Wednesday, June 30, 2010


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Three girls. Three genres. A really large amount of awesomeness.

Melbourne three-piece Jungal have been spreading the rhythm disease with their gritty guitars, soulful voices and addictive roots beats, with their tunes that mash together roots, rock and folk into one all-female package. After the overwhelming response to their up-and-at-them war cry song Say It, sisters Leisha and Jessie Jungalwalla and Victoria Beard are all geared up to launch their hotly anticipated debut album This Crooked Track.

Paper-Deer had a bit of a heart-to-heart with guitarist and singer Leisha Jungalwalla about Jungal's upcoming launch for their debut LP This Crooked Track.
Where does the name Jungal come from? Does it have any meaning?
Jungal is half of mine and Jessie’s last name. Our full name is Jungalwalla, but its pretty long n crazy so we took the ‘walla’ off and kept Jungal cause it sort of sounds like our music.

How did the three of you meet up and start working together?
Jessie and I are sisters so we’ve been playing in bands together since we were little. Vic came along once Jessie moved to Melbourne from our family home in the country. They became fast friends and we all started jamming together.

What does each member bring to Jungal, in terms of talent personality, talent and energy?
Well, I bring all the talent!!! [Laughs] Kidding... We all bring different things to the table and that helps create a really unique blend. We’re all quite big personalities but the biggest is probably Vic, she is hilarious. Jessie is the boss; she’s really good at organising us and I like to think I bring the relaxed vibe. In regards to talent, musically Jessie and I really write music off sounds and feelings they give. Vic is really logical, analytical and good with her theoretical knowledge so she’s able to really nut bass lines out in a totally different way from Jessie and I. It’s a great way to work.

Jungal has been described as roots, folk and rock. Was it ever a conscious decision to mix together genres, or something that happened organically?
No, it was never a conscious thing to mix. It was really more a thing that came with liking and appreciating different styles of music and writing using different influences. Plus we all really enjoy playing different types of music. Rock is fun and crazy, folk can really be heartfelt and roots and soul are wonderful to sing.

Jungal is an all-female band. Does it annoy you when music journalists and fans point it out because it shouldn’t be a big deal? Or is it something that you are proud of?
No, it’s something that we are proud of. You can’t get annoyed at these things if you are just that, I got used to that young with a name like Jungalwalla! So no, it’s something that we are really proud of, but we are also aware of not sitting on our laurels and making sure we continue to increase our music skills and experience and not just be another average band no matter what sex we are.

How would you describe This Crooked Track?
It’s a mix of songs, but the music is high energy and heartfelt. Hopefully people will be able to dance and smile with this album.

Which song is your favourite on This Crooked Track and why?
Hmmmmn... I really like the intro song People because I feel it gets the album in a good mood! And because I wrote it for my grandma.

Are you excited about the launch?
Absolutely! We are jumping out of our skin! The Evelyn is a wonderful place to play. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more comfortable on a stage than when I play there, let alone playing with some really talented supports like Monique Brumby and Courtney Barnett. We are also going to have a brass section and a string section, so it’s going to be great fun!

How does your performance on This Crooked Track compare to your live performances?
We were able to take a little more time in playing around with different sounds, but the sort of energy that comes from a live performance can’t be recreated on an album. It’s always different. When you play live shows the energy comes from both you and the music. On an album it’s more the music, which is good because it lets the music speak for itself more. We were really happy with how the album came out.

What would you say to convince someone still deciding on whether they should go to your LP launch?
Doooooooo it! [Laughs] No seriously, it’s going to be such a great night of music, dancing and laughter. In the heart of Melbourne’s live music scene Fitzroy, what more could you want to start off the weekend?!?!

Immediate plans for after the launch?
Well, fourdays later we leave to tour Canada for six weeks! Then we’re back with a tour up the east coast in October to launch the album up there, and then it’s pretty much summer and festival time!

  • July 9: Grind N Groove, Healsville
  • July 10: McNairs
  • July 23: The Evelyn [LP launch] 

Monday, June 28, 2010

BAND: Mikelangelo and the Tin Star

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I have a thing for bands with "Something and the Something Something" name formats. It's so retro, and antiquated, but unbelievably cool.

It's fitting then, that Mikelangelo and the Tin Star are not only as retro as you can get, but also ridiculously awesome. The band is fronted by the excellently-coiffed Mikelangelo, a man who is known for unbelievably whipping out a comb mid-set to fix his quiff, yet never seeming like a try-hard doing so. I imagine that all their instruments would go out of tune if his hair was out. The rest of the gang provide retro-soaked surf 'n western tunes to back up Mikelangelo's smooth crooner voice, and it almost feels like you've been taken back in time to some era where women were ladies who wore gloves, gentlemen always stood up when people arrived at the dinner table, and sex was talked about in hushed voices.

And although she isn't technically part of the band, you can't talk about Mikelangelo and the Tin Star without mentioning the lovely Saint Clare. A honey-voiced singer, Saint Clare is a frequent guest at Tin Star gigs, with her sweet voice and hypnotising go-go dance moves sitting comfortable against Mikelangelo's swanky swagger and sneer.

So if you can't afford a time machine, you should seriously try to scrounge together some loose change to catch Mikelangelo and the Tin Star before they sail the seven seas in search of fame and glory overseas. Saint Clare and The Sljivovitz Orchestra will be accompanying the troubadours at their final farewell show for a while.

  • July 8: Northcote Social Club, Northcote

Sunday, June 27, 2010

INTERVIEW: The Whole Molko

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If there's one band that holds a special spot in my heart, it's Melbourne grunge rockers The Whole Molko. More than a year ago when I first had the random idea of dabbling with music journalism, I managed to convince The Whole Molko to let me interview them. I may have also lied and told them I was a music journalist at the time. I have since written more than 500 pieces since that first fateful interview, and the band have progressed from being a grungy garage band (which I may have subtly and subconsciously insulted in my interview by describing them as "perhaps not Melbourne’s next musical genius") to being the energetic, talented and crazy alternative outfit they are today.

The four-piece will be launching their long-time-coming EP Buyer's Remorse at Revolver Upstairs on Saturday July 10 with special guests The Villain's Lair, The Quarters and William Tell.

I had a chat to The Whole Molko's lead guitarist and self-proclaimed band nazi David Crowe about their debut EP Buyer's Remorse.

Tell us a secret about The Whole Molko that no one outside the band knows about...
We sometimes wish we were Weezer, but not often. Also, Figgers once tea bagged Nick on the cheek.

Technically that's untrue because I knew about the teabagging. Anyway, are you excited about Buyer’s Remorse?
Incredibly! I feel like we haven’t been doing enough in the public eye for too long. Nothing will ever compare to strumming that first chord in front of a crowd of eager faces. We’ve needed this EP so people have something to take home rather than just having to remember the experience, as good an experience as it may have been.

What genre or sound does it fit into?
I’d say we’re under the blanket of alternative, as much as I hate calling the genre that. We’re very grungy, so there is a lot of Nirvana and Pumpkins in there, as well as a lot of Radiohead and Muse influences, particularly in the more melodic and piano-based parts. We try to incorporate some more modern, indie elements into our sound as well, although I wouldn’t really call us an indie band. Although, that is about as broad a blanket as alternative is these days.

How did the name Buyer’s Remorse come about?
It was a lyric in the last track of the EP. There wasn’t a lot of thought put into it. I think we liked it because it made fun of itself, if you purchase this EP, you’ll regret it. Ironically, we’ll be giving them out for free and have no intention of charging for it.

Have you ever bought something really shit and regretted it later?
All the time. I used to have a really bad habit of buying really terrible CDs or DVDs just because I had a little money in my pocket. That and videogames. I recently bought Metro 2033 on Xbox and I don’t think I’ve given it more than half an hour of my precious time. I’ve learnt to be a bit more frugal and informed before I pull my wallet out now.
I hear that you were going to wearing a dress for your EP launch but failed. What was that about?
Apparently they don’t make dresses for giant men at cheapo places.

That sucks. Anything else special planned instead?
We have a blistering set mapped out, and a special guest may be making an appearance during one of the songs.
What will you do to people who don’t turn up to your EP launch?
I will hang them from the highest ceiling and dispense forty lashes.

Why did The Whole Molko decide to make the EP free? Aren’t musicians the poorest people alive?
We didn’t really want to break the stereotype. We decided the best way to gain as much coverage amongst a penny-pinching crowd is to give away as much free stuff as possible. This EP is more of an investment in our future. If this goes well, we can hopefully start to make money out of this.

Each member of The Whole Molko has a Twitter account named after a Spice Girl... How do each of you represent a Spice Girl?
Tezos (Sporty) fancies himself somewhat of an athlete and enjoys sharing his patent fitness secrets. Nick (Scary) used to have wild hair... but he cut it. Figgers (Baby) was the last addition to the band as well as being pretty short. I (Posh) am simply the best dressed of the band. We also have a Ginger Molko, he is part of our official entourage and he has red hair. It just worked perfectly.

Also, aren’t you a bit male and not living in the nineties to be a Spice Girl? Or is it retro cool?
We’re cool like Homer Simpson is in that episode of The Simpsons where he has the flashback to high school and he’s drinking from a water fountain and that girl comes up to him and says he’s cool and then her friend says she is so mean… We’re not cool.

  • July 1: The Prague, Thornbury 
  • July 10: Revolver Upstairs, Prahran [EP launch, free CDs on entry]
  • July 13: Brunswick Hotel, Brunswick

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

NEWS: APRA Music Awards

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The quality and worth of creative acts are, by nature, quite a subjective thing. Artistic pieces - be it a song, a piece of performance theatre or a sculpture - can't really be measured objectively by scales and test scores. They're not like a maths test where one plus one is, and always should be, two.

Nevertheless, entertainment industries seem to be in the bad habit of singling out one particular piece of work as the "best" for that particular year, and 2010 seems to be no different. Here are the winners of the 2010 APRA Music Awards, held on June 21 at the Sydney Convention Centre:

  • Song of the Year: Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition
  • APRA Songwriters of the Year: Angus Young, Malcolm Young
  • APRA Breakthrough Songwriter Award: Nick Littemore, Jonathan Sloan, Luke Steele
  • Ted Albert Award for Outstanding Services to Australian Music: Jimmy Little
  • Most Played Australian Work: Eskimo Joe's Foreign Land
  • International Work of the Year: The Fray's You Found Me
  • Most Played Australian Work Overseas: AC/DC's Rock 'N Roll Train
  • Country Work of the Year: Troy Cassar-Daley's Big, Big Love
  • Blues & Roots Work of the Year: Ashley Grunwald's Breakout
  • Urban Work of the Year: Hilltop Hoods' Still Standing
  • Dance Work of the Year: Empire of the Sun's Walking on a Dream
  • Rock Work of the Year: Eskimo Joe's Foreign Land
Despite the fact that there are heaps of amazing yet unrecognised bands out there, Paper-Deer would like to give all of these home-grown Australian bands (except for The Fray because they're American) some serious thumb-up action for all the hard work, sweat and tears that went into their music.


Monday, June 21, 2010

GIGS: Leonard Cohen + Peter Hook

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Lots of music buffs like to bitch about our lovely island country, and how isolated we are from the American and European music scenes. And how few bands can actually be bothered to spend thousands of dollars on getting themselves and their expensive gear halfway across the earth... to tap into an impossibly tiny potential market of a mere 22 million people spread out over a really big distance (as opposed to the 14 million in New York State alone). Which is understandable.

But bitch and moan no more. Leonard Cohen is coming to Australia. If you were writing a list of the most influential musicians of all time, Mister Cohen would be up there giving Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash a hard time. Concert goers have described the Canadian's shows as religious and life-changing... and it's unsurprising that tickets to see the folk troubadour are an astoundingly expensive at $139.50 to $284. And there I was, complaining about Splendour ticket prices (before succumbing, of course). Looks like I'll just have to keep on giving my Leonard Cohen concert DVD some loving.

For those a little more post-punk inclined, Peter Hook will also be gracing our shores later this year. The bassist and founding member of Joy Division will be performing their seminal album Unknown Pleasures from start of finish. And since vocalist Ian Curtis topped himself in 1980, Hook will be joined by various musical friends but no one has been named as of yet. Apparently some people have been criticising the Englishman for milking something that is way past its expiry date, and this is what he had to say: "We had a club full of people tonight who think we should be doing it and the others can just fuck off." If the recent Pixies tour where they played Doolittle from start to finish (which Frank Black unashamedly announced was a money-making machine) is any indication, this is probably one of those situations where you should pull a sickie just so you can snag some tickets.

Leonard Cohen - tickets already on sale:
  • November 6: Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Brisbane
  • November 8/9: Acer Arena, Sydney
  • November 12/13: Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne
  • November 15: Derwent Entertainment Centre, Hobart
  • November 18: Adelade Entertainment Centre, Adelaide
  • November 24: ME Bank Stadium, Perth

Peter Hook and Friends - tickets on sale July 2:
  • September 24: Palais Theatre, Melbourne
  • September 25: The Enmore, Sydney
  • September 27: Tivoli, Brisbane

Friday, June 18, 2010


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The Scare is one of those deliciously dirty, sleaze rock bands that you're too afraid to watch in case they spit on you and pass on venereal diseases, but too enticing to look away. Fronted by the lascivious and ever-gyrating vocalist Kiss Reid, they soon found their way onto festival bills with their catchy lyrics and swanky guitar lines. And with their infamous rockstar lifestyle and devil-may-care attitudes, it's quite surprising that the band managed to make it this far intact.

But not for much longer - The Scare are going on one final farewell tour before they pack up their gear and go their separate ways. And if this journalist knows her stuff, this is a band that doesn't do things quietly so it'll probably be quite a riotious show. I will always have fond memories of having my feet squashed, and seeing Kiss Reid drunkenly grabbing my friend Ashy (of Premodernists) and pretty much shoving the microphone in his mouth while singing at The Northcote Social Club (or wherever it was).

Here's the transcript of a chat I had with The Scare's lovely bassist Wade sometime last year.

The Scare has an awesome logo, but there seem to be a few copycat logos. Does that piss you off?
I think there’s a compliment in there somewhere. Like when we say ‘our logo’, it’s like fuck, we have a band logo? Isn’t that weird? A band logo? What does that even mean? We just kinda laugh, because we could probably sue someone but that sounds like too much crap.

You've played at some impressive festivals, like Reading/Leeds Festivals, Download and Wireless, and you're about to do Homebake and Falls. Do you prefer festivals to headlining gigs?
At festivals you get to play to audiences that weren’t going to see you, which always helps out. We don’t really pull crowds but we impress the shit out of festival audiences, or we try to at least. I don’t really like the outdoor type of thing but tents are good. We had one at Homebake a few years ago but it was one of our worst shows ever.

What happened?
Well, Kiss knocked himself out before the first song, and got kicked out because he was too fucked up. Second year at Homebake he knocked himself out again and when he came to he had a concussion and just sat in the crowd. And we were trying to call him out, so I had to sing the songs. Complete disaster because they didn’t want to give us our riders until 30 minutes before our set after what happened the first year. And then Brock also got arrested for having weed in his bag....

But despite all this you still want to play at Homebake again?
I can’t wait to get back there! It’s all in a good show, and [our past Homebake shows] have been pretty shocking but now we’re at our peak and it’ll be around the end of our album tour. Hopefully we’ll be firing on all cylinders and it’s a great line up.

So besides Brock getting arrested for weed, did you have any other rockstar stories from touring?
I had a really awful night once. I spent the night in jail for fighting with a kid, smashing his teeth out with a bottle because he was harassing some girls. Then I got a brick on my head and spent the night in hospital. Then the police beat the shit out of me and made me piss myself.

They had me in a cell and I needed to go to the toilet and they wouldn’t let me, and I said I’d piss on the walls if they didn’t let me out and they said that if I did they would charge me with peeing on police property, so I had to piss in my jeans. And we were supposed to be playing in Byron Bay that day and the rest of the band didn’t know where I was so I had to hitchhike.

How did Kiss get the name Kiss?
Bestowed to him upon the gods! [Laughs] When I first met him, I thought his name was Lucas – and I’m not going to tell you what his real name is – and I thought I couldn’t call him ‘Kiss’. It’s like, “I’m playing in a band with a guy named ‘KISS’?!?!” Kissy man is my boy, my best friend in the whole world.

So you joined the band once they were established. What was that like?
It was like I got on at the top of a roller coaster. They all climbed up by themselves, and were like “Hey do you want to come to England? Do you want a free ticket? We’re getting advances from the label and all this publicity?” I was like, “Okay... I’ll just have to check my diary.” [Laughs] I was in another band but I quit.

And then you went over to England with them. What do you think about the English music climate?
We personally feel better when we’re there, but that’s because we can tour a whole lot more. We once did 45 shows in 46 days. We prefer that.

And the English music scene is better?
Mmm, same as everywhere in the world. Same looking kids. Same looking seedy venues. Same arseholey sound guys wherever you go. Except for Japan.

I hear that three of you are hosting Video His next month. What was that like?
That was a funny interview. It’s supposed to look like it’s filmed at the end of November. The press liaison usually tells us when it’s for, but they didn’t and they asked us about the album tour and stuff, and we were like, “What are you talking about?” Kind of got stumped, it’ll look a bit weird.

Will you be watching it?
I don’t really watch Video Hits and I’m not going to watch it when we do it, but it’s something we can tell mums. “Hey Mum! Maybe we’ll make it, we’re on the TV.” Or you can tell your girlfriend’s mum so they don’t think you’re a scum bag.

But would Video Hits normally play The Scare?
They have been playing Could Be Bad, which is really awesome. A friend of ours made a kick arse video, and the song is so simple.

You've worked with Daniel Johns, and you're touring with Jet later this year. Do you still get starstruck when you meet iconic Australian musicians?
Not really. I’ve only been star struck once and that was when we played with a band that had the bass player Martyn Casey from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. At the point I had quit drinking and spent eight months completely sober and clean. Then I met him at the bar and he asked if I wanted a drink, and I was like “Hell, yeah!” He bought me a red wine and we chilled out, it was really awesome.
  • July 9: Sussex Inlet Tavern, Sussex Inlet NSW
  • July 10:Colonial Hotel, Melbourne VIC
  • July 16: Night Eats Day, Wollongong NSW
  • July 17: Annandale Hotel, Sydney NSW

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

BAND: Clavians

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I went over to Revolver Upstairs last week to check out my mate's new band (The Villains Lair, who apparently sound like Arctic Monkeys but I hear The Strokes and Franz Ferdinand much more), where they were supporting a band called Clavians.

I don't know how Clavians is pronounced, but I do that they are pretty excellent. I have a tender spot for any kind of music that can be described by the word "jungle", and this Melbourne two-piece tick all the boxes. There may only be a four hands and four feet in this band, but they make a hell of a lot of decent noise. Middle Eastern inspired tuning choices, hypnotic post-punk beats and two-step goodness all mixed together in a shy two-piece wonder package.

Clavians are doing another two nights as part of their Revolver June residency on the June 23 and 30, then again on July 9 at Old Bar.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


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I should probably mention that I'm not an electro girl. I think it may have something to do with seeing so many downright terrible electro jam bands in my rounds as a reviewer. So when I heard another journalist describe The JSB's like the-bit-in-Elvis-movies-where-he-takes-out-his-guitar-and-starts-serenading-some-Hawaiian-girl but with synths, I was definitely intrigued.

What sets these electro rockers apart is their quirkiness. The sing like they're high on peyote, their instruments squeal like they're orgasming (I'm not sure if instruments can have sex, but I'll get back to you on that one) and the beats are like a party in your ears. The lyrics are equally as bizarre - you can rest assured that there are no sappy love songs or lame arse "party party" tunes. And there's just something about Spanish Flu that reminds me of Tina Turner's Nutbush City Limits (and that in turn reminds me of doing the Nutbush with dorky teenage boys when I was fourteen, always a good thing).

The JSBs will be launching their excellent St Christopher's Road Trip To Vegas EP at Revolver on July 2 with Johnny Rock & the Limits, and Tomaki Jets.



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No, I'm not crazy about typing everything in capital letters, but this band is apparently called PANIC. I checked out the amazing band The Stabs at Bar Open on Sunday, but it wasn't three grungy men that really stood out in my head. It was the 22 very lovely female musicians that absolutely filled out the "stage" area of Bar Open. Twenty-two women, all clad in various shades of red, black and leopard print, and every single one armed with an instrument of some sort. From what I could see, there were two violins, multiple percussionists, a few vocalists, an accordion, two drummers, a double bass, multiple guitars, a twelve-string, a melodica and probably a lot more that I couldn't actually see.

The result? Absolutely astonishing. The Bar Open gig was PANIC's debut gig, and it took them a while to get things together (sound checking and co-ordinating 22 people is no easy feat). But once they did, the audience were pretty much worshipping the ladies. PANIC's sound was sort of like a twisted, demented orchestra - the type of music that would be in the soundtrack of a demented horror film, perhaps. Banshee vocals, muttered words, eclectic percussion and an overall wall of sound that can only be created with that many musicians.

By the way, they don't have a MySpace account, or it's very well hidden, so I could be making all this shit up.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome, strangers...

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Hello readers,

I have a confession to make: I'm an addict. Not a drug addiction or something life-destroying, but rather a delightful obsession with music.

I'm a music journalist and freelance writer based in Melbourne, and I come across a lot of bands that I get genuinely and thoroughly excited about... and then I've got no where to write about them. My editors pretty much decide what content goes into their magazines or their websites (and coverage is often proportional to advertising budget). Plus half the time I just accidentally stumble across an act's MySpace or see them play live without planning to do a review, but really can't contain myself. So instead of letting all of my excitement go to waste, I have decided to start infecting the internet with Paper-Deer (moniker courtesy of a random word generator, ily interwebz).

I'm planning on putting together band profiles, maybe venue spotlights if I can be bothered, and most definitely band interviews and upcoming gigs.

For those of you who are interested in the other work I've done, head over to my website (and my online portfolio) If you are one of those cool peeps who tweets, follow me (@PaigeXc). My other blog with more personal stuff is

Um, goodbye for now.