Best Music of 2017 – IP 104

This year we’ve listened to countless hours of new albums and songs and attended dozens of concerts and are now ready to declare our favorite music of 2017! Listen to this very special year-end episode to hear us discuss the artists who delivered music that inspired us, informed us, entertained us, made us want to dance and put us in that special mood!

We also discuss our favorite singles of the year, our most memorable concerts and the new music we’re craving in 2018.

Our favorite albums list includes:

Kendrick Lamar – DAMN

Jay-Z – 4:44

Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room

Jamila Woods – HEAVN (Check out her video for Blk Girl Soldier )

Khalid – American Teen (Check out his video for Location)

Gorillaz – Humanz

Miguel – War X Leisure (Check out his video for Told You So)

Mavis Staples –  If All I Was Was Black

Earl St. Clair – My Name Is Earl

Sampha – Process (Check out his video for (No One Knows Me) Like the Piano)

SZA – CTRL

Lorde – Melodrama (Listen to Liability)

Valerie June – Order of Time (Watch her live performance of Order of Time)

 

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Best of TV 2017 – IP 103

The time has come…we’ve watched countless hours of television and have narrowed them down to our top 10 favorite TV shows of the year! And to kick things up a notch- we’re sharing the scenes from the exceptional shows that inspired us, made us laugh out loud, brought us to tears and made our hearts flutter. From network to cable to streaming platforms, horror to comedy to sci-fi, this year has given us unique story lines, captivating visuals and incredible characters.

We also take time to mention the TV shows we wish we checked out and the ones we regret watching.

Check out our 10 Best TV of 2017 below along with links to some of the scenes we discuss in this episode.

SEAN’S TOP 10

10. Broad City

9. Godless

8. Twin Peaks

7. black-ish

6. Master of None

5. The Exorcist

Scene from ‘Help Me’

4. The Handmaid’s Tale

3. Queen Sugar

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s Ralph Angel” scene

2. Fargo

Winnie and Gloria Scene

1. Sense8

Prison Break scene:

AMITA’S TOP 10
10. Will & Grace

9. This is Us

8. Fargo

Tree Stump Bloodbath:

7. Game of Thrones

Cuthroat Stark Sisters:

6. Insecure

5. Better Caul Saul

Chuck’s Monologue:

4. Big Little Lies

3. Queen Sugar

2. Master of None

1. The Handmaid’s Tale

Let us know which shows made it to the top of your list!

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Life Defining Music, National African American Museum – IP 102

This is our final regular episode of the year and we are both sharing AND caring!

First Sean shares his experience visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He describes what it likes to visit this incredible new museum and discusses some of the amazing pop culture featured in the exhibits.

Then Amita and Sean revisit one of their favorite segments of the past year and share their discussion of the music by some of their favorite female singers that has defined pivotal moments in their lives. Whether grappling with life in the closet, coping with feeling like an outsider, celebrating the joy of a new found independence or discovering a strengthening friendship we highlight the music that has provided an essential soundtrack to our lives. Our “Defining Divas” include Mary J. Blige, Annie Lennox, Mariah Carey, Lauren Hill and BOTH Knowles sisters – Beyonce and Solange.

And then Sean rates the final big sell of the year – the single “Underdog” by singer/songwriter Banks.

And finally Amita and Sean preview their upcoming year end specials! We’re preparing our lists for the best TV, Music and Film of the year and have a few surprising choices in store!

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Janet Jackson State of the World Tour, Top Female Friendships in Pop Culture, John Legend – IP 101

This week, we bask in the glow of seeing the one and only Janet Jackson (Ms. Jackson if you’re Nasty) in Brooklyn on her State of the World Tour. Find out which one of us puts this show in their Top 3 Concerts of all time.

Then, we discuss our Top Female Friendships in Pop Culture- featuring The Golden Girls, the women of Living Single, Lucy & Ethel, Meredith & Cristina and more. We share how their bonds inspire us and why their relationships are everlasting.

And Amita rates and reviews last week’s Big Sell from Sean- John Legend’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock” and also shares the origin of this song as part of a collection of covers for the new Ken Burns documentary about The Vietnam War. You can find all of the songs and their originals here. And then Amita sells the single “Underdog” by singer/songwriter Banks.

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Interview with Dee Rees & Charles King of Mudbound, 100th Episode, Inside Pop Quiz – IP 100

After two years, and thousands of hours of tv viewing, music listening and theater attending . . . Inside Pop’s 100th episode has arrived! Join us as we celebrate 100 episodes of pop culture obsession!

First up, we present our interview with director Dee Rees (Pariah, Bessie) and Charles King, Executive Producer, CEO and Founder of Macro. The pair sit down with Sean to discuss their new film, Mudbound; and in addition to sharing a behind the scenes view of their epic new film, they also discuss their unique working relationship; why they both choose to work in film AND television and their future plans to tell diverse stories.

Next, we celebrate our 100th episode with a special edition of the Inside Pop quiz called, ” You Don’t Know Me Inside Pop . . .Quiz!” Sean and Amita quiz each other on how well they know . . . their own podcast. Can you guess who has won the equivalent of the Inside Pop EGOT? Can you name all of the inductees in Sean’s ‘House of Hyperbole’? Play along to see if your attention span and your memory is better than ours.

And we present the 100th edition of the Big Sell. Sean’s rates Amita’s Big Sell from last week, the artist Makoto Azuma, and sells Amita John Legend’s cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock.”

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Thor: Ragnarok, N.E.R.D & Rihanna “Lemon”, Sexual Harassment in Hollywood – IP 99

This week, Christmas comes early in the form of the new single “Lemon” from N.E.R.D & Rihanna! We try (and fail) to contain our excitement about the song, video and their upcoming album. We provide an N.E.R.D primer and also bow down to the dancer in the music video- Mette Towley.

Then, Sean gives a review of Thor: Ragnarok he was not expecting to give; and we question whether we’re in the midst of a superhero films and TV overload.

Plus, we have a frank discussion about the recent sexual harassment allegations in Hollywood – our reactions, opinions and a personal story.

And of course- there is no Inside Pop without the Big Sell! Amita gives her thoughts, rating and review on Sean’s suggestion- the music documentary George Michael: Freedom and sells Sean on an innovative floral artist Makoto Azuma.

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LINKS:

If you like the new N.E.R,D video Lemon – check out its ancestor Janet Jackson’s The Pleasure Principle

Read the article Sean references in the discussion about how to handle sexual misconduct in the workplace:

Checking My Male Privilege by Charles M. Blow

 

Stranger Things 2 premieres, 2 Years of Inside Pop, Produced By NY, BigSell30 Wraps – IP 98

We’ve come along way, baby! This week Inside Pop celebrates two years of weekly pop culture podcasting!

We start with a round-up of the Producers Guild of America’s Produced By NY conference. We attended this event along with 100s of other television and film producers and gathered information about some major upcoming projects including Black Panther, Mudbound, Marshall, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water and more! And we share some great stories with you!

Then we review the first few episodes of Stranger Things 2. One of us is as happy as Dustin playing Dig Dug to be back with the gang from Hawkins. The other is worried the series may be in danger of repeating itself.

Finally we wrap our #BigSell30 day challenge and discuss some of the pop culture we consumed over the past 30 days. And Sean rates Amita’s Big Sell from last week (a photo project from Stefan Draschan) and Big Sells her on a new documentary about George Michael.

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Best Fall Movies, Big Sell 30 – IP 97

The falling leaves, the crisp chill in the air, the smell of a distant fireplace burning – all of those signs of Fall compel us to do one thing – head into a dark theater and watch as many movies as possible!

This week we discuss four new movies we’ve seen that we want you to know all about. Hear our thoughts on Call Me By Your Name, Wonderstruck, The Florida Project and Suburbicon. Within our discussion Sean reveals why you’re not going to hear him use the ‘O’ word (Oscar) until 2018 and Amita shares why she’s planning to limit her movie trailer consumption.

Also, we have a special guest #BigSell30 from Zara Findlay-Shirras who double Big Sells us her new travel site Half Moon Guides and her podcast Totes Faves   (last year we big sold Zara’s fab instagram feed – @DanaScullyStyle ).

And Amita Big Sells Seanon a favorite new photographer, Stefan Draschan.

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Cover Songs, Fall TV Mid-Season Check, #BigSell30 – IP 96

Why not take a break from re-watching the Black Panther trailer and listen to this brand new episode of Inside Pop!

First up, we discuss some of our favorite cover songs. What makes a great cover song and what are some of the best? We discuss covers and originals performed by Prince, Adele, Joni Mitchell, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Whitney Houston, Annie Lennox and more!

Remember the sense of optimism you felt at the beginning of the TV season? That belief that you’d be bowled over by a ton of new amazing shows and that all of your favorite returning shows would continue to be your favorites? Well, we felt that way too and now it’s time to face the music (or the should we say ‘the flat screen’). We’re doing a mid-season check in to see which shows are must-see and which are about to be deleted from the DVR. We discuss This is Us, The Deuce, Queen Sugar, The Defenders, The Exorcist, Wisdom of the Crowd and more!

And we’ll also check in on the #BigSell30 Challenge and discuss how our lives have improved while experiencing one new piece of pop culture every day this month.

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Blade Runner 2049, Riz Ahmed, Vegas Baby documentary, Big Sell 30 – IP 95

This week we dive inside Box Office Busts, a bold new doc and #BigSell30 is underway!

First up,  Sean and Amita examine why the highly anticipated, sure-fire hit Blade Runner 2049 actually failed at the box office. Why did the masses stay away from Denis Villeneuve’s artistry and Ryan Gosling’s baby blues? And are the masses actually missing out on a great film? We’ll discuss!

Also,  Amita was in the same room with her celebrity husband, Riz Ahmed, and didn’t faint! Find out how she got to see him in person and what happened.

Then, Amita interviews Oscar nominated director, Amanda Micheli about her new documentary, Vegas Baby, which follows multiple stories of women and couples and their struggles to have a child.

Plus, Amita reviews last week’s Big Sell from Sean, an early film from Ava DuVernay, Middle of Nowhere, and then sells him on a new single from Lin-Manuel Miranda featuring a slew of popular Latino singers and hip hop artists, who came together to raise funds for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. And we review some of our favorite Big Sells thus far in the Big Sell 30!

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