Dusty's Cultural Curiosities

Best 12 Albums for 2012

Wasn't easy to whittle this list down to 10, let alone 11, so I picked 12 for 12-12-12. A few of these selections were last minute additions that knocked two other picks out of top spots. Moreover, I decided to include twelve more picks at the end of my selections to show what else was being considered.

Nada Surf The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy (Barsuk)

I've not seen this album on any critics' year-end lists (aside from my managing editor Steve's list, obviously). Not sure why, because Nada Surf released a timeless collection of alt pop-rock songs. This is songwriting 101 -- verse, chorus, verse, bridge. If there is a better pop-rock band in America, let me know. Twenty years in and no sign of lazy rock star bullshit, just plenty of great chiming guitar riffs and hooky-as-hell tunes. Album of the year. Read more »

Thankful For Some Tasty New Rock Music!

Happy Thanksgiving. It's been a terrific month for mining new music. I caught an advance screening of Led Zeppelin's new concert movie at MoMA (and their press conference), discovered what may be my favorite album of the year, and found inspiring young musicians sharing their chops and muses with the world. With the holidays around the corner, here are some early suggestions for music very much worth sharing with friends, lovers, bosses, and family.  Read more »

Mr. Gray Gets (David) Lynched on Pilot Episode!

MR. GRAY meets DAVID LYNCH in New York City. Of course, Agent BJ (Bianca Jones) has issues with the talent coordinator Marvin Felber while trusted sidekick Sky Windu is left sorting out the mess. (Season One, Episode 1.) Animation by Zeth Willie. As Mr. Gray telepathically states, "Gray is the new black, all 50 shades!"  MrGrayShow.com

Happy Halloween! Delta Rae: Dance in the Graveyards

Check out Delta Rae's new tune "Dance In The Graveyards" directed by Dirty Robber. You can buy their new LP Carry The Fire at iTunes and other digital outlets.

Favorite October Rock Music!

Not all that glitters is gold on the radio, and often one must scratch below the glossy surface of the neatly pressed and homogenous music business where TV pop stars litter radio playlists. Thankfully there is a growing number of outlets that cater to every type of rock music. Here are some of my favorite new releases from October culled from press releases, Spotify playlists, satellite radio, and peer recommendations.

 "3-6-9" Cat Power Sun (Matador) - Still measured genius after all these years; six years in fact since The Greatest. My favorite track is this upbeat, haunting, multi-layered, auto-tuned, electronica-tinged sing-a-long. This is the sound of New Jack City in the 21st century. More PJ than Joni, Ms. Chan Marshall brings the noise and funk on her ninth CD, and in doing so, raises the bar for her musical peers, both genders. Read more »

"Blue Mountains" - Diamond Rugs - Video of the Week!

Rock 'n' roll, strippers, a crazy beat to inspire any pole dancer...what could be better than that!?! Check out this righteous track from John McCauley's (of Deer Tick) Diamond Rugs.

Joey Ramone's New York - Video of the Week!

Check out this epic new video from Joey Ramone's posthumous solo CD ...ya know?. It features cameos from Tommy Ramone, Anthony Bourdain30 Rock’s Scott Adsit, John Lutz, Kristen Schaal, Andrew WK, and others.

Video of the Week: Graveyard - "Goliath"

From Sweden, with love, the new single "Goliath" from the album Lights Out by hard rock band Graveyard! Sometimes you just need the rock and the roll!

A Perfect Night for a Green Day

The business of rock -- the creative juices, the vibe, the sound and fury, the rage, the excitement, the whole kit and caboodle -- is very lacking these days. Songs come and go, like cotton candy -- looks good, tastes good, but leaves no lasting impression other than a disgusting sugary aftertaste. Few can scale the heights and maintain the majesty of RAWK! One would be hard-pressed to find young rock bands today with the chops and creativity to sustain four to five decades of arena-sized music-making like the Stones, KISS, Tom Petty, The Boss, AC/DC, Eagles, The Who, U2. I would argue there is perhaps just one band excellent enough to carry that very heavy torch and to wave it high and wide -- GREEN DAY. Formed in Berkley in 1987, they are well on their way: this year marks their 25th anniversary in the music biz. 

Green Day has swag. Bucket loads; overflowing with sweat, blood, and beer. Saturday night at the very intimate Irving Plaza in NYC, which was packed to the rafters, Green Day helped launch the new Nokia Music streaming on AT&T, streaming their first three songs, and in doing so cemented their legacy, in my mind and certainly for the ravenous fans lucky enough to be in attendance on Saturday evening. Read more »

The Importance of Being a Dude

connery.jpg"My Daddy-o's a dude!" bragged my ten-year-old daughter Mina to one of her friends.

Wot? I'm a dad and still a dude? Hey, that's pretty cool, but I thought Quincy Jones was the dude. After all, he did release an album in the '80s called The Dude. But where did my daughter pick this "dude" tag up? From my wife? (Doubtful, she might not have married me if she knew I was a dude.) Probably from the Scooby Doo cartoons we watch together. Or from her older brother and his crazed sidewalk skateboard pals in our 'hood. Or maybe she caught Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski at her friend Leah's house. Read more »

"It's About Time" - Dusty Wright - Official Video

This song is for freedom fighters everywhere. It was inspired by Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" and the simple phrase -- "it's about time" -- uttered by filmmaker and video director Ernie Fritz about the Occupy movement. MP3 available at AmazoniTunes, et al. Read more »

Give Me More, More, More!!!

Just can't get enough, once sang Depeche Mode. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I'm listening to other tunes right now. Check out my August playlist for some desktop and mobile device-worthy tuneage.

"Fisherman" The Peach Kings Handsome Moves (Peach Kings)

So damn infectious, it is! Hot chick vocals and '60s garage-pop, twang-rock flourishes abound. Texan Paige McClain Wood and Californian Steven Trezevant Dies describe their sound as "gypsydelic" and I concur. Favorite single of the month! Check out the vid below! Read more »

Dusty Wright: If We Never - Limited Edition CD

Just released 100 more signed & numbered CDs with cover by artist Jeff Zenick. Plus you can buy it on AmazonCDBaby, or iTunes. Check out the "Secret Window" video, too.

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Rock 'n' Roll Ain't Noise Pollution!

I recently emceed a very cool smart culture event for Blackberry's Playbook (digital tablet) at their pop-up shop in Chelsea. Not only did I conduct interviews with artist Peter Max, blues pianist Henry Butler, and indie band The Kin, but with two outstanding rock photographers -- Mick Rock and John Scarpati.

Mick is the more well-known of the two, having captured iconographic rock images from the late '60s through the '70s of Syd Barrett, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Queen, Sex Pistols, Blondie, and more. But John has done amazing work as well, just during a different time period on the West Coast, more specifically L.A. bands during the '80s. Many folks have seen his photos of Fishbone, The Cramps (image left), Jane's Addiction, Poison, L.A. Guns, Social Distortion, Redd Kross, et al. He did album covers, press photos, magazine shots, and more. He was one of them -- so much so that sometimes it meant losing money on some of his setups for outstanding photos. Read more »

Surf's Up! Hot Rock, Pop, Soul Singles for Summer 2012

While our managing editor Steve Holtje has done a bang-up job sharing phenomenal Jazz and Classical reviews, I thought I'd share some of my favorite new rock, pop, and soul picks for Summer 2012. It's time for BBQs and beach blanket bingo parties. Time to get your swag on, peoples.

"Radiator Sister" - The Mynabirds Generals (Saddle Creek)

nfectious, bubble-gum snappin' tunes abound on this sophomore long player from singer-songwriter Laura Burhenn. All aptly produced by Richard Swift, but for my limited ducats this iPod-friendly ditty is the bees-ness. Equal parts Bow Wow Wow and T.Rex, with its two-note piano hook.  Read more »

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