Reaching out to make contact after an operatic interlude largely disconnected from devices.
Wednesday August the 10th ~ Now that I've had nine days to recuperate since my shoulder surgery I'm venturing out in public to spin tunes for you (and me) once again. Hear them at Palmer & Co from 10PM til around 1 or 2 in the morn during Swingin' at the Speakeasy. I shall not dance.
Friday August the 12th ~ It seems like one of the many strange deejay dreams I've been having whilst knocked out on an array of meds to offset the uncomfortable aspects of sleeping in a sling but come Friday evening I'll be back at Hawke's Beer and Leisure Centre, playing another free set of tunes for the drinkers and diners between 8.30 and 11.30PM. Let's (prawn) toast life!
Saturday August the 13th ~ Jack Off last week went ahead as hoped, though I was unable to herald it here in advance due to typing being a bit beyond me. I sincerely recommend listening back, especially for the live performance and conversation with Afghan American Qais Essar. It's not hugely surprising that we do some of our best work when facing existential threats I guess! Afterwards I'll glide up 22 flights of stairs (in the lift) to stand upright at the grand piano of Dean and Nancy on 22, ready to relay another astonishingly vibrant set of Afro-latin rarities and curios from the continent. It's free but almost always full so book ahead and hopefully I'll see you there somewhere between 9PM and 12.30AM. Incidentally all of the upheaval of late has left me with a spare ticket to the Bong Hoon-Jo classic Mother at 8.30 at Golden Age this Friday. It was like pulling teeth failing to persuade a determined-to-remain-anonymous employee to allow me to instead attend the debut Groovescooter screening of the new KLF doco (in order to review it on air the next arvo, prior to it's two subsequent screenings). I even offered to give up, rather than give away, another ticket (so that the cinema could onsell it and thus potentially profit twice), plus pay any fare difference between the sessions. It didn't seem unreasonable to expect a little flexibility given the utility they would receive from further coverage (on top of the almost weekly plugs I've provided for film and music there since it was founded). Unfortunately any slight reciprocal consideration proved to be beyond their ken. Damn shame as I have always loved that place. However my misfortune has a silver lining for you, dear reader, should you wish to spend a solo night at the movies on Friday evening (there are only three stand-alone seats left for this session so it would not be possible to attend and sit together with a friend). If yr keen to go drop me a line. First in, best dressed!
I truly do hate to say I told you so. Splendour was all you've read and heard about. Such a harsh and bitter blow to a region and community who had already suffered so much. I was the only act playing to the few stunned and shell-shocked artists, punters and crew who had arrived by midday Friday.
Rumours swirled as I began and I only confirmed that no artists would take the stage at all that day by searching through news reports on my phone during the first hour of my set. It is against my principles to abdicate during times of crisis so my between-main-stage-bands set became six-and-a-half continuous hours. I'd already gone an hour over at a charity gig in Byron the night prior. By Sunday I was on duty from 7PM til 5.30AM.
Despite its proximity to the Tank Stream I am expecting Swingin' at the Speakeasy to be substantively more civilised/dry tonight.
Join this remnant of mud-strewn rabble as I scrub up, don a suit and spin ancient audio for dancers young and old, from 10 til around 2, for free.
Friday July the 29th ~
Sin City Soirée is especially important to me this month as it may be the last time I see many near and dear friends for a bit of a while.
Unfortunately I kinda crucified my bad old bodyboarding shoulder (last operated on when I was 20) whilst recovering from unexpected surgery on my good right shoulder after (another) stoopid skatie fall last year. As a consequence a key tendon is almost torn off and I'm back in hospital on Monday to go through the whole damn palaver again.
I'm not exactly sure when I'll be able to resume deejaying (one-handed, as per many months in 2021) so please consider joining us to cut a rug at the incomparable Hollywood Hotel for this last hurrah between 9PM and 2AM. Of course it's always free!
Saturday July the 30th ~
My final cultural contributions pre-surgery provide a lot to look forward to however.
First I wish to thank Jonny Seymour for hosting Jack Off last week in my absence, whilst patiently enduring another impossible effort at relaying what could have been a uniquely-placed live report of the reality on the ground at a crucial juncture in Australian festival history. Sadly FBi Radio's new phone handsets remain disconnected from the desk.
Thankfully this week we've live music to feed directly into the studio mics, with Fran and Hairy from The Cannanes joining me (after about a decade of cajoling) between 3 and 5. Catch those tunes via the stream or 94.5FM, then gather at The Vic after 10 to celebrate the 30th birthday of the brilliant Chapter Records label to lap up the sound of the fantastic full band in self-effacing flight. In between I've the unusual pleasure of kicking off the evening's entertainment at Maybe Sammy in The Rocks, (named the Best Bar in Australasia for the third year running) and a truly styling joint not dissimilar in design and colour-scheme to the beautiful Balmain Town Hall (pictured above as I sussed the PA for a future wedding today). There's no charge for entry and the new cocktail menu is sublime. I'll play from 5 til 9.
After that it's time for me to stack the chairs and put my feet up indefinitely for a while. Typing is hell when recovering from this op so I don't think I'll be able to send you a missive for a spell. Suffice to say I'll attempt to broadcast regardless of pain and I hope to get back to my sit-down gig at Palmer on Wednesdays within a fortnight. The rest will follow when it can.
Thank you for reading this far and always giving a Shit. Stay strong everyone. These are some times!
Thence up amongst the swollen Northern Rivers for a secret sporting charity event afterparty in Byron.
Friday July the 22nd ~
Pray for us as Splendour In The Grass returns for its thrice-postponed 20th birthday on the sodden soil of North Byron Parklands whilst a third wave of COVID and another East Coast Low descends. What could possibly go wrong?
Alongside other early casualties like Adrian Eagle, Mako Road, Surfaces, Tom Misch and now Hinds, the key artist I wanted to catch is already cactus, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs having cancelled due to 'health issues'. I will play their music daily in the Gold Bar regardless.
If yr headed and can access it you'll find me spinning in the gaps between main stage acts from midday til around 7, followed by the majesty that is Mario Speedwagon for the rest of the evening.
Saturday July the 23rd ~
I'll be backing up amongst the human wreckage at Splendour with another shift in the same location throughout the next day.
Simultaneously Jack Off will air on FBi Radio under the stewardship of judicious Jonny Seymour between 3 and 5PM.
Sunday July the 24th ~
The final day of Splendour In The Grass is beyond mortal measure. After spinning for what remains of the mud-splattered fancy-pants people in the Goldy all night there is only one place to be. Let's face it there has only ever been one place to be, the Tackle Shack.
After the utterly inimitable Waylon P. Flawstain III wraps up his final incendiary set for the weekend Mario and myself have massive white boots to step in to once the afterparty hits full swing.
It's a wild west affair once the authorities turn in and the crazed crowd leap the bar and climb the rafters, beyond anything that can be captured or described. It is the reason I return.
If you also heed that call we will dance, cry and sing together then brothers and sisters. That old timber hut by the swamp out past the boundaries of everything has always had mystical properties. Boy do we need them now. Lift us up 'o Lord, free us from this pestilence, famine, war and flood. Give us this one night free of the surly bonds of Earth.
Free trips to take and much music to make before we blow it all sky high.
Wednesday July the 13th ~
Hidden behind an anonymous door down an ancient city lane you'll discover Palmer & Co. On Wednesdays the joint is literally jumping as Swingin' at the Speakeasy brings dancing to the fore. Queenie and the Cavaliers play 7 til 10PM this week before I spin vintage hits & misses til around 2 in the morn.
Friday July the 15th ~
Come the weekend I'll reprise last week's rewarding routine, first playing overlooked local fare and obscure international indie between 8.30 and 11.30 at the Inner West's jewel of Australian culture and Chinese food, Hawke's Beer and Leisure Centre.
Saturday July the 16th ~
Saturday sees Jack Off return to the FBi airwaves, bathing in the beauty of strange and sumptuous song (after igniting neurons and electrons alike via a pummellingperformance by Party Dozen last time). Thence it's time to take to the skies for another airborne experience of ace audio atop the new A by Adina building for Dean and Nancy on 22. Book a booth, table or bar stool and enjoy sublime views and ridiculous service. I play from 9 til half 12.
Pre-tempest pics of a view earned via an especially fraught drive north, threading the needle between flooded roads for a long-deferred stay booked pre-pandemic. We're deeply grateful yet despite the apparent serenity the chaos never ends.
By the time I (hopefully) arrive home to the poor benighted Hawkesbury said house will have been without power for a week. Ausgrid texted this morning offering to drop a small generator by boat, then proceeded to tell us when we called that they will not allow my neighbour to be an advocate in my absence and receive it on my behalf. A pre-surgery school-holiday stay we've anticipated since April will thus likely be without heat or perhaps even water (as it's pump-powered rainwater only). None of this is a patch on what low-lying river rats have just copped for the third time in a year. It's unimaginable. I truly hope you are ok wherever you are reading this. May you stay safe and stay strong.
Thursday July the 7th ~
Should you happen to be miraculously available this week, here are a few sheltered, free and healing scenarios for you to enjoy music and hospitality. To begin with, Palmer & Co, between 5 and 7PM.
If you recognise any of the queeroes above or their storied abode the Dirty Habit - or perhaps you are a fan of the artist Liz Ham and her fabled photographic practice - then you might wish to vote for the audience award aspect of the National Portrait Prize. We'll be down in Canberra on this icy Friday evening to witness the work of all of the other finalists. See their astounding images here.
Wednesday June the 29th ~
It's a busy mid-week in the meantime, with the advent of Wynside Out bringing speakers, games, food and live music to Wynyard Park both Wednesday and Thursday. The full program is here.
I'll be spinning between 2 and 4PM each day and despite the claims of this Broadsheet reporter you can be safely assured that I will not be 'dropping' any 'commercial house'. It's a free event so if yr in the city swing by and hear something real. By evening Swingin' at the Speakeasy will be underway once more a block or so down the way at Palmer & Co. Gratis swing dancing to live music from 7 then anything goes for my set between 10 and 2.
Thursday June the 30th ~
Day two of Wynside Out is a dead-ringer for day one in terms of the line-up and times but, as ever, you'll not cop a single song repeated under my auspices, so by all means come again.
Saturday July the 2nd ~
After an in-depth chat with Darren Hanlon about his recent travails last week on Jack Off I didn't expect to be welcoming any guests this weekend but our producer Hugh is working with the Sunnyboys and keen to drag them in, so you never know, I might not be Alone With You between 3 and 5 after all.
Regardless of the outcome there later that night you can be assured that I will once again be ensconced in the utmost luxury and convivial hospitality at the peerless Dean and Nancy on 22. Key founders are gallivanting around Italy toasting being named in the top 100 bar people worldwide as we speak, yet even in their absence the place shines. I count my lucky stars to work in such vibrant settings with truly good people. Join us for free from 9 til 12.30.
As winter winds bite I invite you to warmer realms.
Thursday June the 9th ~
I'm skipping my usual Swingin' Wednesday scene at Palmer & Co this week for footy and the Film Fest opening. You'll find me there instead the next evening at the same time, from 10 til around 2.
Entry is free and food is served throughout so it's a perfect subterranean sanctuary to descend to after any cinematic excursions in the CBD.
Friday June the 10th ~
Come Friday I'll reprise last week's appearance at the stunning Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre in sunny Marrickville, putting meat on the bones of an Australian-based musical foundation apt to the era.
The Chinese tucker available there is so good (the best prawn toast I've ever had) - book early to access the full menu before 9. I spin between half 8 and half 11 and entry is also always free.
Saturday June the 11th ~
By Saturday Jack Off will circle back on FBi Radio (94.5FM on yr dial or streaming live and on-demand online) from 3 til 5PM, as ever.
Afterwards I'll have the pleasure of playing a set of swish and surprising sounds for the frankly spoilt patrons of Dean and Nancy on 22. With Vivid crowds across the city I strongly suggest reserving yr place, whether for dining or the cocktail bar. Entry is free, the vista spectacular, the room warm.
Well I hope you've landed somewhere slightly safer after all of the upheaval of late. I'm settling in to my remote new abode, making the most of the winter sun and anticipating the busy weeks of Vivid and the Film Festival ahead. If yr out and about there are a few pit-stops I can suggest below.
Wednesday June the 1st ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy is an utterly exhilarating instance of convivial mid-week mayhem in secret city subterranean bar Palmer & Co. There are three sets of live music (this time from Queenie and The Cavaliers) between 7 and 10PM, then I play a swathe of strong and strange old songs til close around 2AM. Entry is free via the door in Abercrombie Lane.
Friday June the 3rd ~
As the weekend begins I'll be back in the heart of Sydney for my first set at the Hotel CBD. If you fancy joining me there for a drink and some fab free music pop in between 5 and 8PM. It's also free.
I'm still scheduled to spin a gratis local/indie bracket at the Bob Hawke Beer and Leisure Centre directly after (from half 8 til 11.30) however you'd best advised to check in with me prior if tailored selections are yr main reason for heading along, as we are still awaiting the final fine-tune of the PA in the brand-new premises before proceeding.
Saturday June the 4th ~
Jack Off will never leave you hanging on a Saturday arvo, reliably broadcasting between 3 and 5 on FBi for over two decades now. Tune in for an immaculate balance of sound that strays beyond scale.