I'm sorry to proffer yet another bleak missive due to viral impacts but there's no sugar-coating it, I appear to have lost almost every gig I had scheduled for three months in the space of one afternoon.
I remain determined to manifest meaning, music and culture, in public or private, no matter what goes down in coming days/weeks - but allow me this one edition to process a little shock (despite my long-standing impression that this was all headed our way with some desultory inevitability) at the woeful state of play for everyone at present. For so many this will be a desperate battle for basic survival.
Essentially today I aim merely to tell you what is no longer happening in my calendar this week - and what I still (somewhat forlornly) hope might.
Wednesday March the 18th ~
The heroic Hollywood Hotel will open (primarily to provide some final skerricks of income to staff) but it will be without myself or live music until the inevitable lock-down begins.
Thus Neighbour Night will be no longer, at least til the other side of this crippling crisis.
I will endeavour to share a recording I made on one of these Wednesdays (in equally dire - but more personal) circumstances in next week's newsletter.
Thursday March the 19th ~
Bands and deejays at Palmer & Co have also gone the way of additional art at the Hollywood.
It's simply beyond the budget of suddenly contracting businesses (who are staring down the barrel at annihilation all over again, just as the long-promised lifting of the lockouts was providing a glimmer of hope here in Sydney).
Friday March the 20th ~
All DJs at The Paddington have been cancelled for the indefinite future.
Well never let it be said that I let the merest minute go by without an acute sense of both my good fortune and responsibility - at every venue, function or festival I was lucky enough to play.
Neither did I ever buy that disaster of vast dimensions was not likely any time soon. Swings and roundabouts eh?
Saturday March the 21st ~
FBi Radio has instituted strict new protocols: ceasing guest visits; getting staff to work from home (including producers); purchasing myriad new disposable mic socks.
Consequently I hope to continue broadcasting Jack Off until the government orders otherwise (and even then I'll be aiming to enact a remote workaround).
The unmet need for frank and civil exchanges on the reality of what we collectively face was palpable last week (listen back here if you wish, it is more affirmative than frightening).
As someone that has dedicated the bulk of their adult life to voluntary community media I am not about to go missing in this situation, even if there might be minor risks in fronting up.
Please keep tuning in between 3 and 5PM each Saturday whilst the signal endures via FM and online. Encourage others who do not already subscribe here to do so - in order that we might foster more radical solutions to isolation than the usual panicked social media echo chamber does.
Sunday March the 22nd ~
Amazingly the Petersham Bowling Club has not yet thrown in the towel and is continuing to trade.
As the only entertainment there based outside in the fresh air - where there is plenty of space for social distancing - I'm hoping against hope that this (likely my last live gig til perhaps the end of winter) may yet go ahead.
Full respect to those who've already chosen to self-isolate but if you wish to adhere to current health guidelines in a safe yet social context - and share songs to mark both the tragedy of this situation and the indomitable nature of the human spirit - please join us between 3 and 6PM by the greens for free.
Take care everybody. These are unprecedented times however they will make us stronger and more sound eventually, both as individuals and as conjoined citizens of this plaintive planet.
Keep yr ears to the ground and yr hands to the sky. It's gonna be a dangerous ride to the other side.
Pictures of possibility beyond control or crisis.
Wednesday March the 11th ~
Hotel Hollywood's Neighbour Night continues to go from strength to strength - offering a communal conniption in opposition to the isolation imposed from above. Free from 9PM til midnight weekly.
Thursday March the 12th ~
Each Thursday at Palmer & Co we fire up lost artefacts from music's past and illuminate the parallels with the present through story and song. Entry is complimentary. I spin from 10PM til 3AM.
Saturday March the 14th ~
I'm so grateful to Simon Caldwell for hosting Jack Off whilst I was at Golden Plains.
You can listen back to that - including my live cross from the most ideal and immaculate festival ever staged in Australia - here.
This Saturday I'll be back on deck(s) for the first time in three weeks, following a fortnight of drastic extremes - from love, friendship, sincerity and solidarity to familial loss, the beginnings of economic collapse and mass medical meltdowns.
It's probably pretty unlikely that The Pixies will take up my invitation to visit and play but if they do you'd sure as shit wanna be tuned in between 3 and 5PM because they were on fire down south.
Afterwards I'll be dashing off to DJ for Kate and Chris' wedding at the PBC, provided someone can help this poor lopsided torso of mine to hoist a couple of speakers onto sticks. Shouldn't be too much of a stretch, right?
Sunday March the 15th ~
Thence on Sunday we'll reprise the communal joy of the best Mardi Gras in a generation atop the iconic Imperial Hotel - via a six hour sunlit set from 2 til 8PM. Join us to let light (and love) in.
Radical remedies for panic pryers - on shelves now.
Wednesday March the 4th ~
Open yr hearts and minds to the neighbours at our scientifically sanctioned watering hole, the Hotel Hollywood, as clinically proven tunes play between 9 and midnight. This drug trial is completely free.
Thursday March the 5th ~
An evening for which I am clearly medically fit, comprising of a free sunset bracket from 5 til 7 under the Moreton Bay Figs in the Roundhouse beer garden, then a gratis 10PM til 3AM set at Palmer & Co, prior to my 7AM flight to Melbourne. This is how one prepares for the myriad majesties of the Sup'.
Saturday March the 7th ~
Jack Off will be hosted in my absence by one of the (other) elders of Free Broadcast Incorporated - and a dear old mate of mine - Mr Simon Caldwell. It will be wonderful to hear this super-skilled selector stretch his legs in such a free-form slot. Tune in between 3 and 5PM and see what gives!
I'll call in from the beyond at some stage, technology permitting. This precious, ritualistic, spiritual iteration of the unparalleled Golden Plains festival marks a return home for me, as I never missed one for about 15 years or so, until the past couple. It is also likely one of the final vast gatherings permitted by our shit-scared overlords in advance of the latest mutant virus gunning to sally forth via (largely undead) humans.
Regular readers might reasonably imagine I've banged-on about apocalyptic parallels for most of the history of this newsletter - and they'd be right! Not sure if there are many naysayers hate-reading this newsletter but, if so, I must confess that this summer has exceeded even my expectations re multi-faceted domestic and global meltdowns.
The question now, as before, is what do we do with the days and nights we have left? They may be our last - or they may be mere portents of even worse times that we will need to endure and perhaps enjoy.
Are you up to it? Am I?
Dunno but I'm outta here for now.
Someone sacred came, to pass. As such this edition will feature only the barest of bones, with love.
Tuesday February 25 ~
A free 7 til 10PM bracket at Palmer & Co.
Wednesday February the 26th ~
Another tremulous set of hypersensitive song, dedicated to our nearest and dearest. I will never forget playing through the news I received at the Hollywood Hotel last week - and the tenderness, gratitude and kindness that characterised the evening throughout. 9 til midnight. Always free.
Thursday February the 27th ~
A late and lively suite of antique sonics back at Palmer & Co for free from 10PM til at least 3AM.
Friday February the 28th ~
A chance to release yr grip on the working week prior to a huge weekend here. Free sounds at The Paddington between 7 and 10PM.
Saturday February the 29th ~
Still trying to figure a compatible host for Jack Off as Eddy got a paid gig too lucrative to refuse. Tune in between 3 and 5PM and take the mystery tour.
I'll be crossing live from the fabulous Farmer and the Owl festival in Wollongong where I've the honour of being the interstitial selector on the main stage from the end of The Murlocs at 4.35, through The Chats and Bad//Dreems, all the way to Sleaford Mods at 7.15. Main thing I wanna do is hear Alex Cameron perform this before I hop a train to the main Mardi Gras party just shy of the end of his set at 10. If yr keen to come to the Gong I can stitch you up with 2 for 1 tickets btw. Just reply to this email.
Few words, strong sounds, sites that saw eyes...
Wednesday February the 19th ~
Neighbourhood night at the exquisite and ever-inclusive Hollywood Hotel, where storylines circle and punters praise melancholy. 9.30 til midnight. Come one, come all. No door charge. No fear.
Thursday February the 20th ~
Eyes are aloft even when dreaming, deep in the night at Palmer & Co. Antique audio from 10 til 3. Free.
Saturday February the 22nd ~
After our humane, humorous and harrowing conversation with Sarah Mary Chadwick last week (where it was revealed not one person in the media had enquired about Sarah's deliberate declaration that she tried to kill herself last year, til then) we return to the delicate, oscillating, air - hoping for more spiritual sincerity and the magic of music to bear us through. This transmission is dedicated to my closest kin, as we straddle the globe and transcend time together.
It may be that we are visited by Drab Majesty live. Tune in to Jack Off between 3 and 5.
Sunday February the 23rd ~
Tapes decay so don't pay to play. Come outside and listen for free - to real surround sound: a sultry environment with songs stirred in to accompany the mystery of Sydney during summer's demise. Drink well and look up. Petersham Bowling Club. 3 til 6PM.
Pain and it's killer - death - blossom endlessly. In yr eyes, on yr devices, throughout yr social life.
Wednesday February the 12th ~
A new residency focussed on locals & neighbours of the Hollywood Hotel. Free entry. 9 til midnight.
Thursday February the 13th ~
A consequent rebound to Thursdays at Palmer & Co follows. Free from 9PM til close at 3 or 4AM.
Friday February the 14th ~
Valentines Day at Ciccia Bella in Bondi combines somewhat sardonic love songs (across genres as diverse as dub, post-punk and boogie) from me and a set menu of Italo dining from chef Mitch Orr.
Saturday February the 15th ~
Jack Off will go deep into the vortex of matters mental and mortal via the immeasurably honest art of Sarah Mary Chadwick. Tune in to FBi Radio between 3 and 5PM to be stripped of artifice forever more.
Afterwards drown yr sorrows or enable yr morrows by leaping through the portal that is Cottonmouth Records in Enmore. I'll spin (poor quality op shop and flood-damaged) vinyl-only between half 9 and midnight. It might just make everything alright.
Hear there and everywhere in between.
Wednesday February the 5th ~
Skip down the lane through the dappled light to Palmer & Co to discover Queen Porter Stomp live and Miss Pia on the decks, from 7 til 10PM for free at Swingin' at the Speakeasy. After that carouse til the early hours as I spin more free vintage audio til close at around 3 or 4 in the morning.
Saturday February the 8th ~
Jack Off may yet join the dots on a long and lonely London cab ride, from a school and friends I dearly loved, to Heathrow airport to fly my gravely ill brother home for good. I was a little kid adrift in fields of depth. Golden Brown came on the radio. I have never forgotten that sound, that transparency. All the doors and windows shaking and shifting again, as they do now. The Stranglers live between 3 and 5, if we're lucky (and we may not be, so...).
Afterwards I play by the Oxford Street pavement of The Paddington from 7 til 10, open-hearted (& free).
Sunday February the 9th ~
With Mardi Gras season here (and the air thankfully cooling) I'm grateful to again be floating atop the iconic Imperial Hotel in Erko, spinning an extended set of soft froth and bitchy bubble to match the bittersweet nature of our time/s and place/s. Join us from 2 in the arvo til the sun starts to set at 8. Entry is free and the rooftop space is a beauty.
Thank you Andzej. I love this place.
Thursday January the 30th ~
Slight delay in my Palmer & Co routine this week so as to enable the long drive north. Back on deck from 10PM til close at 3 or 4AM tonight. Free.
Friday January the 31st ~
Amazingly The Paddington has invited my historic-but-not-so-stately self back already! Catch me there gratis between 7 and 10 this evening.
Saturday February the 1st ~
Jack Off in peace and comfort from 3 til 5PM.
Sunday February the 2nd ~
Things have turned turtle with Laneway now located in the Domain (go figure) and a consequent shift of my bad self from the beautiful, cool, PIP within the old College of Arts to relative unknown of the House of Rounds, where I will provide corrective aural surgery in half hour bursts at 2.45 and 6.30PM.
Old copies & new titles, free as audio translations.
Wednesday January the 22nd ~
Mary Heart's band beats out a rhythm live from 7 til 10 for Swingin' at the Speakeasy - with Pia on the decks between sets then myself til at least 3 after.
Friday January the 24th ~
Ponder existentialist angst whilst I play a rare short set at The Paddington from 10 til midnight.
Saturday January the 25th ~
Thursday Island's Mau Power brings his hard-won wisdom to Redfern on the eve of Invasion Day.
Following his appearance on Jack Off he'll feature in the Sunrise ceremony via NITV/SBS/10 the next morning. Catch his hard-hitting and healing hip hop first on FBi Radio between 3 and 5PM.
Sunday January the 26th ~
Head to Yabun if you really wanna know the score and be in this country for real on a grim, grave day of mourning and sorrow.
Once you've recognised the spirit and survival of indigenous people there you may or may not stray a few suburbs west.
If you do you'll find us continuing community vibes outside at the Petersham Bowlo - where I'll be playing songs by aboriginal artists and egalitarian Australians of differing descent.
It means a lot to me to have the chance to temper the bogan nature of much of this day with signs of the place and people/s I love.
Join us if the chance arises. All ages are always welcome. 3 til 6PM. See you then!
Sure sonic footholds for perilous positions.
Tuesday January the 14th ~
Celebrate the belated lifting of the city's lockouts with Christa Hughes' C-Bombs (featuring the astronomical rhythm section from The Cruel Sea) plus Suzie St James, Melissa Evans and moi at the Hollywood Hotel for free from 7PM til late.
Wednesday January the 15th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy revives the roaring twenties with the ice cool Crawish Po' Boys live from 7 til 10, Pia Andersen on the decks between sets, then old Shitty heating things up all the way til close at 3 or 4 or whatever o'clock.
Saturday January the 18th ~
Jack Off goes rogue with another unmoored immersion in the liquid language of music from 3 til 5PM.
Thence we drop science for pure hokum in the salubrious surrounds of Jacoby's Tiki Bar in Enmore, rendering a 5 hour set for the heads from 9PM til 2AM. See things differently. Entry be forever free.
Sunday January the 19th ~
Lastly we emerge from below bars and ascend the stairs to the stars, taking to the rooftop of the Imperial Hotel for another instalment of our monthly musical mirage.
This bracket is even more distended - being 6 hours in length from 2PM on. It'll be free, freaky, fab and fresh - a perfect place to land this Sunday.