There is a light that never goes out. Poor light!
Dear readers, whether yr cooped up or relatively free, I've a little mix to leaven yr load. It's an experimental mood board for a (clearly) radical new bar opening in desperately benighted Melbourne town, sometime after the latest hellish lockdown abates. Essentially it's a riff on global power failures and the games people play. You can stream it here.
Thursday July the 9th ~
You know when we exported Julian Morrow's legal trivia happy-hour quiz from NSW to Victoria a fortnight or so ago I thought the remedial relevance of online entertainment and social sharing had perhaps passed. Wrong on so many levels. Thankfully we're still present, if not accounted for. Questions of Law returns between 5 and 6PM tonight.
Saturday July the 11th ~
Jack Off streams across the Earth from 3 til 5PM.
Directly afterwards I make a grateful return to The Paddington - playing a four hour live mix for free in the front bar from 5. Swing by and say hi, while this window of openness and opportunity endures.
Happy New Financial Year everyone! I've combined some social media spirituality with elementary wishful thinking and I'm pleased to report that the world is about to experience a time of unprecedented prosperity and peace. How good's (t)hat?!
P.S. Apologies for not publishing last week's edition of this newsletter, for the first time ever. Sudden circumstances necessitated many levels of emergency action and there wasn't the time. But that junk was all before the advent of this glorious new (financial) year - and the annus horribilis that preceded this morning's dawning of a new era has been banished to the dustbin of history.
Thursday July the 2nd ~
To celebrate today's advent of no limits (beyond 4 square metres per person) on numbers at all venues in this State I am kicking off Palmer and Co
's roster of DJs for the week with a special 5.30 til 9PM bracket. There is no more apt bar/bunker for surmounting the strangeness and suffering of the last year. Within our sandstone walls people somehow seem to retain the wonder and romance of yore. Book ahead to be sure of entry if yr smart. It's free!
Saturday July the 4th ~
Jack Off could fairly claim to exemplify the independent values of Free Broadcast Incorporated, given our longstanding passion for Sydney and fearless embrace of humanity. Hear music. 3 til 5PM.
A stitch in time saves lives.
Thursday June the 18th ~
Questions Of Law survives another month, transported now to Victoria but accessible to all online. Julian Morrow hosts from 5 til 6PM each Thursday. Spotty sound cues via my own d(e)ad/dab hand.
This week I'm pleased to give you a little advanced warning about an actual live DJ set too, taking place in the salubrious surrounds of my sandstone Sydney stomping ground Palmer and Co, between 6.30 and 11.30PM. Entry is free - but book to be sure of access as numbers are naturally limited.
Saturday June the 20th ~
Jack Off strides ever on. 3 til 5PM. FBi Radio.
Words fail after this last week. Thankfully I have been active. Some off the required action was remedial (see Saturday below for the whole sorry saga), some was a surprise.
In the midst of recording this final Quarantine Care mix for my mates at Scarborough Wine Co. yesterday I was asked to make tracks to Palmer and Co. pronto, so as to reanimate the DJ booth in our sweet little speakeasy. I high-tailed it the moment I stopped recording and was overjoyed to find the atmosphere genuinely warm and convivial, even with numbers capped at 50.
Apologies for not being able to tip you here first (last night was really just a toe in the water) but as it went exceedingly well I hope to have good news for anyone keen to head back out soon.
Friday June the 12th ~
Questions Of Law continue to dominate matters here in Sydney (my eternal esteem goes out to these two barristers from Dubbo, who succeeded in their last-minute appeal to have the police and government's backflip ban on the Black Lives Matter rally overturned).
Today's not-entirely-trivial quiz with Julian Morrow will be the last of our season for NSW Young Lawyers, so hop online at 5PM via the link above if yr keen to have a beverage and test yr wits.
Saturday June the 13th ~
Jack Off began mere minutes after the legal reprieve for the BLM vigil enabled 20000 people to take to the streets with slightly less fear of police violence. I got to break that news (with vast relief) then dive in to one of the most intense programs I've ever done.
I was in full fight-or-flight mode going in to FBi. The station could have lost it's licence had I advocated for attendance at an 'illegal assembly'. It was incredibly invidious situation to be in - given we are normally duty bound to reflect and enable the caring community we serve.
I was hugely concerned for the safety of all going, especially after Police Commissioner Mick 'Bad Day' Fuller had boasted of the deployment of 'force multipliers' (like the mounted police and riot squad) at his press conference with Gladys 'Back-Down' Berejiklian the day before. Even though I felt triumphant at the NSW Court of Appeal ruling, I was still disgusted that countless thousands of people (particularly families and the vulnerable) had been disenfranchised from democracy by this bullshit ban.
During the program we received so much love and respect from listeners (bar one, there is always literally one). The music we played during the taking of the knee and silence in town brought many, including me, to tears.
When I concluded the one-off three hour show I was concerned to see one of our loggers had failed the night before. Within a few days it became clear the back-up logger had also gone down, in this timeslot only! The prospect of losing all of this audio, from this pivotal moment in our city's history, was devastating. I contacted everyone I could to try and rescue it: techs, listeners that sometimes tape stuff, even media monitoring companies.
Only the biggest company, Isentia, had a copy. I pleaded my case for a reduced price, given the community cause, prepared to pay it out of my own pocket. This vast corporation is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. They decided to charge a volunteer-run station in their home city what they deemed fair - $462 for 88 minutes of audio recorded at the execrable bitrate of 24kbps. They can fuck off for all of time (and it seems they are failing fine anyway).
Long story short: all seemed lost until our ultra-dedicated Station Manager Nikki went hell-for-leather through some crazy lateral options before turning up a copy from a realm we can't really even disclose. Suffice to say there is some poetic justice in the equation. I am deeply indebted to her and so glad I can now share the full three hours with anyone that cares on-demand here. Please read the intro and click on as many of the links included as possible. A lot of work went into this. I even had to teach myself to edit for the first time so as to stitch the 6 or 7 fragments together as a cohesive whole. So, as they say in the sting, please listen!
Dunno what this Saturday will throw up from 3 - but there's never a dull moment eh? Tune in and see!
Pitiful pixels, once people, gasping for f/air.
Friday June the 5th ~
Questions Of Law hover over us all now. 5 til 6PM.
Saturday June the 6th ~
One-off Jack Off, for three hours from 3PM.
As Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen) stated sorrowfully from quarantine at his folk's farm in Virginia a few weeks back (listen to the whole warm & dark chat here): 'with folks locked up and Donald Trump in the White House anything could happen'.
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!