Monthly Archives: January 2016

Birthday Beat Down TONIGHT!

Danny Gable B-day Bash

Tonight, we will be celebrating Danny Gable‘s birthday in true hip-hop style. He does a lot for the local music scene and promotes shows that enrich the culture. Let’s wish him all the best by attending this amazing event.

Not only do we have a lot of great rap performances lined up, we also have a scratch battle between two amazing deejays; DJ Arctic and DJ Wiskaz. I will be judging the contest.

I will also be scratching and mixing some great hip-hop tunes all night long.

Arctic, Wiskaz, and I will take turns spinning the music for all of the rappers on the bill. There is a lot of great talent lined up including Ngajuana, Jux Cain, Nick Easton, Mad Hattr, Tempomental, Kiv, Traffimatics, Last Sesh, Nickii Chatts, Audible Prophets, Androo Josef, FAxZ, and more.

We may even have a few other DJs in the house.

It all goes down at Gordy’s Brewhouse on 1631 Oxford Street East in London, ON.

Visit the Facebook Event page for more information. 

This is a show you won’t want to miss!

Know Your History – Swearing in Hip-Hop

Swearing in Hip-HopWelcome to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge.

Be forewarned that there is a lot of cursing in today’s episode as we explore swearing in hip-hop. We’ll listen to a sound clip from a movie, a few interview clips, and of course, great music.

I used to have the time to transcribe every episode and it has been killing me that I no longer have the time to to do so.

I hope you have been following the podcast over at The Word is Bond so that you haven’t missed an episode. I have a lot of ground to make up here on Silent Cacophony and will be dropping an episode of the show once a week until we are all caught up.

Download this episode for free or stream it with the player below!

And please share online using the hashtag #WIBRapRadio.

Thanks!

The Superior Spider-Man Is . . .

The first four volumes of Superior Spider-Man were very well done and I thoroughly enjoyed them. These last two issues bring the story to its natural conclusion.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 5

Superior Spider-Man: Volume 5: Superior Venom

Flash Thompson has been able to use drugs and his will to keep Venom under his control, or so he thought. When the alien symbiotic leaves him to rejoin Spider-Man, Otto Octavius believes that he can control him as well. He relishes the new power, but perhaps he is not greater than Peter Parker and will fail to control the alien as well.

Superior Spider-Man Vol 6

Superior Spider-Man: Volume 6: Goblin Nation

Doc Ock has been living as Spider-Man for years now. He has done his best to rid the city of the criminal organizations that have terrorized it for years. He didn’t realize, however, that the Goblins had grown to form an entire nation right under his nose.

Meanwhile, Peter Parker has fought to regain consciousness and take control of his body, and life, once more. This is the final battle between them. We will find out who the Superior Spider-Man is after-all.

My 2016 Reads – my annual reading log

My Current DJ Set-Up

Here is my current DJ set-up.

Chase March home DJ set-up

I have it housed on a farily ugly table. Covering it with a blanket allows me store things underneath it out of sight.

Chase March APC battery back up power supply

This is power supply. It is much better than a simple power-bar. It has a battery built into it and if the power shuts off, the battery takes over and keeps my system from crashing. This has saved me a few times at bars that didn’t have the best electrical systems in place.

Chase March DJ laptop

I have a laptop that is my dedicated DJ computer. I don’t use it for any other purpose.

Chase March wireless mouse

I hate using the mouse pad on laptops. So I asked for this wireless mouse for Christmas. Thanks, mom! It can sit right in front of the mixer and makes controlling my computer a lot easier.

Chase March external soundcard

This is a Soundblaster SBX. It is an external soundcard that lets me record my mixsets with ease. I plug in the record feed from my mixer into the line in. I can then record on programs like Audacity or Adobe Audition.

Chase March headphones

Headphones are a must!

Chase March Numark HDX blue

I love the Numark HDX turntables. They are digital and have internal hard-drives, but they are vinyl controlled.

Chase March Numark HDX red

I love having the full-sized, actual vinyl records to scratch. I replaced the clear vinyl that came with the units with some coloured vinyl from my collection.

Chase March SL 1

I have the first generation Rane SL1 Control Box. I have to use the old Scratch Live version of the Serato software. I hope to upgrade soon to a mixer that has Serato built right in so I can use Serato DJ some day.

Chase March Xone 22 Mixer

I have an Allen and Heath Xone: 22 mixer. I really love it. It’s not top of the line but it is a great mixer for a scratch DJ.

Chase March control vinyl

This is my most recent accquisition. I bought control vinyl so I can rock on the turntables at the radio station now.

Plus, if I do a DJ gig and they already have turntables, I can leave my at home and rock with these.

I have Road Ready cases though, so my gear is portable. It just takes a couple of trips.

Let me rock your party!

I am available to DJ all events and have great rates.

Please contact me and let’s work together!

How to Properly Reboot a Franchise

Star Wars I

Star Wars tried to rebuild their franchise with the prequel trilogy but those films were flawed and didn’t gain a lot of traction with fans.

Fans have loved the books, animated television shows, and comics for years now. It was finally the right time to restart the film franchise.

Star Wars VII - The Force ReTread

But they went about it the wrong way again. This time it might even be more unforgivable than the prequel flops. All they did was retell the same story that had already been told twice before in the original films.

I wrote extensively about this already, but I wanted to touch on this subject again to show that it is possible to reboot a franchise and breathe new live into the property while pleasing die-hard fans and attracting new ones.

RiseOfThePlanetOfTheApes

The latest two movies in the Planet of The Apes franchise were brilliant. I loved every moment of them. They effectively paid tribute to the original films without having to retread old familiar stories. They effectively told a prequel story the way George Lucas wanted to with Episode I.

How did they do this?

They took note of the past. There were all sorts of Easter eggs in the Apes movies that would have gone unnoticed to brand new fans, but that us, die-hard fans, appreciated greatly. They didn’t feel the need to use an old and tried plot to attract new fans to their fictional world.

They learned from the mistakes of their past.

Planet_of_the_Apes_Reboot

They tried the story-retell thing before and it didn’t work for precisely the same reasons the new Star Wars film doesn’t. The whole thing just felt stale.

Pay Tribute While Being Novel

It’s a hard balance to achieve but it has been done. You can breathe fresh air into a dead franchise without having to overhaul the whole thing.

Battlestar Galactica

I loved the way Battlestar Galatica didn’t just retell the same old story. They updated it by having robots that looked human. It added a new terrifying sense of drama to the series. They didn’t throw out what made Battlestar, Battlestar. They kept all of the elements you wanted to see and expected to see.

Star-Trek-Movie-Poster

Star Trek is doing it wrong, So is Star Wars.

Seeing that this year marks the 50th Anniversary of Trek, I was so excited for big things with this franchise, but the new trailer shows just how far the film-makers have strayed from the essence of Trek.

Star Trek was always at its best in deep space. That is the entire premise. so having two Star Trek films in a row not set on the ship is a huge disappointment.

Let’s not Dumb-Down the Scripts 

The audience is always smarter than you. That’s one of the cardinal writing rules, but when it comes to blockbuster films, it seems that this rule has been forgotten.

I want to see well-told stories and no more retreads or rehashes. Is that too much to ask for?

Jam Master Jay and National DJ Day – The 1, 2 Punch

Today is the day that Jam Master Jay was gifted to the world.

Unfortunately, he is no longer with us, but we celebrate in his absence. For all that he did for hip-hop, for how he has inspired countless DJs, and for how he could rock a party.

Here is a video showing his skills on the turntables, right alongside another legend, Grand Master Flash.

And yesterday was National DJ Day.

National DJ Day

It’s fitting that these two days follow each other. It’s the 1,2 Punch!

Here is some more of Jam Master Jay kicking off a concert the way a DJ should!

I was fortunate enough to see Run-DMC live once and it was amazing. This was before I had any way to recording the performance though. Wish I could relive it again.

Rest in Peace, JMJ!

Miles Morales is Back as Spider-Man

The first series featuring Miles Morales as Spider-Man was brilliant. I did not want to see come to an end. Thankfully, we got a second series featuring the new web-crawler.

Miles Morales Spider-Man Vol 1

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man – Volume 1: Revivial

It turns out that the Green Goblin isn’t dead . . . and neither is Peter Parker. Things get very confusing for Miles Morales in the second volume of his very own series.

Fortunately, Parker doesn’t intend to go back to his old super-hero life just yet. He leaves the mantle to Morales. Miles’ father even reappears and has quite the explanation as to his absence.

Miles Morales Spider-Man Vol 2

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man – Volume 2: Revalations

Miles decides to tell his girlfriend that he is Spider-Man. Little does he know that she has been brought up in a Hydra household, a terrorist organization meant to bring down S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Ultimates.

Spider-Men

Spider-Men

Peter Parker and Miles Morales team up in a story that takes place before this arc. They are both impressed with each other and make a great team. This was a very enjoyable read. Too bad that it was a one-off story. The good news though, they will fight side-by-side again in the Spider-Verse story. Stay tuned!

My List of 2016 Reads – my annual reading log

8 Online Tools for Students and Educators

8 Tools for Students and EducatorsSomeone approached me and asked to contribute a guest post for my Teaching Tip Tuesday series.

Over the years, I have had some great tips submitted from readers all over the globe.

I found out that this latest one though was a thinly veiled attempt at self promotion. Even worse that that, it linked to a site and service that cut against everything I believe about education.

I almost deleted the post outright. Instead, I edited in heavily and let it stay in place. I have since reconsidered. I wrote this rebuttal and erased the entire post.

I am sorry that I was duped this way and hope not to be again. I will be very critical of further guest -post submissions.

Thank you!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – advice, lessons, tips and tricks for classroom teachers  (once a month)

My List of 2016 Reads

My 2016 ReadsI like to keep a detailed reading log. It’s always nice to look back at what I have read over the course of the year.

If this year, follows the pattern I have established in the past four, I will read close to 60 titles this year that will include graphic novels, teaching-related books, books on writing, books about hip-hop culture, various non-fiction works, and, of course, novels.

This is how I did since starting this tradition four years ago.

In 2012, I read 65 books.
In 2013, I read 61 books.
In 2014, I read 78 books.
And last year, I read 60 books.

This post will be continually updated throughout the year with each new title I read. So, bookmark this page and come back often to get some titles you can add to your own reading list.

Happy Reading!

NOVELS

Batman: Wayne of Gotham
Doctor Who: The Wheel of Ice
Life on the Refrigerator Door
Manuscript Found in Accra
The Little Women Letters
Planet of the Apes

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Alex + Ada – 3 titles (Vol 1 – 3)
The Amazing Spider-Man – 6 titles (The Parker LuckSpider-Verse, Edge of Spider-Verse, Spider-Gwen, Graveyard Shift, Spiral)
Ant-man – 1 title (Second Chance Man)
Batman: The Dark Knight – 1 title (Night Terrors)
Darth Vader – 5 titles (Vader, Shadows and Secrets, Ninth Assasin, Lost Command, Cry of Shadows)
Fantastic Four – 4 titles (The Fall of the Fantastic Four, Original Sin, Back in Blue, The End is Fourever)
Hawkeye – 6 titles (My Life as a Weapon, Little Hits, LA Woman, Rio Bravo, All New Hawkeye, Hawkeyes)
March – 2 titles (Book 1, Book 2)
Miles Morales: Ultimate Spider-Man – 3 titles (Revival, Revelations, Spider-Men)
Mister Wonderful – 1 title (Mister Wonderful)
Ms. Marvel – 3 titles (No Normal, Generation Why, Crushed)
The New Avengers – 1 title (Fear Itself)
Powerless – 1 title (Powerless)
Scott Pilgrim – 1 title (Scott Pilgrim’s Precious Little Life)
Star Trek – 1 title (The New Adventures: Volume 2)
Star Wars – 2 titles (Princess Leia, Skywalker Strikes)
Superior Spider-Man – 2 titles (Superior Venom, Goblin Nation)
Thor – 2 titles (Goddess of Thunder, Who Holds the Hammer?)
Wolverine – 6 titles (Three Months to Die Pt 1 and Pt 2, Death of Wolverine, Old Man Logan, Season One)

TEACHING RELATED BOOKS

The Inner Game of Work

WRITING BOOKS

Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Pulishers, Editors, & Literary Agents
How To Write and Sell Simple Information
The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, and Earn Your Audience

MUSIC RELATED

Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide
Ten Ways to Not Commit Suicide
Playing With Something That Runs

NON-FICTION
True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society

Memoir

Life Lessons from a Total Failure

Total Books Read in 2016: 65

Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide

Classic Material - Hip-Hop Album Guide

Classic Material: The Hip-Hop Album Guide edited by Oliver Wang

This book contains intelligent writing on over 60 classic hip-hop albums from 20 different music journalists and experts. It spans 20 years of hip-hop history and does so in a very respectful way.

Main Source “Breaking Atoms”

It was cool to find out that “Snake Eyes” on this album featured five different samples running throughout the track including “an Ike Turner piano vamp, a Johnnie Taylor bassline, and  Jesse Anderson flute melody.”

The book covers sampling at the legal troubles that some hip-hop musicians got into because of it. It’s sad to say, but an album like this would be very hard to do in a day and age where samples need to be bought and cleared.

Layering Samples

Pete Rock’s “particular gift has been in his layering, his ability to juggle any number of different elements – a bassline twiddle here, a keyboard tinkle there, not to mention horns. Pete Rock’s signature sound of this era was his horns.”

It was so great to hear samples layered on top of each other in uniquely creative ways. Hopefully this isn’t just a remnant of old records and something we will be able to get back into in the near future.

An Obscure Album that Revolutionized Music

I enjoyed the piece on Freestyle Fellowship’s “To Whom It May Concern…” especially considering that Myka 9 is still making music fifteen years later. He was even featured in my Top 15 of 2015 albums.

Best Hype-Man Ever?

Could it be Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins of Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five fame? Jeff Chang thinks so.

I might argue that Branded Moore, a local emcee, Flava Flav, and Freaky Tah could be added to this list.

Ice Cube’s Death Certificate

Allen Gordon says this album “was a conceptual work that attempted to kill the ‘nigga’ mentality his early work reflected in order to give birth to a new culturally and community-minded ‘Black man.'”

What a great perspective on one of my all-time favouirte albums.

You Played Yourself

Ice T made himself “an elder statesmen, many miles in front of the guns-blazing stereotype he ushered in. Ice was light-years ahead, fearless in his beliefs.”

Here I want to draw a comparison to Jeru’s record of the same title. Both tracks are an “indictment of move-fakers trying to profit from chaos”

2pac’s Gift

“…his ability to lay his soul bare – contradictions, fears, psychosis, and all. What makes these albums classic is not the sound of his beats and rhymes, but the ferocity of his honesty and the thumping of his heart.

I couldn’t agree more. This book is chopped full of great writing about some of my favourite hip-hop albums and about a few albums I might just have to dust off and play again.

My List of 2016 Reads – my constantly updated reading log