Monthly Archives: April 2004

swordfight’s greatest hits

I’m putting together a small print zine that will consist of Swordfight’s greatest hits. Gerry, Claudette and Mark Black have been instructed to select five or six of their favourite blog posts for inclusion in the zine. I will do the same.

Any suggestions for the zine would be welcome. I know there are people reading this who have checked out the Swordfight archives more recently than I have. If there are posts you’ve liked from any of our blogs, feel free to email me and let me know, or simply leave the date of the post in the comments.


Faxe Hands

Mark my words, “Faxe Hands” is about to become the cultural buzzword of a generation.

I’m allergic to beer, so I can’t partake of the Faxe (I’m a pussy), but I still think it’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard all year.

Some would say this is just another drinking game, and then there are those who see it for what it really is: [Lorne Green voice] “INNNFINNNNIIITE.” Try looking for a volunteer to unzip your fly and flop your noodle out because you need to take a piss and your hands are taped to two cans of thick syrupy beer. You’ll find out who your friends really are.

These are the people who really care about you. These are the people who will look after you when you’re old.

I believe it would do wonders for our hometown if we were to pay tribute to the originating spirit of adventure and community sharing. Let’s start a movement to change the name of our city to “Halifaxe.”


swordfight: seahorse


I just got out of the shower. I dried myself with a towel that turned out to be covered in cat hair. Now I feel clean and dirty at the same time.

There are a couple of Swordfight shows going down at the Seahorse this weekend. Tonight Colour TV will be opening for the Heelwalkers. Show starts around 11. I am going to rock my face off and then get drunk and stand up front and watch the Heelwalkers with one foot up on the stage.

It’s also planned as a late birthday outing for Claudette just in case you weren’t in on the weeknight revelry.

The name “Colour TV” was originally inspired by a Heelwalkers song, or rather by a song the Heelwalkers used to cover: “TNT” by AC/DC. “See me ride out of the sunset, on your colour TV screen.”

Sometimes a phrase will just jump out at you and go, “Hi dude, I’m a totally wicked band name!”

I also like the song for the line, “Women to the left of me, women to the right.”

Then on Sunday it’s the NASCAD(tm) grad party, which is free and open to the public, starting at 8pm. I will be performing as A/V along with a couple of DJs.

I love the art kids. They’re an awesome crowd to play for. Skirt over pants… sure can dance.

Looks like Saturday will be a good night at the ‘Horse as well, Contrived and The Hold are playing, I believe? I have to mix the Urban Surf Kings upstairs at the Marquee on Saturday. However, I might place my brain inside a little homunculus and send it down to the Seahorse to party in my place.

Some would say the homunculus is just a smaller version of me, and then there are those who see it for what it really is–infinite.

Did I mention that I hate springtime? It is the worst season. I get afflicted with all this hay fever bullshit, right now my eyes are watering and I can’t stop sneezing and my nose is running like a faucet. I just know I’m gonna wind up dribbling mucus all over the pussies of the intelligentsia and I’ll be forced to change the name of my blog to Snot Action.

In the spring, people say things like “Ooh you won’t need a sweater, it’s so beautiful out” and later that night I’ll be biking home shivering, come to find out it’s three degrees Celsius.

Or else people will say “Philip I thought you’d love the spring, everyone is so horny all over the place” and I’m thinking “You know what, you’re all a bunch of amateurs. I don’t need a change in seasons in order to have a friggin’ sex drive.”

happy birthday clo-debt

It’s Claudette‘s birthday. I just saw her at a party and I said “Happy birthday CLO-DEBT” and I grabbed a wooden spoon out of the sink and managed to give her a couple good spankings. She tried to kick me and I grabbed her by the boot and we hopped around and around the kitchen, until she grabbed one of my nipples and squeezed it and then we fell against the kitchen counter and there was the sound of a bunch of glasses being rattled around.

Someone in the kitchen said, “Be careful.” Yeah right, it’s a party, dumbasses.

Claudey and I always get into it at parties. Hey remember that time when I tried to stuff you in the freezer?

I had to leave because I’m working at the Marquee tonight. I finish work at 1am. This used to be when all the cool people started showing up on Wednesday nights, but lately it seems to be the time when a lot of the cool people start to leave.

Anyways, if you’re not coming out, the least you could do is go over to Claudette’s blog and say hello.

My nipples are all sore and sensitive now. Seems like a good way to start the evening.

Lake Saskatchewan

Lake Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan used to be a big rectangular wheat-covered prairie province sitting right smack dab in the middle of Canada. Those days are ancient history now, as the area that once held those glowing amber fields waving gently in the breeze has disappeared forever. Now it’s a crazy old lake with a bunch of tourists from Ontario paddling around in canoes for weeks, trying to get to Alberta or else bumping into each other with their aluminum canoes and saying, “Excuse me, have you seen a fish and chips shop around here?”

So here’s how it all happened.

One day the fine folks at the McGill University Astronomy Department got wind of a strange celestial movement just outside the orbit of Jupiter.

“Qu’est-ce que c’est?” said one of the McGill scientists, as he gazed at his vertical plexiglass space-radar screen, after having smoked too much pot.

“Je ne sais pas!” said McGill Scientist Number Two who was all hopped up on caffeine pills. (Astronomers all speak French, to confuse the Russian spy satellites.)

So they whipped out the BAT (Big Ass Telescope) and pointed it towards our solar system’s largest planet.

“Mon Dieu!” said the first scientist.

“Holy shit!” said the second scientist, as normal scientific protocol and nomenclature went straight out the window. “I don’t freakin’ believe this. Carl, c’mere and have a look.”

So Carl, the scientist’s grand-dad, came over and squinted into the eyepiece of the telescope.

“Ahh yes,” he said. “Haven’t seen the likes of this since ‘49. Looks like we got a furniture comet heading this way, sonny.”

Spectral analysis confirmed the observation. It was indeed a comet, shaped like a giant interstellar chest of drawers (an eighteenth-century mahogany dresser to be precise), and it was heading straight towards the planet Mars.

“Oh, well, we can all relax, since it’s only heading towards Mars,” said Prime Minister Paul Martin.

“Screw this,” said the Martians, and they sent Bruce Willis up with a thermonuclear device. Bruce managed to detonate an explosion on the comet, causing it to wobble slightly and veer straight towards the Earth.

“Well isn’t this a kick in the pyjama pants,” said Prime Minister Paul Martin. “Do we have any volunteers to fly up there and land on that dresser and blow it up or send it hurtling towards Venus or something? What’s that? No? No volunteers? Well shit, brace yourselves folks.”

So the furniture comet slammed into the Canadian prairies and tore up a huge crater where Saskatchewan used to be. The explosion devastated the Canadian economy because thousands of pairs of underwear were thrown into the air and the Stanfield’s factory had to close, after all why buy underwear when it’s hanging from every tree and lamppost in the country?

For the next five years, it was sort of like a nuclear winter in Canada, only with underwear.

However, things settled down and Canada managed to corner the world mahogany market with dresser-drawer splinters. And the Saskatchewan crater gradually filled up with water and piss to become what we now know as Lake Saskatchewan. The End.

crust show

I have to leave in fifteen minutes to go to work at the Marquee. I had big plans for how I was going spend those fifteen minutes (sitting in a chair, staring at my toe). Instead I’m going to tell you about my night out last night.

It was midnight, the weather was lousy, and I almost stayed home. But then I figured, what the hell, I’ve had a good long day of work so I might as well have some fun. So I went to the crust show at the Attic.

Check out this picture, it says as much as I could write in 15 minutes. That’s Gerry in the mask and coke-coat, and me on the other side of him. The singer for the crust band is using a wireless microphone. So instead of yelling “gay,” we yelled “Kylie.”

I don’t know if you can tell in the photo but he’s also wearing a Doom loincloth.

The music was crusty goodness. Mark was there too and he was dressed up as a retarded kid, with big nerd glasses and a hockey helmet on. He got in trouble for head-butting people in the pit with the helmet on. Gerry got warned numerous times about covering his face with the mask (I guess every day ain’t Halloween at the Liquor Dome). In fact, most of the night was spent barely hovering under the threat of dismissal from the premises.

Two dollar drinks. I was drinking double-gin-and-pineapple. Couldn’t believe how good they tasted. They tasted like candy, like a brand of LifeSaver. I drank a lot of them. I was buying drinks for anyone around. I got drunk and stood up front with my foot on the stage.

Crusties seem to be doing OK these days judging from all the digital cameras and handicams around the place. Makes me want to consider a change in career to the lucrative squeegee field. “What can I say, the gutter’s been good to me.”

But a Doom loincloth! What’s next, a purple banana?

After the show we went downstairs to dance with skanks. All these dumbass sailor guys were there being all predatorial. One of them called Gerry a “dipshit” on account of his little girl mask or something.

“Don’t ask don’t tell” we kept saying, by way of a taunt to the navy dudes.

This chubby cougar kept making eyes at me and one point she conspired to fall down on the dancefloor right in front of me. So I offered her my hand to help her up and she said, “Don’t laugh, don’t you dare laugh,” and I said “Ha. Ha ha.”

She reached out and tried to cover my mouth with her hand and I pulled it away and leaned over and said to her, “Hey, I’m the one who’s supposed to be covering your mouth” and her face turned kind of white and she turned around and left the dancefloor with her friend, and I immediately told my friends about it, all proud of myself like “Guess what, I just said something totally creepy!”

Shit I gotta leave for work. So anyway we wound up at the Marquee and at 3:30am a big brawl broke out on the street after hiphop night, with bouncers restraining other bouncers from going after people on Portland Street and some guy with no shirt on running around with blood in his mouth after having had his teeth punched in to the back of his head, and Gerry wandered through the fray with the smiley-girl mask on just looking at different fights, making a surreal figure in the middle of all the violence. Then we went home.

drum circle

Hey I made up a joke. Q: What goes like this: “Pooka-pukka pooka-pukka pooka-pooka-pukka pooka-pukka pooka-pukka, SPLAT.”

A: A hippy drum circle getting run over by a steam roller.

she kills

I worked at the studio today, tracking drums for She Kills. Did I say ‘drums’? I meant to say “Massive Tough Drums of Thunder,” complete with double-kick pounding on your skull-style like a pair of aluminum baseball bats.

We had planned to record the drummer to a click track, but then we decided not to bother. With nineteen parts in a four-minute song it would have taken until next week to set up the tempo map. I think our man did just fine anyway.

I’m not saying these guys are metal or anything, but at one point there was some discussion about what backwards message to include at the end of the CD.

Quote of the evening: “In the world of rock’n’roll, a little ‘fuck-you’ goes a long way.”

reach for the top

So Mark shared the story of his Reach For The Top experiences. Time for me to come clean.

Reach For The Top, New Brunswick Provincial Champions, Saint John High School, 1988. Undefeated.

We had a lot of punk-rock attitude on our team. We were the IB kids, and we just assumed we were smarter than everyone else.

Not that there was anything particularly punk rock about the International Baccalaureate. The IB kids were mostly boring and they brought their English essays to parties and read them to each other. Meanwhile I would try to drown them all out with Dead Kennedys tapes.

In those days, I was a cross between a punk rocker and a scruffy working-class nerd. I wound up quitting the IB or getting kicked out for not doing my homework or whatever.

The host of Reach For The Top was Professor Robert Garland, a fussy old chap with an earring. We all thought he was a big poofter and usually referred to him as “Binky.”

The tapings would take place at the CHSJ television studios on Union Street in Saint John. The show was sponsored by Pepsi so there’d always be lots of free Pepsi lying around for us to get all wired up on.

Our team was not always very sportsmanlike; a direct result of our arrogance. Whenever we’d built up a comfortable lead we would buzz in with silly answers to questions. During the last question of one round, I remember buzzing in and announcing “Boris Pasternak!” as the answer to whatever the question was. After they cut to a commercial, Binky sat there staring at me and going, “‘Boris Pasternak’?”

My teammates all laughed and I smiled and thought, “I’m the shit.”

Our rivals were these smartass yuppie-spawn weenies from Kennebecasis Valley High. KV were also undefeated at the time we met them in the championship round. We set about on a programme of psychological intimidation.

Their star player, Kevin, had a habit of smirking and flashing the two-fingered devil sign whenever his team was being introduced. During the opening introductions of their game against us, my teammate René beat him to the punch by mimicking his smirk and the “sign of the horns.” He totally stole Kevin’s thunder. Kevin confronted René about it during a commercial break. I was hoping they’d get into a big fight.

At one point during the game, the category was “Moons Of Saturn” and someone on KV’s team buzzed in and gave the incorrect answer, “Io.” So we buzzed in on every subsequent question in the category and guessed “Io?”

Io is of course one of Jupiter’s moons. However many points we lost were well worth it in sheer snotty style and psych-out value.

We were pricks. But we won.

I just Googled a couple of my old high school RFTT teammates, no luck. You’d think those geeks would have established a web presence by 2004.

I think a bunch of girls saw the show on TV. Didn’t matter. We returned to school as conquering heroes, but my virginity emerged unscathed from the experience.

I was not a tang-slayer in high school. I lived in my parents’ basement and had a wicked record collection.


I found out about the Marquee staff party last night, 24 hours after it happened, from someone who doesn’t even work at the club. “I’m surprised I didn’t see you there?”

Apparently no one thought to invite the lowly sound guy. Feels great to be part of a team.

Also last night a woman told me I was making her think “inappropriate thoughts” and then offered to give me a hummer if I could get her upstairs to see the Matt Mays show.

She was pretty stoned. I said, “Ehh, I’ve already had two hummers tonight… Let me get back to you on that, maybe after I drink a glass of milk or something.”

critical mass

Fuck bike nerds. So what, you’ve got a sticker on your bicycle that says “One Less Car.” Maybe you should change it to say “One More Dork.”

Just because you invented Critical Mass doesn’t mean I need you pulling up beside me at a stop sign and saying, “You really need a light on the back of your bike” or “Hey, you should fasten up your helmet properly.” Why thank you. Yeah, I’ve come to rely on advice from assholes in spandex shorts.

And then off you go around the corner, giving the correct arm signal for a right-hand turn. Hey clown-pants, I bet if the government said all bike helmets had to be pink, you’d run right out tomorrow and buy a pink helmet.

I’m just bitter because if there were a driver’s test for bicycle licenses, I would fail. I was on my way back from the Dartmouth library this afternoon and was pedalling home over the North Street bridge. There’s a hairpin curve at the end of the bike lane (they make you go all the way down to Barrington Street for some dumb reason), and I was approaching the curve at considerable speed as I’d been accelerating down the long slope of the bridge.

So I was thinking, “I am going rather fast for this sharp turn” and I went to put on the brakes but after having ridden my old bike Jennifer for so long I had gotten used to coaster brakes and I went to pedal backwards and nothing happened because on my new bike Goreater the brakes are on the handlebars. After the briefest moment of panic and fruitless back-pedalling at high velocity, I slammed into that big metal fence at the end of the turn.

It was quite the accident. I banged up both my knees pretty bad as well as the side of my face (thanks for nothing, Mister Gayass Bike Helmet) and also bent the front wheel of my bike all to hell.

I somehow managed to hobble home. The pain in my knees was so bad that I couldn’t stop laughing. It hurt so much it was funny.

Fuck this shit, somebody buy me a Chrysler Sebring.

So I wound up having to go on a burger march with Gerry to BK, some burger march, it was more like a burger limp, I laughed my head off the whole way there.

On the Burger King drive-thru breakfast menu there’s a big sign that says “Have A Burger For Breakfast!!!” Now that’s marketing.

stencil drop shadows

Drop shadows offer an easy way to give your stencils a little bit of pizzazz.

To begin, throw down a layer using your favourite shade of Flat Black.

I ran out of my favourite shade of Flat Black, so I had to use my second-favourite shade: Poppy Red. Oh, crumbs!

Now offset the stencil diagonally by a little tiny bit.

Now spray again. Hint: use a different colour than the first layer!

Peel back the stencil to reveal…

…a snazzy drop shadow!

You wanna mess with us, sucka! Huh!


So if you have anything to do with the Halifax music scene I’m sure you’ve heard of the big controversy this weekend… apparently Gerry was at a concert by Sweet Billy Flapjacks and between two songs he got right up front and started yelling “LAME LAME LAME” at the band, not realizing that the drummer and keyboard player were sitting behind their instruments in wheelchairs.

Gerry has stopped short of an all-out apology for yelling “LAME” at a band with two partially paralyzed members but continues to insist that he meant no disrespect towards differently-abled persons.

And it is a well-known fact in Halifax that Gerry himself is handicapped, morally handicapped that is.


Torture, hate crimes, extortion and fraud. Right around the corner on Robie Street! Who woulda figured.

Got off work last night and bailed out right away in the hopes of catching up with the Hunter Street party. Alas, everyone had already left, so they could all go to the Attic and drink their asses off and end up getting kicked out of the bar for heckling a jam band.

Doing sound upstairs at the Marquee Club every night this week. My job is chewing me up, I’m missing all the fun.

Last night just for something to do I tried mixing a hiphop show using no compression whatsoever. I learned something I already knew: hiphop requires compression. Too much dynamic range.

Mostly because every MC in the world has terrible mic technique, and half the time they’ll be cupping the ball of the microphone and trying to rap through their knuckles so it’s all “mumble mumble check my flow mumble mumble mumble” and the next minute it’s “Everybody say HO-OHHHHHH” and I’m watching with four fingers pulling back the faders as all my meters jump into the red.

When I say BORING
You say CLICHE



Everybody say HO-OHHHH