#29: Shyam Mervana (Throwing Fits)

TF's Shyam Mervana on 70s SF Photography, Anna Domino, NPR's Louder Than A Riot Podcast, and more

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Shyam Mervana to come on Perfectly Imperfect & spread the hot rec wealth.

Shyam is a strategist at Mother New York, but you probably know him better as “Chef” on the only podcast that matters, Throwing Fits. In addition to producing the massively popular pod, he also curates the excellent “chef jams” playlist series and shares a segment with fellow grom, Chuck (Charlie Franco). Shyam has killer taste & lucky for us, he’s here to talk about what he’s been into.

Without further ado

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Shyam Mervana (twitter, instagram, spotify)

🎼 Anna Domino - Everyday, I Don’t

Gonna kick things off with a tune I’ve had on repeat pretty much all year long. Everyday, I Don’t by Anna Domino is one of those rare tracks that makes you feel warm, isolated, hopeful, and subdued all at the same time. It’s been a go-to source of respite for me throughout this historically shitty year. Not to like, be a total “my life a movie fr” dude but listening to this song while biking through the city at night really is an inimitable vibe. Truly cathartic. I will be listening to it on repeat while I write the rest of this newsletter. 

📚 Who is Michael Jang?

I recently revisited this book of photos by Michael Jang, an incredible photographer who’s been documenting life in California since the early 70s. Jang’s photos distinctively capture the sincere humanity that exists in San Francisco but is often overshadowed by today’s pervasive tech bro agenda. There’s something extremely tight about how he was able to capture high-energy situations––from parties at the Beverly Hilton to punk shows at the Civic Center Plaza––in a way that just feels so tranquil. As a Bay Area native, I deeply appreciate his work and hope you will too. 

🎞 Small Axe: Lovers Rock

Okay, I know everyone’s been recommending this, but it really is that good. Lovers Rock is the second film in Small Axe, Steve McQueen’s five-part series about Black life in West London in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. The movie follows a crew of West Indian Londoners through a night at the coolest party I’d probably never get invited to. They’re spinning jams, drinking Red Stripes, and falling in love. I weirdly really fuck with all movies that take place over the course of one night and this one is no exception. It’s visually gorgeous, the soundtrack is vibey as fuck, and the fits are astounding. Check it out on Amazon Prime Video now. 

📺 MTV’s Are You The One?

Even though I am a certified Bravo Boy™, I do have a soft spot in my heart for MTV’s reality programs. My best buds and I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours watching the Real World, the even better spin-off The Challenge, and of course, Are You The One. The show is basically about a bunch of young, hot people who all “suck at relationships” and are trying to find their Perfect Match: another contestant on the show, predetermined by the producers but unknown amongst themselves, who is meant to be their ideal romantic partner. I’m in it for the shitty laser effects, the snarky host Ryan Devlin, and of course, the never-ending drama. If you’re in need of a mental vacation, check out the first two seasons streaming on Netflix now. 

🗣 Louder Than A Riot

For somebody that works in podcasting, I hardly ever listen to them. NPR’s new show Louder Than a Riot, however, is the rare exception. Hosted by Sidney Madden and Rodney Carmichael, the show interrogates the relationship between mass incarceration and hip-hop by diving deep into the experiences that artists like Bobby Shmurda and DJ Drama have had with the criminal justice system. I’ve been fucking with Rodney and Sid’s music coverage for a while now and this pod really highlights their skills as storytellers.


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