Posts Tagged ‘Dutchess And The Duke’

So here we are, the penultimate day of our countdown of our favourite 200 songs marking ten years of MM. Today, we’ve hit the top twenty…

 

20 The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park (2008)

Wonderfully rootsy swagger of earthy, organic folk-rock set to a loose Stones like honky tonk rumble.

 

19 Wooden Wand – Winter In Kentucky (2011)

 

Set against a backdrop of rolling, countrified rock, Winter In Kentucky is peerless narrative songwriting. A story of bone-weary resignation written from the perspective of a meth addict on a reality show after his girlfriend left him for rehab.

 

18 Emil Friis – Sand In Your Eyes (2015)

 

Possesses a rhythmic simplicity that transports the listener off somewhere else, and throughout Emil Friis effortlessly orchestrates all this with his lyrics resonating long after the song ends, which is usually when we stick it on again. Just a fantastic record full of little twists and turns with an occasional (friendly) cuff round the ear to keep your attention.

 

17 We Are Augustines – Juarez (2011)

Much like Airborne Toxic Event before them, We Are Augustines flamed brightest with one exceptional debut album. Juarez comes from it, a beautiful slow burner and impassioned confessional that somehow finds redemption in an epic climax.

 

16 Dr. Dog – Shadow People (2010)

 

Perfect blend of sweet Americana, country twang and oddball pop, dashed through with a touch of their hometown Philly soul.

 

15 Wye Oak – Civilian (2011)

 

Ah, the echo laden MBV influenced guitar, the pummelling drums, the droning organ, the quiet / loud / quiet structure. Just glorious noise-pop.

 

14 Fleet Foxes – White Winter Hymnal (2008)

 

A simple vocal round to start, some trebly guitar and confident percussion, but it is those voices, and those harmonies, that blows White Winter Hymnal wide open.

 

13 The Amazing Snakeheads – Where Is My Knife (2014)

If a song could musically define menace this would be it. Set to an ominous, tribal rhythm, it thrums throughout with quivering, barely surpressed fury and threat. With vocals that start I’m gonna show you if it takes all night / We’re staying here till you get it right / It’s been three whole days with no end in sight. Things don’t get any better either.

 

12 Richard Buckner – Willow (2012)

 

This is a lying-in-a-daisy-meadow-looking-at-the-scudding-clouds sort of song. A gentle guitar arrangement coupled with some tender lyrics and softly sung vocals, all of which appeals to the latent hippy in me. Clippety clop: do you know Mr Buckner, I always remember.

 

11 The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio (2010)

They have many imitators, but none can ‘do’ the National like the National. Typically hypnotic offering, and with a voice as deep as the night, Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Sad, atmospheric and uplifting at the same time.

 

Check out numbers 200-181, 180-161, 160-141140-121, 120-101, 100-9190-8180-7170-6160-5150-4140-31 and 30-21.

 

Mad Mackerel has been around for ten years now.

We’ve come a long way.

Early days using Google’s blogspot where our posts were regularly and erroneously taken down through DMCA notices until the moment when Google just erased us completely, our move to WordPress in April 2010 where Kurt Vile, Beach Fossils, Johnny Flynn and Band of Horses were among our first posts. Those were the days of Mrs Mackerel’s TFI Friday posts, downloadable Best of the Month round-ups, and the early days of Soundcloud and Bandcamp. On we went with our MM Shorts series reaching one thousand posts, Best of the Month was replaced by Songs You Should Have Heard This Week, and a collection of 15-1 interviews with the likes of Blitzen Trapper, Simone Felice, Torres and Young Knives. And every year we published our collection of favourite tunes from some of our much loved and stalwart contributors – Mrs Mackerel (of course), Chris T Popper, Barry-Sean, The Italian Job, Polly Pocket, Dr Roddy, and even some Mackerel sprat contributions.

So to mark ten years of tunes, over a million hits, 6,174 posts on WordPress, 9,993 tracks listed on Hype Machine, 5,691 WordPress followers and even 1,113 likes on Facebook, we’ve asked our key contributors to share their favourite songs of the past ten years and compiled them into one lovely big list of 200 wonderful tunes for you.

Bit by bit, over the next few days we’ll be sharing them all for you – check through and see what you might have missed.

PART 1 (200-181)

200 Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences – The Evil Thoughts (2008)

The black humour, the self-deprecation, the slightly carnivalesque musical stylings and a story of self loathing. A wounded, nihilistic anthem with a wonderful, British oddball-ness about it.

 

199 PortisheadWe Carry On (2008)

Hypnotically oppressive and menacing. Built on a insistent two-note electro riff, We Carry On is as claustrophobic as music can get.

 

198 Dune Rats – Dalai Lama (2014)

 

Just about the dumbest stoner anthem ever written and that’s high praise given the competition, and definitely the best song with only one line and five words. Altogether now Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana

 

189 Dutchess & The Duke – The River (2009)

Stark, sparse campfire song, with a captivating, morose beauty.

 

196 T. Hardy Morris – OK Corral (2013)

 

Pure back-porch Americana, dark alt-country shot through with a touch of psychedelia.

 

195 together PANGEA – River (2014)

 

A hyperactive smear of ripcord riffs and sneering angst. Garage punk perfection.

 

194 Jessica Lea Mayfield – Kiss Me Again (2008)

 

Sultry, utterly gorgeous, and captivating opening track from her second album, recorded when she was only 19. Weary beyond her years.

 

193 Grasshouse – A Cockroach (2010)

Excellent, brooding indie rock. A malevolent and dark-hearted sonic delight.

 

192 Fat White Family – Bomb Disneyland (2013)

 

A Stooges style riff and sordid lyrics aligned to an irresistibly malignant rockabilly groove.

 

191 Father John Misty – Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings (2012)

 

Long before the Emperor’s new clothes of recent releases, Fear Fun was one of the finest albums of 2012 and this track with its nod to the Wall of Sound days and echoing guitars was one of the standouts.

 

190 Parquet Courts – Dust (2016)

Droning, danceable guitars brilliantly provide a backdrop to a jittery 50 word essay on the inherent grossness of dust and the futility of cleaning. “It follows, now swallow, You’re biting it now, Suffocate, suffocate, Breathe, Dust is everywhere, Sweep”.

 

189 Eagleowl – Motherfucker (2008)

 

Like a Scottish Low, Motherfucker is a devastating slow burner with an opening line to match, “Can I call you motherfucker, would your father be offended?

 

188 Elvis Perkins In Dearland – Doomsday (2009)

Brassy, infectious, sad but happy, New Orleans style folk.

 

187 No Age – Fever Dreaming (2010)

 

This song simply steams out of the traps like it has just been released from the punk heyday of 1977.

 

186 The Cave Singers – I Don’t Mind (2009)

The finger-picking guitar is a brilliant back-drop to the soaring vocals. Low lights, Friday night, bit of kitchen dancing. Irresistible.

 

185 Mazes – Skulking (2013)

 

A krautrock inspired, four to the floor drone classic that ends in a classic Velvets style fuzzed up breakdown.

 

184 Twilight Hotel – Mahogany Veneer (2011)

 

A brilliant combination of alt-country and spaghetti-western desert twang that moves languidly to conclusion via poignant, scalpel sharp lyrics

 

183 Greylag – Yours To Shake (2014)

A moody take on the nature of good vs evil told through the lens of muscular, gnarly folk-rock.

 

182 Last American Buffalo – Baby I’m Alive (2012)

 

Perfectly paced, mournfully traditional Americana.

 

181 Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol (2011)

 

Stunning surf-rock twang with echoes of Link Wray and Roy Orbison.

 

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (29th June).

Sometimes, it’s the small, spontaneous moments that make life special. The youngest sprat had over-footballed himself earlier this week – both watching and playing. He woke late on Tuesday morning and walked into the kitchen in a trance, looking downcast, school looming large on the horizon…

…just as Radio 6 fired up what can only be termed a classic tune: More Than a Feeling by Boston. So I picked him up (newly developed biceps coming in more than a little handy) and we danced. Halfway through the song – the guitar solo bit, you may recall – I used him as my air guitar. The dog was really confused and the cats fled. The song ended and I stood him down. He beamed the biggest smile ever, very gently high-fived me and then still without uttering a word, headed for the cereal cupboard.

This week’s life lesson?  A little bit of Boston does the business on those difficult mornings.

I closed my eyes and I slipped away…!

Mrs M x

Well…  just because your Monday morning might be a bit of a pisser. Go on, you know you want to…

Download Boston – More Than A Feeling mp3 (from Boston)

And well, if you’ve lost that Boston feeling, how about

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – I Don’t Feel Anything mp3 (from Sunset / Sunrise)

Daytrotter Reaches 2,000 Sessions - Free Mix.

The wonderful Daytrotter recently announced their 2,000th session and managed to get none other than Country music legend Glen Campbell in to record it, followed swiftly by a new session from the brilliant Delta Spirit.

For those that don’t know Daytrotter sessions are typically four songs in length, recorded live to quarter-inch tape in a matter of a couple hours, with no overdubs. They are then made available for download and streaming on the site and its various apps. Since beginning in February of 2006, Daytrotter has given away tens of millions of downloads and countless many more streams. In addition to studios in Rock Island and London, Daytrotter sessions are also occasionally taped in San Francisco, CA, Asheville, NC, Nashville, TN and Montreal.

Accessing all these sessions plus all the upcoming ones by all the bands you know and love costs a paltry $2 per month. For your ongoing listening pleasure we can’t think of anything anywhere that will give you better value than that. Below are just a very few highlights from some of the sessions we have loved – listen (they should fit neatly onto a CD), and if you haven’t done it yet, go and sign up here.

Download We Are Augustines – Ballad Of A Patient Man mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download The Cave Singers – Cold Eye mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download The Felice Brothers – Marlboro Man mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Phosphorescent  – Cocaine Lights mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Father John Misty – I’m Writing A Novel mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download A.A. Bondy – Witness Blues mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Justin Townes Earle – Lone Pine Hill mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download The Tallest Man On Earth – Shallow Grave mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Gabriel & The Hounds –  When We Die In South America mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Jessica Lea Mayfield – Our Hearts Are Wrong mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Liars – Scarecrows On A Killer Slant mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download The Low Anthem – Ticket Taker mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Middle Brother – Portland mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Arborea – Black Is The Colour mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Heartless Bastards – Got To Have Rock ‘n’ Roll mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Port O’Brien – A Bird Flies By mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – Scorpio mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download KaiserCartel – Carroll Street Station mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Ray Wylie Hubbard – Drunken Poet’s Dream mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Download Sandman The Rappin’ Cowboy – White Line Highway mp3 (from Daytrotter Session)

Mrs Mackerel's TFI Friday (30th December). The last Friday of 2011. And so begins a slow walk to the end of another year.

Ambushed by Christmas (my own fault, of course: same date every year, nothing to be scared of), tending sick animals and children, reigning in the oldies while fighting the desire to sleep spontaneously with bouts of manic activity that appeared to achieve very little, I am reminded that the best things in life are three.

When I was a (lot) younger, and Martin O’Neill was no more than a twinkle in my footballing eye, and I still got a satsuma in my stocking from the big man (and while satsumas may not be the only fruit, they are a damn fine one), I never thought life could still be so complicated.

Good job I got a number of fine books this year to distract me, as well as a little bird and some flying saucers (filled with sherbet, not aliens I might add), not to mention the tunes… Music remains as ever an original soundtrack to life, offering guiding lights, signposts and memorial stones to our experiences. Comfort and joy.

Wishing you a musical bounty in 2012, as well as some Lovehearts in your pocket.

Mrs Mackerel x

Download The Eels – Old Shit/New Shit mp3 (from Blinking Lights And Other Revelations)

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – Out Of Time mp3 (from She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke)

Here at MM we share, chat, argue, bury and praise music on a pretty regular basis…like daily. So throughout the year, the Mackerel crew (Mrs Mackerel, Barry-Sean, Christy-Popper, Dr Roddy, Polly Pocket, Starbar, MM and others) keep their own ever-changing top tens ready for publication at the climax of the festive season.

So last, but very much not least, is the lovely (though flu-stricken) Mrs Mackerel and her choices for 2010.

We all sweat a little over our top tens and I don’t know why really. This is just what I think, you will undoubtedly think a little different. But I’ve always found my fellow top ten contributors a great source of new sounds that maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise chosen myself. And if you find one song you like that you didn’t know before, then job done really. So to all the musicians that kindly let us post their wares, a heartfelt thank you – here’s to the next 12 months.

10. Kurran & The Wolfnotes – Your Four Limbs (Download here)

Sunny upbeat music with a beautiful harmonies, juxtaposed with a rather a dark message. A masochistic love of complete surrender; one-sided blind devotion and infatuation. It doesn’t end well.

9. Adam Green – What Makes Him Act So Bad  (Download here)

Appeals to the latent rock chick in me: she may lie sleeping, but she’s still in there. The laconic, growling delivery of the lyrics makes this tune twist and dip. Late night smoky bar sort of song, bit of a hip swayer over a cocktail or two. “I know you’re a wonderful dancer” – why thank you, Adam, I expect I’m the one with the answers too.

8. Lykke Li – Get Some  (Download here)

A proper bit of girl power in the form of a punchy, irrepressible foot-stomping beat. It’s not one to get your daughters to sing along to, but I love the rhythmic no-messing attitude of this song. It’s not often you hear such a drum/percussion-dominated track but this only means it beds into your mental song library very easily. And unlike with say, Two Little Boys (sorry Rolf), you don’t end up irritating yourself.

7. Two Wounded Birds – Night Patrol  (Download here)

A sleazy, sultry mix which tips a nod to Chris Isaacs and maybe even the Raveonettes too; the drums sound like a heartbeat, the guitars borrow a little from Hank Marvin. This song belongs to a different era, where women had beehives and men wore hats and chain-smoked. Just fabulous.

6.  Tallest Man On Earth – King Of Spain  (Download here)

Off we gallop at a rollicking pace before yep, here he comes, the Tallest Man on Earth, this time masquerading as the King of Spain. He has a unique and idiosyncratic voice that truly sets him apart from many of his contemporaries, and my great musical regret of 2009 is that MM and I were unable to make his London gig in last autumn.

5. The National – Bloodbuzz Ohio

Oh I do like a man with a voice as deep as the night. Matt Berninger’s unmistakeable baritone cuts through this lament, with the drums bringing up the rear. Hypnotic offering from a band that have been waiting in the wings for some much deserved recognition from the wider world.

4. Haunted Windchimes – Sea Bride  (Visit their website here. We can’t post the song or find a stream or a video…but you can listen via spotify here)

I loathe wind-chimes. Pointless instruments of aural torture. But once I got past the name, well this is a finger-pickin’ good tune. One of my outstanding films of 2010 was Winter’s Bone and there’s a scene in it where a hill-billy Nan and her mates are sat round in what looks like someone’s front room/bar. What they make is real music for the soul. I could imagine the Haunted Windchimes pulling up a chair and being right at home – and I mean this musically, not in an in-bred, gun-toting sort of way (she adds hastily).

3. Stornoway – I Saw You Blink

To me this is our MM summer of 2010 song: it’s sunshine and dreaminess and love. There’s self doubt and possibly even a Shelley-esque metaphor used (eyes being the window of the soul and all that). All sung to a back-drop of retro, up-tempo, carefully layered music. He’s in love, distracted, missed his train, and constantly wondering what she’s thinking. Dammit, Lucy, he needs to know – are you one he’s been waiting for so, so long? I’m rather glad I’m not 20-something any more …

a

2. Laura Marling – What He Wrote

What she writes, what she sings, what she plays is incomparable to any of her peers. But age sometimes belies wisdom. I struggled to choose from the riches of her second album, but this wins over Goodbye England by a smidge, simply because I prefer the latter in its unaccompanied arrangement. Here we have a piece of Greek mythology entwined with some war time letters; cause and effect; love and loss. “I am broken too and spoken for, do not tempt me.” A talent of rare and precious mettle.

1.Avalanche City – Ends In The Ocean  (Download here)

This snuck up when I wasn’t looking: the more I listened, the more I liked it. Kiwi Dave Baxter is Avalanche City; he taught himself to sing, plays all the instruments (apart from the drums) on this track, and recorded his debut album, solo, armed with a week’s supply of veggie curry. I like that in a person. And the song? It’s about losing yourself, and finding yourself again. It’s uplifting and positive and life-affirming – and it has a goodness that radiates through my very skin. “But now all that I see is life breaking free, so long captivity for me.” Not a bad way to end the year.

This year’s honourable mention goes to…

Jason Ward – Bless You  (Download here)

Bless you, Jason Ward. And bless you, MM. It’s quite a feat to make someone laugh when they’re in that much pain. Lies, deceit and fraud just ain’t enough for some people – let’s chuck in assault and battery too. Bless You is the anthem for the lesser common psycho. Delusional and toxic, they often hunt in pairs. Napoleon and Squealer. The Liver Turds. All should be sealed in a room and made to listen to Alexandra Burke on a loop. All together now, “How horrible are you …”

Bubbling Under:

5. Isobel Campbell & Willie Mason – Cool Water

4. Gorillaz – Melancholy Hill

3. Pancake BreakfastBallad of Maynard Noe

2. Mumford & SonsUnfinished Business

1. Port O’BrienMy Brain is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes To Bitburg)

And the Mrs Mackerel “Missed the Boat” or Songs I love that are not 2010

She Keeps Bees & Sharon Van EttenCuddle Alone

Just about the saddest song ever written. There’s nothing else to say really. Haunting.

The Dutchess & The DukeScorpio

Well, often timing is everything; I became aware of D&TD about ten days after they split up. Was it something I said? Scorpio is a particular favourite, a painfully observed lament about a dying relationship.

It’s been a week of away fixtures. First, a trip to Cardiff with my dearest friend and today, I cast my net across the water to Ventnor, where me and big brother will undoubtedly regress into a bit of sibling banter. I’ll be missing the rest of the mackerel clan big time and undoubtedly the sprats will have eaten more than their fair share of pasta by the end of the weekend …

My first trip of the (Mackerel) week was the hotly anticipated Mumford gig last Friday night. They didn’t disappoint and were every bit as good live as I’d hoped. Shame about the crowd. It was like being trapped in a giant crowd of starlings, a constant twittering throughout the whole live set, people up and down to go to the bar, text their mates (actually, I’ve never seen a starling texting before), discuss their plans for the weekend and so on. La la la.

This drone is lost in the faster Mumford numbers, of which there are thankfully many, but the slower more acoustic songs – and the new stuff – were sadly accompanied by a background hum. Ho hum. Not good. A zeitgeist moment? Who knows?

Last year, MM and I saw The Low Anthem at a small venue in Oxford and it was the same there, but more acute because of their set and the size of the room. Call me old-fashioned, but if I go to see a band, I’m there to listen, dance, enjoy. (I’m not a whooper myself, but there’s nothing wrong with a bit of well-placed whooping either). Maybe I’ll launch myself as some gig vigilante – the Mardy Mackerel – “show some respect and hush up” before slapping some gaffer tape on the gobby folk. And then maybe someone will break my fins and post me down the loo.

Let’s hope Ventnor is ready for a pair of opinionated Northerners tonight. Hehehehe.

Mrs Mackerel

Here a little bit of what I fancy this Friday, for no other reason than I think the Dutchess & the Duke are rather excellent (if sadly no more).

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – Hands mp3 (from Sunset / Sunrise)

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park mp3 (from She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke)

Download Mumford & Sons – Little Lion Man mp3 (from Sign No More)

Download The Low Anthem – To Ohio mp3 (from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin)

The intimate (that means slightly cramped) Borderline was the host for last night’s gig by Blitzen Trapper supported by The Dutchess & The Duke.

The latter gave us 35 minutes of beautifully crafted folk harmonies and the occasional arsenic tinged lyric. The hushed, attentive crowd and easy going banter from the band made it feel like a 60s coffee house in Greenwich Village and so charmingly uncommercial were they that, following a climactic Armageddon Song, the crowd had to remind them at the end to play their best known song, the brilliant Reservoir Park.

And so the stage was set for Blitzen Trapper who immediately entranced the crowd by opening with one of the standouts from Furr, the mesmerising Black River Killer. From then on they varied the tempo considerably, mixing new tracks from Destroyer Of The Void with old favourites and there were plenty of highlights to savour. From crowd favourite and singalong Furr to a  and wholly acoustic The Man Who Would Speak True. Other standouts were a ramshackle Jericho, a pulsing Evening Star, a captivating Heaven And Earth, and finishing the main set with a full on wigout version of Wild Mountain Nation.

A three song encore completed 90 minutes of old and new material, melding Byrdsian country rock and rambling backporch folk with a modern day twist that was nigh on perfect.

Buy Blitzen Trapper here. Buy The Dutchess & The Duke here.

Visit Blitzen Trapper’s MySpace here. Visit The Dutchess & The Duke MySpace here.

Download The Dutchess & The Duke – Reservoir Park mp3 (from She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke)

Download Blitzen Trapper – Heaven & Earth mp3 (from Destroyer Of The Void)

Download Blitzen Trapper – Black River Killer mp3 (from Furr)

Download Blitzen Trapper – Furr mp3 (from Furr)