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Optimistic Underground is the solo project of David Bradshaw.

A Reason | Legalese

“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.”
~John Cage

“Look at yourself
if you had a sense of humor
you’d laugh to beat the bad.”
~Billie Holiday

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.

19 thoughts on “About

    • Thanks for the encouragement!! I’m always very happy to know people appreciate my stuff. And I’m definitely glad to hear any feedback, suggestions, any of that! I’ll check out yr profile when I’m on my home computer.


  1. Also, your description says that header image comes from “Magnetic Rose”. No, it isn’t. It is still from “Stalker” by Tarkovsky, but I guess you’ve changed at some point. Great blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my, I forgot to change the description! It was previously a still from Magnetic Rose, but I found this fantastic Stalker image… Thank you for pointing out the inconsistency! Also it’s great to know someone else who’s familiar with both of those films.


  2. Hey David,

    Was hoping to point you in the direction of my bandcamp site which features music I think you may enjoy; however, I don’t want to spam your comments section. Please drop me an email if you’re interested. The music is Ambient Guitar Psych and Acid Folk.


  3. Hi David,

    I came across your website while looking for more on the Brian Eno/John Cale track Spinning Away. And what a great find! Your writing is a joy and we’re on the same musical wave length – thanks to you I’m now listening to Chuck Johnson.

    So thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi David,

    Just wanted to let you know that I think your blog is amazing. It’s crazy how similar our tastes are. I was kind of in a rut in terms of discovering dub techno and ambient, and you put me on to so much great music. I have only known your blog for a couple of days, but already I have al goldmine of great music to listen to. Please, please, keep doing what you’re doing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words! That is exactly why I started this blog, to spread the good music & enthusiasm. I’m so glad to know you’re finding it valuable. I’ll definitely keep doing this!


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