About Ominous Crow Caw

“In search of love and music
My whole life has been
And diving diving diving diving
Diving down to pick up on every shiny thing
Just like that black crow flying
In a blue sky”
– Joni Mitchell

Who the fudge are you supposed to be?
Hi, I’m Jasper, the guy calling the shots around here.

What’s with the quirky name anyway? If parading your self-important twittery is the sole purpose of this platform, you made it abundantly clear.
Be that as it may, the domain name is at least conspicuous. And I’m not really in this to make money. In fact, I’m actually losing money over this. So get used to it, sucka.

So why do it anyway? Are you some kind of loser?
Well, for one, the void left by former gatekeepers Kicking The Habit and Incendiary Magazine. The void felt emptier than I had originally anticipated. Plus…there’s still a (perhaps stubborn) conviction within me that contemporary music & pop culture can produce something thought-provoking, brutally honest and (sometimes) ridiculous, instead of being merely a carrot-on-the-rope mechanism that generates digital currency. OCC doesn’t need to feed the fad. I’m perfectly fine being that obnoxious caterwaul in the vast emptiness of…uhm, empty stuff.

You still haven’t addressed the friggin’ name, numbnuts. Who the heck calls their website Ominous Crow Caw? You’re supposed to think of a catchier name.
Right. Fair enough, pal. I guess “ominous crow caw” relates to a prevalent horror movie trope: the protagonist usually wanders through some misty monochrome forest. There’s always this crow cawing in the distance, alluding to impending doom. Come to think of it – as I unsuccessfully steer clear from snooty pretense – the name Ominous Crow Caw sorta strikes as both a defeatist thing and an important signifier.

You see, by running OCC alongside my more profitable work as a freelance copywriter, I have pretty much voluntarily given up any semblance of a normal social life. And besides, losing part of my savings on OCC motivates me further to post content that’s both fun AND substantial. Thus behold, the internet is now my mighty echo chamber. Whether it’s something thoughtful or asinine, hopefully my voice will at least be heard. After all, there’s too much thrilling stuff that would otherwise fall through the cracks.

Stuff like MY band for instance? In case you didn’t know, we’ve contacted Rick Rubin’s second cousin to helm our next LP. Meaning, if you don’t share our new video, you will never be cool. You DO realize that right?
Unless you court me like some mentally unstable stalker dude with creepy half-smile…sure, I’ll gladly check you out and write something snappy about it. If I happen to like what I hear, that mentally unstable stalker dude with the creepy half-smile will stand front row at your next gig…as he would probably be me. But, seriously…don’t become that dude. Ever.

You sure do talk a lot, Jasper. In fact, I’m already sick of your mumbo jumbo. Allow me to express my feelings in a more articulate fashion.
Be my guest, friendo. OCC is a platform meant for anyone who has a particular itch that needs scratching. Besides, pitching your ideas (check out the CONTACT-section) will allow me to take a breather every now and then. Heck, I could even go on a date as you peruse into existential crisis! But in all semi-seriousness: OCC is meant to be(come) an open-sourced platform with contributors operating on an international scale. Now that would be an awesome, beautiful thing, wouldn’t it?

I can’t write worth a damn. But I’m pretty good with a camera, photoshop and/or a paintbrush. Can I contribute in some shape or form?
Every monthly Issue of Ominous Crow Caw will put an illustration or photo in the limelight. So this is definitely a big yes. If you do want to give writing a go and say something snappy about your work or creative process, I will reserve a special space for you. But in case you’re wondering, that’s just optional. So… there ya go!

So what kind of content can we expect exactly?
OCC’s base of operation is Rotterdam, widely considered the iconoclast capital of The Netherlands, so a fair chunk of content will definitely focus on the local buzz. In addendum, this is a place where burgeoning Dutch and international artists are embraced on an equal playing field. Expect a flow of haphazardly cumulated playlists, inane interviews, overwrought think pieces and gimmicky items in all their unadulterated glory.

It’s been over a month since you’ve uploaded new content. Given up already?
OCC is meant to be a placid realm that exists outside the frenetic digital infrastructures. Therefore I will publish content in seasonal Issues (so, in simple math, four each year), allowing you, the reader, to soak it all in at once without petty distractions. Pretty nice, huh? Of course I’ll make an exception with content that involves exclusively premiering a track, music video or EP/LP. It’s not exactly in a band or promotor’s best interest to wait whole months at a time before they can finally share new music. Capiche?

Anyway, OCC is all about immersion, which means I’d like to communicate and collaborate with musicians, labels, managers and A&R folks a bit more closely than your average blogspace. You see, I do this for selfish reasons too. As a hack writer, I’ve become – by default – a pretty solitary guy. So anytime I can have a meaningful exchange of ideas with a living breathing person of some kind, I feel that the extra effort in putting out equally meaningful content is worth it. Oh, and please don’t be creeped out by this.

Who made the logo and artwork? It is friggin’ rad. We too could use someone like that.
That’ll be Veronique van Helden. You can check out more of her work here. The OCC logo is off limits by the way. I’ll come looking for you, I will find you… well, you get the point.

Anything else we need to know?
Nothing. And NOT knowing is half the battle!

OCC considers the following people and institutions dear pals (and we hope the feeling is or will be mutual):
Apert Kreatieve Produkties
Louder Than War
Le Guess Who?
Veronique van Helden – Graphic Design
Katzwijm Records
De Popronde
Red Light Radio
KX Radio
VPRO 3voor12
Belmont Bookings
Licking The Rabbit
Rock ‘n’ Roll Highschool
Mojo Concerts
Friendly Fire
Black Rice Booking
Pinguin Radio
Munich Records
PIAS Holland
Beggars Group
Fire Records
Full Spectrum
Lexicon Bookings
Puschen Booking & Promotion
The Quietus
The Daily Indie
Gonzo (Circus)
Never Mind The Hype
Beaches Brew Festival
Snowstar Records
Excelsior Recordings
Subroutine Records
Tiny Room Records
Makkum Records
Jan Mulders 
Nick Helderman
Tom Roelofs Photography
The Village Coffee & Music
The Current, Minnesota Public Radio

Thanks, all of you, for various reasons!