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

Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, How Did This Get Made?, more coming to Onion Comedy & Arts Festival

Big news, comedy fans: Our comedy festival returns May 30-June 3 at various venues in Chicago under a new name, The Onion Comedy & Arts Festival. Why change the name from the amusing-but-difficult-to-remember-and-Google 26th Annual Comedy Festival? Well one, see above. And two, it’s The Onion’s 30th anniversary in…

John Darnielle's statement about how to punctuate a Mountain Goats classic is tearing The A.V Club apart

It’s safe to say that we here at The A.V. Club are generally fans of John Darnielle’s work; outside his enjoyably macabre novels, Darnielle is best known as the frontman and creative soul of The Mountain Goats, prolifically banging out his sad-funny musical thoughts on heartache, healing, and the bittersweet pleasures…

What are you listening to this week?

John Darnielle is nothing if not deliberate with his words, so you could be sure that when The Mountain Goats announced an album titled Goths, goths were what you’d be getting. The song titles certainly deliver on that front, with references to Sisters Of Mercy, wearing black, and—more esoterically—Portuguese goth…

John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester can’t reap the benefits of its intriguing premise

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“In most lives, in most places, people go missing.” The first line of the final chapter of John Darnielle’s second novel, Universal Harvester, makes clear its main concern. Although Darnielle, best known as the singer-songwriter behind indie folk outfit The Mountain Goats, begins the novel as one story—a mystery or…

“Thirteen” going on “30 Something”: Growing up according to pop music

Next to sex and death, there’s no more compelling subject for songwriters than the thing that happens in between those two endpoints on the cycle of life. Aging—and all the excitement, confusion, and existential dread that accompanies it—has long captivated the songwriter, whose work within a ruthlessly youth-focused…

What pop culture reminds you of the goodness of humanity?

This week’s election has left many people in a dark place, feeling frustrated, sad, and fearful for the future. So we’ve decided to make this week’s AVQ&A a hopeful beacon of light in these troubled times. From The A.V. Club staff: