January 2, 2009

Sound on the Sound’s Top 25 Northwest Albums of 2008



  Here it is folks, the end all and be all…our Top 25 Northwest Albums of 2008. While numbers 6 through 25 were highly contentious, there was unanimity as to the Top 5 Northwest Albums of 2008 and their order. There’s no doubt in our minds, that no band deserves the accolades more than The Moondoggies. Their album Don’t Be A Stranger is an instant classic in the vein of Music from Big Pink. We expect 2009 to be even bigger than 2008 for The Moondoggies, and we can’t wait to see what comes next from them, as well as the other great bands that made this years list.

1. The Moondoggies – Don’t Be A Stranger |myspace| 2. J. Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues |myspace| 3. Wild Orchid Children – S/T EP |myspace| 4. The Dutchess and The Duke – She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke |myspace| 5. Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground - S/T LP  |myspace| 6. Fleet Foxes – S/T LP |myspace| 7. See Me River – Time Machine |myspace| 8. Whore Moans – Hello From the Radio Wasteland |myspace| 9. Starfucker – S/T LP |myspace| 10. Jake One – White Van Music |myspace| 11. Blind Pilot  – 3 Rounds and a Sound |myspace| 12. Thee Emergency – SOLID |myspace| 12. Sera Cahoone – Only As The Day Is Long |myspace|  13. Horse Feathers – House with No Home |myspace| 14. The Pica Beats  – Bring Back the Claws |myspace| 15. Throw Me the Statue – Moonbeams |myspace| 16. Das Llamas – Class Wars: K-12 |myspace| 17. The Builders and The Butchers – S/T LP (re-released nationally 7/08) |myspace| 18. Saturday Knights – Mingle |myspace| 19. The New Faces – S/T LP |myspace| 20. Damien Jurado – Caught In Trees |myspace| 21. Bark Hide and Horn – National Road |myspace| 22. Grand Archives – S/T LP |myspace| 23. Hey Marseilles – To Travels & Trunks |myspace| 24. The Hands – S/T LP  |myspace| 25. A Gun That Shoots Knives – Future of Love  |myspace|

December 27, 2008

Josh’s Top 25 Releases of 2008



Here is my list of what I consider to the be the “best” releases I’ve heard this year, full albums and EP’s, local and not, self-released or with a label. Regular readers probably won’t find too much surprising but there are a few that we may have not featured very much, probably because I just didn’t have too much to add to the already existing narrative. Most notable among that list is my number one choice From Emma, Forever Ago, by Bon Iver, AKA Justin Vernon. Each listen of this debut LP proffers a new detail to my ear and generates a renewed catharsis within my soul.

Before I start opining any further and get out of control (we’re saving that for next week’s official Northwest-themed lists), here are my favorites from the past year…

Josh’s Top 25 Releases of 2008

1. Bon Iver – From Emma, Forever Ago |myspace| 2. Dead Confederate – Wrecking Ball |myspace| 3. The Moondoggies – Don’t Be A Stranger |myspace| 4. J Tillman – Vacilando Territory Blues (Digital Release Only) |myspace| 5. The Whigs – Mission Control |myspace| 6. The Dutchess and the Duke – She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke |myspace| 7. Wild Orchid Children – S/T EP |myspace| 8. Kay Kay And His Weathered Underground – S/T LP |myspace| 9. Starfucker – S/T LP |myspace| 10. Cut Copy – In Ghost Colours |myspace| 11. The Notwist – Devil, You + Me |myspace| 12. Noah and the Whale – Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down |myspace| 13. Land of Talk – Some Are Lakes |myspace| 14. Fleet Foxes – S/T LP |myspace| 15. The Dodos – Visiter |myspace| 16 See Me River – Time Machine |myspace| 17. Jake One – White Van Music |myspace| 18. Whore Moans – Hello From the Radio Wasteland |myspace| 19. The Pica Beats – Bring Back the Claws … |myspace| 20. Thee Emergency – SOLID |myspace| 21. Lightspeed Champion – Falling Off the Lavender Bridge |myspace| 22. The Saturday Knights – Mingle |myspace| 23. Army Navy – S/T LP |myspace| 24. Horse Feathers – House with No Home |myspace| 25. Crystal Stilts – Alight of Night |myspace |

The album I listened to the most that was actually from last year but didn’t discover until this year…

The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism |myspace|

You’ll notice TV on the Radio, Of Montreal, Portishead, and Deerhunter aren’t in there. Nor Lil Wayne. I’m sorry (but not that sorry) to say I’ve listened to all of these records and they just didn’t do it for me. Dear, Science is certainly an innovative record, but I didn’t connect enough to warrant the repeated listens of those listed above. Vampire Weekend’s record is another that fits that profile, a well realized album that unfortunately for me is without any lasting impact. And I’ve diligently searched for the quality in the Deerhunter album that has everyone shouting, but I’m just completely missing it.

Today you can buy the MP3 album of Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago from Amazon for 5 bucks. After my ringing endorsement, and at that price, you have no good reason not to go get it.

December 26, 2008

Abbey’s Top 20 Local Songs of 2008


Since there were so many incredible local releases this year, it would’ve been negligent to not have a solely local Best Songs of 2008 list. I expanded the idea of ‘local’ to go beyond Seattle and include our musical neighbors to the south, Portland. Hope you enjoy my first Best of list of 2008, more lists coming soon!

1. The Moondoggies - Changin’

2. Wild Orchid Children – Birth of a Cabin

3. The Dutchess and The Duke – Resevoir Park

4. Kay Kay and His Weathered Undergound – Night of The Star Child’s Funk

5. The Whore Moans – Nerve Tonic!

6. J. Tillman – Steel on Steel

7. The Fleet Foxes- Mykonos

8. Sera Cahoone – Only As The Day Is Long

9. See Me River – Don’t Pray For Blood

10. The Hands – Praying Hands Make Fist (Or Be Chopped Off)

11. Blue Scholars – Butter & Guns

12. Bark Hide and Horn – Trumpeter Swan

13. Thee Emergency – Hopped Up For The Git Down 

14. The Builders & The Butchers – Bringin’ Home The Rain

15. A Gun That Shoots Knives – Stay in School

16. Shy In Sunshine – Recognition

17. We Wrote The Book on Connectors – Mimosas

18. Starfucker – Pop Song

19. The New Faces – Impulse

20. Hey Marseilles – Rio

(p.s.) According to my Itunes, my most listened to local track of 2008 is Kay Kay’s: Night of The Star Child’s Funk.

December 7, 2008

Win Tickets to KEXP’s Annual Yule Benefit


Thanks to our friends over at KEXP, we’re happy to be offering a big old ticket give-away to next weekend’s KEXP Yule Benefit Concert. If you’ve been hiding under a rock or for some strange reason don’t listen to KEXP, we’ll share the good news with you.

Next Friday Decemebr 12th KEXP’s Yule Benefit is rocking Neumo’s with three stellar bands: Grand Archives, Shearwater, and Sound on the Sound favorites The Dutchess and The Duke.

The Dutchess and The Duke ::: photo by Abbey

On Saturday December 13th KEXP is keeping the holiday party going with Thao with the Get Down Stay Down, Shearwater, and Cancer Rising.

 Cancer Rising ::: photo by Abbey

Sound on the Sound has One Pair of Tickets to give away for Friday Night’s Show and Two Pairs of Tickets for Saturday’s stellar show

Comment on this post and tell us which night you want to attend and why you deserve this holiday treat. We’ll let the lucky winners know by the end of Tuesday December 9th.

Get to commenting and we hope to see you there next weekend, dear readers–celebrating KEXP, local music, and the holidays.

December 4, 2008



Today, MTV’s Subterranean Blog has the premier for the Dutchess and the Duke‘s new video “Mary.” Through the “power of the internet” I’m able to place that same video on this blog so you can watch it above, and provided you aren’t sensitive to images of cannibalism, you should do just that.

November 14, 2008

The Dutchess and the Duke visit Daytrotter


the dutchess and the duke

The Dutchess and the Duke at Neumos ::: Photo by Abbey

Hardly Art’s roving guitar duo out of Seattle The Dutchess and the Duke swung by Daytrotter on their last tour, and the session went up yesterday. They played a couple of unreleased tracks as well as maybe my favorite album track “Out of Time.”

You should take a listen.

September 4, 2008

An Invitation to Abbey’s August Listening


August was a rich month for new music for me. I found some new favorites that have been playing on repeat.

* J. Tillman – Steel on Steel * The Maldives – any song i could get my paws on, as well as their album * The MoondoggiesDon’t be a Stranger * The Builders and the ButchersThe Builders and the Butchers * David Bazan – Live from Sasquatch 2008 * The National – Live from Sasquatch 2008 * The Dutchess and The DukeShe’s The Dutchess, He’s the Duke * Bon Iver – Daytrotter Session * Bark Hide and Horn – “Treasure of the Everglades” * Noah and The WhalePeaceful, The World Lays Me Down * The DodosVisiter

August 11, 2008

The Dutchess and the Duke played Sonic Boom Records


the dutchess and the duke

The Dutchess and the Duke ::: Photo by Abbey

After a short spat opening for band-of-the-moment Fleet Foxes in the West over the past month, Hardly Art’s the Dutchess and the Duke were home to celebrate the release of their debut LP She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke, playing Sonic Boom Records to a healthy crowd that filled the modestly sized store.

Wielding twin hollowbody guitar’s (including a drool-worthy electric twelve-string) the band leisurely blew through the majority of their new album, and even found time for a birthday sing-along to a new four-year-old named Clara who was in attendance with her parents. Prefacing “Reservoir Park” with a note about how it was about the park just down the hill (referring to Cal Anderson Park) the refrains “and the clouds keep on rolling on in,” felt particularly apt given the unusual summer torrential downpour that appeared just minutes before their performance was scheduled. Offered a chance for suggestions, the crowd overwhelmingly requested “Out Of Time” before the band wrapped up by imploring everyone to buy two records.

Starting August 13 in San Fransisco and for the following month, the Dutchess and the Duke will be on a national tour of the U.S. As of right now, they have no more shows scheduled in the Seattle area.

August 10, 2008

An Invitation to Abbey’s July Listening


If I could erase July of 2008 for personal reasons, I just might. However, musically a lot of great tracks and albums were released in July 08 that make the month happily notable. As you will see, the tunes that I was listening to in July showcase what a two-faced month it was for me — featuring heartbreak and intense disappointment, as well as the new songs and artists that made the month bearable.  Personally, August can be nothing but better (i hope) — while musically, it’s a hard act to follow July.

The Avett Brothers - “The Weight of Lies” (hell, all of Emotionalism is amazing) The Dutchess and The DukeShe’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke The Dodos - Visiter Bon Iver – Daytrotter Session Arboretrum/Pontiak – “Buffalo Ballet” (john cale cover) Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground – Live from the Pretty Parlor Cat Power – “I Found a Reason” (velvet underground cover) Black Eyes & Neck Ties - “Ghosts in Our Clothes” The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America Atmosphere – “Abusing of the Rib” The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers Fleet Foxes – Ragged Wood Thee Emergency – “Cream”

July 17, 2008

Noah’s Daily Choice: The Dutchess and the Duke – Reservoir Park


I’ve been harassing the good folk over at Hardly Art (the brilliant little Sub Pop shingle currently hosting great bands like Le Loup and The Moondoggies) for weeks, maybe even months, for a copy of the brand new release by twosome The Dutchess and the Duke.  I’d caught the folk-rockin’ boy/girl group in the neon darkness of the Mcleod Street Residence waaaaaay back and even through my haze of alcohol I recalled a hectic, sweaty mess of fun.  Thus, when rumors their existing full length started stretching in to the interweb, I reached out to the good folk at Hardly Art and pleaded my case.

And then I waited.  And waited and waited.  Emails were exchanged (some tense), brows were fretted, I even confronted Hardly Art co-bossman Nick at SP20 this weekend with smiles, handshakes, and a tight-lipped inquiry as to the state of my copy.

Finally, after a long weekend in the sun and crowd I arrived home to She’s The Duchess I’m The Duke.  Oh, how the well worth was this wait.  The Dutchess and the Duke make simple, lyrical, folk music that belongs on the edges of a slowly lingering campfire.  Jesse Lortz’s deep rumbling voice recalls the days of folk before the tinge of lo-fi electronics and psychedelia.  “Reservoir Park” is a rollicking back-bar burner, filled to spilling with handclaps and shakers.  It name checks gypsies, futures unknown, and a world rife with symbolism in the traditions of the great songwriters of our lives.  And let us not forget to mention the lilting echo of Kimberly Morrison’s sweet, sweet voice, as it brings the band together, tying together all of its ragged edges.

Myspace: The Dutchess and the Duke

MP3: The Dutchess and the Duke – Reservoir Park