Butcher's beef diagram with movies and podcasts instead of cuts of meat

Curated Beef, January 2023


New year, new possibilities? Same shit, different day? Time will tell, my beautiful babies!

January is cold and grey in Pittsburgh. I’m in hibernation mode. However,  I have one movie that I’ll be seeing in the theater, and until then, I’ll be listening to to a lot of Steve Winwood records.


Moving Pictures

A pilot with a machine gun and a bearded prisoner stand next to each other.
2023 Lionsgate


In theaters January 113

I hate boring and vague movie titles. This has become an epidemic in recent years, no doubt influenced by a need to maximize search engine optimization or some shit. I don’t know; I’m not a mind reader. However, I miss when movies had memorable titles. Nothing says “You’ll forget me forever after a month” like calling a movie Plane or Ambulance or Commuter.

Anyway, a patron saint of Alleged Beef is Mr. Gerard Butler, and this is his newest film. Seemingly a spin on the Assault on Precinct 13 story (as was the last high-profile release by director Jean-François Richet, explicitly an Assault on Precinct 13 remake), Plane is about a commercial jet which crash lands on an island full of bad guys (?) who immediately kidnap the passengers. The only hope is for the noble pilot (GERRY B) to team up with a hardened criminal (played by Luke Cage’s Mike Coulter) and survive until rescue arrives.

Gerry B was the star of previous Alleged Beef theatrical favoriteCop Shop, and here he is again with another R-rated genre film. I’ll be there on opening day, Gerry!




These days, I mostly listen to jazz and classical, plus whatever we find on vinyl. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Live 1975–85 was a recent acquisition on vinyl and it is tremendous. We also got two records by Traffic (The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys; John Barleycorn Must Die) and one by Steve Winwood (Back in the High Life) which are all great. I don’t have any new records to shill, but here are some music-adjacent creations that I’ve been enjoying.


Gorillaz, The Now Now (2018), Plastic Beach (2010)

I’ve always loved Gorillaz. I appreciate the anti-consumer themes in their music, the fatalism, the cool arrangements, and the infinite list of great guest performers. I’ve been listening to two of their more recent releases, The Now Now and Plastic Beach. Both are great music to chill to, and Albarn makes endlessly fascinating and offbeat music.



YouTube video essayist

I’ve really been digging this YouTube channel. They make fascinating video essays about a variety of artists. The linked one above discusses Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Chile and Voodoo Child (Slight Return) from ElectricLadyLand. The videos are well-researched and balance reverence for the topic with an academic distance which I appreciate. They also do periodic videos which they call AV Companions, video essays which last exactly the length of a single song and which sync up with the song. The Bauhaus one is really enjoyable.



I guess it is the way of all things, but in our modern world, if something is popular for long enough, capitalism will find a way to sour it for you. The podcast was the realm of academics, improv comics, and DIY artists for about 15 good years. Since around 2020, it has become thoroughly saturated with celebrities squeezing out the indie creators. There have always been celebrities in the podcast game, but it has felt like huge names from other media have really filled the space of late, your Tarantinos and Jason Batemans and whatnot. The celebrity recap show, wherein famous people talk about the thing they were famous for, fills up my recommendations on Spotify. So I’ve retreated into the recesses of the medium, where new voices are just starting out or carving out their own weird niche. It is refreshing to get in early on the life of a podcast and see how it changes over time. Some podcasts that I have followed for years have exploded in popularity and their aims have shifted accordingly. I don’t fault a podcast like Blank Check for embracing their meteroric rise and using that fame to get a more famous group of guests to supplement their usual ones, but the charm is gone.

Of course, there is another aspect of finding new podcasts that can chafe: jumping in with someone who is just starting out in the medium probably means that they are way younger than you. This is just a fact of aging, but it does sting at times when someone born in 1998 is trying to remember Robin Williams’ name or in what decade the first Alien film was released.

So here are a couple of podcasts that I have recently added to my rotation.


The Silver Linings Playlist

146 episodes as of writing; 1,600 Instagram followers; no Patreon

This is a pretty fun podcast with a rotating cast of hosts. They focus on movies with particularly grim or shocking endings, and look for the silver lining in the film. The show doesn’t always stick to this premise as the conversation develops, but it does mean that their episode choices are eclectic, such as the recent run of There Will Be Blood into Batman Returns into Lord of the Rings The Two Towers into A History of Violence. The hosts also seem to be podcast fans themselves, as I catch periodic in-jokes/references to luminaries such as Blank Check, We Hate Movies, and Unspooled.

I recommend #126. The Great Escape (1963) or #120. Dawn of the Dead (1978) as good entry points.



115 episodes as of this writing; 900 Instagram followers; 7 Patrons

This show uses the classic podcast premise of “watch bad movies and riff” but I think they have excellent chemistry. They often focus on movies of the past two decades, which is a nice change of pace as shows like How Did This Get Made? have, ad nauseum, covered 1970s, 80s, and 90s bad movies. The hosts are based out of Columbus, which is also refreshing in a medium that is often bloated with LA improv comedians and NY aspiring writers.

I recommend the Ghostbusters (2016) and Ghostbusters (1984) episodes as good entry points.