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Stream new albums by The Afghan Whigs and The Both (Aimee Mann and Ted Leo)

Photo by Piper Ferguson
Photo by Piper Ferguson

The Afghan Whigs and The Both (Ted Leo and Aimee Mann) are performing at WXPN’s annual music industry gathering, the Non-Commvention, happening May 14-16 at World Cafe Live. Both the Whigs and The Both have new albums coming out on Tuesday, April 15th. You can stream them each in their entirety here via NPR Music.

The Afghan Whigs are releasing their first album of all new material in 16 years, Do To The Beast, Fronted by guitarist and singer Greg Dulli, and longtime Whigs’ bassist John Curley, they’re 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, there are numerous guest appearances, including 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), and Joseph Arthur. Ann Powers of NPR Music sums up the record succinctly, and writes:

Running with the album’s cinematic feel, Do to the Beast is in many ways Dulli’s . It conjures the 1990s in flashbacks, but its voices belong to men who’ve outlived the youth they had then. Dulli uses murder metaphors in “Matamoros” and “The Lottery,” and the supernatural enters into “Lost in the Woods” and “Royal Cream.” The real reason Do to the Beast resembles this year’s television preoccupation is that it gives us the voice and vision of a solitary, brilliant man in a constant tug-of-war with evil, as he imagines it — and as it still runs, though quieter now, in his veins.

Stream The Afghan Whigs’s Do To The Beast here.

Stephen Thompson, of NPR Music, writes about The Both:

Photo by Christian Lantry
Photo by Christian Lantry

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My Morning Download: “Slide Song” by Afghan Whigs (from a limited time only collection of World Cafe downloads)

Greg Dulli and Afghan Whigs visited World Cafe with David Dye last November, 2012 when the band reunited for a tour. Dulli came in with original members guitarist Rick McCollum and bassist John Curley. Below, from the session they did, download “Slide Song.” This month (and this month only) World Cafe is offering free downloads of performances from bands including Calexico, Lord Huron, Alt-J, John Fullbright, Freelance Whales, Stars, Nick Waterhouse, Allen Stone, The Kopecky Family Band and others. Download the entire collection, while they last until March 1st, here.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: St. Vincent and David Byrne at The Tower, The Afghan Whigs at the Electric Factory, Grimes at Union Transfer

On the heels of their collaborative full-length release Love This Giant, David Byrne and Saint Vincent make an appearance at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby. Tickets to the all-ages performance range from $39.50 to $65 and are available here. Below, watch a music video for their song “Who.”

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Contest: Win a pair of tickets to see The Afghan Whigs at The Electric Factory tomorrow

There’s a lot of excitement this week for The Afghan Whigs‘ reunion show at The Electric Factory tomorrow, and today, we’ve got your chance to win a pair of tickets to the show! Comment below with your first and last name, and let us know what Whigs classics you’re excited to hear. We’ll contact the winner by e-mail tomorrow afternoon. To get the ideas flowing, check out this YouTube playlist of the Whigs’ official music videos!

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Can you spot a WXPN host in this Afghan Whigs video?

Reunited 90s rockers The Afghan Whigs are rolling through town this week for an XPN Welcomes show at The Electric Factory. We’re big fans of Greg Dulli and his band of cohorts…as are many of you, evidently! When we posted about Six Essential Covers from The Afghan Whigs last week, feedback poured in from readers of The Key: Whigs covers we could have included, Whigs covers that we didn’t even know existed, and a cool bit of trivia about one cover in particular. In 1992, The Afghan Whigs released its first collection of covers on Sup Pop records, the excellent Uptown Avondale EP which spotlighted renditions of four Stax Records / Motown-era songs. A music video was made for the noir rock take on The Supremes’ hit “Come See About Me,” and it showed the band singing and playing in a nightclub while a burlesque show raged on in the background. As it turns out, a current XPN host makes a quick cameo in the video. Take a look below, see if you can spot them and let us know your guesses! We’ll tell you who it is later today. The Afghan Whigs appear at The Electric Factory on Thursday, September 27. Tickets and information on the show are available here.

UPDATE: Why it’s none other than the one and only Dan Reed, your Top 5 at 5 host and Highs in the 70s sherpa, making a cameo at 1 minute 5 seconds into the video! Take a look: 

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Six essential covers from The Afghan Whigs (playing The Electric Factory on Sept. 27)

Photo by Sam Holden | samholdenphotography.com

This summer, Greg Dulli and his reunited bandmates in The Afghan Whigs turned heads with their cover of Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes.” It was a great rendition, but as fans know well, the Whigs are masters of interpretation. A 90s alt-rock group with soul leanings, their catalogue is peppered with fantastic R&B and Motown re-versions, and some stuff from the rock pantheon too. These guys have a broad and deep appreciation of music, and here are six essential covers for you to dig into as we collectively get psyched for The Afghan Whigs’ appearance at The Electric Factory on Thursday, September 27. Tickets and information on the show are available here.

“(Don’t Worry) If There’s Hell Below, We’re All Going to Go” by Curtis Mayfield – covered on the Live at the Howlin’ Wolf EP (1999)

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The Afghan Whigs cover Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes,” announce Sept. 27 Electric Factory show

Photo by Sam Holden | samholdenphotography.com
The 90s alt-rock group The Afghan Whigs was always renowned for their off-the-cuff R&B and soul covers in concert, from The Supremes’ “Come See About Me” to Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.” Since kicking off a string of reunion dates this year, a staple of their set has been a rendition of Frank Ocean’s “Lovecrimes,” originally found on his 2011 mixtape Nostalgia, Ultra. Today, the Whigs announced additions to their fall tour – including a stop at The Electric Factory on Sept. 27 – and released a studio rendition of “Lovecrimes” to go with it. You can download the cover below.