Mark And Sarah Talk About Songs

Pop music talk from Mark Blankenship and Sarah D. Bunting

About the show

Mark Blankenship and Sarah D. Bunting are journalists, friends, and music fans who love talking about pop music of all stripes.

Mark And Sarah Talk About Songs on social media

Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 40: Three By Jason Isbell

    Episode  |  January 12th, 2017  |  32 mins 8 secs

    It's country-folk heartbreak, served three ways! The piercing songs of Jason Isbell get us talking about less-is-more lyrics, the fallacy of closure, and phony-baloney country artists who are not like Jason Isbell at all. Plus, there's...

  • Episode 39: Fiona Apple, "Criminal"

    Episode  |  January 5th, 2017  |  37 mins 50 secs

    This world might be bulls**t, but this podcast sure isn't! MASTAS rings in 2017 with the funky self-loathing of Fiona Apple's "Criminal," which gets us talking about women who resist the mold, hit songs that lead to weird experiments,...

  • Episode 38: R.E.M., "Stand"

    Episode  |  December 22nd, 2016  |  10 mins 49 secs

    Can listening to R.E.M. make you cool? It sure used to seem that way! A discussion of their classic hit "Stand" leads to thoughts on college radio, weird shower dancing, and the way stupid lyrics can be totally awesome sometimes. Also: This is our...

  • Episode 37: Naughty And Nice Christmas Songs

    Episode  |  December 15th, 2016  |  44 mins 47 secs

    Well ho, ho, ho there! We've each chosen two Christmas songs we like and two Christmas songs that make our eggnog curdle. If you think that causes emotional moments of reflection, a tirade about mommy kissing Santa Claus, and a whole thing about...

  • Episode 36: Madonna's "Immaculate Collection," Ranked

    Episode  |  December 8th, 2016  |  1 hr 23 mins

    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...

  • Episode 35: Enya-lanche! "Orinoco Flow," "Ebudae," "Storms In Africa II"

    Episode  |  December 1st, 2016  |  31 mins 27 secs

    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.

  • Episode 34: Chicago, "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?"

    Episode  |  November 17th, 2016  |  15 mins 58 secs

    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...

  • Episode 33: Beyoncé, "Countdown"

    Episode  |  November 10th, 2016  |  23 mins 33 secs

    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....

  • JASTAS: Til Tuesday, "Voices Carry"

    Episode  |  November 4th, 2016  |  27 mins 24 secs

    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...

  • Episode 32: Beck: "E-Pro"

    Episode  |  October 27th, 2016  |  17 mins 11 secs

    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. 

  • Episode 31: The Beach Boys, "Kokomo"

    Episode  |  October 20th, 2016  |  17 mins 35 secs

    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. 

  • Episode 30: Robyn, "Call Your Girlfriend"

    Episode  |  October 13th, 2016  |  17 mins 44 secs

    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...

  • Episode 29: Dan Bern, "Marilyn"

    Episode  |  October 6th, 2016  |  12 mins 55 secs

    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...

  • Episode 28: Lefty Folk Songs We Love (...To Hate?)

    Episode  |  September 29th, 2016  |  44 mins 59 secs

    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. 

  • Episode 27: Patrick Swayze feat. Wendy Fraser, "She's Like The Wind"

    Episode  |  September 23rd, 2016  |  33 mins 6 secs

    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...

  • Episode 26: Salt-n-Pepa, "I'll Take Your Man" and Meshell Ndegeocello, "If That's Your Boyfriend (He Wasn't Last Night)"

    Episode  |  September 16th, 2016  |  17 mins 50 secs

    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.