Mr. Leo “Pray”

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog.

Some of you may know that I’ve been getting more into African music and even more recently into movies made in that continent. Even though I’ve never been to Africa, I come from a multi-ethnic family and I did a DNA test where one of my results from my maternal side came up as Cameroonian among other ethnic groups in Africa and Europe. I decided to check out the music from that country and stumbled across Mr. Leo. I first heard the song “Pray” and found it touching given that country’s situation currently with the conflicts involving the French-speaking Cameroonians and the English-speaking ones where there have been fatalities. It saddens me how there have been divisions like that in this post-colonial landscape. Luckily, there are people in that country who hate the bloodshed and see each other as brothers and sisters despite what languages they speak. It certainly hit my heart because these people could be distant relatives of mine in some way. I hope you check out this song.

Part of the song is in Banso which is one of the local languages in that country. I found translated parts of that song which make it more heartbreaking knowing what everything means.

Amen chorus part:
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear
Let us kneel down (Amen)
Let us keep praying that (Amen)
The day will soon be clear

Banso part of the 2nd verse:
If you are ignoring your brother
Beware, you are making a mistake
If you are chasing your brother away
Beware, you are making a mistake

Translation credit to Chris Logan

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Slower Blogging Ahead…

For the month of November, I’m going to be swamped with so many things. There’s work and me participating in this year’s NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure how much time I’ll have for posting new content on here or my other blogs, so I won’t be as active as I once was.

In the meantime, you can download my newest single: https://ospreyshire.bandcamp.com/album/diletanttism-end-of-a-decade-single

You can download some books from NoiseTrade: https://books.noisetrade.com/cmbbell

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.

What a way to break stereotypes! Ashenda Festival Crowdfunding

https://www.youcaring.com/advisemedianetwork-1167178

I know I’ve been posting irregularly, but I want to bring light on this cause which I find to be quite fascinating.

This crowdfunding campaign involves independent media organization Advise Show Media as they try to cover the Ashenda Festival in Mekelle, Ethiopia. Here’s a video of what said festival is about…

I think this is so fantastic on several levels. It’s awesome showing all the different cultures with how they celebrate. For those of you that know about me here or my other blogs, you should know that I can’t stand the stereotypes of Africa being poor, crime-ridden, diseased, and having no culture. This is a way to break through those lies that the mainstream media perpetuates on Africa. The Ashenda Festival crowdfunding is a great cause for Advise Show to cover this year’s festival, document the event, and to show various aspects of Ethiopia that they never show anyone.

I support this cause, and I hope you give it a little glimpse. Thank you.

P. S. Major thumbs up for Ethiopia and Eritrea finally reaching peace with each other after decades of fighting. Seeing both countries’ leaders hugging each other just hit me in the feels.

On Worldliness (A Confession)

As you may or may not know, I haven’t been posting a lot recently on most of my blogs.

I’ve been incredibly busy with my jobs, living in a new town, and really working on my fiction projects. Besides the various life issues, I have to be honest with everyone.

I came to the realization that worldliness was a big flaw of mine.

Sure, something’s wrong when people focus way too much on celebrities and useless things. I’m sure we can all agree with that. However, my case was more peculiar.

Some of you know that I cannot stand so many forms of mainstream media. Movies, music, books, etc. I became immersed in indie movies, obscure anime, and other lesser-known things. I realized that I became worldly, but just through another avenue. This had to stop and I realized how much focusing too much on unimportant things for the longest time. I’ve been a fan of different things, and I’ve been hindered.

Seriously, I could still name-drop random bands on Tooth & Nail records over it’s history as a record label, yet I only recently knew who some local politicians are in my hometown.

I can tell you every aspect of Kimba the White Lion that a very certain movie shamelessly stole from, yet I didn’t know all the aspects of African history and what was stolen during the Scramble in that continent.

I could probably still remember all the characters in Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 (one of my favorite games growing up) and even mentioning which comic or game series they’re from, yet I didn’t take the DIY ethic seriously enough to make my OWN characters until the past 4 years of my life.

This was a ball and chain around my brain. I was captured and didn’t even know it.

Look, I’m not a role model or a guardian angel. I’ve screwed up multiple times. I don’t understand why some people would want to look up to me.

I apologize if this aspect of me rubbed off on anyone. However, I do not apologize for my hiatus across most of my blogs. For those that do like my content on here and elsewhere, then please be patient before I feel like I can do other things like my music, videography, and film reviews on my other blogs.

Although, you can check out my fiction blog as I serialize Gateway to the Empyrean. Just sayin’. Hahaha!

Okay, now back to being serious.

I had to make important changes in my life like researching various things in my own free time, creating more of my own stories, and cutting out anything that has distracted me. This partially means less movies and anime to watch for me. This means reading more nonfiction (the legit kinds). This means creating more than what I consume. Don’t get me started on how I feel about various fandoms and how those involve are squandering their potential for greatness. As much as I could point fingers at some people, I don’t want to focus on that. I blame only myself for not believing in me, having so much self-hate for most of my life, and for finding distractions to fill a void.

For the few of you that follow this or any of my blogs and read this. Thank you.

I need to become a better person. I need to do more important things in my life.

-Curtis

My Reasons Why

My Reasons Why

This was a huge delay, but I need to make this post.

The wonderful Kimchisama created this award tag called My Reasons Why. This was innovative and something that can spread positivity around. I can certainly use some more substantive positivity, to be honest. Thanks, Kimchisama! I was honored when you nominated me and when you specifically mentioned how we had great conversations about different things on her blog.

Here are the rules for My Reasons Why:

1. Mention the person who nominated you

2. List 13 reasons why you keep going/living (This is borrowed from the book but I’m taking it the opposite direction).

3. Nominate 10 or more people to give their reasons why.

4. Use the picture that Kimchisama created as seen in this article.

Here we go!

1. My literary projects: When I got into writing stories 4 years ago, I realized that I had so much untapped creative potential. I finally got to release some of my books.

2. The Ospreyshire Project: This current spoken word/avant-garde music project I’ve been working on for 2 years has been a great creative progression.

3. My family: I’m glad that they support me and have helped me out.

4. My friends I still talk with: I’m glad to have some good friends who still want to reach out. Since I don’t have social media, this is huge and it lets me know who my real pals are.

5. Independent and foreign cinema: I’m glad there’s quality movies outside of Hollywood. That and I get to review them. Hee hee hee…

6. Books: I’m able to read things even if it’s mainly non-fiction.

7. Learning: Despite having a degree, I had to know that learning doesn’t end. That and I want to teach others about what I know.

8. Open-minded people: It’s amazing seeing people who actually care about others.

9. Miso soup: Okay, this is a superficial one, but I can’t say no to that soup especially on the rare occasions where I have Japanese food. Hahaha!

10. Being certified to teach adults: This was very unexpected, but I was able to get certified last December.

11. Geography: I enjoy learning about other countries and cultures.

12: The blogging community: I tackle tons of topics with all of my pages. It’s a miracle there are people actually interested in what I have to say.

13: My newfound assertiveness: I was always an internalizer, but blogging helped me express my feelings with people online and real life more often.

I hereby nominate the following:

The Zone of Nerders
Jenn
Xena
AfroSapiophile
Brandon Knoll
Elleguyence
Joshua Stamper
Madekesiworld
Mechanical Anime Reviews
Joshua Hedlund

Ospreyshire Interview @ The Antidote 4/11

http://www.theantidoteradio.com/

I kept this a secret, but I was recently interviewed by Dave Hawkins from The Antidote. It was an amazing experience as I Skyped with him where we talked about different things with my music, ideology on poetry, and I talked a little bit about my additional projects. This will be aired online this Wednesday on 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central.

Feel free to check it out this Wednesday!

An Avalanche of Creativity

This has been an eventful month for me to say the least.

In addition to my normal work life outside of blogging, I’ve been on the grind in regards to creating things. I just finished my Katauta 52 Project last Wednesday which was an accomplishment, been working hard at publishing some of my fiction projects, and I’ve been in talks with some people for some cool projects (stay tuned).

While it’s been fun creating things like music, literature, reviewing and other things, I do admit that I have gotten overwhelmed at times. Part of it is a huge drive with me trying to accomplish as many goals as possible this. Another aspect is me trying to find time whenever I can to make content here, my blogs, and other avenues. I just hope I can do everything that I can while getting enough sleep. Granted, two of my other blogs are on hiatus until some of that content will be on full display.

Have you ever felt this way before? I just don’t want to overwork myself.

ZAP Records Spotlight: Dragged Out

Here’s an old-school example of ZAP Records’ older catalog. This is Dragged Out. They are a Scottish hardcore/punk band that was around in the early-mid 00s. This was one of the early bands from ZAP founder Dave Emmerson and also a mutual friend of ours named Dougle McMysteron. This is their entire discography in one album. By the way…it’s free or pay-what-you-want!

Feel free to check out Dragged Out!