Monthly Archives: July 2002

I’m doing seven nights of

I’m doing seven nights of live sound this week, working in the studio during the day. Played a couple shows over the weekend. I’m trying to stay out of trouble (ha). Writing as much as I can. This is how I will remember the summer of 2002. I try to get outside a little every day. I sit in the Public Gardens in the afternoon. It’s beautiful there.

Lately I’ve been thinking it would be cool to have a laptop computer, so I can sit under a tree in the park and write all afternoon. I want to type out words. I don’t want to be cooped up in my hot, stuffy room.

Tonight I picked up my cheque from the Marquee. I realized that I hadn’t deposited last week’s cheque yet. I hadn’t had time to go to the bank. Clearly, I am working too much. Clearly, I have too much money. I’m going to buy a laptop.

“That’s dumb,” said Gerry. “A laptop computer. Don’t buy one of those.”

“No, man,” I said, “there’s this place on Cunard Street that’s selling them for two hundred bucks. I just wanna get one to do word processing on.”

“You have four computers sitting in there already. Why do you want to waste your money on all that junk.”

“I got all that stuff in there for like, forty bucks. That Mac Classic cost ten bucks, that wasn’t a waste of money. That’s my pet brain.”

“Why don’t you just take your pet brain to the park and plug it in somewhere? You don’t need another computer to do word processing.”

“I don’t want to have to plug it in. I just want something I can take with me wherever I go. I wanna be able to lie in bed and write. A laptop would be awesome.”

“A laptop,” said Gerry. “What a stupid waste of money.”

It was a really hot,

It was a really hot, sunny day. I went downtown and sat on the front steps of the Khyber Club. I sort of dozed off there for a while. Then I got up and walked up Blowers Street and went to the library. Inside the library it was nice and cool.

I was doing some writing in the reference section. I dropped my pen under the table and so I crawled under the table to get it. While I was under there, my head started to nod a little bit. For some reason I felt really comfortable underneath the sturdy old oak table. But I shook off the doziness and climbed out again.

I picked out a book by Elmore Leonard. Bandits. I signed it out and went to the Public Gardens. It’s beautiful, and I try to go there every day in the summer. I sat on a park bench and read the first 30-odd pages of the novel and then I fell asleep.

When I woke up, there was a pigeon standing on the bench behind my shoulder. Another pigeon was standing on my toe. At least I didn’t get pooped on.

I shook the pigeon off my foot and got up and shuffled away along the winding path.

On the way home I dropped into Sobey’s on Windsor Street. I bought a few things–a carton of grapefruit juice, along with some bagels and a box of crackers. Then I sat down in front of the supermarket beside the bike rack. I was sitting cross-legged, right there on the curb. I think I fell asleep for a pretty long time.

This time I was awakened by an elderly woman. She was looking down at me and laughing.

She said something to me but I don’t know, it might have been in Russian or German or something.

When I got home, I borrowed my roommate’s bicycle. I was thinking I would bike to Dartmouth. I wanted to go to Cash Converters, see if I could buy a blender. Dartmouth is not really as far as you might think… it’s a pretty short bike ride across the North Street bridge. Dartmouth is more of a psychological barrier than anything.

When I got halfway across the bridge, I stopped and got off Stephen’s bike and leaned it against a light post. I sat down in one of the bike lanes and fell asleep. Same pose as before, cross-legged with my arms folded.

This was kind of weird for me, because I’m afraid of heights and the North Street bridge is pretty freakin’ high.

When I woke up I was a little bit disoriented, and I wound up getting back on the bike and riding back to Halifax.

I was getting hungry so I went to the diner for some fish and chips. I fell asleep in the booth. When I woke up everything was cold and soggy.

I got up from the booth and left the diner without paying for anything. I just wasn’t really thinking about it. When I got around the corner and partway up Bloomfield Street, I remembered and went back and paid for my fish and chips.

Then I went home and my roommate was watching the Simpsons. It was the episode where the Simpsons go to Canada. They had a lot of jokes making fun of Canadians.

That’s about all I remember.

Beautiful sunny day, wha’? I

Beautiful sunny day, wha’?

I just got back from playing Lunenburg. Arrrr! A town with a rich marine heritage. Arrrr! I played in a tent at an outdoor vendor’s festival. Arrrrrrr matey! I got a noise complaint before I even started my set. Avast! The audience consisted of ten-year-old boys selling fudge, and their moms. Arrrrrrr! Safe to say I got killed. Arr.

Also performing: The Dean Malenkos. Changed all their rude lyrics to accomodate the age bracket. Hilarious results. Slitch played too. Halifax crust punk, gave everyone a headache, including themselves. It was great. The opening band was a local outfit called “Blackened Dreams.” Classic small-town metal band. During my entire set, their guitar player sat in the corner and scowled and drew satanic tattoos on his arm with a black marker.

I jumped off the stage and rolled around and got grass stains.

Just dropped off my gear at the Marquee for tonight’s show. Looks like VHS Or Beta have already loaded in. I was mighty impressed with their big pile of gear. Couple of cool-looking synths, including a Juno 106… just like one that I play in A/V. I’m getting really excited about the show tonight.

Friday night I did sound

Friday night I did sound for a night of lesbian folk-singers in Hell’s Kitchen. It was part of the celebrations for Pride Weekend but it turned out to be hard work for me. The place was packed with raucous drunken lesbians, and a couple of the wispy-voiced performers had trouble competing with the noise level. Very difficult on my end.

“Can you turn up the vocals a bit?”
“Not if she isn’t singing into the microphone.”

I kept waiting for someone to do that “ran down the mountain, jumped in the fountain” song. Sure enough, at the end, everyone got together and encored with it. “I went to the doctor, I took what he offered. I ran up the mountain, I fell in the fountain…The more of this stuff I take, the closer I am to high!” I guess it’s a lesbian anthem about taking speed. You go girl!

I was possibly the only straight male in the place and possibly there was only one straight woman in the place. And later on in the alleyway the two of us concluded that, on this particular night, we must have been made for each other.

Next morning/afternoon I got up and went to the diner. Steak–rare; eggs–sunny side up (baby, I like it raw). The waitress was pretty and took good care of me. “Would you like a newspaper to read?” she asked. “Or an issue of Cosmo?”

After I finished eating, I glanced at the cover of the issue of Cosmopolitan. “‘Thirty Surefire Seduction Lines,'” I read. “That sounds useful.”

She said, “Maybe I should read that, because I can’t seem to think of any right now.”

“‘Your brunch is ready‘ usually works quite well.”

She paused. “Really?” she said.

I was out the door but I’ll be back.

I went home and put on the tuxedo I’d borrowed.

I danced around the house in my tuxedo, singing: “I would go out tonight, but I haven’t got a stitch to wear.” Then I went to the fridge and gulped down a long drink of orange juice straight from the carton, in my tuxedo.

I ate a bowl of flaming hot chili in my tuxedo. Then I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth in my tuxedo.

Got down on my knees and scrubbed out the tub in my tuxedo.

I took a long sharp straight shiny dull razor and slowly shaved my face with it, dragging the edge of the blade forcefully against the grain of the stubble, in my tuxedo. Then I cleaned out the cat’s litterbox in my tuxedo.

I went out to the backyard for a while and did some gardening, in my tuxedo.

My tuxedo looks amazing. My tuxedo is indestructible.

Then I got picked up by the groom’s mom. In the backseat of the car, I looked down and saw a tiny rip in the crotch of my pants. A sliver of white fabric showed through at the bottom of the zipper. I folded my hands across my lap. “Nobody needs to know about this.” Also, I didn’t have any cufflinks (“Mom, what are cufflinks?”), so I folded back the cuffs of my shirt and stuffed them up into my jacket-sleeves. “Nobody needs to know about this.”

The ceremony took place on the deck out at the Rowing Club. As soon as I showed up at the place I had a big crush on the viola player. It was one of those situations where as soon as you see someone you think, “Uh-oh, I am in deep trouble.”

She was dreamy. I spoke with her for all of five minutes after the ceremony, and then she had to rush off to another wedding. I was heartbroken and spent dinner staring into space. The salmon simply melted in your mouth. It was over three hours before I could flirt with anybody.

The bride looked lovely; Melissa positively glowed with natural beauty. And Lukas made a tall, fine Edgar-Allan-Poe-looking groom, complete with a long wool coat from Value Village.

From the moment I met up with Lukas I started feeding him Tic-Tacs. The only thing I really understood about my job as the best man was that it was my duty to keep the groom well-supplied with mints. He was up to five Tic-Tacs at once, just before we all headed down the aisle.

When he finally kissed the bride, it was a minty-fresh moment that will last forever.

I have some free passes

I have some free passes to go see VHS or Beta at the Marquee Club in Halifax on Monday, July 22. A/V will be opening the show. VHS or Beta are from Louisville and they are a bunch of indie-rockers who got into house music and now they play live disco using rock instruments. Should be a rockin’ dance party. Email me if you’d like to go to the show.

The new Swordfight contest: funny tribute band names. They can be the names of actual cover bands, or names that should be actual cover bands. Examples:

Allman Brothers cover band — The Almost Brothers
Pavement cover band — Payment
Sloan cover band — Cloan

Leave yours in the comments. Funniest wins a CD.

I’ve got a few blogs

I’ve got a few blogs to rock; give me a couple days. I did not rock any blogs on Sunday. I went to the ocean instead. It wasn’t really what you would call “a perfect day for the beach” though. It could’ve been hotter, for my liking.

“Go in the water,” said Gerry. “Go in the water go in the water go in the water go in the water.”

“No, thanks,” I said. “I like my testicles right where they are–outside my body.”

“It’s all about the change purse, dude.” Gerry got up and ran across the beach towards the surf. I watched him as he ran and threw himself in the waves.

I lay back on my towel and closed my eyes, as Gerry–up to his neck, presumably, in the nordic ocean–screamed a frigid scream.

Yesterday was Mark Black Day.

Yesterday was Mark Black Day. Mark Black is a friend of ours who was in town for twenty-four hours. We had a party at Bloomfield House, and bands played in our basement–The Break-Up and A/V.

The B-B-Q portion of the evening got off to kind of a lame start. Nobody brought food because everybody assumed everybody else was bringing food, but then some people started arriving with veggie dogs and we managed to get things on the go.

I was sitting on the picnic table in the beautiful Bloomfield backyard when I got pooped on by a bird. It must have been some sort of birdy shrapnel bomb because I got bird poop on my head and on my arm and on my shirt and on my shorts and on my leg. We looked up to the sky to try to spot the B-52 bomber of a bird that had dropped its load on me, but all we could see was a lone balloon, floating very high and far away.

I tried to convince Ian Hart that I’d actually been hit by a slowly-leaking toothpaste balloon, and that it would be quite healthful for him to lick it off, but he didn’t go for it. Finally I said, “Well this is quite the indignity” and went inside to get cleaned up.

I did a head count during The Break-Up’s set and there were roughly thirty people down there. I thought The Break-Up sounded awesome. I’m gonna put out their CD on Swordfight. A/V’s set was fun too; people danced as much as the low basement ceiling would allow. “The End Of Sex” wound up in a bit of a pig pile, and the song ended with me being squashed underneath Mark Black, but I managed to gasp out most of the closing lyrics before nearly suffocating to death.

Later that night a bunch of us went out for Chinese food. I got my revenge on Bird Nation by eating one. The other ten people at the table were all vegetarians, yeah well… you bet I ordered the chicken balls.

Gerry is one of my

Gerry is one of my roommates. Gerry has gone and grown himself a moustache. It’s quite something. He even used some Just For Men to dye it black, to make it appear even more prominent.

Gerry is doing more than just sporting a moustache. Philosophically, you might say that Gerry is “raising the issue” of “the moustache.” He is placing “the moustache” at the forefront of discourse. Every guy that Gerry runs into is forced to come to terms with “the moustache,” and to place it within the context of his own life–this irreducible fact–“the moustache.”

I had previously gotten rid of the weblog comments feature because it was jamming up the page and pissing me off. But I’m reinstating comments now, just so people can talk about “the moustache.”

Hi. The Heritage Front had

Hi. The Heritage Front had a meeting at the Holiday Inn today. They’re a neo-Nazi group. Raise your hand if you like the Heritage Front. See… nobody likes the Heritage Front. They’re stupid. The Holiday Inn are kind of stupid too, a bunch of people (including me) are thinking. Would you let the Nazis hang out at your hotel on Boardwalk or Park Place? Not me. There was a protest outside the Holiday Inn, but the cops were there, to protect the hotel, and the Nazis. Protesters = poor. Heritage Front = rich = property = police protection. Simple, really. I shot some video but Terry needed his camera back so I’m not posting anything from the protest. Lots of shouting. Middle finger from big Nazi guy. Middle fingers back from protesters. Swastika tattoo. Hate literature. Lots of cops. There was a Mi’kmaq convention happening on the first floor of the hotel at the same time. I was telling Terry about this and I said, “The Natives had reservations about sharing the hotel with Nazis, so they cancelled their reservations.” Terry said, “That was a pun.” I said, “It wasn’t intentional.” It wasn’t. I thought about an imaginary newlywed couple ordering the Sapphire Package from the Holiday Inn and finding the swimming pool all filled up with big burly skinheads wearing waterwings. I started laughing and I came back to the studio and recorded this track.

~ 9Volt Sound System – ‘Nazis have taken over the Holiday Inn’ [4.5MB mp3]

“Malcolm Ross” is a reference to the notorious Holocaust denier and Heritage Front bigwig. He was out Friday night hitting on a woman who just happened to be involved in organizing Saturday’s protest. “He was really drunk, and was kind of slobbering and stuff,” she said. “Somehow I just don’t think he’d be very good in bed.”

I was on my way

I was on my way to the Halifax Public Gardens (one of the lushest city parks in the country) to shoot some beautiful footage with the boss’s DV camera. But I ran into my roommate Gerry and he said, “Come down and sit on the Wall with me.” So I wound up sitting on the Wall and grabbing some video down at Pizza Corner instead.

Sitting on the Wall at Pizza Corner is kind of a summer tradition in Halifax. If you hang out long enough you will see everyone. Not exactly the most scenic intersection in town though. The scene is dominated by late-night pizza joints on three of the four corners of Grafton and Blowers.

“What a dump,” said Gerry.

It was nice, however, to relax for a while and do nothing before heading off to work.

In the background of the video you can hear Joel Plaskett ordering a hot dog.

It was a night of

It was a night of misplaced intentions. I went down to The Planet, thinking I was playing a gig there. “Oh Philip… didn’t you get my message?” No. “Oh, and you hauled all your gear down here too… sorry.” So I pulled out of there with my shopping cart full of science and wondered what I could do with the evening.

I decided maybe I could find an MC and do an impromptu hiphop live PA in the Staples parking garage. I went to the Khyber, thinking it was Hiphop Wednesday and I could find me a rapper. But no. The Atlantic Jazz Festival has taken over the Khyber this week, and there were no rappers in sight. Just lots of jazz people. I drank a couple of Kentucky Orange Blossoms and left.

And then I stopped in at the Marquee Club, thinking… well, never mind what I was thinking… But no.

So I came to the studio and rocked a blog. Rock is fun. is next, I think.

Oh yeah, our friend Mark Black is going to be in Halifax for 24 hours next Monday. So we’re having a party at Bloomfield House. Barbecue and potluck in the afternoon, and bands in the basement starting around 6. Featured will be A/V, The Break-up, and Brent’s band (yeah, I know they have a name, but they should just call themselves “Brent’s Band”).

Woo hoo. This could be the North End party of the summer.

The rockin’ blogroll is underway,

The rockin’ blogroll is underway, with a tribute to Miss B of the bazima chronicles. I won a contest that was based around wooing this lovely lady of the internet, which sparked the whole blogrock idea.

The project got a mention on metafilter, but please don’t hold back from writing to me because you think I’ve gotten a million requests. I haven’t. is next.

In real world news, I’m doing thirteen straight nights of live sound in between playing gigs. But it doesn’t feel like work anymore. It just feels like life.

Also, people are still getting shot on Gottingen Street. What’s going on with my neighbourhood?

Several people have asked if June 27’s entry is a true story. Oh yes, it’s quite true; I totally put my teacher’s eye out… and burned his house down… when I was nine.

I’m off to Hell’s Kitchen to do sound for “hard rock open mic night” with your hosts, The Heelwalkers. Also known as The Hardrockin’ Heelwalkin’ Jamboree. Also known (affectionately, of course) as “Dirtbag Tuesdays” or “Jean Jacket Tuesdays” or, my favourite, “Cowbell Tuesdays.” See you tomorrow, when I am good and deaf.

Here’s a recipe for a

Here’s a recipe for a drink that I call a “Nine Volt Battery.” Take one ounce of Jagermeister over ice in a tall glass. Add two splashes of Red Hot sauce and some lime juice. Top it off with 7-Up and garnish with a slice of lemon and a wedge of lime (the two terminals).

It tastes better if the Red Hot sauce is splashed by a red hot bartender.

$2 Jagermeister shots at the Khyber Club–every Tuesday.

~ I’ve got this new idea where I want to write little theme songs for websites, in return for linkage and sexy JPEGs and whatever other nice things you want to give me. I’m calling it the rockin’ blogroll. Here’s how you can take part:

step 1. Add to your blogroll or linky love list.
step 2. Send me an email and tell me you want your blog rocked!
step 3. I will slam together an original piece of music that namechecks your website all over the place.
step 4. I’ll send you a link to an mp3 for you to download and do with as you please.
step 5. Post on your site with this graphic:

~ Feel free to tell me a bit about your musical tastes so I can customize your track (I can do just about anything involving electric guitars, as well as all styles of electronic music, except trance). Or you can just leave it up to me. And in case you don’t have server space for mp3s, I’ll be posting all the music on

Let’s rock.

I took one of those

I took one of those Internet quizzes, and this is what it told me:

What Seven Deadly Sin Are YOU? [?]

You’re ANGER! You’re not the most pleasant person to be around! You’ve got a short fuse, and you’re almost always mad at the world. You’re represented by the color red.

Fuckin’ stupid quiz.

Live Sound 101. “Sorry, am

Live Sound 101.

“Sorry, am I in your way here?”
“No, that’s all right.”

“Am I in your way, Mister Man?”
“Pardon me.”

“Just tell me if I’m in your way, and I’ll move.”

“We’re right in the way here, aren’t we?”
“Just a little bit.”

“Am I in your way, there, buddy?”
“Not at all, man. Not at all.”

“Oh, do you want us to move?”
“Ahh, yep.”