Tue, Sep. 16th, 2014 · The Cannery Ballroom · $20 adv | $25 DOS

THE AFGHAN WHIGS

with Joseph Arthur

Tue, Sep. 16th, 2014

THE AFGHAN WHIGS

with Joseph Arthur

$20 adv | $25 DOS
Doors: 7:00pm
Show: 8:00pm
Ages: 18+
The Cannery Ballroom

Tue, Sep. 16th, 2014

The Cannery Ballroom
Doors: 7:00pm
Show: 8:00pm
Ages: 18+
$20 adv | $25 DOS
Get Tickets


THE AFGHAN WHIGS

with Joseph Arthur

The Afghan Whigs


→ Official Website

"Do to the Beast" is the first new album by The Afghan Whigs in over a decade and a half. Founded in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1988, the band has long stood out from its peers, with their savage, rapturous blend of hard rock, classic soul, and frontman Greg Dulli's searing obsessions. The new album serves as both a homecoming -- it marks their return to Sub Pop, for whom the Whigs were the first signing from outside the label's Northwest base -- and a glimpse into the future of one of the most acclaimed bands of the past thirty years. 

"Do to the Beast" proves an appropriately feral title for one of the most intense, cathartic records of Dulli's entire career -- one that adds fresh twists to The Afghan Whigs canon. On it, one finds the film noir storytelling of "Black Love," the exuberance of "1965," the brutal introspection of "Gentlemen," but rendered with a galvanized musical spirit and rhythmic heft that suggests transcendence and hope amidst the bloodletting. "A lot of records I've done stemmed from epochal experiences in my life -- and this time I've used them all," Dulli says. "These new songs are very visual to me. They come from the neighborhoods of my mind. It's like 'Rashomon,' with the story told from different points of memory." 

"Do to the Beast" was created in L.A., New Orleans, Cincinnati, and Joshua Tree -- a virtual map of the band's past and present homes. "The album was named in Cincinnati, which is especially fitting," Dulli notes. "I was recording a beatbox track for the song 'Matamoros,' and my friend Manuel Agnelli (of Italian rock band Afterhours) was in the control room. After I finished, he said it sounded like I was singing 'Do to the beast what you do to the bush.' And I thought, 'Brother, you just named the record.'" 

"Do to the Beast" features Dulli and Curley joined by the Whigs' current core players -- guitarists Dave Rosser and Jon Skibic, multi-instrumentalist Rick Nelson, and drummer Cully Symington. While original Whigs guitarist Rick McCollum does not appear on the record, a panoply of notable personages from the group's past and present make memorable cameos: soul maverick Van Hunt, Mark McGuire (Emeralds), Usher's musical director Johnny "Natural" Najera, Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys), Clay Tarver (Bullet LaVolta, Chavez), Dave Catching (QOTSA, Eagles of Death Metal), Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs, Greenhornes), Ben Daughtrey (Squirrel Bait), Joseph Arthur, and a host of others. For Dulli, these outside collaborators add crucial dimension. "Someone like Alain is a great texturalist," Dulli says. "He and Mark McGuire create these, womblike tapestries and nuances. And Johnny Natural blew our minds when we played with him and Usher at South By Southwest. They were all instructed to play guitar not as guitar, but to create a supernatural sound -- and each one of them ran with that." 

 

Joseph Arthur


→ Official Website

For every song Joseph Arthur has released in a critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated career that has spanned nine full-length albums and 11 EPs, he’s probably kept three others in the vault for safekeeping. Indeed, Arthur has been known to start working on a new album — or two — while simultaneously trying to finish another.

It was amid this abundance of riches that the Brooklyn-by way of Ohio-native began molding a collection of music under a single narrative thread: The Ballad of Boogie Christ, described by Arthur as “a fictionalized character loosely based on my own journey.”

At first, it was a song here or there, or a set of lyrics with no accompanying music. Then, those songs would get recorded and set aside. They’d get re-recorded and revised. They’d start to make sense in relation to their brothers and sisters, and then they wouldn’t. And pretty soon, more than half-a-decade had flown by and Boogie Christ was no closer to coherency.

“For some reason, I’ve been avoiding finishing this record for a long time,” Arthur says with a laugh. “It’s been an albatross around my neck. I don’t know why, but it has.”

Yet despite its labored birth, The Ballad of Boogie Christ has defied the odds to become another essential cornerstone of Arthur’s robust discography. Encompassing sessions put to tape in upstate New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Arthur’s own Brooklyn studio, the 11-song album showcases the artist’s signature rich storytelling set to a diverse range of rock’n’roll.

“I don’t know that there’s a beginning, middle and end to the story, but there are definitely experiences, situations and perspectives that point in those directions,” says Arthur. “I wanted to let the listener fill in some of the blanks without telling the whole story in a straight-ahead way.”