Former Creem editor-in-chief and one-time William Morris talent agent Dusty Wright first launched CultureCatch back in July of 2005. The New Yorker for the online set, CultureCatch is not a forum for the famous (and working) to hock their latest project, but rather a salon where artists are given the opportunity to discuss their art for it’s own sake, really.

An artist himself, Wright is a solo performer as well as the front man for the folk-rock quartet GIANTfingers and is not interested in promoting what he calls “bullshit culture.” In his mission statement, he uses the term “smart culture” to describe the sort of subjects he’s interested in speaking with – the type of people he hopes will truly resonate with his audience.  Though CultureCatch dealt primarily with podcasts during the website’s early days, Wright and his partner Richard Burns are now videotaping all interviews for your viewing pleasure.

Wright has used the connections he made during his stint at William Morris to score sit-downs with some pretty intriguing subjects. While Wright’s heart is clearly in music, CultureCatch covers all manner of film, literature, theatre, politics and art. Archived interviews range from mogul Sir Richard Branson to rocker Bif Naked to groundbreaking director David Lynch.

All are conducted by Wright himself, though the location and production value change each time. Some take place in the studio, some in a hotel room, some backstage (Henry Rollins is interviewed in a rather murky looking stairwell).  The one constant are the provocative questions asked of these people. Wright is quite demanding and, like any good journalist, keeps at it until he’s satisfied with the answer. (This makes most of the interviews relatively long. David Lynch lasts a full 25 minutes.)

Not to be overlooked, the CultureCatch Reviews section is both extensive and discriminating, so if you’re debating on whether or not to cave in and buy the new Ashlee Simpson, best pick another site. Dusty’s Curiosity’s is a personal blog, where the site’s creator riffs on everything from the perfect rainy day album to the Village Voice. If all this still isn’t enough to satisfy your smart-culture cravings, peruse the Events page to see where you can party with Wright and catch the culture for yourself.

Thank you, CultureCatch. Yes, I have a bit of an affinity for 80’s pop. Yes, I’ve been to more than one Huey Lewis and the News concert and yes, my cell phone ring is Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. And yes, I adore Devo. But now, thanks to CultureCatch, I can prove that whipping it is not just a guilty pleasure.

Wright’s interview with lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh is short and sweet but to the point. Mothersbaugh laments the misinterpretation of their biggest hit with a funny little anecdote. I lament the absence of that little red hat.

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