60 minutes proving the ’90s is when punk covers of pop hits first swarmed the mainstream

Punk bands love to cover pop songs. If there’s a universal thread running through the genre from practically the moment of its birth to the present, it’s the continual appropriating of sugary-sweet Top 40 hits with the avowed goal of speeding them up and adding distorted guitars. Whether you’re talking about Sid…

Cap’n Jazz says sex in the daylight is “punk as fuck”

At this year’s Riot Fest in Chicago, The A.V. Club asked bands to play a game we call Punk Or Not Punk, in which they rated random things on an arbitrary, dichotomic scale. This round, Chicago’s own Cap’n Jazz, fresh off its reunion stint at the festival, rates daytime sex (technically, we asked them about daytime sets…

Cap’n Jazz and Hop Along team up to take on Sonic Youth’s “100%”

Sonic Youth’s sound is instantly recognizable—it’s loud, unconventionally melodic, guitar-driven noise rock—and it’s possibly best exemplified by the band’s highest-charting song, “100%” from its 1992 LP Dirty. Fresh off reunion stints at Riot Fest and FYF Fest, Chicago natives Cap’n Jazz decided to take on the Sonic…

Wu-Tang Clan, Best Coast, and the rest of Riot Fest take shots of Malört

There are few beverages as synonymous with Chicago as Malört. John Hodgman has described the taste of this wormwood-based liqueur as “jägermeister heavily diluted in pondwater, but less piney.” We corralled some of the best acts at Riot Fest, another Chicago staple, including Wu-Tang Clan, Best Coast, and Cap’n Jazz,…

Nine Inch Nails, Jawbreaker, and that's kinda it: What The A.V. Club saw at Riot Fest 2017

This past weekend, a few A.V. Club staffers headed to Chicago’s Douglas Park for Riot Fest, the marathon three-day music festival boasting approximately 90 different artists. And due to a variety of mitigating factors—family commitments, advanced age, a general dislike of crowds and heat—we saw only a fraction of…

15 years on, American Football’s lone LP gets a face-lift

American Football’s lone album opens with the sound of disaster: a jumble of arpeggiated guitar, a messy drum fill, and then a voice in the distance calling out, “We ready?” The garbled noise that introduces “Never Meant” wasn’t American Football’s attempt to misrepresent its skills; it’s merely the product of three…