How to Write About Culture for a Living and Not ‘Sell Out’

The term ‘sell out’ is used a little too liberally these days. People expect artists (and, yes, writers are artists) to do everything for the sheer love of creation and the moment they make a bit of money, people start to call them ‘sell outs’; but it’s not true and it’s not fair! Everyone has to eat. Here’s how you can write about culture for a living and avoid the dreadful ‘sell out’ label.

Collaborating with Local Artists

You yourself, as a small-time writer, are a local artist and local artists have to stick together! If you can get in touch with other artists, you could perhaps help one another out. Have you got quite a following on your blog? Speak to a local musician and ask if you could review their next performance for a fee. Let them know that it would be good exposure. Meanwhile, you could genuinely pay for a ticket and encourage other friends to come with you.

Once you’ve built up that relationship, you could offer to do a bit of “marketing” for their next job. You could offer to report on an upcoming performance and use your social media presence in order to tell lots of people in the area that it’s a gig worth going to. You’ll be writing about something which is genuinely cultural and helping out an independent artist.

You could make some kind of agreement where you get 10% of the revenue from these events because of your contribution to the event’s marketing. Make arrangements like this with a few musicians and you’ve got a nice little income as well as a supply of relevant content for your readers. You can use the site Musicians Database in order to get in touch with local musicians in your area. (And you can use this strategy to collaborate with painters, sculptors, poets….)

Maintaining Integrity

If you are promoting an event — be careful about what you can/can’t say. It’s important you still give an honest opinion, even if you’re being paid. If it’s an event which is totally at odds with your worldview and not at all relevant to your blog, you’d probably have some moral qualms about promoting it anyway. In a worst case scenario, you could promote something you personally are not interested in, but which your readers might like. In these instances, just keep your writing completely neutral. Quote other reviewers and just generally tip toe around directly saying anything you do not agree with.

Another idea is to make sure that for every promotional blog post that you write, you also write two posts from the heart. Blog posts like this one, really reflect the human side of bloggers and people love a bit of emotion and sentimentality — it’s important to keep things personal and connect with readers with real stories of your life, rather than just covering the pros and cons of your interest area. As long as you continue to provide this kind of content alongside your promotional work, your integrity will never be lost.

Selling Arts and Crafts

Use your writing to help launch your very own product line, or use your writing as springboard for other artists and creatives.

Do you do anything besides writing? Like, maybe, knitting? Or sculpting? Maybe you even make your own CDs? If there’s anything else that you do, then you might like to start up an online shop to run alongside your blog. You’d keep running the blog and it would work as content marketing for the ecommerce side of the site, which would be where the money is.

These days, getting an ecommerce website off the group is easier than ever. There are so many websites out there which have been designed to help you start up an online store. WordPress’s Woocommerce is one of the most popular, but by all means look around until you find whichever one you think is just right for you — you’ve got newcomers like Shopify to test out, and don’t rule out the possibility of selling through your social profiles, or through social media groups.

If you don’t make anything of your own, perhaps you could still start an ecommerce site in conjunction with your blog, but with the intention of selling the products of any artsy friends that you have. Again, collaboration is always going to be very important for independent creatives. It’s a great way to galvanize a whole community around your business.

Comfort Before Commenters

At the end of the day, it is more important for artists like you to be living comfortably than it is for you to appease the odd troll who’ll get mad at bloggers for “selling out.” Even if you go down the more corporate route and do some affiliate work, it doesn’t mean that you’ve completely changed your attitude — affiliate marketing is just about making natural and relevant product recommendations, not spamming people.

Amazon have a large affiliate scheme and the fact that they’ve got so much to offer on their site means that you’ll be able to always find a relevant product recommendation! All you need to do is include special links to Amazon products and then they’ll give you a commission for every sale made by people who come from those links. Buy you can also be an affiliate for any of the services you use to manage your business (like hosting companies, email platforms etc) — this is a very natural place to start as your audience will naturally be curious about ‘how you do it’.

So do what you want to do, and if some people call you a “sell out” don’t worry about it. They’ll be a tiny minority. For every person who criticizes an artist and calls them a “sell out” for daring to try and support themselves, there’ll be another person who’s more than happy to try and support you. What plans do you have to monetize your writing?

Patrick Foster (Guest Contributor) 

Ten years of ecommerce know-how as a consultant and marketer. Time to share my knowledge with the world and help other businesses and entrepreneurs grow and thrive.

DJing Two Hip-Hop Shows This Weekend

London, Ontario, Canada is the place to be this weekend for some great hip-hop performed live. I will be DJing both of these events as well. I hope to see you out to at least one of them. Let’s support the local scene and artists.

UnderGround Kings Battle League London – Volume 2

The premiere rap battle league hosts its second event today, Friday June 2, 2017, with live performances, several battles, special guests, two main events, and live deejays. The battles will be professionally filmed as well. The first event was spectacular and this second one will be even better. We have a new venue perfect for this style of competition.

Hosted By:

Tyler Hetherington of CHRW’s Consignment Show and D.T.P

Co-Main Events:

Tipsy Russel vs Brewza
Craze vs Ender-One

Also on the Card

Shys T vs Dutchie
Chronic Clepto vs Grose
Bo Gus vs Static

DJs for the Night

Dj Wiskaz and Chase March

The Details

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: June 2nd, 2017
WHERE: Old East Bar & Grill, 765 Dundas St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: Free Admission

Hip-Hop Anonymous is back. Bigger and better than ever. We have a new venue for this monthly hip-hop showcase that is more conductive for a rap show. We have some great talent on the bill including a local favourites Typewriters, Tempomental, and Labeled Minority.

Also on the bill are Koty Kolter, Jon Dow, S Don Perion, Dylan Sears, Bash, and Lola.

DJs for the Night

Chase March and DJ Hullewud

Hullewud has his radio show from 10:00 – midnight but he will make an appearance after that.

It’s going to be a great night!

The Details

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: June 3rd, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: $5 before 11:00 p.m. / $10 after that

I’m really looking forward to these events. I  hope to see you at both of these shows. Support local hip-hop and the artists. We really appreciate it.

Chasing Content – Highlights from Last June

Chasing Content (2)It’s time to go exploring!

Let’s dig through the archives and blow the dust off some posts you might have missed.

Here are a few highlights from last year at this time.

Read all of the posts from last June,

or just these favs . . .

London DJ Showcase

This was a lot of fun. It was so nice to share the stage with some of the best DJs in London, Ontario.

Paying Tribute to Muhammad Ali

I had to dedicate an edition of Word is Bond Rap Radio to one of the founding fathers of hip-hop. Even though Ali was an athlete and not a musician, he was hugely influential for what hip-hop would become. He might have been the first rapper too.

Instagram Immemorial

This was such a great idea. I need to do more of theses posts that highlight some of the content I post to Instagram. It spreads the memories a bit and helps curate the posts in a more concrete way.

Teaching Yard Sale

I still have some teaching material for sale. If you need or want anything, just let me know.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Please click on the above links to read some of the best of Silent Cacophony from last year at this time. Don’t let great content get buried in the archive. Thanks!

Max & Charlie Figuring It All Out

Max & Charlie book

Max & Charlie by Zack Lieberman and Louis Neubert

This was a great read. From the very first page, the artwork captures the imagination of the main characters. It is bright and colourful and stylistically stunning.

The opening daydream shows a young boy pretending to be a space-warrior. His dog, a trusty companion in a mission to save the universe. They make a good team, but you can see that the dog isn’t impressed with all of the imaginary play. He just wants to get outside.

When they do go outside, Max pulls on the leash and basically drags Charlie through the streets and parks on New York City. Charlie, seeing that other dogs are fine off of the leash, decides that Max might be as well. But the second he unclicks the lead, Max takes off. Charlie spends the rest of the book chasing him.

The two main characters discover all sorts of interesting things about the city. Charlie meets a variety of characters who all share their philosophy of life and the universe with him. Themes of cooperation, the beauty that surrounds us, and finding your purpose abound in the work.

It’s one of the stories that when you finally get to the last page and close the book, you have a smile on your face.

For Charlie, the journey might have been long and annoying. It started with a simple mistake that had unforeseen consequences. It wore him down and tired him out. But, in the end, he learned something. It was worth it. The journey showed him something he needed to see and he is now richer for it.

Perhaps that is what life is like for us all. It’s about the journey and what we learn along the way.

My List of 2017 Reads – my detailed annual reading log

 

DJing TONIGHT in Sarnia

I will be DJing at Republik in Sarnia tonight.

Come on out for a great evening of music and dancing. I will be spinning Top 40, R&B, EDM, and hip-hop. As always, I will throw in some old school classics to keep the party moving.

I hope to see you there!

WHERE: Republik – 216 Front St N, Sarnia, ON.
WHEN: Saturday May 27th
DOORS: 10:00 p.m.

The Flash – Stop Motion

The Flash – Stop Motion (Justice League)

Wally West is the fastest man alive.  If you are a fan of the television show, this version of The Flash is a little bit different. In this incarnation, West, is the only Flash. His uncle, Barry Allen, passed away a few years back.

I was really surprised at all of the violence in this story. The villain kills several people but the descriptions of the killings and the sound effects in this audio book make it all the more creepy.

It turns out that the villain is a speedster who can travel faster than the speed of light. Even worse, this monstrosity was created in a lab and he simple cannot be controlled or stopped. It’s up to West to save the day, with a little help from the Martian Manhunter, Super-man, Green Lantern, and Plastic Man, and Wonder-Woman.

This Graphic Audio presentation features full cast narration and sound effects. The series describes itself as a “movie in your mind.” I think all books have that power. I am a big fan of audio books and find that they don’t really need to be dressed up so much. It’s almost as if they were trying too hard to make this different and, pardon the pun, flashy.

I like how the story dealt with the speed force. It was a different take on it from what we have seen in the television series. I also like how they tried to tackle the science behind it. It might not always work, but I was able to get lost in the story and enjoy a good super hero tale. This book is also available as a prose novel if you would rather read than listen.

My List of 2017 Reads – my ongoing reading log for the year

Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive

Welcome to Teaching Tips.

This is an archive page that features all of the teaching tips that have been posted. Please visit this page often as it will be continually updated with each new tip.

Below you find the tips in the order they have appeared on the site.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or would like to write a guest post for Teaching Tip Tuesdays, please leave me a comment below, send me an email, or get at me on Twitter

Teachers helping teachers is what it is all about.

Continue reading Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive

Photographic Tours

I love finding new places to run. I often take my camera along with me and stop every few minutes to snap a picture. This way I can present you with a photographic story that captures the scenery of my run.

This page is a table of contents for these Photographic Tours. I will continue to update this list every time I post a new visual tour.

I hope you enjoy these Photographic Tours. I certainly enjoy bringing them to you and look forward to sharing new ones with you soon.

Angus McKenzie Trail – St. Thomas, Ontario

Archie Coulter Conservation Area – St. Thomas, Ontario

Ausable River Cut Conservation Area – Thedford, Ontario (Grand Bend)

Avon Trail – Stratford, Ontario

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area – Grimsby, Ontario

Bechtel Park – Waterloo, Ontario

Beverly Swamp – Flamborough, Ontario

Bob McMullen Linear Trail – Cambridge, Ontario (Exercise Trail)

Brock’s Route Rail Trail – Copetown, Ontario

Carolinian Trail – Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario

Chesney Wilderness Area Trail – Woodstock, Ontario

Clark Wright Conservation Area – Middlesex County

Coldstream Conservation Area – Ilderton, Ontario

Coves Trail – London, Ontario

Devil’s Creek – Cambridge, Ontario

Dirt Runway – Northern Ontario

Dorchester Mill Pond – Dorchester, Ontario

Dumfries Conservation Area – Cambridge, Ontario

Dundas Valley – Hamilton, Ontario

Embro Conservation Area – Embro, Ontario

Fanshawe Park  Lake Trail – London, Ontario

Farm Trail – Binbrook, Ontario

George Nicholson Trail – St. Catherines, Ontario (Port Weller)

Gibbons Park – London, Ontario

Grand Trunk Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

John Lawson Trail – Ingersoll, Ontario

Historic St. Marys – St. Marys, Ontario

Hyde Park Rotary Trail – London, Ontario

Kain’s Woods – London, Ontario (Shore Road) and (Main Entrance) and (Kains to Warbler Woods)

Komoka Conservation Area – Komoka, Ontario – (Main Trail) and (Side Trail)

LaFarge 2000 Trail – Flamborough, Ontario

Laurier Woods – North Bay, Ontario

Lambeth Centennial Park – Lambeth, Ontario

Lions Lake Trail – Floradale, Ontario

Lorne C. Henderson – Petrolia, Ontario

Marguerite Omston Trailway: Walter Bean Grand River Trail – Kitchener, Ontario

Marsh Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Meadowlilly Woods – London, Ontario

Medway Valley  – London, Ontario

Merrit Trail (Mountain Locks Park) – St. Catherines, Ontario

Mill Pond Trail – Cambridge, Ontario

Moffat Creek – Cambridge, Ontario

Niagara Escarpment – Grimbsy, Ontario

Perch Creek – Sarnia, Ontario

Pinafore Park – St. Thomas, Ontario

Princess Point – Hamilton, Ontario

Red Hill Valley – Hamilton, Ontario – Albion Falls, King’s Forest

Riverside Park – Cambridge, Ontario

Roth Park – Woodstock, Ontario

Scenic Trails – Ingersoll, Ontario

Short Hills Provincial  Park – Pelham, Ontario – Black Walnut Trail , Swayze Falls Trail

Shriner’s Woodlot – Niagara Falls, Ontario

Sifton Bog – London, Ontario – Boardwalk trail and Nature Trail

Southcrest Ravine – London, Ontario

Southpoint Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Spicebush Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Springbank Park: Terry Fox Parkway – London, Ontario

Springwater Forest – St. Thomas, Ontario

St. Marys Loop Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

Stoney Creek of The Thames – London, Ontario

Thames Park – London, Ontario

Thames River Trail – St. Marys, Ontario

Thames Valley Parkway – London, Ontario

The Pines (Mountain Bike Trail) – Woodstock, Ontario

Tulip Tree Tail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Vansittart Woods – Blanford, Ontario

Warbler Woods – London, Ontario

Warwick Conservation Area – Warwick, Ontario

Waterfront Trail  – Grimbsy, Ontario

Wawanosh Wetlands – Sarnia, Ontario

Westminster Ponds – London, Ontario

Windsor Waterfront Trail – Windsor, Ontario

Youth Start Trail – Woodstock, Ontario

Tim Hortons Museum – Store 1 (Hamilton)

Tim Hortons is one of the most beloved businesses in Canada.

Memory Lane

It got its start with a small coffee shop in my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Memories from the 70s and on

In order to commemorate its history, the very first store has been renovated to include a small museum.

Memory Lane Aisle

There are items to show how the franchise has grown and developed over the past 50 years.

Timbit Cutter

Here is the Timbit cutter tool that was used to create the miniature donuts we all love.

Walnut Crunch

Walnut Crunch used to be my favourite full-sized donut.  I liked that it was rectangular in shape. It seemed bigger than the regular circular donuts. And it was chocolate with nuts. Unfortunately, they no longer make these donuts.

Sink and Dryer

This location even has hi-tech bathrooms. The sink faucet has air dryers built right into it. The bars that angle out to each side, blow warm air to dry your hands. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere else. It’s a great design.

Store 1

Store #1 opened on this day, May 17th, back in 1964.

Tim Horton Statue

Tim Horton was a hockey player and is immortalized with this statue. This plaque gives a little bit of information about the installation.

Tim Horton Plaque

Tim Hortons is a cultural phenomenon and a beloved Canadian institution. And it all got its start a few blocks from where I used to live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Binbrook Skatepark

binbrook-water-tower

How cool is it to have a skatepark under a water tower?

binbrook-mini-ramp

With a mini ramp that is the perfect size for my abilities?

grind-blocks

With some cool grind ledges,

launch-ramp

launch ramps,

quarter-pipe

quarter-pipe transfers,

rail

multi-leveled rails,

spine-transfer

and a spine?

This is definitely one of my favourite skateparks. It’s mostly because of the near perfect half-pipe. We need more of those at skateparks. It’s rare for me to find one that is so well suited to my limited abilities too.

It’s well worth the drive to Binbrook!

Want to see more?

Skatepark Visual Tours – over two dozen great skate spots

Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour (London, ON)

Fresh Kils and Emotionz

I am proud to be part of this bill. I will be holding it down on the 1s and 2s all night long.

Fresh Kils is a seasoned performer and someone you need to see live. He is absolutely incredible.

Emotionz hails from Vancouver and has been making moves as a rapper, DJ, and beatboxer for years now.

Presented to you by Apex Live and Soundstream Multimedia, Vancouver based rapper/beat boxer Emotionz is coming to The Grinning Gator in London, Ontario for a night you don’t wanna miss!

With special guest Fresh Kils banging out beats on the mpc. Other artists on the bill will be Zick, TempoMental, Del Reze, Sunshyne and much more! Hosted by Jym Fur-aira. DJ for the night, Chase March. 

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 @ the door. THIS IS A 19 + event ID REQUIRED Tickets also available online at Universe.com

Check the Facebook Event Page for more information.

WHAT: Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour
WHEN: May 13, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Educators Wear Many Hats

Educators Need To See Themselves As

Here are some of the many hats that teachers wear.

Researchers

I read articles on education nearly every day. I seek out books from the library to help me in my teaching practice, and I continually look for ways to improve in the classroom.

I found this graphic from one of the dozen educational blogs I follow. You can read the original post by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano here. 

I want to look briefly at the other seven areas she highlights.

Adventurers

I try new things in the classroom all the time. I don’t stick to the tried-and-true methods because they’re really is no such thing. Every class has a different dynamic and things that work one year might not work the next. I constantly redesign my instruction and am not afraid to try new things. This also serves as a model for the students. We can all step outside of our comfort zones, experience new things, and grow.

Scientists

Science is my least favourite subject but I appreciate the metaphor here. We can test out new things and see what works. We can move beyond our limited senses and not just take things for what they are.

Storytellers

Nothing connects with people more than a well-told story. If we can figure out ways to bring storytelling into our lessons, our students will be more engaged. Story might even be the nature of reality (Yes, I am still working on this theory and hope to flesh it out for you all soon)

Teachers

We must have a passion for teaching and demonstrate a dedication to life-long learning. And we can have our students teach each other and even us.

Parents

Those of us who are parents understand this one. We have a duty of care, but it goes far beyond that. We can be a positive role model for our students. Some of the kids in our class might not have a father-figure at home. I understand that and try my best to connect with these kids and show them that I care about them.

Pioneers 

Have the spirit to explore uncharted territory. Try something that has never been done. Know your students, find ways to connect, and get creative.

Innovators 

I’m not afraid to fail in the classroom. There is a mantra in teaching, “If something doesn’t work, commit to trying it three more times.” I have lived by this mantra and have figured out how to be successful with new approaches. Sometimes I need to tweak the original idea or execution, but I am committed to innovate.

Let’s Create the Best Classrooms Possible

Teaching can’t stay in the past. We need to move on from old and outdated methods. We need to be pioneers, to innovate, and to continue to further our own learning, We need to incorporate new research into our teaching practice. And we can never lose out sense of adventure.

Teaching Tip Tuesday – inspiration from my classroom to yours.

Stay Driven (Motivation and Inspiration from a Rapper)

Stay Driven by D-O

Stay Driven by Duane D.O. Gibson

D.O. aka Defy the Odds is a rap artist who set a Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle ever, 8 hours and 45 seconds. He has released countless albums and dropped several music videos.

When I saw this book at the library, I thought it was worth the read. As I worked my way through it, it was obvious that it was written for teenagers who are looking for some motivation and inspiration. That makes sense since I found it in the teen section.

Here are a few of the takeaways I took from reading it.

Visualize 

D.O. tells the story of Biggie’s first album for Bad Boy. Apparently, Puff Daddy thought the album needed something else before he released it. It needed a single. So, he masterminded the idea of “Juicy” and asked Biggie to talk about making it big in rap. At the time. Biggie didn’t have all the riches he mentioned in this song. “It was all a dream” as he says in the lyrics. But it was a dream that came true. Puffy knew they needed a single. Biggie went along with it. And it was almost as if they visualized it into existence.

Play with Words

“Over the year I’ve created a rhyming database in my mind. It started when I created my own rhyming dictionary – this was before I found out there were actual rhyming dictionaries. The process of writing my own dictionary helped build my rhyming database.”

What a cool idea! D.O. also talks about how he would read the dictionary to help improve his vocabulary.

Don’t Coast

“I’ve learned that it’s not the talented people who success. Ironically, a lot of talented people don’t success. I’ve seen it time and time again.

These people think they can coast on their talent and not try as hard as everyone else. The problem is, hard workers pass them by.”

D.O. admits that when he started rapping, he wasn’t very good. But he worked at it. There were rappers out at the time that were better than him, but very few of them achieved the success he did. It all came down to work ethic. And D.O. had that in droves.

Be Respectful of Women

D.O. tells a story in the book about losing a rap battle to a female MC. The match was very close and the judges wanted to hear two extra rounds to determine the winner. He could have torn her apart by saying some sexual rhymes, making fun of her weight, or he clothes. These are all fair when it comes to rap battles. However, he said, “It just didn’t feel right to insult her. It just wasn’t my style. I decided that when I wrote songs about women, I’d tell stories from my perspective.”

D.O. lost that battle, but he got invited to an after-party where he made a very important business contact. When he looked around the party, he noticed that the person who did go on to beat that female rapper, wasn’t in attendance. It turns out that he wasn’t invited, because the female host didn’t like this style. She liked D.O.’s though.

Stay Positive

D.O. stayed positive and it opened all sorts of doors for him. He worked hard and achieved his dreams. That is something we can all learn from.

My List of 2017 Reads – a detailed reading log (continually updated all year)

I’m in a Music Video (Y’allready Know)

Traffimatics featuring Mad Hattr with DJ Chase March, “Y’allready Know”

I’m very proud to be part of this track. Mad Hattr is one of the best producers in the underground hip-hop scene and has been grinding for years. He is nice on the mic and brought the fire with this production.

Traffimatics is an up-and-coming emcee and I have had the pleasure of rocking with him at several live performances and shows. It was nice to be able to work on this track with him.

I am available to scratch hooks on your songs, guest host your mixtape, or craft custom mixes of your songs. Having a deejay on your track is a good look for hip-hop. If you’d like to work, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the track.

Please share it, give it a like, and support underground, independent hip-hop.

May the Posts be With You

Chasing Content (1)It’s time to go exploring!

Let’s dig through the archives and blow the dust off some posts you might have missed.

Let’s get ready for some annual events that happen each May.

Let’s Chase some Content!

You can read all of the posts from last May,

or just these favs . . .

Trilliums on the Trail Side

I love the short period of time when the trillium flower is in bloom. It is absolutely beautiful to go on a trail run and see these flowers alongside the trail. Keep an eye out for them this month. They aren’t in bloom for long and you won’t want to miss our provincial flower in all of its glory.

The Inner Game of Work

A great book that has a lot to say about education if you read it with your teacher hat on. It wasn’t written for teachers at all, however. Some of the best books about education aren’t. This book can help you manage employees, work with your team, or help you in your coaching. Highly recommended.

Hip-Hop Anonymous

This show was a lot of fun. I love the poster too and seeing my name as the DJ for the night.

Free Comic Book Day

Keep an eye out for this event which is always the first Saturday of May. Your local comic book shop will have special events, activities, and free books and giveaways. I’ll see you at the shops on May 6th!

Happy Star Wars Day

May the 4th. May the force by with you. Such a great pun! Here are all of the posts I have done on Star Wars too!

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Please click on the above links to read some of the best of Silent Cacophony from last year at this time. Don’t let great content get buried in the archive. Thanks!

My Everything Birthday

Everything Birthday

42 is the ultimate answer to life, the universe, and everything. That is why I am dubbing today as my “Everything Birthday.”

There is surprisingly little about everything birthdays on the world wide web. I was certain that fellow Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans would have made everything birthdays commonplace. I guess it is up to me.

I want to have an everything bagel for lunch today and celebrate all of the great things that have been happening in my life.

Coincidentally, this month we celebrated the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the colour-barrier in baseball. He changed the face of baseball and popular sport, and he did it while wearing the Number 42.

This year, I got married, celebrated the fifth anniversary of my radio show, excelled in my studies at university, rekindled my love of teaching, taught high school for the first time, and have continued to skateboard and trail run.

I have a lot to be thankful for and will be celebrating all of this, today, on my everything birthday.

School Life (Talking with the Filmmakers)

I had the chance to interview Neasa Ni Chianain about her documentary film School Life. We talked about how schools are different in Ireland, the concept of boarding schools, passionate teachers, arts programs, and much more.

The film focuses on John and Amanda, a married couple who have been teaching for over forty years. They work at Headfort School, the only primary age boarding school in Ireland.  As they approach retirement, they can’t imagine a time where they wouldn’t or couldn’t teach. They are passionate and dedicated teachers. They also have no idea what they would do next or where they would go. After all, they live on the school grounds, a cottage that will be demolished when they finally leave the school.

School Life is being screened at Hot Docs running from today until March 7th in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. If you are a film lover, this is an event you will want to check out. And if you get the chance to see this film, please leave a comment with your thoughts on it.

If you are an educator, look for my series, Teaching Tips. There are over 200 posts offering inspiration, ideas, and resources for you to use in your classroom.

You can also download this podcast here. 

Thanks for listening!

Corunna Skatepark (ON, Canada)

Last week I discovered an amazing skatepark close to Sarnia, Ontario. As I drove home from it, I saw this park off in the distance. I immediately took a detour to see what it had to offer.

Corunna Skatepark

This park is located in the Corunna Athletic Park at 420 Colborne Street. Corunna, ON.

Graduated Rail

This graduated rail is nice for beginners. The pavement doesn’t offer a smooth ride though.

Plastcic Quarter Pipe

These ramps are made out of plastic. They feel a little strange to ride on.

Plastic Skatepark

If you look at the first image in this post, you can see the underside of this ramp and how it looks like a slide from a playground. It’s the first ramp of its type that I have ever seen. I didn’t even know they made plastic quarter-pipes like this.

Pyarmid

Overall, this park isn’t terrible. It’s nice for the kids in the small town to have a place to skate. But it’s definitely not worth your time to travel to.

Virtual Skatepark Tours – over two dozen great spots to skate

The Come Up Show – Record Store Day Edition (with DJ Chase March)

Record Store Day was this past Saturday and it celebrated its tenth year, encouraging consumers to visit their local record shops for all sorts of exclusive releases and material.

Cheeky Monkey (Sarnia)

I stood in line before the store opened to make sure I could get a few items that I had my eye on,

Brother Ali RSD

including this triple LP re-issue from Brother Ali on clear vinyl.

Soul Assasins - Picture Disc

I also picked up a double LP compilation from Profile Records and a cool picture disc  from the Soul Assassins.

Vinyl DJ mix

I was fortunate enough to be asked to guest-host The Come Up Show that day as well, and I got to spin these records for the very first time on the air. The red one is from the Profile Records release and the black one is one of my older records.

Mission 5 on vinyl

Since I was celebrating record store day and spinning vinyl on the radio, I had to take out the record I made back in 2000. I am very proud to have released my own music on vinyl. This one is a triple single with three songs on Side A and their accompanying instrumentals on Side B. My group was called Mission 5 and the song I played was “Close the Curtain.”

Here are the other songs that I played on the show.

O.C. – Ma Dukes
Ruff Ryders – Ride or Die
3 Fresh MCs – Fresh
Beatnuts – No Escapin’ This
Nine – Whutcha Want
Run-DMC – Ooh What’cha Gonna Do
Kool Moe Dee – Knowledge is King
Peanuts and Corn – Savings Account
Sir Menelik ft Grand Puba and Sadat X – 7XL
Brother Ali – What’cha Got
Young MC – Got More Rhymes
Mission 5 – Close the Curtain
Grand Analog – Play My Kazoo
Cquel – Memory Lane
Tempomental ft Exit Only – Stability
Mad Hattr ft Whatshisface – It Gets Cold
KIV – Show Me the Money
Fantom of the Beat – First Time Ever
Apathy and Celph-Titled – Prince of Vengeance
Es ft Mathematik – We Are Only Getting Older
Public Enemy – Can’t Truss It
Labeled Minority – That’s When Ya Lost

Press play and enjoy this special edition of The Come Up Show, which you can hear Saturdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on CHRW.

And remember that you can catch me every week on Word is Bond Rap Radio Monday nights at midnight and anytime on the podcast.

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If you liked this show make sure to check our previous episode of real hip-hop music and talk

We Celebrated Live-N-Direct 20 with Style

I had a lot of fun supplying the music for the 20th Anniversary of Live-N-Direct.

dj-chase-march-of-word-is-bond

I have fond memories of listening to this radio show on 93.3 CFMU every week. DJ Realistic and host, Eklipz, always put on a great program that highlighted the best in underground hip-hop. The mantle has been passed a few times over the past twenty years, but the time-slot and show have continued to rock the air waves every single week.

dj-chase-march-and-rap-group-1424

Hip-hop group 1424 was one of the acts to hit the stage to help celebrate this milestone anniversary.

dj-chase-march-set-up

The crowd was enthusiastic and I was very excited to be part of this seminal event.

ldn20

I love live hip-hop shows whether they are in a venue with rappers and deejays, or they are on the campus radio airwaves.

dr-disc

I don’t get to Hamilton much anymore these days, but it is my hometown and I will always rep for it. Of course, whenever I am back in town, it’s a must that I visit Dr. Disc.

the-mixedtape-at-dr-disc

It’s nice to have my music in the store now too. If you’d like to pick up a CD copy of The MIX(ed)TAPE, please go find it at Dr. Disc Hamilton on 20 Wilson Street.

LND20

LND20 was a huge success.

Here’s to the next twenty years, Live-N-Direct.