Minimalist Tiki

Miami’s Gold Dust Lounge sets sail on adventurous journey with ‘Lost Sunset’

It’s been a memorable past few weeks for Russell Mofsky and his eclectic Miami combo Gold Dust Lounge.

Lost Sunset by Gold Dust Lounge

On June 12, the band was honored to be one of the few rock bands to ever perform on the show stage at the historic Mai-Kai restaurant in Fort Lauderdale. Then, on June 21, Mofsky celebrated the realization of years of hard work with the release party for the band’s Kickstarter-funded Lost Sunset album.

* Buy Lost Sunset now (download, vinyl and CD) | iTunes store

The band’s music, described as “a fusion of wailing ambient instrumentals stamped with retro surf rock and acid jazz,” defies classification. Mofsky’s roots go back to the heyday of Miami’s punk rock scene in the ’80s and ’90s (he was a member of the acclaimed band Quit). Perhaps it’s this anything-goes attitude that lets him approach his music with no preconceived notions.

Taking The Mai-Kai stage that’s almost always reserved for the Polynesian restaurant’s famed South Seas dinner show performances, the band locked into a comfortable groove. It was soaked up by hundreds of attendees of the sold-out Official After Party for The Hukilau, the annual celebration of mid-century and Tiki culture.

Russell Mofsky (right) and Gold Dust Lounge perform at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, June 12, during The Hukilau 2014
Russell Mofsky (right) and Gold Dust Lounge perform at The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday, June 12, during The Hukilau 2014. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

Joined by core members Arturo Garcia on drums and Brian Tate on bass, Mofsky seamlessly weaved his way through surf, spy, and jazz genres with just enough amplification to remind folks that this is still indeed a rock band. While known for its jam sessions on the street in front of the Harold Golen Gallery in Miami’s Wynwood art district as well as other laid-back performances in Miami lounges, Mofsky and his bandmates can still crank up the volume when appropriate. The group was sonically impressive during its opening slot for surf guitar legend Dick Dale in April 2013 at Grand Central in Miami [see photos].

It was Gold Dust Lounge’s third straight year performing at The Hukilau’s Thursday night party. As a change of pace, it was moved from its usual beachside hotel location this year to The Mai-Kai. After the Polynesian Islander Review dinner show was completed, the Gold Dust Lounge crew simply set up their drums and amps (and Mofsky’s impressive collection of effects pedals), and let loose. Buy all accounts the event was a success, and hopes are high for a similar set-up next year (hopefully with more tickets available for locals to enjoy the show).

Last Saturday, the band celebrated its CD release at The Nest in Miami. Gold Dust Lounge was joined by special guests Shark Valley Sisters and members of the All-Star Rat Opera band. The lineup of special guests shows the band’s close ties to the local indie music scene, and also Mofsky’s wide range of musical cohorts. This is a laid-back band that can just as easily shift gears and be equally at home playing a hardcore punk club, a street corner or a swanky lounge.

Gold Dust Lounge
Gold Dust Lounge opening for Dick Dale at Grand Central in Miami on April 25, 2013. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

Funded in large part by $16,012 raised via a Kickstarter campaign [see story], Lost Sunset is sure to expose the band to an even wider audience. It’s the band’s first proper album, following the 2011 live album Wynwood Bootleg, which documented the band performing outside the Harold Golen Gallery.

Lost Sunset takes the band to a whole new level, from the cover art by Robert Jimenez, to the production by Aaron Fishbein (Enrique Iglesias, Christina Aguilera), to guest performances by Randy Singer and members of the Positive Force band and Suenalo. Its certain to raise the band’s profile and hopefully set the wheels in motion for wider acclaim.

In addition to Lost Sunset LPs and CDs, you can also pick up T-shirts (designed by Q. Cassetti), posters, artwork, and more at the band’s shows. Click here to buy the album online and click here for the latest show dates.

Album trailer

Bunny Yeager from Lost Sunset

Live video (Caravan)

Official sites
* | Online store | Facebook page | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram

More on the Web
* Guitarist Russell Mofsky rides out of ‘Lost Sunset’ (
* Gold Dust Lounge releases Kickstarter funded album (
* Russell Mofsky of Gold Dust Lounge: Guitar Heroes of South Florida (New Times)
* Enter Gold Dust Lounge – The Russell Mofsky interview (
* Audio: Russell Mofsky on WLRN-FM

More on The Atomic Grog
* Gold Dust Lounge kick starts new album with online fund-raising campaign
* A Tiki Top 10: Photos and memories from The Hukilau 2013
* Photos: Gold Dust Lounge with Dick Dale
* More coverage: The Hukilau | The Mai-Kai

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