Monthly Archives: April 2015

Origin Stories in Avengers: Mythos

Avengers Mythos TPB

Avengers: Mythos TPB (Trade Paperback)

Origin stories are a staple in comic books and in super-hero movies. The stories can be told again and again and you can always find something new in them. This collection is a modern retelling of some of the most pivotal Avengers.

It starts of with a rather bland retelling of Captain America’s origin that relies too much on narrative. It could have been done so much better, IMHO. The Hulk story is done better but didn’t have much else to offer me that I didn’t already know about the character.

The collection also features retelling of Thor’s origin. But I’ve heard it before in books and movies and this one really didn’t offer anything new.

Ant-Man and the WASP had the best story in this book. And it was nice to see a story about Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. I know that they are going to be in the next Avengers movie and I didn’t know a lot about them.

The Vision story was interesting too. There’s a theory going around the Internet that Coulson from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will morph into this character in the future. It makes sense, now that I know a bit more about him. That would be kind of cool!

Luke Cage also gets an origin story in this book. I think we need to see superheroes of all raaces and religions more often in books. Black Panther also has a quick cameo in one of the other stories. We need to see these characters more often in the MCU.

My List of 2015 Reads (an up to date reading log for the year)

Alternatives to YouTube

Alterantives to YouTubeRichard Byrne runs an amazing wesbite called “Free Technology for Teachers.” I cannot say enough good things about it. The site is updated daily with all sorts of great resources that teachers can use in the classroom for free!

I love how he maintains a list of alternatives to YouTube.

There are certain school boards and districts that have blocked YouTube entirely. There are all sorts of ways around this problem, however. In the past, I’ve to downloaded videos on my home computer, saved them to a thumb drive, and then brought them to school. I have uploaded videos to my own site and accessed them that way at school too.

Having streaming alternatives to YouTube is certainly handy. I am not going to link to any of them here, Instead, I am just going to direct you to Free Technology for Teachers because it is a reliable site that is absolutely invaluable to teachers everywhere!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – weekly inspiration and resources for classroom teachers right here!

WIB Rap Radio – Sankdafied and Speak EZ

I love getting local acts on my radio show. I have an open-door policy about it. Basically, all you need to do is to ask me and you can come by the station one night. We can do an interview, play some of your music, and kick a freestyle live on the air.

I am regularly out and about at local shows and am active on social media, so I am easy to find and connect with. So there really is no excuse, If you are an artist, you need to reach out to your community radio station.

On today’s edition of the show, Speak EZ comes by to talk about the new EP his group, Typewriters, is about to drop. He is also starting to work on some solo materiel. I can’t wait to hear both projects. These guys have a stage presence that absolutely blew me away the first time I saw them. They won me over right away with a brilliant 15 minute set at a Dirty Thursday last year.

Sankdafied is also on the program today and hearing his recorded music for the first time blew me away as well. I recognized the tunes from all the times I’ve seen him live and wsa really vibing to how great they sound on the radio. I can’t wait for his project to drop. It’s going to be really dope.

Press play and enjoy the podcast and remember to tune in live tonight at 12:00 midnight to hear the show on the radio.

Word is Bond Rap Radio – Monday nights Midnight to Tuesday mornings 2:00 a.m.

  • 94.9 CHRW (stream it online)
  • Tune In App (on your browser or smartphone)
  • 94.9 (FM radio in London, Ontario, Canada)

DJ Chase March!

DJ Chase MarchI am now available for DJ bookings! I live in London, Ontario but am able to travel to your event.

Rappers Need DJs

I have been to some great rap concerts over the years. The one thing they all had in common was that there was a DJ backing up the rapper.

All of the bad shows I’ve been at, haven’t had a DJ. The music comes simply from a laptop or iPod. That just makes you look like an amateur. You don’t want that. Image is everything!

Professionalism

I have actual decks with coloured vinyl. I can cut and scratch and improvise whenever we need to during a set.

Reasonable Rates

I offer competitive rates!

Any Event

I can work with a playlist you provide, spin music from whatever genre you’d like, or I can specialize in what I do, golden age hip-hop with a focus on underground and independent music.

need DJ

Book Me Today

Email me at chase(at)chasemarch(dot)com, contact me on Twitter, message me on Facebook, or find me out and about at the local shows! Thanks!

The Art of the DJ (Scratch Academy)

Z-TripThere is a great quotation from Z-Trip that illustrates just how inventive the early disc jockeys were.

“As turntablists we were trying to make the instrument of the turntable do things it’s not supposed to. We developed our own decks, mixers, tone arms, needles, everything we needed to facilitate experimentation. We took the baton from the early hip hop and house DJs and ran with it. Pushing the craft of DJing to new levels was the main thing for us–the only thing. DJs now are so worried about getting to the big paychecks, but we were just focusing on the music.”

Deejaying can get quite technical. There are all sorts of terms, gear, buttons, knobs, and effects that can be used to help create vibes, moods, and nice transitions between records. Here is one of them . . .

Fader Slope

“The fader slope determines the speed with which the crossfader opens the sound with respect to a given turntable. When mixing and blending, the traditional fader slope allows for a gradual blend as the crossfader moves from left to right or vice versa (the option on the left) However, when scracthing, most DJs prefer a fader slope that allows them to instantaneously open or close the sound of a given turntable (the option on the right.)”

Telling a Story

A good selection of music can not just entertain a crowd, but also tell a story in itself.

Tom Humphries explains, “I’d play a female vocal track, a male vocal track, and then an instrumental. That way they’d get one story from a female perspective, another from a male, and have time to digest those, before I went into the next story. That’s what DJing is–storytelling through music.”

As Long as it Sounds Good

It doesn’t even matter what genre a record is. A good DJ can make it sound good in a mixset or routine.

“When Kool Herc took these principles to New York in the early ’70s there was no hip hop music as we know it today. Herc and the other New York DJs played whatever records they could find from the history vaults of rock, soul, funk, jazz, and current disco and punk combined them in the type of eclectic sets we now call mash-ups. “The records we played weren’t Top 40, they weren’t on the radio,” says Grandmaster Caz, Herc’s peer. ‘We were reaching back into the past to find beats and a special something in old classics and hard to find tracks.'”

You Can Pick From All Genres

“Most of us have a particular music style we identify with. For some, it could be tied to where we grew up, or what our parents listened to. But the pioneering hip hop and house DJs played music from all genres. ‘When I was growing up there was none of this genre obsession you find now in the music industry,’ says Jazzy Jeff. ‘Hip hop DJs played rock, soul, funk; anything and everything with a good beat and a powerful rhythm that people could vibe to. . . I’m trying to get people back to viewing music and music, regardless of genre. I won’t be pressured to play just certain styles or the hottest new tracks. I’m the DJ and I control the music.'”

This is something that doesn’t seem to happen often these days. We have hip-hop DJs that only play golden-age rap, EDM Djs that only play dance music, and Country DJs who only spin music in that genre. A good DJ can use records from virtually any genre and still rock a good show.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

DJs invented a lot of the recording techniques that are used in professional studios today, but they also invented little things as well.

“Back in the day, when pioneering hip hop DJs were honing their craft, there was a problem with the techniques of cutting, scratching, and backspinning–the turntable platter gripped the vinyl too tightly. “I realized that there had to be a buffer between the metal platter and the vinyl so I could move records back and forth,” says Grandmaster Flash. ‘I bought a piece of felt, cut it into a circle that fit onto the platter, and then sprinkled starch all over it. Then I turned my iron up high and ironed it until it became a hard wafer, I put that between the platter and the record and it did the job.’ While no longer starch-based, the slipmat Flash invented is now used by the majority of DJs on the planet.”

The quotations in today’s post all come from this great book. I highly recommend it for any DJ, beginner or veteran.

Scratch DJ Academy Guide

On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide

Let Kids Make the “Cheap Mistakes”

Cheap MistakesSometimes as parents and teachers, we are afraid to let our kids make bad choices. We want to steer them in a direction that will avoid a negative consequence. So, we tell them what to do and what to think. But ultimately, this harms them in ways we probably never even considered.

Barbara Coloroso breaks if down in her book, Kids are Worth It!

Give Them Info and Let Them Go

“What kids need instead of being told what to think, is lots of information about themselves and the world around them, and the opportunity to make lots of decisions, including some less-than-wise ones. As long as their decisions are not life-threatening, morally threatening, or unhealthy, let their choices and the consequences of those choices be their own to grow with and learn from.”

Cheap Mistakes

There are mistakes that we can let our kids make that don’t cost them a lot. These mistakes may come with minor consequences, but these consequences will help them learn and prepare them for the future. We shouldn’t be afraid of these “cheap mistakes”

“I believe if you let kids make choices and mistakes when they are cheap, they rarely make the expensive one later, Kids learn from the cheap ones”

Build a Strong Sense of Self

Letting our children make the cheap mistakes gives them experience in forming their own opinions. They are not just doing what they are told. You might think that is a good thing, but at some point, kids stop listening to their parents (even if only for a little while) and that’s when trouble can arise.

The major problems arise when the teen decides he doesn’t want to please his parents anymore. . . He’s been listening to somebody else tell him what to do. He’s been doing it. He hasn’t changed. He is still listening to somebody else tell him what to do. The problem is, it isn’t you anymore, it’s his peers. The kid hasn’t learned how to think.

Lacking a strong sense of self, these teens define themselves only in relationship to whomever they have attached themselves.

Barbara Coloroso has some great advice for parent and teachers in this book. I recommend reading it if you have enjoyed this post!

Kids are Worth It

Teaching Tip Tuesday – weekly advice and inspiration for teachers (over 200 tips and counting)

WIB Rap Radio – Constant Deviants

Constant Deviants are the special guests for this edition of Word is Bond Rap Radio.

I talk to rapper M.I. and we get in-depth on a lot of topics pertaining to songwriting. hip-hop culture, the underground scene, and much more.

I also spin some of their great music including . . .

Part 1

Right Moment
It’s Like That
Whatever You Call It

Part 2

End All Be All
Won’t Stop
Breathing
I’m Still Up

#WIBRapRadio – Mondays midnight to 2:00 a.m. Tuesday morning on 94.9 CHRW

A Cool Peek & Play Book

I am an avid reader and love sharing great books with my blogging audience. That is why some publishers send me books that they think I will enjoy. This is the latest one to come in the mail

It’s called “Take a Peek with Peek-a-Bear” by Jill Mangel Weisfeld.

Sticky Note

The publisher who sent this to me drew a post-it note of a rapper rocking a gold chain. Talk about personalizing the experience for me!

Curtain

This board book goes beyond simple lift-the-flap pages.

I love that kids get to peek behind a curtain . . .

Car Window

that they can roll a window down (with a pull tab)

Ferris Wheel

and they can spin a tab to change the characters on the Ferris Wheel.

This is a wonderful book that kids of all ages can enjoy. Each page offers a new discovery and some nice rhyming prose. This would be a great gift for any kid in your life. They will love it!

On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide

Scratch DJ Academy Guide

On the Record: The Scratch DJ Academy Guide by Paul White and Luke Crisell with Rob Principe

I love the entire idea of a DJ Academy. Giving children the tools to create and participate in hip-hop culture is priceless. Especially since DJ gear can be quite expensive. The cost point shouldn’t deter people from picking up the art, however. That is exactly the mission of the academy.

This book shows how the academy grew from just an idea to something that has served thousands of people. It gets into the history of DJ culture and has exercises and coaching sessions for any would be DJ who can’t visit or enroll in the academy.

Here are some of the highlights from my reading . . .

The Disc Jockey (DJ)

“In 1935, American newspaper and radio commentator Walt Winchell coined the term ‘disc jockey’ in reference to Martin Block, whose ABC radio show Make Believe Ballroom was receiving twelve thousand letters a month. The moniker seemed to suggest that the announcers passively “rode” the disc, implying that they were cursory figures. But the term stuck.”

The First Mixset 

“In 1965, Terry Noel, resident DJ at New York’s Arthur club, became the first well-known spinner to build what we now refer to as a set (series of records mixed together) although these sets with technically imperfect by today’s standards due to the dearth of dedicated DJ equipment.”

Live DJs can Control a Crowd!

“Young people realized that their favorite tracks and exciting new music creatively blended together by a skilled DJ was better than anything a jukebox could offer, and sometimes even better than watching a love band.”

The Invention of the Scratch

“Grand Wizard Theodore is also credited with pioneering the needle drop (whereby he dropped the needle onto the starting point of the record instead of cueing it up. “I also lifted up the needle and dropped it back on the record so it sounded like I was looping it,” he says.

One of the biggest markers of the growing influence ot hip-hop DJing was the commercial and critical success of the 1983 Herbie Hancock single “Rockit,” which prominently featured Grandmixer D.ST, aka Grandmaster DXT, scratching. In addition to gaining a Grammy, the video won all five categories it had been nominated in at the inaugural MTV Video Music Awards in 1984.”

You can Teach Yourself

“Teaching yourself is about being an autodidact. The strength of autodidacts is coming up with their own solutions to problems, and the solutions you come up with sometimes have an interesting curve or texture to them, which give them character. And really, in art, character is what it’s all about. It’s about fusing the techniques that you learn by copying with your own identity and experience that moves things on.” – Matt Black

DJ AM (Rest in Peace)

DJ AM quote

 

I absolutely love this quotation and this book. I borrowed it from the library but am planning on buying it soon. It has great tips and tricks for DJs and explores the history of culture beautifully. It’s a must-have for all DJs!

I’ll posts more great quotations from this book next week too!

My 2015 Reading Log (with links to every title I read this year)

Daredevil – Perfect Television

Daredevil premiered on television with his very own series this past weekend and I couldn’t be any happier.

netflix-daredevil-series-poster

This isn’t the first time we have seen Daredevil on our screens. He started appearing on television in the late 1980’s. He was in the live action series of The Incredible Hulk and the animated series of Fantastic Four and Spider-Man. He also had his own feature film in 2003.

It’s been nice seeing Daredevil on the screen in these limited edition runs, but having a long-form television series is simply perfect!

Netflix is a great platform for this series. It allows for a grittiness and realism that we wouldn’t have been able see on network television.

daredevil-charlie-cox

This thirteen episode arc drew heavily on Frank Miller’s The Man Without Fear without simply retelling that story. Just like in the graphic novel, Matt Murdock goes out to fight crime without a costume. He simply covers his face and eyes and wears all black.

The first time we see him in costume is the very last episode. He is standing on top of a building and holding his mask. The lights of the city make the cowl appear to be yellow for a brief moment. That really made me smile. It was a nice nod to my favourite retelling of his origin in Daredevil: Yellow.

daredevil

The fight scenes in this series are the best and most realistic I have ever seen on television. They do get a little gory at times though. But I like that the characters don’t stay down when they get hit. The hallway scene is simply brilliant in how exhausted each character is as they get back up and try to win the fight.

DD hallway scene

As a long-time Daredevil fan, I am impressed with how well the creators of this series have set up this fictional world. There are characters introduced here and hints of where this series can go villain-wise in additional seasons.

I also like that they simply didn’t just adapt some of the more well-known stories from the comics. This feels like a new comic story and keeps us guessing. And just like Game of Thrones, they aren’t afraid to kill off some characters .

I highly recommend reading Daredevil and checking out this Netflix series. We can expect much more great super-hero TV too. This season is to be followed up by a season of Jessica Jones: Spider-Woman, another season focusing on Luke Cage, one on Iron First, and finally bringing all of the characters together in The Defenders .

We are a golden-age of television drama and I can’t wait to see more!