Monthly Archives: February 2007


Saturday night in Saint John was fun. Trisha got completely borked and I had to keep asking Dan to tell his girlfriend to stop mauling me. We went to Callahan’s and I danced with a bunch of old ladies. All my new girlfriends.

Del was playing for dance party night at Callahan’s. The man is a phenomenon. He sits a little ways back from the dancefloor on a stage surrounded by silver curtains. He has something like four big keyboard workstations, and a songbook the size of three family Bibles, and a super disco lighting rig that he operates with his feet, and he plays and sings and keeps on making the party happen.

He has his own sound system with the word “DEL” on the stacks. The secret of Delbert is that he has the best-sounding PA in town. The man ain’t foolin’ around. Talk about overpowered for a small room.

The first time I heard Del I was in the back at Callahan’s thinking, my god that PA system sounds good. Thumpin’ bass and crystal-clear highs. Then I looked over and went holy shit… some guy’s performing all this music live.

The scene at Callahan’s reminds me of the way the North End Pub used to be back in the summer of 2001. Before the Sunday jamboree got popular with the kids I would go across the street to listen to the band and I would be the only person in the room under 40. Callahan’s has the same kind of older crowd. And they love it… the place is packed and everyone’s dancing and getting loaded and they’re all making out with each other on the dancefloor and groping each other all over the place. The ladies were just grabbing me, saying “come on, young boy” and pulling me out to the dancefloor. I even waltzed during a slow song. What do I know about waltzing? Shit, son. Apparently there are photos.

I was talking to Del during a break between sets. He plays four nights a week at Callahan’s and on weekend afternoons he plays at the Legion and then through the week he plays around at different nursing homes. He’s in demand. At Callahan’s he does a country night and an oldies night plus the Saturday night dance party. Saturday night seemed like a lot of ’80s stuff. On Sundays he hosts an open mic night and I told him if he learns some Devo I’m gonna head down sometime.

We were back and forth for a while between Callahan’s and Happinez where the DJ for the night was Fred, AKA NexusSix, a homie from the Bike Shop days in Halifax. Towards the end of the night we walked past Elwood’s where a band called Divine Heist was on the bill.

“Ya know,” I said, “this band missed out on a real opportunity here. They could’ve called themselves ‘Divine HOIST’ and it would have been one of the best band names in history.”

“HOIST” said Fred and I could tell that I was onto something. A bunch of us went to the 24-hour noodle restaurant (Saint John you surprise me). I stuck with some kind of chicken noodle soup thing because I’ve never been known to hoist a shrimp. But I will hoist a toast to all the cranes surrounding Saint John harbour. To the view we had one winter night from Fort Howe.

Robin would’ve turned 29 today. Sometimes I hate waking up in the morning.

where are my pants

I’m in Halifax. Part of me wishes I’d stayed home. This is normal. I had some of the best and worst times of my life here. It never seems like a big deal to be coming back but as I cross the bridge up onto North Street I find that apathy splinters into excitement and dread.

A/V played last night. I opened the show at nine-thirty and played a twenty-minute set to 25 or 30 people. It was a darkened room and everyone was sitting at tables with candles on them. I made a joke about how the waiter would be along shortly to take everyone’s order. This attempt at humour floated out into the silence of the room, died of a heart attack and fell flat on the floor. Last night was a rough go.

I’ve been invited to play tonight at The Attic. My set time is 11:15-11:45 at the Chief Room. I’m hoping people will be drunker and in a little more of a party mood.

Couple things –

* I need a nap, big time if I’m going to play tonight. Please drop me a line if you have a quiet place where I can snooze for an hour or two.

* I need to borrow a set of headphones with a 1/4″ plug on them. I can give them back at Gus’s Pub tomorrow night… that would be a big help.

Um there’s something else but we’re leaving now to go get some steak and eggs and I want to drink a pile of breakfast caesars, but I guess I need to be able to drive downtown and load-in at The Attic. Sunday night for SURE I am going to kick back and relax and have a few.

I think I have a picture on my phone of Gerry taking a leak while the car was in line at the Burger King drive-thru. There was a car right behind us and I hope they enjoyed the show. Gerry mooned them on the way out of the driveway for good measure. Ah good times.

ecma weekend 2007

Bus Stop Theatre
2203 Gottingen Street

Fri, Feb 16 $7.00 cover
11:15-12:00 Great Plains
10:30-11:15 Museum Pieces
10:00-10:30 Shotgun & Jaybird
9:30-10:00 A/V

It’s a short set, barely a taste. But tonight I’m gonna rock it (tonight). The Squid will be in full effect.

I’m in Halifax all weekend, playing this show this evening and also making an appearance at Gus’s Pub on Sunday. You should call me on my shiny new cell-o-phone.

I’ve been a hermit for too long… don’t know if I’m up for all the schmoozy-schmoozing. I’d like to spend the weekend hanging out with a few friends, chillin out and drinking a bucket of tequila. Anyone know someplace where I can park my car and forget about it for a few nights?

Tonight at the Chipman drugstore I saw a handwritten ad for someone who is selling a 357 Magnum, no reasonable offer refused. It made me really want to own a handgun.

The end of everything is merely the start of everything else.

The Official 2007 Guide to A/V Dance Move Styles

The Official 2007 Guide to A/V Dance Move Styles

We’re Number One
Point your index fingers in the air and wave them around like you’re chanting “We’re Number One.” Only don’t forget to put your hips into it a little bit. This is the default A/V dance move.

Sizzle Like Bacon
Fall down on the floor and shake your body and flop all around exactly like you would if you were a piece of bacon lying in a hot hot pan. This move works best in a confined space so you can sizzle around and roll on top of people and make out with them. If you are vegan or vegetarian, feel free to substitute “Sizzle Like A Perfectly Seasoned Tofu Strip.”

The Imperial Staircase
Plant your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Take four steps forward while lowering your torso as if you were walking down some stairs. Then take four steps backwards and walk back up again. Again, you’ve got to get sassy with the hips.

After careful analysis of the human body-mass index, I have determined that 135 beats per minute is the optimum tempo at which to execute The Imperial Staircase. That is why I wrote a bunch of songs with this tempo (e.g., “The Clumsy Surgeon”).

The Nose
I once worked at a hotel alongside an Algerian guy and English was his fourth language. He spoke Arabic, and some other kind of Arabic, and then French, and finally English. So we wound up speaking French most of the time, which was some kind of a compromise parce que moi, je suis tres mauvais en francais. We wound up communicating via gestures a lot. My favourite gesture of his eventually turned into the dance move we now know as “The Nose.”

The following is to be executed quickly, as a single fluid motion. Place the palm of your hand over your face. Then bring your fingers in and draw your hand forward, as if your nose were made of silly putty and you were stretching it out in front of you. Stretch out a nice long beak for yourself. Scrunch up your mouth and make a ridiculous face. Feel free to give the nose a quick little shake when it is drawn out to its full length. The effect should be somewhat crude, suggesting that your face is getting a boner.

Brahim used to do The Nose whenever a foxy woman walked by. “God! [nose] She is so sexy!”

Nowadays you can throw this move into your dance repertoire at any time to serve as a kind of funky punctuation. You can also walk up to other people and give them The Nose, or you can get creative with it in other ways, such as drawing out the nose and then pretending to tie it in a knot or run it under a sewing machine or whatever.

The Shooter Waitress
I learned all about The Shooter Waitress at a show last fall in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. If you want to know a thing or two about partying, be a friend to Ryan. When he’s suitably warmed up he transforms into a character known as “The Mitchell” and The Mitchell has got all kinds of moves.

The first part of this dance is very important. You’ve got to hide behind a pillar, or duck down behind a PA speaker or something. Then, at the opportune moment, you pop out from your hiding place with a big smile on your face and roam around the room with your arm up like you’re carrying a big tray of shooters. Basically you just strut around the dancefloor from person to person and act like you’re checking to see if anybody wants a shooter. This simple dance has proven itself to be a neverending source of delight.

There’s a woman who works at The Capital Bar in Fredericton, NB who embodies all the characteristics of the perfect shooter waitress. She’ll just appear out of nowhere at the foot of the staircase with this huge tray of colourful shooters, all petite and smiley and going from person to person making sure everybody’s having a good time and everybody’s doing all right for shots. I don’t even know her name and I don’t want to know. I don’t want to know anything else about her because right now she exists for me as this ideal type.

The Squid
It’s a beautiful sunny winter afternoon in Gaspereau Forks, what am I doing sitting inside? I am creating an animated gif for you, to illustrate the latest hot dance move for 2007.

the squid

It’s David Byrne from The Talking Heads who was kind enough to demonstrate The Squid for us in his famous concert movie. It’s not exactly the same move but if you’ve seen A/V lately you’ll definitely recognize it. Picture it about 50% faster, for one thing.

I have to say, I love The Shooter Waitress but The Squid is my favourite dance move right now. It’s especially awesome when you get a room full of drunk people all trying to do The Squid at the same time.

Honourable Mention: straightedge hardcore.
Any moves that you might bust out at a hardcore show are welcome at the A/V show. And why not? Since the days of my youth I have been known to get excited and clap my hands and point two fingers in the air, and then run and jump and give someone a roundhouse kick or bend over at the waist and give the floor a punch in the face.

Second Honourable Mention: jumping jacks.