Dusty's Cultural Curiosities

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.

Song of the Week: Patty Griffin - "Ohio"

"Ohio" Patty Griffin: American Kind (New West)

Griffin is one of those evocative singer-songwriters that represents that quintessential essence of Americana. Hailed by critics, but often ignored by a larger audience. she deserves so much more. Hopefully her latest single will help in that cause as she's in atmospheric duet with her new beau (Rock God) Robert Plant. There is a siren-like quality to this acoustic-driven meditative love ballad and the undertow of the instruments - acoustic guitars, djembe, dobro -- is as strong and steady as the current of this name-checked river. "Meet me in the evening / Where the river is low..." 

Video of the Week: Karnivool - "We Are"

Apparently these Aussies from Perth are much beloved in a music genre that often gets hammered by my fellow rick critics. I just discovered them, and I have to give them high marks for terrific songs, playing, production, et al. "We Are" is their latest single from their latest album, Asymmetry, due later this summer. If you dig the prog metal of Tool, A Perfect Circle, and dare I say, King Crimson, then you will dig Karnivool. Prog is not dead, long live Prog!

Video of the Week: Valerie June - "You Can't Be Told"

Wow! The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach may have met his match when he decided to produce the Memphis-based, Americana singer-songwriter Ms. Valerie June. This song is so good it'll levitate you out of your blues. Pushing Against a Stone is set for an August 13th release.

Song of the Week: Tedeschi Trucks Band - "Part of Me"

Got a tasty, free track from Tedeschi Trucks Bands third album, Made Up Mind. In the spirit of Delaney & Bonnie, Susan and Derek get their R&B groove on. New CD drops on August 20th. Download it now!

Song of the Week: Nicki Bluhm - "Little Too Late"

SF-based Nicki Bluhm and The Gramblers get their roots-rock jam band groove working OT on this infectious tune. Her new album hits on August 27th!

Video of the Week: Trixie Whitley

Back in November 2012, I picked "Breathe You In My Dreams" as Ms. Whitley's breakout hit from her debut Fourth Corner CD. Finally they've put together a glorious video to help "sell" the song. For my money, she remains the best female rock singer recording and touring the planet today.

Song of the Week: Monster Truck - "Sweet Mountain River"

Some heavy, melodic metal thunder for your weekend... I caught this Canadian quartet Monster Truck last night at Piano's where they played songs from their new album Furiosity (Dine Alone Records). No frills classic rock and roll -- huge Les Paul guitar riffs, spacey organ fills, thunderous drums, bottom-heavy bass, and one powerful vocalist. The spirit of Stillwater and Grand Funk Railroad live! I predict these lads will be playing much larger venues very soon.

Video of the Week: Everything Everything - "Duet"

Math rock at its most potent! Released digitally today on SpotifyArc is the follow up to this Manchester-based band's Mercury Prize-nominated Man Alive. Arc was released in the UK in January of this year and debuted at Number Five on the UK Album Charts. 

May Music Mayhem

It may seem that I'm diggin' in the dirt. Gettin' back to my punk rock roots. Well, some of my favorite new music does seem a wee bit primal, oui? And some of it is even out this world. But all of this music is party playlist-worthy for any weekend getaway. Proceed with caution....

Love the retro-girl bop rockabilly trip of this Austin-based ginger-haired flamethrower. She's got plenty of sass, snarl, and sex appeal. And her roots-rockin' band rips it up all the while she shakes and struts her stuff. This will keep any party swingin' all night long. Don't move your lips, just shake those hips.... Read more »

Video of the Month: Chris Hadfield - "Space Oddity"

Brilliantly executed revised cover of a Bowie classic performed by Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station. The music was recorded by him before he left while guitar and vocals were done live. Some lyrics were modified to suit the specifics, but this is profoundly awe-inspiring.

Dusty Wright's Dusty Roads - Transcendental Music Radio

Check out my new weekly radio show -- Dusty Wright's Dusty Roads -- for David Lynch's new music charity website! Just click on link. You can find my weekly schedule below: Read more »

Song of the Week: Telekinesis - "Empathetic People"

Power pop albeit a big punky from the Seattle-based singer/songwriter Michael Benjamin Lerner AKA Telekinesis from his fourth release Dormarion (Merge). Begs to be played loud.

Video of the Week: Hero & Leander

Shot on an iPhone, here is a wonderfully engaging video "Collider" -- a damn catchy postpunk pop rock single -- from the UK outfit Hero & Leander's debut Tumble (out on June 25th) that mugs Oh OK's choreographed videos at probably 1/1000th of the budget.

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