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Onion debuts ‘One Track Mind’ Web series

The Onion’s serious side, the A.V. Club, is following its comic brethren into video.

On Thursday, the pop culture website and Onion newspaper insert debuted “One Track Mind,” a Web series in which songwriters discuss writing a particular tune and then perform it.

The first of the 10 videos features Wye Oak singer/guitarist Jenn Wasner. Other videos will feature Ben Folds, Matthew Sweet and Annie Clark, who performs under the name St. Vincent.

“One Track Mind” also will play on IFC, airing ahead of Saturday night movies beginning Nov. 5.

The Chicago-based A.V. Club, a taste-making destination of pop culture criticism and interviews, is the sober companion to the satirical headlines of The Onion.

“One Track Mind” is its fifth original video series, following shows such as “A.V. Undercover,” in which 25 bands covered 25 songs, and “Pop Pilgrims,” a travel series about visiting the settings of films, TV shows and books.

The A.V. Club also recently shot a pilot for a series that pairs a book’s author and a devoted fan for a private reading. If the first episode, which features comedian Patton Oswalt, is successful, it likely will become the site’s sixth series.

Founded in 1995, the A.V. Club has seen its Web traffic double several times over in the last four years. now pulls in 25 million monthly page views.

And it has done that by going against the grain of the Internet, publishing lengthy, obsessive pieces instead of focusing on quick, purely eye-catching traffic.

It recently, for example, ran multipart interviews with TV show-runners. The four-part Louis C.K. interview on his FX show “Louie” ran well north of 10,000 words.