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Mark And Sarah Talk About Songs

Mark Blankenship and Sarah D. Bunting talk about one song each episode.
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Mark And Sarah Talk About Songs
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 22, 2016

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.

Dec 15, 2016

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! 

Dec 8, 2016

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.)

Dec 1, 2016

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.

Nov 17, 2016

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.

Nov 10, 2016

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.

Nov 4, 2016

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!

Oct 27, 2016

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. 

Oct 20, 2016

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. 

Oct 13, 2016

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). 

Oct 6, 2016

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."

Sep 29, 2016

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. 

Sep 23, 2016

With our special guests The Shondes, we get all up in our feelings and talk about Patrick Swayze's "She's Like the Wind." Naturally, this leads to talk of Dirty Dancing, freeze-frame peen, implied blazers on jazz singers, and the mysterious life of Wendy Fraser. 

Sep 16, 2016

MASTAS isn't single, but we WILL take your man! Classic cuts from Salt-n-Pepa and Meshell Ndegeocello get our attitudes up to eleven. We also reflect on smiling in hip-hop, being grateful to lose your lover, and double-dutch as a metaphor.

Sep 9, 2016

We're rocking the vote (or something) with Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA" and Dixie Chicks' "Not Ready to Make Nice," which may be the most politicized pop songs of the last 35 years. In between the punditry, Sarah does her best Bruce impression, Mark invents a rap about big booties, and nobody cuts Billy Joel any slack.

Sep 1, 2016

A '90s feud lives on! This week, we pit Blur's "Song 2" against Oasis's "Wonderwall," and along the way, we make up tons of fake facts about Damon Albarn. We also fall deep into a memory well of hangovers, high-school friends, and dubious fashion. 

Aug 26, 2016

Shootin' at the walls of MASTAS! Kevin Smokler's listener request, '80s classic "The Warrior," gets Mark talking about his childhood dance parties, Sarah discussing her Patti Smith/Patty Smyth confusion, and both of us praising the women of Reagan-era rock. Now pardon us while we fist-pump to a killer (Homeric?) chorus. 

Aug 19, 2016

Mark and Sarah Disagree About Songs! Opinions are divided on Tinie Tempah's hit featuring Eric Turner, which leads to lively debate about rap-rock, the numbing power of sports promotion, and a shuddering remembrance of Limp Bizkit.

Aug 12, 2016

And the participation ribbon goes to...MASTAS! As Olympians compete in Rio, we rank five songs with various ties to the Olympic games. As medals are awarded, there's also talk of Whitney Houston's glory, unexpected uses for cotton, Sarah's memories of the Fresh Prince, and Mark's favorite babysitter, plus Bebel Gilberto sings us home!

Aug 5, 2016

We wanna sex you up, and we PROMISE we know how to do it! Special guest Tara Ariano joins us to stare into the abyss of Color Me Badd's sex-clumsiest hit, which makes us ponder terrible backing tracks, surreal lyrics, and the power of the duffel coat. Bonus points if you spot the cameo from MASTAS Associate VP of feline outreach, Mabel!

Jul 29, 2016

Guest 'caster Tara Ariano gets our church arms swaying when she brings us George Michael's "Freedom 90," a perfect slice of funky fame-hating. Talk of Michael's legacy leads us to supermodel shout-outs, analysis of the singalong chorus, and a whole thing about sweaters. 

Jul 22, 2016

Mark can't remember ever hearing "Stairway to Heaven," so Sarah (and special guest Olivia) take him on an educational journey through the Led Zep original and notable covers by Dread Zeppelin and Dolly Parton. This leads to detours through the power of guitar solos, the band T-shirts New Yorkers love most, and art you can make with potatoes.

Jul 15, 2016

This podcast is just like Sia: You can't see our faces, but you CAN hear our voices! This week, we're talking about "Reaper," Sia's bouncy ode to cheating death. Along the way, Sarah writes the world's weirdest fanfic, Mark wonders what kind of lemonade you bring to a morbid pep rally, and we both get fired up about how female artists are treated. Use the comments to share your favorite Sia song, Six Feet Under memory, or story about convincing death to chill for a minute!

Jul 1, 2016

Hey hey, we're the MASTAS! ...Ahem. The point is, we're digging this killer '60s jam from the Monkees, and we're talking about how the band members went from TV show jokes to venerated rock icons. That doesn't mean we account for the Monkees movie, though. Meanwhile, Mark tries to remember the name of Linda Ronstadt's band and Sarah wonders how many times Mike Nesmith's songwriting has gotten him laid. (Let us know, Mike!)

Jun 24, 2016

It's a sad day for wedding cake as we discuss Guns N' Roses big hairy spectacle of a big hair ballad. Get ready to learn about Mark's weird habits from middle school, Sarah's deep research on this killer music video, and the ways Smashing Pumpkins might have had more fun if they had just been around in the '80s. (Note: Mark forgot to mention it in the episode, but he'd like you to know this is the longest song ever to reach the Top 10.)

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