Here's a fresh Scarborough set of tender tunes for all you sweet souls, somehow holding on to sanity and kindness amongst the brutality of our present circumstance.
It was recorded just yesterday and begins with a brand new Darren Hanlon song, sent from isolation in Gympie the day prior. I hope that the selections and their flow unearth all manner of restorative colours within.
Friday May the 22nd ~
Expand yr legal parameters in cyberspace as Julian Morrow hosts Questions Of Law - a happy hour quiz for justice boffins, sound-tracked live by this unrepresented (and unrepresentative) fool.
Saturday May the 23rd ~
Jack Off digs deep to unearth all manner of audio gold: including an astonishing new self-meditation; and a replay of the hilariously brash and mischievous 2012 appearance of iconic UK band The Pretty Things on the program - by way of tribute to rabble-rousing singer Phil May, who died this week.
Our cup runneth over with lush listening options this week. A fine place to start supping is this emotionally resonant mix - made for the second of Scarborough Wine Company's Quarantine Care packages.
As usual I started at an apt point amongst current culture, then gradually morphed backwards in time via more well-known fare. Unusually I knew where I wanted to end, amongst the devastating beauty of one of my favourite songs of all time.
Knowing that was where we were headed made for a pretty intense trajectory. Kinda broke my own heart - but it will also lift yr spirits and hemlines, promise!
Friday May the 15th ~
Questions Of Law - the happy hour quiz for law buffs, possibly in the buff - hosted by Julian Morrow from The Chaser, transmits via Zoom at the slightly later time of 5.30PM this week.
I was frankly stunned to see my myriad music cues receiving such sincere credit from our participants on the chat last week. It's lovely to have yr dedication to invention recognised even in isolation.
Suss it out if yr curious, regardless of whether yr a lawyer (or Judge), it's pretty hilarious.
Saturday May the 16th ~
The freakiest synchronicity went down recently. 17 years after Ian Rilen (Rose Tattoo, X Sardine V et al) visited me with bandmates (and other mates) in the early AM at 2SER, after an earlier gig at The Excelsior, performing one of the most sensitive and sozzled sets of live songs imaginable, the National Film and Sound Archive returned the digitised recording they'd made off my tape to me.
I'd had a request for X's iconic I Don't Wanna Go Out on Jack Off that week so I decided to throw this wild old interaction on air after it, leading to immediate listener entreaties to open the archives more often. Then, only an hour or so after I listened back to a recording of that show, I received a message from Pterodactyl Man linking me to a Youtube video of the exact same moment.
I had thought this key Sydney cultural artefact was possibly lost for all time til the NSFA unearthed it in my collection of hard copies - but what are the fucken chances of another (mate) happening to bung a tape in at 3AM on a Sunday night and then publishing it 17 years later, from the exact same start point, in the same week?!
My mind boggles at what might still be out there. Certainly the spirit of the gentleman that was/is Ian Rilen. Hopefully he is enjoying a Jack and Coke or three with the profoundly patient and passionate woman who facilitated this visit, booker extaordinaire Sue Telfer, who died last year - 13 years after Ian left this mortal coil. I'm surprised and grateful that you now have three means of listening to this previously lost and lovely lark.
This week, between 3 and 5PM on FBi Radio, we go further than ever before - breaking a rule of two decades standing (that every guest must appear live in the studio and perform in some way) - so as to bend with the breeze and transcend isolation.
What a way to begin reaching out beyond time and space - spending almost an hour with Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen), out back of his folks' farm in Virginia, as he and his family shelter from the abysmal viral apocalypse afflicting America.
Our conversation envelopes matters familial, political and interpersonal and was, for me at least, the sweetest way to finally meet a man whose songs have marked micro and macro time throughout my adult life. I genuinely hope you can tune in to hear both what he says and his stunning live tune too.
Apposite audio that abandons alarm for cosmic calm.
Friday May the 8th ~
Happy hour hits at once come 5PM - as Jules Morrow hosts Questions Of Law via Zoom for legal minds and quivering livers. 30 thematic sound cues flow live. It's rapid, rarefied and free hilarity.
Saturday May the 9th ~
Jack Off bends back and submerges our barking brains in the solace of sound each Saturday, between 3 and 5PM. Give yrself a break and awake on FBi Radio.
Wistful ways to play, out of this icy Autumn air.
Friday May the 1st ~
Legal beagles might enjoy the second iteration of Questions Of Law - a free weekly (5PM Friday) happy hour trivia quiz, hosted by Julian Morrow.
It has been great to soundtrack Jules' work again. Like our initial few outings (on an ambitious pairing of music and talk) for RN Drive a few years back, last week's opening ambit was a bit of a dog's breakfast. We both had reservations about the facility of Fakebook live and were flying by the seat of our pants with bloody everything outta sync. This week we're using Zoom and we're tentatively hopeful everything will (kinda) come together.
Sign up here if you wana have a burl or just suss another possible train-wreck! Given we're confined to Zoom (for interactions and visibility etc), the sound ain't hi-fi for shit - but overall this is another indication of the way we are each dedicated to (at least attempting) innovation so as to surmount current circumstances.
Remember that it is possible for me to stream live and lossless stereo DJ sets direct to you and up to 39 other households simultaneously if yr needing to celebrate in relative isolation.
Saturday May the 2nd ~
Come Saturday Jack Off is back to bash yr brain and shake yr slices. Tune in from 3 til 5PM and support FBi Radio in our collective hour of need as you do!
Enjoy some autumnal audio amidst the crisp, clean air - cleared for us by the cessation of industry.
Here is a mix I knocked up for my dear friend Sally Scarborough, scion of the renowned Hunter Valley vintners from Scarborough Wine Co.
Sal has been compiling a care package for the growers and nurturers of the region - comprising recipes, music and more.
She tapped me for tunes and I admit I got misty reprising my (un)usual role at home - imagining everyone listening in theirs, alone or with kin, in somewhat-suppressed states of fear, patience, hope and love.
Saturday April the 18th ~
Jack Off crawls from the chrysalis and takes wing via the FBi airwaves between 3 and 5.
There's talk of a live performance from the home of Laura Marling but I'm feeling this just-manifested possibility might be more likely to transpire next week.
I can guarantee you a journey of jumps and jinks that will lead to blossoms and pollen regardless.
Tune in and support Free Broadcast Incorporated.
Swimming against the tide, battling the breeze and staring at the sun - waiting patiently for our days to come.
Surrendering to less, offering up some.
Here's a shattered set of stark and sumptuous songs that I shared with a handful of deeply appreciative locals at the Hollywood Hotel on the night I received the news of my brother's peaceful death on the other side of the planet.
And here is the most powerful and defiant artefact to emerge from our quarantined culture yet.
Saturday April the 11th ~
FBi Radio needs yr help.
Jack Off will be reaching out live with the most pertinent music and the least fake talk between 3 and 5PM.
Please tune in and either text 0409945945 or call 83322999 if you wish to share feelings, tales or details of any contributions. I wish to say thanks.
We are here for you, always.
Take care good people.
Please be kind to each other.
Major musical morsels to lift the mood within.
STOP PRESS copy and paste from fakebook minutes ago:
I'm absolutely stoked to announce that - after a lot of enquiry and experimentation, not to mention some highly helpful recommendations from generous tech-minded friends - Jack's Hit House is ready to roll out broadcast quality live DJ sets, tailored for the celebrations of those in isolation.
I wants kids stuck inside to have brilliant birthdays regardless, lovers to waltz through anniversaries, families and sharehouses to party with a passion.
All services negotiable and largely barter at this stage I dare say.
All you'll need is one URL link like this (if yr reading this on Friday night it is live NOW) and any device will receive a signal as pristine as the files played - no decay, no loss.
Send wirelessly to speakers via Airplay, wifi or bluetooth or run a headphone jack out to proper hifi systems and luxuriate in lush stereo sound.
Up to 39 households can access my work simultaneously so you'll be at liberty to share with relatives and mates, then link via Zoom or other apps for social scenes and exchanges.
Here's a live example right now - recorded at Good RidDance outside The Hub on federal election night. I'll follow it up with another set after so as many folks as possible can witness the unrivalled streaming sound quality in real time tonight.
Enjoy - and don't hesitate to get in touch when you next need terrific tunes in yr abode!
Now back to Shithouse proper, with yet more by way of resources, this time radio replays:
First, you can hear the full half hour of my national chat with Indira Naidoo via Nightlife on ABC Radio courtesy of the player at the top of this page here. I got to share three exquisite songs and I couldn't have been happier with both their span and relevance. The first was Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again.
Secondly I do recommend a listen to last week's extraordinary program on FBi. I've never encountered so much sincere love, gratitude and support from listeners in all the decades I've been on air. I was more or less dissolving in tears from the first few texts.The messages from the last half an hour alone filled a gmail screen and were profoundly sweet.
A lot were triggered by my acknowledgement of the dire financial straits the station is in. That is also why our Diary of Death page now looks like this. Please either subscribe or donate now if you have any means. We are gonna need our independent local outlet in coming months like never before.
Saturday April the 4th ~
Jack Off will return to the air live between 3 and 5 tomorrow arvo. Now you know how drastic the situation at the station is I'd appreciate any assistance you can muster. Text 0409945945 or call 83322999 to say g'day, share yr tales from iso or to clue me in as to any financial fare you've made available on the FBi site.
This is not a supporter drive. This is just me doing whatever I can to help us survive.
I feel so far away from you - and we're not even locked down yet.
At least we can walk in the fresh air - at a safe distance. Nature remains my life/blood.
The paths along the river, the playing fields - they are all teeming with a careful kinda spirit as folks fill up on the last of these freedoms for an indeterminate spell.
I'm stocked up at home: tucker, dunny paper, timber, meds, etc. Most importantly I've the means to record radio if new regulations prohibit broadcasters from transmitting live from the FBi studios at some stage.
Said station really needs yr financial help right now. Today they laid off an integral sponsorship staff member and even our esteemed program manager. It's unthinkable - yet prudent, as revenues from all sources contract. Please support FBi Radio if you have the means to do so. Our volunteer-run independent media hub will be more vital than ever in coming months. Sydney without it is an abhorrent notion.
I can offer you something for free in exchange, as is my wont. Hopefully this will help tide you over during the calamity to come. It is a recording of my five-hour-long set from last Sunday, my final public engagement and the last gig I knew of anyone doing.
I normally only play at the Petersham Bowlo for 3 hours but I knew the stakes were high and the end was nigh. So I showed early and played til night fell. The news that all pubs and clubs would have to close came through as I spun. There was this surreal sense of gentle disbelief and gratitude throughout. People were well-spaced, outside, under a sublime sky - bereft even of planes. Birds had free reign.
By twilight all of the far-flung staff members had come from everywhere - some with bags of food from their other jobs at places also shutting down - and we sat in a vast circle on the grass and listened to a 50 minute version of Tomorrow Never Knows & more.
I've forked out for a Mixcloud Pro account so that I can share this soundtrack and some other pertinent fare in days to come. I also have plans to provide tailored DJ sets to people of all ages live from my home to yrs - whether for birthdays and other special occasions whilst isolated, or just for kicks! More on that in weeks to come.
Let's dance on together, wherever we are...
Saturday March the 28th ~
Jack Off will continue to air acute audio perspectives on this unparalleled global crisis whilst welcoming yr voices and messages to the airwaves in real time too. This is how we do!
If that 3 til 5PM waltz around the clock seems too temporal you can hear even more of me on proper adult radio nationally (or globally via the stream) sometime later that evening, as I discuss the effects of this social and economic meltdown on those who work in the realm of Nightlife.
I'll also share a few timeless tracks of eternal - and particular - relevance with host Indira Naidoo. Tune in between 10PM and 2AM to chance yr arm.
I'm sorry to proffer yet another bleak missive due to viral impacts but there's no sugar-coating it, I appear to have lost almost every gig I had scheduled for three months in the space of one afternoon.
I remain determined to manifest meaning, music and culture, in public or private, no matter what goes down in coming days/weeks - but allow me this one edition to process a little shock (despite my long-standing impression that this was all headed our way with some desultory inevitability) at the woeful state of play for everyone at present. For so many this will be a desperate battle for basic survival.
Essentially today I aim merely to tell you what is no longer happening in my calendar this week - and what I still (somewhat forlornly) hope might.
Wednesday March the 18th ~
The heroic Hollywood Hotel will open (primarily to provide some final skerricks of income to staff) but it will be without myself or live music until the inevitable lock-down begins.
Thus Neighbour Night will be no longer, at least til the other side of this crippling crisis.
I will endeavour to share a recording I made on one of these Wednesdays (in equally dire - but more personal) circumstances in next week's newsletter.
Thursday March the 19th ~
Bands and deejays at Palmer & Co have also gone the way of additional art at the Hollywood.
It's simply beyond the budget of suddenly contracting businesses (who are staring down the barrel at annihilation all over again, just as the long-promised lifting of the lockouts was providing a glimmer of hope here in Sydney).
Friday March the 20th ~
All DJs at The Paddington have been cancelled for the indefinite future.
Well never let it be said that I let the merest minute go by without an acute sense of both my good fortune and responsibility - at every venue, function or festival I was lucky enough to play.
Neither did I ever buy that disaster of vast dimensions was not likely any time soon. Swings and roundabouts eh?
Saturday March the 21st ~
FBi Radio has instituted strict new protocols: ceasing guest visits; getting staff to work from home (including producers); purchasing myriad new disposable mic socks.
Consequently I hope to continue broadcasting Jack Off until the government orders otherwise (and even then I'll be aiming to enact a remote workaround).
The unmet need for frank and civil exchanges on the reality of what we collectively face was palpable last week (listen back here if you wish, it is more affirmative than frightening).
As someone that has dedicated the bulk of their adult life to voluntary community media I am not about to go missing in this situation, even if there might be minor risks in fronting up.
Please keep tuning in between 3 and 5PM each Saturday whilst the signal endures via FM and online. Encourage others who do not already subscribe here to do so - in order that we might foster more radical solutions to isolation than the usual panicked social media echo chamber does.
Sunday March the 22nd ~
Amazingly the Petersham Bowling Club has not yet thrown in the towel and is continuing to trade.
As the only entertainment there based outside in the fresh air - where there is plenty of space for social distancing - I'm hoping against hope that this (likely my last live gig til perhaps the end of winter) may yet go ahead.
Full respect to those who've already chosen to self-isolate but if you wish to adhere to current health guidelines in a safe yet social context - and share songs to mark both the tragedy of this situation and the indomitable nature of the human spirit - please join us between 3 and 6PM by the greens for free.
Take care everybody. These are unprecedented times however they will make us stronger and more sound eventually, both as individuals and as conjoined citizens of this plaintive planet.
Keep yr ears to the ground and yr hands to the sky. It's gonna be a dangerous ride to the other side.