Monthly Archives: January 2005


Whenever I play a show, I have a tendency to get on the microphone and yell “Swordfight Dot Org.” Then people visit this site and go, “Huh? There’s nothing about music here. It’s just some dude who likes running over hippies and putting his teacher’s eye out.”

So for future reference, I’m going to write up a little blurb about the different bands I’m currently performing with.

Spinoza is a solo act featuring distorted bass, drum machine and sore throat. I started this in Fredericton in 1996 when I couldn’t find enough people to start a hardcore band with . The early stuff was very screamy and industrial-sounding but lately I’ve gone a bit more “rock.”

After a show at the Khyber a couple years ago, I had to go to the hospital with severe pains in my right hand and wrist. Turned out to be tendinitis. They told me to go easy on playing the bass for a while. Spinoza wasn’t very prolific after that. I’d like to start doing more shows though. More than say, three a year.

-“The Lazarus Lexicon” (1996)
-“The Cult Of Ruins” (1997)
-“Divine Warning Inner Voice” (1997)
-“The Armed Vision” (1998)
-“The Sickness Unto Death” (2001)
-“Light And Blindness” (2004)

A/V is a solo new-wave band featuring me and a bunch of synthesizers and whatnot. A/V’s been around since September 2000. It was a duo until December 2000 with me and Selwyn Sharples, and for the past four years it’s just been me. In a way, those first three or four months still seem like the most exciting time for the band.

This is probably the act most people know me by. Especially if you’ve ever been to a dance at the NASCAD lounge.

-“There Is A God In A/V Heaven” (2000)
-“Control Change” (2001)

Nine Volt Sound System is my name for various solo electronic performances. Tech-house, electro, drum&bass and whatnot. I have one CD and various compilation appearances. When I move to the country I’m going to be doing tons of this shit.

-“Electro Stoop Therapy” (2001)

I’ve also done a bunch of electronic shit with James Covey under the name Rotator but we haven’t jammed in quite some time, quite some time.

-“Ripples in the Brainwave” (2001)
-“The Twelve-Move Mate” (2002)

Colour TV was formed late in 2003 when I got sick of doing live sound for shitty bands and was looking for any excuse to get on stage and rock out again myself. I love playing Colour TV shows even if I do get punched in the face now and then. We recorded a demo but it never came out. I might dust it off and release it in the next few weeks, who knows. There’s a video on ZeD.

I play guitar and sing, Nick Wombolt plays drums. Right now Jim Macalpine is playing bass. The band has also featured Dave Harrison on bass and Ian Hart on guitar.

Air Traffic Control used to be known as “Madhat.” I play guitar and some synth. Last summer, I was going through a pretty rough time. I’d given up writing and playing music and I never left my house except to go to work. These guys tracked me down and recruited me. They got me out playing shows and fuelled my interest in playing music again.

Most people haven’t heard of ATC as I write this, but of all the bands I’m in, this is the one most likely to blow up. It’s catchy rock’n’roll music with really good singing. There’s a website at [edit: I moved to the country and I don’t play with this band anymore, but anyways, check ’em out]

You can download lots of songs and videos at my ZeD site:

I’ll put a link to this post in the sidebar for future reference, and in the meantime I’ll get on with all the non-music-writing-about.

Dear Marcella

Dear Marcella,

How are you? I am fine. I need your help. I need you to get me out of this place. The doctor who’s been assigned to my case is a real phony. He should be in this bed instead of me. Somebody told me he used to be a Mental Patient. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I don’t trust any of the nurses. There’s this one nurse. I call her The Bug because of her glasses. She bugs me. I’m sleepy all the time. They are trying to drug me, because they want me to be a zombie. I can’t even get hard-ons any more. I don’t get horny. My pee is orange all the time. I don’t know what they are putting in my food. On the weekend, I made it out to the parking lot but The Bug made me come back. Last night I heard a woman screaming. I think they were giving her head an Electro Shock. I am surrounded by evil people. Everyone here is evil, especially Doctor Haines and The Bug. I wish they would leave me alone.

Love, Philip

Trouble never came in a more desirable package

As soon as the dame walked into my office I knew she was trouble. Dressed all in black despite the sweltering heat, hair pulled back in a severe bun, clutching a little gold purse. And what was she thinking with those shoes?

Still, she was quite a looker, no doubt about that.

“Have a seat,” I said. “Now what can I do for you today.”

“It’s my husband,” she said. “I think he’s been cheating on me.”

I shook my head. “Sorry, lady. I don’t take those kinds of cases.”

“I came to you because my friends told me you were the best.” She regarded me coolly. “Maybe they were wrong.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Maybe they were right.”

“I just can’t stand not knowing,” she said. Her fingers lingered nervously at the top button of her blouse. “If I find out he’s really been seeing that little tramp, I’ll murder him.”

“That seems a bit drastic.”

And then she smiled for the first time. A mysterious little smile. “I should be tramp enough for him.”

Something about her. That smirk, those flashing eyes. She reminded me of someone–but that was a long, long time ago.

I sat back in my chair and tapped the end of a pen against my teeth.

“I’ll take the case,” I said finally. “But it’s gonna cost you.”

She leaned forward, looking straight into my eyes. It felt as though she were looking right through me.

“I’m willing to do… anything,” she said.

Then she sat back and looked away. She raised her hands to fuss with her hair.

I leaned on the intercom. “Hold all my calls, will you.” Then I got up and slowly walked around the desk until I was standing beside her.

“Now,” I said. “Let’s talk.”

snow day

I’m supposed to be teaching at the Community College today. I just found out school’s been cancelled because of the storm. I’m going back to bed.

Even though it’s an inconvenience that I can’t go give this seminar today, I can’t help but feel a little thrill at the prospect of a snow day. My childhood aversion to getting up and going to school is as strong as it ever was. That’s probably the main reason why I never chose teaching as a profession.

Drop me a line if you’d like to come over later on, like around 2 in the afternoon, and drink peppermint tea and watch a bunch of movies.

I just looked out my bedroom window and saw a bunch of gnomes building snow forts out there in the back yard. Evil gnomes, they are, who don’t realize the Cold War is over. They’re lugging around a suitcase with a nuclear device in it. They hate Ronald Reagan.

I’m going to wave a white flag of truce in my window. My flag has a picture of a cup of hot chocolate on it. If they refuse my truce offer, then I suppose I shall have to bake myself a gnome pie.


I had a fistful of drink tickets that I wouldn’t be using. So just before our set I went to the bar and got a bunch of bottles of Oland’s. I was giving beer away during the show, making people do silly things in return for an Oland’s.

There were a couple of really drunk guys at the front, bonking around and yelling while Colour TV played. One of them really wanted me to give him a beer. I’d been bantering back and forth with this guy for a while.

“BEER” he yelled.

“I don’t know,” I said into the microphone. “There’s this guy up at the front here, and he keeps opening his mouth up wide and pointing into it. I think he really wants someone to put something in his mouth, is there anyone here who can help him out?”

The guy leaned over the railing and snarled, “You’re a faggot.”

“Ooh,” I said. I looked at him, and then I looked at the full bottle of Oland’s I was holding. I reached out towards him with it. But instead of giving him the bottle, I splashed beer all over him and tried to dump it over his head.

From here my memory gets a bit blurry. Someone said they saw the guy spit on me. All I know is that I suddenly decided It Was On.

I threw down my guitar and went over the railing onto the dancefloor. The guy responded by tearing off his shirt, Incredible-Hulk-style. He was built like a Sherman tank.

It seemed like one second I was charging towards him, and the next second people were helping me up off the floor with my head ringing. I wasn’t knocked out exactly but there’s a gap of a few seconds. I don’t remember getting clocked, don’t remember seeing it coming. But it’s safe to say I got owned pretty hard.

I staggered around for a moment. Then I saw the stage and made for it. Sanctuary.

Turned around in time to see the guy shaking bouncers off each arm. In the end I think it took four or five of The Attic’s finest security staff to finally get him down the stairs and out the door.

Back on stage, I was seeing stars; or more accurately, scintillating pinpoints of coloured light that moved horizontally across my field of vision. Everyone was asking if I was OK. I was definitely feeling a bit subdued.

I picked my guitar up off the stage. “Let’s just play something,” I said. “Not the new song… I can’t remember the lyrics.”

So we ripped through “Will of Winter” back to back with “Ghost Voices.” A triumphant feeling started to come over me. Strangely so, considering the evidence of my rapidly swelling face.

I looked out into the crowd and said, “Is there anybody else out there who wants to fuck with me? …No? Good.”

And then we finished our set, and I went and got some ice for my head.

Ryan from The Attic was very apologetic. If anything I thought it reflected well on his bar that the security staff cleaned up so efficiently. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I went after the guy, I think I was planning to throw my arms around him and give him a big kiss. Jesus Christ, good thing that didn’t happen, mister tough-guy would’ve fed me my teeth for sure.

The best part was after the show when we were trying to figure out how to get our gear into the car. I got to say things like, “Sorry if I seem a little stunned… but I am a little stunned.”

Two days later my head still hurts. I was sure the left side of my face was going to swell up and turn purple all over, but really there’s just a small patch of broken blood vessels along the edge of my cheekbone where his knuckles must’ve collided.

All in the name of rock’n’roll.


Hi gang, haven’t had much time for writing lately because I’ve been getting ready for this show at The Attic…

Colour TV & Spinoza live at The Attic. That’s right, I’m rocking out in two bands in one night. It always seems like a great idea and then it turns into an awful lot of work. Ahh, it’ll be fun.

Show starts around 11, cover is $2 I believe. Cheap drinks.

Today is my one-year anniversary over on halifaxlocals. I’m going to stick a candle in a muffin.

Dear Sobey’s

Dear Sobey’s Inc.,

OK listen up, because we’ve got a little situation here with these new robot-security shopping carts of yours.

So you’ve gone and done it. You’ve erected these invisible techno-forcefields all around your parking lots, and whenever someone crosses the line with one of your carts, the right front wheel seizes up. The cart is thus rendered immobile and theft-proof, supposedly.

I don’t know if you realized this, but when someone has a cart full of groceries that they’re planning to wheel home, they’re going to get a little frustrated at this sudden crimp in their plans. And human beings tend to respond to frustration with denial.

Denial in this case usually involves an attempt to drag the cart down the sidewalk on three working wheels. Oh, they won’t get far. It’s almost impossible to move a cart full of groceries that has one wheel locked in place. In this sense, your program is a success.

But the force of friction has been taking a toll on that obstinate rigid wheel, and also on my nerves.

I’ve noticed that most of your carts have been afflicted with an unusual malady. The right front wheel has been filed down to flatness by the force of being dragged along the pavement. So whenever I cruise around your store, your carts go like this: kachunk kachunk kachunk kachunk kachunk

Do you know how annoying this is? You geniuses up there in Head Office, have you actually gone and tried to push a cart around one of your own stores lately? Do you want me to feel annoyed the whole time I’m in your store?

Would you like me to tell you what happened the last time I got annoyed when I was at the supermarket? That time the cashier wouldn’t accept one of my coupons. I wound up jumping up on the conveyor belt and yelling at her.

“Turn it on! Ring me through! Come on, turn it on! I wanna go for a RIDE!!” and finally she turned on the conveyor belt and I rode along for all of three feet, and then I said “Okay, OFF, turn it off” before I tripped and fell, limbs flailing, and landed in a big pile of tangled plastic bags.

And then that security guard came along to escort me off the premises, and the kid was younger than I was, and I asked him how it felt to be a slave to The Man at such an early age. “Yeah, in fact you are The Man! Look at this everyone, I’m being thrown out by The Man! Tell that to your skateboard buddies, you puny fascist punk!”

Look dudes, how about you disable all the forcefields, bring the old carts back, and instead put huge ugly SOBEY’S logos all over the sides of them. Everyone would love you, plus you’d have free advertising all over the North End.

Dumbasses! You people should hire me.

Warmest regards,
Philip Clark
North End Halifax

free show

Psst… I’m playing a free show at the Pavilion today with my rock band, Colour TV. A bunch of bands are doing 20-minute sets and I think it’s gonna go like clockwork so don’t sleep.

Here’s the lineup–

6:00 – 6:20 Reasonable Volume
6:30 – 6:50 The KNA
7:00 – 7:20 Colour TV
7:30 – 7:50 In Time
8:00 – 8:20 Dresses
8:30 – 8:50 Raygunomics
9:00 – 9:20 War Pony
9:30 – 9:50 Blackout 77