Videography is something I enjoy whenever I have time to do so especially given life, work, adulting, and my other creative projects I’m currently working on. This one uses alternating images and is an abstract video involving imagery associated with the Congo (in this case, both countries as seen with the flags). It was a little project referencing part of my heritage that I’ve only known about for a couple of years now. Interestingly enough, the wooden animal napkin holders I use are based on animals native to that part of Africa and were originally from Kinshasa, DRC. What makes it awesome is that they’re handmade AND fairly traded, so the artists got payed what they were owed making these things. I got them as a present last Christmas and I thought it was very cool. Now, I got to use them as part of the visuals. Feel free to check out this video.
It has been a long time since I’ve been tagged on this page, but it has happened. I was tagged by 7mononoke from Anime Rants. Thank you very much! This sounds like a very unique tag to be a part of. Also, bonus points if anyone gets the music reference in my title for this post.
Here are the rules for this tag:
#1 Share your favourite stories—movies/books/anime/manga/drama/songs—by classifying them on these seven colours’ traits:
red: passionate, exciting, invigorating
blue: peaceful, calming
pink: romantic, caring
orange: warm, motivating
black: mysterious, thrilling
green: fresh, unexpected
#2 Send this challenge invitation to at least one of your friends. Let them fear your superiority, as you—decide their fate.
#3 Link back to the original post here! And, enjoy!
Alright. Let’s do this!
This would be my pick for red. Paprika is certainly experimental like most of Satoshi Kon’s work, but it’s very exciting and passionate with the imagery and multi-tiered storytelling. Some of you know about my strong feelings when it comes to an obvious film plagiarism issue associated with this movie, but I’m going to focus on the obvious original factors. Paprika also plays with passion or in Konakawa’s case lack thereof and the journey between dreams and reality is surreal, but forces you to pay attention.
This is more of a recent-ish watch since I first saw it a couple of years ago. There’s certainly lots of blues since most of the movie takes place near or on the ocean, but this really was a calming movie. Alamar wasn’t some deep watch, but it was very relaxing with this father and son bonding near the water. I first saw it during the winter when it was insane with the extreme polar vortex and with tons of snow on some days. It was a peaceful movie of characters just living life and there’s a healthy family relationship that doesn’t involve family drama nor does the father die in this film.
The Place Promised In Our Early Days
This one was tough because I’m not a fan of romantic movies. The closest thing to a romance work that I really like is Makoto Shinkai’s first full-length film. The Place Promised In Our Early Days would be far closer to describe as a war drama with some sci-fi elements given the concept of the parallel universes playing a major role in the plot. This has one of the best love triangles I’ve ever seen in movies and there was some great characterization. Of course, most anime fans will Stan harder for Your Name, Weathering With You, or (GOD FORBID!) The Garden of Words, but The Place Promised is still an impactful watch even years later.
Hikaru no Go
Hikaru no Go is one anime and manga series I’ve enjoyed since I was in high school and it still holds up. I’ve certainly praised it for it’s originality, believable characters, and destroying multiple shonen anime tropes. Heck, this series was a major inspiration for the last single and video I made (notice the go imagery) late last year. This was a motivating series to watch not just with learning about the game of go, but it also shows perseverance in a non-cheesy light while being genuine about it.
Maasai: The Rain Warriors
Even more recent than watching Alamar, I discovered this Kenyan movie not too long ago. I don’t want to just put anime on this list even though I certainly have a reputation for talking about that subject on one of my other blogs. Maasai: The Rain Warriors was a very fascinating watch with it using actual Maasai actors, using the Maa language as opposed to English or even Swahili, and incorporating Afro-fantasy with a low-key magic realism to it. There’s mysterious aspects with the adventure to stop this demonic lion from cursing the land with drought. There were some nice twists and turns while being respectful to this indigenous tribe in Kenya. No, there is absolutely no pun involving the choice of movie with this color, so calm down.
Lunch Time Heroes
This is the first Nollywood movie I have seen! I know there were some pacing and plotting issues, but Lunch Time Heroes was one movie that I thought was better than what most critics said. It was fresh and unexpected with how much I enjoyed this movie. Sure, the plot is simple with a teacher thrust into a classroom full of troublesome students while taking part in an academic competition against other schools in Nigeria, but how they did it was entertaining and in some cases deconstructive. I’m not a fan of “save our students” plots, but this was done right. Lunch Time Heroes was also the 2nd “save our students” movie I’ve seen in my life that DIDN’T resort to white savior tropes (the 1st is Stand and Deliver) even if it was due to the geographic location. Not only that, but it’s an African movie that takes place in a middle-class setting which is something Hollywood wouldn’t dare show that side of the continent. Lunch Time Heroes was a simple, yet very unexpected watch for me.
You know, my interests can be quite random. I can delve into avant-garde and arthouse works, but at the same time I can watch something wacky from time to time. I’m not always this super serious or highbrow person, everyone. I do have a sense of humor and a sense of levity. Shinesman is one of my favorite anime comedies and parody works in general. When I tell other people about this, I mention that Shinesman is like a mix between Power Rangers and The Office, but that’s scratching the surface. It has one of my top 3 dubs that are better than the original Japanese version. The humor consists of over-the-top tokusatsu spoofing, low-key zingers, and even makes some cheeky jokes about anime fandoms. This still makes me laugh to this day seeing this obscure 90s OVA series. I would also like to see a remake and if they could get as many of the original dub cast members to reprise their roles, I’d be elated.
I thought I would try something new and different when it came to my videography skills. After watching some examples of visual poems and “slow cinema” (Abbas Kiarostami being a recent re-discovery), I thought I would try to make an abstract visual piece with all this snow that’s hit multiple parts of the Midwest. There were already a couple of blizzards and I used footage from this month and January while mixing it up with different transitions and effects. It certainly doesn’t hurt to expand my horizons with my media production skills.
It’s about time there was another Ospreyshire video. I made one on my Debut EP and I did that Katauta 52 series a few years ago. This is also the first time I made something for just a single. I enjoyed creating this video even though there were some difficulties. The stop motion scenes with the go stuff was very arduous. The scene with the dozens of stones took a half hour to shoot for just 10 seconds of footage since I had to make it frame by frame. This video also has some Easter eggs that include references to other bloggers and some of my interests in some way. See if you can figure it out!
Don’t forget to download the single for free or by donation on Bandcamp!
I did some recording a few days ago and I had this in mind after reaching this goal. It’s also my first new recording in this COVID environment after the split I did with Dystopian Futures. It’s free or pay-what-you-want, in case you’re wondering about that single. Feel free to listen to it!
P. S. I want to give a much delayed shout-out to Al’s Manga Blog for being the 300th follower of this blog!
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.
Here’s the other new song that’s on the DFxO split album. I multitracked some bass tracks while playing it unplugged. I played some riffs as well as using that instrument in unconventional ways for extra sound effects when layering them. I used a hand drum to provide percussion for it. Despite these anxious times, I wanted to have a message where people can still be creative. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed this, but I reference a certain emo band in one of the lyrics.
This song was also an Ospreyshire first. It was the first time I had a guest vocalist in a song and it was Dave from Dystopian Futures himself who wrote and performed his own verse. He did a great job and I liked how he tied in references to all the songs as well as making an extension of some of the lyrics I say in this track.
This was the first of 2 new songs I made for the DFxO split with Dystopian Futures. Dave from DF suggested the idea of a “lockdown” EP given the state of the world today. I freestyled my observations on the world in this pandemic life by mentioning some of my anxieties and concerns. Yes, I did reference some cases of that covidiot licking deodorants at a store or how another one was assaulting and coughing on a cop in Chicago in the earlier parts of the lockdown period. I used an organ sound as a base after listening to a lot of Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio and Booker T around the time of that recording. Relax, I would never rip them off as the song clearly isn’t an organ trio jazz tune.
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.
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.
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.
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.