The Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle on His 1995 Song “Cubs in Five”

And what it means to him in 2016.

Oct. 24 2016 7:30 PMThe Woman Behind the Meat DressOn her new album Joanne, Lady Gaga grapples with where her stage persona ends and Stefani Germanotta begins.
Oct. 18 2016 2:11 PMTo Shift the Way the World Is HeardHow “A Change Is Gonna Come” reveals the powers—and the limits—of political pop music.
Oct. 6 2016 10:56 AMSolange’s A Seat at the Table Doesn’t Have an Empowering “Message”And that’s exactly what makes it so powerful.
Oct. 5 2016 8:45 AMWhich Beatle Wrote It? Revolver Edition.Our latest quiz, for the 50th anniversary of the landmark album.
Sept. 22 2016 12:24 PM“Blowin’ in the Wind” and “A Change Is Gonna Come”Two iconic protest anthems reveal the deeply interconnected—and interracial—roots of ’60s folk, soul, and rock ’n’ roll.
Aug. 22 2016 6:21 PMFrank Ocean and the Wave of Anti-PopOn his new albums, the category-defying singer gives us what we need, though it may not be what we want.
Aug. 12 2016 4:57 PMHow Michael Jackson, James Brown, and Bruce Lee Inspired a Dazzling Dance Sequence in The Get DownA video breakdown, with a little help from the Netflix series’ choreographers.
Aug. 11 2016 5:45 AMHow Olympic Gymnasts Choose the Perfect Tacky Songs for Their Floor RoutinesFrom the Sex and the City theme to Madama Butterfly to Queen Bey.
July 7 2016 9:30 AMSlow Love
On BlackSUMMERS’Night, Maxwell shows it’s better when you take your time.

June 23 2016 10:00 AMThe Summer of DrakeThanks to streaming, the Billboard 200 is working just like it did in the ’80s, and Views is this year’s Purple Rain.
May 16 2016 2:50 PMChance the Rapper’s Coloring Book Is the First True Gospel-Rap MasterpieceOn his newest testament, the multitalented Chicago emcee sings praises to God—and to Yeezus. 
May 10 2016 9:00 AMHow the Rolling Stones Found “Satisfaction”It did not have to happen. If it had not been written and recorded when it was, who knows? It prevented us from being just another good band with a nice run.”
April 25 2016 12:29 PMLemonade, the Aural AlbumBeyoncé’s new visual album is a spectacle to rival “Thriller.” But how is it as strictly music?
April 14 2016 4:18 PMThese Turn-of-the-Century Jams Are the Throwbacks of the FutureThe Culture Gabfest builds a playlist.
Feb. 16 2016 8:11 AMHip-Hop Won the GrammysEven when it didn’t win the awards.
Oct. 20 2016 2:05 PM“Money (That’s What I Want)” and “We Can Work It Out”Are we living in the Beatles’ world, or Motown’s?
Oct. 7 2016 12:07 PMDanny Brown’s Dance Hall of MirrorsOn his captivating new album Atrocity Exhibition, the Detroit rapper makes his mind into a fun house.
Oct. 6 2016 5:54 AMHow Rock and Roll Became WhiteAnd how the Rolling Stones, a band in love with black music, helped lead the way to rock’s segregated future.
Oct. 4 2016 10:45 AMThe Drive-By Truckers’ American Band Is the Perfect Album for the Year of TrumpWith songs about racism, police shootings, and immigration, the Southern group is making rock great again.
Sept. 22 2016 12:24 PMIntroducing “Pop, Race, and the ’60s”A new Slate Academy asks how, across a decade of integration, rock music became “white.”
Aug. 17 2016 4:16 PMThe Lonely End of the RinkGord Downie and the Tragically Hip led Canadians deep into the mysteries of their national identity. Now they’re saying goodbye.
Aug. 12 2016 11:48 AMWhy Do We Love Bad Singing?From Florence Foster Jenkins to William Hung to Rebecca Black, America has long been fascinated with failed crooners. But who decides what’s good, what’s good-bad, and what’s just bad?
July 11 2016 5:47 AMCan You Understand the Words Ariana Grande Is Singing?Take our quiz.
July 5 2016 3:03 PMSince They Left UsAfter 15 years, the Avalanches follow their mashup masterpiece by taking listeners somewhere new.
June 3 2016 5:58 AMThe Worst Great SongwriterOn his new album, Paul Simon is as brilliant—and bothersome—as ever.
May 10 2016 10:05 AMHow I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love RadioheadForget whether they’re “the Last Great Rock Band.” They’re better when you stop taking them so seriously.
May 2 2016 12:26 PMDrake’s Views A review from the 6.
April 22 2016 11:01 AMThe Purple OneBlack or white, straight or gay, rock or R&B, male or female—Prince transcended every category.
March 7 2016 5:03 PMUnmastered, but Still Masterful Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled, Unmastered shows another side of hip-hop’s most electrifying performer.
Feb. 15 2016 3:10 PMThe G.O.O.D. NewsOn his miraculous, profane, gospel-influenced The Life of Pablo, Kanye West takes the long road to Damascus.