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Matson on Music

Music news, concert reviews, analysis and opinion by music writer Andrew Matson.

October 11, 2009 at 4:13 PM

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The Dutchess & the Duke "Living this Life" at the Crocodile

Posted by Andrew Matson

"Living this Life" from "Sunset/Sunrise" at the Croc (with extra darkness)

Friday, Oct. 9th at the Crocodile, local band The Dutchess & the Duke played a concert to celebrate the release of it's new album "Sunset/Sunrise," which is Seattle's best fall music.

In the estimation of the group's label boss, who stood next to me during the show, The Dutchess & the Duke played all its songs, excepting "Mary." The effect of experiencing both albums, "She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke" and "Sunset/Sunrise," was emotionally exhausting but rewarding, like therapy for an issue you'd suppressed forever.

The addition of keyboard and bass players to what's normally a duo helped songs sink in, as did especially effective floor tom/tambourine playing from frequent collaborator Donnie and excellent vocal performances from Jesse Lortz and Kimberly Morrisson.

At one point, Morrission yelled at a section of the crowd to shut up, which was necessary and appreciated. The rest of the crowd cheered. At another point, Lortz deadpanned, "How about some Velvet Underground meets Lou Reed?" That's what his band sounds like, but he's clearly heard it a billion times.

Highlights were the singalong a capella outro on "I Am Just a Ghost," a first-ever (and maybe last-ever) performance of the brutally loveless '60s-style pop song "I Don't Feel Anything," and "Living this Life," The Dutchess & the Duke's existential power ballad.

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