Favorite

Regal pop 

The Dutchess and the Duke with Greg Ashely and Bryan Frazier

Sticky Fingerz

9 p.m., Thursday, Dec.10

$8

Jesse Lortz sings in a country baritone somewhere between Jagger at his gentlest and Stephin Merritt on allergy medicine. He's the Duke. Kimberly Morrison is the Dutchess. She sings harmonies that are equal parts sweet and sad. Their arrangements evoke classic pop — “Between Buttons”-era Stones, mid-period Kinks, the Animals — warm, and stripped-down, full of simple, lasting melodies.

But lyrically there's a dark undercurrent. Lortz, a veteran of the Seattle garage-punk scene, writes nakedly emotional and confessional songs. The band's debut, “She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke,” finds him angry and resentful, meditating on the past. “But you put this pain in my heart / and you put this shame in my soul / and you wrapped your memory around me / so I wouldn't die in the rain and the cold,” he sings on “Mary,” the B-side of the band's first single that led Hardly Art, the Sub Pop sister label, to sign the duo even before seeing it live.

The Dutchess and the Duke's new album, “Sunrise/Sunset,” captures Lortz in a new place — he and his wife recently had a child — but unable to shake his demons. In one of the album's most affecting songs, “Let It Die,” Lortz makes no bones about his anxiety: “In the bed, my woman lies sweetly with a love that I just can't see / Inside there's a little child now, with a heart and soul that's free.” Later, he sings,  “I could hide from the life I chose” and “I could keep what's left of me.”

Asked if his lyrics have ever gotten him in trouble, Lortz laughs. “Definitely. A lot of times. But that means the songs are doing what they're supposed to do.”

When Lortz and Morrison toured for the first time as the Dutchess and the Duke last year, they kept things really intimate, performing without amplification, often on the floor, sometimes sitting Indian-style, sometimes even lying down. This go-round, behind “Sunrise/Sunset,” which trades the first album's acoustic guitars and handclaps for occasional electric guitar and actual drums, Lortz and Morrison bring friends. On this leg, they're joined by Jered Gummere and Melissa Elias of Chicago indie-punks the Ponys.

Greg Ashley produced “Sunrise/Sunset” in his Oakland studio, and he opens for the Duke and Dutchess at Sticky Fingerz. The Texas-born multi-instrumentalist has made a name for himself in the Bay Area pysch-rock scene, fronting the Mirrors and, more recently, Gris Gris. Local singer/songwriter Bryan Frazier also shares the bill.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Who's harming women?

    Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is an Arkansas Republican. Thus, like the governor and the Republican-majority legislature, she intends to do everything she can to deny women comprehensive medical care, particularly abortion.
  • New normal

    No two presidential candidates since polling began have run up negatives as massive as those of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, who yet won their parties' nominations easily. "What gives?" may be the biggest political mystery in history.
  • Additional rape charges filed against Conway doctor

    Special Prosecutor Jason Barrett has added 11 more victims to two others alleging rape by Dr. Robert Rook of Conway.
  • Big Dam Bridge 100 brings big damn complaint about celebrity rider Hincapie

    The Big Dam Bridge 100 is this weekend and one dedicated biker isn't happy about a celebrity rider, admitted doper George Hincapie.

Latest in Top Stories

  • Good for the soul

    The return of Say McIntosh, restaurateur
    • Jun 1, 2010
  • Robocalls are illegal

    Robocalls -- recorded messages sent to thousands of phone numbers -- are a fact of life in political campaigns. The public doesn't like them much, judging by the gripes about them, but campaign managers and politicians still believe in their utility.
    • May 31, 2010
  • Riverfest winds down

    With Cedric Burnside and Lightnin' Malcolm, Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Ludacris and more performing.
    • May 30, 2010
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

September

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30  
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation