Last month, one of the greatest, most influential Rock bands to come out of the Cincinnati music scene, The Afghan Whigs, announced their return to the concert stage at this year’s Coachella festival in April, following a successful and extensive world tour in 2012, the band’s first dates in more than a decade. Last week, word leaked that the Whigs — who had been posting studio photos on their social media accounts over the past year — would be releasing their first all-new album in 16 years.
The initial “leak” came from an unexpected source: comedic actor Bob Odenkirk, known for his work in the comedy world with programs like the cult classic Mr. Show and also for his role as lawyer Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad (his prequel spin-off, Better Call Saul, is set to premiere on AMC in November). On Jan. 24, Odenkirk tweeted a photo himself with Whigs frontman Greg Dulli, writing, “The great Greg Dulli of whom I am a fan tells me new Afghan Whigs album coming soon. 1st in 16 years! Kickass.” (On a tour celebrating Mr. Show last year featuring Odenkirk David Cross and Brian Posehn, the Whigs’ 1993 track “Gentlemen” was a part of the pre-concert playlist.)
Three days later, the word of a new album was confirmed by the Whigs’ former and now current label, Sub Pop Records. The Afghan Whigs’ Do To The Beast (album cover depicted above) will be released between the band’s two Coachella appearances. It comes out April 15 in the States and April 14 in Europe. The album is the band’s first since 1998’s 1965 release on Columbia; it’s the Whigs’ first album for Sub Pop since 1992’s Congregation. Though the Coachella dates are the only shows on the band’s schedule so far, the new album will undoubtedly ignite further touring in 2014. (Note to the band’s booking agent: the MidPoint Music Festival returns to Cincinnati Sept. 25-27 and the Whigs would look and sound mighty fine in Washington Park on a nice fall evening in their hometown. Just sayin’!)
Stay tuned to theafghanwhigs.com for the latest album and tour news.
Rumors, Lies and General Misunderstandings
• Ricky Nye scored another Cincinnati Entertainment Award in the Blues category at the Jan. 26 event, but the masterful Boogie Woogie pianist was unable to accept the award in person because he was an ocean away, watching the CEA live stream from Brussels. Nye spent almost the entire month of January touring in Europe, playing festivals and club dates in Belgium, Spain and France (where he was joined by the Paris Blues Band, a French group that Nye has brought to the States a few times for shows). Nye’s European adventure has ended, but he’s not taking off any time to recuperate, jumping right back into his busy performance schedule in Greater Cincinnati. This week you can welcome Nye home (and congratulate him on his latest CEA victory) downtown at Arnold’s with Dottie Warner on Thursday (7:30 p.m.); at Newport, Ky.’s Pompilio’s with Bekah Williams on Friday (8 p.m.); and at Front Street Café in New Richmond, Ohio on Saturday (7:30 p.m.). Nye and upright bassist Chris Douglas will also play Sunday at Over-the-Rhine’s MOTR Pub, performing with Spanish Blues duo The Suitcase Brothers (8 p.m.). For more info on Nye’s music and show dates, visit rickynye.com.
• The live Latin/Salsa music showcase Planet Mambo returns this Saturday with a four-band show at the Newport Syndicate (18 E. Fifth St., Newport, Ky., 859-481-8000, newportsyndicate.com). It will be a night of mucho salsa dancing, with DJ Jorge spinning tunes between the live acts. The groups
Son Del Caribe, Cla’ve Son and Sentimiento La Bachata Show Band are scheduled to perform, along with a closing set by the Planet Mambo Latin All-Stars Big Band. Music begins at 9:30 p.m. Advanced tickets for Planet Mambo are available for $20 via medialatina.net; they’ll be $25 at the door on the day of the show.
• Veteran local guitarist/singer/songwriter Ric Hickey spent every Wednesday in January holding down a residency in the Lounge of the Southgate House Revival in Newport, Ky. (southgatehouse.com). This Wednesday (Jan. 29), Hickey will close out his “Artist in Residence” run with some cool special guests. Chris Arduser and Bob Nyswonger (who perform in numerous local bands but are perhaps best known as 2/3 of local Pop/Rock greats psychodots) will open the free show at 9 p.m. with an acoustic set. Hickey will then be joined by his former bandmates in The Speed Hickeys, one of the best local, original Rock bands of the late ’80s/early ’90s. The group has reunited a few times in the past couple of decades, but Wednesday’s appearance marks their first show in three years. Get a taste of Hickey’s eclectic solo output — including his great most recent acoustic effort, Duck in the Pelican Pub, at reverbnation.com/richickey.