Mount Eerie, Hot Snakes, and more albums to know about this week

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Hot Snakes sound more aggressive than ever on Jericho Sirens, while Bishop Nehru’s Elevators gets a lift from skilled collaborators, and The Decemberists turn in their most divisive album yet. These, plus Mount Eerie’s follow-up to last year’s stunning A Crow Looked At Me in this week’s notable new releases.

The Rapture, Ladytron, and The Streets had the true hits of 2002

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…

Here are the 28 most-anticipated albums of March

New releases really ramp up for March, with a glut of offerings from veteran rockers (The Breeders, The Decemberists, Yo La Tengo), underground rap icons and stoner-rap legends (MF DOOM & Czarface, Jean Grae & Chris Quelle, Curren$y, YoungBoy NBA), and boundary-pushing electronic artists (Lost Girls, DJ Taye). Here…

What are you listening to this week? 

I’ve yet to see Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, Phantom Thread, but over our holiday break, I found myself obsessed with a short musical excerpt from the film’s score that Nonesuch Records published ahead of tomorrow’s full digital release. As with every Anderson film since There Will Be Blood, the soundtrack was…

The Decemberists and Lin-Manuel Miranda team up for a new Hamilton song celebrating Ben Fucking Franklin

Hamilton’s been around for long enough at this point that at least a little bit of the freshness surrounding Lin-Manuel Miranda’s groundbreaking hip-hop historical musical has inevitably rubbed off. Still, Miranda’s not one to rest on his laurels; a year after releasing the well-received Hamilton Mixtape, he announced…

The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy announces new children’s book with Carson Ellis

On Tuesday, The Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy announced he’ll publish a middle-grade novel called The Whiz Mob And The Grenadine Kid, set for an October 24 publication. If the title isn’t whimsical enough for you, Publisher’s Weekly reported last year that the novel will follow “an impressionable young American…

An indie reissue, a winter craft project, and a family-friendly outing

The Decemberists’ 2006 album The Crane Wife is one of my all-time favorites, so I was pretty excited when I saw the band announce a 10th anniversary Crane Wife box set with a ton of demos, B-sides, and alternate takes—or at least I was excited up until I saw how expensive it is. Luckily, the band just released a…

The Decemberists reissuing The Crane Wife with Lin-Manuel Miranda essay

From Pitchfork comes news that The Decemberists’ The Crane Wife (one of this publication’s favorite albums of 2006, back in the day) will be getting a super-deluxe vinyl and Blu-ray box set reissue for its 10th anniversary. The album represented an ambitious turning point for the Portland-based indie rock band: it…

I thought they smelled bad on the outside: 8 times characters hid inside animals

The unnamed protagonist of John Irving’s third novel, about two couples who switch partners, extols the patience and forbearance of his Austrian-born wife, Anna. Both her patience and her nickname, Utch (taken from the Georgian slang for “cow”), are traced back to the day in WWII when her mother, rightfully fearing…

Here’s the first track off The Decemberists’ upcoming EP Florasongs

Ensuring that fans of slightly twee, lyrically rich story songs have access to the steady stream of whaling narratives and haunted protagonists they crave, the members of Portland-based indie rock group The Decemberists have announced that they’ll be releasing a new five-song EP later this year. Dropping on October 9, …

The best albums of 2015 so far

Considering we’re only almost to July, 2015 has seen an abundance of musical riches so far. From new albums by old bands to great albums by new bands, there’s plenty of great material to queue up just from the past six months. Below, The A.V. Club runs down a bunch of our favorite stuff, from Sleater-Kinney to…

The best rock bands of the ’00s, from Arcade Fire to Zwan

Though we’re only halfway through the ’10s, the ’00s can occasionally seem like a long time ago. (Remember when barely anyone had cell phones? Jesus.) Still, five years is enough time to get some critical distance from a decade, and so 2015 seems like the perfect time to produce this, The A.V. Club’s A.V. To Z list of…

Jeff Mangum, Kathleen Hanna, R.E.M., and more have endorsed net neutrality

Net neutrality is one of the great issues facing modern society, at least as far as the Internet is concerned, but it has been consistently held back by one small problem: It’s kind of hard to understand. We know Netflix is one of the good guys, and it wants to make sure that everyone’s House Of Cards binges don’t get…

I can’t hardly wait: 76 of our most anticipated entertainments of 2015, part 1

The short-run musical comedy series Galavant tells the fantastical tale of a knight who falls from grace after his storybook happy ending goes awry. The series features Timothy Omundson—such a reliable comedic presence on Psych—as its villain, the dastardly King Richard, alongside lesser-known heroes. The premise is…