The genius of Afghan Whigs‘ Greg Dulli lies in how he doesn’t believe his bad side is attractive but knows how to make it entertaining anyway. He doesn’t endorse the crappy character he portrays in songs like “Gentlemen” or “Be Sweet”; if anything, he discourages it. And while he sure has the vocal chops of an alt rock great — and on albums like Congregation and Gentlemen, the songs too — the man’s just too sly for a hit. With Afghan Whigs’ new album, Do to the Beast, the band picks up where 1998’s 1965 left off — with blues, soul and Blaxploitation soundtrack signifiers every which way, decorating otherwise languid, grungy songs. Still, they’ve always come to these influences throughout their career; just peep their early ’90s covers of Freda Payne‘s “Band of Gold” and Al Green‘s “Beware.” Tracks like Up In It‘s “Retarded” and 1965‘s “Somethin’ Hot” have been some of the most consistently attention-getting album openers in any alternative rock career. And from the broad-scale piano arrangements in “What Jail Is Like” to the film-score excesses of “Crime Scene Part One,” Dulli has proven to be just as creative with his aural persona as the psychosexual devil he plays. Enjoy the playlist below, or listen to it and more at — Dan Weiss