NEWS (Brought to you by Chad Mashups Waterslide Bowling – combining the summer fun of water sliding with the skill of ten pin bowling, simply bowl your ball and then follow it down the four story ‘super loop.’ Even if you don’t knock ‘em all down, you’re sure to get a spare when you come crashing through after! Now in five public liability challenging venues around Australia.)

• In Bed With My Doona and the Folkstar/I’m So Post Modern Maxi Single are both now up on iTunes. There’s a link to both on my Myspace and website Discography pages. So much easier than taping them!

• The JJJ Hottest 100 Acoustic Megamix, which proved popular at my Falls gigs, is back up on my Myspace, which you can download free for a limited time. That is, until I’m arrested for the ninety-four international copyright laws I’m violating.

• The difficult second album, currently titled ‘Brown & Orange’ is going pleasantly, and has all my hopes and dreams lightly pinned to it. I’ve recorded the basic vocal and guitar tracks with my Uncle Ken in Emu Plains, who recorded ‘In Bed With My Doona.’ In his ‘HumbleHouse Studio’ we also recorded double bass played by John Maddox (who played on the current incarnation of ‘Folkstar’), as well as sitar, played by Richard Cartwright from the band Richard In Your Mind. Yes sitar, confirming rumours that I am planning an overproduced ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of indie folk comedy this time around. The remaining production is being overseen by ARIA hall of famer Martin Lubran (Crackpot). A number of gobsmackingly talented guest musician have appeared so far, including Harry Angus (Cat Empire) on trumpet, Xani Colac (Martin Martini) on violin, Hanna Silver on piano, Haydn Meggit on drums and some cheeky flute from Michael O’Connor. My Nan Really Likes Radiohead has been dropped and will hopefully appear on a future live album. It’s about 65% completed so far and is due out sooner rather than later.

• I won’t be appearing at Melbourne Comedy, Sydney Cracker or Adelaide Fringe Festivals this year due to my high concept solo show ‘How Tasmanian’s that?’ being deemed too ‘high concept’ by industry officials. It was going to be a kind of cirque de soleil meets perfect strangers style one man rock eisteddfod performing bon bon jokes kareoke style while upside down in a scuba tank filled with magic gum. Gradually, water would be added making the bubble gum form and for the finale a couple of turbines would power a huge bubble that I’d float away in. I’ve decided instead to focus on an album tour in music venues.

• One of my two childhood cats, Misty, passed away while I was home in Tasmania, aged 16. She was experiencing kidney failure. I must personally praise the practitioner at the Burnie Veterinary Centre for his kindness and sensitivity. Misty was buried in the back garden near the Wisteria where she often liked to sleep. The other cat, Blossum, is turning 20 this year! He has lost a lot of weight, is mostly deaf, and appears to have some arthritic trouble in his legs, but for all intents and purposes is, well, alive.

• Following up my comments about Beck’s Information last issue, co-Beck nerd Conrad Richters (Richard In Your Mind) has informed me that the spoken word ‘spaceship’ stuff at the end isn’t about Scientology at all. The initial plan was for Dave Eggers and Spike Jonze to sit in on the album and ‘commentate’ on it in an abstract way. This commentary was going to be sprinkled throughout the record, but was eventually condensed into one track. The text in question is them talking about what the ‘best album in the world ever’ would sound like. I acknowledge Conrad’s information, but still find sentences like “it has to tell you how to live, it’s an instruction guide/it would be inside the spaceship and also the spaceship” a fraction coinci-sciencemental.

• After three odd years of managing to duck and weave away from Centrelink’s bureaucrapic butterfly net, they have managed to finally trap me injured possum style and make me face the ego concentration camp of Job Search Training. I must attend fifteen of the three hour soul interrogations over the next few weeks. Here is an exact script from my first day:

(Justin has just walked in late. There are about fifteen people sitting around a table)
Jobsearch trainer: Justin, would you like to introduce yourself to the group?
Justin: Hi my name’s Justin…and I’m unemployed. (silence) Ah, I perform music as the Bedroom Philosopher, I’ve had a song in Triple J’s Hottest 100, I’m So Post Modern and I’m currently working on a new album and I can type sixty words per minute. (a couple of muffled chuckles)
Jobsearch trainer: Right, we’ll keep going around and you only need to say your name.