Lars Gotrich

When Archers of Loaf reunited in 2011 for a series of shows, members of the '90s indie-rock band looked downright elated onstage. Eric Bachmann, in particular, fed off the energy of the crowd with a giddiness that contrast his gruff exterior. But rather than blithely dive into the studio after renewed purpose, the band wisely waited until it had more to say.

What better way to spend a beautifully sunny, long weekend than indoors on a liquid diet watching movies in a fever-induced haze? (Mashed potatoes and gravy count as liquid, right?) Between comfort viewings of Bob's Burgers and King of the Hill, I caught up on my queue.

Phil Elverum's songs come full circle, swooping down like vultures and floating up like ashes from flames. Throughout his work in Mount Eerie and The Microphones, idealism comes up against realism, existence entangles with impermanence and love discovers new forms.

It's not too late to make a musical resolution for 2020, right?

No, I'm not planning to spend any diaper money on rare 7-inches, or develop an unhealthy effects pedal habit. But I do need to get outside my musical comfort zone — and I want to get into calypso music.

When guitarist Ian MacKaye, bassist Joe Lally and drummer Amy Farina played their first live gig together — a benefit, of course — in late 2018, at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., they didn't even have a name. "Every band name has been taken, and they all have lawyers," MacKaye said that night. They were and are members of Fugazi, The Evens and The Warmers, bands thick with D.C.

YouTube

After releasing the ambient "Santa Teresa" last October and "

Gonna keep it 100: I absolutely judge an album by its cover. Does it have a sick wizard? A most-pleasing font and color combination? An impossible and-or nightmarish fantasia?

When I scroll through Bandcamp, on the hunt for hidden corners of punk, metal and outer sounds, the first sense is always sight. Maybe a killer band name will catch my eye, or a trusted record label, but amid a bloated glut of music, image is queen.

Jimmy Eat World showed up to the NPR Music office all smiles and no guitars, goofing off with toy instruments behind the Tiny Desk and cracking jokes. They borrowed a couple acoustics, a miniature gong and tambourine emblazoned with Bob Boilen's face, which set the tone for a slightly silly, but altogether gracious performance.

"There will never be another one like him. Peace to his family and all of his fans around the world. Listen to Sean play his drums and hear his heart sing," Cynic's Paul Masvidal wrote in remembrance of his bandmate Sean Reinert, who died last Friday at the age of 48.

YouTube

Hayley Williams has long been simultaneously open and guarded, someone who can write about pain, depression and yearning with diaristic specificity, but who still keeps the deepest hur

Pages