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It's the America's Damp 40 season finale! Dave Mason, Silver, Leo Sayer, Barbra Streisand, and Chicago file onto the big stage, and Shaddo and Peej discuss moist chord structures, running over cassettes in Grimsby parking lots, the return of the "DON'T TOUCH THAT!!" shriek, unmodulated Broadway belting, and the Jordan-almond schmaltz shell that is …
 
There was a "35 moisture-units per hour" joke here but Sarah just couldn't get it to go. YOU should go listen to the second-to-last episode of our America's Damp 40 countdown, as America, Dan Hill, Seals & Crofts, Kenny Loggins, and Foreigner all slosh onto the chart. How did George Martin get in here? Did one of the legion of Dans solve toxic masc…
 
Three quarters of the way through the America's Damp 40 countdown! Wading into the swamp this week are Nicolette Larson, Bread, Barry Manilow, Jim Croce, and the Garden State's own Dr. Hook, and as Mark fondly remembers a bank vestibule and conjures a mating dance involving a drink with grenadine in it, Sarah wonders if the titular Mandy has called…
 
It's getting real -- real soggy, that is -- as we wrestle with the next five songs in the America's Damp 40 countdown. William Joel, Kenny Rogers, Randy Vanwarmer, Bertie Higgins, and yet another Dan (Fogelberg) have us talking about emotional-labor issues, when vulnerability is actually wimpiness, songs that sound like karaoke stock videos look, w…
 
We've reached the halfway point in our America's Damp 40 countdown, and with Steely Dan, Ambrosia, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Olivia Newton-John, and 10cc entering the chart, it's getting dark AND damp in here. The condescension of older boyfriends, saying the quiet part out loud, sexual grift, calling the Seals family onto the (shag) carpet,…
 
America's Damp 40 countdown "welcomes" another five songs to the fray, including selections from Orleans, Melissa Manchester, James Taylor, Lionel Richie, and Dolly Parton. Is Manchester the girl from "Chevy Van"? How do the paradigm challenges of drag relate to moisture levels? Was JT low-key hateful this whole time? And did Sarah crack the anti-m…
 
The next 5 songs join the America's Damp 40 countdown, so buckle up for Gerry Rafferty, the Eagles, Todd Rundgren, Sammy Johns, and our old friend Paul Davis as we settle our first top 10. Penthouse letters gone feloniously awry, Glenn Frye-colepsy, predicting saxophone sales, the one time Sarah will let herself use the word "iconic," and a side of…
 
America's Damp 40 is now officially underway with our first 5 songs! Art Garfunkel, Juice Newton, Christopher Cross, Styx, and Player form the foundation of our moist pop-chart project. The mystery of Dudley Moore, Michael McDonald's mentholated support, the difference between longing and a boner, sonic butter, the Garfunkel/Midler Venn, and Ridge …
 
Welcome to America's Damp 40, our season dedicated to ranking the moistest soft rock hits of all time. In this episode, we explain the premise, discuss how our rankings will work, reveal the songs in contention, and talk about all the shag carpeting on which a person can make love. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by The Association. …
 
In our most meta episode ever, we're ranking 13 songs with the word "song" in the title, which allows us to discuss everything from Weird Al to porpoises to the very best times to sound like Simon and Garfunkel. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, Andrew Byrne, Laura Barger, AND Jack Baldelli. (Truly!) Our outro is by Soykus Paynoot. To contact us…
 
The ostentatious awesomeness of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” gets us talking about songs you can’t possibly sing along to and the various reasons Freddie Mercury is eternal. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne and our outro is by PJ Harvey. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.c…
 
Will this be Mark's favorite song of the year? And can he convert Sarah? The maturity ship sails with mentions of Alanis, Miranda Lambert, Hopkins (drink!), and the cool girl looming large. Our intro is by David Byrne (not that one), and our outro is by Ivy. For more episodes and/or to buy our book, visit our website at markandsarahtalkaboutsongs.c…
 
We both had taste in 7th grade. Was it good taste? Listen to us discuss our favorite songs from that long-ago time and then decide! Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by A.B. Logic. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.com/mastas. See Privac…
 
There are MANY songs about how hard it is to be famous, but which one is the best? In this ranking episode, we anoint the most valuable tune in the "I hate my rockstar life" canon. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Ray Charles. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visi…
 
We're going all the way back to Bon Jovi's first hit single, "Runaway" -- and we're digging into Journey keyboards, bad daddies, and lyrical choices that hit differently today than they did back then. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Joe Jackson. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patr…
 
Joey Lawrence once released a teen pop album, and three of its songs demand attention. Join us for an investigation of white-boy rapping, smoove grooves, and the best way to hold your butt. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by The Archies. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron o…
 
Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" gets us talking about no-good boyfriends, drums that arrive at just the right time, and structural choices that make a song more exciting. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli and our outro is by Lyn & The Invaders. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the s…
 
Etta James is ready for love (and other things), and we're ready to listen to her sing about it in "Something's Got a Hold On Me." All that, plus Xtina, palimpsests, and songs that make you feel cute. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by Sarah's true beloved, Def Jef. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarah…
 
We're ranking every song on the "Clueless" soundtrack, which means we're talking about '90s fashion, the essence of college rock, and the justice we want for No Doubt. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by DJ Tei Towa. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.com…
 
We're discussing The Replacements' "Alex Chilton" with special guest Taylor Cole (The Great American Pop Culture Quiz Show). The conversation covers everything from the pop music history of the mandolin to the changing nature of selling out. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne and our outro is by The Queers. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSa…
 
Have you noticed that "The Tracks of My Tears" is a perfect song? We dig into the excellence of Smokey Robinson and The Miracles' original version, the precision of the songcraft, and the narrative complexity of the background vocals. Plus, we've got a pop-chart astrology reading! Our intro is by Andrew Byrne and our outro is by The Hollies. To con…
 
It's a battle of the Genesis frontmen as we consider Peter Gabriel's "Digging in the Dirt" and Phil Collins's "Thru' These Walls," two songs about dudes with serious issues. Only one, however, is about a grade-A creep. Can you guess which? Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli and our outro is, naturally, by Genesis. To contact us or buy o…
 
Lyle Lovett's "If I Had a Boat" gets us talking about surreal lyrics, traditional country, and at least one great film starring Christina Ricci. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Band of Horses. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.com/mastas. See Privacy…
 
We're digging deep into Netflix's eight-part docuseries This Is Pop. Join us as we discuss women in country, the merits of AutoTune, and the value of taking silly songs quite seriously. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Kraftwerk. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, v…
 
A pair of songs from The Killers' latest album (and a k.d. lang guest vocal) get us on some of our favorite subjects: death as pop-music fodder, poetic strategies in lyrical storytelling, and the definition of "Marknip." Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by Cat Power. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSo…
 
As we talk about George Benson's cover of "On Broadway," Mark makes visceral sounds about the singing, Sarah makes a case about the lyrical storytelling, and we both make references to chair-dancing. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by The Candy Skins. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.…
 
Is Lenny Kravitz undervalued? As we discuss "Are You Gonna Go My Way," we talk about his hot licks, his knack for controlling what consumes other artists, and his ability to make the phrase "rub-a-dub" sound sexy. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Jimi Hendrix. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To…
 
Yes, Rihanna's "We Found Love" is joyous, but it's also aching, sophisticated, and Calvin Harris-y. We're talking about all that...and Hostess Cakes. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by the Soup Dragons. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.com/masta…
 
We're ranking every song on The Postal Service's album "Give Up," which means we're bleeping and blooping about grad school fan networks, lyrics with the right amount of self-consciousness, and intros that go on forever. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by The Knife. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSo…
 
We're going back to the '50s with "Thirteen Women," Bill Haley's ditty about the ladies who will pleasure him during nuclear winter. Naturally, this makes us think about Greek tragedy, documentary films, and the subtle sexuality of jelly rolls. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by the Stills. To contact us or buy our …
 
A listener request has us discussing the (very long) (frequently inaccurate) history lesson in Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." We've also got a birthday chart reading about a massively popular novelty song. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Bob Dylan. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAbo…
 
Tease up those bangs, because we're talking about Trisha Yearwood's 1991 country hit "She's in Love With the Boy." Why is Mark crying? Why is Sarah talking about subversive feminine narratives? Why are we using these accents? Listen and find out! Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by Steve Wariner. To contact us or buy our books,…
 
Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" gets us chair-dancing like unleashed beasts, and then it gets us talking about narrators we can relate to, hooks we can savor, and vocals we can love and hate at the same time. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by Howard Jones. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To …
 
The esteemed John Ramos returns to help us rank Prince covers, which means we're discussing everyone from Cyndi Lauper to Chaka Khan to [checks notes] Tevin Campbell. We're also confronting strong feelings about Martika and parsing the fashions of Vanity 6. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by Prince. To contact us or…
 
Dua Lipa's "Levitating" makes it look easy to fill a song with killer hooks, and she's got us talking about words invented by pop stars, the surprising depth of dance anthems, and the way, inevitably, that Madonna is always there. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Gramatik. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAbout…
 
We wanna rock right now, so naturally we're talking about "It Takes Two," the timeless jam by Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock. We're also talking about the beauty of last-minute inspiration and who can or can't stand sex. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by Run-DMC. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. …
 
As we talk about the power pop of Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know," we also dig into American Idol, emotional British bands, and songs that are required to soundtrack a montage. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by Everything But the Girl. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become…
 
As we talk about "Pleasant Valley Sunday" by The Monkees, we also talk about the long road to authenticity, the secret excellence of Micky Dolenz, and the various ways you could exist in the '60s. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by The Soup Dragons. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a pat…
 
Our Teen Idol Tournament reaches its legally binding conclusion as we discuss the championship match-up between The Monkees and Britney Spears. This live episode features analysis, predictions, and our wistful thoughts on NKOTB. Go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You just need a free Patreon account to vote.) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outr…
 
It's getting REAL as we reach the Final Four in our March MASTAS tournament to choose the all-time best teen idol. This live episode features analysis, predictions, Intro to Max Martin Theory, and the Monkees. Go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You just need a free Patreon account to vote.) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Katy Perry.…
 
It's the Elite 8 in our March MASTAS tournament to choose the all-time best teen idol. This live episode features analysis, predictions, and various ways to root for Boston bands. Go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You just need a free Patreon account to vote.) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Britney Spears. To contact us or buy our …
 
It's the Sweet 16 in our March MASTAS tournament to choose the all-time best teen idol. This live episode features analysis, predictions, and dancing to New Edition. Go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You only need a free Patreon account to vote.) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by The Partridge Family. To contact us or buy our books, v…
 
It's the Round of 32 in our March MASTAS tournament to determine the all-time best teen idol. This live episode features our analysis and predictions for every match-up, plus impassioned comments from our patrons. Go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You just need a free Patreon account to vote.) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by the Spi…
 
It's the Round of 64 in our March MASTAS tournament to determine the all-time best teen idol! Listen for our analysis and predictions for every match-up, and then go vote at patreon.com/mastas. (You can vote even if you aren't a patron!) Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Rick Springfield. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAn…
 
In Part 2 of our two-part ranking of Simon and Garfunkel's album "Bridge Over Troubled Water," we're discussing the mysteries of "The Boxer," tidal waves of tears, and the great relief of the occasional uptempo song. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Simon & Garfunkel. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs…
 
In Part 1 of our two-part ranking of Simon and Garfunkel's album "Bridge Over Troubled Water," we're discussing songs of friendship, tales of traveling salesmen, and the music you can make at a Staples. Our intro is by Andrew Byrne, and our outro is by Paul Simon. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a pat…
 
Alicia Keys' mega-hit "No One" has us talking about distracting beauty, essential hype men, and the music you need when you're at an outdoor party. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by Dusty Springfield. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To become a patron of the show, visit patreon.com/mastas…
 
The aggressive "okay-ness" of Charley Pride's "Kiss An Angel Good Mornin'" sends us down weird byways involving Twitty City, the Apple Music algorithm, and the way bland hits obscure better songs. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack Baldelli, and our outro is by Elton John. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAboutSongs.com. To …
 
Mark and Sarah don't agree about Fiona Apple's "Heavy Balloon," but the reasons they disagree may delight you! Stick around for talk of overabundant metaphors, wild musical experiments, and the sweaters worn by phantoms. Our intro is by David Gregory Byrne, and our outro is by The Sundays. To contact us or buy our books, visit MarkAndSarahTalkAbout…
 
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