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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.