lizb on 03/26/2010 at 09:45AM
There's a big spot in my heart for Sacramento bands, and it's not just because I lived in the area for a few years. The city has little nightlife, only a few venues, scant public transportation, and enough crime to keep the police and residents busy from filing or acting upon noise complaints. These factors not only contribute to how music is made and played in Sacramento, but are also reflected in the sounds.
Motivated and unapologetic, Sacto bands don't have an easy time making cool shows happen in traditional venues, so they get creative: house parties, bands playing under the freeway overpass, art collectives on dirt roads next to the river, spaces above bookstores, backyards, all-but-abandoned bars repurposed, etc. It's pull-up-your-sleeves DIY in the midst of a struggling city whose main industry is a state government that's been crumbling apart for many years.
And thus I present to you a band that was around in the early '00s: Duchess of Saigon. They were a male/female duo, bratty, jangly, garagey and sometimes inept, but always catchy and rockin'. Sacramento's venerable S-S Records has posted the band's 2002 "Easter Queen" 7" here on the FMA for your enjoyment. The EP was recorded by Chris Woodhouse, who either produced, mixed, engineered, or played on nearly every great album to come out of Sacto in the past decade or two.