iOS app Android app

Dusty Wright
GET UPDATES FROM Dusty Wright
 
Mr. Wright is the host of The Dusty Wright Show and co-founder of CultureCatch.com. He's the former editor-in-chief of Creem and Prince's New Power Generation magazines as well as a writer of films, webcasts, fiction, and music. As a singer/songwriter, he's released 5 CDs. And before all of this he was a William Morris agent.

Entries by Dusty Wright

Music to Thaw the Deep Freeze

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2014 | 5:34 PM

It was a brutal winter (of our discontent), but it's finally spring and there's plenty of new music to thaw even the most solid block of plowed snow. Here, then, are ten of my favorite new rock, pop, funk and folk songs. Let us begin with this tremendous track (and album) from one of my favorite folk-rock singer/songwriters, the former New Yorker and now L.A.-based David Poe. Here he shares his muse on his debut single "When I Fly" from his soon-to-be-released long player When I Fly. Check him out on tour, too.

NSFW aside, the "Leeches" video -- directed by Jessica Lauretti of the band This Frontier Needs Heroes is just one of the infectious moments from the Shoulders album released by the terrifically talented singer/songwriter/composer PT Walkley, who just happens to hail from NYC. So there.

Real Estate has released one of the best rock singles of this young year. It has received heavy rotation in our office since we received the advance. Majestic, ringing, and just about perfect in texture, tone, and message.Their latest album, Atlas, was just released.

Aerosmith keyboardist Russ Irwin celebrates the freak in all of us on this ridiculously infectious pop-rock dance tune -- "The Perfect Beast" -- from his Get Me Home album. It takes a sideways swipe at Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" video. Directed by Casey Patrick Tebo, it features transexual model/actress Ximena Olivares, Miss Teen California Nicole Jattsis, fetish model/actress Cece LaRue, actress Michelle Duncan, bi-sexual actress Beatrice Munoz, and sideshow performer Jason Brott aka The Penguin Boy.

Eighteen years on and it's safe to say GALACTIC is a helluva lot more than a pedestrian jam band. Drummer Stanton Moore and his cohorts bring the funk with plenty of their NOLA sauce on their latest single, "Dolla Diva," with some righteous vocal help from David Shaw and Maggie Koerner. Currently on tour.

Some songs beg for the repeat button and so it is with this infectious folk-pop nugget from Side Saddle AKA Ian McGuiness, the pop maestro from Astoria, Queens, NY. Download this track for free on SoundCloud until you BUY The Postcard EP which dropped on March 25th.

Walter Martin has been woodshedding as the multi-instrumentalist in The Walkmen, but has finally decided to step out solo. One can't help but catch the Nancy (Sinatra) & Lee (Hazlewood) vibe, especially since Karen O. (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) lends her sweet, sweet yodels. My favorite Americana song of this new year, so far. We're All Young Together CD drops on May 13th.

Hard to believe that Morrissey's seminal third solo album, Your Arsenal, was released in 1992. Produced by Bowies's Spider from Mars guitarist and arranger Mick Ronson, it was a massive success in the US. The "definitive master" of that album was released by Rhino Entertainment on premium vinyl, CD, and digital download. The CD includes a previously unreleased live DVD concert from October 31st, 1991 from the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA.

Yes, one more snow is expected before Easter, always happens, but this percolating, hypnotic synth-pop tune (think New Order) from I Am Snow Angel (producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Julie Kathryn) should keep most cold-weather bound folks de-iced.

Singer/songwriter/pianist Judith Owen proudly wears her troubadour influences (Carole King, Laura Nyro, Joni) on her sleeve. Hey, being informed by such grand company only works when you can deliver. And deliver she does on her latest solo effort, Ebb & Flow. She even enlisted one of the best L.A. backing bands ever -- bassist Leland Sklar, drummer Russ Kunkel, and guitarist Waddy Wachtel. "I've Never Been to Texas" is one of my favorite songs from her soon-to-be-released, delightful soft rock album. She's currently on tour with Mr. Sklar. Don't miss her!

Hope these tunes warm your bodies and souls.

peace,...

Read Post

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Best Music of 2013

(2) Comments | Posted December 30, 2013 | 9:21 AM

One of my most diversified year-end lists yet -- rock, electronica, jamband, prog, pop, R&B. I didn't really think I'd even find 10 albums that could hold my attention start to finish and believe me, I tried to listen to most of my fellow critics' top 10 titles and could...

Read Post

I'm Your Bigggest Fan

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 3:11 PM

2013-11-29-DIEHARDSCover.jpg
Diehards by Erin Feinberg (Anthropy Arts)


The energy exchange between fans and musicians during live events can be intoxicating, even without mind-altering substances. New York-based photographer Erin Feinberg has perfectly captured that dynamic in her new B&W coffee table book. Moreover, she...

Read Post

The Sins of Our Nation - 12 Years A Slave

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 4:53 PM

2013-10-18-TwelveYearsaSlave.jpg

Some believe that America is still paying a karmic debt for the kidnapping, enslavement, and centuries-long degradation of millions of Africans. Watching UK-director Steve McQueen's brutally honest film 12 Years A Slave leaves no room for doubt that we deserve to. This brave, disturbing movie tells...

Read Post

All Mod Cons!

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 11:47 AM

Tony Fletcher
(William Heinemann/Random House)

Many of us of a certain age were informed by rock music. It permeated and dominated our free time; time away from school studies, our parents, our siblings, the man! And we were heavily...

Read Post

When I Paint My Masterpiece...

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 12:30 PM

2013-09-17-jay_stolar.jpg

I don't know what the hell happened...I've been moaning about quality albums, you know, with great songs top to bottom, and then bam! I get 28-year old singer/songwriter Willy Mason's excellent new release Carry On, Bob Dylan's Another Self Portrait - The Bootleg Series...

Read Post

Death of the Album -- Singles Going Steady! -- Pt. 2

(0) Comments | Posted July 26, 2013 | 4:34 PM

In a previous article earlier this month, I suggested that we are in the era where singles -- once again -- roam the earth. With too many media choices and digital distractions -- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, emails, blogs, games, time-shifted content, et al. -- vying for our attention,...

Read Post

A Trio of Worthwhile Summer Films

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2013 | 9:04 PM

Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classic)

After his questionable union with his stepdaughter, I'd abandoned Woody Allen. Not completely, but the once-brilliant auteur creeped me out, so I couldn't give his movies my full attention, respect, or merit. A few weeks back, after receiving an invite from the PR firm handling his latest effort (a drama!) and seeing one of my former clients in the cast, I couldn't resist the lure of the screening. I'm happy to say that this is one of his better latter-day films, and Cate Blanchett turns in an Oscar-worthy performance. (Fortunately we don't have to listen to any of his actors prattle along in Woody-speak or watch him lust after some younger woman.) Blanchett plays the elegant, free-falling, Xanax-popping New York socialite Jasmine, married to the financially Ponzi-scheming cad Hal (Alec Baldwin), who gets busted on all fronts; she's forced to sell everything and move into her sister Ginger's (Sally Hawkins) low-rent San Francisco apartment. It's a mighty fall from grace, and she's left damaged goods, not only from the disgraceful behavior of her husband but from her pathetic and phony one-percenter reality. (Isn't it the scorned woman who is always the last to know?) It will take everything in her power to keep her fragile mental state together. And that means losing her narcissism and polluted upper societal views. Those of us who live and play in New York have rubbed elbows with women like Jasmine (and not just the Real Housewives of New York!), and Ms. Blancett plays the role perfectly. Also of note are the riveting New York-based actor Bobby Cannavale (love to see him in Brando's role in Streetcar) as Ginger's short-fused but passionate boyfriend Chili, and comedian Andrew Dice Clay (believe it or not!) as her simple but hard working ex-husband Augie. Not to be missed. Well played, Woodman!

The Way, Way Back (Fox Searchlight)

One of those perfectly executed coming-of-age stories that I hope will not get lost in the giant summer tsunami of animation, sci-fi (see Pacific Rim below), and 3D mega-action films. Co-written and co-directed by the Academy Award-winning team of Nat Faxon and Jim Ras (they also have supporting roles in this film), who have hit the nerve of what it means to be young, uncertain, and disengaged in the new digital America. Moreover, we empathize with our 14-year-old introverted protagonist Duncan (Liam James) as he tries to understand his place in a world of adults who refuse to grow up -- tricky business for the children and even more so for the hard-partying parents. But when your mother Pam's (Toni Collette) new boyfriend Trent (Steve Carell) is a douchebag hellbent on "winning" your respect, and you can see right through his phoniness because you want the best for your mother, it can spell all sorts of emotional pitfalls. Just when it looks like his forced Cape Cod summer will be ruined by his "new" family, along comes the freewheeling, wisecracking Owen -- wonderfully played by Sam Rockwell (one of my favorite American actors) -- manager of the Water Wizz water park. When Owen hires Duncan, and becomes his mentor, the movie really picks up. I "forced" my moody 14-year-old son to attend the advance screening with me, and we were both glad I did. If you loved Little Miss Sunshine, then this flick will provide a much needed respite from the heat.

Pacific Rim (Legendary)

It's not some fix-this-blockbuster-with-a-cool-director accident that Guillermo del Toro's latest movie should tackle this Japanese monster movie genre in full clichéd spectacle. This is his $180 million homage to giant monster AKA kaiju movies that he grew up watching on TV and in theaters in his native Mexico. If you understand the aesthetics of the genre, you'll appreciate the kitsch factor and over-the-top characters. Don't get me wrong, the wonderful 3D CGI detail and city-leveling mayhem is marvelous and center stage; the only thing really missing is the obligatory men-dressed-in-monster-suits flinging each other into miniature buildings and bridges. Putting normal-size humans into giant combat robots, AKA Jaegers, is a very cool twist. Because these robots are so enormous, they require two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge to operate them. Plenty of action, strutting machismo, and utter and chaotic destruction prevail. The plot is simple. We pick up the storyline sometime in the near future after the Kaiju, arriving from a dimensional portal deep in the sea, have destroyed some major cities. Only after the nations of Earth band together to create the gigantic robots to defend mankind was their any success defeating the gigantic Kaiju, but that will not last and thus the story unfolds. No doubt the cast and crew had a helluva time making it. Turning in a film-stealing supporting role and outro credit cameo is del Toro regular Ron Perlman (Hellboy). Also excellent are comedic actors Charlie Day and Burn Gorman as two cartoonish research scientists both vying for their science to defeat their giant enemies. Idris Elba (The Wire) provides the General Patton sermons and leadership for his robot fighting force. Robot vs. Monster was never so much fun. The perfect summer popcorn movie.

Happy viewing. - Dusty Wright

This article originally appeared on

Read Post

Death of the Album - Singles Going Steady!

(9) Comments | Posted July 3, 2013 | 2:27 PM

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...

Read Post

May Music Mayhem

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2013 | 12:15 PM

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...

Read Post

Tenner: Favorite Spring Music and a Movie, too

(4) Comments | Posted May 6, 2013 | 3:45 PM

Spring has arrived -- flowers and music in full bloom. Some of it only hints at what might be as summer approaches. Until then, here are few things I'm carting around in my wheelbarrow. Dig it.

"Spiderlegs" Danny Malone: Balloons (DM)

Happy accident as I had no prior knowledge of...

Read Post

Hell Yes, Bob Kidney Has the Blues -- 4 Decades On!

(7) Comments | Posted April 8, 2013 | 9:48 AM

Kidney Brothers: Coal Tattoo (Hearpen)

Having grown up and loved from afar, forced to do so after I moved to NYC, there are few bands still playing live -- four decades later -- worthy of my unbridled accolades and devotion but so it is with the heady agro-blues of

Read Post

Best of March Music -- Rock, Country & Jazz

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2013 | 11:51 AM

"Ingenue" Atoms for Peace Amok (XL Recordings)

Thom Yorke, Flea, long time Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, session drummer Joey Waronker, and percussionist Mauro Refosco have conjured up some heady experimental rock and electronica juju on this album of Radiohead-like alt-dance and fragmented rock tunes. Much of what I hear...

Read Post

The Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale Show -- Live!

(6) Comments | Posted February 23, 2013 | 2:04 PM

Some music needs to be heard in concert to be fully appreciated. No amount of spin doctoring by journalists or peer pressure from fanatical fans can justify an act unless one catches said act live. Best to let the music do the talking in a live music venue and judge...

Read Post

Best of January Music -- Concerts, Leftovers, Prince

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 12:29 PM

It's inevitable that I miss out on some terrific music and culture every year. The sheer volume of releases seems to increase every year, and the lack of time to listen to everything, the recommendations of fellow critics and friends, well, there's just so many hours in a day....

Read Post

Best 12 Albums for 2012

(39) Comments | Posted December 28, 2012 | 1:20 PM

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 12 more picks at the end of my...

Read Post

Thankful For Tasty New Rock Music!

(4) Comments | Posted November 23, 2012 | 10:26 AM

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...

Read Post

Best Rock Music of October!

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2012 | 4:46 PM

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...

Read Post

My Conversation With Artist Mark Wiener (Video)

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 9:20 AM

NYC-based artist Mark Wiener (R.I.P.) shares stories about his work and the streets.

Subscribe via iTunes or Subscribe via Feedburner

This webcast video originally appeared at CultureCatch.com.

Read Post

A Perfect Night for a Green Day

(27) Comments | Posted September 16, 2012 | 2:30 PM

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...

Read Post