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.
Mark and Sarah get funky fresh with Young MC's "Principal's Office" and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince's "Parents Just Don't Understand." In between dope late-'80s beats, we discuss the sneaky wit of party rap, the power of your drive-thru order, and the difference between charming confidence and sheer jackassery.
Mark's friend Erin requests "Le Freak," which takes us to Mark's birthday pop chart reading and funky dances you can't do at home. Then a listener requests R. Kelly's "Ignition (remix)", and we try to process the gross things America avoided when the song became a hit. Tweet us at TalkSongs to tell us how to dance the freak or how to bleach R. Kelly from our minds.
Joe Reid returns to request "St. Elmo's Fire (Man In Motion)", which gets us ALL up in the business of '80s movie songs and their inspirational key changes. Plus, Sarah remembers horrifying high-school traditions and Mark recalls that time he invented a stupid dance. Tweet at us @TalkSongs with our favorite "watch the video instead of the movie" songs.
It's wailin' ladies this week, with Janis Joplin's immortal "Get It While You Can" sharing the docket with "That Year," a cathartically sad song by Brandi Carlile. That leads us to Janis's enduring awesomeness, cover versions that trump the originals, and that time Mark thought he was reincarnated. Tweet us at talksongs to tell us about your Janis memories, your Brandi Carlile favorites, and the songs that make you feel it all.
Welcome to Jewel-erdome, where two awful Jewel songs enter and only one leaves. As we decide which single commits the greater crime, we discover Mark's rage for terrible lyrics, Sarah's dark past with a cappella groups, and yet another way that Dawson's Creek is relevant. Tweet us at talksongs to tell us who dies in YOUR Jewel-erdome! (Note: It's acceptable to say that your hopes are what die in Jewel-erdome.)
Special guest Joe Reid joins us as we open the listener mailbag and pluck out Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You," our most-requested song. This sad '90s classic leads us everywhere from emotional trends in pop music to those short songs you put on mix tapes. Oh, and Sarah and Mark continue their ongoing discussion of Candlebox. Tweet us at TalkSongs with your requests, mixtape preferences, and ideal soundtrack cut from My So-Called Life.
There’s a little Broadway and a little rage as we talk about “I Don’t Know How To Love Him.” Join us as we consider the anti-feminism of '70s ballads, the political power of musical theater divas, and Mark's dramaturgical dorkiness for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tweet us at talksongs with your song requests, favorite musicals, and tip for Sarah's performance in Oklahoma!