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,” “

Aphex Twin, Curve, and Jawbreaker had the best-kept secret hits of 1992

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

How A.V. Club staffers got their offspring to just say no to kids’ music

Our A.V. Club Field Guide To Parenting is designed to guide you toward the best kids’ books, shows, movies, and music, just like we do with The A.V. Club for adults. Every month or so, we will feature a new subject with a few essential pop-culture takes parents should know, saving you from the mountains of kids’ dreck

How do you sleep?: 23 highly specific rock and roll diss tracks

After 1992’s Slanted And Enchanted, critics started writing about Pavement as the voice of the slacker generation, and on the 1994 followup Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, frontman Steven Malkmus seemed to take that tag seriously. Alongside “state of alt-rock” addresses like “Cut Your Hair” and “Fillmore Jive,” Malkmus…

Windows ’95, part 1: 20 pop-culture windows into the world of 1995

Two decades later, 1995 looks like peak ’90s: the O.J. trial, Microsoft ’95, Alanis Morissette, Mr. Show, Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, and a distant world where the idea of Adam Sandler making a movie didn’t cause immediate dread. What were the pop-culture hallmarks of this time when the music industry was basically…

Farewell, Macaulay Culkin: 19 pop-culture windows into the world of 1994

Heading into 1994, Macaulay Culkin was the biggest child actor since the days of Shirley Temple. His star-making turn in Home Alone had led to a successful sequel in 1992, a turn hosting Saturday Night Live at the age of 11, and an unheard-of $1 million fee for My Girl. Meanwhile, 1993’s The Good Son—though not a…

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Woo-hoo! Now there’s a supercut of vocal hooks from ‘90s alt rock hits

As fans of ‘90s rock—Alice In Chains’ Jar Of Flies included—could well tell you, oftentimes a record or hit single is absolutely made by a good well-placed vocal hook. A solid “woo-hoo” or “ooh woo hoo ooh” can be as effective as a wordy chorus or stellar guitar riff—if not even more effective. That’s the case made by…

Double threats: 15 movies featuring cameos from indie rockers

1. Dean Wareham, Frances Ha (2012)
Dean Wareham has had a long career in music, with Galaxie 500, Luna, and Dean & Britta, but his acting career basically begins and end with director Noah Baumbach. Wareham provided music for Baumbach’s feature debut, Kicking And Screaming, then made a brief appearance in Mr. Jealousy.…