Trademarking “Yoruba”? Shame on you, Timbuktu (the UK company)!

It’s been a while since I talked about news around the world, but I saw this video which ticked me off so much that I just have to talk bout it.

There’s a British company called Timbuktu who had the temerity to trademark the word “Yoruba”. For those who don’t know any thing about that word, it refers to an actual African ethnic group and language associated with Nigeria, Benin, and Togo although Nigeria has a huge Yoruba population. Some famous people of that ethnicity involve actor John Boyega, basketball player Hakeem Olajuwon, and rapper Wale to name a few. The Nigerian community got infuriated by this trademark controversy and rightfully so. They were raising awareness to this issue. Also, am I the only one who noticed that this company is named after the famous Malian city?

This is just blatant cultural appropriation and I hope Timbuktu gets enough pressure to drop the trademark. I never bought anything from them and I hope there’s a giant boycott against them for what they did. What’s up with these companies trademarking African things? You have this recent case, Louis Vuitton making “luxury” Maasai cloths, and (I will not stop repeating this example because this company deserves the smoke) Disney freaking trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata”! These corporations need to stop doing this and I hope people stop buying their things. Think about it, they trademarked the name of an ethnic group consisting of millions of people around the world and not just in Western Africa. How would people react if Timbuktu or any company trademarked the name(s) of another ethnic group such as Irish Travelers, Sicilians, or Ashkenazim? I’m sure there would be even more outrage if anyone dared to do so. Nobody should be turning ethnicities into intellectual property.

The fact that people tell me that cultural appropriation isn’t bad or doesn’t exist is just idiotic because they never had to deal with their heritage being slighted in the least.

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.

Dave Emmerson 2020 Interview with the Antidote (ZAP Records Requiem)

Episode 442: ZAP Records Requiem


Here’s a part II to Monday’s post. While this interview has been around for a few months now, I thought I would still promote it, so you can hear it. Canadian radio station The Antidote interviewed Dave Emmerson from ZAP Records as he talks about music, why he closed down ZAP, and his new plans. It was another great interview and not just because I know both Daves talking to each other. Yes, I’m namedropped briefly, but don’t listen to this interview because of that. It really gives insight into Dave’s ideology in music and creative projects.

A Belated Post About ZAP Records: RIP ZAP 2015-2020

This post has been a long time coming and I feel bad about delaying it this long.

Some of you may or many not remember when I debuted Dystopian Futures’s latest music video for “Space Junk”, but I mentioned that ZAP Records closed down. This bummed me out since the founder Dave Emmerson was one of the few people left in the DIY music scene that I still respect as well as him being a great friend. I thought it was amazing with how he managed to get bands and singers from multiple countries involved with his record label. I was exposed to great music that no one else was making and I managed to get involved with the label even before “Ospreyshire” (the spoken word project AND the blogger you see today) was a thing. Not sure if I mentioned this, but I was able to help out with press releases, bios, and I even made music videos for some of the bands. Dave himself has a record in my filmography portfolio since I’ve directed three music videos for him between two of his bands. The first music video I ever made in my life was for his old band The Old-Timers (no pun intended) and it was a major international collaboration since Dave at the time was living in South Africa while I was still here in America, yet we were able to make it work. That really gave me confidence and he encouraged me to do some recording of my own.

While Ospreyshire (the spoken word project) was all me with my poems, acousmatics, and instrumentation, I will say that if there was no ZAP Records, there might not have been an Ospreyshire let alone the current blogs I run. It’s strange how life works, but I do have to credit Dave for being a good friend to be encouraging to me even if he was thousands of miles away in South Africa or when he was back in his home country of Scotland. Who ever thought that some random guy like me and someone like him would meet at a music festival in Central Illinois and were able to collaborate with multiple projects for years now.

It is sad to see ZAP Records go. I’m thankful to have been a contributor in multiple ways to the label. I was so disillusioned with the music scene at large, so this was a last bastion of sorts.

RIP, ZAP Records.

In good news, Dave came up with Visions Press where he’s releasing new music and even zines. Definitely check it out!

https://visionspress.bandcamp.com/

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.

Dystopian Futures: Space Junk Music Video

I have some bad news and good news for you. Bad news is that Dave Emmerson decided to close down his DIY label ZAP Records. It’s quite sad since there were so many good bands associated with that indie label. I’ll be talking about my thoughts on the matter in a separate post. Good news is that his band Dystopian Futures is still going to make music and they just came out with a new song called “Space Junk”! Oh, yeah. I even got to make the music video, too.

Dystopian Futures certainly continue to use their quirky experimental punk rock for this song. It’s a story involving a cosmonaut who has been in stasis in a spaceship for a century while trying to flee from his vice-ridden past. Things don’t go to plan as he’s in the cosmic ocean.

Feel free to buy the song on Visions Press’s Bandcamp!

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.

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!