46 Long's new LP, plus news on for algernon, Seedy Seeds, Wussy and The Afghan Whigs
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Blues twosome 46 Long unveils eclectic new LP, plus for algernon set to resume recording after serious auto accident and Wussy set to hit the road with The Afghan Whigs
by Mike Breen
Two of Cincinnati's all-time best join forces this fall
Cincy rockers Wussy are set to join the much-celebrated Afghan Whigs' reunion tour this fall when the band finally hits the U.S. for a string of dates. Another great exhibition of Cincy's rich music scene, again in the national spotlight. Wussy has been touring a lot more than usual lately, including its first West Coast jaunt, so this should help raise the group's national profile even more.So far, Wussy is set to open for The Afghan Whigs for their homecoming show at Bogart's on Oct. 25 (sold out), as well as dates in New Orleans (Oct. 19), Atlanta (Oct. 20), Carrboro, NC (Oct. 21) and another sold-out affair in Detroit (Oct. 24). More dates are expected to be announced soon.Wussy co-lead-singer/songwriter Chuck Cleaver is a longtime friend/mutual fan of the Whigs. Back in 1993, the local label Mono Cat 7 released a split single featuring the Whigs and Cleaver's former band, The Ass Ponys. The Ponys covered The Whigs' tune "You My Flower," while Greg Dulli and Co. tackled the Ass Ponys classic "Mr. Superlove." (That's the cover art, with former Short Vine mayor Archie acting as the model, above.) Here's a fan-made video for the Whigs' take on "Mr. Superlove" (NSFW due to mild nudity).More recently, Wussy recorded a great cover version of another early Whigs song, Up In It opening track, "Retarded," for an Afghan Whigs tribute compilation put out by fantastic Afghan Whigs site Summer's Kiss (listen or purchase here). The comp also included Whigs renditions by Mark Lanegan, Joseph Arthur and several other acts. Give a listen to Wussy's "Retarded" below.
by Mike Breen
Reunited local greats also add dates to substantial North American tour
Along with the obscure R&B song "See and Don't See," the reunited Afghan Whigs have been performing their cover of modern Soul singer Frank Ocean's "Lovecrimes" since the start of its global tour. Since then, Ocean made headlines for declaring his bisexuality, a rarity in the world of Hip Hop (though a Soul crooner, he's part of of the Odd Future posse), and he's been busting up the charts with his LP release, Channel Orange. And now, the Cincinnati trio is unveiling a studio version of the cover and, as they did with "See and Don't See," they're offering it as a free download for fans via theafghanwhigs.com. The track will be available starting at noon today (get a sneak peep via The Fader below). The Whigs have also been gradually adding dates to its North American fall tour schedule. After spending most of the summer touring abroad, the band kicks off several weeks' worth of U.S. dates, beginning with the first domestic show announced — the Sept. 22 headlining slot at All Tomorrow's Parties' ’ll Be Your Mirror Festival, curated by singer/songwriter/guitarist Greg Dulli. (That show has been moved from Asbury Park to New York City's Pier 36; click here for details.) The band recently added Boston and Philly dates to the schedule, as well as November dates on the West Coast. So far, Whigs dates in D.C., NYC, Detroit and here in Cincinnati have sold out. If you missed out on getting tickets for the Cincy show at Bogart's (part of the venue's 30th anniversary celebration), you can sign up to win a pair here thanks to your old pals at CityBeat.UPDATE: Here's the free download widget. Enter your email, check your in-box and download away!
by Mike Breen
Local rockers' reunion returns to the scene of their initial final public show
Before its current successful run of reunion concerts across the globe, The Afghan Whigs played its final live show at a New York City club called Hush on Sept. 29, 1999. But that was a private concert. The Whigs last public appearance was Sept. 25, 1999, at Cincinnati's Bogart's with special guests Howlin' Maggie. (The set list featured a large chunk of final album 1965, as well as lots of dips into cover tunes and snippets, including opener "The Boys Are Back in Town," and dashes of "Superstition," "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," "Little Red Corvette," "People Get Ready," "Hot for Teacher," "All You Need is Love" and Madonna's "Express Yourself," among others.)Today it was announced that The Afghan Whigs will return to the scene of the crime and perform their first hometown show in over a decade on Oct. 25 at Bogart's, one month and 13 years after that final concert. Tickets are $33.50 ($45.86 with fees). The fan pre-sale starts this morning at 10 a.m.; tickets go on sale to the general public this Friday at 10 a.m. Click here for info. (Check The Afghan Whigs' official site for a password to get in on the pre-sale.)Though the neighborhood has changed a lot since The Whigs roamed the earth originally, the band returning to Corryville is fitting. While frontman Greg Dulli would eventually bring his band The Twilight Singers to Newport's Southgate House frequently, Bogart's was the Whigs hometown concert home. Before that, the group played many shows at long-since-shuttered Sudsy Malone's across the street from Bogart's, while it and Top Cat's just a few blocks up the street were the sites of a few epic "secret shows," warm-up gigs for tours where the band would perform under a pseudonym like The Havana Sugar Kings or Gato Negro. Update: The fan pre-sale password for Bogart's is uptownagain. Use it here starting at 10 a.m. today.Update2: The pre-sale is now at noon today, according to the ticketing site.
by Sean Rhiney
Reunited Cincinnati rockers go to town at first live show in 13 years
When The Afghan Whigs announced late last year they would be reuniting for a pair of appearances at All Tomorrow’s Parties in London and New Jersey (since grown to a full blown European tour of summer festivals and clubs), music critics and fans rejoiced. For years, interviewers probed lead singer Greg Dulli about the possibility while he promoted his successful projects The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins. The answer, when it would come, was usually a firm "No" — everything that needed to be said with the Whigs had been said. Disappointed fans had reason to mourn — in the ’80s/’90s, Whigs' live shows were legendary for their one-two punch of cathartic anthems and ass-shaking grooves, with the alpha male voodoo cast by Dulli. Unlike scores of other bands who get back together for all the wrong reasons — an embarrassing reality television moment or ill-conceived package tour (“Grunge on Ice!”) — The Whigs embraced this reunion on their own terms. It's been well covered in the press that all parties involved in the Whigs' camp said that the time was just right for this rendezvous. No hatchets to bury, no compromises to make and no million dollar title sponsorship necessary — the schedules just worked out and, by all accounts, everyone was in the right place, personally, emotionally, professionally. That wasn’t the case in 2001 though, when the group cited physical distance as a prime reason behind their curtain call as a band. Two newish tracks momentarily reunited the band in 2006 for a career spanning retrospective, but no decision to re-group was made until bassist John Curley and guitarist Rick McCollum quietly got together with Dulli in New Orleans late last fall to test the waters. Obviously, they were pleased with what they heard.Flash forward to this past week, halfway into their first live show in over a decade at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Any concern that Dulli considered the band's reunion shows as some sort of middle-aged victory lap was put to rest as he traded quips with a heckler who apparently hadn’t got the memo about Dulli's legendary run-ins, on and off the stage with audience members who couldn’t resist being a part of the show. Without dropping a beat, Dulli offered the fellow a cautionary warning before returning to the music at hand: “You know, I will fuck you up.” Your attention please, indeed.The Whigs still take their music seriously. In the month leading up to the somewhat surprise of a show at the Ballroom in New York this past week, the Whigs holed up in Cincinnati at Curley’s Ultrasuede Studio to give their entire catalog a work out. But hometown anonymity gave way when the band arrived in NYC to a New York Times proclamation that their sold out show in the Lower East Side was the “most sought after ticket in the Northeast.” Fitting perhaps as well that the Whigs first show back would take place in the city where they played their final show in 1999 (unbeknownst to anyone). That Tuesday, the Whigs' fired their own opening salvo with their first television appearance in over a decade on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. It takes balls to play your first live gig in 13 years on TV in front of millions of viewers — not to mention performing a relatively obscure R&B tune (“See and Don’t See” by Marie “Queenie” Lyons) instead of one of your hits. Business as usual for the uncompromising Whigs. Since Uptown Avondale's track by track Soul homage, the Whigs have been notorious for unearthing and reinventing old school R&B tracks. This time around, the Whig’s recorded a fragile interpretation of Lyons’ song, which was released online the week before. The tune got the Whigs' Chamber Rock treatment on Fallon with a string section and The Roots' ?uestlove joining in on drums while a nattily attired Dulli coolly plead his case. Later, after Fallon signed off air, the band recorded a bonus track for the show’s website, ripping through a caustic, muscular version of “I’m Her Slave.” Hopefully viewers at home didn’t miss the moment immediately after the song where Dulli and the usually reserved Curley quickly traded wide, shit-eating grins, obviously pleased with what the band just dropped on millions of viewers, many of whom had probably never had the opportunity to see the Whigs on their first go around. If the Fallon appearance was the peek behind the curtain, the sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom the next night was the full on Angelina-leg-bearing reveal. The band wasted no time, dipping heavily into Gentleman and Black Love, including a reprisal of “I’m Her Slave” and a dizzying “Conjure Me” from Congregation. The Whigs also visited a few tracks from their final full-length, 1965, before adding a couple of covers — the Lyons' track from Fallon and a spooky, piano-driven take on Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes.” Presumably left for later in the tour was anything from the band's Sub Pop debut, Up In It. The band did, however, go six tracks deep from their noir epic, Black Love, including show opener "Crime Scene Part I" and the set-ending epic trio of “Bulletproof,” “Summer’s Kiss” and perennial show closer “Faded,” with the little coda from Purple Rain tagged on for good measure. But it was the reintroduction of the title track from Gentleman that brought the house down.The song had seemingly been shelved for live sets post-Black Love, it's rumored because of the heavy-hearted toll delivering the scathing lover’s reproach night after night took on its author. Whatever the reason, Dulli was back on better terms with his signature song, playfully pointing fingers and shaking his ass while the rest of the Whigs powered through the song’s metallic groove.The reconvened Whigs are more light and nimble on their feet than the expansive 1965 final tour that saw the group supported by a cadre of excellent back-up singers and support musicians each night. This time around the trio is augmented by long time Dulli sideman, guitarist David Rosser, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson and drummer Cully Symington. Even without all the extra hands on deck, the resulting sound still allows for moments of fragile beauty amongst the riffs thanks to Nelson’s cello and piano playing. It’s worth noting that Dulli apparently gave up smokes over a year ago and his voice might be exhibit A for you kids contemplating taking a puff for the first time. He’s refined his aching falsetto and added some harmonic high notes to his trademark whisper-to-a-scream howl that showed no signs of letting down during the near two-hour show. Dulli acknowledged his new smoke-free existence, referencing the now legendary mid-show light ups where he would hold forth on baseball, shitty cover bands or how your girlfriend was flirting with him the entire show while the band would play bemusedly (or not) on. During his heckler beat-down at the Bowery, he even worked in a belated apology to mates Curley and McCollum for their patience during his soliloquies all those years — then accepted a goodwill drag off an audience member’s joint. Unlike a lot of bands who play Reunion Roulette and lose, if national reviews of the show are any indication, this year’s model of the Whigs arguably sounds better than they did during the ’90s when they first broke on the international scene with their addictive mash up of Midwestern Punk, Rock and Soul. Dulli said it best after a punkish wind-sprint through 1965’s "Uptown Again," when he offered a heartfelt thanks to the crowd for coming, adding, “It feels like we never left."Full setlist from the Whigs' Facebook page:
by Mike Breen
Band plays recent cover "See and Don't See"; "I'm Her Slave" posted as online exclusive
For those who needed to see it before they believed it, The Afghan Whigs are officially back. The band appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night, performing the old-school Soul cover "See and Don't See" that was released as a free download recently. The band also played "I'm Her Slave," the first full song off of their second album for Sub Pop, 1992's Congregation. "Slave" was posted as a "web exclusive" clip. Check it out below. We'll add the other tune when it's available.The Whigs play their first concert in 13 years tonight at a sold-out Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Check back later this week for an exclusive review of the show.UPDATE: Here's last night's full episode from Hulu. You have to watch a ton of commercials but the Whigs play at the 37 minute mark. They sound better on this one (?uestlove plays with them as well). And they look fantastic throughout! Dig Greg Dulli performing without an instrument.
by Mike Breen
Reunited Cincinnati band releases first song in five years
The Afghan Whigs have unveiled their first new recording in five years, an acoustic-based cover of "See and Don't See," original recorded in 1970 by Soul singer Marie Queenie Lyons. The song premiered this morning on Rolling Stone's website. At noon today, the song will be available for free at the band's website. According to their publicist, this cover is the song they'll be performing on the May 22 episode of Jimmy Fallon's late night show on NBC. On May 23, they play their first concert in over a decade in New York City. Tickets sold out FAST.The Whigs' last new material was recorded for the retrospective Rhino Records release, Unbreakable. The band released new songs "I Am A Soldier" and "Magazine" on the album.Check out the tune at Rolling Stone here, then check out the original below.
by Mike Breen
Local heroes' reunion tour kicks off May 23, after Jimmy Fallon appearance
The Afghan Whigs' upcoming live reunion shows have generally been in Europe, largely at festivals, save a couple of U.S. shows (in New York City and at Lollapalooza in Chicago and All Tomorrow's Parties in Jersey). Today it was announced that the group's official first show back after 13 years will take place later this month, May 23, at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. Tickets go on sale this Friday in noon, if you're up for a roadtrip. Joseph Arthur opens the show.It will be the first Afghan Whigs show since Sept. 29, 1999, when the Whigs played a private show at an NYC club called Hush. If you can't make it to New York in 15 days, two weeks from tonight The Afghan Whigs will make their first public appearance together as a reunited group on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band will be the musical guest on the program's May 22 episode. Still no word on a Cincinnati date (Chicago's the closest so far). Keep your fingers crossed, local Whigs fans. Keep an eye on the band's official site for the latest Whigs updates. (I've been loving the "On This Date" in Whigs' history; today in 1990, FYI, the band played at Foufones Electroniques in Montreal.)Fallon wasn't on yet when the Whigs were around previously, but here's a playlist of many of The Afghan Whigs' TV appearances over the years.