• Botellita de Cielo/Wikimedia Commons
  • The Afghan Whigs

You can infer from our announcement of the full Riot Fest lineup that there is a surplus of acts to see this weekend. Despite the range of bands and solo artists playing the festival, I was nonetheless surprised to find that the Afghan Whigs are on Saturday’s bill. During the 90s the Greg Dulli-fronted Cincinnati band were viewed as a weirder (not wackier), stylistically varied alternative to much of the “alternative” grunge music proliferating at the time. A lot of that impression has to do with the Whigs’ unconventional song structures and Dulli’s singing, a frayed yowl that attacks the band’s songs at odd angles. Part of what makes the Whigs a special band is that their music is “almost” a few things—indie, alternative, grunge—but doesn’t ever lapse into the tropes and stereotypes of any of those genres. Your best bet is to listen to it for yourself. For today’s 12 O’Clock Track, check out “What Jail Is Like,” my favorite track off of what is probably the Whigs’ most acclaimed and popular album, 1993’s Gentlemen.