Today I'm sharing some startling photographs taken by the lustrous Liz Ham at our first Recovery On The Rocks (above you see the legendary Vic Simms and his All Star Band of storied peers and great mates).
They are timeless depictions of shared humanity, taken on tragically loaded land, after an an awful recent interval for our species worldwide.
We conjured these two events to galvanise and empower our communities at this crucial juncture - and to bouy our collective spirits. Please keep the afternoon of Sunday May 16 free for the final one. Initial details are here.
Wednesday May the 5th ~
A few hours after we kick off at midday that Sunday we'll again be honoured to experience a Welcome To Country from Aunty Rhonda Dixon-Grovenor and this time also her daughter Nadeena Dixon.
Together they'll be ceremonially setting cleansing smoke free amongst us, directly after a sumptuous set of subtle sound by Limbs Akimbo's Jackson Fester. That's Rhonda above, cutting a rug with the irrepressible Rose Mastroianni (to Vic's band).
Remember if you ever wanna move yr feet mid-week you can do so just a few blocks up George St from our Rocks location, as Swingin' at the Speakeasy unfolds at Palmer & Co. Tonight you'll hear Queenie and The Cavaliers playing several sets live for free (with interstitial DJ spots from Pia Andersen), then I'll spin all the way til close sometime in the early AM.
Friday May the 7th ~
On Friday I'm to play the first DJ set ever at the Allawah Hotel. If you, like the astonishing Betty Grumble (pictured above at the conclusion of her stunning dance across the Quay, footage of which you can see here), hail from down that way, please avail yrself of this free five-hour set, upstairs from 7.
Saturday May the 8th ~
Jack Off remains a mystery even to me. The trials, tears, terrors and triumphs of everyday life - manifest in music. Wired or wireless: 3 til 5PM.
I guess many of us miss the sheer depth of scale whilst busy doing 'other things'. Then there are a good few of us who can barely shake hourly awareness of both impending loss and the elusive movements of the transformational mirror that is love.
Maya Petrovna rarely departs from either domain, manifesting such beauty, terror and hope in the first Recovery's final last act that people are still processing their experience of this intersection of talent, experience and courage.
Hold on to those you hold dear. Share yr dreams and feelings frankly. See you back here next week for more glimpses of the possible, then perhaps we'll gather together once more a few days hence.
Dancing lights skim the surface of terrible tides.
Wednesday April the 28th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy exists deep beneath the city streets, inches above what was the key watercourse for the nascent colony imposed here. The ghosts of the past are present when I play. Listen from 11PM til the witching hour and you'll see.
Saturday May the 1st ~
Jack Off floats endlessly above the Pacific. Last week visitors from overseas serenaded us. This week it's all a mystery. Ends at 5. Starts at 3. Support Sydney, us or even just me. Stay wild. Stay weird.
Light layers glowing and growing, free of foul play.
Wednesday April the 21st ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy sees Pia Andersen DJ between sets from Paula Baxter and Dan Barnett's Organ Trio from 7 til 11, before I bring it all home til close. Dancing is uplifting, entry free.
Friday April the 23rd ~
Get deeper down below ground and unfurl as the weekend descends, via my first set in the reopened Imperial basement in eons. 9PM til midnight. Free.
Saturday April the 24th ~
On our return from the fertile dirt of Northern NSW Jack Off goes hard - bringing you multiple live guests from here and overseas!
First hear Philly to Canberra transplant John Sharkey III (accompanied by the latter city's Nick Craft), then catch New Zealand's fast-moving Merk, fresh from the travel bubble opening at last.
Sunday April the 25th ~
Come Sunday we'll enjoy the perfect autumn air out by the greens of the Petersham Bowling Club between 2 and 5PM. Animals and kids caper about as our beautiful, peaceful community comes together.
That remains entirely free. Then, if you feel the urge to party on inside for a small fee you can, as from 7 The Western Distributors Anzac Day Dance Spectacular kicks into gear. Let's twist again...
Curly cars and sand bars. Bending with the breeze. Off to recite nursery rhymes in northern climes.
Friday April the 16th ~
Gonna get cosmic from the outset with a free nine til midnight bracket at Byron Bay's brilliant new cocktail bar Spott. Join us if yr up that way hey?
Saturday April the 17th ~
Jack Off transmits from 3 til just shy of sunset despite my absence. It brings me peace and joy to know that Jonny Seymour is forever on hand to relay love and light to all our loyal listeners.
In the interim I'll be spinning sweet tunes at the wedding of Katie and Kahlil up in the hinterland.
My eternal respect and gratitude to all who made our first Recovery On The Rocks such a perfect manifestation of healing and community. Aunty Rhonda seems to have summed it all up better than I could ever hope to - she sent this text just now:
Just wanted to say Thank you 😊 For inviting me to do the Welcome to Country It was such a lovely event very thoughtful Loved everything about it The Energy was Ethereal yet Up Lifting something that I feel needed during these trying times 🌈🙏🏽🌞❤️🐳🐙🐞🌈 Stay well Cheers xAuntyRhonda
Please, if yr gonna take anything from these years of missives from me, take the chance to catch my wise old mate Vic Simms headline this extraordinary occasion that seeks to surmount the sordid history of Sydney and the stress of the past year via love, music, art and community. It was made for you.
Saturday April the 10th ~
Jack Off pleases itself on FBi Radio betwixt 3 and 5PM. Catch up on last week's chat with Peaches here.
Sunday April the 11th ~
The first proper party I've thrown for all and sundry in over a decade, Jack's Hit House - Recovery On The Rocks takes place this Sunday afternoon within Good Space and it's parkland surrounds.
We're hosting a free gathering that acknowledges all we lost during the pandemic, whilst beginning to rebuild individual spirits and our collective bonds.
It will be held on contentious land, where a penal colony was first imposed on the oldest living culture on earth, an area where displacement and dispossession of people in the name of crass commerce persists.
This is an intergenerational, multimodal exchange of music and performance - featuring a diverse array of local artists, bound by sincere intentions to emotionally engage and uplift after the acute traumas of the past year. It will be a safe and inclusive space that welcomes people of all ages, races and sexualities.
We seek to heal the harms endured in isolation by sharing culture in a creative repurposing of an historic outdoor/indoor venue. This involves a clear-eyed look at the stark shape of things: a determination to waste no minutes nor opportunities; to do better, together; to lay a fairer foundation for our future - in hope, gesture and deed.
It starts with us.
Head down to the harbour with yr loved ones to share in true stories, stirring Sydney bands, empathetic deejay sets and sacred/profane shows.
Enjoy life and each other.
Running times are as follows:
Pandemic Park (Bligh & Barney Reserve):
1-3 Jack Shit (DJ)
1-3 Venus Vamp (Tarot)
1.30-3.30PM Sunny Leunig (Magic)
2.15 Aunty Rhonda (Welcome To Country)
2.45 Betty Grumble (Show)
3-4.30 Robbie Buck (DJ)
4.30-6PM Soup (DJ)
6 til 7 The Snacc Pacc
Samson's Cottage Courtyard (Garden in front of both 102A and 106-108 George St, opposite Overseas Passenger Terminal):
3.30-4.30 Vic Simms and band
Sailor's Home Theatre (106-108 George St):
5.30-6.15 Maya Petrovna
Think you can remember how? Let's try now...
Wednesday March the 31st ~
Pop yr dancing shoes on and be ready in a jiffy as Swingin' at the Speakeasy goes live with Wes Pudsey & Sonic Aces Trio plus Sara O’Connor shortly, kicking off for the assembled itchy-keen swing dancers and friends from 7PM.
After 11 I'll slap some platters on the turning tables and we'll step up for free til the wee hours.
Thursday April the 1st ~
By the next evening, after all of that magical motion, things ought to be going swimmingly.
So join me back at Palmer & Co for a truly-twenties-style celebration of convivial community. Stand, prance or shimmy from 10PM til at least 2. Free!
Friday April the 2nd ~
By now you've ditched any hesitancy (and possibly yr pants), slipping into something more comfortable to sashay in style. Good Friday is gonna be fucking great, as The Great Club stages it's first-ever dinner and dance: a free affair with music from myself all the way from 6 til 10PM.
Book a table and cut loose under the mirror ball in this styling and spacious Marrickville paradise. It's Easter For Grown-Ups and there's even golden tickets, chocolate eggs and bar tabs to be won in the egg-hunt during the evening. Doors open at 4 so you can really make the most of yr new-found freedom this looooooooong weekend.
Saturday April the 3rd ~
I've a few more tasty morsels to share with you too, mainly music to get yr arse in gear live on FBi between 3 and 5 but also a couple of deeper exchanges that exist on-demand.
Middle Kids joined us ahead of their Great Club album preview and performance a fortnight ago - and both their live song and extended conversation was an absolute treat.
Then last week on Jack Off I had the privilege of speaking with Dublin's profound poet of male mateship David Balfe, on the occasion of the release of his debut album as For Those I Love.
I'm not sure I've ever heard a person take such care in choosing each and every word with such sensitivity and humility so as to honour his subjects. Dave's a beautiful human. He's already making a huge difference to those struggling on this Earth via his honesty alone. Please listen here if you get the chance.
Have a lovely holiday all. Please keep next Sunday free for the first major party I've staged in over a decade. It'll be a free, family-friendly, arvo affair right by the Quay. More info next newsletter.
Still as the night. Solid as a rock. What a crock!
Wednesday March the 24th ~
Succeeding live performances by Arthur Washington & Tilly Street Trio plus the Eamon Dilworth Trio (that run betwixt 7 & 11) I'll settle down to study sonic notation at my little desk til the early hours. Swingin' at the Speakeasy is always free.
Thursday March the 25th ~
I'll roll back down to Palmer & Co. the next evening for a more extended set from 9 til close (around 2).
Saturday March the 27th ~
Settle into the sheer scale of the signal/s on Jack Off this week and you will experience shifts of perception, time and place.
Six years after having had the untold privilege of being granted the only interview Pharoah Sanders conducted on his last tour of this country, we will hear the entirety of his sublime new album with Floating Points and The London Symphony Orchestra - a single piece of music five years in the making.
Listen carefully. 3 til 5PM on FBi Radio.
Afterwards it's off to Coogee to play a private birthday party but there's one more public event...
Sunday March the 28th ~
Get beside the vege patch out by the greens of the Petersham Bowling Club and enjoy nutritious tunes of every stripe for free from 2 til 5. All welcome.
Tiny frames and moving images that miss you too.
Wednesday March the 17th ~
Down in the depths below George Street Swingin' at the Speakeasy has Miss Pia's Trio from 7, then Clayton Doley's Organ Trio til 11, after which I spin lonely arts til the early hours. All is free.
Saturday March the 20th ~
Jack Off screens space for those out of the race.
Sunday March the 21st ~
Australian Broadway star and showbiz polymath Eddie Perfect is wrapping up the Sunset Piazza season out front of St Mary's Cathedral.
The show has long sold out. If you've a ticket and will be stepping out to the city come a little early to hear stages of sound staggered across the wires by way of warm-up.
Are we free yet?
Wednesday March the 10th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy rallies the troops with rousing sets from Eamon Dilworth’s Trio and Mescalero between 6 and 10. Afterwards I'll relay anthems of all ages for free til close around 1AM.
Thursday March the 11th ~
Come the next evening I'll again attempt to rattle the cage of our penal colony from it's founding few blocks. Success is relative. Effort counts. Witness the Shitness from 9 til hella late at Palmer & Co.
Saturday March the 13th ~
Jack Off electrifies our entrapment with the panopticon's penultimate soundtrack. Where else but Free Broadcast Incorporated? 3 til 5 while yr alive.
You know what else is gonna be live? Guests! After over a year of being unable to host musicians performing in the studio (a hard and fast rule for any visitor on our program) we've at last been granted a tentative dispensation to have no more than three select people in at a time.
This Saturday it will be my great honour to restart this rationale with Middle Kids (and married couple with a young bub) Hannah Joy and Tim Fitz. It'll be wonderful to hear them sing and play - but also to simply sit and converse with others about how we've survived this tumultuous time. Please tune in!
Remnants, or portents, of the beyond...
Wednesday February the 24th ~
As a fellow hermit I adore the immaculate space fashioned above. Valerio illustrated the span between earthly anchors, flowers and the stars.
Tonight I descend into another sandstone cave - Palmer & Co. - as the City heats up again. Live music begins with Miss Pia at 6PM, then Arthur Washington & Tilly Street from 8. I take it from 10 til close in the early AM. Entry is free.
Thursday February the 25th ~
The following evening I'll return to this hidden gem, spinning antique audio from 9PM.
Friday February the 26th ~
By Friday we'll be way down the South Coast to play a winery wedding for Anne and Jeremy.
Saturday February the 27th ~
Jack Off recycles waste between 3 and 5PM.
Sunday February the 28th ~
It's eminently conceivable that I might be a bit of a burnt-out husk myself by Sunday, so it is fortunate that I get to sit beside the greens at the beautiful Petersham Bowlo, relaying restorative music and imbibing fine ales from 3 til 6PM.
It's always free out in the fresh air there - otherwise there's a door-charge for We Mavericks and Steph Miller inside after 7.