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Who is the Lilith Fairest of them all? At last, our answer -- but first, we look at last-comers Heather Nova, Jewel, Paula Cole, Des'ree, and Natalie Merchant. And we ask a few more questions, like which sophomore year lyrics belong to, high school or college; whether we feel truly confident in our Lilithosity metrics; who's our favorite liberal sc…
 
The second-to-last set of 5 songs joins the Lilith fray by zig-zagging all over the map: Ani DiFranco, India.Arie, Natalie Imbruglia, Aimee Mann, and Chantal Kreviazuk take us from a soggy subbasement of the Brill Building, to the desert, to the diner for a celery soda, to the valley of the shadow of WTF. That's where the doctors with butterfly net…
 
The murderers' row of artists joining us for our Top 30 episode -- Joan Osborne, Tracy Chapman, Fiona Apple, Shawn Colvin, and Lisa Loeb & 9 Stories -- might actually literally kill us? Primitivism without authenticity, dorm-room BS, a plea to send all the puppies, and the unexpected pleasures of representative democracy all have a moment this week…
 
We're in the #LilithFair40 homestretch now with our top 25, joined by Bif Naked, The Juliana Hatfield 3, Jill Scott, Patty Griffin, and the Cardigans. Discovering Toni Morrison, the sophomore-pox that ravaged college radio, commercials for shampoo that contains absinthe, and Wednesday Addams's private moment with Christian Slater -- you won't want …
 
The Lilith Fair 40 reaches the halfway mark -- what better time to confront the contribution of festival founder Sarah McLachlan, along with Macy Gray, Dionne Farris, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Dido? We also remember childhood soundtracks, acknowledge "listen boo-boo" energy, blank on Shiri Appleby's name (sorry, lady!), spread German mustard on ca…
 
Mark gets emotional, Sarah gets confused, and the Lilith/WB Venn gets unpacked: it's the third #LilithFair40 episode, with the Indigo Girls, Letters to Cleo, Alanis, Liz Phair, and Michelle Branch rounding out the top 15. Secular hymns, hidden fists, zines, cool girls, and Dawson Leery (...again!): the quest for the Lilith Fairest of them all conti…
 
The rankings get exponentially tougher in our second episode, with k.d. lang, Tori Amos, Sheryl Crow, The Cranberries, and Melissa Etheridge joining the countdown. Raisin girls, genre-defying voices, The Hall Of B-Plus, and when a window is just a window as we introduce the 10 Lilith Fairest songs on our chart. Our intro is by Laura Barger and Jack…
 
It's the first "real" episode of the Lilith Fair 40: Dar Williams, Meredith Brooks, Frente!, Suzanne Vega, and The Corrs inaugurate our chart, with help from the MCSL "listies" mixtape, greasy-haired sad boys, how to sing about a building collapse, incomplete subversion of the male gaze, and sibling bands to fall asleep to. All this, and Mark may h…
 
Welcome to The Lilith Fair 40, in which we put on broomstick-pleated skirts and Pride jewelry, light some Nag Champa, and set off on a journey of discovery: what is the Lilith Fairest song of all time? This season, we're looking at the woman-forward festival of the late '90s; our own musical attitudes from that time; and misogyny in pop music -- an…
 
We decided NOT to write a book about all the pop songs that "only" (or..."somehow") hit #11 on the Billboard charts...but you wouldn't know it from our voluminous notes on the 11 Number 11s we did decide to contemplate, including Stevie Nicks, Stephen Bishop, Dead or Alive, Heart, Digital Underground, T. Swift, the Thompson Twins, the KLF (with Tam…
 
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…
 
You've seen 2004's Flight Of The Phoenix before -- not just the Jimmy Stewart verzh from the '60s, but every "ragtag group with various animosities bands together to beat insurmountable odds, with an assist from ILM CGI" flick before it. As NOT the best pilot we ever saw, Dennis Quaid's Frank Towns throws John Wayne, Barth from You Can't Do That On…
 
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 …
 
Or, How To Not Exactly Succeed In Corporate Satire While Actually REALLY Trying. We might have felt differently about In Good Company if we didn't live in the Republic of Bezos, in a timeline with Succession, but we do, we do, and a movie that tries to send up corporate machinations really needs to have an R rating to work with. Still, this gentle,…
 
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. …
 
Defector.com's David J. Roth returns to talk about The Day After Tomorrow, which was marketed as an Important Must-See back in 2004, and almost uniformly savaged by critics who seem not to have understood the point of AN ACTION MOVIE. But your commentators all quite enjoy it, despite all the Hollywood Sciencing, the lonesome death of a Law & Order-…
 
Semi-on-demand PBS educational series Freedom: A History Of US is nigh-on impossible to find, and based on the episode we did track down, "A War To End Slavery," that's mostly a good thing. Casting the Civil War in the broadest, blandest terms and narrated by Katie Couric as though she's reporting on these battle picnics live, Freedom Colon boasts …
 
Did anybody in this movie...see a movie? Today we're contemplating 2003's Cape Farm, aka Cold Creek Manor, aka 33 1/3 Short Sound Drops That Shouldn't Have Made SDB Laugh. A putative thriller in which Dorff On Golf somehow manages to haul a dead pony into a swimming pool, our "city slicker" hero tries to charm the psychotic locals with Brandy Alexa…
 
Welcome to MASTADQ: Mark And Sarah Talk About Dennis Quaid! Mark Blankenship slid into the guest chair (not a euphemism) to discuss Far From Heaven, the line between melodrama and tragedy, and how Todd Haynes's 2002 homage to Douglas Sirk and "women's pictures" lets the paintings that are Cathy and Frank Whitaker become real. Sarah revisits a ten-y…
 
We went into Dinner With Friends expecting a filmed TED Talk on the Rashomon of a disintegrating marriage; instead, we got the American Kennel Club metaphor wheel, disproportionate anger about balsamic vinegar, and a surprising argument in favor of casting Andie MacDowell -- AND Dennis Quaid, who turns in a pretty Quaidy performance either despite …
 
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…
 
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…
 
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