Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we’re remembering songs from the great live performances we saw in 2012.

At the risk of sounding like an old guy, I’ll say that my favorite live show of this year—besides A.V. Fest, of course—was Archers Of Loaf at Chicago’s Bottom Lounge, particularly the second between “You And Me” and “Might.” You could be forgiven for thinking that the two songs are actually just one: “You And Me” is slow and menacing, with singer Eric Bachmann whispering and then shouting into a frenzy of guitars and drums. Just as the song ends, returning to its quiet weirdness, in comes a single snare hit that signals one of Icky Mettle’s best songs, “Might.” The Archers always pair the songs live, too, building up anticipation for “Might” and then dropping that magic snare snap perfectly, with no pause. It’s a one-two punch on record, and live, it’s even more joyously angry. Here’s hoping the band gets back together every few years, or at least until they’re too old to get the timing right.

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