Amber Headlights – Music Emissions
“Someday they’re going to ask whatever happened to me” (“cigarettes”); Dulli himself has been asking himself the same question(s) since the early days of the Afghan Whigs: how will it all end, and do I love or hate the way it is turning out? Dulli’s work has been obsessed with both the holy and the gutter, and his work in some sense can be seen as one long continuation of Sly Stone’s gritty, defiant downer There’s A Riot Goin’ On. To love your self-destruction as you fight to transcend it usually makes for both the best art and worst companion. The casual domestic violence of “Early today (and later that night); the self-absorbed mystic persona in “Golden Boy”; dirty sex as liberation and torture “Pussywillow.” That plus the usual driving imagery, the love/hate war with drugs: Dulli knows his way out of the shit, but isn’t sure he wants to climb out quite yet. From the Bible to Bukowski, it has been said that it is worse to know and not do than to be ignorant. Dulli embodies that struggle; he knows the ways out, the need to get out. But it still feels so damn good to stay put.