Ospreyshire Origins: Art in the Midst of Pandemonium and Pandemics

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.

Ospreyshire Origins: Is This a New Normal?

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.

Hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the song.

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: Ode to the Innovators

Lyrics:

Doctors, kings, educators, singers, and many more
Who dare to be outside hellish boxes deserved the praise for their endeavors
While history books may not have their names in stone, they shall be immortalized for future days
No more theft
No more exploitation
No more ignoring
This prayer shall extend to those daring to put dreams into practice
The world is certainly too heinous for its own good
And thieves will try to steal
They cannot take the originators in them
Dear Innovare…The souls of ignored pioneers shall be renowned
These archetypes shall be remembered
Forever and ever
So shall it be written
So shall it come to reality


Now, we conclude the Ospreyshire Origins posts in regards to Dear Innovare. This was a good amount of closure to this gigantic full-length album. This sums up so much, but I wanted it to end beautifully with some dream pop-esque sound textures with keyboards and ethereal acousmatics. I hope you appreciated this journey in learning about so many fields.

What was your favorite song? What did you like about this album?

Ospreyshire Origins: GTW: Granville Tailer Woods

Lyrics:

I’m not an Edison clone
The railroads were my domain
The damage in those fields were staggering, so I started with the telegraphony
Relayed messages ensured safety, wire by wire
Then Edison wanted credit for my work
How nice, I sued and beat him twice
He was on his knees begging me to work for him.
Nah, bruh
I kept my head up and crafted overhead lines to clear road traffic of cable cars
Automatic brakes, circuits, and egg incubators
Would become part of my repertoire
Although I would rest in an unmarked grave for sixty-five years
My name would be on streets and schools
I’m glad the afterlife wasn’t the end of the line for me

All aboard the originator’s express!


Third time is the charm. This is the third track from Dear Innovare that involves Edison ripping off someone and the second one involving an African-American inventor.

Granville Tailer Woods made several inventions with the telegraphony which was the first telephone/telegram hybrid for trains which drastically improved communications between cars. He made innovations in the third rail, egg incubators, and I even found out long after recording is that he had the archetype for the rollercoaster. Yes, Six Flags, Disney World/Disneyland, Universal Studios, and your favorite theme park owe something to this man! Edison actually plagiarized the telegraphony, so GTW sued him twice and WON against him. Oh, yeah. That actually happened. This is further proof that Tommy is nothing but an overrated hack. I didn’t know who GTW was until last year and that’s a shame on the educational system. If I learned about him during my childhood, I might have been an engineer by now and not be some artsy loser.

The picture of Granville Tailer Woods is from Famous Inventors.

Ospreyshire Origins: Cameroonian Originality March

Lyrics:

Attention!

[French]
Nous avons des vautours de la culture a venir!
Notre musique est attaquee!
Marche en avant!
Oui, monsieur!

Barnwell, Baranquilla, Gary, Portsmouth
We’re coming for all of you
Your status as godfathers, hip shakers, kings, and misdemeanors
Have nothing on us
We’ll keep marching on (X2)

[French]
Nous devon securiser le berceau de nos ancetres (de nos ancetres) [X4]

What do we want? (Our original tunes!)
When do we want them? (Right now!)
(X4)


Before I get to talking about this song and what inspired me, I would like to give major props to my Cameroonian blogger friend Dr. Y from Afrolegends. He’s been awesome in making high quality posts for over a decade about African history, culture, news, trivia, proverbs, and then some. Dr. Y was able to educate me about some of the musicians from his home country and even gave me some nuggets about plagiarism cases involving their musicians.

Not going to lie, Cameroon has some great artists. I got into Mr. Leo’s music last year, been listening to some Salatiel (I knew who he was before he was a part of THAT companion soundtrack), and more recently Tim & Foty who are part of the topic of this song. I also wanted the song to have a balance between French and English lyrics to represent unity in that country given some of the issues going on with those communities based on those languages. There have been four high profile songs straight out of this Central African nation. Prepare your ears because some of these songs are going to sound familiar to you.

Exhibit A: “Zamina mina (Zangal√©wa)” by Golden Sounds

Exhibit B: “Soul Makossa” by Manu Dibango

Exhibit C: “Hot Koki” by Andre-Marie Tala

Exhibit D: “Douala by Night” by JM Tim and Foty

Doesn’t Cameroon have a lively music scene? Did you also think some of those songs sounded familiar? It would certainly be a shame if a Colombian and some Americans were to steal them.

Yes, that happened and I’m going to correlate each rip-off song to their respective originals.

Shakira stole from Golden Sounds:

Michael Jackson stole from Manu Dipango:

James Brown stole from Andre-Marie Tala:

Missy Elliott, Method Man and Redman stole from Tim & Foty:

All of this came from one country. Some of your favorite artists are musical robbers, so deal with it. This blew my mind and I have Dr. Y to thank when it came to the Shakira and James Brown issues before discovering the rest on my own. Unbelievable, and Cameroon deserves so much better and not just because of some of their current issues right now.

Besides that, I wanted that marching vibe like the “Zangelewa” song, but completely different chords and instrumentation with the Omnichord with hand percussion. This is homage and at least I acknowledge MY inspirations.

The Cameroonian flag picture is from Flags of the World.

Ospreyshire Origins: Jo Anderson and The Reaper

Lyrics:

I would never meet my captor’s grandson, but I can only thank him from the beyond as he put my name on the record
Shame on this country for not realizing my brainpower and physical endurance
Robert, Cyrus, you know it’s true
The reaper wouldn’t exist without me
I guess people like me are used to doing all the heavy lifting
1834 saw the birth of this new tool
However, the McCormick’s names were on it
Cyrus II, you did what you could to make things right
I may have been a slave, but I was still an inventor


I’m from the smaller cities and from suburbs, so I don’t have an appreciation for agriculture as much as I should. This has certainly have been changing doing all this research for Dear Innovare. This also goes into my portfolio of “things you didn’t know were invented by African-Americans” that I only knew about fairly recently. Jo Anderson was a slave who invented the reaper which was used to get crops easier and faster. Unfortunately, he could patent because…oh you all should know the reason why after checking out some of my previous installments of Ospreyshire Origins.

File:Robert Hall McCormick.jpg
File:Cyrus McCormick engraving.png

This is Robert and his son Cyrus McCormick respectively. These slavers stole Jo Anderson’s idea and took it as their own for the McCormick business. Even though they are originally from Virginia, they eventually moved to Chicago. What I didn’t realize until recently, they were one of the most powerful families in the Windy City. Have you ever heard of the McCormick Place in Chicago? The same place with the Chicago Auto Show, major conventions, and is the largest convention center in the entire North American continent? Yeah, it’s named after this family! Just think about that when you think about that foundation. I’m glad Cyrus II eventually credited Jo, but the real inventor of the reaper deserved far better.

The image of Jo Anderson is from Mysterious Chicago Tours.

The image of Robert McCormick is from Wikipedia.

The Image of Cyrus McCormick is from Wikipedia.

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: I, Axum

Lyrics:

Were the invaders fascinated by my beauty?
I stood tall in this living city
My creators took care of me every step of the way
Its a shame they never foretold of my destruction and abduction
While my homeland was never colonized, I was taken defiled, and cloned
I’m disgusted by my inferior leaning tall north of me
My people…rescue and reconstruct me
The world must know I exist
May the originator give me renown despite my obscure state


I got something for the architects and for those that respect African culture. This is going to be something I guarantee you never learned about in school.

This is the Obelisk of Axum in the Ethiopian town of the same name. This tower has been around in one of the oldest nation’s in the world since the 4th century AD. For centuries, this obelisk has been in the Horn of Africa, but unfortunately it became damaged and stolen. Even though Ethiopia is the only country in Africa never to have been colonized, Italy tried to claim that nation through warfare after they got Eritrea no thanks to the Berlin conference.

I didn’t know about this obelisk until I watched the documentary Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia where they go to a museum and see a picture of it. Think about what I said about Ethiopia and Italy. Phil (the American who’s visiting Ethiopia) looks at the picture and the first thing he says is “That looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.” and the tour guide gives him a lesson…

Image result for leaning tower of pisa

Long story short:¬† Italy stole a bunch of things including the design of the Obelisk of Axum. The Ethiopian government did their best for years to sue the Italian government to get their culture back and they eventually got the parts of the Obelisk to bring it back home and they’re reconstructing it as we speak. This was jaw-dropping for me and I never realized how that famous building ripped off something from Africa. In the song, I speak in a feminine voice and I use metaphors of the colonizers raping and assaulting the original culture to drive the point home as uncomfortable as it is. The percussion is even based on Ethiopian and Eritrean drum patterns that I’ve noticed in both traditional and pop music from that part of the world. Much like my Art Theft pieces, this is just a sickening display of colonization even though Italy didn’t take over the Abyssinian nation.

Just think twice whenever you see that tower.

The picture of the Obelisk of Axum is from International Travel News.

The picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa is from Britannica.

Unjust Perceptions: Ethiopia is property of African Diaspora News Channel.

Ospreyshire Origins: One True Mayor

Lyrics:

Our island was the only one of its kind until you copycatted our geography
I am the mayor, yet you made a clone with a big head just like me
You think you made some edible paradise, but everyone is bloated and sick of your world

I thought you’d credit us for our existence
That certainly wasn’t the case
I’m not the Originator, but I’m the one true mayor
And I’ll put your million dollar fraud in its place

My island’s filled with puppets, but there’s no strings attached
With our living justice
I’ve dealt with witches and I’m going to deal with you and your high-calorie junk food of a haven

Your land wouldn’t exist without mine, but at least our island is healthy and theft-free


Researching things is super fun for me.

When I was researching several forms of art, movie, and TV plagiarism, I happened to stumble upon this puppet show that I had never heard of or seen in my life. This was the 1969 show H. R. Pufnstuf. The title character is the mayor of a place called the Living Island which has all these anthropomorphic animals, plants, and objects all around. I saw some clips and it certainly was a bit wacky and had some 60s cheese, but the puppetry and costumes were interesting. What I didn’t realize was that the H. R. Pufnstuf character was a victim of plagiarism.

One could say it was a certain Hamburglar who kidnapped this big head puppet mayor with a cartoonish Southern drawl, spliced his DNA and crafted a big head mayor of their own.

Yes, there was some McThievery [patent pending] going on.

McDonald’s created their own series called McDonald land which some of you might be familiar with Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and an assortment of other characters to hype up their Happy Meals. There was a character Mayor McCheese who was the mayor of McDonaldland who had a giant cheeseburger for a head. Sid and Marty Krofft (the creators of H. R. Pufnstuff) took the fast food chain to court and actually WON their case! This was mind-blowing that they won against a giant corporation. Not only were the two mayors considered similar, but both environments. The court noticed that both the Living Island and McDonaldland are fictional places with several anthropomorphic characters, talking tree forests, a pond, castle, enforcer keystone cops as right-hand characters to the mayors, and similar villains to name a few. Here’s more information on that matter.

I never knew about this, but I’m often sympathetic to those who were ripped off, so I just had to make a song about this. I even busted out my Peruvian panflute which is an Ospreyshire first. Yes, I did my best to imitate some of Pufnstuf’s vocal inflections even though that wasn’t the only song where I talked in a Southern accent though. One of my favorite things I did was add distortion to one of the ukulele tracks where it sounded like a psychedelic guitar solo which was awesome and I loved how it turned out.

Fun fact: H. R. Pufnstuf’s voice actor was the late Lennie Weinrib. He’s played Gomez Addams in the 1973 animated version of The Addams Family, King Leonidas in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Grimace in McDonaldland (yes, the irony is strong), and to all you anime fans out there he did the dub voice of both Hunk and Prince Lotor in Voltron.

The splitscreen picture is from Wikipedia and is property of McDonalds and the Krofft Brothers.