Modern rock visionaries The Afghan Whigs will support the 21st anniversary reissue of their landmark 1993 album Gentlemen with a pair of New York shows next month. First the Greg Dulli-fronted collective will take over the Beacon Theater in Manhattan on October 4 before moving over to Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg the next night.
Gentlemen is getting the Deluxe Edition treatment, with the addition of rare B-sides, live performances and previously unreleased demos expanding on the original record, which has been remastered. The record’s original eleven songs included the radio hits “Debonair,” “Gentlemen” and “What Jail Is Like,” which were recorded in Memphis’ legendary Ardent Studios. The disc – which was the band’s third album after two full length albums on Sub Pop Records – was originally released on October 5, 1993 via Elektra.
In press materials for the album in 1993, Dulli explained its germination: “It was a bad year for me and some of my friends, in terms of relationships and dealing with some of my own little ghosts. A year of just some kinds of remembrances and stuff that I guess I will never be able to forget, especially since I wrote it all down and made a record out of it."
The album’s unique fusion of punk rock and soul – which would evolve on subsequent discs Black Love (1996) and 1965 (1998) – would later warrant a 2008 book as part of Continuum’s 33 1/3 series. Last month, indie rock outpost Stereogum heralded the disc, writing, “From its bombastic opening to its understated end, Gentlemen remains a fine example of what exactly independent rock music is capable of accomplishing.”
2014 has been an exciting year for The Afghan Whigs, who reconvened to record their first new studio record in sixteen years, returning to the revered Seattle label Sub Pop for Do to the Beast. Since reforming in 2012, the band has maintained an active touring schedule and last performed in our area on May 15 at the Brooklyn Bowl.
Singer/songwriter Joseph Arthur will support the band at its MHOW show, while soul singer Charles Bradley gets things started at the Beacon gig. Both openers are worth catching, so get to these respective shows early.