This fortnight, a classic combination of creatives with The Nevers, a new TV show created (though no longer run) by Joss Whedon, and Army of the Dead, the latest movie directed by Zack Snyder.

But first, Nick’s watching Lucifer again, but in a more topical way, while Alastair’s enjoying new punk rock sitcom We Are Lady Parts.

And then it’s finally time to travel back to Victorian times with The Nevers (10:28), discussing its many plot elements, some extreme comparisons to X-Men and, for once, not too many spoilers.

Last of all, they’ve seen Army of the Dead (28:30) – has it been long enough since Nick’s last Walking Dead episode to finally give zombies a chance?

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Now that lockdown is ending and we’re taking our first tentative steps outside again, I have decided to write a tribute to Tom Coley’s list of the new music he discovered during lockdown. My list celebrates the songs that have been my soundtrack to the pandemic and have captured this strange time we’re living through.

Most of these tunes were released in the last year and a bit, some weren’t, but they’re all tunes I discovered during lockdown that helped me get through the last 15 months or so. Now, without further ado, the list:

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Relentless robots and never-ending Netflix this fortnight, as Nick and Alastair do Love, Death & Robots season 2, followed by The Mitchells Vs The Machines.

But first, Alastair’s still in the Netflix scifi ballpark with Oxygen, while Nick’s way off the reservation with new crime graphic novel Friend of the Devil by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.

Their main course, though, is the next helping of Love, Death & Robots (9:35), including general chat about the new run and your hosts running down their top 3 episodes from it.

Finally, after rave reviews from all quarters, Nick and Alastair sit down to discover the happier side of androids with The Mitchells Vs The Machines (26:31).

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In the final instalment of this series, I’m revisiting an album that I bought on the strength of a mobile phone advert. It might not sound like the most auspicious start, but man, I’m glad I did.

Back in 2001, Vodafone used a song called Bohemian Like You in a TV commercial. I’d never heard of the band, but with its catchy hook, swaggeringly irreverent lyrics and retro, Rolling Stones-esque sound, I liked it enough to buy the single. The B-side boded well (an interesting re-working of AC/DC’s Hells Bells with added trumpets), but even so, I’d have assumed that the album would be par for the course circa 2001: the familiar single release along with one or two other decent tracks, and a whole load of forgettable filler. How wrong I was.

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This week I’m taking a fresh look at Green Day’s American Idiot, an album that many would consider a modern classic. I’m familiar with the big single releases, but don’t recall ever consciously listening to the album all the way through. Will it live up to its status?

I wish I could say I was cool enough to have spent my teenage years listening to Green Day. But, being too young to have caught their mid-90’s heyday, I only really knew them via their hits. Through the prism of singing along to Basket Case at parties, basically. This’ll probably make Green Day fans want to slap me, but I suppose I considered them a fun, quasi-novelty, tongue-in-cheek band – although more reflective hits like Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) hinted at greater depth. Whilst they always had a subversive edge with songs like She, I certainly wouldn’t have expected anything like a protest song from them.

So as a comeback album, American Idiot was unexpected. A ‘punk rock opera’ by a band whose heyday was ten years prior, and had already released a Greatest Hits? Whose last album (2000’s Warning) had failed to make an impact? The term ‘concept album’ was even thrown ominously around. On paper, it kind of sounds like it would be rubbish, or at best, an indulgent late-career project of appeal to hardcore fans only.

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The youth are revolting. Gone are the apathetic proto-hipsters of my youth, where the lamest thing you could be was someone who cared about shit. Young people today have embraced politics, from Extinction Rebellion to The Women’s March, we are seeing young people take up activism in a desperate bid to save the world from its desperate hurtle off the edge of a reactionary, nationalist, climate apocalypse cliff into oblivion.

You wouldn’t know this to be the case when looking at films or TV. There aren’t many depictions of young people getting involved in activism in our visual media. If you look at recent music, you can see it. Groups from Dream Nails to Run the Jewels intertwined activism with music to the point where they are one and the same. However, TV lags behind.

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This fortnight, the podcast celebrates Alastair’s successful Oscar predictions by watching 2021’s Best Picture Nomadland, while Nick takes his turn by bringing in new X-Men series Way of X.

But first, still in the world of comics, Nick’s read Silver Surfer by Dan Slott and Michael & Laura Allred, while Alastair’s watched Netflix space movie Stowaway.

And then it’s time to hit the road with Nomadland (11:15), Chloe Zhao’s acclaimed movie starring Frances McDormand as a modern-day nomad.

Finally, Nick and Alastair return to their beloved modern-era X-Men line with Way of X #1 (22:57) by Si Spurrier and Bob Quinn and ask: how much ritualised murder is too much?

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Political turmoil and music have always gone hand in hand. Even in periods of mass apathy, there’s still protest music to be found. In this article I’ll be revisiting an album by US punk rockers Bad Religion, and its part in my political awakening.

The ‘End of History’ early-2000’s was not a great time to be a young person getting interested in politics. I’d listen to my dad’s old Billy Bragg tapes, naively longing for a time when there was something to fight against. In The New Internationalist, I’d read about the human and environmental toll of unfettered globalisation. The problem was, here in the UK, consumer capitalism seemed to be working OK for most people (we’d find out later that it wasn’t, but 2008 was still a long way off). I was, no doubt insufferably, a rebel without a cause.

Then George W Bush and Tony Blair decided to invade Iraq, and Britain saw its biggest mass protest in a generation. Plenty of people my age opposed the war, but frustratingly, I knew few of them. Most of my friends were casually pro-war. Or, they’d internalised the received wisdom of the ‘60s generation: “there’s no point protesting, it doesn’t achieve anything.” Or, worst of all: “It doesn’t affect me, so I don’t care.” They cared about Pop Idol, football or Big Brother, not this.

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In the age of Spotify, the compilation CD might be as redundant as dial-up internet. But for me, they were an essential component of my teenage soundtrack. In this article, I’ll be revisiting an experience shared by so many music fans of my generation: listening to a collection of songs curated by someone else.

Always displayed prominently in HMV, there were lots of compilation albums. If you followed the charts, there were those interminable ‘Now’ albums. But if indie was more your thing, there were compilations like ‘Shine’, ‘The Bands’ or this one – ‘Reloaded’. Why did we buy them? For me, they were a way of discovering new bands without having to splash out on whole albums or buying endless singles.

On getting this CD out, my first thought was: look at some of this stuff! My second thought was: look at some of this stuff. There isn’t space to talk about every single track, but let’s jump in and take a look at the highs and lows of ‘Reloaded’.

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This fortnight, Nick and Alastair present their inevitable The Falcon & The Winter Soldier conclusions, then decompress with lovable scifi-romcom Palm Springs.

But first, tis the season for Alastair’s annual Oscar predictions, while Nick’s read teen alien meltdown comic Alienated by Si Spurrier and Chris Wildgoose.

And then they join the masses in receiving the gift of The Falcon & The Winter Soldier (12:18), Marvel’s much-discussed latest TV show about the weight of the Captain America legacy, including spoilers to the very end from 19:45.

Finally, Nick and Alastair live through the eventful day of Palm Springs (36:13) with Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, including somehow yet more spoilers from 39:37.

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