What’s your favorite Aretha Franklin song?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…

Mitski is alone in the middle of the dance floor on the playful Be The Cowboy

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Mitski makes music about inexpressible emotions—urgent, intimate dispatches that seem to come from her very soul. At least, that’s how many, including this writer, have characterized her past work. And there’s something romantic about the idea that someone has captured the secret fears and desires that perch on the…

Cowboys, queens, and marauders: The 31 most-anticipated albums of August

The last weeks of summer may be fast approaching, but at least they’ll have a stellar soundtrack. In addition to Nicki Minaj’s overdue Queen, August brings new releases from Interpol, Blood Orange, Mitski, YG, Steve Hauschildt, Animal Collective, Wild Nothing, and many more. These are the 31 new albums we’re most…

Beyond The Beatles: The protopunks, French classics, and ska pioneers of 1964

To commemorate 60 years of the Billboard Hot 100, Off The Charts revisits each year since it was established to spotlight songs and artists that didn’t make the cut, yet still made a significant impact. Years are chosen randomly and—to make it even harder on ourselves—rules for inclusion are that neither the songs nor…

Ask an indie rock veteran: Why is “Auld Lang Syne” the best melody?

Hello there. My name is Paul Maroon, and I’m a professional musician who’s played in bands for the past 30 years, most recently in a group called The Walkmen. In that time, I’ve picked up a fair amount of information, some of which is actually pretty useful: How to kill a week at a Toronto airport hotel. How to solve…

The A.V. Club climbs out of the sultry mudpit that was Pitchfork Fest 2018

Chicago’s weather this weekend felt like a hug from a very large, sweaty man, with rain looming over nearly every set at Pitchfork Fest; and when the sun made a rare appearance, it was brutal. Fortunately, it didn’t stop anyone from taking the stage: Acts big and small blew us away this weekend, from hometown hero…

Stream the new album Night Swimming from addictive New Jersey surf-pop trio Dentist

Thanks to tight chemistry, killer hooks, and a distinctive sound that’s both lo-fi and retro-pop smooth, New Jersey’s Dentist have managed to stand out amid a sea of like-minded musical acts. The band’s sunny indie-surf sound and energetic, four-on-the-floor rock belies the subtle and dark lyrics often hiding beneath…

Chaka Khan’s first track in 10 years shows she’s still got it

What Are You Listening To? is a weekly run-down of what A.V. Club staffers are streaming. This week, we’re looking at tracks by artists we’re excited to see at the Pitchfork Music Festival this weekend. Listen to these songs and more on our Spotify playlist, updated weekly with new stuff.

Moving out from “The Middle”: 60 minutes of eternal adolescence with Jimmy Eat World

A couple of years ago, a strange blip appeared on the music-sales matrix. Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” an infectious dollop of alt-rock ear candy that hit the radio like a sugar rush a decade and a half prior, was suddenly back in heavy rotation. There it was, sitting pretty at No. 16 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs…