Monthly Archives: June 2008

swordfight podcast #002

Swordfight Dot Org Parlour Party Podcast number two. In which I play records and talk a bunch of shit.

~ swordfight-podcast-02.mp3
[Right-click and “save as,” 86MB, total running time: 1 hour 2 minutes]

There are lots of awesome songs in this world, but there are relatively few songs that actually contain the word “awesome.” That’s why I love Muscles.

Tracklist, June 26 2008:
Magazine – Rhythm of Cruelty
John Cooper Clarke – Daily Express
Joy Division – At A Later Date
New Order – 5.8.6
Muscles – Sweaty
Goose – British Mode
Wire – Second Length (Our Swimmer)
The Wonder Stuff – Red Berry Joy Town
The Icicle Works – Birds Fly (Whisper To A Scream)
Ruts – Savage Circle
Verbal Assault – Trial
Uranus – Believer
The Fall – Theme From Sparta F.C.

Errata. I said I thought Goose might be from The Netherlands. The band is from Belgium. Also, Ruts changed their name to Ruts DC after the singer died of a heroin overdose. I don’t have Internet in the parlour so I can’t look this shit up… Thank you Wikipedia.

Oh, the guitarist for Ruts died of cancer last fall, RIP.

swordfight podcast #001

Here is the new Swordfight Dot Org Party Podcast. I just grabbed a stack of records and threw on some jams one after the other and talked about the records a bit and had a big dance party in the parlour of my house. I say “wicked” a lot on this, and with good reason.


~ swordfight-podcast-01.mp3 [78MB mp3, total running time 57:20]


Tracklist in case you’d like to know what you’re getting–

Bad Brains – She’s Calling You

Fugazi – In Defense Of Humans

Scream – Came Without Warning

Undertones – Get Over You

That Petrol Emotion – It’s A Good Thing

Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip – Thou Shalt Always Kill

Playdoe – It’s That Beat

B-52s – 52 Girls

The Godfathers – If I Only Had Time

Ramones – Don’t Come Close

For Against – It’s A Lie

The Fall – I Feel Voxish

Johnny Horton – Lover’s Rock

Aesop Rock – None Shall Pass.


Enjoy, my good friends, enjoy.

June 13 – Feast of St. Felicula

June 13 is the feast day of Saint Felicula, patron saint of vampire cats.


In the year 90 an angry Roman official had Felicula arrested and thrown into a sewer. Her little pet kitten Quincunx was also nabbed and was tossed right in after her. Felicula, despite having two broken legs and a concussion, miraculously managed to survive for over 90 days in the foul conditions by biting herself and drinking her own blood.


After Felicula died her remains were collected from the Roman sewer by St. Nicomedes, patron saint of hip waders.


Nicomedes also rescued Quincunx the cat who grew some seriously long, sharp fangs and went on to live for another nine hundred years.

too hot to live, too dumb to die

Purple pixels turn red, red pixels turn blue, blue pixels turn black. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Dudes, I found a Commodore 1702 monitor in the garbage on Main Street in the village of Chipman. The 1702 was my dream monitor when I was a 12-year-old hacking it up on a Commodore 64, and before that a Commodore VIC-20, with its 3583 bytes of raging computational power. The gods take away, and the gods provide.

~ This photograph was taken with a 2.0-megapixel Hewlett Packard FinePix digital camera that probably cost hundreds of dollars when I bought it six or seven years ago. I haven’t used it in a while because the lens assembly broke. A piece that holds the lens in must have snapped. I can hear it rattling around inside the camera’s silver plastic body.

So when I power the camera up, causing the lens to automatically slide forward with its robotic whine, the barrel of the lens wobbles back and forth like a hungover turtle sticking its head out of a shell and squinting in the painful morning sunshine. I can no longer expect to focus properly because the lens will tend to be canted at a weird angle although I can usually straighten it somewhat by wiggling it around between my thumb and forefinger.

I stopped using the digital camera a while back when I got a cellphone, which also takes pictures and is much easier to carry around. But the cellphone pics have kind of a washed-out, desaturated quality, appropriate for some subjects, but certainly not able to do justice to my beautiful natural surroundings. So a few days ago I dug out the old digicam.

I wanted to take some pictures of the beaver dam and the huge pond that’s out in the woods on our property. I grabbed the camera and put on my big black galoshes and my bug mask and headed up the dirt road to the trail that leads into the forest.

The beavers have been hard at work. The pond has grown huge like a hockey rink and I swished through the pond until the water threatened to spill over the tops of my boots. With the sun shining down through the treetops, and the birds singing all around me, I raised the camera to snap a photo of the woody half-sphere of the beaver lodge. Whereupon I discovered that the camera’s battery hatch was hanging open, and there was a gaping hole in the camera where my brand-new Duracell rechargeable batteries used to be.

I looked back over my shoulder at the expanse of water I had just traversed. And then I looked down at the now-useless lump of technology in my hand.

I almost pitched my Hewlett Packard digicam straight into the pond. Fortunately I did not because on the walk back I found my two Duracells lying a few metres apart at the top of the dirt road. The gods take away, and the gods provide. I picked up the batteries and pocketed them after I had drawn little squares around them in the dirt where they lay, as if marking the scene of some unsolved rural crime.

And that is why I do not have any beaver dam pictures for you today.

~ You’re not seeing what I’m seeing right now. I’m using a computer with a cracked laptop screen to look at a picture of a computer with a cracked laptop screen. The effect is not unlike gazing down a hall of mirrors into the final hideout of a fractured mind.

too smart to live, too cool to die

I’m sitting in the parking lot of an Irving Big Stop in Salisbury, New Brunswick. Last night A/V played with Windom Earle in Charlottetown, PEI and it was a packed sweaty house party of dancing fun. I just remembered at the end of my set that a magical robot girl appeared out of thin air and kicked the asses of the fake robot girl poseurs, and then some dude stepped on my power bar and shut off all the music, and yet the vocals continued as people clapped and sang along. Then the real robot summoned Windom Earle out of the swirling vapours of the Atlantic night and they were wearing pirate costumes or some shit and proceeded to blow the barn doors right off the place.

That was the first A/V show I’ve played in a month.

I was working on a new CD and my Juno-106 blew a power transformer. I was the guy who used to go around saying “Oh I have to lug so much gear around, I wish there was a way I could strip down my setup.” So I finally got my idiotic wish, what with the shitting-of-the-bed of my main synthesizer. I briefly considered ditching the whole unreliable mess of a band, but then I thought maybe there would be some way I could salvage recording an album by using my iBook instead of a synth, even though I hate that, you fucking electronica nerds, moving a bunch of coloured blocks around on a laptop screen, it’s not even remotely analogous to “rocking out.” But fuck it, give me some tools and I’ll get the job done.

My iBook was too old and weak to run the recording software properly. So I ordered some RAM off the Internet with my poor aching credit card. The package arrived on Thursday and I installed the new RAM. So now my computer can run the software. I’m in business. The very next day, on Friday, I had my spiffy rammed-up laptop and I was sitting in the armchair that looks out over the forest and trying different things on the computer, and I set the computer down on the floor to gaze out over the expanse of trees, and got lost for many minutes in reverie and silent contemplation of Nature. And then I stood up and put my heel down on the iBook and was rewarded with a nice crunching sound much like the teeth of Jesus Fucking Christ chewing on my bones at his last god damn cannibal supper. I opened my laptop and I’d cracked the screen. It wasn’t too bad, a little crack and some hairline offshoot cracks, but it pissed me off. Today I turned it on and the damage had grown much worse. The cracks are actually bleeding now, in pixels of red and holy blessed purple, and the Internet has just now told me my computer’s days are probably numbered, hold on while I try to take a picture of this shit: