Seattle 06 Review
Static Multimedia – The Twilight Singers – Seattle, WA
The Twilight Singers – Seattle, WA
The cracking snare of the Roots’ “The Seed 2.0” signaled Greg Dulli’s arrival on the stage of Neumo’s, and if you think that’s weird, then you don’t know Greg Dulli.
Despite strapping on a guitar for the first time in years for his band’s new album, Powder Burns, Dulli has always been in possession of soul. Other bands might stick choruses of “Little Red Corvette” or Culture Beat’s long-forgotten house classic “Mr. Vain” into their own songs for a lark, but they don’t mean it. With the Twilight Singers, as with the late lamented Afghan Whigs before them, the interspersion of pop hits acts as an auditory flashback. It highlights the cinematic nature of Dulli’s songs, which only grows as the years pass.
The way Dulli’s lyrics function as a microcosm for the great malaise in people’s lives by focusing on tiny details makes his songs like Cassavetes films. With a cigarette dangling from his mouth, Dulli has a film-star vibe that works with his world-weary growl to sweeten even the toughest lyrical punches. (Notice I didn’t say he was hot-oh, wait, I just did. Crap.)
The use of the song “Bonnie Brae” in a recent episode of my new favorite show, Rescue Me, underscores the mini-epic quality of the songs. This is definitely music for grown-ups by grown-ups. Guitar lines are restrained but powerful, and Dulli’s voice seethes with barely controlled emotion. Like a true soul showman, he knows how to work a room, and he does it ’til both he and the audience are wrungout.