Well what can I say? It's more of the same innit? Same Shit, different year.
All my work last week was cancelled after half the staff at my main residency got struck down with the virus. It's a freak fluke that I didn't. Thought I might have succumbed but it was only the simultaneous side-effects of my booster shot.
Anyway today all of next week's gigs got cancelled. Never mind that that is after Xmas and its attendant family factors (for most, but not I - Mum is intending to visit, for the first time in years, in early January). Never mind that numbers will clearly only escalate in the weeks following. So when does anything restart - and why?
I was so excited at the prospect of being able to breathe freely at work from last Wednesday, but it never happened as the place had to shut. Now, after less than a week, such notional scheduled liberties are once again reversed. It's all too late frankly.
So, like everything every one of us is currently experiencing, this fucked-up faux-finale of a newsletter is just another instance of dispiriting uncertainty and shock at the endlessly retreating horizon of hope.
That said we are here. Omicron may yet prove to be a global non-consensual inoculation that confers resistance to both vaccine-deniers & neglected impoverished populations denied equality of medicine by the privileged.
As such, should it provide immunity to this and future strains, it may see COVID taper and thus miraculously convey us to a safer future. Numbers are already in decline in South Africa, a mere matter of weeks after the strain was identified.
Did I mention uncertainty?
Saturday December the 25th ~
Cool Off by listening to Jack Off on FBi between 3 and 5PM. Apologies for the lack of program whilst I was away in the Hunter last week. Our stand-in host found themselves in RPA getting tested as a close contact at that exact time. Naturally.
Friday December the 31st ~
Murray's party on NYE is the one remaining event for me for 2021. It may yet prove a pipe-dream or mirage but I desperately wanna play music and dance.
Saturday January the 1st ~
Jack Off does not shirk the hard yards. Xmas Day and New Years Day - we are there for you. Leading the way through the dark forest to a lit plateau of possibility that might just see 2022 provide beauty and peace after all. We've Got To Try!
Well isn't this a hoot? More fear, bedlam and uncertainty just as we hoped we might yet ditch this awful epoch for a healthy life in the New Year. Viral pandemics are more determined than we credit. Still they seek the weak spots, the assumptions.
I've multiple mates infected right now. Workplaces closed as Omicron obliterates half the staff. How this progresses for people or businesses from here is anyone's guess. The scale of the challenge for our health workers alone is immense. How long can they go on like this?
Meanwhile SloMo is being characteristically absent from the emergency. It was the ABC (and Norman Swan, as ever) that instead alerted us to the fact that even double-vaxxed people who'd had the sole initially-available Astra-Zeneca vaccine in fact had 0% protection against the new strain of the virus only 15 weeks later. Only boosters restore 70%+.
This will rip through Australia as our Pfizer allocation (which at least offers 30+% protection at that interval) was belated, whilst many were still urged or compelled to get the AZ for so long.
There are just two upsides to the current situation: low hospitalisations (as yet) and the absolute certainty that the COALition will be binned by the populace at the election due by May next year. There will be no collective-amnesia coming to the rescue of these corrupt grafters in this environment.
Friday December the 17th ~
So where is (more) safe? Anywhere outside. After being a casual contact and spending two hours in a sweltering Central Coast queue for a test (that miraculously arrived back negative only 24 hours later) I'm endeavouring to avoid attending anywhere indoors where folks gather in numbers, unless it is a task intrinsic to my income.
I'm fortunate that much of my summer work just happens to be situated in the fresh Sydney air and my only gig this week is no exception. Join us between 3 and 6 to celebrate survival and at least some progress (scientific if not yet political), not to mention the birthday of my inestimably excellent partner. I'll be mixing up a joyous set of defiance, love and hope for free in the Backyard at The Alex.
Saturday December the 18th ~
Then I'm off. Only for a few days but I cannot tell you how much I need this little break. It's a karmic contra consequence of some mixes I made for the customers and community around a dear friend's Hunter Valley winery at the outset of the first lockdown - namesake cottage, surrounded by roses, that I've visited off and on for decades.
So that I can make tracks as early as possible my beautiful soulmate in sound, Jonny Seymour (of Club Kooky, Stereogamous et al) is kindly bringing his healing positivity to the FBi airwaves between 3 and 5 as the steward of Jack Off. Jettison whatever is holding you down or back, tune in - and float on.
Surfing sine language in search of sentient song.
Wednesday December the 8th ~
The Roslyns are an uncanny simulation of a live group, performing for free from 7 til 10PM during Swingin' at the Speakeasy at Palmer & Co. I follow, acknowledging my digital origins on the decks all the way til close at 2 or 3 in the morning.
Thursday December the 9th ~
Won't be no squares in site as I don the dungarees and chuck endless audio curveballs at my debut gig near my new digs on the Central Coast. I am stoked to be playing the fab and free roving queer social Thursgay, at Frederico's Bar in Gosford, at the behest of the unstoppable Glitta Supernova. Absolutely no money gets you tunes plus shows from Fox Pflueger, June Richards & Bo Gan between 6 & 10.
Saturday December the 11th ~
Jack Off remains a shaft of sunlight, piercing the canopy (and cacophony) of the radiophonic forest. We air rare tracks and impossible combinations 3 til 5.
Directly afterwards I'll ascend once more to Dean and Nancy on 22 (just named best hotel bar), lapping up the sunset whilst spinning strange and beautiful music from across the globe.
Book now and join us then.
Has to be seen to be believed!