Dutchess and the Duke at the Crocodile

October 11, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Crocodile, Gigs, Music, Seattle | 1 Comment
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Dutchess & the Duke | Dead Ghosts | Meth Teeth at the Crocodile – 9 October 2009

Dutchess & the Duke

Listening to the Dutchess and the Duke punk rock might not be the first thing that comes to mind. On the surface, they are two folkies with acoustic guitars singing harmony laden songs.  The punk attitude comes out in fits and spurts though.  They had begun to play I Am Just a Ghost which starts out quiet before roaring into a haunting harmonic crescendo and the talkers at the Crocodile nearly drowned them out.  Not one to grin and bear it, Kimberly Morrison yells into the mic, “Shut the Fuck Up!”  That is the kind of attitude that spills over into their songs and makes what in the hands of a couple hippies would be just boring mopey songs, but with the Dutchess and the Duke they turn into punk rock songs. Things also make a little more sense when you look at their history.  Morrison has played in the Intelligence and plays bass in Unnatural Helpers while Jesse Lortz’s former band was the lo-fi garage rockers Fe-Fi Fo Fums.

Their second album Sunset/Sunrise which was just release this past week is a very similar to their debut, but a little darker in it’s sound and more introspective in the lyrical subject matter Jesse Lortz tackles.  Sunset/Sunrise also sees Kimberly Morrison more prominently featured with not only her harmonies getting more play, but she takes the lead on two of the new songs.  Friday night at the Crocodile the Dutchess and the Duke were at full power, the duo was augmented with drums, keyboard, and bass (Ruben Mendez from the Coconut Coolouts).  The harmonies are the cornerstone of the Dutchess and the Duke and the entire band got in on the action, replicating what Lortz and Morrison created in the studio.   This was the first time I really noticed Lortz’s prowess on guitar, his leads seem simple, but his Johnny Cash crossed with Velvet Underground playing gave the songs on this night a little more allure, not that they needed any.  In the age of fixing vocals in the recording studio for people who can’t sing,  Lortz and Morrison are the real deal.  They ain’t faking it.  Real punks never would, would they?

mp3: Dutchess & the Duke – Living This Life (from Sunset/Sunrise, buy it from Hardly Art)

Of the two opening bands I was looking forward to seeing Meth Teeth who are from Portland and have an album out on Brooklyn’s Woodsist records.  Like most things on Woodsist, Meth Teeth could be described as lo-fi.  Live, they were just that, no more, no less.

The surprise of the night was Vancouver’s Dead Ghosts (redundant right?).  As I watched their shambolic set I could not stop smiling.  Their drummer with his tall lanky frame packed behind the kit reminded me of Rick Menck of Velvet Crush except he didn’t get up and come out to the mic to talk to the audience between songs.  One guitarist broke a string mid set, but they didn’t seem to be deterred and shambled on. I’m a fan of Italy’s Love Boat and San Francisco’s Nodzzz and so are these guys.  They’ve got a handful of singles out to date, but are apparently recording a full length with Bryan Sandridge who did the first Dutchess and the Duke Record.  Looking forward to that, indeed. Here’s video I shot of one of their songs:

Dutchess & the Duke set list and tour dates after the click…

Dutchess & the Duke Crocodile Setlist

Oct 14 WHITWORTH UNIVERSITY – SPOKANE, WA
Oct 17 BERBATI’S PAN / SCION GARAGE FEST – PORTLAND, OR
Oct 24 MERCURY LOUNGE (CMJ) – NEW YORK, NY
Nov 7 LUIGI’S FUN GARDEN – SACRAMENTO, CA
Nov 8 1-2-3-4-GO! – OAKLAND, CA
Nov 8 BOTTOM OF THE HILL – SAN FRANCISCO, CA
Nov 10 CREPE PLACE – SANTA CRUZ, CA
Nov 11 SPACELAND – LOS ANGELES, CA
Nov 13 UC IRVINE STUDENT CENTER – IRVINE, CA
Nov 14 CASBAH  – SAN DIEGO, CA
Nov 15 RHYTHM ROOM – PHOENIX, AZ
Nov 17 LAUNCHPAD – ALBERQUERQUE, NM
Nov 18 LARIMER LOUNGE – DENVER, CO
Nov 19 KILBY COURT – SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Nov 19 URBAN LOUNGE – SALT LAKE CITY, UT
Nov 21 NEUROLUX – BOISE, ID
Dec 4 GRINNEL COLLEGE – GRINNEL, IA
Dec 5 RECKLESS RECORDS – CHICAGO, IL
Dec 5 EMPTY BOTTLE – CHICAGO, IL
Dec 6 7TH ST ENTRY – MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Dec 7 WAITING ROOM – OMAHA, NE
Dec 8 REPLAY LOUNGE – LAWRENCE, KS
Dec 9 MOJO’S – COLUMBIA, MS
Dec 10 STICKY FINGERZ CHICKEN SHACK – LITTLE ROCK, AR
Dec 11 RUBBER GLOVES – DENTON, TX
Dec 12 MOHAWK – AUSTIN, TX
Dec 14 ONE EYED JACKS – NEW ORLEANS, LA
Dec 15 BOTTLETREE – BIRMINGHAM, AL
Dec 16 THE EARL – ATLANTA, GA

1 Comment »

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  1. Thanks for the review, looks like I have some new music to check out!


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