Monday, June 25, 2012
AFGHAN WHIGS - Debonair Gentlemen
Afghan Whigs - Debonair Gentlemen (aka Flip Your Whig)
01. If I Were Going
03. Turn On The Water
05. Be Sweet
06. My World Is Empty Without You
07. When We Two Parted
09. Fountain And Fairfax
10. Come See About Me
11. You My Flower
12. What Jail Is Like
14. Miles Iz Dead
15. Money (Backbeat Band live)
16. Long Tall Sally (Backbeat Band live)
File Under: Alternative, College Rock, Black Soul Gentlemen
RIYL: The Replacements, Dinosaur Jr.
Living in Ohio, I’ve had the opportunity to witness The Whigs in bars, clubs and theaters over the years. The Whigs always had soul to spare, especially for a bunch of white boys from Cincinnati. Sometimes thrown in with the grunge crowd because of their early association with Sub-Pop Records, the Whigs were so much more than that. Lead singer and song writer Greg Dulli had a huge appreciation and knowledge of what came before him. You can hear the influence of Stax and Mowtown pulsing through the underbelly of their songs. The Whigs have recently reunited, let’s hope for a tour and new music soon.
AMG: The performance is decent, if a bit somewhat meandering, which pretty much comes with the territory of most Whigs shows. Singer/guitarist Greg Dulli injects enough barbs from to keep things interesting in lieu of the mediocre recording. Battling a language barrier and introducing “Retarded” to an inactive crowd, he muses, “This song is from our first record called Up in It. You ever heard of it...on Sub Pop? Does anybody care? No? Okay.” Quality-wise, there’s an uneven emphasis between the guitars of Dulli and Rick McCollum, and John Curley’s bass gets completely lost from time to time. A major deciding factor in the purchase of Whigs’ bootlegs is the covers; on most occasions, the track listings provide no indication of what they might be, since the Whigs often incorporated verses and snippets into their own material. Add uninformed bootleggers to the pot, and there you have the lack of info. Such is the case here. A fair amount of the lyrics to the Spinners’ “I’ll Be Around” is tucked inside of a breakdown during “Turn on the Water.” Lyrics from Prince’s “When Doves Cry” gets mixed into a nine-minute version of “You My Flower.” And to a much lesser extent, Dulli throws in a couple lines from Dr. Dre’s “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” during the Supremes’ “My World Is Empty Without You,” as well as Madonna’s hop-to-it snips from “Into the Groove” and “Express Yourself” during a rip-roaring “Miles Iz Ded.” As far as the overall set list is considered, it’s favored toward Gentlemen, with a fair amount of attention paid to the records that preceded it.
Evolving from a garage punk band in the vein of the Replacements, Dinosaur Jr., and Mudhoney to a literate, pretentious, soul-inflected post-punk quartet, the Afghan Whigs were one of the most critically acclaimed alternative bands of the early ‘90s. Although the band never broke into the mainstream, they developed a dedicated cult following, primarily because of lead singer/songwriter Greg Dulli’s tortured, angst-ridden tales of broken relationships and self-loathing. the Afghan Whigs were one of the few alternative bands around in the late ‘90s to acknowledge R&B, attempting to create a fusion of soul and post-punk.
the Afghan Whigs were formed when the members -- vocalist/rhythm guitarist Greg Dulli, bassist John Curley, lead guitarist Rick McCollum, and drummer Steve Earle -- were attending the University of Cincinnati. Dulli, who was raised in Hamilton, OH, was studying film at the university, where he met fellow students McCollum and Earle. Unlike the rest of the band, Curley didn’t attend the University of Cincinnati. He arrived in the city to intern as a photographer at the Cincinnati Enquirer, which his father -- who published USA Today -- arranged for him; for the next few years, Curley continued to shoot pictures for the paper, quitting only when the band’s schedule became too busy for him to work both jobs. Dulli happened to meet Curley when visiting a friend’s apartment building. Eventually, the pair formed the Afghan Whigs in 1986, along with McCollum and Earle.
Afghan Whigs - Debonair Gentlemen