Monthly Archives: October 2003

A/V is playing Wednesday night,

A/V is playing Wednesday night, Oct. 29 at Salvation (corner of Agricola & West). 10PM, $3. Bring your dancing shoes for a new-wave party!

I was going to put up some posters today but it was raining out and ahhh, I ripped my pants. I hope you will read this and show up at Salvation anyway.

And the final schedule has been posted for the Halifax Pop Explosion.

Note carefully the following time: 11:30PM, Saturday November 1. That is when ColourTV is going to blow the back doors off Hell’s Kitchen.

I’ve been doing the solo thing for so long… it’s been four years since I had a rock band. It takes some getting used to. Having to show up for practice, meet people at specific times. Weird.

I keep showing up late for practices, usually because I’m hanging out with a lady. That’s OK though because this is rock’n’roll and it’s all about sex anyways. If you don’t have the attitude, then no amount of practice is going to make your band interesting.

Early afternoon. I step into

Early afternoon. I step into the shower to wash off last night’s debauchery.

Yesterday afternoon I had left my bar of soap on the left rear edge of the bathtub. Today, my bar of soap is on the right-hand ledge in front of me. My bar of soap is not where I left it yesterday afternoon.

Furthermore, perched on top of my bar of soap is a hair from a certain part of the body.

This grisly discovery takes me back to the days when Bloomfield House was an all-bachelor domain. The boys would be too lazy to buy their own soap, shampoo and toothpaste. So they would help themselves to mine.

I am a generous sort and would only complain once in a while.

Upon discovering hairs from a certain part of the body on my bar of soap, I would nevertheless feel a twinge of resentment. I would ruefully abandon my bar of soap to “the cause.” I would proceed to unwrap a completely fresh bar of soap.

Please do not think me uptight.

A nice hot shower, first thing out of bed, is one of the highlights of my day. It is a time to wash away the cares of this world. A time to symbolically freshen myself.

It is my time, for me.

Unfortunately, however, my regimen of personal rejuvenation always receives somewhat of a jolt whenever I pick up my bar of soap and find it inhabited by a wiry reminder of another man’s nether parts.

I’m supposed to rub this all over my body?

I have never hated cigarette

I have never hated cigarette smoke as much as I did Thursday night. Going to work in a smoky bar is a bad idea when you have a cold and a sore throat.

The band I was mixing was the Mellotones. The first set wasn’t so bad. I felt relaxed, and I was getting into it. The drugs helped.

By the end of the second set, however, I couldn’t stop coughing. Then I had to get up and run to the bathroom because I was beyond coughing, I was choking. I couldn’t breathe.

Finally the band took a break, and I headed towards the back door to get some fresh air. The door opened as I was approaching and Dexter Doolittle walked in. I ran towards him in fake slow-motion and threw my arms around him. “Dexter!” Boy was I glad to see him.

I wound up taking out my wallet and throwing forty bucks at Dex so he would mix the band’s last set for me, so I could go home. Forty bucks an hour for a sound technician? Obviously I was quite delirious.

I got Dex to cover my Friday shift too. I left the Marquee and went home and got in bed and stayed there for fourteen hours. I was quite the wreck.

Then Gerry came over and got me up and we went out for burgers. I had to walk very slowly, and bright lights hurt my eyes.

Meat… the best medicine.

I spent the evening lying in bed. I curled up with my iBook, Vickers purring beside me, and wrote this.

Philip Clark 101

I realized tonight that my about page totally blows. It’s usually the first thing I look at when I surf to a new blog, so I thought I’d do up a little “Philip Clark 101.”


1. Born March 18, 1971 to Russell and Elaine Clark.
2. Green eyes, dirty blonde hair (lighter in the summer, darker in the winter). Holding steady at 140lbs. for the past ten or twelve years.
2. I have friends who claim to be “five foot eleven” or “five-eleven-and-a-half.” I am taller than them, but I would never claim to be six feet tall. Strange.
4. I skipped Grade One because I could read. I went from Dr. Seuss to Hardy Boys to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.
5. I own a pair of green sweatpants that I wear around the house on lazy Sunday afternoons. In time, you will learn to love them as I do.
6. I was raised in a good Baptist home.
7. For most of my life I have been a good atheist.
8. I wiped out on a skateboard and suffered a concussion on April 23, 1988.
9. I got alcohol poisoning on Dec. 30, 1995 and went three years without touching a drop of booze.
10. In 1999 I spent nine months on an abandoned army base in the middle of nowhere with 5 other guys. This is where I learned the secrets of the audio trade.
11. I have one brother, Steven. He’s 29, married, one kid. Teaches elementary school in Saint John, New Brunswick. No one else could ever share my sense of humour so fully.
12. One of my grandfathers died before I was born. He was a woodsman. Cut himself quite badly with an axe, walked home and bled to death on his front steps.
13. My grandmother gave me his jackknife.
14. My other grandfather broke his back in the coal mine. He’s still kicking around though.
15. Parents: still living. Grandmothers: still living.
16. I’ve had two uncles die from cancer in my lifetime.
17. I ride a girl’s bike that I’ve named “Jennifer.” People I don’t know say hello to Jennifer on the street. She’s a celebrity.
18. I am a raging carnivore.
19. I can eat just about everything. I sometimes have trouble digesting green beans, and tofu. (Stand back, vegetarian, or I’ll eat you too.)
20. I can drink neither beer nor wine. The smell alone is sufficient to trigger a terrible migraine headache.
21. I prefer to wear glasses at home (convenience) and contact lenses out (peripheral vision)
22. I love winter. My favourite month is February.
22. I used to play a lot of chess. I’m sure my 12-year-old self could kick the ass of my 32-year-old self.
23. These days I prefer backgammon. Way more sociable.
24. I own a kite I have never flown.
25. I hate computers unless they are Macs.
26. The first record I learned to play on guitar from beginning to end was “Leather, Bristles, Studs and Acne” by GBH.
27. I was in a band called Catch23–named after a GBH song.
28. At one point I had the biggest mohawk in New Brunswick.
29. For the past ten years, my preferred hairstyle has been shaved. Sometimes I let myself go for a couple months.
30. My hair grows wicked fast.
31. However, I couldn’t grow a beard if I tried.
32. I’ve never really tried. Beards, ugh.
33. Drugs I’ve never tried: LSD, mushrooms, ecstasy, heroin, cocaine…
34. Drugs that have driven friends insane before my eyes: LSD, ecstasy.
35. I believe I may have tried PCP by mistake. I can’t be sure. I felt like a rat in a cage.
36. In June 1990, I resolved to quit smoking pot for ten years.
37. In June 2000, I smoked pot for the first time in ten years.
38. It served to remind me of why I quit. The shit hits me way too hard. I hallucinate.
39. Shitty jobs I’ve had: paperboy, donut baker, hotel porter, assembly line worker.
40. I have been very poor, slept on couches, depended on the food bank to survive.
41. Nowadays I have two jobs, but it still surprises me to think I can go to the store and buy a CD I want.
42. I still wear some of the same clothes I had when I was 16–half my life ago.
43. My favourite piece of clothing is my old, worn, black leather rocker jacket.
44. I had a girlfriend from Dec. 21, 1997 until Mar. 21, 1998 and have been happily single ever since.
45. I have two irrational fears: heights, and filling out forms.
46. I never feared heights until I fell backwards off a stepladder when I was a kid. I only fell a few feet, but something fused in my brain while I was in midair. Now bridges and the tops of buildings make my stomach swim.
47. Laugh if you want, but if I have to fill out a form, I break out in a sweat and feel like I’m going to hyperventilate. I can usually get my name and address down before I have to walk around and catch my breath.
48. My parents do my tax returns. My mom has said she enjoys forging my signature.
49. I have never applied for a FACTOR grant, lifeblood of so many Canadian musicians. I have probably missed out on countless opportunities because I can’t fill out forms.
50. When I lived with Sara Spike, it was great. She loved filling out forms. I would appear wordlessly with some student loan remission form in my hand, looking scared. She would say, “Oh, come here, Philly. What’s your social insurance number?”
51. I haven’t made a resume in six years.
52. A job you have to make a resume to get is probably a job I do not want.
53. When I was 14, I took acoustic guitar lessons. I hated it so much that I gave up playing guitar for 5 years.
54. I bought my first electric guitar–a black ’75 effects Univox–for $30. I still have it.
55. These days, my main axe is a wine-coloured Gibson SG.
56. Every other guitar I’ve owned, I’ve smashed (including a B.C. Rich Warlock).
57. I started playing guitar and bass around the same time. I’ve never smashed a bass.
58. I’m going to try to write down the names of most of the bands I’ve been in (that actually performed live). Safe, Somersault, Nebraska Girl, USSR, Catch-23, Spinoza, Equation Of State, North Patrol, Rome Plows, Rebecca West, Martello, B-12, Bass Cadets, Jaguar Knight, Rotator, A/V, 9Volt Sound System. Good times, good times.
59. My first live electronic music performance was at the Bayside Junior High Winter Carnival King And Queen Talent Show in January, 1985.
60. I used a Commodore VIC-20 and a Casio SK-1. I never made it to the semi-finals. No one understood what I was doing.
61. Thus setting a precedent.
62. I have a natural lack of musical talent. Sometimes I wonder why I chose this hobby and I envy those who make it look easy.
63. I resent people who claim to have “no regrets.”
64. I roll my eyes at people who claim to be “not religious, but very spiritual.”
65. I wave my private parts in the face of people who say, “One day you’ll meet that special person.”
66. My favourite Chinese food restaurant is Robie Food in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
67. I dropped out of grad school to go on tour with a rock’n’roll band.
68. I burned all the hair off the backs of my hands (set on fire during KISS lip-sync contest performance–sometime in 1984. We lost).
68. One side of my ribcage sticks out farther than the other (leaped into the crowd and landed on a chair during D.O.A. lip-sync contest performance–July 1987. We won).
69. The cartilage in my nose is slightly bent (landed face-first on the stage during Catch23 performance in St. Stephen–August 1995).
70. I love Modern art and am an avid student of Modernism in general.
71. T. S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, A. R. Ammons.
72. Chaucer, Homer, Shakespeare.
73. Alfred North Whitehead, Leibniz, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Heraclitus.
74. Alice Munro, John Metcalf, Ray Smith, Mark Anthony Jarman.
75. Meet me for breakfast at the North End Diner.
76. The longest committed relationship I’ve ever had: three-and-a-half years, from June 7, 1991 until early January, 1995.
77. I was completely faithful, right up to the night before we broke up…
78. Languages I’ve studied: French, Russian, Old English.
79. Old English is much sexier than modern-day English. All those thorns…
80. Only country I’ve visited other than Canada: the United States of America.
81. Five places I most want to spend some time in: St. John’s, Newfoundland. Whitehorse, Yukon. MontrĂ©al. New York City. Paris.
82. And oh, I want to go visit my 91-year-old grandmother in Gaspereau Forks, New Brunswick. That’s my place in the world.
83. When my dad came home from work, I would ask him how his day was, and he would say, “Long.”
84. I would ask him what he did all day and he would say, “Oh, I draw pictures of the insides of phones.”
85. He’s retired now. I’m still not sure exactly what he did for a living.
86. I want to get rich so I can buy my dad a fancy sportscar.
87. When I was a kid, my favourite toys were Tonkas. I had a dump truck and a road grader. I would push them around in the sand pit behind my house while making “vroom vroom” noises.
88. In grades three through twelve, I was involved in the drama club, school plays and whatnot. Was I ever a brilliant child actor? I doubt it.
89. In the summer of 2002, I was the best man when Lukas Pearse and Melissa Andrew got married. The viola player at the ceremony was a woman named Megan. I have seen her exactly twice since then. She’s so hot. Wow.
90. I have a Joint Honours degree in English and Philosophy. Dean’s List, highest academic standing in English.
91. I have ten grand in student loans from University and audio school.
92. I hate telephones. They ring and wake me up. There’s got to be a better way.
93. I love supermarkets. I’m the slowest shopper in the world because I just wander around, looking at everything.
94. Let’s go get a burger.
95. Kiss me on the neck.
96. When I buy a car, we’ll go on a road trip together.
97. Mmm mmm, I love technology. Every time I put a DVD in my laptop and hook up the speakers and the subwoofer, it gives me a ticklish feeling.
98. I love getting in bed. I jump right in and pull the covers all the way up and wiggle around and say “Hee hee hee.”
99. I hate getting up. Mornings, I just don’t want to know about.
100. Except I’m always at my horniest when I first wake up, so watch out.
101. When my brother and I were kids, we wanted to be garbagemen.

Here are some photos by Robin M., who is a lovely lady. She caught me indulging in my favourite summertime activity: having a nap on the back porch with my cat, Vickers.


And here I am standing outside the Anna Leonowens Gallery at NASCAD, looking somewhat pleased with myself:

I have a miserable rotten

I have a miserable rotten cold, but I am not suffering, which is due mainly to the kindness of a few good women.

My head is thick and I’ve been walking around all day slightly dazed. I went into HMV to look for a friend of mine and found Joy Division Closer on CD for ten bucks.

The cashier dazzled me with her smile. I can’t remember if I said anything that made sense or if it was just, “Hi, my name is goo goo ga ga.”

I don’t know where Gerry gets these little quizzes, but I found myself reading his answers and mentally comparing them with my own. So I gave this interview the ol’ one-two yoink. Here we go…

1. KISSED YOUR COUSIN: kissed YOUR cousin
2. RAN AWAY: made it 4 blocks. got hungry.
3. PICTURED YOUR CRUSH NAKED: To me, you’re all porn stars…
5. BROKEN SOMEONE’S HEART: Not lately. Women are smart. They know what they’re getting into.
6. BEEN IN LOVE: yes
7. CRIED WHEN SOMEONE DIED: The only occasion when it is acceptable for a man to cry.
9. BROKEN A BONE: No. 2% milk.
10. DRANK ALCOHOL: Once or twice
11. LIED: Some people are unworthy of the truth.
12. CRIED IN SCHOOL: In remorse… after I shot the vice-principal.

13. COKE OR PEPSI: I do not partake of caffeine
14. SPRITE OR 7UP: 2% milk.
15. GIRLS OR GUYS: girls
16. FLOWERS OR CANDY: I have never said “hey, give me some of your flowers”
17. SCRUFF OR CLEAN SHAVEN: so fresh, so clean
18. QUIET OR LOUD: quiet. please?
20. BITCHY OR SLUTTY: slutty all the way
21. TALL OR SHORT: I fuck Amazons
22. PANTS OR SHORTS: short skirts.

23. WHAT DO YOU NOTICE FIRST: duration of eye contact
25. WORST THING THEY COULD DO: annoy me [opposite sex in general… not Jinx Jezebel]

26. SHOWERED: Today.
27. HAD SEX: Uhhh, what time is it?
28. had a great time with the opposite sex: see above

29. YOUR GOOD LUCK CHARM: red bandanna
30. PERSON YOU HATE MOST: Perhaps I am feeling magnanimous today. Or perhaps my enemies do not deserve the publicity.

32. COLOR: Dark red
33. MOVIE: Blade Runner
34. BOOK: Robert Hughes, The Shock Of The New
35. SUBJECT IN SCHOOL: Philosophy
36. JUICE: 100% Pure Not-From-Concentrate Premium Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice.
37. CARS: Camaro Z-28. Yellow with tan interior. AC/DC on the tape deck.
38. ICE CREAM: Butter Pecan
39. HOLIDAY: week between Xmas and New Year’s
40. SEASON: Winter
41. BREAKFAST FOOD: pea-meal bacon

43. MAKES YOU LAUGH THE MOST: my brother, Steven
44. MAKES YOU SMILE: Vickers the Cat.
45. GIVES YOU A FUNNY FEELING WHEN YOU SEE THEM: As in, “Hey mister, my dink feels funny”? Aria Giovanni.
46. HAS A CRUSH ON YOU: The women of this neighbourhood treat me as a walking dildo. No one wants to get to know the real me. *snif*
47. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH ON: Mid-East Food Centre.
49. HAS IT EASIER GUYS OR GIRLS: It’s a man’s world.

51. SAVE AOL CONVERSATIONS: lol đŸ˜‰ no hahaha LOL. u?
52. SAVE E-MAILS: Yes, and then delete everything at once by accident
53. WISH YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE: Oh, every now and then
54. WISH YOU WERE A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITE SEX: Yeah, I’d love to bleed from my genitals once a month
55. CRY BECAUSE OF SOMEONE’S MEAN WORDS: I refer all mean words to Mr. Aluminum Bat.

56. COLOGNE: Old Spice
57. PERFUME: Poison
58. KISS: Alyssa Robichaud, Jan. 1, 2000
59. ROMANTIC MEMORY: Best blowjob I ever had: Feb, 23, 1991. March 1999: close second.

61. Fallen for your best friend?: no.
62. Made out w/ JUST a friend?: Yeah!
63. Been rejected?: No home runs if you don’t swing.
64. Been in love?: No.
65. Been in lust?: I have a boner.
66. Used someone?: Only with their permission.
67. Been used?: No.
69. Been cheated on? …Who cares?
70. Been kissed?: ewwwww
71. Done something you regret?: I regret playing the red instead of the black at Monte Carlo in ’93.

72. You touched?: HMV girl (handshake)
73: You talked to: Geoffrey
74. You hugged?: mmmm
75. You instant messaged?: lol đŸ˜‰ hahahaha. lmfao. LOL!!! :) :) :)
76. You kissed?: yum
77. You had sex with?: yummmmm (memories…)
78. You yelled at? Raising your voice is very undignified.
79. You laughed with?: Terry Pulliam.
80. Who broke your heart?: Ahh, c’mon.
81. Who told you they loved you?: Mom.

82. Color your hair?: No.
83. Have tattoos?: Never.
84. Have piercings?: Why would I want to modify my body?
85. Have a boyfriend/girlfriend/both?: Why would I want to screw up my life?

Punk rock riot! The Exploited

Punk rock riot! The Exploited had their Montréal show cancelled, so a bunch of punks flipped out and smashed some windows and torched a bunch of cars.

I love the French gutterpunks. “Have you fi-yerrr, unh, PCP, mescaLENN, unh?”

The violence was not limited to MontrĂ©al. Apparently a bunch of skinheads broke into the Customs office and poured beer on Wattie’s mohawk and mashed it all down.

And reprisals have been breaking out all across Canada. This afternoon I saw a squeegee kid in an Exploited t-shirt who was hanging out at the corner of Quinpool and Robie.

A Lexus pulled up at the stoplight, and some guy in a suit and tie got out. He went up to the squeegee kid and shouted “Class War!” and then he punched the squeegee kid in the face.

Hurricane Juan blew up the

Hurricane Juan blew up the city of Halifax the night of Sunday, Sept. 28. I was awakened that morning by a woman letting herself into my bedroom.

So did she slip under the covers to coax me into consciousness with subtle pleasures of hands and mouth?

No. It was Claudette, and she proceeded to jump up and down on my bed.

“Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”

“Nmmmmrrr,” I said. “I was having a really nice dream just now.”

“Come on, Philip, it’s time to get up,” she said. Boing, boing, boing.

I yawned and stretched as Claudette bounced around me. “Stoppppp thaaaat,” I said.

Claudette bounced off my bed and out my bedroom door. I heard her voice heading down the stairs. “Gotta hit the road… storm’s coming…”

From downstairs I heard my roommate chime in with Claudette. “Philip! You have to get up now… Philip?”

“Shut up! I’m not getting out of bed.” I curled up into a ball and complained, “I have a boner.”

During our road trip conversation, I shared with her some of the hot action details that I can’t post about [small town, sorry folks], and she filled me in on some news as well [summary: the boyfriends of Halifax are mad at me].

As soon as we hit the New Brunswick border, the clouds opened up and the sun began to shine.

I missed the hurricane, but I watched it on TV. I phoned my roommates from Saint John and narrated what was happening all around them in the howling darkness.

…Next time we take a road trip, maybe I’ll have a car of my own. I just passed the road test for my driver’s license.

My friend Carolyn let me use her car. We spent half-an-hour driving around the parking lot, so I could practise backing up and parallel parking.

When I went into the Access Centre with Carolyn’s keys in my hand, the woman at the counter asked me to pull the car into one of the designated parking spaces in front. I had just finished backing the Jetta into the space when a big imposing black man came out of the office with a clipboard in his hand.

He leaned over and looked in the driver’s side window. “Are you aware that it is against the law for you to be moving this vehicle if you are not accompanied by a licensed driver?” he said.

I had visions of failing my test before it had even started. “Bluh, muh guhruh,” I stammered.

“Ha ha ha,” he said. “Had you going there, didn’t I. Headlights please… Check.”

He checked out the car and then we drove around the block a few times. We just drove around aimlessly and shot the shit about the hurricane.

Then he said, “You’re not a bad driver at all. You’re not going to kill anybody.” We returned to the Access Centre, and that was that. I didn’t even have to parallel park. All right!

I got to put my driving skills to work last Thursday when A/V played Moncton with the Epworth Band. Around 3AM on the drive home, I was passing a transport truck when a tire blew out. The whole vehicle shook like we’d hit a giant rumble strip.

I kept a cool head and pulled over. Then we got to change the tire –



Mark Bragg had almost pulled the spare tire out of the trunk to make more room for gear. If that had happened, we’d probably still be out by the side of the highway.

Go to bed at 5AM

Go to bed at 5AM and the chainsaws start at 8. God damn it.

This waking-up-to-chainsaws business creates a few unpleasant memories for me.

Summer of ’94 I lived on George Street in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Fredericton was known as “The City Of Stately Elms.”

But in the early ’90s Dutch Elm disease blazed into town, and suddenly the city was searching for a new slogan. Every street used to be a canopy of green, and then there was nothing but stumps and lots of bare naked blue sky.

The sound of chainsaws in the morning is sawing at my nerves.

I can think of one good thing about the blackout, though–no light equals no light pollution. I could look up and see all the stars. When was the last time I looked at stars?

There’s a gap in my backyard sky where the trees used to be. Last night it was perfectly filled by Orion.

Tonight A/V is performing in Moncton with Johnny Epworth. Does anyone in Moncton read this?

Guide me, O Hunter.

Take a few minutes to

Take a few minutes to fill out Coast Weekly’s Best Of Halifax poll. Scroll down to the bottom and fill in “Swordfight Online Empire” as best local website.

(The theory being: you vote for us, we win, we become famous, lots of people want to lay us, and you wind up with lots of fun stories to read when you’re bored at work.)

You have to fill out 25 answers for your votes to count. If you’re stuck, write in “Gerry Hubley” as Best Massage Therapist. Now you only have 23 to go. [Signed, The Committee To Elect Gerald Hubley As Best Massage Therapist.]

I’d like to welcome Mark Black to the Swordfight family. Mark is an old friend who moved to Banff and will be sharing with us the view from the mountain top.

I’d like to welcome Nick to the world of being voted off the island, at least until he decides to update his blog.

I’d like to welcome everyone to the new and vastly improved Swordfight Forum. Climb into the hot tub, there’s room enough for all of you.

One of my roommates put this photo on the bulletin board in the computer room. I’ve been staring at it for months without even really noticing it. It’s a picture of a guy with a Propeller Pale Ale box on his head. Wha?

Whoever can come up with the best caption for this photo wins a Swordfight button.

A hundred thousand Halifax homes

A hundred thousand Halifax homes are still blacked out. Fight the lack of power. A/V is playing a free show at Salvation tonight at 8PM. I’m gonna run the sound system off my power inverter. Bring booze and candles.

I’d write more, but I can’t put my head down right now because I’m biking around the West End and it’s pitch black and I almost got clotheslined in the dark by dangling power cables.

Time has no meaning in the war zone.

I have found the perfect loneliness.