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Defector's David J. Roth pulls up a seat on the second footballiest day of the year as we talk about Oliver Stone's Any Given Sunday, a 157-minute "exploration of boundaries of filmmaking by peole who are permanently on LSD." Whether it's a #poppyfieldsmovie, why it looks so cheap, which Al Pacino(s) we get in this performance and what the F he's w…
 
Short Cuts waterboarded with sno-cone syrup...Love Actually from factory-irregular parts...a catastrophically premature Magnolia...it's Playing By Heart, which is 40 minutes too long, coy about a meaningless end reveal, and contains very few believable situations or lines of dialogue. How desperate is Angelina Jolie to get a reaction from her woode…
 
We're moving into the DILF era for Quaid with 1998's The Parent Trap, which is too long, too loud, and too blithe about the Unsolved Mysteries segment that is this family's narrative...and yet its "welcome unreality" is charming, and so is Quaid. And so is our guest, Tara Ariano, who joined us for a discussion of everything from LiLo charisma watta…
 
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…
 
It's DQ's directorial debut, a TNT movie called Everything That Rises -- and while there's no discernible connection to Flannery O'Connor, the flick's surprisingly good. Okay, the transfer we watched was very bad, and the dialogue's laconic sarcasm was a little TOO uniform across characters, but between Harve Presnell; an unnecessary but amusing ba…
 
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…
 
For some reason, Dennis Quaid's PG-13 energy was deemed a good fit with the most famous kids' show of all time, which is how "Uncle Tommy From Da Bronx" ended up helping Telly learn about telling the truth and trusting your friends. After a review of the show's astronaut credibility from an actual child, we talked about Allan Sherman, Scully's cell…
 
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 …
 
Hey, we're here. The book, "How Lucky," is out. It belongs to the world now. Will talks to, really, the only person he could talk to about it: Tim Grierson. We hope you enjoy the book, and the podcast. Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.com. Follow the podcast at @stillreadbooks on Twitter, and email your author re…
 
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…
 
We're back! We're just a few days away from the publication of HOW LUCKY. Whoa. But today, we have another May 11 release date author, the wonderful Jessica Anya Blau, discussing the extremely fun "Mary Jane." Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.com. Follow the podcast at @stillreadbooks on Twitter, and email your a…
 
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're back! We're delighted to talk to Luke Epplin, author of "Our Team," about the 1948 Cleveland Indians and intersecting stories of Larry Doby, Bill Veeck, Satchel Paige and Bob Feller. It's an awesome book. Also: Will's book "How Lucky" is about in, like, 12 days now. Woah! Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.co…
 
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…
 
Tara Ariano returns to send Season 4 of QIF out on an ice floe with Something To Talk About, 1995's marriage/family dramedy starring Julia Roberts; directed by Lasse Hallstrom (!); and written by Callie Khouri (!!). What is it about this "Hallmark movie, but with an associates degree" that lets it hold together despite what Tara called "a fundament…
 
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…
 
Margaret Coker is the former Baghdad bureau chief for The New York Times and has written a gripping story of the Falcon, a counter-terrorism unit in Baghdad that took on ISIS. It's absolutely riveting. She's also the editor of The Current, a publication covering Coastal Georgia. Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.c…
 
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 NCAA Tournament week! Will is delighted to host ESPN's John Gasaway, whose new book "Miracles on the Hardwood," which is about the history of Catholic schools in college basketball ... which is to say, it's about the history of college basketball. Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.com. Follow the podcast at @…
 
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 …
 
Hey, this is a fun one: It's our friend Tim Grierson! He's got a new book out, "This Is How You Make A Movie." We talk to him about it. We're very official. Send Will your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.com. Follow the podcast at @stillreadbooks on Twitter, and email your author recommendations to peoplestilllreadbooks@gmail.…
 
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…
 
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