses deal with some of his major works such as the pacemaker in verse 1, cash registers in verse 2, and IBM computers in the final verse. It’s only the tip of the iceberg as he also created electric resisters and other innovations. This song was also an Ospreyshire first as it incorporated a lap dulcimer as a main instrument for an acoustic vibe.

This photo of Otis Boykin is from the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Ospreyshire Origins: Lebombo

Lyrics:

[Zulu]
Sisungule ithuluzi elisha
Leli thambo lizosiza abantu ukutui bafunde izinombolo
Singabaqambi bethuluzi elisha

In ancient times at the continent’s Southern points in the mountain range
We told time, counted the days, and tracked the moon
All it took was a baboon fibula tally by tally
We taught our people from the highest to lowest veldts
At least 44,000 years ago
This wasn’t decoration
This was for education as the Originator blessed us and those up north for our tools


I have to show South Africa some love here especially since this won’t be the only time I’ll mention things from that country when it comes to the content of this album. The Congo wasn’t the only nation to produce a calculator in ancient times. In the Lebombo mountains in what would eventually be South Africa and Eswatini (the country formally known as Swaziland), the natives created their own tally stick also using a baboon bone. That was certainly innovative and this needs to be better known because I literally can’t think of any history class I took in school that mentioned ancient African civilizations with the exception of a whitewashed Egypt or maybe a casual mention of Hannibal of Carthage (now modern-day Tunisia). See, there were important math elements in Africa among many other things. Major props to Dr. Y. for informing me about this lesser-known history!

The Lebombo Bone image is from Afrolegends.

Ospreyshire Origins: Ishango

Lyrics:

[Lingala]
Tosalaki eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)
Mokuwa oyo ekosunga bato pona koyekola mitango
(Koyekola mitango)
Tozali basali ya eloko ya sika
(Eloko ya sika)

Over 20,000 years ago, we crafted something still being taught to future generations. We made a calculator and calendar from a baboon’s bone. What a prime way for instructions from a primate. We solved problems and tallied up solutions. Nzambe bless our methods. Counting lunar cycles, adding, subtracting, dividing, multiplying notch by notch. We made generations smarter and efficient. We know other civilizations wouldn’t be born in millennia. Our technology shall not be fractured, only modernized in future ages.

Ishango=Innovation (repeat)


I would like to thank Dr. Y. and Deogratias from Lingala Academy for this song. The former has an article about this aforementioned ancient calculator and the latter helped me with the Lingala part of the song.

This was a good kickoff song besides the intro by covering this overlooked invention. I didn’t realize one of the first calculators was made from a baboon bone from what’s now the DRC. Anyone who says Africa had no civilization or inventions need to get educated. This bone was used as tallies and as a tool for multiple kinds of math problems. Okay, I wasn’t the best at math, but the fact that some of my maternal ancestors could’ve invented this does fill me with joy and some self-esteem.

From a musical standpoint, I listened to a ton of traditional Congolese drum music, so I wanted to do something very percussive, but still lively despite the lack of instrumental melodies. Using Lingala again has been great. It’s a very musical language and has a certain beauty to it.

What are your thoughts on the Ishango Bone or this song? Don’t forget that Dear Innovare is $7 on Bandcamp!

The Ishango Bone image is from MAA.

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!