Optimistic Underground is the solo project of David Bradshaw.
Email me with suggestions and questions: optimistic.underground at gmail.com
“All great music is in one way or another psychedelic.”
~ Genesis P-Orridge
“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”
“Look at yourself
if you had a sense of humor
you’d laugh to beat the bad.”
Here are some things about me:
I grew up watching Voltron and space movies in the 1980s. Stuff like The Black Hole and Explorers. Played video games since I was a baby. Loved the Genesis and Roy Orbison and David Bowie albums that flooded the house via my dad’s hi-fi. Metal and hip-hop were my first “me” music, around age 8. I loved Megadeth, Suicidal Tendencies, and Beastie Boys. I pirated everything I could with cassette tapes. We called it dubbing.
I got into anime, techno, and The Smashing Pumpkins in a huge way when I was 12 or so. I didn’t have much to talk about with other kids at school. I grew up and lived through a thousand different genre phases but I never stopped loving these things.
I rebooted this site in 2014, aiming to be more open, more personal. Everyone likes it when other people are open. We like to see faces, too. So here’s my picture. I’m cooking stuff.
Here’s some info about the header images alternately featured on the site:
One image is the divine Alice Coltrane, playing her harp. I loved the image of her hands dancing across the strings. I also love the color purple, so that’s the title or now.
• • •
One image is from the singularly inimitable film Stalker, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. This picture dives into the heart of human hopes and dreams in a way that no other film approaches. There’s an oceanic depth of empathy and understanding that swallows me whole every time I watch it. If you can, please see the film for yourself.
• • •
One image is the iconic centerpiece shot of one of my favorite films of all time, Magnetic Rose. It is the first third of an anime triptych called Memories, and is directed by Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira) from a script by Satoshi Kon (Perfect Blue, Paprika). Watch the trailer below.
• • •
One image has been burned into my mind for years: the iconic motorcycle chase from Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo in 1988. This is the original anime that turned me on to the art form. It’s still one of my favorite films of all time.