Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Seattle royalty and Norwegian free-rock…if you like both maybe we should get married

I’ve got kind of a weird combination of sounds for you all today…the laid back almost-rock/almost folk of the Dutchess and the Duke and the scintillating free-jazz-rock-improv of Norway’s Scorch Trio. Both pretty good, but wildly different. Enjoy.

From today’s edition of Dusted:

The Dutchess and the Duke
She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke
(Hardly Art)
The loosely-strung, blues-y acoustic ballad is a staple of even the roughest garage rock albums--think The Reigning Sounds’ “Love Is a Funny Thing,” the Demon’s Claws’ “Gun to My Head,” Mr. Airplane Man’s “Don’t Know Why.” What the Dutchess and the Duke have done here is to make a whole album’s worth of these songs, in a style that ranges at the harder end from Let It Bleed-era countrified Stones to campfire folk songs. If you are expecting garage rock, given the band members’ past work in bands like the Fall-Outs, the Intelligence and Fee Fi Fo Fum, you will be surprised, but not, at least after the initial shock, disappointed. There’s a sloppy, unplanned charm to these songs, with their close harmonies, shuffling rhythms and hard acoustic guitar strumming. They sound like the kind of songs that long-time friends might pound out on the porch in the afternoon, beer cans everywhere, harmonies drifting in and out of true.

More here: http://www.dustedmagazine.com/reviews/4377
The only sound I can find anywhere is at the MySpace:

The Dutchess and the Duke are about to hit the road with Fleet Foxes…sounds like some upper class brit country shooting weekend, doesn’t it?

06.26.08 - San Francisco, CA - Bottom of the Hill
06.27.08 - San Diego, CA - The Casbah
06.28.08 - Los Angeles, CA - The Echo
06.29.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland
06.30.08 - Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
07.02.08 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
07.03.08 - Dallas, TX - The Loft
07.04.08 - Memphis, TN - Pop Dungeon
07.05.08 - Atlanta, GA - Criminal Records
07.05.08 - Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
07.06.08 - Chapel Hill, NC - Local 506
07.07.08 - Washington, DC - Black Cat Backstage
07.08.08 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church
07.09.08 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom
07.10.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
07.11.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Academy Records in-store
07.12.08 - New York, NY - TBA
07.13.08 - Brooklyn, NY - Charleston Bar & Grill
07.14.08 - Cambridge, MA - The Middle East Upstairs
07.16.08 - Cleveland, OH - Now That's Class
07.17.08 - Lafayette, IN - Zoolegger's
07.18.08 - Rock Island, IL - TBA
07.19.08 - Chicago, IL - Cobra Lounge
07.20.08 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
07.22.08 - Denver, CO - Hi-Dive
07.23.08 - Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
07.25.08 - Portland, OR - Doug Fir

And from Popmatters:
Scorch Trio, Brolt! (Rune Grammofon)
The classic power trio line-up—electric guitar, bass and drums—takes a mesmerizing swerve to the left in this third album from the Norwegian avant-jazz-rock trio. Guitarist Raoul Björkenheim, inspired as much by Zappa and Hendrix as Sonny Sharrock, works naturally in rock idioms, from the rapid-fire bursts of tangled, shredded notes of “Olstra”, to the brief, heat-stroked wah wah of “Hys”, but he also broadens the palette with the creaking bowed sounds and slow-evolving sustained tones of “Gaba”. Likewise, drummer Paal Nilssen-love keeps stormy, tumultuous time (even when the time-signature is uncertain), but also knows when to delivers a rapturous fever dream of a solo, as the opening to “Hys” shows. Under, but not quite covered, Ingebrigt Häker Flaten’s bass pulses in fast, terse counterpoint, and rising to the fore in “Graps” with virtuoso speed and musicality. Slower, quieter, “Burning” turns the strings of an electric guitar into a hammered percussion instrument, eliciting uneasy rattles and plucks from a velvety scrim of silence. The tension, and the volume, builds gradually, as wild swathes of feedback merge with abstract twangs and pings. Still whether soft or loud, rock-leaning or disorientingly genre-free, Brolt! has the immediacy and heat of a live show, recorded in single takes on vintage equipment.

Live in Finland

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