Monthly Archives: November 2011

Chasing Content – The Best of Last December

Photo of valley fog in Snohomish County, Washi...Image via WikipediaBlog posts roll in and cover the landscape like a fog on this chilly November morning.

Underneath the misty clouds are some great articles, podcasts, mixtapes, and photos.

Let’s tread carefully and explore the posts hidden by the fog in this monthly feature we call Chasing Content. 

You can read all of the posts from last December

. . . or just these few gems.

Graffiti is Art – I dedicated an episode of the radio show to the art of graffiti. You can stream the show, download it, or read the article. You can also read Part 2 of this transcript.

Canadian Christmas Rapping – A great video from last year’s music spectacular on George Stroumboulopoulos Tomight. It featured a who’s who of Canadian MCs. Can’t wait to see what he does this year on his show.

Art Attack – Art Attack is an amazing television show with a great website. It definitely is a resource that every elementary school teacher and art teacher should take a look at.

December 10th Mixtape – I still bump this tape. I plan on making a sequel to it as well. You can go download this tape for free or stream it with the player on the page, and get ready for the new December mix coming soon.

Snowmageddon 2010 – Remember this crazy storm? Hopefully we don’t have one like that again. I truly think that each generation gets one big storm like this. This was ours.

The Movie Was Better – It doesn’t happen often, but this is one time that the movie was actually better than the book that inspired it.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

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5 Minute Daily Language Activities

Here is a great resource that you can use every day in your Language Arts program.

It’s called Daily Language Review and there are editions available for each grade level (1-8)

I like how the activities explore several different areas of the Language Arts curriculum. The students get a chance to edit and correct two sentences every day. There are three other questions that cover punctuation skills, grammar, spelling, analogies, onset and rime, and more.

Here is the Thursday page for Week 2 of the program.

I really like how these worksheets can be completed in about five minutes. I normally write the questions on the board to save paper and photocopying. Of course, you could also purchase the whiteboard version to project the worksheets onto your Smartboard so you wouldn’t even have to do that.

Taking up the questions together as a class will also help reinforce the variety of topics covered each day. It gives you a quick review and might even give you an idea about topics or lessons that your students need further work in.

Plus, the variety of grade level editions allow you to differentiate your instruction. You can use a book at a lower level for your students who are struggling with the concepts. You could also use a book above your grade level for students that need a little more of a challenge.

I have purchased a lot of teaching resources over the years, but this one is definitely one of my favourites. I have the Grade 2, 3, 4, and 5 books. I highly recommend them.

More Teaching Tips

Doctor Who: The Mixtape (Free Download)

I have been making mixtapes for a long time. I always made them on actual cassette tapes though. When it came time for me to transition to the digital era, I still made my tapes in two parts. I did so because I really didn’t know another way to make them.

However, I just discovered a way to make a mixtape where you can actually skip through the songs. That is why I am reposting this mixtape for you right now. The songs still flow together seamlessly, but now they are presented to you in an album format.

Instead of having two long tracks of 40 minutes each, you can now download a 22 track album. Each song has its own track so you can skip through songs at your leisure.

Click here to download the zipped mixtape file for free. 

I was inspired to make this mixtape by a meme that was floating around on Tumblr. It was a 30 day challenge and Day 17 asked, “What songs would appear in your Doctor Who mixtape?”

I found this great blog post from Janine. She came up with a song for each of the major characters and justified her choices with song lyrics. The blog, Meanwher, elsewhen also offered some great suggestions for this hypothetical tape.

After reading those two posts, I was determined to make my own Doctor Who mix and to include some of their suggestions. I was unfamiliar with a lot of these songs prior to making the tape, but I got right to work, and was delighted with what I found.

I knew I had to start the tape with “Spaceman” from Bif Naked. If you’re a Doctor Who fan, you will see how perfectly that song ties into the very first episode of Series 5 when Amelia Pond first meets the Doctor.

Another highlight of the tape was including Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton’s “Islands in the Stream.” It made me think of the time stream, the relationship the Doctor has with his companions, or even the one the Doctor has with the TARDIS. I know it sounds complicated, but give the tape a listen and I’m sure you’ll get it.

I included sound effects from the show and even an audio clip from an episode. The songs are blended together and you will never hear a song fade out. I’m doing my best to preserve the art of the mixtape. That is why I’ve divided it into two-sides because I really miss cassette tapes and how each side of a tape can have its own identity and flavour.

The Doctor Who Mixtape will fit on one CD, so download it for free, burn it to disc, save it to your iPod or MP3 player, and turn up the jams. You can also stream it with the player below.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think about it. And if you enjoyed this mixtape based upon a television show. You might like to check out the other one I made last year, “The Lost Mixtape”

Spread the music, and enjoy!

Download the album version for free

Side A Stream

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Side B Stream

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Rap City Host T-RexXx (Red Carpet Interview)

Chase: “Continuing with our coverage of the 2011 Stylus DJ Awards, we have the host of Rap City, T-RexXx.”

T-RexXx: “How ya doing?”

Chase: “Awesome. It’s so great to see Rap City back on the air.”

T-RexXx: “Thank you. I’m definitely excited. As much as you are.”

Chase: “Yeah, for sure. They’ve been playing something called ‘Rap City’ but they’ve just been showing rap videos. It never went away, but all of us knew it went away until you brought it back.”

T-RexXx: “You know what’s so funny? You’re the only person who has ever interviewed me and actually knew that. Kudos to you. You just did a Nardwuar.”

Chase: “Very cool. Thanks, man. I pretty much discovered my favourite artists and especially the Canadian ones was by watching Rap City. I always looked for that little Videofact label. I’d be like, ‘Oh, that’s Canadian. Better go support!’

Of course now we have this huge industry. And it’s great to see that we have all of these Canadian rappers, DJs, and producers. And with award shows like this and TV shows such as yours, we can celebrate our own now.

Whereas, before, I seriously could buy every single Canadian hip-hop release. I can’t do that any more. There is just so much good stuff coming out. I can’t afford to buy all those records.”

T-RexXx: “That’s true.”

Chase: “Well, thanks for popping through. It’s nice to be able to meet you and we’re gonna keep watching Rap City for sure.”

T-RexXx: “Appreciate it!”

Happy American Thanksgiving

Here’s a special Thanksgiving mixset I put together for the radio show.

I hope you will enjoy it today for the American observation of Thanksgiving. You can download it for free to take with you on your drive to or from your Thanksgiving destination today.

I wish you all the best for this holiday long weekend.

We already celebrated Thanksgiving here in Canada, but this mix still bumps on these cool autumn days up here as well.

You can also stream the hour-long show with the player below.

I hope you have an awesome Thanksgiving!

MusicPlaylist

Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Extra-Curricular Activities Benefit Both Student and Teacher

Welcome to another edition of Teaching Tip Tuesday!

Today, we welcome Amber Barnes to the community of teachers who read, contribute, and enjoy this weekly series.

There are over one hundred useful tips, tricks, and lesson plans in the archive. If you have something you’d like to contribute, please contact me.

Teachers helping teachers is what this series is all about.

Without further ado, here is this week’s guest post.

Why I Get Involved 

Extra-curricular activities wouldn’t exist without the generosity of teachers who dedicate their time to provide students with athletic, academic, art, and friendship opportunities outside of class time. But, teachers who volunteer only because they see the innumerable benefits for their students are missing out on rewarding experiences.

As a teacher candidate I got involved in extra-curricular activities as a way to build my reputation as a leader and member in the school community, but I stayed involved (now entering my second year of teaching) because I would miss the rewards.

Here are ten of my rewards.

  1. I learn more about my own interests by sharing them with others. 
  2. My students tell me things about themselves and their families that they would not reveal during class time. 
  3. I get to meet and connect with students that I do not teach.
  4. I enjoy hearing stories from my students about how they benefited outside of our club from what I taught them (soloist in choir because they could sign O Canada while singing, artwork featured in a newspaper, composed their own song, taught family/friends a game, etc.) 
  5. My students begin to teach me by organizing and running their own clubs to share their interests with others. 
  6. I love the look of a crowded classroom (40+ students) of eager and happy faces that voluntarily slide over, set down their own work, and begin to help late arrivals.
  7. I love the question “Is there ___________ club today?” and the smile that follows when the answer is yes. 
  8. Every teacher loves to hear “You’re the best!”, “Can you teach me…?”, “That’s okay. I can show them.” and “Can I take this home with me to work on?”
  9. I inspire other teachers who take my ideas and apply them in their classrooms. 
  10. It makes me happy.
Why do you get involved?

What activities do you run?

Why do you do it?

What are your personal rewards?

Please leave a comment below and continue this discussion. 

Peanuts Should Be Illegal

I love peanut butter. I always have.

As a kid, I refused to eat anything else for lunch. It had to be a peanut butter sandwich. My mom always threw an apple in my lunch box, a granola bar, a few cookies, and a thermos of juice. That was all I needed.

Now that I am an adult, I still prefer to have some toast for lunch topped with some creamy peanut butter. I cut up an apple, pour myself a glass of water or juice, and I am good to go.

Of course, I can’t have this lunch at work. Schools have been peanut-free zones for as long as I have been teaching. It’s due to the severe food alergies that a very small portion of school age children have.

I am sure glad that I am not a kid in this day and age. I don’t know what my mom could have possibly packed me for lunch. I begged my mom to make me a peanut butter sandwich for lunch every day. She’d suggest other things, thinking I needed a variety. I really didn’t. Peanut butter is healthy and combined with my apple and juice, I had a balanced lunch every day.

Now, there are a few alternatives to peanut butter on the market. I was excited to try out these products for a few different reasons. First, peanut butter is a low-cost lunch food. It is something that you can keep in the cupboard and always have on standby.

These peanut butter alternatives are pretty good. Many of them look and smell like peanut butter. It’s a perfect solution for all the parents out there who need a cheap and easy lunch food item. Right?

Wrong!

The problem is that this fake peanut butter is too close to the real thing. And in order for schools to be completely safe for the small population who suffer from food alergies, some schools have decided to ban these totally non-harmful alternatives.

I don’t think that is fair. I think we need to educate students, parents, and the community at large about what is and what isn’t acceptable to bring to school, either in a lunch bag, or for a classroom snack.

Food alergies are scary. There is no doubt about that. But I don’t think banning peanuts or anything resembling them is the answer.

What do you think?

Please leave a comment and join in on the discussion.

Ghettosocks on Mixtapes, Liner Notes, and Vinyl

Ghettosocks: “All right, we’re back.”

Back with our exclusive interview of Ghettosocks for DOPEfm. Download it for free, stream it with the player below, or keep reading. 

Chase: “Yeah, that was awesome. We just heard ‘Ricochet’ and there’s an awesome line in that song that says, ‘I make it fit like I’m playing Tetris / so don’t get it vexed when I’m coming after your ex like the ‘a’ in ‘Texas.’”
Ghettosocks: “You like that, eh?”
Chase: “It’s like a battle rhyme. I could see you saying that in a battle against someone. Do you battle, or work on battle-type rhymes during your writing process?”
Ghettosocks: “I’ve battled. I don’t consider myself to be the best battler ever, but I like to freestyle battle. I have a pretty decent battle career under my belt. I like battle rhymes. It’s like part of rapping. L.L. Cool J, Big Daddy Kane, those types of dudes have these sick rhymes and were really aggressive. That’s where it comes from. I’m glad you appreciate that.
Chase: “Another thing I appreciate about what you do, Ghettosocks, is that your mixtapes are actually mixed. There are so many mixtapes floating around the World Wide Web that, number 1 aren’t mixed, and number 2 are just using other people’s beats. When you go over someone else’s beat, you pay tribute to the original artist.
When you did ‘Sock Ebonics,’ you flipped Big L’s “Ebonics’ in your own way, but you made it known that, ‘This is the track I’m rhyming over.’ You also said, ‘Rest in Peace Big L’ at the end.
I’ve heard too many mixtapes where they don’t pay any tribute to the original artist. And that is something you do very well.
Your mixtape, ‘I Can Make Your Dog Famous,’ is completely mixed. Even your album, ‘Treat of the Day’ is mixed too.”
Ghettosocks: “Yeah, it’s got a continuous flow to it. I wouldn’t say it’s like a mixtape per se, but it definitely has like a show continuity to it.”
Chase: “And I love to hear that as well, from a listener. Eternia and Moss did the same thing with their ‘At Last’ album where all of the tracks flow in to each other. It gives you a hip-hop experience. I don’t want to see a show where all the tracks fade out. So, your album reminds me of the radio show, college radio, it’s kind of seemless.”
Ghettosocks: “I think mixtapes should be used as a way to show what kind of music the artist is feeling, what other artists that they’d like to be paired with, whether it be influences or just their taste. That’s why I think it’s appropriate to pay homage. Whether it be ‘Catch a Beat Down’ which is paying homage to Run-DMC ‘Beats to the Rhyme’ or ‘Sock Ebonics’ where I’m doing Big L’s ‘Ebonics’. Paying tribute is a natural thing.
Mixtapes should be fun and interesting. I think a lot of people are just making mixtapes so they can get up, and get known, and saturate the market. I think mixtapes are a lost art nowadays.
College radio is doing it right every week. You guys are doing your show and there are people who are recording it or saving it into their iPods. And it’s like a mixtape every week, so it’s up to you guys to keep playing the dope shit.”
Chase: “I agree with that. I used to do that way before the Internet. It was a lot harder to keep up with the shows and record them, but I still did. I’d stay up till midnight when Mastermind was on Energy 108 just to hit record and then go to sleep. I’d listen to it in the morning.
It was more of a hustle to get the music back then. Nowadays, music comes to you all the time. There isn’t as much an effort needed. Kids don’t appreciate it as much. Kids these days! I sound old when I say that.”
Ghettosocks: “That’s what it is. We’re living in a different era.”
Chase: “That’s why I like podcasts. But there are still some great radio shows that still don’t have a podcast so you do have to hustle to listen to them. It’s nice when they have the podcast too. It’s like you said, ‘Free mixtapes!’”
Ghettosocks: “It’s also cool because it’s not like one artist and that’s all you hear on the tape. It’s not them on every single track. You get a sample of that DJ or that radio show’s style and what they are feeling collectively. You never know what you are gonna find. It’s a surprise. Big ups to the DJs. That’s what it is. Big ups!”
Chase: “For sure. That’s definitely where it started. You’re getting a lot of love worldwide too. You’re getting play in Europe, Australia, Japan, and places like that. Have you ever toured overseas?”
Ghettosocks: “I’ve been to Europe. This summer it’ll be the fourth time. Going with Muneshine for the Twin Peaks tour. Been to Japan once. Been to the states a bunch of times too. I love touring. That’s where it’s at.”
Chase: “I have never been overseas. Is there a difference in the crowds or the audience depending on where you’re playing?”
Ghettosocks: “In Poland and the Czech Republic we have a lot of fans supporting us. At the show in Hip-Hop Camp in Czech Republic we were pouring vodka into the mouths of those in the front row. It was just like a wild party. It’s just the type of energy. People are so excited to check us. It’s just a good feeling to be out there.
It’s the exotic thing, like the grass is greener on the other side kind of thing. People come from the country of Canada they get all excited. It’s like that in Europe. When they get to see some real rap, they get real in to it. So, it’s a good feeling.”
Chase: “I know. I’ve had the chance to grab the mic and rock the stage. And it’s just a good feeling to perform and have the crowd respond to it. It’s one of the best feelings in the world, I think.”
Ghettosocks: “It’s one part of the art from. We do the music in the studio, but when it comes to rocking shows, we take that very seriously as well. Big ups to Jorun Bombay, DJ Irate, DJ Frame out in Ottawa, and everybody I work with. They’re all talented DJs and that’s where the party originates, that’s where the music comes from. When we do live shows, we like to integrate deejaying into the routine and have all this stuff going on. Rocking shows is very important and that’s what gets me to where I am today.”
Chase: “Do you freestyle in your live shows?”
Ghettosocks: “Sometimes. It’s fun to slip into a freestyle. You make friends every show, you get introduced to new people, and if you can reference them right away on the spot, drop some inside jokes. Some people might not get it, but they know it’s live. And even if they don’t get it, they are still interested and they can tell that the pieces of the puzzle are floating together. It’s not contrived. There’s that live element that we all enjoy.”
Chase: “I love a good freestyle. You can tell when someone has slipped into one and it’s not a written. It brings a new element to the show too. Another thing you did on one of your mixtapes, was you had a beatboxer in the background. It’s nice to see the different elements of hip-hop in play. Like, you’re rocking actual vinyl today. A lot of DJs aren’t doing that any more. So, you’ve got this whole old-school hip-hop vibe.”
Ghettosocks: “Shout outs to EMC (the beatboxer on the track you mentioned) Beatboxing is all part of the whole thing. It’s an awesome aspect to the music. Fat Boys, Buffy-”
Gamma Krush: “Rest in Peace.”
Ghettosocks: “Rest in Peace. Rahzel brought a lot of people into the culture of beatboxing. Not to say that everybody is a great beatboxer. Some need to spend more time smacking the lips in the shower. It all belongs.
Twin Peaks put out a vinyl peace. A 12 inch for ‘Kaboom’ which features production by M-Phazes. It’s available on our website too. Just Google ‘Twin Peaks Bandcamp’ and you’ll find it. Order that online.
I think it’s important to have vinyl. It’s a testament to the physical artifact of music. It exists, it’s tactile, and you put it on the platter, spin it, and you hear the crackle. It’s like a fireplace.”
DJ Irate: “You read the sleeve. Find out who’s on it. Read every little credit. Find out who produced what, what label.”
Ghettosocks: “Exactly. And then you put it in your collection. You have your wall of records and it becomes part of your archive.”
Gamma Krush: “We need that too, People just start to make up their own history. They don’t own the record and they don’t know those credits. I meet people all the time who make up their own history. It’s like, ‘Oh, how do you know?” I know because I actually own a physical copy. You’re going by something you read on the Internet.”
Chase: “Even so, not having liner notes. We have tons of digital music at the station. And I was just talking to 2Rude and I had no idea how many records he produced. I get so much music that I don’t have time to look at the liner notes or try to find them for all this digital music I’m receiving. So when I talked to 2Rude and he mentioned some records he’s done, I was literally surprised. ‘You produced that?’
I used to be on top of these things when I owned physical copies of my records. I used to know all that stuff. Gamma Krush still does know most of that stuff. But for most people only know the MC, they don’t know the DJ or producer anymore because they don’t have a physical product to look at. It’s kind of a shame.”
Ghettosocks: “I met 2Rude for this first time last year at the Junos. He came and checked out our showcase. But it’s true, you don’t know what’s going on. Half the time nowadays, you don’t know the name of the song. New jacks will go download some shit and to them, “It’s track 6’ whereas if you own the album, you know the name of the song, you know who’s featured on it, not the guy who raps second on track 6 of that album or whatever.”
Muneshine: “What made me want to make beats was reading credits. I’d keep seeing produced by Pete Rock and I’d be like, ‘Who’s Pete Rock?’ and then I’d find out other shit that he produced. Then this guy became my f*cking hero. Then I learned what he does. You can learn so much from credits.”
Ghettosocks: “There’s a whole academic side of the thing. People are hesitant to be considered academic. They just want to be the cool guy or celebrity. But it’s a culture. Just enjoy it. It’s there to be enjoyed and savoured. So vinyl, keep it alive. Keep buying it. Big ups to all the DJs still spinning it. That’s what’s up!”
Chase: “Let’s spin a song. Do you have anything you’d like to hear?”
Ghettosocks: “How about we play an exclusive Wolves joint, ‘Air Pump and a Mushroom Cut.’ Let’s play that.”

Chase: “One last note, about your unique style.”

Ghettosocks: “I’m wearing Frames, glasses that were hand made by my homeboy BJ. Big ups to BJ, Big ups to Keith Relic and the whole State Family Guilds. They sponsor me and give me gear. I wear lense-less glasses. I’ve been wearing them since junior high school. I began wearing them as a social experiment to see if I’d get better grades and it worked. Here I am now, still applying that science and dominating the world.” That’s right. Dominating the world.

Hope you enjoyed this podcast.

Stay tuned for more of the best in underground hip-hop each and every week from DOPEfm.
 
MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Ghettosocks on Video Games, Music Videos, and Hip-Hop

Chase: ‘We’re back with Ghettosocks. Just chilling on the patio here at Hess Village before he takes to the stage.

If you missed Part 1 of this interview, you can go back and read it now, you can download the entire show for free, or stream it with the player below.

Besides Ghettosocks, we also have Muneshine and DJ Irate in the house.

Much Music has been pretty kind to you, Ghettosocks. You’ve had quite a few music videos on regular rotation, haven’t you?”

Ghettosocks: “’Don’t Turn Around’ , ‘Out for Treats’ , “Step to a T-Rex,’ my first video, “Stolen Kicks’ with Pumpkinhead from Brooklyn Academy is my latest one.”

Chase: “Have you been on the new incarnation of Rap City?” Ghettosocks: “I don’t know. Funny you should ask that. I have been on the show. Maestro Fresh Wes invited me on during the Juno episode. I came and sat on the couch and hung with Maestro. I didn’t say anything. I wasn’t spoken to. But I chilled on Rap City. I was on TV hanging out.”

Muneshine: “That’s what I did too.”

Chase: “It’s really good to see that Much Music has brought Rap City back as a show. It’s been stagnant for years and they just played videos. They didn’t have a host or commentary or anything. I think that it’s important that we have these kind of outlets for hip-hop instead of just commercial radio, which a lot of it is just garbage, in my humble opinion. You need to dig a little bit deeper and listen to Muneshine. Listen to Ghettosocks. Listen to some quality hip-hop instead of the garbage kind of stuff tha’s on the radio.”

Ghettosocks: “Agreed.” Muneshine: “But the problem is, it seems like Rap City isn’t really going beyond what is on commercial radio, at least what I have seen of it. It seems like they are still going with the same people. I don’t think they’re utilizing that avenue that they have to showcase new artists. I don’t think that’s really happening. They’re still playing it safe with people who are already out there and you already know about.”

Chase: “Yeah, and that’s a shame because then it comes down to us in community radio. That’s why I love campus radio. We have a lot of shows here, not just ours, and some of them play a different range of stuff like the more jiggy or commercial stuff, but there’s a lot of support for underground artists in community radio. Do you find that as well?”

Ghettosocks: “Definitely. I’ve gotten a lot of support from campus radio across Canada. I’ve charted really well. Every single one of my releases have made it to Number 1 at some point. I’ve held it down for weeks and weeks. So, yeah, it’s very important. If it wasn’t for guys like you coming through and playing it on your shows and letting people know what time it is, then a lot of people wouldn’t know about it. You guys play a very important role.”

Chase: “One DJ that’s really got your back is DJ Premier.”

Ghettosocks: “Apparently.” 

Chase: “DJ Premier has played you a couple times on his show.”

Ghettosocks: “That’s a connect I got through Muneshine. Big ups to Muneshine, the man sitting next to me. He hooked that up.” Muneshine: “That’s what friends are for.”

Ghettosocks: “Premo played ‘Richocet.’ Shout out to El Da Sensei. Shout outs to Bix, again.”

Chase; “When you look at your discography and the tunes you have put out, you’ve worked with tons of people, like anybody who is anybody in hip-hop. It’s pretty impressive. Is there anybody that you’ve been dying to work with?”

Ghettosocks: “Premier is definitely one of my main influences and I’m dying to do something with him. D-sisive is another guy I’m dying to do something with. Cat Lundy is another dude I’d like to get in the booth. We have a lot of dope projects on the go. We’ll just see where it goes.”

Chase: “It’s interesting to see that you’ve got your solo career but then you keep doing these extra bands.”

Gamma Krush: “Super-groups.”

Chase: “You’ve got one with Muneshine called ‘Twin Peaks’ and according to your bio, you’ve got one coming up with D-sisive as well. You’ve got a couple other ones And Teenburger?”

Ghettosocks: “Shout out to Jorun Bombay, again. Shout out to Timbuktu. We actually just finished the Teenburger album and are about to do some shows on the East Coast, and some in Quebec and Ontario. ‘Burger Time’ is the name of the album. But there is a lot of crews; Wolves with D-sisive, Muneshine, and Bix. It’s just different combinations, all under the Dropping Science umbrella. That’s our label. It’s more like an orphanage where dope artists go and we can get our music out.”

Chase: “The album is called ‘Burger Time.’ That reminds me of that old-school video game. You ever play that game?”

Ghettosocks: “Of course.”

Gamma Krush: “You had the salt to stop the hot dog from chasing you or something?”

Chase: “Yeah, a hot dog was chasing you around and you had to wlak over the bun and the toppings and they’d fall down as you built the burger.”

Ghettosocks: “Yeah, Burger Time.” 

Chase: “It doesn’t compare with the new school games, does it?”

Ghettosocks: “It’s better. There is no comparison. It’s way better.”

Chase: “Do you still play video games?”

Ghettosocks: “Yeah, man. I like games. I have an arcade game in the middle of my living room that I never use. That’s how into games I am.” 

Muneshine: “Except when you do to Timbuktu’s.”

Ghettosocks: “The game that I play all the time when I’m at Timbuktu’s is ‘Super Ghouls and Ghosts’ from Super NES. It’s a really unique game. It has easy, medium, hard, expert, and professional as a difficulty setting. So when you beat the game on professional, you have to beat the whole game, win, and then go back to the beginning find a bracelet and rescue the princess again. So they send you back to the beginning and it’s even harder.”

Muneshine: “And even on easy it’s hard.”

Chase: “I had a cheap version of that for my Commodore 64.”

Ghettosocks: “It’s probably ‘Ghosts and Goblins.’ It’s the earlier incarnation. Easily confused. Anyhow, you start the game again and you go all the way through again. You get to the final boss and you have to use a certain weapon. You can’t use your gold armor, heat-seeking crossbow. You have to use this stupid bracelet fireball. I have yet to beat it. Every time I’m in Toronto between shows or recording hot new bangers, I’m playing ‘Super Ghouls and Ghosts’ for Super Nintendo and I will beat it some day. Matter of fact, anybody out there who has beaten this game. Hit me up. Go to Ghettosocks.com and send me a screen cap. I want to see what happens when you beat the game.”

Gamma Krush: “Go on YouTube, they’ll show you the whole game play.”

Ghettosocks: “Oh really?” 

Gamma Krush: “No matter how hard the game is. They have that stuff.”

Muneshine: “So we shouldn’t engage the listeners then? We should just go on YouTube.”

Gamma Krush: “Nah, engage us, please. Hit up Ghettosocks!”

Ghettosocks: “You’re blowing this for me Gamma Krush.” 

Muneshine: “You blew it! Gamma Krush is krushing it!”

Gamma Krush: “So you really have an old school style arcade in your living room?”

Ghettosocks: “Go on to YouTube. Check out ‘Treat of the Day’ episodes. There are six episodes. All of them showing me playing an arcade game, and that’s an actual arcade game that is in my living room?”

Chase: “Let’s drop another track and come back and talk with you some more. I want to play ‘Ricochet’ because that’s a dope track.”

Ghettosocks: “Spin it!”

Chase; “All right, Gamma Krush is gonna spin that and we will be back with more from Ghettosocks, Muneshine, and DJ Irate here in Hess Village.

Download this show for free, stream it with the player below, and come back tomorrow to read the conclusion of this interview.

Read Part 3


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Ghettosocks Interview

Chase: “All right everybody, this is Chase March here with Gamma Krush. We’re in Hess Village for an exclusive interview with Canadian hip-hop legend, Ghettosocks. We also have Muneshine, and DJ Irate with us. You can download this show for free, stream it with the player below, or keep reading this transcript.

So, Ghettosocks, have you performed in Hamilton before?”

Ghettosocks: “I think this is my first time.”

Chase: “Beatbinjaz brought you through here. Very nice to see. You’ve been making a lot of noise recently. You won an East Coast Music Award. Congratulations on that.”

Ghettosocks: “Thanks, man.”

Chase: “That was off your ‘Treat of the Day’ album, a track you did with Edgar Allan Floe. How did you two come to work together?”

Ghettosocks: “I met Cesar Comanche, who is another member The Justus League, and we did some touring in Europe and Canada together. That brought me in touch with E.A. Floe and then we worked on a track. The rest is history. Award-winning music.”

Chase: “How did you fall in to hip-hop? You went to university for media arts, so was hip-hop a love of yours or did that grow out of your studies?”

Ghettosocks: “It was before. I went to school for a Plan B. Bring something to the art. Bring a skill set to it.”

Chase: “So when you were there, you just started doing shows and producing some of your own music.” 

Ghettosocks: “Sometimes I do, make my own beats.”

Chase: “Can you tell us a bit about your production? What kind of gear you use? What kind of things you do in the studio?”

Ghettosocks: “It’s a secret. I don’t share that information with the public.”

Chase: “Who is handling some of your production now?”

Ghettosocks: “I got some beats from the DJ Ollie Teeba from The Herbaliser. Muneshine provides me with beats. Bix, my homeboy from Alpha Flight and Wolves. He did ‘Don’t Turn Around.’ Who else? Jorun Bombay, Halifax godfather of rap. Fresh Kils.”

Muneshine: “Rich Kidd.”

Ghettosocks: “Suff Daddy, Freddie Joachim, M-Phazes, DJ Spinna, Boombaptist. Lots of dudes throwing beats. Too many.”

Chase: “A lot of those cats are Canadian too. It’s nice to see that we have such talent here. Several years ago we didn’t have much of a scene here. Several artists now seem very supportive and work with each other here now.”

Ghettosocks: “Yeah.”

Chase: “I think we should drop your track, the one you earned an East Coast Music Award for.”

Ghettosocks: “’Don’t Turn Around!’ Let’s get into that!”

Chase: “We’ll spin that and come back for more with Ghettosocks in Hess Village, here in The Hammer!”

Chase: “All right! We’re back! That track is wicked! I love that track. So, you’ll be performing later tonight right here in Hes Village. How important is it to get out there and tour?”

Ghettosocks: “Very important. You gotta stay visible. This show was a kind of a last minute, more grassroots, less official thing. But I think it’s important to get out to places you haven’t been or haven’t played. We’re out here for the love and trying to reach people out in Hamilton and show them what time it is. So, it’s very important to get out there.”
Chase: “I remember the first time I saw you. It was in a music video on Much Music. It was J-Bru’s ‘Help, I’ve been Robbed!’ That track was hilarious. I think that track was the first taste of Ghettosocks for a lot of people. Was that your first appearance in a music video?”
Ghettosocks: “That was my first music video, yeah.”
Chase: “J-Bru is from Halifax and put out a pretty decent album last year under Classified’s label, ‘Half Life.’ There is quite a lot of quality music coming out of The ‘Fax.”
Ghettosocks: “Word up. Big ups to J-Bru. Big Ups to Jay Bizzy. Shout outs to the whole Backburner camp, the whole Half Life camp.
Chase: “Awesome! Let’s drop that video right now for the blog audience. This is a bonus that will not be on the radio or podcast. Special for the Silent Cacophony audience.”
Ghettosocks: “Let’s do it!”

Chase: “All right. This is J-Bru featuring Jay Bizzy and Ghettosocks. ‘Help I’ve Been Robbed’ and we’ll be back tomorrow with more of this exclusive interview with Ghettosocks from the pub patio of Ceilidah House in Hess Village. Stay tuned!”




Download this entire show for free right now, stream it with the player below,or come back to read the second part of this transcript tomorrow.

Read Part 2



MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Page by Paige: The Book and The Soundtrack

Page by Paige by Laura Lee Gulledge really took me by surprise.

I have never marked up a comic book with this many sticky notes before. This book spoke to me on several different levels.

The main character is named Paige and she is a reluctant artist. When her family moves from Virginia to New York City, Paige finally surrenders to her desire to create art and buys a sketchbook. She keeps her art to herself for a variety of reasons. Eventually, she becomes comfortable displaying it and acknowledging that she really is an artist.

This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated in black and white sketches. It feels like it has been drawn by Paige herself and reads like her memoir. She plays with imagery and creates pictures that come to life, pictures that really capture her feelings, and even a few that illustrate a pun. It really is amazing how seamless the words and pictures are.

One cool thing about this book is the “Page by Paige Soundtrack” that is included in the back. Of course, it is just a list of songs that were either referenced in the book or have inspired Laura Lee Gulledge.

I was unfamiliar with most of the songs she listed. But since I enjoyed the book so much, I thought I’d seek them out. I then added a few songs that fit with the theme of the book to craft the first ever mixtape I’ve ever made based upon a comic book.

So here it is, Page by Paige: The Mixtape

You can download this mixtape for free.

The songs all blend into each other so you will not hear a song fade out. I divided the tape into 2 sides to keep the feel and vibe of the old-school mixtapes I used to make. This one, however, has a track for each song. There are 21 tracks and they will fit on a standard CD.

I hope you the music . . . and the book.

Need Something to Read? 

Healthy Lunches that Kids Will Love

Choosing and preparing healthy lunches that your kids will actually enjoy can be quite a challenge. They have to be easy to make, portable, healthy and tasty?

That’s a tall order.

Fortunately, your children aren’t likely to be gourmands who need a lot of variety for their palette, and a few basic lunch ideas can be modified with several varieties to create quick and healthy options. Here are a few simple ideas for healthy lunches that your kids will actually enjoy:

Turkey Pinwheels

While kids might love anything that comes sandwiched between two slices of bread, most breads just add a lot of extra calories and carbs without the same nutritional punch. Experiment with creating tasty wraps that your kids will love for all the same reasons – delicious ingredients in a carby package and easy to eat.

Try out turkey pinwheels by spreading a bit of hummus or cream cheese on a small whole-wheat tortilla, then layer on slices or strips of turkey, lettuce, tomatoes and any other favorite ingredients. Roll up your wrap and cut into small rounds. For variations, try different sauces (though avoid anything that will make the wrap too soggy), meats, cheese and veggies. By rotating the ingredients you use, you can ensure that your child gets a variety of nutrients and doesn’t tire of the same old lunch

Pasta Salad

Pastas can also represent a lot of empty calories if you choose processed varieties made with white flour. Opt for whole wheat varieties and experiment with add-ins for a nutritious and delicious lunch. Whole wheat spirals or macaroni make a good base for a kid friendly lunch.

Add in a source of protein, like turkey, beans, tuna or cheese, then add in some vegetables such as peas or broccoli. Choose a light tomato-based sauce or one that uses olive oil and vinegar. Pair your pasta salad with other fun sides like apple slices, carrot sticks, cubes of cheese, or berries.

Smoothies

With the help of a thermos and an ice pack, smoothies can become a viable option for lunch time. Kids will love the creamy flavor and what feels like a “milk shake” or other dessert item, and parents can sneak in a lot of nutritional favorites when preparing the smoothie.

Start with a fruit base like bananas or strawberries; add water, milk or yogurt; and blend in a protein source (a dollop of peanut butter, some protein powder, or a quality yogurt).

You can make endless varieties by changing up the types of fruits you use and even by adding in veggies. If you have a high-powered blender, you can add veggies to a smoothie with fruits, and the taste of the veggies will be masked by the fruit. However, if you use dark vegetables, you might get a green smoothie, which kids could shy away from just because of its looks.

Bento Box

An easy kids’ favorite is a bento box, or a snack box. Choose favorites such as slices of cheese, cups of yogurt or cottage cheese, whole wheat crackers, deli meat slices, carrot sticks, grapes and other fruits, and more. The idea is to include a variety of finger foods that your child will enjoy eating with his hands. Be sure to include good sources of proteins, grains, and vegetables and fruits for a balanced meal.

There are many other kid-friendly lunches that can be made quickly and offer nutritious options – such as soups and stews, mini quiches and roll ups. Experiment with versions of favorites that your kids enjoy at home and focus on including a variety of nutrients.

What other kid-friendly lunches do you and your children enjoy?

Tell us in the comments!

Bio: Born and raised in North Carolina, Heather Green has worked as a fashion and beauty consultant as well as freelancing for various wedding, fashion, and health publications. She currently acts as the resident blogger for Online Nursing Degrees where she’s been researching lpn to bsn degrees as well as online msn degrees

Buzz and Praise (It is Time to Redefine Masculinity)

I hope you had the chance to read my latest article over at The Word is Bond.

It’s entitled “RE: DEFinition: Changing our Perception of Masculinity”

It’s generated a little buzz and I’d like to share some if it here.

They called my post “genius,”

and Mariel Richards LOVED my article on the Word is Bond site.

She then wrote a post on her blog, Mariel’s Fresh Start, about it.

She called it “a breath of fresh air”

and she also said that “the writing and message behind the article is amazing.”

“One of my favourite quotes from her pieces is Hip Hop music is wonderful, I love it, but anytime I pay enough attention to the lyrics, or I’m unlucky enough to catch a video, it does upset me. Why must this genre of music in particular be so unbelievably offensive? The link between hip hop and the black community in particular is seriously undermining the black feminist movement, but articles like this are helping to change that.”

She then ends her post with “SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL ARTICLE”

I agree with her criticism about the article as well. She doesn’t like the use of “our women” in it.

I have to point out here that the only time I used the phrase “our women” was in a direct quote. Mariel is absolutely right when she says, “if you’re trying to break the problem of women being seen as the sexual property of men, don’t use possessives”

We have a long way to go in hip-hop music and in the feminism movement. A lot of people probably don’t think so. We don’t often think of these issues within our music and culture. I’m glad we’ve had this discussion and that it has sparked a few posts, Tweets, or reblogs as well.

Thanks for the support. I really appreciate it!

A Visual Tour of Lambeth Centennial Park

Lambeth is a small town just south of London, Ontario.

Today, we will be going on a Photographic Tour of Lambeth Centennial Park.

This park really is something different. It has unique playground equipment including this skateboarding type ride. You stand on the black platform, hold on to the handle and swing yourself to the left and to the right to simulate riding a skateboard on a half pipe.

There is a nice trail that runs along a soccer field. There is also an arena and a public library on the grounds.

The trail then heads across a small ravine.

I love this long bridge. It turns at sharp angles and doesn’t resemble any other bridge I’ve come across in any of my trail runs.

These photos are from earlier this summer. This is usually just a small stream.

You can see how much rain we had earlier this summer. The entire forest floor was flooded.

The trail opens up and we can see all sorts of plant life around us.

This little pond is very peaceful. If you follow the trail past it, you will come upon the suburbs. You can run around the block and back through the Royal Canadian Legion to make this a decent sized running route.

I hope you have enjoyed this visual tour.

Photography by Dana Gill

More Photographic Tours

NaNoWriMo Update (Part 1 – The Set Up)

It is Sunday night, day 13 of National Novel Writing Month.

I was planning on writing a post every week about my progress but I simply haven’t had the time. 
It’s tough writing 1,700 words a day for two weeks straight. 
But I’ve done it each and every single day so far this month. 
I’ve been giving updates on Twitter, but thought I’d give you a quick update here as well. 
As of right now, my novel is 
  • 70 pages
  • 7 Chapters
  • 22,114 words
I feel like I am off to a pretty good start.  
I just closed off Part 1 of the book a.ka. The Set Up. 
This first portion of the novel was all about establishing the characters and showing what is at stake. I think this portion may be a bit long right now. There are things I should probably cut out of the final manuscript. I was hoping to close this act in 50 pages or so, but I can tighten it all up during the revision stage. Right now, I just have to keep hammering on. 
Here’s a brief summary of what my book is about.

Eli Thomas keeps to himself. He stays at home most of the time and creates elaborate structures out of Lego blocks. His world is turned upside down when his nine year old neighbour discovers his art creations and helps him break out of his self-imposed isolation. But is Eli ready to get outside of the blocks? And is the world ready for a socially awkward Lego artist?

Next up, is Part 2 a.k.a. The Hero’s Response. When I finish this section, I will write the second update for NaNoWriMo.

Thank you to everyone who has cheered me along on this journey. I really appreciate it. 

DOPEfm’s Podcast and Archives Need a New Home

DOPEfm.mypodcast.com has been our podcast provider now for years.

We have hundreds of shows . . . 

dating all the way back to November 2008.

It’s been comforting to know that the shows are online and accessible at any time. Unfortunately, I got this email earlier this month.

We must regretfully inform you that effective December 1, 2011, MyPodcast.com will cease all operations. Due to the current business climate, our current revenues can no longer cover the operational costs associated with hosting and serving the large amount of podcasts avialable on the site. We would like to thank all our podcasters and listeners for their years of support in making MyPodcast one of the most popular podcast hosting sites on the web.

Effective December 1, 2011, all podcasts currently hosted on the site will become permanently deleted and unavailable for download. For this reason, we strongly encourage all of our podcasters who do not have locally stored copies of their recordings to please take the time to download and save them from the site. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide ANY recordings on or after December 1, 2011, as they will have been permanently deleted from our storage servers.
Once again, we would like to thank everyone for using the site over the years, and wish you all the best of luck with your podcasts in the future!

Regards, MyPodcast Team

That basically means that the DOPEfm podcast will be deleted.

We are looking for a new podcast provider. We hope that you’ve enjoyed our shows and hope that you will continue to enjoy the new episodes each and every Saturday night. We promise that new episodes of DOPEfm will be available to you as a free download.

However, if you want to enjoy the shows that are in our archive, you will need to . . .

start downloading the podcasts now before the disappear.

It really is a shame that this amazing podcast provider is shutting down. They have been good to DOPEfm for the last four years.

Thanks for listening to us for the past eight years.

DOPEfm will continue broadcasting from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario each and every Saturday night. We will also figure out a way to continue the podcast with brand new episodes. It’s a shame that this rich archive of shows will disappear soon.

Go to the site 

http://dopefm.mypodcast.com

and enjoy the archives while you still can.

They will be gone come December 1st. 

Redefining What It Means to Be a Man

Today, I have a guest post on the website “The Word is Bond.”

It’s featured in this month’s “Food for Thought” column.

The article is entitled “RE: DEFinition – Changing our Perception of Masculinity in Hip-Hop”

If you are on Tumblr – please go click on the heart emblem at the top right corner to “like it” and then click “reblog” to share it with your followers too.

You can also go to their Facebook page and click “like” as well.

Or go to mine.

If you’re on Twitter, or Google+, you can use the buttons at the bottom of this post to share it as well.

Thanks for showing me support. 

This is an important topic to discuss when it comes to hip-hop music and culture. We don’t often stop to consider our roles in this culture.

It’s time for us to redefine what it means to be a man in hip-hop music. We can show vulnerability. We can stop villainizing the feminine. We can show our wives, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers in a positive light. We can do a lot more than what we have been doing. 


I hope you enjoy the article. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. 


Please leave a comment below.

DJ Charlie Brown

Chase: “I’m here with Canadian Single of the Year and Toronto DJ of the Year nominee Charlie Brown. How’s it going, man?”

Charlie: “I’m good. It’s a beautiful feeling out here.”

Chase: “It definitely is. It’s nice to see this celebration of what’s behind the scenes. It’s not just about the artist and the person on the mic.”

Charlie: “It’s unity. It kind of brings everyone together for one night.”

Chase: “Is there anyone here that you are a major fan of and are just hyped that they are here walking around?”

Charlie: “I saw Maestro. Maestro Fresh Wes is in the building. He’s a legend to hip-hop.”

Chase: “We wouldn’t be here without him.”

Charlie: “Oh, for sure!”

Chase: “So which of the four elements of hip-hop are you involved in? Do you do more than one?”

Charlie: “I throw parties, I deejay parties, I co-produce records, I structure records, I tour. I do it all!”

Chase: “Very cool! What kind of gear do you have?”

Charlie: “I got ProTools, gotta have that. Turntables, got the mixer, Beats by Dre headphones, Mac computer. Everything is all set, ya know?”

Chase: “Any artists you’d really like to work with that you haven’t had the chance to yet?”

Charlie: “I saw Melanie Fiona. That’s very big for our city. I’d love to work with her in the future. But it’s guys like you guys that make it happen. The radio, with the support from everybody. It’s all unity. Everybody working together to get there.”

Chase: “We’re an underground hip-hop show – all volunteers. We just do this for the love. I know you get paid but it definitely sounds like you’re doing it for the love too.”

Charlie: “The love is first. If the love goes away then it just becomes a job. But definitely, it’s love. Creating your own name and doing things and being different will separate you from everyone else.”

Chase: “Thanks a lot, and best of luck tonight!”

More from the 2010 Stylus DJ Awards

DOPEfm Transformers Themed Hip-Hop

Here is the latest mixset I did for DOPEfm.

You can download it now for free.

This is a limited time offer!

Seriously, the podcast provider we have been using for years will be shutting down operations at the end of this month.

I interviewed Ghettosocks earlier this year and he provided the drop you hear at the start of this mix. I just ran with it. I put the theme music from the original Transformers cartoon show behind his words and then mixed in the Transformers themed “Roll Out.”

You can download this show for free, or stream it with the player below.

And stay tuned to this blog for the transcript of the interview we did with Canadian hip-hop legend Ghettosocks. It will be featured in three parts next week.

Enjoy!


MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Chasing Content – November 2008

Let’s jump in the TARDIS and go back in time.

You can read all of the posts from November 2008 without even having to leave your time machine, computer, or mobile device.

What can I say? I aim to please here on Silent Cacophony.

Check out these great posts from only a few years back.

Inspiration from Television – It’s not always mindless entertainment, sometimes a TV show or even a line of dialog can inspire you to do something more.

What Does it All Mean? – Sometimes our expressions or phrases that we innocently toss around, aren’t so innocent. It can be eye-opening when you see a phrase for what it really is.

Say No to Gift Cards – They are not a good idea for Christmas gifts, and here’s why.

Fundraising in Schools – I really don’t like fundraising in the schools. I try not to ask the parents of my students for money. I always feel guilty when I have to. School should be free for all.

A Wrong Can’t Be Right, Can It? – I fear we’ve gotten too good at rationalizing things. We all do things that we know are wrong. Why?

Thanks for Chasing Content with me.

I’m still working on making these “Best of” posts for every month this blog has been in operation. This feature normally runs at the start of every month but I need a few extra posts every now and then to catch up.

Please feel free to comment on any post that you enjoy.

I’d love to hear from you.