Billy Joel's mama named him William, so we will call him William! A chat about his early-'80s album track "Sleeping With the Television On" leads us to consider the best and worst Joel-isms, that strange era when TV stopped showing things for the evening, and the mysterious identity of this Leyna woman.
We're so old! To celebrate our 50th episode, we rank every song on the Indigo Girls' self-titled album, and you'd better believe there are tears. There are also roughly 500 important high-school memories, an analysis of the spiritual in popular song, and a few terrible lyrics that we just can't forgive.
Some say love it is a podcast and MASTAS its only...pod? Strained metaphors aside, we're talking about Bette Midler's "The Rose," and we're pleasantly confused by our affection for this treacly ditty. Plus, we make an urgent request for a very particular cover version. Who will make our dreams come true?
Why yes we ARE tastefully sweaty! That's because we're rocking out to Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf." Why is this song still so alluring? So forbidding? So weird? We discuss all this and more, including a whole sidebar about songs you can't listen to around your friend's parents. Plus, there's a new pop chart astrology reading!
Don't get sad; get MASTAS! We're savoring the danceable ache of Yaz's "Only You," which several listeners asked us cry about together. We're also discussing our respect for frontwomen, a time that Sarah used to drive around acting crazy, and Mark's ludicrous British accent.
MASTAS would like to thank the Academy for...some of these Oscar-winning songs. But for some of them, we'll never forgive them! As we talk about Oscar highs and lows, we also reflect on Celine Dion's teeth, Sarah's time at Talbot's, and Mark's unforgettable trip to China.
Gladys Knight is basically Sophocles, y'all. Or at least, we find a way to link "Midnight Train to Georgia" to classic Greek drama. There are also stops at Mark's college years, Sarah's sympathies for '70s ladies trying to lean in, and the allure of hot backing vocals.
And the award for Sassiest Podcast goes to...MASTAS! Unless Adele wins, that is. Either way, we're talking truth about this year's Grammy nominees for Record and Song of the Year. Listen for Bieber shade, Rihanna praise, and the origin story for Mark and Sarah's entire deal.
We got the night fever, and we never recovered! Join us as we rank every song on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and gasp along as we discover that we radically disagree on certain disco classics. Stick around for a little feminist/queer theory, a little praise for Yvonne Elliman, and a LOT of lust for '70s-era Travolta and Andy Gibb.
Mark and Sarah aren't particularly religious, but when Tim McGraw compares himself to God, they still get up in arms. His insidiously "sensitive" song "I've Got Friends That Do" provokes rage about everything from arrogance to disrespecting Dolly Parton to halfheartedly suggesting the existence of parallel universes.
Turn your overalls around for MASTAS 41! Special guest Nick Rheinwald-Jones brings us Another Bad Creation's "Iesha," which naturally leads us to their boy-band battle with Kris Kross, the Svengali dreams of Michael Bivins, and the endless ocean of tweens who scored R&B hits in the early '90s. Plus, we find some MASTAS fanfic in a dark corner of the internet!
It's country-folk heartbreak, served three ways! The piercing songs of Jason Isbell get us talking about less-is-more lyrics, the fallacy of closure, and phony-baloney country artists who are not like Jason Isbell at all. Plus, there's a thing about J-Izzy sending you a kitten. HE JUST MIGHT DO IT.
This world might be bulls**t, but this podcast sure isn't! MASTAS rings in 2017 with the funky self-loathing of Fiona Apple's "Criminal," which gets us talking about women who resist the mold, hit songs that lead to weird experiments, and the things we'd do to honor S. Epatha Merkerson.
Can listening to R.E.M. make you cool? It sure used to seem that way! A discussion of their classic hit "Stand" leads to thoughts on college radio, weird shower dancing, and the way stupid lyrics can be totally awesome sometimes. Also: This is our last episode of 2016! Thanks for spending time with us this year.
Well ho, ho, ho there! We've each chosen two Christmas songs we like and two Christmas songs that make our eggnog curdle. If you think that causes emotional moments of reflection, a tirade about mommy kissing Santa Claus, and a whole thing about buying presents at the mall, then you're right!
Mark and Sarah have basically been preparing for 26 years to rank every song on "The Immaculate Collection." Now that day has come. Get ready for personal memories, passionate stances, and several gasps of surprise. Get ready, too, for a ton of song clips, because how can you choose just one? (Editor's note: you may experience some echoing in parts of the recording. We apologize for any inconvenience.)
Why are we so freaking relaxed? Because we're talking about Enya! Join us as we ponder her unlikely career, the reason straight boys think she's cool, and all the fictional languages she uses to lull us into a beautiful state of peace.
MASTAS loves dad-rock! In particular, Sarah's dad loves Chicago, which gets us talking about the brassy horns of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" Then Mark uses his "skeezy lounge lizard" voice, Sarah goes deep with road trip memories, and John Fogerty gets confused with J. Geils. Mark's dad won't be happy about that last one.
We don't quite join the Beyhive, but we certainly buzz around it as we discuss Beyonce's "Countdown." We also ponder what it means to be perfect onstage, when a cheap chorus is just the tonic, and how Rihanna fits into the picture. Special thanks to John Ramos and Tara Ariano for pitching in last week -- and to all of you for tolerating Sarah's Aeneid references.
Mark's not feeling well, so special guest John Ramos sat down with Sarah for a discussion of Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry," including the secret history of the song's cast of characters, swearily relatable feminist icons, and Sarah's cassette-klepto situation. Theme song by Tara Ariano!
Beck's sick groove gets us talking about hits that don't reflect their artists, songs that work best when they open an album, and, of all things, Radiohead.
Kokomo's not a real island, but MASTAS is a real podcast! A request for the Beach Boys' comeback hit gets us discussing chant-songs, celebrity bartending, and (of course) John Stamos.
Swedish diva alert! MASTAS goes electro with Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend," which gets Mark all tongue-tied with enthusiasm and gets Sarah wondering if the beat and the subject matter are such a good fit. Plus, there's important discussion of Old Lady Walks (tm).
It's twisted history as MASTAS considers Dan Bern's "Marilyn" and his sassy rewrite of Monroe's life. That leads to us to Hollywood iconography, the value of having fun with an acoustic guitar, and at least one too many versions of "Candle In The Damn Wind."
When is a lefty folk song terrible and when is it wonderful? Mark and Sarah make arguments on both sides, getting their social consciousness going with Indigo Girls, Simon and Garfunkel, Dar Williams, and at least one mention of Corazon Aquino.