Staff Picks: Sam Richardson, Angel Olsen and ‘2 Dope Queens’


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Scroll through for our picks below.

2 Dope Queens

Have you gotten on the podcast train yet? You should, because they’re trendy and worth your time. One of the best out there is certainly 2 Dope Queens , co-hosted by The Daily Show‘s Jessica Williams (yes, *sob* that Jess Williams who left the giant hole in your heart upon her recent departure from the fake news show) and Phoebe Robinson (who has a book — You Can’t Touch My Hair — coming out in October), and produced by WNYC Studios.

Until Williams debuts her new show on Comedy Central, she’s just as funny on the podcast, along with her lesser-known cohost. Even better, three more comedians do stand-up sets on each show, which are always great, too. (And not all white guys! Imagine!) The very first episode features a story about a drunk Williams confronting her racist cab driver. Need I say more? — Carmen Triola, Editorial Apprentice

Axis of Awesome

If you like Flight of the Conchords and The Lonely Island, you’ll want to get acquainted with this Australian musical comedy trio. You may already know them from “Four Chords,” in which they illustrate how around 50 songs — from “Let It Be” to “Land Down Under” — use almost the exact same chord progression. Their other works similarly demolish pop music, from the hilariously meta “How to Write a Love Song” (with lyrics like “To make it sensual, I sing it in a minor key”) to the anti-dance-club anthem “In the Club Tonight” (“Paid thirty dollars to get into this place / Can’t even see your hand in front of your face”). I particularly liked the salute to street noise assholery that is “Can You Hear the Fucking Music Comin’ Out of My Car?” Yes, some of this overlaps The Lonely Island, though it’s hard to know who’s stealing from who. At least one song where the Axis is nowhere close to the Island is a pitch-perfect parody of Rage Against the Machine, in a song about a Game of Thrones book-reader who’s furious at fans who only know the TV show: “Rage of Thrones.” Catchy music and clever satire. — Jason Ginsburg, Social Media Editor

Sam Richardson on Veep

Finally caught up with that Veep season finale , a knockout of an episode with an abundance of perfect moments: Selina bumping into the tourists in the Red Room, the chilling inauguration-morning tea, Gary’s meltdown. But I was particularly cheered by that quiet, contemplative scene last-night-in-the-Oval between Selina and Sam Richardson’s Richard Splett, who has turned out to be one of the show’s shining stars over the past two seasons. The character is a masterstroke, and Richardson plays him to the hilt: a cheery, charming do-gooder whose utter faith and dedication is only occasionally undermined by his base incompetence. But among the various back-stabbers, egotists, morons, and assholes that populate the Meyer White House, he comes off like a ray of sunshine. “You were one of the good ones,” Meyer tells Splett, before rolling off the couch to catch a snooze on the carpet – and she’s right. — Jason Bailey, Film Editor

Angel Olsen’s “Shut Up Kiss Me”

I’m a very vocal Angel Olsen fan — to the extent that I spent a bunch of time and words contemplating her recent, relatively minimal video for the track “Intern.” That track was the first released from her upcoming album, My Woman, and lo and behold, the second song shared from the album — “Shut Up Kiss Me” — also deserves a big shout-out, especially insomuch as it provides a glimpse into what seems like it’ll be a wildly dynamic album. While “Intern” was a sleepwalk (but the good kind) through a synth tundra — and diverged from anything we’ve heard from Olsen thus far — “Shut Up Kiss Me” picks up where the raucous Burn Your Fire for No Witness track “Forgiven/Forgotten” left off, with Olsen’s fuzzy guitar and emphatic vocals jolting the listener while maintaining the same vague level of dissonance between style and lyricism as in “Intern.” If on that first My Woman track, Olsen immersed the listener in the depths of self-deprecation and romantic passivity — shutting herself off in a dream — “Shut Up Kiss Me” leaps out (though still with a layer of sonic/nostalgic distance) as its far more forward counterpart. — Moze Halperin, Associate Editor

Douglas Rushkoff — Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus

Flavorwire favorite Douglas Rushkoff has made a strong play for best title of the year with this, his latest book, and he’s also provided the sort of multidisciplinary, visionary analysis of the way the world works for which he’s become rightly renowned. In Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus, he examines how the economic model that requires constant, endless growth has become a burden on society, and how restructuring our economy might relieve some of the pressures generated by decades of unrestrained capitalism. I’m only halfway through it, but so far, it’s highly recommended. — Tom Hawking, Editor-in-Chief