Monthly Archives: March 2010

Rob Threezy Interview

Here’s the latest Chase March exclusive for all of you. I just did this interview on Friday night and I’m posting it up on a Wednesday. That’s the quickest turn around so far. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this interview. Rob Threezy is a DJ, producer, and remixer. You can download this podcast for free and listen  as you read along. Enjoy!

Chase: “Alright everybody, this is Chase March and I’m here with Rob Threezy. How’s is going, man?
Rob: “It’s going good. Cold weather here in Toronto.”
Chase: “Yeah, it’s crazy. It was out for a run in shorts the day before but it’s hovering around zero today. What’s going on?”
Rob: “I don’t know what’s going on. It’s the Harp.”
Chase: “So tell us about what you do.”
Rob: “I’m Rob Threezy, DJ, producer, remixer, anything involving music, man. That’s me, just stay underground, that’s where it’s at, ya know what I mean. Commercial is cool but after a while, it’s kind of sad to sell yourself, ya know?”
Chase: “Definitely. I’m all about underground, underground hip-hop mostly. I just discovered you recently. Jessica hooked me up with your latest EP ‘Let’s Go Ravers’ and there are some nice tracks on there.”
Rob: “Thank you, thank you.”
Chase: “My name is Chase March and one of your songs is called ‘The Chase.’ That song’s not about me is it?”
Rob: “I didn’t even think about that. That’s good. It’s dedicated to you. ‘The Chase,’ that came out about two years ago. It was released on vinyl on Ol’ Head Records along with Sega, TiMeil, Tim Dolla, ya know, all the club heads from the East Coast, Jersey, Philly, Baltimore, ya know?”
Chase: “You’re from Chicago but it says on your bio that you are big into Baltimore Club. So was that a big influence for you?”
Rob: “Yes, I would have to say that. It just hits hard, ya know what I mean? It’s a different style of house music. It’s club breaks but it does hit hard. I don’t like any soft tracks. I like bangers. I like stuff that hits, that makes people want to dance not to go, ‘okay whatever, I’ll smoke a joint to this.’”
Chase: “So your music is all about getting people to dance. Do you do a lot of live shows?”
Rob: “Yes I do. Mostly in The States. I got booked on this Canada tour in Nelson, Toronto, and Montreal. I was supposed to do Ottawa but I guess that didn’t go through but it’s okay man. I’ll come back later and I can’t say I’m not having fun because Canada has been treating me really good.”
Chase: “Excellent. So I did a little bit of production myself back in the day. Do you mind telling us what kind of gear you use?”
Rob: “I use Logic, that’s my baby. I started off with an MPC. I actually did a couple hip-hop beats on the MPC, I’m not gonna lie. I use a lot of compressors. I use hardware. As far as my sound cards inside my Mac if you want to get into detail, I do have UAD cards. I use the Fuji Ensemble to record vocals. I do basically anything you guys want. I do have a lot of plug-ins. I’m investing in buying a couple synths even though people might say I’m wasting money. But you know there’s nothing better than feeling the gear and stuff.”
Chase: “Do you use samples in your production?”
Rob: “Oh yes, I use samples. Samples are good. Take a kick, sample it from another producer’s track, beef it up, do whatever you want with it, make it your own. I don’t think there is anything wrong with sampling. A lot of hip-hop guys sampled back then on old records, vinyl. I do the same. I’m pretty sure everyone else does it.”
Chase: “I love sampling. It seems that these days a lot of producers are getting away from it. They’re producing their own sounds or using live bands, and it’s a shame because I think that sampling is something that we should be able to do. It’s like taking something old and making something new out of it, which is a lot of what DJ culture is about.”
Rob: “Definitely.”
Chase: “Speaking of DJ culture, what do you think about DJ Hero?”
Rob: “I think it’s pretty cool. I’ve tried it. It’s a little hard, I’m not gonna lie. You get the hang of it but it’s cool. I like it. It’s entertaining. Sometimes I think it’s gonna take away from the real essence of deejaying on vinyl.”
Chase: “Yeah, that’s what I think to. I mean, I played in some bands before and Rock Band, the video game, doesn’t really simulate a rock band experience. You’re playing that, you’re only looking at the screen, you’re paying attention to what you’re doing, you’re not playing off of the other guys. And in DJ Hero, you’re not using the crossfader they way you’d normally use a crossfader. It’s kind of silly. I’m a teacher and some of the kids say, ‘I slide that thing.’ I bring in a record and they’re like, ‘Wow, that’s a big CD.’ So in some ways it’s not really doing its job. I guess for some, though, it’s an introduction to DJ culture, and maybe that in itself can be a good thing.”
Rob: “Yes and no. I say yeah because on there are some of the most demanding deejays. I’m pretty sure that David Guetta, Armand Van Buren and all the big name, star DJs. That’s pretty good because it opens kids’ eyes to the DJ world and that’s where it’s at, ya know?”
Chase: “Definitely. One thing I don’t understand because I’m not so into club deejays and the kind of music you do. I’m more into hip-hop and things like that. I was wondering how that music gets consumed because it’s more about what DJs used to do with hip-hop. It’s more about the live experience from what I understand. But you do have CDs out and how do those sell? Do people pick those up at your gigs or are they in stores?”
Rob: “Before I started actually doing tours and getting booked outside of Chicago, I had to build a following in my city first. I always made mixes ever since I started, ya know, classics from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. I’m 21. People just follow you because they see that you’re doing something different and you’re not really playing what everyone else plays but you’re still kind of keeping it fresh, not too commercial, it’s good, it’s still underground. You kind of just have to build a following and if they’re dedicated to your music, they are gonna follow you regardless. As far as the whole Internet and people knowing who you are across the world, blogs are the ones that really put you on the map. They kind of give you the lead, and then from there on out, it’s whatever you make of it, and that’s how you distribute everything else.”
Chase: “Do you do much in the way of online promotion?”
Rob; “Yes I do. I don’t have a manager. I’m not under an agency, I don’t have nothing. I do all my bookings myself. Everything is me. 100% me.”
Chase: “Are there any artists you’d like to work with?”
Rob: “Artists that I’d like to work along side with? I would have to say Steve Angello, Afrojack, Chuckie, dude’s mainly in Holland cause they’re really bringing house music back up to where it supposed to be, where it’s supposed to have been a long time ago. They have a particular sound that a lot of people like. I don’t know what it is. It just hits harder, it’s bigger, it digestible. But yeah, it would have to be those artists. Maybe David Guetta, maybe, if he doesn’t go too, too commercial.”
Chase: “That’s interesting because to me it seems that house music is kind of buried. It seems that when I was a little bit younger that we actually had some dance stations. There was one in Burlington that was Dance 108 and then it became Energy 108, and then it became a Top 40 station, and then it became a country station. So where is house music these days?”
Rob: “I think there was a gap. I don’t know what happened. Really I don’t know. It’s good that it’s coming back up cause I see it coming up stronger than ever. Now all these guys are calling it Dutch House but really the sound that I listen to and when they put out their music, it kind of sounds like Old Chicago Art House. They say it’s Dutch House but it really isn’t, it comes from Chicago. Chicago is the Mecca of house music, it always will be. But they add their own little style into it and I like what they’re making right now. I love it, just don’t call it Dutch House guys, it’s house music, that’s it, not Dutch house.”
Chase: “I think a lot of my listeners aren’t really familiar, we used the term a little bit earlier Baltimore Club and I went to your MySpace page and I think it described your sound as Baltimore Club mixed with rave samples. So a lot of people, my listeners in particular, don’t really know what is Baltimore Club?”
Rob: “Baltimore Club, honestly, it is a mixture between hip-hop and house. It’s at like 128 – 135 – 140 BPMs. It’s really hip-hop influenced, I will not lie about that. A lot of samples, a lot of drum breaks, all about that. It’s hip-hop. It’s basically breaks, not funk or anything like that, just breaks and heavy kicks. A good example of who started this Baltimore Club would be Scottie B from Baltimore. He’s one of the pioneers of this. I even asked him what it was and he said it’s a mixture between hip-hop and breaks and heavy kicks and sampling everywhere.”
Chase: “Nice. I really like when we can get back to that because that is the essence right there. I mean, breaks really started the entire DJ culture and that kind of split of into the different genres of it. Even the early hip-hop stuff did have that house influence too like Afrika Bambaataa and where it branched off from there.”
Rob: “Yup.”
Chase: “I’d like to drop one of your tracks right now. So this is ‘Let’s Go Ravers,’ title track off of the latest EP from Rob Threezy. This is Chase March and we’ll be right back.”

That ends Part 1 of the interview. Please come back tomorrow to read Part 2. If you don’t want to wait until then, you can download this episode of The Chase March Show for free right now. You can also check out Rob Threezy on MySpace.  Thanks for tuning in! 

Teaching Tip – A Great Drama Rubric

Who has time for drama?
I have so much stuff I need to teach that I can’t afford to spend time letting the kids act out goofy little skits.
Have you heard these excuses before? Have you used them yourself?
I know that classroom teachers have a huge responsibility and that principals and school boards often focus on literacy and numeracy, so much so that the arts often get little or no attention at all. This really is a shame.
I must admit that I don’t find a lot of time for drama in my classroom. I’m sure I could do a lot more. However, I don’t just use the Christmas concert as my sole drama activity like some of the other teachers I know.
I typically use three Drama activities each year, one per term. I will cover these strategies in more detail starting next week for Teaching Tip Tuesdays. I have a great rubric that I use to assess all three of these activities and you will find it below.
In the first term, I do a unit on poetry. I teach the students how to use tone of voice, action, and props to present the poem dramatically in front of the class. This is a great assignment since I can use it for an Oral and Visual Communication mark as well as a Drama mark.
In the second term, I let the students work in partners or groups of three. I let them choose a comic strip from the newspaper to act out. They need to rehearse their performance and memorize their lines. Comic strips are great since they already are visual and don’t have a lot of dialogue. This allows the students a quick and easy skit to act out. They are funny as well which always helps.
In the third term, I work with small groups and guide them into cooperatively writing a radio play. This is much like Reader’s Theatre but since the students have a hand in creating the characters and the story, they are much more interested in it.
These aren’t the only things I do in the classroom for drama. I sometimes have the kids act out science concepts, social studies events, and health and safety situations. The students really respond well to drama activities.
Of all the drama activities I do in the classroom, I only need one assessment tool. I developed this rubric by taking bits and pieces of other rubrics that I liked and mashing them together. The book Drama Themes, which I highly recommend by the way, originally inspired me to create this rubric.
You will notice that there are a lot of things you can look at when assessing a work of drama; practise, use of voice, setting, action, comedy, role development, role portrayal, and the overall performance.
I wouldn’t try to assess all of these things at one time. I might only look at three things for a primary class. I tell my students that I will be looking for a good tone of voice, that they use some actions, and I will also be looking at how well them work in their groups.
I really like using this rubric and I hope it will help you in bringing drama into your classroom. If you have any questions, comments, or tips you’d like to share, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you. 
Don’t forget to check all the other great Teaching Tips as well. 
Teachers helping teachers is what it’s all about. 

Two Songs That Describe Me (Day 15)

Day 15 – A song that describes you

I’m cheating today. I’m going to give you two songs that describe me.

First up is David Myles “When It Comes My Turn”

“I’m getting old but I’m not old yet
I’m already worried that I might forget
How to laugh, how to love
How to live, how to learn
I want to die with a smile when it comes my turn

I don’t want to get weary, don’t want to get bored
Don’t want to get tired, walking down this road
I’ve seen that happen so many times
I just want to believe that its still worth trying

I’m getting old but I’m not old yet
I’m already worried that I might forget
How to laugh, how to love
How to live, how to learn
I want to die with a smile when it comes my turn

But I know that it’s easier said than done
And I ain’t that different from anyone
I worry about my money, got bills that I can’t pay
I swear I’m more like my father everyday

I’m getting old but I’m not old yet
I’m already worried that I might forget
How to laugh, how to love
How to live, how to learn
I want to die with a smile when it comes my turn

Maybe I’ll start bowling, maybe I’ll play bridge
Maybe I’ll join a band with my own grandkids
I don’t care if it kills me I’m gonna do what it takes
To keep some warmth in my heart and a smile on my face.”

– David Myles “When It Comes My Turn” from the album “Things Have Changed”

What a great song. I identify with it because although I am only in my thirties, I am starting to feel old. My memory has never been that great either, which is one of the reasons I write a journal and a blog. I also want to make sure that I continue to enjoy life and have fun with whatever I am doing. I may be getting older, but I refuse to feel old.

My second choice for today’s challenge is Goldfinger “Superman”

“So here I am doing everything I can
holding on to what I am
pretending I’m a superman
I’m trying to keep
the ground on my feet
it seems the world’s falling down around me
the nights are all long
I’m singing this song
to try and make the answers more than maybe

and I’m so confused
about what to do
sometimes I want to throw it all away

so here I am looking older all the time
growing older all the time
feeling younger in my mind

I’m trying to sleep
I lost count of the sheep
my mind is racing faster every minute
what could I do more
yeah I’m really not sure
I know I’m running circles but I can’t quit

and I’m so confused
about what to do
sometimes I want to throw it all away
controlling everything in site

I’m feeling weak
I don’t feel right
you’re telling me I have to change
telling me to act my age
but if all that I can do
is just sit and watch time go
then I’ll have to say good bye
life’s too short to watch it fly
watch it fly”

– Goldfinger “Superman” from the album “Hang-Ups”

I love this song. Could it be an anthem for who I am? Yes it could. I relate to it and it seems to be along the same subject matter was the David Myles song I played just before it.

Go to the Day 16 song – A song I used to like but not anymore

Happiest MeMe Isn’t So Happy

I found this meme on Calvin’s Canadian Cave of Cool and thought I’d give it a try.

1. How far away is the last person you kissed?

Too far. She’s geographically close but she’s now just out of my reach and it hurts a lot.

2. Has someone ever told you they would be with you forever?

Yes. I told her so too. It’s hard to believe that it didn’t work for us. I was so sure it would.

3. Last person you were in a car with?

My mother. I drove her to go buy a Wii. I still can’t believe that my mom has a video game system. I don’t even have one. I hooked it up for her though and we had a blast playing it on the weekend.

4. Any plans for tomorrow?

I want to transcribe the interview I did this weekend with DJ, producer Rob Threezy. I also need to write a lesson plan for a teacher upgrading class I am taking online. I want to go for a run as well. Should be a good day.

5. How long does it take for you to take a shower?

Probably too long. Sometimes I just don’t want to get out.

6. Best friend or close friends?

I have one best friend.

7. Is tomorrow going to be a good day?

Yes it is.

8. Did you kiss anyone Friday?

Nope. 

9. Ever thrown up in public?

Ah, why are you asking me this? I think I probably did when I was a kid.

10. What’s on your mind RIGHT NOW?

Not much. I’m just relaxing doing a silly meme. But it’s good to get my mind off of what I’ve been feeling lately.

11. Who was the last person you talked to?

Daddy J from DOPEfm. Really cool guy running a great hip-hop show on 93.3 CFMU.

12. What is the WORST subject they teach at school?

Daily Physical Education. Teachers are supposed to make sure that kids get physically active for ten minutes each day. Can’t parents do that? After all, the kids have gym and recess.

13. Have you seen anyone lately that you don’t get along with?

No comment. Because I really don’t want to get into it. Okay, YES!

14. What is your favourite colour top to wear?

I have a few orange shirts that I really like.

15. Have you ever been in a car accident?

Three times. Thankfully each time there we no injuries other than the cars. Also none of the accidents were my fault. One was when I was just a kid. One was when somebody slammed into the back of us while we were waiting to go into a roundabout. And one time time it was just a mechanical failure and I slammed into a curb.

16. What’s the closest thing to you that’s green?

The table cloth that I cut and put across the top of the entertainment stand.

17. Where would you like to be right now?

Right here.

18. Write down some lyrics to the song you’re listening to?

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone.”

19. How many dogs do you have?

Zero. I think I’m past the pet-owning stage of my life.

20. Is anything bugging you right now?

Lots of things but I don’t need to drag all that out on the blog.

21. Is life going right for you now?

No it’s not. There have been quite a few bumps in the road. This has been the worst year of my life. But it can only go up from here.

22. Is there someone you care about more than yourself?

Yes. 

23. What made you laugh today?

A conversation on the phone. I said something that wasn’t supposed to be funny but we both ended up laughing because it was.

24. What was the last movie you watched?

Goal! It’s a soccer movie and it’s pretty cool.

25. Whats the last conversation you had about?

hip-hop

26. What were you doing at 7:00 this morning?

Sleeping. I really needed it. Normally I’d be up by then.

27. Do you like your hair long or short?

Short. I’m overdue for a haircut.

28. Do you want to see somebody right now?

Yes.

29. Do you like the rain?

Sometimes.

30. Did you have a valentine this year?

No. I was so sure I’d have one too. I hate Valentine’s Day. Never really had a good one.

31. The last person you kissed needs you at 3 am, would you go?

Yes I would. I hope she knows that. I’d do anything for her at any time. I’m not holding out any illusions that we will get back together though.

32. Would you honestly say you’d risk your life for someone else?

I would. I’ve always thought about having a heroic death.

33. Honestly, if you could go back 1 month and change something would you?

One month isn’t far enough.

34. How do you feel about boys smoking?

Smoking should be banned, that’s just my humble opinion.

35. Could you see yourself with someone forever?

I could. I’m a romantic at heart and believe in soul-mates. Hopefully I will find mine one day.

It’s Crazy that I Like This (Day 13)

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure

This was a tough category for me. I don’t often subscribe to the thought of a song being a guilty pleasure. I am usually upfront about what music I do and do not like.

I went on the air last night for DOPEfm and talked about this 30-day song challenge and my difficulty finding a song to fill today’s challenge. Fellow co-host Gamma Krush, reminded me of how I really liked Britney Spears when she first came out.

I remember really enjoying this album cut. I liked the use of the cowbell and the energy the song had. They remixed the song a little when it was released as a single. I much prefer the album version.

Truth be told, I haven’t listened to this album in years and I don’t own anything else by Britney Spears. That’s why “Crazy” by Britney Spears is my choice for Day 13 – A guilty pleasure.

Go to the Day 14 song – A song people wouldn’t expect me to like

The Poet Alone… Fails.


city by the bay
Originally uploaded by 4PIZON

He’s trying to forget you,
it’s harder than he’d imagined
because he’d seen a future with you
as clearly as this view
of the city from across the bay
on a perfect spring day.

Low clouds, fog, and smog
had other plans and descended,
perhaps inevitably
but even the haze,
has no power of memory.

There are moments where he completely forgets.
He feels guilty when they pass
and cannot fathom why.
This is how it must be until things align.

Try as he wants,
He can only shake up the box.
The picture cannot possible assemble inside from the motion,
it’s for naught.

All the pain he holds, he treasures
just to know that their moment
was something that he can’t ever describe
in words alone
so they’ll understand.

The words alone can’t do the job.
The poet alone
failing at his craft
even shaking up the dictionary
can’t have the words fall into place,
it’s for naught.

He just can’t write today.
The creativity has been sucked away.

My Favourite Band?

Day 11 – A song from your favorite band

This is a tough one too. It’s a toss up between Buffalo Tom and superGARAGE but since I am playing a Buffalo Tom song later in this 30-day challenge, I think I’ll have to play a superGARAGE track today.

I really love this group. Check out the interview I did with them if you like what you hear.

superGARAGE “Post Teen Crisis”

Day 12 – A song from a band (rapper) I hate