Fascinator’s Guide to the NYC Nightlife


FASCINATOR is Australian music icon, in his own way of course. In that kind of mysterious, weird enigma kind of way.

Although he’s fronted a seminal Australian band, he no longer calls Australia home. Now residing in New York, Jonny McKay, is bringing his oddball take of psych, electro and pop to venues across the city.

We asked for a Fascinator Hometown Guide, and what we received was much bigger than that. It’s more of a chronicle of his time spent in NYC, sharing with us some of his finest stories of being an expat, but also being a local.

I went to seven different schools growing up ending with The Big Banana so in the interest of, well, interest, I might go with the current town I call home which is New York City.


Kirin and I at Baby’s

Baby’s All Right

“B.A.R in Brooklyn is like my second (and occasionally first) home…I certainly swan around in it like it is anyway. Run and staffed by beautiful people who feel like family, I’ve been a resident DJ there since the start. They trust me to play whatever I want and I trust them to make me margaritas and give me hugs. I’ve seen Ariel Pink play his album, Pom Pom, before anyone else had really heard it. Mac DeMarco jump out of a cake and Connan Mockasin do standup connedy. Kirin J Callinan and I also ran a guided meditation there to a bunch of people on Twister mats.”

2 Again

My buddy Aku and I, who I DJ with sometimes.

Elvis Guesthouse

Elvis is the sister bar to Baby‘s and sits on Ave A in East Village. It’s tiny and decked out amazingly. It has this blue tiled section that I call The Tron Aquarium. You can see it featured heavily in my video for ‘Dead of the Night’. I once squeezed 14 masked, kaftanned ‘fascinators’ in there for a show and as a result loads of people couldn’t get in. Next time I’ll just make it so everyone is in the band.”


This is the only photo I could find of myself at Berlin. Crazy Halloween party night.

Berlin Bar

“Just down the road from Elvis and the best Tuesday night in New York. I know because I tried competing at a different joint and generally spent the night wanting to be with all my friends over there. My mate Johann and I started putting on really fun shows on their little stage and have been lucky enough to play with other sweet acts like Surfbort and Leviticus Pharaoh. We’ll continue doing monthly parties at Berlin throughout 2016 if Laura promises to look after my shit when I forget to take it and end up out the front trying to make out with street signs.”


Legend festival at Never Never with Sasha, Grace and Jaie. Some dick killed Jaie’s computer with booze not long after this. Someone buy him a new one.

Never Never

“Secret super fun spot where legends Ronnie and Deevee let me throw together lineups of my favourite DJs and party late. If you know you know ya know?”


Dune Rats being little shits as usual outside of Convicts.


“The unofficial Australian embassy in New York. This store on Mulberry st in Nolita is a hub of the Aussie NYC community. Scott Dooley and I do a little online radio podcast out of the front window called ‘Mates’ on Convicts Radio which generally turns into a party…much to our distraction. Convicts is also a creative agency doing an amazing job documenting and highlighting all kinds of happenings and achievers in NYC. Australian and otherwise. It’s mainly just a good joint to pop in for a yarn though.”

Fascinator’s debut album Man is set for release January 29 via Spinning Top Records.

Words by Tom Hutchins





Just a weird, socially awkward dude trying to get by. On the plus side he knows a lot about ramen, and you know, that’s pretty cool.