Some Music and a Podcast Interview: Cybersix, Buja Praise, and Alexander Roth

I really need to decompress with the stress in my life as well as finding out about atrocities not talked about in the history books that I was unaware about. This doesn’t mean I’m apathetic. I can only take so much morbidity at a time. Come on, people. I’m a human being, you know. I thought I would switch this up with some interesting videos involving a theme song, a Burundian band, and an interview.

Those of you who follow one of my other blogs where I cover film, documentary, and anime reviews, I recently covered the Canadian/Japanese/Argentinean series Cybersix on there. I remember watching that show on Fox Kids when I was in elementary school (wow, does that give away my age or what?). The theme song was something I remembered back then and I re-discovered this show on RetroCrush of all places! I was gobsmacked that this obscure cartoon can be streamed for free legally online and that they would play all 13 episodes there. The theme song was handled by Canadian jazz/pop singer Coral Egan and this song really gets stuck in your head. I think they should give Cybersix a remake with a longer storyline. It’s also a breath of fresh air seeing a superheroine who ISN’T Marvel or DC for a change.

I know gospel isn’t everyone’s thing. I respect that. Recently, I got into Bukuru Celestin who is a Burundian musician who’s currently based in America. I first heard of him due to his collab EP with jazz band Snarky Puppy. Apparently, he also has a gospel band side project called Buja Praise. They incorporate songs in English, Kirundi, and Swahili with some African rhythms mixed with Western instrumentation. They have a great sound and certainly don’t sound like the typical K-Love fair. Of course, the title of this song got my attention for obvious reasons (don’t lie, you were thinking the same thing), but it is a completely different song. I also got to message them the other day. Yes, I brought up THAT controversy and they think a certain mouse trademarking that phrase is so stupid and they’re going to keep on singing this song. Good on you, Buja Praise! Way to do your best to preserve the Swahili-phone cultures even if that language isn’t the main one in Burundi (Kirundi is the #1 language there). I wonder how fans of that particular movie franchise would feel knowing this song exists…

I usually don’t put podcast interviews on here, but this snippet was very fascinating. David Francisco is a Portuguese wrestler currently living in England and he interviews Alexander Roth who is a Black British wrestler. They discuss the Everything Patterned show at Wrestling Resurgence. Some of you may remember me talking about this show a couple of years ago which was a Black History Month event in England (context: October is BHM in the UK and not February like in America). Alexander Roth and David Francisco talk about the impact of this indie BritWres show and what it meant for positive representation in the wrestling scene. It was very insightful with Roth talking about being in that show in tag team action and how it inspired others in ways he would’ve never expected. I did like his experience in this event and how he was floored with the social media response as well as getting a message from America of all places. His comment about humans being the only creatures who “beef over” skin color unlike snakes, lions, leopards, etc. with his analogy. This form of entertainment and athleticism isn’t for everyone obviously, but give this a listen. Also, Everything Patterned was SO much better than anything I’ve seen in WWE or AEW. Just saying.

The Cheddar Gorge Shattered Preconceptions

Somerset had the key that no one knew they needed

The reconstruction on seeing an origin

A genesis that would floor beliefs and prejudices

Gough’s Cave marked the spot

For the oldest remains of these isles

The reminders ebb and flow

A rising tide emerged

Which deflected all questionable and ulterior angles

Rising in both sides of the Atlantic

The rebuilding through science

Shattered the imagined ideals for those who think the country should be one way

Especially those who didn’t know the crown came from Wettin

And not from the Square Mile

Some originators came by surprise to shatter one’s worldview

From several millennia ago



The photo of the Cheddar Man is originally from the BBC.

Some music I’ve heard recently to have some positive vibes going on

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.

Big Wavy Deconstructs Privilege and Racism

I just saw this impactful video done by British indie pro wrestler “Big Wavy” Roy Johnson. In less than a minute, he really breaks it down on how privilege works without even saying a word and just letting a recording to emphasize this point. You can even do this real time by holding all your fingers up and seeing how many of them are still up at the end of the video. Major props, Big Wavy!

Also, he’s the main person responsible for Wrestling Resurgence’s Everything Patterned show which was their Black History Month project last October (that’s when the UK celebrates BHM as opposed to America celebrating in America). That show surprisingly inspired me so much with not just the matches, but the positive representation going on. What does that say when a small British indie federation did something more racially progressive in the context of pro wrestling than anything in America? Let that sink in. Recently, the proceeds of the Everything Patterned video ($3.23 to rent or $6.46 to buy) will go to BLM in solidarity with those against the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many more. Here’s a link to that show.

Also, here’s the match between Roy Johnson and Rampage Brown if you’re interested.

Zancunian Crisp Butty

It’s been a long time since I did some kind of food post even though it’s not a cooking blog. I’ve been trying to do some more cooking to step my culinary game up as well as to keep me sane during this anxious time to say the least.

I recently saw a documentary about Manchester’a music scene as well as learning slang from that Northern English city. Apparently a butty is a type of sandwich. After doing some research, I discovered a thing called a crisp (potato chip for Americans and Canadians) butty that has chips in the sandwich. I wanted to put my own spin by cooking an egg and using some Zanzibar spices. Because of this, I combined the word “Zanzibar” with “Mancunian” (term for someone or something from Manchester) to come up with the name. I used buttered toast for the bun and served it with pickles as well as potato salad.

I certainly come up with unique takes on recipes.

Some videos that got my attention somewhat recently

I’ve been doing my best to check out a few things when I have some downtime especially after multiple long days at work. I have to stay sane even with the state of the world and the negative news or opinions pop up.

Benjamin Clementine’s music:

If you follow my Iridium Eye blog, you might recognize this name from my last Top 7. He’s a recent musical discovery who just astounded me with his talent, musicality, and has a very unique voice. I know I’m a sucker for experimental music and avant-garde stuff, so Benjamin Clementine’s music really moved me. Here’s the video for his song “London”.

Social Isolation Match Pt. II: Chuck Mambo Vs. Eddie Dennis

I’m liking how this is becoming a thing with the guys in Escaping the Midcard. Some of you may have seen the first video with Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper, but this one involves the former taking on Welsh wrestler Eddie Dennis in this hilarious match. This stuff is hilarious and they take it over the top with guitars, cats, and weed whackers. The editing was superb and they looked like they had so much fun having a “wrestling match” despite being in their homes in England and Wales.

“Roses are Red” by The Mac Band ft. The McCampbell Brothers

While I would be too young to know about this song, I admit to being a sucker for new jack swing R&B. Hey, I’m from the 90s, so I definitely remember hearing some of that stuff when I was little. Yes, I do admit that the chorus is based on one of the cheesiest rhymes, but dang it, these guys just sell that emotion. It feels romantic and not sleazy like a ton of modern music. I was even pleasantly surprised to see some class with how everyone was dressed in the video despite the dated videography and awkward dancing at points. I’m not sure if this song is still a guilty pleasure or bordering on me liking this unironically. Oh, wait. Things have been contradictory so far by putting an avant-garde singer and a social distancing wrestling match in the same article. Who am I to judge?

Stevie Wonder Isolated Vocals

I know this song and I’m sure most of you have heard “Sir Duke” at some point in your lives. One day, my mom of all people messaged me this video. Hearing the isolated vocals just blew my mind. This was done in one take which I didn’t realize. I’m starting to appreciate older music more often. Remember when singers actually recorded their vocals without the “safety net” of Auto-Tune? Pepperidge Farm remembers! Am I part of the last generation of people who actually remembers popular music being made without that technology? Wow, I must be getting old…

The Lion King Lie:

Special thanks to Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews for showing me this video. I don’t want to repeat myself given my tendency to bash this Disney movie for ripping off that 60s anime or the problematic cultural appropriation and bigoted crap associated with Mickey Mouse’s “creation” (I used that term loosely), but there were things I didn’t even know about or realize like some of the quotes from Disney’s side of things which only fuels my anger towards them. Also, I feel stupid for not realizing the similarities between Gargoyle G. Warthog’s “ashamed” dialogue and part of Pumbaa’s lyrics to “Hakuna Matata”. Definitely interesting even though there is some Disney bias there. However, I was pleasantly surprised that even Lion King fans in a bunch of the comments are FINALLY admitting that this movie literally wouldn’t exist without Kimba. That would’ve never happened years ago.

Hope you’re doing alright.

Some things that made me smile a bit very recently

I’ve been feeling anxious and sometimes depressed over the past few days, but there have been some little things to make me a bit better. This isn’t some major post, but just some things that I found to be interesting.

Snarky Puppy:

I heard of this band when I binge watched/listened some Tiny Desk Concerts while doing some online work. They are certainly talented and I’ve been checking out more of their music recently. Fans of jazz, funk, jam bands or just instrumental music in general should definitely check them out. I’m also going to reference a certain meme…Snarky Puppy isn’t a real puppy. Bonus points if you know that reference.

Cameo:

Some of you know I’ve been on a bit of a funk trip recently. I’ve known about Cameo for a long time even though they were big before I was born. Yes, I only knew them for “Word Up” for the longest time, but I realized that they have so many other good songs or how some R&B and rap songs that came out during my childhood sampled their music. Listening to this song did spark a memory because the “strawberry, raspberry…” line was sampled in Mariah Carey’s song “Loverboy” back in the early 00s. However, I prefer the original version of  “Candy”.

TK Cooper Vs. Chuck Mambo in a social distancing pro wrestling match:

The indie pro wrestling scene has been hurting due to the virus, so some of them are doing funny and creative things with their talents. Exhibit A: The Social Distancing Match. Samoan-New Zealander wrestler TK Cooper and British wrestler Chuck Mambo have a YouTube show and tag team called Escaping the Midcard. Since they can’t be in an arena let alone be less than 6 feet apart, they choreographed a match in their respective homes by themselves and edited the footage to make it look like they’re hitting each other. The results are hilarious! Also, Eddie Dennis makes a cameo. It’s not meant to be serious, but I’m sure people might find it to be at least a little bit funny.

I hope you’re doing okay, everyone!

Ospreyshire’s Realm Isn’t Dead AKA A Recap Of Ospreyshire’s Life In a Rona-Filled World

Mbote! Nsango nini, bato?

I hope you appreciated my Lingala greeting to all of you. I’m sorry that I haven’t been posting on here for a long time. It’s been quite a turbulent few weeks for me. Not just because of the current pandemic affecting the whole world (obviously), but with how my life has been.

For starters, work has changed. I’ve been getting more hours with one of my jobs. My other job did get back, but it’s in an online context, so I have to get used to that. I’ve been crazy busy for the past few weeks, but I can’t complain about whatever extra money from my jobs. Interestingly enough, I haven’t been spending as much money on trivial things since it’s mainly been for groceries, gas, and personal care items.

Outside of work, I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied. There have been times where I’ve gotten very nervous and anxious, so I don’t want to lie to anyone here. I’ve been reading lots of books as well as trying to learn other languages. Can’t say I’ve been watching too many things though. I finished a book written by Desmond Tutu and been reading some of my language books. I revisited Lingala and also been dabbling in French, Spanish, and even Wolof of all things. Maybe my next goal should be Swahili? That would be fun to learn, there are multiple countries that speak it, and it would be relevant to part of my heritage.

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Once things were getting more intense on the pandemic front, I made a bandana mask. I thought I needed to buy some bandanas at the store, but apparently I didn’t have to. Last year, I bought a Saitama Seibu Lions bandana on eBay, but what I didn’t realize was I got two instead of one of the same thing. Yes, that’s the same Japanese baseball team that features the adult version of Kimba the White Lion as their mascot. I wore it at work one time and one co-worker whom I found out was an anime fan asked me about the mask. I mentioned the basic premise of that 60s anime and (of course) he said “Wait a minute! That sounds like [that one 90s animated film]! Did they seriously rip it off?”. You should’ve seen his face when I showed him a picture of Claw in that conversation on my phone. A couple of days later, he told me he started watching Kimba and told me “It’s really freaking good!” Looks like I got to show off some anime pride while protecting my face. Some of my co-workers and supervisors who know about that animated work thought it was amazing, too.

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I beat Camp NaNoWriMo 2020! WOOHOO! With all the stay at home orders, this gave me more of an excuse to write another book. I won’t say too much, but this one if part of my Hollanduscosm series if one is curious. I got a shirt, water bottle, and a poster as well as discounted writing/publishing programs. It’s good that I accomplished something during this pandemic.

I’ve also been getting into different kinds of music and revisiting others. Here’s a sample of what I’ve been bumping lately.

Besides that, I’ve had some conflicting feelings. Regardless of the news with all the casualties of the virus or the rampant covidiocy going on in different forms (beaches without social distancing, the current protests, the various stories of people coughing on others or food, etc.), I had some feelings of worthlessness and a lot of internalized anger. Sure, I feel productive in and outside of my jobs, but I wondered if I was doing enough to progress in my career(s). It would be amazing to use my skills in more productive ways and to make more connections with others. However, my low self-esteem has kicked in as I wondered how good enough I was in front of others. I wished I would be seen as worthy and for more people to be thankful what I’ve done for them. Of course, there’s one example of a former seasonal job where I used my skills from my Bachelor’s Degree, but I felt so slighted to say the least. I don’t want to discuss this even if I was partially at fault, but I’m infuriated by those who get away by doing legit heinous things with similar positions. It also causes me to wonder if people actually care about my creative works. I feel like (depending on the other blogger), I’m either just an aniblogger/film critic or a random guy on the internet voicing against various injustices who just happens to make music or poetry. There are times where I just want to lash out at others, but I feel like some of those people don’t deserve it. Boy, do I wish I could lash out at everyone who disrespected or bullied me while figuring out ways to destroy their self-esteem, but I’m someone who’s considered “too nice/too kind” to do that. As I’ve said before, it’s REALLY tough for me to insult others let alone coming up with epic comebacks. I don’t want to suffer in silence, pandemic or not.

Anyways, that’s what’s been going on in the life of this diligent avant-garde artist/poet/musician/opinionated blogger/film critic/author/aniblogger/whatever else I’m supposed to be.

Hope you’re doing alright. Stay safe and stay healthy, everyone.

Tikala malamu!

Ospreyshire Origins: The Tulsa Strike Back Groove

Lyrics:

This is WOSPR Speaking

Foreign shores wanted more in store for stealing funky scores

Saturday night brought the fight to ignite to prevent the plight as we regained our rights

No matter if its Brooklyn, Echo Park, or Tulsa, Oklahoma. We’ll get our song back and clear your pop-coated aroma

The oil capital’s gonna get ya uptown, downtown, any town

Everybody sing like the Originator told ya: We gonna strike back with this groove!


To all of you that like old-school funk, I salute you!

I had a funk phase last year by listening to bands like Cameo, Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone to name a few. One band that I checked out as well was The GAP Band. I heard a few of their songs thanks to my mom when I was younger and she did like their music. On one day last year, I listened to their song “I Don’t Think You Want to Get Up and Dance” as part of a YouTube playlist. I had to reattach my jaw literally during the first few seconds of the song. Let’s see if you’ll be able to figure out why. Here’s the radio edit version, but the point will still stand.

“Oops upside your head, say oops upside your head…”

The way they say that line must have been replicated by some multi-instrumentalist and a singer who has a habit of retreading older R&B and funk sounds. Hmm…who could they be?

Image result for mark ronson

Image result for bruno mars

I’m sure a good portion of you only recognize the second picture. Here, let me make things a lot clearer with one of the biggest songs of the 10s that both were famous for performing…

“Oops upside your head say oops upside your head…Uptown funk you up, say uptown funk you up…”

Don’t lie, that’s what you were all thinking when you heard the song from The GAP Band. I can’t lie to you, I used to really like “Uptown Funk” as it was one of the few pop songs I thought was actually listenable. Okay, even then I didn’t think it was as good as other funk songs I heard, but at least it sounded different than the typical pop garbage. That must be the case because it sounds like The GAP Band! Those Tulsa funkers managed to sue Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars for stealing their original song. The result, The GAP Band and their co-writers got writing credit and partial royalties of “Uptown Funk”. Did you know that including the updated writing credits, that means “Uptown Funk” had a whopping total of ELEVEN writers after the lawsuit! I can’t make this up. So, Ronson and Mars can credit Trinidad James right away for referencing his “Don’t believe me just watch” lyric from “All Gold Everything”, but not the band that had been making music since both of them were even born? Wow, just wow, guys…

Here’s some musical trivia for The Tulsa Strike Back Groove. I freestyled half of the spoken word elements that aren’t mentioned in the lyrics while referencing Charlie Wilson’s dialogue in their song. I also parody lyrics from “Uptown Funk”. See if you can spot them. Also, Charlie Wilson from The GAP Band is cousins to another famous funk musician…Bootsy Collins!

The picture of The GAP Band is from The Mississippi Link.

The picture of Mark Ronson is from PopCrush.

The picture of Bruno Mars is from Billboard.

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”.

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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.