What’s so funny?: 25 singers cracking up at their own songs

Singers laugh for various reasons, not all of them sincere. Take, for instance, the laugh that closes out Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”—a giggle some people find so fake, they made their own fan edits just to cut it out. There is intentional laughter, layered in to create a wild, maniacal atmosphere (“Thriller,” “…

Bauhaus, Run-DMC, Cocteau Twins, and other should’ve-been hits from 1983

On August 4, 1958, Billboard put Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool” atop a brand-new chart it dubbed the Hot 100. Prior to that, the industry had relied on a shaky system that aggregated record store sales, radio DJ spins, and jukebox plays to measure a song’s popularity. The Hot 100 finally put all of those competing…

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…

New Order has its own beer now, people will probably still ask for a Joy Division instead

Ignoring the vocal critics in the back of the bar—who won’t stop yelling about how much better it would taste if the late Ian Curtis had been involved in the brewing—the members of influential post-punk rock band New Order have announced that they’ve made their own beer. Stray Dog—named after one of the lead tracks…

On its 33rd birthday, here’s “Blue Monday” played on old-fashioned instruments

It’s been 33 years since New Order released “Blue Monday,” a smash hit for the band that still gets played in clubs even today. In recognition of this, BBC Arts commissioned a group to perform the song—with a catch. The Orkestra Obsolete only uses old-timey instruments, in this case only instruments that would’ve been…

Advertisement

12 terribly perfect songs for 12 perfectly terrible commercials

As evidenced by the successful marriage of Modern English’s “I Melt With You” to ads by Burger King, Taco Bell, and other proprietors of cheesy foodstuffs, the ’80s are chock-full of romantic ballads whose lyrics can be applied overly literally to just about any product. With that in mind, The Jesus And Mary Chain’s…

What songs do you love save for their cringe-worthy lyrics?

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…