We're back from the fertile dirt of Griffith and easing into the weekend with two select scenarios.
Thank you to our music-loving hosts at Mandolé Orchard for their generosity and hospitality.
Saturday February the 20th ~
After another sublime stretch under the auspices of radio star Jonny Seymour last week, Jack Off returns to the gutter with yours truly.
Tune in to FBi Radio, another emissary of local affairs too powerfully real for Fakebook, between 3 and 5PM. I've truckloads of tunes to share.
Sunday February the 21st ~
Sadly Mardi Gras' iconic Fair Day has fallen victim to COVID restrictions this year and will not occur.
To take up some of the slack the Imperial Hotel is staging a Not (A) Fair Day Party, with all manner of hilarity and hijinks both day and night.
You'll find me kicking off the music on the stunning rooftop with a four-hour-long set from 2PM. I'll be followed by Lauren Neko up there, as Drag 'n Dine unfolds downstairs, before headliners Taylor Fontaine & The Magda Szubanski’s hit the stage late.
Join us to carouse with the community safely, in stunning sunny surrounds. Entry is absolutely free!
The new year is set to be brimful of queer cheer. Let's muster music and mirth. Time to rebuild.
Wednesday February the 10th ~
Strong strains of ancient melodies unfold anew as Swingin' at the Speakeasy returns to Palmer & Co. The Faculties and Mary Heart Band are live from 6 til 10, I take it til close thereafter. Free.
Thursday February the 11th ~
Time is an insistent illusion, supposedly situating my set at Palmer (the next night) as beginning at 9, yet somehow stretching into infinity. Bring tea.
Friday February the 12th ~
Warming up Sunset Piazza for the first Comedy Gala last week was rather sublime, bats streaking across the Sydney sky at twilight. Part two is also sold out. If you've a ticket come early for the vista and hear a mix redolent with references to our perfect place in the world. 6.30 til 8PM.
Saturday February the 13th ~
I'm off to support my love at the unveiling of the Blake Prize this Saturday, so Jack Off will go to air under the sensitive stewardship of Jonny Seymour. Tune in to Free Broadcast Incorporated between 3 and 5 for seamless sounds from all around. In the meantime, listen carefully to this.
Sunday February the 14th ~
Valentine's Day sees two free outdoor options for those wishing to share and celebrate.
Begin at the debut Deco Park Picnic, a sophisticated extravaganza of entertainment put together by the indefatigable Pia Andersen. One look at this gorgeous poster (my later addition perhaps bringing the tone down somewhat) was all it took for me to sign up - that and the opportunity to share a bill with one of my broadcast heroes Greg Poppleton. Beyond my midday til 1PM set there's a huge array of delightful diversions, from vaudeville to live music and lawn games.
Afterwards reconvene by the greens of the Petersham Bowlo for a sanguine and sentimental journey through sound between 3 and 6PM, followed by a free screening of Dirty Dancing inside.
First draughts, blood baths and last laughs.
Friday February the 5th ~
There is nothing funny about being a one-armed deejay at the Sunset Piazza Comedy Gala in Cathedral Square. I'd prove it to you in person but it is sold out. If you are one of those weirdos with a ticket come early and be mocked by music from half 6 til 8.
Saturday February the 6th ~
Does my bomb look big in this? Jack Off takes flight for my last radio raid this fortnight. Bangin'!
The less said the better.
Thursday January the 28th ~
The opposite of unruffled audio at Palmer & Co. Free for all from 9PM til close at around 1AM.
Saturday January the 30th ~
Jack Off collates vapour trails of culture from what we pull up in the net after endless fishing trips. Hear new life-forms meld and mate from 3 til 5PM.
Sunday January the 31st ~
For the first time in 2021 I'll be back at the beautiful Petersham Bowling Club playing fab fungal fare by the greens for kids, dogs and even the odd adult. Join us for free between 3 and 6.
I'll happily buy you a pint if you can help this one-armed bandit pack up the PA too, or even stump for a ticket to the astonishing Chilean guitarist Victor Martinez Parada inside as night falls.
Long-term subscribers (which, to be honest, is almost all of you) will know interruptions to this weekly list/lament are rare, however they've been a bit unavoidable of late unfortunately.
The good news is that my surgery went well, though I do seem to have particularly heinous re-entries to this earthly plane (I felt like a wooden block a furious giant was failing to tear apart) that necessitate drastic doses of morphine.
Thankfully the resulting nausea has largely leached from me. Now I've just the unfamiliar terrain of obligatory indolence to negotiate: 6 weeks in a sling & barely any use of my right arm for months.
Typing is ridiculously painful and deejaying an unknown. I've managed a radio show but by goddess it was a struggle. I still can't get headphones on.
But I need some kind of distraction (not to mention income) so I'm resuming work and continuing to transmit. See below for traces.
Thursday January the 21st ~
Hear unmixed fragments of obsolete audio activated by a drugged-up drongo in a suit from 5 til 9PM at Palmer & Co. Naturally entry is free.
Saturday January the 23rd ~
Jack Off has always been a fever dream for the fraught and freaky, currently more than ever.
Hear the show on Free Broadcast Incorporated between 3 and 5PM, or stream on-demand anytime thereafter.
We begin the new year's missives as we ended last year's, with an apology for infrequency.
A couple of days after I last wrote I had a classic old-guy mishap whilst taking my boy to the mind-blowing new Sydney Park skate set-up. Borrowed a kids board, as a brand-new one was being custom-built for me down the road. Was feeling up to it as I've miraculously been in the best shape I can recall for decades - super-active, strong, flexible and fit.
I hadn't skated for 30 years, since stacking bad on Cleveland Street on the way to a party whilst at uni - and waiting 4 or 5 hours in RPA to get my dislocated shoulder put back in. Needed an op after that. Luckily my mum ran the rooms of a reputed shoulder surgeon in Doctor (now Professor) David Sonnabend, who patched me up for free as I recall. After that I gave up skating and my favourite activity, body boarding (which had already pulled that socket apart about 6 or 7 times prior). But I hope to body surf til the end of days.
Anyway an innocuous slope and slight tilt had me land from no great height or speed on my good shoulder (my right, the left always having been the issue - and I am right handed) and bang, it was out. Sadly seriously smashed inside too somehow. I've had X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and the reports are not pretty reading - full of references to high-grade tears, completely torn off bits and bone fragments. It was either crazy-bad luck re the angle of the fall, or just an accident waiting to happen (or both) - but either way I need an operation ASAP.
Then, would you believe it, my son fell out of a tree whilst camping west of the Mountains two days later, badly breaking his right wrist. He was ordered to fast for an operation to fix that in Bathurst, before being directed instead to Orange the next day (after fasting, for nothing, again), before that too was cancelled and he instead had to come back to the Childrens' Hospital in Randwick. There they (thankfully) dispensed with surgery and yanked his bones back into place on gas alone. This was all before the bloody new year could even ring in that night!
So it has been A TIME - with 2021 so far not particularly dissimilar to the endless escalation that was 2020. Naturally all surgeons are on holiday so I've been hustling like crazy with my damn left hand to wrangle any remedial medical possibility - and come tomorrow I may actually see the one shoulder specialist who will be back in surgery before February.
On this front I want to send endless love and gratitude to the indomitable Professor Sonnabend, who reviewed my MRI report from his bed whilst himself hospitalised in St Vincents. Without David's authoritative assertion that I needed surgery I'd have never been able to get a bit of a head-start in spending a week now hunting down help.
TLDR: Shit happens, no newsletter, hurt/s to write.
But the show/s must go on...
Saturday January the 2nd ~
Jack Off will never yield to anything beyond acute hospitalisation or incarceration (perhaps not even death). We air from 3 til 5 every Saturday arvo rain, hail, or shine.
Sunday January the 10th ~
Of course my minor woes are matched or exceeded by some severe disruption, displacement and loss for people here and across the globe at the moment. One couple who have persevered in endlessly re/arranging their nuptials are Josephine and Mikey.
This Sunday, at last, less than 100 (can you fucking believe that 600+ wedding, or the bloody beaches couple and their mob?!) guests will gather at Rockpool to celebrate their union and (self-evident) commitment. And I will get to work with my brilliant photographer partner Liz, who has been so steadfastly caring for me of late, for the first time. Sure I'll be medicated heavily, wearing a sling (and a mask) but shit, we all need light, love and each other right now.
Onwards (if not up)...
Apologies for intruding on yr Xmas day. I neglected to get this last edition for 2020 out in time for my gig at Palmer last night.
Things have been beautiful but busy.
Somehow we made it to see my dear Mum in Queensland prior to the latest border closures and quarantines, then, on our return to NSW, we were fortunate enough to stay at the sanctuary of Jack's Cottage amongst the Scarborough vineyards of the Hunter.
Saturday December the 26th ~
There's little left for me to deliver musically this year. Firstly, one broadcast of Jack Off on FBi Radio, between 3 and 5PM tomorrow. Tune in for sincere sonic perspectives and inklings of infinity.
Sunday December the 27th ~
Thence, a final, five-hour-long set (from 2PM) on the ravishing rooftop of the Imperial Hotel. It's a breeze to socially distance up there in the fresh air. Would be lovely to see you. Attendance is free.
Unsurprisingly, given the utter clusterfuck to befall this planet of late, we are ending the annum with another blooming viral reminder of our fragility and the tenuous nature of humanity's place on Earth.
Locally (and personally) that means 3 NYE gigs I had slated are cactus. That is for the best I think.
We've untold tasks ahead to rebuild and renew in a wiser and more sustainable fashion in 2021. Take some time now, while nature affords another chance, to reflect and replenish.
I wish you peace and health. Thank you for listening out for each other and staying in touch.
On a personal note I'd also like to send heartfelt love and gratitude to a few individuals who've borne me up through a time of grave loss and upheaval (beyond the pandemic):
To Soup and Blob, you'll always be kin. I sure have been A LOT forever but you never baulk and always encourage perseverance and the sound path onward.
To Sean, the bravest brother imaginable. No-one could ever countenance what you endured - and you did it with wry good-humour and dignity til death. Yr with me mate. I won't forget.
To Mum and Dad, for remaining real and genuinely supportive despite distance and decades of trauma.
To Rabia, for yr sincere, enduring efforts parenting and yr determination to make a difference at home and via hard work.
To Errol, words will never capture the sheer wonder and joy I derive from witnessing you think, seek and grow. You open my eyes and earth my feet through yr insight and empathy.
To Liz (plus your kind, inclusive family and community) - thank you for yr steadfast ethical grace, passion and creativity. Despite this sorry year I am a stronger and better person due to you. Life is a joy. I love you.
Kia kaha. See you on the other side all xo
I write from rainy Queensland where (at last) key folks from my family are reunited. I'll be back in a few days to get stuck in to a handful of functions and shows before holidays really kick in.
Wednesday December the 16th ~
Last week Palmer & Co careened over a precipice into a world of sheer delight after midnight - every person in the place dancing in disbelief and joy. Just like the old days, yet more keenly felt and appreciated.
We'll be aiming to do it all again this Wednesday, straight out of multiple sets of live music and on into the early, early hours. I start spinning antique audio at 10PM. It's absolutely free!
Saturday December the 20th ~
I've a secret party prerogative to pursue this Saturday, so I've requested a far better DJ take the reins in my stead for Jack Off. I'm absolutely stoked to be handing my 3 til 5 shift on FBi to the iconic and inspirational Jonny Seymour - a man who has tended to flocks of kooksters across our community with grace, courage and tenderness for decades.
Tune in to feel love and affirmation over the airwaves. I'll personally be on the road to the Hunter Valley at the time and I know the selections programmed will be the ideal escort as I head towards a small but long-awaited break.
Hitting the next half a hundred hard - not taking a back-woods step, floating and flying free instead.
Thursday December the 10th ~
My menagerie and I entreat you to share a feast of below-ground sound for free betwixt 9PM and 2AM at Palmer & Co. Follow yr scentses to find us.
Friday December the 11th ~
My eyes will be fixed on the horizon, despite all the limbs akimbo, as I spin at an actual house party where many humans will dance. Cannot fucking wait!
Saturday December the 12th ~
A trio of unlikely events that I pray will somehow dovetail despite the scant minutes and many miles between each: beginning with a preschool age ballet concert; proceeding to being sole selector for a parkside 50th birthday bash; thence to Jack Off on FBi Radio, before drinking all the beverages left at a local street party and falling in a heap.
Almost like the old normal what? Bring it!
Unbeaten tracks, maiden (half) centuries and stone-free sanity for wild things everywhere: a passed marker, for love as logic and music's merit.
Saturday December the 5th ~
Jack Off in domestic environs or in public, alone or together. Suspended reanimations resume between 3 and 5PM on Free Broadcast Incorporated. Tune it!
Sunday December the 6th ~
A (extra-special) day to celebrate survival, despite all that 2020 has thrown at us.
The first of many postponed weddings (and the first for me since this triumph of spirit/s) to stand on ceremony and insist on signifying the breath, determination and dignity of love, now.
That's what I do!