May 11, 2006

YouTube Rodeo: Afghan Whigs' "Honky's Ladder"

The mid-'90s were a curious time in which we made a lot of mistakes, and one of those mistakes was ignoring the Afghan Whigs' stunning Black Love record because we were turned off by what we deemed at the time its "overblown concept." The fact that the record was on a major label at a time when we were charged with upholding our college radio station's quasi-official anti-corporate policy also didn't help. As a result it wasn't until several years ago that we finally sat down and listened to the entire record. Totally amazing. The rap among our peers on songwriter Greg Dulli, who also records with a combo called The Twilight Singers and released a record under his own name last year, was that his songs were concerned with concepts of decay and betrayal almost to the point of absurdity. But oh, the tragically and beautifully mournful things that man can sing... Exhibit A being the line "won't you take me up there with you / you said you would" from the big single from Black Love, "Honky's Ladder." Here's Dulli and the Whigs performing the track on Conan O'Brien's late night gum-flapper. It's a transfixing performance. As an added bonus, here is the Whigs doing a live version of the Black Love track "Faded" at some German music festival a while back. Enjoy.


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Jay said...

Dood, I've always thought this album was great. Definitely underrated and unsung, like Helmet.