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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Living This Life

An introduction to The Dutchess & The Duke

Photo By Andrew WaitsAndrew WaitsIt doesn’t seem quite accurate to call this an “introduction” to Seattle’s The Dutchess & The Duke since I technically already wrote up the duo of Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrison when I saw them during CMJ 2008, but whatever. My blog, and I can do what I like, and rather than do a review of either their 2008 debut She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke or last year’s follow-up Sunset/Sunrise, I’ll mash observations on both together since, thankfully, they’re not too far apart from one another.

The where of it is the fertile juncture where folk, blues and pop intersect and the when is the late ’60s, when the aforementioned stylistic crossroads was occupied by the likes of Dylan and The Rolling Stones and they were arguably making their greatest records. This isn’t to put The Dutchess & The Duke in that same rarefied air, but sonically, those are really the best reference points. Both records are filled with dark, sometimes black, lyricism mitigated by tight harmonies and sweet melodies overtop spare, occasionally sweeping, primarily acoustic arrangements filtered through pleasingly grainy production. It’s a timeless recipe that’s either not used nearly enough or not done nearly well enough but which The Dutchess & The Duke are doing a fine job of keeping alive and vital.

The Dutchess & The Duke are currently on tour and will be at Sneaky Dee’s on January 12. The Arkansas Times has an interview with Jesse Lortz. Update: Luxury Wafers just posted a live session – video and audio – with the band.

MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Living This Life”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Hands”
MP3: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Reservoir Park”
Video: The Dutchess & The Duke – “Mary”
MySpace: The Dutchess & The Duke

10,000 Birds has an ornithology-oriented interview with Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater. Their new record The Golden Archipelago is out February 23.

Stereogum has got a first MP3 from the new Rogue Wave album Permalight, due out March 2. They have a gig at the Mod Club on February 26.

Daytrotter serves up a session with Headlights.

Matador has announced that the forthcoming Pavement reunion will be accompanied by reissues of all their albums on LP and a new compilation album allowing all the youngn’s who don’t understand why all the oldsters are getting all worked up a crash course in Stockton, California’s finest. Quarantine The Past will be out March 9 and rather than announce the complete 23-song tracklist, they’re making a game of it and asking fans to submit their guesses of what the almost-two dozen selections will be and offering some pretty swank prizes in return. To get you started, these two are pretty much shoo-ins – the other 21 are up to you.

MP3: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”
MP3: Pavement – “Rattled By The Rush”

Paste talks to Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne about their Dark Side Of The Moon cover album.

On Monday I linked to an interview with Love Is All about their at-the-time still largely ambiguous third record, then yesterday there was the concert announcement that puts the Swedes at the Horsesehoe on April 3 with Japandroids, implying that the record might be out sooner rather than later and now today – via Pitchfork – are the official details and first sample of Two Thousand And Ten Injuries, out March 23 on Polyvinyl. I feel reasonably confident that there will be no Love Is All content tomorrow. Unless there is.

MP3: Love Is All – “Kungen”

A Place To Bury Strangers have released a new video from Exploding Head while 4AD has got a couple of studio performances from The Big Pink to watch. Both acts are at the Mod Club on March 24.

Video: A Place To Bury Strangers – “Keep Slipping Away”

UK dancey-rocky outfit Hadouken! have a date at the El Mocambo on February 9 in support of their new album For The Masses, due out February 2.

MP3: Hadouken! – “M.A.D.”

Prefix interviews Owen Clarke of Hot Chip. Their new one One Life Stand is out February 9 and they play the Kool Haus on April 20.

TwentyFourBit has details on a Davide Bowie tribute/War Child benefit album due out later this year, and featuring contributions from the likes of Chairlift, Vivian Girls and Keren Ann.

BBC has revealed their long list of candidates for the title of “The Sound of 2010”. I ended up paying quite a bit of attention to much of the class of 2009 so I should probably start getting acquainted with their picks for this year.

By : Frank Yang at 8:26 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post3 Responses.
  1. Jared says:

    Does “The Sound of 2010” lose all credibility for including Owl City?

  2. Joe says:

    Speaking of Pavement, no commentary/rumour-mongering on the probably-maybe collision between “more dates coming soon” from Pavement and the announcement next Monday for this summer’s Island show?

    Sigh — how much do I want to pay for a Pavement nostalgia show?

  3. Frank Yang says:

    I ain’t spreading any rumours cause I don’t know anything, but your theory is sort of the only one that makes sense. We’ll find out next week.