Podcasts Political Beats

Episode 94: John J. Miller on The Afghan Whigs/The Twilight Singers

(The Afghan Whigs/The Twilight Singers)

Scot and Jeff discuss The Afghan Whigs/The Twilight Singers with John J. Miller.

Introducing the Band:
Your hosts Scot Bertram (@ScotBertram) and Jeff Blehar (@EsotericCD) are with guest John J. Miller. John is director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College and national correspondent for National Review, plus host of the NR podcasts The Great Books and The Bookmonger. Find him on Twitter at @heymiller.

John’s Music Pick: The Afghan Whigs/The Twilight Singers
Your attention, please. We haven’t got all night. And these three gentlemen hosts of Political Beats wish to sell these bands to you.

The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers are the vehicles for the music of Greg Dulli, chief songwriter and singer for both groups. The Whigs were in operation from 1986–2001, at which point Dulli launched The Twilight Singers. That band created music for about a decade until a reunion of the Whigs led to new music from Dulli and bassist John Curley.

While never tasting mainstream success, the bands developed a devoted following. The dark, angst-ridden narratives of bad relationships and addictions of various kinds lent an uncommon edge to the music. Dulli thought and wrote in cinematic scope; his recorded aren’t recorded, they are “shot on location.” Musically, the Whigs found influence from the great ’60s soul and R&B acts. The band created a fusion-rock sound that manifested itself in different forms on each album.

The Twilight Singers, meanwhile, largely de-emphasized the waves of guitar that marked the Whigs’ sound in favor of a keener sense of rhythm and groove (though neither were previously in short supply). And while the hosts are “meh” on one of the two reunion albums, the other gets a very big recommendation.

If you missed them the first time, we’re here to fill you in. Black out the windows, it’s party time with The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers.