Dusty's Cultural Curiosities

Artist of the Month: Lily & Madeleine

Rare that I'm this knocked out by a new act, single, or album, but this works on all three fronts. Lily & Madeleine, two young sisters (16 & 18-years old) from Indianapolis, are certainly deserving of a wider audience. (Trust me, it will happen.) So many wonderful moments on their debut, but you'll have to groove on these two videos -- one more below -- until their debut drops on October 29th, 2013 on Asthmatic Kitty Records. Read more »

Video of the Week: Pokey LaFarge - "Central Time"

Throwback Dust Bowl Americana party time with Pokey LaFarge! A little Jimmy Rogers, some Leon Redbone, and plenty of pomade. Debut album was produced by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show and released by Jack White’s Third Man Records.

Song of the Week: Broken Anchor - "Canada"

Check out this catchy lo-fi pop-rock nugget -- from Austin Hartley-Leonard's outfit Broken Anchor's fresh debut Fresh Lemonade -- that'll have you humming along in no time. For fans of Matthew Sweet, The Posies, et al! Album drops on September 17th.

Song of the Week: Public Service Broadcast - "Theme from PSB"

In my humble opinion this UK outfit -- Public Service Broadcast -- has released one of the best albums of the 2013, top to bottom. And if you've been reading my columns you know I don't like many this year. Here's a remix from said LP. Listen, buy, share, engage!

Video of the Week: Anna Rose - "Beautiful World"

Not to be denied, NY-based singer-songwriter Anna Rose's sophomore album, Behold A Pale Horseis released today, August 6th. Here's one of our favorite songs and her latest video from that album. Catch her live tomorrow night, August 7th, at Bowery Electric

Discovered Gyrls

Allison Burnett, an LA-based filmmaker friend, may have discovered a new revenue stream for struggling musicians and a way for indie filmmakers to afford quality music. While he was plotting the production of his latest film Undiscovered Gyrl (image above), he decided he didn't want his budget to be consumed by the cost of music publishing and sync rights for well-known songs. Instead he invited female singer-songwriters not much older than the protagonist to submit tracks to be considered for his movie. Unbelievably, he did this reach-out on Craig's List and soon had a hundred songs to chose from. Here's Mr. Burnett's take on his unprecedented song-gathering process: Read more »

Song of the Week: Gary Numan - "I Am Dust"

This is the sound of the modern era; the brand new track from electronica pioneer and LA-based Gary Numan. AI is alive and well and coursing through the veins of all homo sapiens and proof that robots do dream. His 20th album Splinter (Songs From A Broken Mind) will be released in North America on October 15th and touring from August through November. 

Death of the Album, Pt. 2 - July Singles

"You Are In Love" - Shannon Whitworth: High Tide (EF Records)

Damn, playing a Gibson SG never looked or sounded so sexy! Before the press folks dropped her new album on me, I didn't know of this compelling singer-songwriter formerly with the North Carolina outfit The Biscuit Burners. This is my pick hit from her new effort. Collaborating with bassist Bill Reynolds of Band of Horses has given her a chiming folk-rock vibe on her third solo effort. And tours with the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Chris Isaak certainly helped inform her "new" sound. Read more »

Single of the Week: Tony Joe White - "The Gift"

"The Gift" - Tony Joe White: Hoodoo (Yep Roc)

Two notes, a pinch of natural distortion from an old tweed tube git-tar amplifier, a short harmonica solo, and plenty of boogie chillen groove and attitude. It sounds too simple a formula, but it's not. Need a master of the form to pull it off. Enter veteran roots-rocker Tony Joe White -- 70 years young -- of "Polk Salad Annie" fame who rocks it for 4 minutes and 23 seconds on this amazingly engaging track from his new CD due in September.

Single of the Week: Kings of Leon - "Supersoaker"

Back with a corker! The Brothers with a Cousin Followill get some summer rock and roll on their first single from their sixth album Mechanical Bull, due Sept. 24th.

Song of the Week: Willy Mason - "Talk Me Down"

"Talk Me Down" - Willy Mason: Carry On (Communion)

US singer-songwriter Willy adds some Tom Waits boho clanking -- courtesy of Hot Chip producer Dan Carey no doubt -- to this simple, evocative tune and it keeps things percolating along quite nicely. Sharing a label and sometimes touring stage with fellow new folk artists Mumford & Sons seems like a logical bookend. Good thing, too, as we need more music like this, all the time. Three albums in and it's safe to say that this young man is a musical marvel.

Gig of the Week: The Main Squeeze

"Mixed Up" The Main Squeeze

Hot! Hot! Hot! The Main Squeeze!!! One of my favorite new live bands and I haven't even seen them live...yet. Do not miss this funky fresh jam band tomorrow night, Thursday, July 11th at 8 pm at Brooklyn Bowl! This young Chicago-based quintet is making big waves on the festival circuit -- Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and EquifunkWatch this video and you'll know why. Get off of that thang!

Firecrackers and Music for the 4th of July!

These past few months, I've grown weary trying to find albums that engage me from start to finish. In fact, I've yet to find one album in the past few months I can listen to top to bottom. I truly believe that we are back in the land of "singles." Not saying that a Blood on the Tracks, Dark Side of the Moon, OK Computer, or (What's The Story) Morning Glory? isn't lurking in the shadows, but.... I'm old enough to have bought 45s back in the '60s when I was a young pup; my first was The Beatles' "Rain"/"Paperback Writer." In the land of digital, I'm happy to download one song from some new noteworthy act and let it fall into my enormous random shuffle playlist (over 8,700 songs and counting). And that "single" is not always the band or label's choice; in the age of iTunes, we all have the opportunity to decide for ourselves what the "single" should be! If you love an album that you truly believe holds your attention for ten (or more) songs, I'm all ears. In the interim, here are 12 "singles" I've added to my summer playlist. I'll have more next month...and maybe, just maybe, one entire album!

"Get Up" - Wiretree: Get Up (Cobalt Works)

First time I heard this track from Kevin Peroni's Austin-based quartet, I was certain it was by an alt-pop U.K. band like Teenage Fanclub or The La's. I had to double check their website. Regardless, this is really catchy, vibrant alt pop-rock that will make you sing along. Now is that so bad? Their fourth album will be released on July 9th. Read more »

Video of the Week: Houndmouth - "On The Road"

"On The Road" - Houndmouth: From The City Below the City (Roughtrade)

This is damn fine single in a ragged roots-rock, stripped-down-version-of-The-Band-kinda way from this New Albany, Indiana quartet. The dual vocals of keyboardist Katie Toupin and guitarist Matt Myers frame the proceedings with just right amount of tension along with stabbing piano and a tasteful, economical guitar hook. Worth keeping an ear and eye on; new 12-track album was just released a few weeks ago.

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