Some positive things despite the insanity of the world: African travel vlogs, traditional Burundian drumming, and Hikaru no Go song covers

 

I know things are still very intense in this world. I’m not ignoring them at all. This is just a slight change of pace. I had some rough emotional moments earlier this week, but I’m better now. It’s been amazing by getting some encouragement from offline and online friends recently. Here are some things that I thought were fascinating recently.

 


I’ve been getting into Miss Trudy’s videos a lot over the past few weeks. Miss Trudy is a Kenyan YouTuber who makes travel videos mainly of different African countries. I checked out some of her videos on Sierra Leone and Liberia among other countries and I was astounded by the beauty of those nations. That’s the Africa they NEVER show you especially in the West. Here’s one of her videos where she’s in Freetown (the capital and largest city). Also, did you know Freetown was actually created by freed African slaves from America, the Caribbean, England, and Canada? I thought that was very fascinating.

Burundi has been one country I didn’t pay too much attention to, but I have to thank Miss Trudy as well as Dr. Y. for exposing me to more things about that country. One cultural tradition in that country is their drum corps. These drummers carry on a legacy dating back centuries when Burundi was a kingdom. The drummers would play for the king and they had their own unique rhythms. This was wonderful and I even picked up the live album of the Drummers of Burundi on Bandcamp where they played at Real World Records which is owned by Peter Gabriel.

I got back into the anime and manga series Hikaru no Go this year. It was one of my favorite series during my high school years, and after rediscovering it, HNG still holds up. Seriously, if you think all anime is nothing but martial arts ultraviolence, collectable monsters, or hentai, then please rethink your priorities. I found a cover of the 2nd opening theme “I’ll Be the One” by HAL that was performed by this Thai singer named MindaRyn. I thought she did a great job at singing this song. This was almost as good as the original in my opinion.

Besides all of that, I’ve been having some thoughts about what to post, but I’m debating about having it here or on my other blogs involving different topics.

Hope you all are doing well today.

New split EP! DFxO! That’s Dystopian Futures X Ospreyshire, for those scoring at home.

This is what I referred to last week!

I, Ospreyshire got to be involved with a split EP and it’s the first time I’ve ever done a collaborative album with anyone. The other part of the split involves the Scottish experimental punk band Dystopian Futures whom I’ve mentioned on this blog before and I’ve even made a music video for them on their first EP. Dave Emmerson (lead singer/bassist) and I are good friends. We had an email conversation a while ago about potentially collaborating and once the Coronavirus was unfortunately spreading worldwide, he came up with an idea of coming up with a “lockdown” project. Despite him being in the UK and me here in America, we sent each other songs.

I got to remix Dystopian Futures’ song “Apocalyptic Romance” which was really fun. I added some digital synths, random sound effects, a lo-fi recording of me playing a keyboard and I do back up vocals in the middle of the song. Dystopian Futures also got to cover the song “Corona” by the Minutemen. Some of you might recognize that song as the theme to Jackass.

For me, I got to bust out with two new Ospreyshire tracks. The first one is “Is This a New Normal?”. I used an organ setting on my keyboard while adding my trademark acousmatics in it. I also freestyled all of the lyrics which was a first for anything I’ve ever done as a way to reflect about how I felt about the pandemic. The second one is “Art In the Midst of Pandemonium and Pandemics”. I wrote down the lyrics to this one as well as doing some avant-garde soundscapes by multitracking live sounds of me playing bass in traditional and unconventional ways. This was also an Ospreyshire first since it involves a guest vocalist with the aforementioned Dave. He got to write and record his vocals in the song and it really tied in well. I liked how he referenced all the other songs in the split EP with his verse.

Just so you know, this split EP is either FREE or pay-what-you-want. Whether you want to chip in some money or not is totally up to you to get some new music.

Have a great day, everyone!

Ospreyshire Origins: Albert Holly

Lyrics:

Abington-on-Thames and Lake Placid are fighting about what never belonged to them
Covering their tracks from a real cover song
Too busy calling Pablo or lusting for life
Ignoring the vital air around them
Too selfish to notice they aren’t free
From an originator
At least the first cover knew it’s dues
It knew it’s dues

You won’t get hitched by following ladies
Even when they end up at your shows
Same with stalking melodies you didn’t write
Absinthe won’t make your song better nor will those dead notes
They’re so desperate
They’re so freaking desperate

Just let the air in…


Here’s another song about music plagiarism! Hooray! This one’s going to be multi-layered since it deals with a bunch of people.

We’ll start with the original song “The Air That I Breathe” by Albert Hammond.

That song isn’t too shabby even though it’s not my cup of tea. This song got more popular a few decades ago when the band The Hollies covered it. As with anyone with a shred of decency, they gave full credit to Albert Hammond for creating the song to begin with. They give it more of a rock feel as opposed to the mostly acoustic original.
Chances are you probably heard of their version of the song in various movies or TV shows.

Image result for the hollies

This particular quintet would eventually fight alongside Albert Hammond when they took on a certain critically-acclaimed band that so many people suck up to and make their standards of music entirely based on this band.

Image result for radiohead

OOH! I’m going to take on the biggest music snob band of all time! Oh baby, I’m going to get a ton of hate for this particular story. That’s right. Radiohead was involved in a plagiarism case and it is for their most famous song ever: “Creep”. Yes, one of the biggest college rock songs of the 90s bore some eerie similarities to the verses of “The Air That I Breathe”. The Hollies actually took them to court and WON! Nowadays, “Creep” mentions Albert Hammond and The Hollies in the writing credits while also giving royalties to them. Isn’t it ironic that a band who has been hailed for their creativity and originality would steal? What gets even crazier is that they accused a certain pop singer for ripping off “Creep”.

Image result for lana del rey

This is a thievery chain going on! Lana Del Rey was bashed for her song “Get Free” for ripping off “Creep”, the same song that lost a copyright infringement case against the song “The Air That I Breathe”. I heard her song and the vocal line is pretty similar. Here’s a video containing excerpts of The Hollies’ cover of Albert Hammond’s song, “Creep”, and “Get Free”. You be the judge of this.

Sounds like an easy mashup to make at best, right? I didn’t realize how insane this case was. Granted, I was most familiar with “Creep” by the Radiohead mainly because that was a big song that came out during my childhood and later when I talked with some music fans I was friends with who were big into that band.

For my song Albert Holly, I decided a basic piano ballad would suffice. I make a TON of Radiohead and Lana Del Rey references in the lyrics as one might guess. Yes, the “They’re so desperate” part of the song parodies the pre-chorus of “Creep” including the random ghost notes by hitting the keyboard instead of chucking an electric guitar.

Hope you all appreciate this story behind the song.

The picture of Albert Hammond is from BBC.

The picture of The Hollies is from Britannica.

The picture of Radiohead is from the Irish Times.

The picture of Lana Del Rey is from Discogs.

1 more week until Dear Innovare is released AND I’m part of a Descendents cover album!

Zap Records Coverage Cover

One more week until my full-length album comes out! I hope you all preorder it. You also get the first song automatically if you do. Feel free to check it out here: https://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com/album/dear-innovare-the-souls-of-ignored-pioneers-shall-be-renowned

In other news, I have the first ever Ospreyshire cover song out on ZAP Records’ Coverage compilation! This is a FREE album that features various artists covering songs from Descendents. For those of you who don’t know, I’m talking about the punk band and not some crappy Disney Channel movie series about the teenage sons and daughters of random villains in that franchise! Anyway, this was so awesome being a part of this compilation and I’m thankful for Dave for reaching out to me. The song I covered was “Tack” from their “Cool to Be You” album. I give this perky punk song the Ospreyshire treatment and turned it into a dark ambient song. Changing the tempo and lyric order really changes the meaning of the song and I made only minimal changes to the original vocal melody. Feel free to listen and download my cover and the rest of the album.

Stand By Me (Ben E. King Cover courtesy of Take 2 and YWCA Elgin)

Here’s another video that I took part of recently.

I got to play ukulele alongside my friend Korisa while two teens in the Take 2 Creative Camp (Laron and Jada) got to sing. We all played that timeless classic “Stand By Me”, and they sang while Korisa and I were their backing band. It was a lot of fun performing as I haven’t done music in a while. I even busted out a percussive strumming solo as I used my uke as both a drum and melodic device. Both Laron and Jada are talented singers and I’m honored to have been a part of this project.

Special thanks to YWCA Elgin and Take 2 Creative Camp.

Support Take 2 at http://take2creative.wordpress.com.