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The Dutchess & the Duke, Interviewed & Tonight (+ P.O.S. + No Talk + Rock The Shelter) [12/13/2009 04:35:00 PM]:
Sunday now (December 13th, to be precise), and tonight's got me fairly excited, actually, even in comparison to the last couple of nights, primarily because of the first thing on the list below, the show at Walter's with Seattle duo The Dutchess & the Duke.

I was able to chat a bit on the phone with Jesse Lortz the other day, actually, and got to embarrass myself asking him dumbass questions about his band, the music they make, & being a new dad (something I know a bit about, at least). Check out the whole interview right over here, if you're so inclined. Lortz is a very cool, very laidback guy, and I appreciate his patience while I tried out a new interview-recording technique using the Recorder app on my iPhone.

(Verdict on that, btw: very cool. I was able to record the interview without hooking up any kind of external recorder, then dump it into iTunes on my laptop. Hell, the recording sounded better than the actual conversation; there were a few spots where I couldn't catch Lortz's response, but thankfully, Recorder did. Nice.)

The reason tonight excites me, though, is the duo's new album, Sunset/Sunrise, which is honestly up there at the top of my personal Best of 2009 list. The resolutely '60s-ish sound from debut album She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke is still in full force, but shifted a bit this time out. Things are looser and less garage-y, from the Byrds-meet-Motown jangle-and-sway of "Living This Life" to the girl-group vibe of "I Don't Feel Anything" to the Nancy Sinatra-esque noir of "When You Leave My Arms," and it works spectacularly well.

Lyrics-wise, the disc is still bleak as hell, with Lortz and bandmate Kimberly Morrison spinning out bitterly tragic stories of love lost and betrayed, life gone down the drain, and trying to end it all. There're moments of hope here, though, that belie the premature elegy She's the Dutchess had seemed to be. I'm pretty sure it's no accident that "Sunset" comes second in the title of the new album. Again, check out the Q&A over here.

For tonight, the Dutchess & the Duke are playing with a couple of familiar faces. Their touring opener is hometown boy Greg Ashley, of the gris gris and formerly of The Mirrors but playing solo this time out.

Plus, there's more recent H-town rockers Passengers, who also do a seriously retro-'60s garage-pop thing -- and do it quite nicely, I might add. Ex-members of Teenage Kicks, Brian Jonestown Massacre-sounding, and, um, damn promising. Tickets are $8 via the Super Unison crew, and the show starts at 9PM.

Naturally, this isn't the only thing going on this evening; here're a few other options...

Saosin/Innerpartysystem/P.O.S./Eye Alaska @ The Meridian
This one's apparently the PacSun Tour, but eh, I couldn't really care less about anybody on the bill but Twin Cities rapper P.O.S., who is -- in my personal book, anyway -- the absolute best thing going about hip-hop today. Smart, raw, and passionate as hell, he's like one of those dream "would it work?" combinations of genres, in this case punk and heavy-duty rap.

No Talk/The Mahas (mem. of Born Liars/Something Fierce/Bolt)/Big Black Spiders @ The Mink
Haven't heard The Mahas yet, no, but their pedigree's impressive -- the band includes folks from Born Liars, Something Fierce, and Roky Moon & Bolt, which ain't no bad combination. I predict eye-gouging, throat-punching garage-punk. Besides, there's also leather-punks No Talk, whose old-school, maybe-serious-maybe-not take on hardcore always makes me grin.

Adam Butera (mem. of Kai/Ros & Exterminating Angels)/Endless Blinding Sunshine @ The Husk (2808 Milam; 8PM, $5)
This week's installment of the Resonant Interval Sound Series -- and serious kudos to organizer Lance Higdon for keeping it running nearly every damn weekend -- this time with local experimental guru Carlos Pozo's Endless Blinding Sunshine project and Adam Butera, who plays in both Kai/ros & Exterminating Angels.

Glad to see, btw, that the empty space beside Khon's now has a name -- "The Husk" fits quite nicely...

Rock The Shelter Toy Drive XXIII, featuring Blaggards, The Mighty Orq, The El Orbits, Dog Party, Whiskey Brisket, & Harbor Light Choir @ The Continental Club (2-8PM)
'Tis the season for cool, cool benefits for kids. And happily, this one features some good, good folks, namely Irish folk-rockers Blaggards and The El Orbits. I'm pretty sure toys are welcomed.

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