Monthly Archives: December 2005

swordfight mandoo.mov

Korean food at Bach’s Cafe. December 31, 2005.


swordfight-mandoo.mov
[5MB QuickTime]

Everywhere I go in Halifax it seems there’s wireless Internet. If I lived in town I’d be posting videos constantly. As it is, over dialup in the country, I sort of have to make an evening out of it when I want to make a video.

Whenever Claudette gets near a camera, her breasts pop out in case you’re wondering what that’s all about.

“It’s kind of true,” she says.

i wanna be sedated

I’m at the One World Cafe on wireless internet. This is cool!

It was so friggin foggy and rainy on the drive into Halifax. Everything on every radio station was crap. As I approached Truro they were playing The Ramones on Q104. So I tuned into the Q for a while.

I followed the taillights of the car in front of me down a misty corridor. Driving and driving through the rain.

That’s strange. The radio station is starting to cut out. You’d think Q104 would start to come in more clearly as I approached… closer to Halifax…

“Happy Magic Fun Park.” Huh. Wait a minute–“New Glasgow 10km”?

Ohhh shit. Have you ever driven through Nova Scotia? Ever seen a sign that says “Exit 15–Only Exit to Truro and Halifax”? Well… apparently I didn’t see it. I must’ve driven fifty kilometers in the wrong direction before I clued in.

I had a reason for wanting to arrive in town early, which needn’t concern us on this particular website, but instead I went straight to the cafe and loaded in my gear. Life is wacky.

After the show I took a walk around the old neighbourhood. That was probably not a wise move. Freezing rain and ice pellets pelted my face–“pain rain” we used to call it. My optimism of the previous day was somewhat muted–on every street corner I was reminded by nothing other than why I had to leave Halifax in the first place. If not for the fact that all my gear was stashed in the cafe I probably would’ve gotten in my car and driven away.

But the A/V science is still all set up and ready to go at One World, as I have been invited to throw down some sounds again tonight after 12. Probably a very different sort of set. I just want to tuck myself away in the corner and play some burbly downtempo electro beats, no rolling around on the floor, unless someone else starts it.

Last night I slept in a room with four electric basses hanging on the wall and an upright bass in the corner. There was enough residual 40Hz in the room to soothe me into unconsciousness.

i’m coming to halifax

New Year’s Eve is the horniest weekend of the year in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I mean all hell breaks loose. You’re all going to get laid this weekend, every one of you.

Well… except for you. And you. Sorry. Don’t look at me–you’re your own worst enemy. Can’t seal the deal. So anyway, what am I going to do this weekend? Sit around Gaspereau Forks all by myself? No way!

You got a toothbrush? We’re going to Halifax!


“You hear that, Doug? I’M COMING TO HALIFAX.”






“Philly!”


“Sit down and shut up you big bald fuck.”

I’m playing a show at the One World Cafe. Friday, December 30, all ages, 8pm-10pm, with this band HotShotRobot. I like the name. Excitement will be in the air at this show as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of me getting alcohol poisoning. Some people think New Year’s Eve is overrated, well I almost didn’t make it to December 31 1995. Buddy and I split a pint of gin a quart of rum and a 40 of vodka. Some pile of booze. Nearly did us in. Everybody blacked out at the same time so god knows what happened. It’s not like I was an alcoholic… in fact if I were I probably would’ve known better. Didn’t touch a drop for three years afterwards. Couldn’t get near it. I still take it easy on the sauce for the most part. So, come on out tomorrow and buy your boy a ginger ale.

This show will rock the sweaters off 1000 dogs.

I still don’t know how I feel about the whole ‘sweater on a dog’ thing even though I played the song in Saint John and everyone loved it and the video got re-vlogged by Ryanne (cheers Ryanne). What do you fellas think?

So I drank a bunch of caffeinated pop last night (which I never drink) and wound up staying up all night basking in the glow of some lovely n00dz (thx 4 teh n00dz) and writing a new song that’s not about feelin’ good, feelin’ good, feelin’ good tonight.

“Phantom City Wants to Hurt You” by A/V.

Followed down the street where the bottles are smashed with the smell of gasoline
they’re burning up limousines
followed in the alley where the dealers spit blood to defend their stash
sucking on broken glass
followed on the bridge where the soldiers climb over the protective wall
screaming in free fall
followed in the rubble where the fire left nothing but a blackened shell
and a secret you can never tell

followed in the airport where the runway is closed, vultures on the tarmac
the pilot had a heart attack
followed to the tower where all questions are erased as the cycle sweeps clean
falling off the radar screen
followed in the hospital, the ghosts have been released and they’re floating down the hall
tripping on tofranil
followed in the subway where the cops are looking down at a woman on her back
she pushed her daughter on the tracks

followed in the rubble where the fire left nothing but a blackened shell
and a secret you can never tell

phantom
city.

And it’s this three-note bassline that I looped over and over for about 5 hours. So fuck you. I love living alone.

I jam in the downstairs bedroom. The original adapter for my drum machine has long since worn out. The adapter I replaced it with is 300mA when it should be 500. Sometimes that’s not quite enough current. Some of you may know that I live by myself in a great big seven-bedroom house. When my grandmother was getting old and having a harder time getting up and down the stairs, they installed a toilet in the downstairs bedroom. I may have mentioned how cool it is to have a toilet in your bedroom. I get my water from a well. The well is run by an electrical pump in the basement. The pump kicks in whenever it’s necessary to fill up a reservoir.

What I’m trying to say: whenever I flush the toilet, my drum machine cuts out.


swordfight-flushbeat.mov
[1.5MB QuickTime]

satan’s power

Here we have Relic the Snowman. Relic looks to be in reasonably good spirits, despite the fact that my three-year-old niece has just stabbed him four times with decorative candy canes.

We had a lot of rain in Saint John today so I suspect Relic may have climbed into the jet-boat and flown off to that big Chukchi in the sky. (You might be Canadian if you caught that reference.)

OK, I have come to the conclusion that “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” is the heaviest Xmas carol, because it is the only Xmas carol that talks about Satan.

“To save us all from Satan’s power.” Use your “Voivod-fan-from-Quebec” voice. “SATAN’S POWERRRRR.”

For Xmas I gave my brother the staple gun that he had just received for his birthday last Tuesday. Stole it from his house on Xmas eve. “Well thank you Philip,” he said as he looked it over. “I sure will be able to do a lot of stapling now…”

“Yep… yep, wanted to get you something useful.” Straight face, straight face. Then my mother burst out laughing.

My brother gave me an exquisitely wrapped white envelope. Gift certificate, was my first thought. Nope. Turned out to be my latest phone bill from Aliant.

As Steve was heading out I slipped him a package. “Sort of a grown-up gift… wait’ll you’re home to open it,” nudge wink. Sixteen multicoloured plastic clothespins.

sweateronadog.mov

Bible Verse of the Day:

“A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.”
–Deuteronomy 22:30

…Umm sorry Dad, I was just looking through the closet and… Hey, mind if I borrow this?

My fashion prediction for 2006. Skirt-over-pants… on boys. That’s right, it’s not just for hippies any more. I need to pick out something slinky for New Years. Shhh don’t tell God. Or Dad.

“The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” –Deuteronomy 22:5

Aww, whose idea was it to bow down before such a big fat party pooper. Cold Christ and the tepid Trinity! I guess I won’t be picking up too many fashion tips today from the Old Testament.

Oh wait I spoke too soon–

“Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself.” –Deuteronomy 22:12

Hmm… fringes… yes I see it… kind of a “missionary cowboy” look.

How about a skirt with fringes all over it. Can I get away with that? Yes? Awesome! You rule, Old Testament God. See you’re not nearly as wrathful as everyone says you are.

~ I’ve got Safari with an RSS reader now. It’s loaded up with a bucket of blogs. It’s wicked for dial-up, I never have to go check anyone’s site to see if they’ve updated, the updates come to me now. That’s more like the way I prefer to do things.

(By the way, when did “lurk” become a transitive verb?)

Anyway, the only reason I mention this is because the Safari auto-discovered the Swordfight feed as “http://swordfight.org/atom.xml.” Pernicious nonsense! I’m using Feedburner to generate my RSS. I followed these instructions so now your favourite web browser should be auto-discovering Feedburner. If you happen to be subscribed to that Atom nonsense, please switch over to http://feeds.feedburner.com/swordfight.

RSS subscriptions feeds blahblahblah zzzzzzz.

A/V shows the next 3 Fridays
– Dec 23: Saint John at Tapps Brew Pub on King Street with Das Radio and others, I am on at 10PM I think.
– Dec 30: Halifax at One World Cafe on Agricola with HotShotRobot, All Ages 8PM.
– Jan 6: Fredericton at The Capital on Queen Street with Gary Flanagan and The Trick, three solo electronic acts all in the same room in the same city on the same night and we’re gonna suck up all the light and power and gravity in the province into our whirling new-wave maelstrom of dancefloor destruction, this is the show of my dreams.

I’m obsessed with this concept that some things in this world don’t really need to exist. For example the video I made this afternoon. It’s like I was saying… sweater on a dog, man. Sweater on a dog.

I’d like to thank the Academy, and fifty feet of mic cable.


swordfight-sweateronadog.mov
[4.8MB QuickTime]

OK bye.

feeling gooood

“Did you really say all that to Sophie?”

No. No! Do I seem like the type of person who would be rude over the telephone?

Anyway. Check this out–

…I got widgets.

Yeah that’s a screenshot of my new G4 iBook. She came all the way from California before FedEx handed her off to Barney Transport, a New Brunswick delivery company. I tracked the item from Dieppe down to Saint John back up to Sussex, NB, as my laptop bounced around the province like a rectangular snow-white cueball.

And then Barney calls me up on his cellphone and says he’s in Cambridge-Narrows with my package in the back of a 53-foot trailer. Barney had never heard of Route 123. I told him I’d drive into the village to meet him. “You might get that rig down my dirt road, but good luck getting it out again.”

We met in Chipman in the parking lot of the Parts’N’Gear. This huge tractor-trailer taking up the whole lot, the big doors swing open and there are three little cardboard boxes saving it from emptiness. One of them being my new baby girl. Awww sweetie.

It’s minus twelve Celsius in Chipman on the first day of winter. My season is here finally. All those other seasons… that’s just pretend living. This is when it gets real in Canada. It’s time to see who’s who.

Are you one of those people who feels kind of depressed at this time of year? That doesn’t seem to happen to me. I love winter. If you’re feeling unhappy, you just phone me up, I’ll make you happy. And when spring arrives you can return the favour.

Oh send me an email because I lost a bunch of stuff when my old computer died. I possibly don’t have your address anymore, I possibly missed out on replying to a bunch of mail in December. If you’ve sent me nude pictures in the past, well, you’d better send some more.

So I have this fancy new computer but it turns out that some of my fancy old software won’t work on it? Uh oh. I’ll be recording the new A/V album on GarageBand maybe.

I’ve been jamming a lot while I didn’t have the Internet to distract me. There are a few A/V shows coming up that I should link up on the sidebar or something. I’m totally stuck on this new jam. It’s called “Sweater On A Dog.” It’s electro-sounding. I wrote the lyrics on Sunday and I’ve been writing them ever since.

What do you think of when you see a sweater on a dog? Maybe you can’t help thinking it looks kind of foolish. It’s a dog wearing a sweater with a picture of Snoopy on it. But then dogs need to be warm too, don’t they… It is minus 12 Celsius after all. But dogs have fur coats. Why would you wear a silly sweater when you already have a nice glossy fur coat. So “Sweater On A Dog” refers to something kind of silly that probably doesn’t need to exist. Like the lyrics to this song.

“Sweater On A Dog” by A/V.

Good, feeling good
Are you feeling good tonight
Good, feeling good
Are you feeling good tonight

Chorus: Are you fee-ling good tonight
Do you wanna get lucky
Are you fee-ling good tonight
Do you wanna get it on

I was talking to your sister
I told her that I missed her
She broke out in blisters
She’s feeling good tonight

I was talking to your mother
I told her that I loved her
But she prefers my brother
She’s feeling good tonight

I was talking to your daughter
I fucked her and forgot her
[HAHAHAHA ahhh, sorry]
She needs a drink of water, she’s feeling good tonight

…Anyway I can’t stop writing new verses for “Sweater On A Dog.”

I was talking to your auntie
I tried on her panties
The soup is in the pantry
She’s feeling good tonight

I was talking to Satan
I said what’s with all the hatin’
The butterflies are matin’
They’re feeling good tonight

So if you want to, suggest some verses for “Sweater On A Dog,” if there’s a funny one I’ll sing it at the show on Friday and you’ll get a songwriter credit.

Good, feeling good
Are you feeling good tonight

OK enough sweater on a dog. I also have some new songs that are really fucking serious.

…oh nonono wait
I was talking to Satan
I caught him masturbatin
He’s voting for Jack Layton
He’s feeling good toniiiight

I’m feeling good. Turns out in my absence I won the remix contest, thanks WATM!

I made a video today in honour of the solstice. Flicked on my videocamera and stepped outside at precisely 2:35PM Atlantic Standard Time, Wednesday, December 21, 2005. If I’d bothered looking through the viewfinder I might have realized there was dust all over my lens, but who cares, I’m just going to mangle the whole thing in iMovie anyway. The audio got smacked around a little bit in GarageBand.

Both applications included free with my free new computer.


swordfight-solstice.mov
[4MB QuickTime]

customer service hotline

Greetings from the Chipman Public Library. Here I am on the public computer. Pretty mellow afternoon in the library today. Nice sunny day.

Let me tell you what I did yesterday morning in Halifax. I took my busted laptop into the computer place in Halifax and set it down on the desk. Spoke to the guy for a while. We talked. That’s all. We were just talking. I was calm.

Finally he said, “Well if you like I could make a phone call for you.”

I said “Please do.”

The guy was on hold for a while. He said to me, “She’s just looking up your… Hello? Yes it is. Well no, we haven’t actually checked it all out yet. But it’s having the exact symptoms it had before when this happened… Oh yes… Hmm, yes I see… Ah…”

I said “Gimme that god damn phone.”

I said, “Hello who’s this? Stacey? Sophie. That’s a very nice name. That’s my niece’s name. OK listen carefully Sophie. We’re not going to wait for anyone to verify any problem. That’s because you’re not going to be repairing this computer. Because I never want to see this God damn machine again. Understand? …I’m taking out a match and a can of gasoline right now, Sophie. I’m going to pour it all over this computer and set it on fire. You hear me? Right here in the store. We’re all going to Hell together Sophie, that’s right. You, me and this computer. We’ll all burn together. Are you ready? I’m going to do this in exactly five seconds. Five… four… three… Yes I’ll hold for a moment.”

Sophie came back and said, “I just spoke with my manager and we’re going to make an exception for you, Mr. Clark. Your old computer was 800 megahertz. Your new one will be 1.25 gigahertz. Your old computer had 384MB of RAM, your new one will have 512. Your old computer had a CD burner. Your new computer will have a CD burner and a DVD burner as well. It will be a brand-new computer in the box with a new one-year warranty. And we can have it to you in a week to ten days.”

I said, “I’ll need it tomorrow.”

Sophie said, “Umm, ahh OK… I’m not sure if we can do it for you tomorrow but we might be able to get it there a little faster… What’s your home address?”

So I’m here at the library checking my email for a FedEx tracking number. But I haven’t received any messages from FedEx. Do you suppose Sophie was just shitting me? If so I will be very disappointed.

busted

My computer is deaddddddd

The logic board died on my iBook. Remains to be seen howmuch stuff I’lllose. If you email me it might take a while before I write back. Updates will be sporadic.

I’m in Halifax. COme to the Khyber tonight for A/V. I think Imight’velost a bunch of music including the Xmas Tit. It shall never be heard… Who cares,it’sonly music, I’ll write somemore. Hey MarkI think yourspace bari s busssted…

ok see ya
xoxo philly

myrrh maid

OK kids. Who here hates Xmas music? I do I do!

Except for “Feliz Navidad.” That song is dope.

Yesterday I was walking up the driveway of the Chipman village post office. The people in the house next door had gone all-out with the trimmings. They’d even gone so far as to mount a couple of Radio Shack speakers on the front porch. The speakers were draped with shiny tinsel and they were blaring wretched Xmas music all over the village main street.

“It’s be-ginn-ing to look a LOT like CHRIS mas.”

It was loud and horribly distorted, in fact if you were to look up the word “blare” in the dictionary you would see a picture of a wretchedly clipped and mutilated seasonal waveform. I shook my fist at the cruel pale December sun and stuck my fingers in my ears.

Inside the post office. My box was completely empty. No greeting cards for Philip! No obscene postcards to shock the village postal employees. Things sure have dried up around here. Starting now you can write to me at my new home in Mope City.

Philip Clark
PO Box 463
4670 Rte. 123
Chipman, NB E4A 3C5
Canada

Anyway, I’m driving to Halifax on Saturday to perform at the Khyber Holiday Toast. You can catch me up on all the gossip then. Last time I was in Halifax I was shocked at all the goings-on that I’d missed. People breaking up, people getting together, unexpected changes. You people have got to let me know this stuff.

Out here in the country, a taste of gossip warms me up like a mug of hot chocolate.

The Khyber bar is shutting down in the new year so it might be my last chance to play there, ever. I used to love the Khyber. I was a bartender there in the summer of ’99. Played some memorable shows over the years, including a couple of birthdays and New Year’s Eves. It’ll be sad to see it go so we’re going to send it off with a bang.

They’re doing all three floors on Saturday, with DJs on the top floor, members show & sale in the ballroom, along with portraits and art stuff and whatnot; and downstairs in the bar it’ll be the Jeff Coll Five, Death By Nostalgia, and me (A/V). It’s a dance party, five bucks and I think it runs from 7PM right until they close at 2.

Rod from Death By Nostalgia is putting together a compilation of Xmas songs that should be available at this event. I contributed a song. Did I mention I hate Xmas music? Well I figured I’d give it my best shot.

At first I was going to contribute a track called “Xmas Tit.” The theory behind the Xmas Tit is that it’s a breast that gives presents instead of milk.

For babies, it’s a life-giving symbol of feminine nurture. For grownups, it’s something sexy that you can’t wait to get your hands on. And for everyone in between, it’s this weird thing that you don’t understand.

But then I came across a sample that has the potential to revolutionize the future of Xianity: “He’s NOT the messiah… he’s a very naughty boy.” So I had to build a jam around it. I recorded the track last night, it’s called “Myrrh Maid” by the 9Volt Sound System and you can download it RIGHT NOW:

myrrh_maid.mp3 [4MB]

Xmas is a stressful time for some people so I want you to close your eyes, relax, listen to this track and picture yourself hitting Roger Whittaker over the head with a board with a nail in it.

xo philip.

mirror mirror

Hey, here are the raw WAV files for a track by the 9Volt Sound System. Beats, basslines, samples and synthy noodliness. I’d love it if you would download the zip file and do a remix of this track and send it to me. Maybe I’ll make a video out of it.

If you’ve never cut up audio tracks before, here’s a free open-source sound editor for Windows, Mac, Linux:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net

I’ve included a readme file in the zip that explains everything in more detail. Here ya go…
http://swordfight.org/downloads/9volt-mirrormirror.zip [2.85MB]

Happy remixing…

iPod bummer

Little kid walks into the library with a box containing his brand-new iPod. I watch him unwrap it all and take the iPod out of the box. Then he holds up the enclosed CD and asks me how he installs the software on the public computer.

I say, “You don’t.”

Why would you buy your kid an iPod without having a computer to plug it into? I felt like telling him, “Kid, if you hold it up to your ear, you can hear the ocean.”

W.W.B.D.

A/V is performing tonight at The Capital on Queen Street in Fredericton, along with The Trick.

Have I told you people how huge this show is going to be. Patrick has the looks. I’ve got the brains. We’re going to make lots of money.

That’s assuming all my gear doesn’t blow up. I have a bad voice chip on my Juno-106 synthesizer. Also, the adapter for my drum machine died last night. I sure as hell hope I can track one down in Fredericton before soundcheck.

Anyway, no matter what happens at the show tonight, I’m sure I’ll be able to deal with it. That’s because I have my lucky bracelet. I had it specially made. It has the letters “WWBD” on it.

It stands for “What Would Bill Do.”

When things aren’t going well for me, I take a moment to ask myself, “What would Bill Paxton do?” And the answer is: chances are, he would completely freak out and lose his shit.

I think I’m a much calmer person now, because I know I am guided by the inspiration of Bill’s example. It has given me a whole new spiritual perspective.

~ Last night I decided to have a bath. After I ran a bunch of water I stuck my toe in the bathtub and realized that all the water had run cold.

I said, “Well that’s great, that’s just fuckin’ great man. Now what the fuck are we supposed to do? We’re in some real pretty shit now man… What do you mean ‘THEY’ cut the power? How could they cut the power, man? They’re animals!”

Then I climbed into the tub and sat there for a while and ate a can of beans.

~ I met this woman at The Cellar in Fredericton. We went back to her place. The two of us were just sitting on the edge of her bed talking.

Then all of a sudden she opened her mouth super-wide, she opened it wider than I have ever seen any human open their mouth. And this whole other head popped out of her mouth, and it opened its mouth, and it had all these shiny pointy teeth. And then the little head started talking to me about a bunch of blah blah blah.

So I said “What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna DO? Oh shit man…That’s it man, game over man, GAME OVER.” And I put my pants back on and left.

~ I was in the lineup at the grocery store.

I had a pound of bacon and a can of creamed corn. The woman in front of me had a huge mountain of groceries in her cart, including about 12 bottles of Diet Sprite.

She smiled at me and said, “You only have a couple things, would you like to go ahead of me?”

So I looked at her and said “Come on! Come on! Come and get it, baby! Come on! Let’s go, yeah, come on! Come on! Come and get it you bastards! Come on, you too! Oh, you want some of this? Fuck you!!”