Good Taste Episode 6: Atlanta, Camp Cope, Hop Along, and more!

New episode of Good Taste is now out! Listen here or on your podcast app:


Here are the show notes:

In What’s Happenin’ What’s Up our look at what’s currently hot in culture we discuss season 2 of Atlanta, “Robbin’ Season”.



“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” by Samin Nosrat


Hop Along “How Simple”

Camp Cope “How to Socialise and Make Friends”


“Political Dispute Puts a Wrinkle in Time Slowing Millions of European Clocks” by Amy Held

For the past few weeks, something strange has been happening in Europe. Instead of time marching relentlessly forward, it has been slowing down imperceptibly, yet with cumulatively noticeable results, so that millions of clocks the Continent-over are now running behind.

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Weekly recap: March 2, 2018

I made a few things in the last week, here they are:

“Crying Baby Karaoke: A New Lullaby Canon”


I mean, does anybody ever say they like lullabies? Do we ever experience nostalgia for them? We are soothed by them, forget about them, and then later use them to soothe our own children. Lullabies are at the bottom of the barrel of culture that is intended for children. We complain about being forced to endure kid’s entertainment, but what if we excised it out of our children’s lives?
I’m a pop culture glutton and I wonder how this will be passed along to my children. I catch myself fantasizing about my child knowing all the cinematic classics, ripping through the children’s literary canon, being able to namedrop Miles Davis, A Tribe Called Quest, and Courtney Barnett, having a favorite Sondheim show and lyric, puling off comedic bits and wordplay, being a slight history buff who’s politically literate, playing baseball while being able to site his favorite player’s year by year WAR, and advocating for social justice issues while preparing chilaquiles that inspired him when we went to the taqueria the night before. Oh and he should also have his own unique interests and personality.

Right now all he wants to do is put stuff in his mouth–which is great.

Jacob and Taylor are back to talk about what’s good!

In What’s Happening What’s Up they talk about the Queer Eye reboot on Netflix, as well as the latest film from Ex Machina director Alex Garland, Annihilation, out now!


Taylor Rec #1:

Curling at the Winter Olympics…

I also tweeted out my favorite acting performances in the movies from 2017. Here they are:
     1. Daniel Kuluuya, Get Out
     2. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
     3. Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread


  1. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  2. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project
  3. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread

Supporting Actress:

  1. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  3. Elizabeth Marvel, The Meyerowitz Stories

Supporting Actor

  1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  2. Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
  3. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name

Top 10 Podcasts of 2015

I realize I’m a little behind schedule, but the holidays were a busy time. My lists will continue with best albums, tv shows, and movies, but first the best podcasts of 2015, featuring five shows that have never graced my top 10 before!

10. Whistlestop

Panoply’s new podcast is a one-man show hosted by Face the Nation host John Dickerson. It’s completely scripted, telling fascinating tales of election campaigns past which ultimately prove the world of politics was never so pure.


9. Planet Money

Small bites of economic theory done by some of radio’s best storytellers. Planet Money’s episodes are always a lot of fun, while also providing insight into the world’s most complex ideas.


8. Hot Takedown

Fivethirtyeight launched their first podcast this year and it’s everything I could have hoped for: a deeply insightful, statsy, and anti-hot take (as the title implies) sports podcast. Lest you get the impression that it’s a complete nerd-fest, at its core it’s a really solid sports talk show.


7. About Race

From Panoply, About Race is all about the ways in which race gets talked about in the media. It’s often a lively and challenging conversation with different and conflicting opinions showing their face throughout. It’s not something that someone who doesn’t agree with the panel’s opinions would easily be able to get into, but it’s nonetheless full of important and necessary perspectives.


6. Slate’s Hang Up and Listen

Hang Up and Listen has made the list every year since I started ranking podcasts and still it remains. It’s intelligent sports talk, and, like Hot Takedown above is so refreshing amidst the voices of yelling morons in sports radio. I must admit there is a certain level of highbrow required to listening to it, not everyone will be into the hosts going off on poetic tangents as happened at one point this year in response to Kobe’s retirement poem–but for me, I would ask for nothing less.


5. Rob Has a Podcast

Another show who has made it every year since my podcast list inception, Rob Has a Podcast covers Survivor and other reality television, using the podcast format to its fullest with multiple episodes per week. Rob Cesternino’s use of live shows is great for the instant reactions we crave when watching reality tv, but he always adds intelligent follow up shows throughout the week for those who desire a deep dive. He’s created a whole nation of devoted fans, and I am placed firmly within that group.


4. Doughboys

Podcasts have to have a good premise, mixed with good chemistry, and continuing creativity in order to hold my interest. There are many podcasts that, despite an interesting premise I have not continued to listen to. Doughboys captured all three of these requirements, Nick “Burger Boy” Wiger and Mike Mitchell of “Spoon Nation” have an instant chemistry, a legitimate sincerity about chain restaurants, and a hilarious sense of humor that transcends all of it. It captures everything that the more pointed comedy chat podcasts should be striving to be.


3. Comedy Bang Bang

Comedy Bang Bang is the king of comedy podcasts for me with each episode be a must-listen in an often crowded market. Scott Aukerman keeps every episode lively, while old guests and a deep canon mix with new improvisers creating instant classics. Each additional episode pays off listening to the last, but even without all the context it is hilarious.


2. This American Life

If Comedy Bang Bang is the king of comedy podcasts, then This American Life reigns atop all storytelling shows. Each week a new episode is released I never really believe that it will pique my interest as the last one did, but almost every week I am surprised at just how good it is. There are a lot of storytelling shows that have come out in its wake, but I still think that Ira Glass and company are the best at what they do.


1.The Gist

The Gist is a daily news show covering hot topics, interesting facts, or whatever else crosses host Mike Pesca’s mind. Pesca is a veteran of public radio and always brings a nuanced, intelligent opinion to all of his view points. Add to this his great sense of humor and segments like: ‘Is that bullshit?’ and the year in pop, and you have the year’s most consistently great podcast on your hands. With the amount of podcasts I subscribe to (around 50 that I listen to at least every once in a while) I shouldn’t have time to listen to a show that comes out every day, but still I try to make time to catch up with every episode that comes out.

Honorable mentions: Channel 33/Hollywood Prospectus, The Cracked Podcast, Radiolab, Spontaneanation, Filmspotting, Doug Loves Movies, NY Times’ Music Popcast, The Allusionist , The Liturgists, 99% Invisible

If there were more eps: Surprisingly Awesome, Next Picture Show, Getting Curious

Top 12 Podcast Episodes of 2015


I had originally planned to do a top ten, but could not weed out any two, thus a top 12 for your reading pleasure. Picking the best podcast episodes tend to reward those who created something special in the one hit wonder sense, while the true strength of podcasts often comes in consistency, setting a tone and bringing the listener along into the setting the hosts have created. That is why the more storytelling/public radio types get onto this list over shows that I enjoyed more consistently throughout the year. Nonetheless, these were my favorite podcast episodes of the year.

12. U Talkin’ U2 to Me? – U2 Talk 2 U

Scott Aukerman and Adam Scott’s show mostly centered around the band U2 (which placed number 2 on my best podcasts list last year) culminated in the duo actually being able to interview U2. The interview mostly reflects the show’s tangent driven personality and gets the band involved in the show’s mini-shows (like I Love Films). Scott and Scott also provide commentary throughout the show about their interview, giving context to things, and making fun of how bad Adam Scott is at interviewing. It’s definitely not the episode to get started with, but it’s the perfect sort of finale.

11. The Cracked Podcast – The Gun Show

In the wake of another mass shooting (which unfortunately I can’t even remember due to the amount of them that occurred) the guys from Cracked decide to talk over the issue of gun control from all sides. Jason Pargin tells his own history of guns (which includes owning several) but still maintains that an ideology of stricter gun laws is necessary. Beyond any sort of political action however, the crew gets at an underlying narrative that is perhaps more important than any law: heroism and redemptive violence.

10. Planet Money – A Rose on Any Other Day

Planet Money always provides an interesting narrative to economic issues, here they bring the listener into the world of Valentine’s Day roses an illustrious, but often risk-heavy world where one’s entire yearly income can be made or broken due to a slew of uncontrollable factors.

9. About Race – The “A Word” Episode

The About Race group always get at controversial topics while trying to discuss the way the media talks about race. ‘The “A Word” Episode’ is an interesting and often argumentative episode about assimilation. What role does assimilation play in the US and what role should it play? It’s a mind spinning episode about something where there will never really be an easy answer.

8. improv4Humans – A i4h Christmas Carol/Whiplash

Two episodes listed here where improv comedy legend Matt Besser takes his improv podcast on a different track by placing it in a firm narrative. “A i4h Christmas Carol” finds Besser as Ebenezer Scrooge–a fitting choice for Besser’s curmudgeonly reputation–he is then joined by Armen Weitzman in an improvised and insider-y version of A Christmas Carol. “Whiplash” finds Besser again joined by Weitzman, this time as his Whiplash-style protogee.

7. Hidden Brain – Switchtracking

The premier episode of this NPR show is an absolute delight with host Shankar Vedantam seemingly so excited to teach the listener about the “hidden” parts of the brain. The show would end up losing the tone it set with this episode, but “Switchtracking” is pure joy and quite insightful.

6. Radiolab – Nazi Summer Camp

Radiolab’s story of a WWII prisoner camp does what all the great Radiolab episodes do: throw you into an existential crisis about something you had never thought about. I cannot count how many times I went back and forth about what the right approach to treating prisoners in war times should be.

5. Comedy Bang Bang – 2015 Holiday Spectacular / Mailer Daemon

Choosing the special episodes in Comedy Bang Bang is kind of a cheat, because they are essentially all-star episodes (like when SNL brings out all of the alumni + JT), but the “2015 Holiday Spectacular” had me grinning from start to finish. “Mailer Daemon” showcases the brilliance that can come out of the improv character format where Aukerman and Jason Mantzoukas are joined by Nick Kroll who quickly establishes a plethora of characters with complicated backstories all in a matter of moments.

4. Hot Takedown – A Special Stat School Edition

Five Thirty Eight’s sports podcast is all about taking down mainstream media’s “hot takes” and typically revolves around the current week in sports news. In the first of a series of specials, they choose to discuss at length advanced statistical metrics in sports (here it’s hitting in baseball). It’s an absolutely fun and nerdy listen that helps to inform the way the smartest minds are using numbers to determine who the best players are.

3. Surprisingly Awesome – Mold

Gimlet Media’s show about trying to find the fascinating in the mundane opened up with a doozy. Adam Davidson tries to convince Adam McKay that mold is interesting and manages to go above and beyond with some near jaw-dropping moments. The first has to do with almost non-discovery of Penicillin and the second goes back to McKay’s relatives in a revelation that I won’t spoil here.

2. WTF with Marc Maron – President Barack Obama

Maron may seemingly only be doing the biggest of names now, but if that results in him landing the president of the United States I am all for it. Obama is a great interviewee as always and Maron really does offer a unique perspective on the whole thing. It was definitely the podcast event of the year for me.

1.This American Life – The Problem We All Live With Pt. I&II

This two part series from This American Life captured a problem that should probably be dealt with sooner than later–the segregation of our public school system. They look into the studies that say that disintegration drastically improves education results in the lives of minorities and what prevents integration from happening. It’s an often heartbreaking and fascinating look into education and race in America done by what is probably our best public radio shows.

Honorable mention: Black Men Can’t Jump – In the Heat of the Night

The Gap in Posting Explained

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted on here, that is in large part to a new project that my brother and I have been working on.

We launched it a couple of weeks ago now, it is called Rival Podcast Club–an amateur alliance of podcasts built around the premise that amateurs can do it too and if a bunch of podcasts support one another, they can be built into something greater.

I enjoy podcasts immensely as a format, there is a comfort that comes with audio and repeated listens of the same voices that can really be special.

If you are reading this and it sounds interesting then definitely go check out all of our shows, we are hoping to expand our roster, but for now we have the shows that I had already been making, a comedy chat show, and a couple of TV recap shows that are pretty fun.

So if you are a regular reader of this (and I don’t really know if you people exist), I’m sorry for not staying up to date with writing. I do love writing, but it does take energy out of me that has been dedicated to running this podcast thing for now, so have patience because I have been hankering to write a bit.

And really go check out the other things we’re doing at Rival, because I think it’s pretty cool.

Best Films of the Decade So Far

Last week, my friend Andrew Boring and I had a discussion about the best albums of the decade so far, afterwards I released a list in picture form here on the blog. Well, this week we had another discussion, this time about the best movies of the decade so far! I encourage everyone to go listen to it here, I realize it is very lengthy, but I think it has some fun discussion about what has come out and the process of making this top 10. This here list serves as an accompaniment (because you’re supposed to go listen, not just look at it and go hmmm).

Anyway, here are my top 30 films of the decade so far.

30. The World’s End

World's End

29. Declaration of War


28. The Past


27. Captain Phillips


26. The Descendants


25. Ida

Ida, other films

24. Calvary


23. Selma


22. Only Lovers Left Alive

Only Lovers Left Alive

21. Upstream Color


20. Zero Dark Thirty


19. Oslo August 31


18. Drive


17. Attack the Block


16. A Prophet


15. Django Unchained


14. Mother


13. Inception


12. The Cabin in the Woods


11. Exit Through the Gift Shop


10. 12 Years a Slave


9. Boyhood


8. Before Midnight


7. Of Gods and Men


6. Under the Skin


5. The Social Network


4. Beginners


3. Looper

Joseph Gordon-Levitt; Bruce Willis

2. Moonrise Kingdom

moonrise kingdom

1. The Tree of Life


The Best Podcasts of 2011

This list re-begins my favorites of 2011. Since it is actually the new year, I figure it is time to reflect upon my favorites of 2011. Coming later in the next few weeks will be lists on my favorite songs, albums, films, and general things of 2011. All lists are based on personal opinion and experience and are ultimately subjective. Feel free to comment with your own favorites.

In 2011, I took a bigger step into the podcasting world, probably doubling the amount of podcasts I listen to. I think that podcasts are taking the place of talk radio and are doing so in a way that nearly anyone can put themselves out there. I look forward to see what people will do with the platform in years to come.

This list is especially subjective, because each podcast is generally based around a certain subject, so if you have no interest in the particular subject, you will likely not enjoy it as much as I have. However, I do believe these people to be at the top of their game in their subjects, so if it does interest you, I suggest checking it out.

5. The Relevant Magazine Podcast-I have tried for a couple years now to get into this podcast, but it was either not serious enough for me or had too many inside jokes to really enjoy. This year however, I gave it a few episodes, where I committed myself to listening to it in its entirety and I became hooked. The hosts really have a great chemistry and this makes the segments flow really well. For the most part it contains lighthearted conversation about random subjects, but it also has live performances, interviews with artists, leaders, and organizations, and discussions about the magazine. Not necessarily for those who love the magazine, but entertaining for sure.

4. Rob Has a Podcast-RHAP is hosted by two time Surivor contestant Rob Cesternino (whom, to be clear, is my favorite contestant ever). For the most part the show covers reality television (mostly Survivor, Celebrity Apprentice, and Big Brother) and it may be hard to get into if not a fan of any of those shows, but Rob is hilarious and his chemistry with his wife and co-host Nicole is fantastic. Rob has a brand of nerdy humor that I love and a real knowledge of social media that makes everything he does work great. If you’re a fan of reality television, or just television in general, it is definitely worth a listen.

3. NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour-NPR’s hour long, weekly podcast touches on just about everything possible in culture. Its four hosts are experts on everything from music and television to opera and comic books, giving it quite a range in perspective that definitely places it ahead of some of their colleagues. At times it can get a little highbrow for a simple minded kid like me, but they pick such great topics to talk about that it always remains interesting. The “what is making me happy this week” segment is always great to listen to and makes me want to participate in my own culture podcast.

2. The AV Club’s Reasonable Discussions-The AV Club barely edged out NPR with their own culture podcast due to their more serious approach to art and how culture interacts with it. They have different people participate depending on the discussion, which makes it suffer a little as the relationship and chemistry is not developed week after week like in other podcasts. That’s not to say that the chemistry is not there, because it certainly is, especially in Scott Tobias and Tasha Robinson’s movie debates. Overall, they have a true love for the art that they discuss and a fervor for discussing it making it one of my favorite podcasts out there.

1. Slate’s Hang Up and ListenHang Up and Listen is a sports podcast for the intellectual. It is a weekly podcast featuring three highly educated sports lovers conversing about all the latest in sports around the world. While mostly talking about the four main American sports, they also try to cover other main sports events as often as possible. What makes them unique is their thought and attention to things that most sports fans or reporters often look over. Ethics and behavior for some reason get a pass in the sports world, as our stars can get away with things that a regular person would not. These guys call out this lack of accountability in the sports world and view sports through the lens of a philosopher. My experience has been eye-opening (as a sports fan who often glossed over these ethics in the sports world) and it has also been entertaining and informative. For these reasons Hang Up and Listen is my top podcast of the year.

Other podcasts worth checking out: Filmspotting, The Film Talk, The Tribe: A Survivor Podcast, Neue, CBS Sportsline Fantasy Football Podcast, The BS Report with Bill Simmons, The Kindlings Muse, NFL Podcast with Peter King, The Sports Poscast with Joe Posnaski