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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!)
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.)
Somehow, talking about Bastille's big hit from last year sends Sarah to her college English papers, Mark to his lifelong obsession with Suzanne Vega, and both of us to a surprisingly emotional reflection on the role of the human body in making music. Plus we pinpoint the exact moment that Coldplay became a bunch of jerkwads!
We asked for Supremes covers, and you really went to (Mo-)town! Based on your suggestions, we discuss everything from lounge lizards to dance divas, all doing their best Diana Ross. We also ponder what makes a cover awesome (or terrible) and why the Motown sound works so well in other genres. While we bleach that La Toya Jackson vocal out of our ears, amuse yourselves with joints from Kim Wilde, Reba, Tim Curry, the Stray Cats, and the high priest of girls' bikes.