Wednesday, January 6th, 2010
Living This Life
An introduction to The Dutchess & The Duke
Andrew 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
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.
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: Hadouken! – “M.A.D.”
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.