I'm watching the news again out of necessity. What could bump both the pandemic then the most appalling invasion and conflagration in Europe since last century as a more urgent story? More local natural disasters of a never-before-witnessed scale.
These floods are beyond belief. They come so sly yet sudden, obliterating lives and livelihoods. Leaving the poorest so much poorer. My heart goes out to those I know and don't know amidst the displacement and chaos. It's especially hard to appreciate from here but I hope a brighter day will come soon.
Wednesday March the 2nd ~
I moved anything half valuable (there's not a lot to be honest) out of our back shed where the creek is last night, expecting the worst to arrive here by morning. It has just begun. Seems tonight and Thursday morning will now be the most perilous.
Given I've gotta drive in to the city to play Swingin' at the Speakeasy I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed and assess on my return tomorrow. You'll find me spinning (out) for free in the sandstone cellar of Palmer & Co, mere metres above the hidden rage of the subterranean Tank Stream, from 10PM til about 2AM, after Sarah O'Connor live.
Friday March the 4th ~
A year or three back I started a weekly residency at Sydney's iconic Hollywood Hotel, the very week that it's founding matriarch, Doris Goddard, died. Yesterday would have been her 92nd birthday.
To lose such an iconic personality from the helm of this one-off community enterprise was devastating for all concerned. The licensee Mark bravely battled on through the aftermath of this traumatic loss, emerging from lockouts only to hit a pandemic. Last year he finally passed the baton on, choosing the new owners, from a field of many, based on culture rather than capital. I played a raucous closing-night party then the old girl closed for some much-needed TLC.
After a fastidious and honourable restoration that has been faithful to the unique public house Doris forged in this often-tawdry etch-a-sketch of a town (see The Lansdowne), the Hollywood has reopened and once again begun programming some of the liveliest musical acts available. I'm stoked to say that I will also be returning to that hallowed bar this Friday evening, relaying a five-hour set from 9PM that will incorporate threads from the oft-unseen fabric of personalities and places that truly exemplify Sydney's greater nature. Free, for all.
Saturday March the 5th ~
On Saturday you'll hear more resonant selections of sound fashioned into something of a story sequence on Jack Off, stripped of most interruptions to let you soak in your own reflections. That's 3 til 5PM.
By 9 that evening I'll again be snug within the opulent surrounds of Dean and Nancy on 22, sharing songs to galvanise and bear up our shocked spirits at this awful time. Solidarity and peace people x
Licenses to be killed available on application from the bureaucrat at the top desk. Good times!
Wednesday February the 23rd ~
After yet another sudden government edict extinguishing our core practices during Swingin' at the Speakeasy the time has come to switch the lights back on and revel in singing and dancing once more.
Queenie and the Cavaliers featuring guest George Washingmachine will be live from 7 til 10PM then I will dish up beats and melodies til 2 or 3AM. Free!
Thursday February the 24th ~
As we are plunged yet again into endless European wars of delusional empire and intractable ego I will spin sonnets of bittersweet sorrow and lyrics of lament for the early 5 til 7PM set at Palmer & Co.
If you are heading to see Springtime at the Recital Hall this will serve as the ideal intro, serving to bathe and fortify all internal organs. Hear here.
Friday February the 25th ~
As the weekend begins again I'll ascend far above the city streets to gaze in wonder at the temporary towers of our powers, all the while courting and collapsing the capital that lures everyone in.
Join me aloft at Dean and Nancy on 22 for a sanguine summer evening of informed entertainment, from 9PM til 12.30AM. Entry is free. Bookings recommended.
Saturday February the 26th ~
This little snail will then wind up to transmit another Jack Off on FBi Radio between 3 and 5PM before quickly reconvening in Marrickville to play my dear old-school-mate Jessie's 50th birthday.
Time, gentle friends - it resists and persists.
On this Eve Of Destruction we take our places amongst the absurd and unsustainable metrics of man, playing the fool and fiddling with firesticks.
Wednesday February the 16th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy is recommended for cellar dwellers on the make, like me. 10PM til 2AM. Free.
Thursday February the 17th ~
Palmer & Co from the get go. 5 til 7PM. Gratis.
Friday February the 18th ~
My final audio introduction for the Open Air Cinema season starts as the stunning sunset colours emerge at 6, running til darkness descends at 8.30, so as to enable the evil House of Gucci to emerge.
Saturday February the 19th ~
Jack Off somehow survives by ducking and weaving punches from the tattooed fists of LOVE and HATE. Butterflies and the knees of bees make inscrutable musical maps from 3 til 5 via FBi Radio.
The final act of creation and continuity for this week will proceed apace at Maybe Sammy, where all that was stable shall lift and skip aside as impossible audio trajectories undermine the paltry defaults of servers and selectors elsewhere, instead elevating adventure and engagement always. There's no charge to join the fray. 9PM til 12.30AM x
Had such a stunning trip south to play the EwFimism wedding in Daylesford. Stunned and grateful to travel again, especially to connect with country I've missed so since the cessation of Meredith and Plains (where I first met said conjugal pair).
Smashed with city obligations now of course, so this edition will again be a little brief. My head and heart are still out amongst the springs, lakes, creeks, birds, trees and insects of the bush.
Wednesday February the 9th ~
By the way all of the pics in today's newsletter were snapped in an hour's stroll out near Glenlyon. We'd had a great tip to lunch at the General Store there on our country road ramble back to the airport and found there was a waterfall 5 minutes up the way upon perusing some maps. Words cannot describe!
Sandstone in proximity to the storm water remnants of Sydney's fabled Tank Stream may not sound like a compelling urban alternative but you would only think that if you have never experienced Palmer & Co. Tonight I continue the umpteenth year of my Wednesday residency on the decks from 10PM, following on from the gentle giant that is DJ Soup.
Friday February the 11th ~
Whether small sulphurous springs, large lakes or wild river waterholes are yr thing you'll come closer to nature in the Backyard at The Alex.
Hear me play a pre-sundown set for free (as per all of this week's gigs) from 4 til 6PM, no doubt highly excited for the two sets of actual live - and always mystical - music from The Necks at the Opera House directly afterwards.
Saturday February the 12th ~
I'll have several week's worth of wonderful discoveries to share with you on Jack Off between 3 and 5PM on FBi. Heartfelt thanks to Jonny for his custodianship of our aberrant spot on the grid.
My final destination for the working week will be on the 22nd floor of a CBD skyscraper, scattering strange and soulful sounds from across the globe into both the dining and cocktail bar sides of the building as the last light leaches from the twilit summer sky. Playing at Dean and Nancy on 22 is always rather a romantic swoon of an evening.
I pinch myself at all of this. I'm so glad to be alive, free, loved, healthy and able to share the work of artists of such spirit.
I've only the one engagement in Sydney this week, before (hopefully) flying south to play the wedding of some very dear Plains-people in Daylesford.
Instead of the (un)usual GIFs I thought I'd share a handful of snaps from our Invasion Day swims at beautiful Conwong and Yarra Bay, on either side of Vic Simms' corrective appearance on the balcony of the La Pa museum (once an institution for unwed mothers and their babies), oddly imposed on the land where where he and his mob have long lived.
Wednesday February the 2nd ~
Tonight I'll be Swingin' at the Speakeasy, spinning from an ever-increasing arsenal of timeless oddities, between 10PM and 1 or 2AM, for free.
Saturday February the 5th ~
The day after we land in Melbourne Jonny Seymour will again take to the air for another immaculate conception of Jack Off on FBi. Tune in between 3 and 5PM to be transported beyond borders of any form.
Meanwhile I'll once again be rendering romance in the flesh, for hundreds of people, by a gorgeous lake, to celebrate the transformative wonder of love. Surely soon wedding rituals will again populate my calendar. It has been too long.
Nutrition for yr devices and yr body brain.
Friday January the 28th ~
Prior to the Open Air Cinema screening of The Matrix Resurrections in the Botanic Gardens you can hear a windswept aquatic set of serendipitous binary bytes to get you in the mood. 6 til 8.30PM.
Cinephobes might prefer to join me immediately afterwards down in The Rocks at the Best Bar in Australasia - Maybe Sammy where, staffing allowing, I intend to go head-to-head with co-owner and shit-stirrer Stefano Catino on the decks. There's a chance of some semblance of class earlier but later is looking like wall-to-wall Richard Cheese and My Dick frankly. Naturally entry is utterly free.
Saturday January the 29th ~
Saturday sees the only Jack Off under my auspices for the next fortnight sally forth on the streams and airwaves between 3 and 5PM on FBi Radio.
Afterwards I'll be spinning swirls of sound from the front bar of The Paddington to all spaces above and beyond. That's free for all from 8 til midnight.
Draining the dregs of COVID during another La Niña.
Wednesday January the 19th ~
Set out for far horizons as Swingin' at the Speakeasy rides a sheep out back for a free all-DJ edition. Pia on deck/s from 7, myself from 10.
Friday January the 21st ~
Rotate yr face as a five-hour-long song cycle unfolds gratis at the Allawah Hotel from 7PM.
Saturday January the 22nd ~
After the style idyll of superb stand-in Jonny Seymour recedes like a summer tide you are once again left suspiciously sniffing the Eau Du Mangrove Mud that is Monsieur Merde for Jack Off on FBi Radio between 3 and 5PM.
Afterwards I'll scrub up reel nice and ascend the golden stairs (and lift) to Dean and Nancy on 22 - shelling out free soft-shoe shuffles for the high-borne from sunset at 8 til well past midnight.
Super sucker saviours for the silly social seen.
Wednesday January the 12th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy pairs live music (from The Roslyns this week) with vintage deejay sets from Pia Andersen between 7 and 10, before I spin out til close at around 1 or 2AM. It's always free.
Friday January the 14th ~
Open Air Cinema has been a revelation to me. Until now I'd never witnessed it's scale and beauty. Playing there, through what must be nearly 50 speakers across a waterside site almost half a kilometre long, is a profound pleasure.
This week I've the opportunity to provide a musical entrée to the new version of Dune, which sold out at the Sydney Film Festival. If you join me from 6PM to enjoy the sunset prior to the screening I'm positive you'll understand my relishing this role.
Saturday January the 15th ~
Saturday's a strange one. Tremendously excited at the prospect of performing on the hallowed ground of the Brick Pits at Sydney Park for Heaps Gay as part of King Street Crawl, I solicited my salutary stand-in Jonny Seymour to host Jack Off in my place. Last time this handover was to happen COVID got in the way. So it is again, with the whole vast festival indefinitely postponed.
Then I was offered a gig, at the same time as my show, around the corner from the station in the Backyard at The Alex. Needing money after having all of my late December and New Years gigs cancelled I decided to work simultaneous to the show and leave it in Jonny's more than capable hands, happy that he'd have the opportunity to broadcast after a last-minute close contact isolation situation interfered a month back.
You'll be able to choose yr own adventure come 3PM: Jonny on air or me outdoors. Both will be fresh and free. If you really wanna go the whole hog come to the pub first then stream the show on-demand later!
2022: Two funny two die for. A 2020 vision. A gas.
Friday January the 7th ~
Keep yr cool despite the infernal, internal and external temperatures in the Botanic Gardens - for the new season of Open Air Cinema, kicking off with the latest James Bond flick No Time To Die. As the sun sinks I'll be spinning suitable cinematic songs between 6 and 8PM. This will sell out!
Afterwards join me from 9 til after midnight at Maybe Sammy as we exorcise the demons that have beset this summer with a full frontal attack of defiant energy, sheer sass and vaulting joy.
Saturday January the 8th ~
After cutting up New Years Day with a perverted pop pastiche of televisual field recording fragments and sonic detritus Jack Off returns to semi-regular status as a sizzling eruption of aberration and adulation between 3 and 5PM on FBi Radio.
Thereafter I will continue to rub salt in the wounds of naysayers and hope-betrayers by serving up a swish yet sweaty set of hipshakers in the sky-high paradise that is Dean and Nancy on 22. Book now and gather atop the tower as pastel hues bathe the best bar beyond Sammy, from 8 til late. Both gigs free!
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!