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Matson on Music

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

June 17, 2012 at 1:42 AM

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Seattle rock trio Dude York's new music, bassist at Neumos

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Photo by me

"This song is about anguished grief!" yelped Peter Richards of Seattle livewire rock trio Dude York.

He proceeded to rip huge blues leads from his loud electric guitar, and Andrew Hall kicked his bass drum so hard a camera on stage bounced inches into the air. At one point the music stopped and Richards' face went slack. Then the noise came rushing back and his face showed instant pain.

"Ghoul" was a thrilling close to a high-powered set, the only unrecorded song Dude York played all evening — and one of two developments for the band Saturday night at Neumos.

The other was Claire England on bass guitar. With shiny blue tassels on the headstock of her Fender Mustang bouncing to the beat, she replaced Alex Cassidy, who has gone to Hollywood to make it as an actor. (Cassidy and Richards were drama students at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash.) It was England's fifth concert as the only non-dude in Dude York. She played the simple songs perfectly and near-expressionlessly, bringing a cool energy to an otherwise manic performance. After Dude York finished she left immediately for the VERA Project in Seattle Center, to play her final show with Brite Futures, a local pop band calling it quits.

Other Dude York musical highlights included "Isabel," a desperate plea for closeness, and the opening salvo "And Andrew Too" and "Bryan," with their slashing guitar lines and angry lyrics about not feeling comfortable in your own skin. "Ghoul" has been played live a handful of times now and people always inquire about it afterward, according to Hall. Despite the fact that the song is not brand-new and neither is England on bass, both felt that way at Neumos, the biggest rock club with the best sound system Dude York has played in months.

Local bands Young Evils and My Goodness followed Dude York on stage. It was My Goodness' show, officially, and the aggressive rock duo did not disappoint their three hundred or so fans who head-banged and high-fived during the band's headlining set. Young Evils was a mixed bag, ranging among several styles (blues, goth, pop), searching for a unique voice.

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