Whigs Debut New Songs in UK

With less than two months until the release of their Columbia debut, 1965, the buzz is starting to build for the new Afghan Whigs record, their first release in two and a half years and the sixth full- length album of their 11-year career.

1965, recorded in Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studios in New Orleans in the latter part of 1997, is said to be more upbeat and catchy than previous Whigs efforts, and as sex- drenched and ass- shaking as ever. “Something Hot” is the lead track and will be the first single off the Cincinnati quartet’s rock and soul record, slated to hit stores on Oct. 20, according to a spokesman at Columbia.

Other tracks, in order, include: “Crazy,” on which Big Star’s Alex Chilton sings backup; “Uptown Again,” a poppy tune which previewed on Washington, D.C.’s WHFS’ Now Hear This program on Sunday (Aug. 23); the 22-second “Sweet Son of a Bitch”; “66″; “Citi Soleil”; “John the Baptist,” one of the songs on which Roderick Paulin’s New Orleans brass band adds its jazzy shine; “The Slide Song,” so-named because it features Rick McCollum’s distinctively Whig-esque slide guitar work; “Neglekted”; “Omerta”; and the instrumental closer, “The Vampire Lanois.”

The Whigs, who have added Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” to their long list of live covers, played two shows over the weekend, the Bizarre Festival in Cologne, Germany and Gampel Festival in Geneva, Switzerland, and will continue playing out this week in the U.K. and Belgium before trying to catch program directors’ ears at a radio-show convention in Phoenix, Ariz. on Sept. 17.

While waiting for the release of 1965 and the extensive live tour that will surely follow, fans can check out lead singer Greg Dulli playing a gangster in Ted Demme’s new film, Monument Ave., which stars Dulli’s pal and frequent collaborator, Denis Leary. According to Whigs bassist John Curley’s reports on Columbia’s new site, http://www.theafghanwhigs.com, the movie will premiere at the Boston Film Festival on Sept. 10 and open in L.A. and N.Y. the following week. Nationwide release of the film (formerly known as Noose) is scheduled for early October.

Afghan Whigs tour dates:

Aug. 25, Reading, Alleycat
Aug. 26, London, Subterrania
Aug. 28, Reading Festival, U.K.
Aug. 29, Pukkelpop Festival, Belgium
Sept. 17, Phoenix, Arizona

–Laura Weinstein

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