Crystal Stilts + The Duchess and the Duke | The Charleston | 7.13.2008

Last time I saw a show at the Charleston it was in the back of the bar and the cranky old owner provided the lightshow by flipping the lightswitch on and off. The place has been under new management for a while now and is now booking shows in the Charleston’s dank, unfinished basement making it sort of the Cake Shop of Williamsburg I guess.

Crystal Stilts went on around Midnight which, after a full day of sun and beer at McCarren Pool and the aftershow at Music Hall of Williamsburg, it felt like 3AM. This was the third time I’ve seen them and with each show they’ve veered further and further away from the obvious Jesus & Mary Chain comparisons that were unavoidable when talking about their debut EP which is two years old but most people seem to have just discovered this year. (People including me.) The reverb is still there, but influences seem to be moving backwards to the dawn of rock n’ roll. Specifically you can hear Bo Diddley in that beat (courtesy standup, cymbal-less drummer Frankie Rose) and vibrato guitar. I’m anxious to hear their debut album, which is in the can and will be released on Slumberland later this year but in the meantime he’s one from the EP:

MP3: The Crystal Stilts – Converging on the Quiet

Crystal Stilts are also playing Saturday night at Glasslands if you’ve still got energy after the Siren fest. (Or if you couldn’t be bothered to go to Siren.)

Also on the bill were The Dutchess and the Duke who I’d seen open for Fleet Foxes earlier in the week at Union Hall. They sound a lot like their Hardly Art labelmates Arthur & Yu (also from Seattle), which is to say folky and bluesy in a late ’60s sort of way, complete with cool old hollow-body guitars and nice harmonies and a percussionist who kind of looks like Peter Tork or Denny Doherty. Their debut, She’s the Dutchess, He’s the Duke, came out last week and is a great lazy Sunday morning record. And they’re a pretty good late Sunday night kind of band too.

MP3: The Dutchess and the Duke – Reservoir Park