Some pissed prick tried to pinch my Strand Hatters' Akubra mid-set at Palmer and Co last week.
I despise hat thieves so set off (after cueing a few really long tracks and putting visiting DJ Soup in charge) in cool pursuit (they had a ten minute start and would, in all likelihood, have hopped in a cab to split). Halfway around the block in Hunter Street I saw this tool (and his mini-Milat mate) stranded outside a pub - my hat atop his swollen, misshapen mess of a face. He was immeasurably improved aesthetically but still ugly as all get-out - and thankfully too inebriated to even recognise the DJ he'd been badgering as I approached, close enough to pull my property off his dipshit dome.
This triggered a piss-poor attempt at protest on his part but I managed to impress upon him that it would be unwise to fuck with an angry hat owner who was literally on the phone to the police at that very time. I swear to gods if anyone pulls that shit again anywhere at all I will be less diplomatic...
Wednesday December the 4th ~
This may be tested as soon as tonight as I return to the scene of the crime - playing Palmer from 11 til close at around 3 (the city is nuts at the mo thus this could easily extend to 3.30AM). The usual Speakeasy affair ain't on due to a private function earlier so doors won't open earlier. Entry is free.
Friday November the 6th ~
On Friday I kick off the musical offerings for the summer Finders Keepers market at The Cutaway. After my midday til 2 bracket there'll be live music from Lisa Caruso, Elizabeth Fader, Alice Terry and Sparrows before DJ Dylabolical wraps things up.
Saturday December the 7th ~
Saturday sees next-level nutsness yet again, as I play music for 11 or 12 hours in total, beginning with an 11.30AM til 1.30PM set back at Finders. Jo Fabro, Fetherstone and Richie Cuthbert follow live before I magically reappear to spin another two hours of idiosyncratic audio at 5.
In between I'll be hosting a particularly wayward edition of Jack Off that will culminate in a 40-minute-long Spod epic I've been hanging to unleash for months. Tune in from 3PM on FBi Radio.
Finally I'll drag myself up to the Hollywood Hotel and attempt to do justice to the final set (for this year) at one of my favourite residencies of all time.
Yet again last week was superb. It felt like the day peace was declared after a long and bitter war - with every soul in the joint singing to strange old standards like Unchained Melody or Those Were The Days. Those melodramatic radiophonic relics were interspersed with gigantic jams from Africa and Latin America, not to mention just-released local fare. The atmosphere just builds and builds, dancers cut loose and everyone is so kindly and appreciative. I love my job there.
Please join us for my last set til the lockouts lift in January 2020. We'll roll from 9 right through til close at 2 or 3. We are always free!
Aquatic audio and air waves escalate as summer crashes ashore. Absolutely everything is free.
Wednesday November the 27th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy features the Steve Edmonds band alongside DJ sets by Pia Andersen between 7 and 10PM, thence a few sonic stunts from myself til 3.
Friday November the 29th ~
Palmer and Co will also be the venue for more vintage capers come Friday, from midnight til 3.
Saturday November the 30th ~
Somewhere down there lies the future of my mind, especially after attempting this Saturday's absurd schedule.
It begins with the opening set (from midday til 2) of Redfern Surf Club's Massive Summer Block Party. A freaky food truck, whack drinks and crack selectors (Le Fruit x Mr Friendly, Ariane, Bea Goode, Shantan Wantan Ichiban and Purple Sneakers DJs) oughtta make for a wild time. See you there!
By mid-arvo I'll dash across the road to Jack Off with RVG live on FBi radio between 3 and 5.
Then from 9 it's time to knock out another 5 to 6 hour set for the lairs and larrikins of the infamous Hollywood Hotel, wrapping up around 2 or 3AM.
Sunday December the 1st ~
If you've kept up with all that you actually really deserve a beer - and on Sunday yr in luck as there's actually a piss-up in a brewery, Willie The Boatman's to be exact.
Given live music has made a comeback there of late this may be the last time I'll get to share a DJ set with discerning Sunday drinkers, something that kinda breaks my heart as I love the place so much.
Let's make it a memorable hurrah, whether it proves to be the last for me or not. 3 til 6PM. Amen!
Love and respect to the fighters challenging power out there. We ain't going down with this shit!
Wednesday November the 20th ~
Supernatural scenarios transpire in the heart of the CBD at Swingin' at the Speakeasy, with Miss Pia's Swing Combo (featuring The Senator) live from 7 til 10, then old Shithead here til close at 2 or 3. Free
Saturday November the 23rd ~
Jack Off with Quivers on FBi Radio between 3 and 5PM, then quicken the pulse further via an erotic escalation at the Hollywood Hotel, from 9PM til an unsustainable peak is reached around 2 or 3AM. There have been ever wilder scenes late of late. All free.
Sunday November the 24th ~
Bask under alien skies upon the fertile dirt of the Petersham Bowlo's greens - and offer up any progeny born of last night's depravity in return for the faint prospect of peace on Earth.
Bentspoke Brewing will have an outside bar on the boil - and inside will proffer a potent array of all ages entertainment courtesy of the final It's A Family Affair for the year.
$8 for adults (kids are free) will get you gigs by Froggy Prinze, Sam Shinazzi, Jerrah Patston, The Sticker Club and The Rock Bots from 2 til 8 - or just soak up some sweet songs in the fresh air for free as I spin out there from 3 til 6PM.
Boots for scooting! Still praying for so many loved ones facing flames all around them as I write.
Wednesday November the 13th ~
Hop, skip or jump beyond yr allocated lane at Palmer and Co for Swingin' at the Speakeasy - with free live music from 7 til 10, then classics via turning tables courtesy of me til close at around 3.
Saturday November the 16th ~
Jack Off between 3 and 5PM on FBi Radio, then travel to Hollywood for a gratis art deco experience of entertaining audio variety between 9 and 2 or 3AM.
Sunday November the 17th ~
I'm pretty glad that I'll have enjoyed some time in a few old surfie-built 60s cabins down south leading in to this weekend (instead of doing the usual 5 hour Friday lead-in to my 7-8 hour Saturday) as the Imperial have extended my already rather vast monthly Sunday set on the roof another hour.
I expect to be fresh and fab for a full six hours up in the sky. Join us from 2 til 8PM. It's also free!
Make a song and dance about it. Everything is free.
Wednesday November the 6th ~
Swing to the Speakeasy for scale across the spectrum. Sara O'Connor live from 7 til 10, then old Shitty on the decks til close at around 3.
Friday November the 8th ~
Press play for 5 hours of orbiting audio from 8 at the South King Recreation Club each Friday.
Saturday November the 9th ~
Retired/retooled Violator Steve Gunn, all the way from the Brooklyn that ain't on the Hawkesbury, joins us from the get-go as Jack Off airs from 3. Sometime before our two hours is up we may also hear from The Jezebels' Hayley Mary in solo mode.
Later I've a long-booked birthday bash to spin at til after midnight so Meem will be holding forth at the Hotel Hollywood from 9 til 1 in my stead.
After a super-tricky tech scare soon after my arrival last week we saved the day via miraculous lifts and gifts. I remain outraged that K Mart no longer stock any form of RCA cord - but am forever indebted to Liz for the night rides and Tim for the long leads. There were minuscule odds we'd be able to rectify those issues so late but we prevailed and just in the nick of time, as the joint was inundated with celebrating cinematographers from the State awards night straight after I got connected again.
The place pretty much exploded in dance after midnight. You just never know what's around the corner there. Either way I'm not missing out any more than I have to this week so I'll be back on deck/s from 1 til close (somewhere between 2 and 3).
Sunday November the 10th ~
The most vital event this week, indeed this year, is Picnic Among Friends at Girrahween Park.
This community memorial picnic was devised by my dear friend Victoria Spence a decade ago - and for 10 years now her devoted team of artists and activists have realised an exquisite collective context for honouring those we've lost, together.
Victoria is the most preternaturally gifted celebrant I've ever encountered - and a wise and passionate advocate of calm, common-sense when it comes to making a place for meaningful rites to honour our lives and deaths.
This is the final Picnic Vic will be organising herself. She has sown the seeds and is encouraging others to further develop these unique shared spaces for memory, loss and love to coalesce.
If you've never had the chance to attend one of these before I entreat you to come to this exquisite bushland between 2 and 5 on Sunday. It's one of the most gentle and kind gatherings imaginable. Kids and pets are welcome (there is a memorial for the latter specifically), Voices From The Vacant Lot will sing, there are activities and installations that will take your breath away. There is fire.
To honour the final Picnic at Girrahween I've the unimaginable privilege of playing some subliminal, then celebratory, sounds through a stereo Sunny Bin soundsystem too. This is something I've done once for a Picnic at Rookwood Cemetary only - and it was one of the most overwhelmingly spiritual experiences I've ever had doing my 'job'. I dissolved in tears throughout but it was as much from gratitude and awe as sadness. I can't imagine how much more sublime the experience will be amongst the birds and bush I live for in this country. Please, be with us there.
Attempting to keep infinity in order at the mo - and failing terribly! In the last few hours, after being locked out of various portals and my laptop itself intermittently all day, I've discovered 160 emails and 30 event invites (most of which warrant listing in the Diary) that amassed unbeknownst to me whilst overseas. I was already despairing at ever being able to get back on top of the incessant incoming tide - now I'm apoplectic. So this will be a mighty brief newsletter. All events this week are free!
Wednesday October the 30th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy features Miss Pia and The Dovetails live between 7 and 10, then myself on the decks til close at 3AM. Make time!
Friday November the 1st ~
At last I get to revisit the South King Recreation Club and play for their literally smokin' clientele. Join us in the courtyard or dine in. 8PM til 1AM.
Saturday November the 2nd ~
Despite some sterling efforts we're not likely to swing a guest appearance by the Chemical Brothers - but I can promise listeners the chance to Jack Off with Donny Benét between 3 and 5PM on FBi.
Afterwards I'm stoked to be assuming control of the Hotel Hollywood sound system for an extended set of ultra-diverse music from around the world. It has been a long time coming - and will take you to new dimensions in time and space. 9PM til 2 or 3AM.
Sunday November the 3rd ~
The ideal final port for my return to pristine routine is the Willie The Boatman brewery. Find us there this Sunday for delicious tucker, even better beers and some surreal and sturdy sounds. 3 til 6PM.
Certain acts in uncertain places - an antediluvian index of opportunity for the ancient gentle person.
Wednesday October the 23rd ~
The Faculties warm the floor for Swingin' at the Speakeasy from 7PM, then I cool it out from 10 til the joint closes around 3. Free.
Friday October the 25th ~
It's gonna be a hot on Friday so I'm stoked to be returning to UNSW to play the beautiful Moreton-Bay-Fig-shaded Roundhouse beer garden gratis from 5 til 7. Drop in if yr about. Sunset sound is sweet!
After that I'm doing another eccentrically-themed (1982 Fleet Week) annual party for the Grumpy Sailor mob all night so for one last week I've a substitute selector at the South King Recreation Club.
Goldfoot did a great job filling in for Mario Speedwagon at Splendour's Gold Bar and afterparty this year and he'll be reprising the role and bringing his rare rock and kooky covers to bear in Newtown between 8PM and 1AM. Entry is always free.
Saturday October the 26th ~
Once I scrape myself outta bed on Saturday morning I'll be migrating north to tiny Tiona, where I've the pleasure of playing music for Tessa and Adam's lakeside wedding. Consequently the biggest round of DJ swaps I've ever administered continues.
All going according to plan (and barring any further dental misadventures) Eddy Diamond will at last reprise her fantastic Jack Off fill-in from a few months ago. Tune in to FBi Radio from 3 til 5 and turn it up!
Broadcast junkies hanging for another radiophonic fix might also care to stream last week's sublime (and ridiculous) show - featuring a stunning solo rendition of Youth Group's first song in over a decade Cusp.
I actually caught some of Trevor Brown's excellent eclectic set at the Hotel Hollywood last week after leading a merry band of wedding attendees down the way from the Beta Bar. The place was packed with such a wonderfully diverse range of people - even got to catch up with Melissa from Chicks On Speed (who'd just played at Carriageworks) for the first time in something like a decade and a half.
It's so gratifying to see Saturday nights there evolving into such a warm and welcoming sanctuary for lovers of art and culture. Goddess knows Sydney needs it! I can't wait to get back behind the decks every week from next week - but until then you've one last guest deejay of distinction in DJ Soup.
Swing by any time from 9 til at least 2 (but often 3, keeping lame lockouts from half 1 in mind).
It's fab, it's fun, it's freaky and it's free.
Just home and already freaked and fraught so let's keep the missions brief and dwell instead on beauty.
Wednesday October the 16th ~
Swingin' at the Speakeasy features double duties (on stage and decks) from Pia Andersen from 7 tonight - before I take to the turntables come 10, playing all the way through til close at around 3AM. It's free.
Thursday October the 17th ~
I'll be back in the ancient cellar of Palmer and Co the next evening for those same hours, gratis, too.
Friday October the 18th ~
Kat Harley (of Mezko and a million other bands) will DJ in my stead at the South King Recreation Club on Friday - in the new (louder and later) timeslot of 8PM til 1AM), as I tend to a 6 til 10PM shift booked at the Sydney Brewery prior to that residency arising. Both scenarios will cost you sweet nothing.
Saturday October the 19th ~
Jack Off will broadcast under my auspices once again from 3 til 5 on FBi Radio this Saturday arvo. I'm thrilled to be welcoming both Sydney's Youth Group and Dunedin's Soaked Oats as my live guests.
Directly afterwards I'll be headed to a Greek restaurant (of course) in the city to spin at the wedding of Alison and James. Consequently Trevor Brown will be on deejay duties at the Hotel Hollywood - from 9PM til they escort the last revellers out at 2 or 3 in the morn. No charge.
Sunday October the 20th ~
Come Sunday an upheaval of management at the ever-changing Imperial Hotel has seen me return to their beautiful rooftop for a free extended set from 3 til 8PM. I think I can make the adjustment from Athens to Erko - just! Pop along for sounds and scenery.
I am writing to you from the highest mountain village in Cyprus. The four days I have been on this island have been astonishing from the outset. The above pic was taken from a headland above startling rock formations by a beach that turned out to be the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. I had swung off the freeway just to check it on a whim. A lovely bloke in a solitary ice-cream van sold me a freshly squeezed pomegranate juice that immediately rectified the wearying effects of 24 hours in the air. I swam beneath a slight gap in the rocks offshore and was stunned to find myself in a white cathedral formed by three towering stones leaning on each other, light blue water beneath dropping from a few feet to twenty deep at the edge of each.
I could go on - but I won't. There's too much to see and do. All this beauty coincides with geopolitical horror: from flying over Tripoli on one side and Aleppo on the other; to Turkey's dictator defying international boundaries to drill from a flag-draped ship just 51 nautical miles off the coast here, as Trump invites him to the White House and abandons the Kurds after all their hard yards against ISIS, even as Pompeo signs a defence pact with Greece. I am on an ancient and modern fault line at a time of escalating idiocy and despair. I feel it everywhere.
Wednesday October the 9th ~
Amongst this fragile peace and relics of privilege, I'll play a public gig on my final evening in the country. I'm honoured that this will occur at the most creative space here, Sousami in Limassol. Any residents or visitors keen and able can attend free and hear everything unfold between 10PM and 2AM.
Back in Sydney DJ Soup will fill-in for me after the live component of Swingin' at the Speakeasy wraps at 10. That's always free and also goes til 2 or 3.
Friday October the 11th ~
South King Recreation Club is restored to its former glory and from 6 til 10PM on Friday my substitute selector will be Meem. Free, as ever.
Saturday October the 12th ~
Jack Off will be back under the auspices of the excellent Eddy Diamond this weekend so ensure you tune in from 3 til 5PM. Her last shift on the show was brim-full of subtle mixes, all to theme. I was so enthralled listening to it - and just stoked that Eddy had utilised the profound freedom the program offers in such a genuine and thoughtful manner.
Sunday October the 13th ~
By Sunday I'll have had a chance to adjust to the bustle of Athens (and also attend both days of the Sonar Festival happening there for the first time - in fact I intend to call Eddy with a live report/review during Saturday's show).
On my final day away I've the most delightful opportunity to farewell this part of the world. DJ Blue Lagoon has kindly invited me to join him at the styling little art deco Praxitelous Bar. Locals and expats can find us there between 10 and 2 for free!
Hope to see the rest of you back home real soon xo
One last letter as the great beyond beckons...
Wednesday October the 2nd ~
I've just a single Sydney gig for the fortnight hence, as I've lucked out and been invited to play a wedding in Cyprus. The symmetry of this final local outing prior is that Palmer and Co was where the adventure essentially began.
Way back in February 2018 two hilarious Malaysian fellas happened upon our timeless cellar of tunes - on a night that was particularly wanton and wild. After striking up a conversation (and laughing a lot) they grabbed my card and somehow managed to hang on to it ever since. A few months ago they reached out to see if I'd be interested in soundtracking these scenic nuptials on the other side of the world. I did not have to be asked twice!
So join me deep beneath the city streets - and sample the great new food menu and cocktail list as I spin between 10PM and 3AM. Ideally get there early as the Mary Heart band rocks the dancers hither and thither with three sets from 7 too. It's all free!
Friday October the 4th ~
Whilst I'm wrapping up the second flight of two (that will see me airborne for almost 24 hours) DJ Soup will be my substitute at the South King Recreation Club - playing a refreshing set of selections as the sun sets. 6 til 10PM. Free!
Saturday October the 5th ~
I've got such a proprietary love of my current residencies (and naturally my radio show) that I've personally arranged people I trust to steer each ship in my absence.
This week Jack Off will air under the auspices of Purple Sneakers' main maven - Caitlin Medcalf, affording a very hard-working woman the luxury of three hours bent from 3PM. Tune in and hear her push the limits! Also remember that you can listen back to most of the programs I've done over the last year on-demand - and I heartliy commend to you the audio insanity of last week's last-minute guest Toecutter here.
A month of brilliant broadcasters and deejays on my usual Saturday nights at the Hotel Hollywood begins with Paris Groovescooter playing 9PM til at least 2AM. It's fantastic and free so make tracks to Slurry and support this stylin' pub and the people that make it such a tonic to Sydney's bad gin.
Sunday October the 6th ~
Come Sunday I'll be ensconced in the stunning Liopetro venue, in the tiny village of Kouklia, relaying real romance in the open air for Xian and Robert's wedding.
I love that I can play all the way til midnight outside - and then we move to a duplicate sound system inside to use through til 2! I can't tell you how ready I am to lap up culture and nature a world away. Perhaps by next week I'll have some snaps to share. I will then give more detail on a public gig apiece I'll be doing in both Cyprus and Athens.
In the meantime thank you so much for all the support you've given me throughout these decades of dedication to music, art and ideas. I get very sentimental leaving home for even a short spell as I treasure it so - but now I must go xo