SONGS FROM THE 86 TRAM
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The wait is over! Brown & Orange is out now!
REVIEWS JUST IN FOR ‘BROWN & ORANGE’
“The Bedroom Philosopher, aka Justin Heazlewood, revealed himself as an hallucinogenic hybrid of Tripod and Syd Barrett on his 2005 cult hit I’m So Postmodern, inevitably putting him in danger of becoming a one-novelty-hit wonder. The BP’s second album Brown & Orange is less explicitly bizarre than the tune that brought him (sort of) fame, placing his eccentric streams of consciousness and oddball stories amidst an apparently earnest style of folk-rock and gentle experimentation (such as placing a taped ‘70s monologue alongside hypnotic Phillip Glass-style repetition).
The swelling orchestral ballad For The Love I Have For You sounds like a straight, serious song, but closer investigation reveals Heazlewood cramming lots of syllables into tiny song spaces, at one point blurting out “Okay, granted, that’s not a very romantic lyric”. Tongue still wedged in cheek, then. The spoken-word short story Jesus On Big Brother is fun as well (“More people watched Jesus than The Simpsons and the news and the CSIs combined”). The record is less successful when he goes deliberately ‘wacky’, such as the “comedy” Muppet vocals in Wow Wow’s Song (La La La). But the record’s charm is revealed in the almost Dylan-esque rant Party In My Head and the laid-back country-rock strum of What Am I Supposed To Be Doing?”
Matt Thrower, Rave.
“The fact that The Bedroom Philosopher is a talented musician with a highly polished production is obvious from the first few bars. A folk-guitar style, the sound of fingers slipping from chord to chord along the strings throughout a ballad with seventies-style jazz flute (a double flute solo, no less) makes me want to weave daisy-chains and skip through the nearest field. The music jumps from song to song between seventies styles, raw old-school Brit pop, folk guitar chords, and psychedelic sounds created by the Philosopher and his Awkwardstra. I laugh out loud on at least four occasions during the first song (Strange Piece of Music) alone. I’m won over by the lyrics –one of a few songs on the album to employ story-teller narration, backed up with beautiful guitar.
The Bedroom Philosopher is a particularly talented and funny writer. As a listener I identify with every single word – which is the hook. But the usual brash take-the-piss Aussie comedy-music style is replaced by the gently hilarious musings of a poet. I almost fall in love. The original 1970’s home-recordings (apparently discovered by the Bedroom Philosopher in a Canberra Op Shop) peppered between a few songs make for some compelling listening. Really, really odd, and really funny. I will be taking this cd for another spin; during my morning tram ride to work – the 86, hiding behind sunglasses and pretending I’m sitting in a park with a bunch of groovy friends listening to a really funny, cute guy telling me sweet, amusing tales and making me laugh.”
Emma Johnston, Artshub.
(Brought to you by The Curious Case of Benjamin Bunny. A reversed adaption of the Beatrix Potter story.)
♥ Brown & Orange has been released through MGM / Nan & Pop Records. It has fourteen songs and a 16-page colour booklet. Nan issued a statement saying that she was ‘pleased that Justin is still striving towards his dream,’ and that this album had better SHIFT SOME UNITS!’ It’s available in all shops and on iTunes. It costs around $28 in stores, plus extra for the bribe you’ll have to offer the salesperson to find it. If the record store assistant acts like they’ve never heard of me or the album, kindly insist that I exist and make them look hard on their computer. If it comes to this, which it will, the catalogue number is NANPOP002.
You can have a look at the track listing here:
♥ My summer-fill show on Melbourne’s community radio RRR ‘Lime Champions’ was rather successful. Along with Damien Lawlor, Josh Earl, Eva Johansen & Matt Kelly, we came up with a format of pre-recorded and live-to-air sketches, music and interviews that impressed the station manager so much we’re being considered for a regular spot. In the meantime, we’re going into podcast mode, and should have the first one up next week. For now, you can hear our last show in its entirety, featuring interviews with Tripod, Marieke Hardy & The Suitcase Royale here:
♥ After much consideration, I’ve decided to go with ‘Two Thousand and Nein’ (last part said aggressively in German accent) as the catchphrase of this year. I think this year’s good so far, but if you don’t you can consider calling it ‘Two Thousand and Whine.’
♥ I haven’t planned an album tour for Brown & Orange as I’d like to take The Awkwardstra with me but am aware of the financial risks. Stay tuned. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with giving the album some time to get out there and looking at the situation in May. *Justin has unnecessarily business toned conversation with readership as supplement for lack of current management.*
♥ A biologist has suggested that due to lack of proper research, entire populations of unknown species may have already been wiped off the face of the Earth. According to a report in The Australian, Australian marine biologist Elvira Poloczanska has come forward with this hypothesis, which suggests species that have not been found as yet, may have already become extinct.
♥ I’m getting a new bed for the first time in my adult life. Mum bought it for me with her K. Rudd one thousand!
♥ AWKWARDSTRA NEWS: Sorry ladies (and gentleman), but Awkwardstra percussionist Hits Rodriguez is engaged! Congratulations to him and his lovely partner. Meanwhile, Nature Boy Hazel and Hits played with Kat Frankie on her recent tour. Mad-Dog Rabinovici is back to study his third year at VCA. Flutes McGee smashed his flute after getting right into the Wow Wow’s Song silent rock out at The Thin Green Line Festival. Suavy Shankar is set to increase his musical involvement in the band, adding electric guitar to Party In My Head and Acronymphomaniac.