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St. Vincent, Beck (finally), Wu-Tang, and more albums to expect this October

Every Friday, dozens of new records are released into the wild. Some make big splashes, and others sink almost immediately. For most music consumers, it’s almost too much information, and save for those precious few who spend their hours glued to review sites and release calendars, it’s hard to know what’s coming out

19 bands that have plowed through 3 or more frontmen without a name change

Prior to the mighty Bon Scott joining AC/DC, the Aussie rockers were fronted by Dave Evans for roughly 10 months, before he parted ways with the band. (Depending on who you ask, he was booted due to “jealousy” or disagreements with others in the camp.) Scott guided AC/DC to rock’s upper echelons before dying after a…

Dream pipes: 16 songs that are actually improved by bagpipes

Bagpipes often conjure images of kilted Scots in tam o’ shanters, but one shouldn’t overlook Ireland’s devotion to the age-old instrument. Irish taverns have basked in the sweet trill of bagpipes since the late 1500s, and even lay claim to one of the most popular types of bagpipes: the uilleann pipes, which ring with…

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The Airborne Toxic Advent, or The A.V. Club’s holiday gift guide, part 1

2014 has been a tumultuous year full of Ebola scares, random shootings, and rampant racism, sexism, and classism. And seeing as how, Santa be damned, all that might keep on happening right through this holiday season, The A.V. Club has decided to embrace our fear instead of cower behind it. Thus, our two-part 2014…

Robots, wrestlers, and punk-rock parrots: 15 proven gimmicks to get your band noticed

When Dave Brockie died earlier this year at age 50, the world didn’t just lose one of the metal scene’s most talented and colorful figures, it lost a talented and colorful bloodthirsty alien monster. Brockie’s band, GWAR, was known as much for its music as for its gimmick: dressing up like interplanetary monsters and…

Introducing the bands: 22 songs that double as band histories and/or mission statements

The Monkees’ theme song couldn’t be more perfectly efficient, probably because it was written—by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart—as the intro to the band’s TV show. And it reveals pretty much everything you might need to know about the group: They’re here, they’re a little weird (people even say they monkey around),…