Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Queen Latifah in Last Holiday

Queen Latifah’s Last Holiday gets its due on Two Old Queens

Queen Latifah in Last Holiday
Screenshot: YouTube
PodmassPodmassIn Podmass, The A.V. Club sifts through the ever-expanding world of podcasts and recommends the previous week’s best episodes. Have your own favorite? Let us know in the comments or at podmass@avclub.com.

Jill Scott: J.ill The Podcast
Let’s Give Iconic Black Women Their Flowers

Illustration for article titled Queen Latifah’s iLast Holiday /igets its due on iTwo Old Queens/i
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

Neo-soul goddess Jill Scott has gathered quite the unfiltered sista circle for this weekly iHeartRadio-produced podcast that launched last month. So far, Scott and co-hosts Laiya St. Clair and Aja Graydon-Dantzler have done episodes in which they discussed sexual assault, where they would go if they left the U.S., and “white people shit” they like. The latest episode has them saluting some trailblazing Black ladies. St. Clair, a content creator, praises radio entrepreneur Cathy Hughes, while Graydon-Dantzler, one-half of the married R&B duo Kindred The Family Soul, gives props to Valerie Ashford, one-half of the legendary singer-songwriters Ashford & Simpson. As for Scott, she gives it up to blues singer Ma Rainey. (“When somebody’s name is Gertrude, it’s about to be some fire.”) This isn’t much of a surprise: Not only is there a movie adaptation of August Wilson’s play Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom hitting Netflix on December 18, it’s also the episode’s sponsor. The hosts then have an interesting conversation about whether or not there is any artistic merit in the Cardi B/Megan Thee Stallion collab “WAP.” (Spoiler alert: Jill isn’t a big fan.) [Craig D. Lindsey]


Life Of The Record
The Making Of Pleased To Meet Me By The Replacements

Illustration for article titled Queen Latifah’s iLast Holiday /igets its due on iTwo Old Queens/i
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

The Life Of The Record podcast dives deep into legendary recordings, like Luna’s Penthouse or Elliott Smith’s self-titled second album. In honor of the deluxe edition release of 1987’s Pleased To Meet Me, the podcast’s latest episode turns to the making of what many believe to be the last great record The Replacements ever made. Interviews with biographer Bob Mehr (Trouble Boys: The True Story Of The Replacements) and North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson, son of producer Jim Dickinson, fully flesh out the story, along with a 1987 interview with lead ’Mat himself, Paul Westerberg. The band had just kicked out original guitarist (and bassist Tommy’s brother) Bob Stinson, and had left their longtime label Twin/Tone for major label Sire. Looking for inspiration, Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and drummer Chris Mars headed to Memphis to make the new record at the legendary Ardent Studios, which helps explain the strong Big Star vibe throughout. Track by track, the interviews craft the story of PTMM as the band mythologizes a hero most people didn’t know at the time with “Alex Chilton” and tries to make “Shooting Dirty Pool” sound like an actual bar fight. Dickinson reports that Tommy Stinson was so upset by the addition of the horn section on album closer “Can’t Hardly Wait,” he got on a plane and left. It’s a fascinating chronicle of a legendary release from the godfathers of alternative rock. [Gwen Ihnat]


Two Old Queens
LAST HOLIDAY (w/Eugene Cordero)

Illustration for article titled Queen Latifah’s iLast Holiday /igets its due on iTwo Old Queens/i
Screenshot: Apple Podcasts

There’s something heartwarming about the way Roger Ebert went to bat for Last Holiday, the 2006 Queen Latifah proto-Bucket List comedy that, upon its release, was largely shrugged off by audiences and maligned by critics. Likening the movie more to “a hug” than “important cinema,” Ebert wrote that “we must be open to movies that have more modest ambitions: They only want to amuse us, warm us, and make us feel good.” This week, comedian and The Dumbells co-host Eugene Cordero joins Two Old Queens hosts John Flynn and Mark Rennie to second that sentiment, praising Last Holiday as a perfect hungover-Sunday comfort flick that a) represents a charming mid-level-budget subgenre of comedy that largely doesn’t exist in the studio system anymore and b) serves as an underwatched PG-13 alternative to overplayed holiday hits like Love, Actually. And for Two Old Queens weekly feature of debating how gay the movie in discussion is, the panel turns to the podcast’s patented matrix of 40+ not-quite-scientific categories, including entrances with pizazz, vibrato, mannequins, dramatic smoking, drag queen-inspiration, pool trouble, and abundance of felt fabric (a real boon to The Muppets Take Manhattan’s score). That rubric-driven premise might sound limiting, but the format encourages creative thought exercises, like what exactly qualifies as “macabre” and how a fisting-free movie like Die Hard can out-gay Cruising. [Dan Jakes]

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