Two guys with different backgrounds but a shared love of music duel it out, putting each other's playlists on blast while sharing stories of music history, race and obscure nonsense.
THEME - ODE TO FOURTEEN
"I don't know you but...
your playlist sucks"
Hosts Mark Horosko and Enbani Moore meet for the second time ever and get to know each other through the music playlists they made as “odes to their 14-year-old selves.” Mark and Enbani reflect on a recent New York Times study of Spotify listener data that found that men's musical taste forms roughly between the ages of 13 to 16, and discuss whether age 14 was foundational, whether the music they listened to then sounds good to them now and how their tastes have changed over time.
From rockin’ ‘fros, cliques and 5” growth spurts to Garden State and Air Force Ones, age fourteen appears to be a moment of inflection when transitioning from middle school to high school. For our hosts, a general sense of unease and not fitting in is the common theme, whether growing up in Winnipeg, Manitoba or Suffern, New York. We think music listeners can relate.
Homage to 14
THEME - GENRE-BENDING COVERS / TRANSFORMATIONAL SOUNDS
"call me old school but...
your playlist sucks"
Even for the avid music listener, reactions ranging from "mind blown" to "shook" are perfectly valid responses when finding out that Natalie Imbruglia's Torn is, in fact, a cover. This week, Your Playlist Sucks hosts Mark Horosko and Enbani Moore tackle the world of genre-bending covers and transformational sounds, sampling, and the like, with some of their most fascinating discussions yet. What makes a good cover and can covering another artist's music ever be considered cultural appropriation? What if you're Eric Clapton and you cover "I Shot the Sheriff" the year after Bob Marley and the Wailers release the original, but your rendition skyrockets to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and gets inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame?
In this episode, you'll learn about the hey-day of sampling and the impact of copyright law on Hip Hop, as Mark traces the court battles that led to what some termed a "soft" sound. We also find out that Enbani's grandmother knew Bob Marley, so if that doesn't have you on the edge of your seat, we're calling your bluff because it gets spicy (we mean the discussion, obviously).
Flip it, then reverse it
Roses, candles and compulsory copyrights
THEME - SONGS THAT GET YOU ON THE DANCE FLOOR
"I bet you look good on the dancefloor but...
your playlist sucks"
Sure, you can sway to a great tune, bob, tap your foot or fist pump, but none of these will get you noticed for this week's theme - ultimate songs to get you on the dance floor. Hosts Enbani and Mark break down their top ten greatest dance tracks of all time, whether you're grandma or the baby wearing headphones at a concert in Brooklyn. We don't mean songs that are fun to dance to, we mean the song that you hear and immediately go "Hold that thought, first we dance" and grab your friend. You know exactly what we're talking about and in an ideal world, a great party, be it a wedding or an anti-Valentine's Day dance fest at Littlefield, would be exclusively spinning bangers.
Learn which Jean-Claude Van Damme movie inspired the dance from "Danza Kuduro" by Don Omar and the history behind this dance from Angola. Mark and Enbani discuss the relationship between music and movement and which New York dancing staples they are eager to hit up when it's safe to bump n' grind. Tune in for some solid recommendations and get ready to take notes.
INTERVIEW WITH DJ/SINGER LAUREN MAYHEW
"Dancing Queen: How DJ Lauren Mayhew discovered dance music and djing
Enbani and Mark sit down with DJ/Singer Lauren "Lolo" Mayhew, taking it back to the beginning of her music career and growing up in Tampa, Florida. Lauren describes everything from getting signed by Epic Sony as a teen with girl band P.Y.T. opening for Destiny's Child, N*Sync and Britney Spears to falling in love with dance music while on exchange in Spain. Lauren recalls how her focus shifted to songwriting and what Mark describes as "arguably the most anyone has ever gotten out of a Bumble date" and the lasting impact on her DJing career.
We talk Deep House and Tropical House, behind the scenes of the Billboard Dance Charts and Lauren gives us a taste of her new single "We Are Home" with Mariline. She tells us what prompted her move from LA to NY, the key to getting a crowd going at LAVO and why she vibes with the city.
"you got it from your mama but...
your playlist sucks"
THEME - MOM SONGS
Hosts Enbani and Mark share stories about their childhoods as they continue to piece together the origins of their musical taste, starting with none other than their moms, Arlene and Linda. In this episode, we learn about their larger than life moms, the reluctant kitchen dance parties, and precisely what sounds surrounded them when they were kids, when plugging headphones into the fridge-sized record player or blasting the revolutionary 6-disc CD changer.
You'll learn which mom song was so popular it was beamed into space, what Milli Vanilli has in common with Russia's Greatest Love Machine and in the last segment,
Enbani gives a lightning history lesson in the origins of Doo-Wop and its influence on modern day R&B that will have you enthralled. With all that packed into one episode, the
DJ Khaled impressions are just the icing on the cake.
THEME - SOUNDTRACK TO A RELATIONSHIP
"we belong together but...
your playlist sucks"
Hosts Mark and Enbani get to know each other on a completely new level, talking love (or something like it). In this episode, our hosts dissect the 10-song playlists they each made to show the arc of a relationship (beginning, middle and end), leading them to question what they've learned about themselves in the process.
After convincing Mark not to make a playlist of only Our Song by Taylor Swift we left this week's theme Soundtrack to a Relationship to the experts. Enbani pinpoints Mark's love language (it's punk rock) and reflects on overcoming insecurities (Focus on You by KYLE). If you're curious about their romantic sides, you'll learn their views on marriage (Archie, Marry Me by Alvvays), how their perceptions of love have changed over time (Best I Ever Had by Drake), the relationship to music they hope their partners will have and the deal breakers that are doomed to end in heartache. This episode also serves as a preview of the nine-part series Enbani continues to pitch to us producers about Toronto's own Champagne Papi, Drake.
love is really fucked up
INTERVIEW WITH R&B ARTIST SEBASTIAN GASKIN
"SNAKEHOLD: R&B ARTIST SEBASTIAN GASKIN ON THE HEALING ROLE OF ARTISTs during THE PANDEMIC"
Hosts Enbani and Mark catch up with multi-instrumentalist and fellow Winnipegger Sebastian Gaskin to discuss his leap of faith into a career as a professional musician, his feelings towards the marketing of indigenous artists in Canada and his identity as a member of the Tataskweyak Cree Nation (more commonly known as Split Lake). Despite growing up in a musical family, Sebastian discusses the moment when he decided to leave behind expectations of an academic life to pursue the path of creativity and healing.
In this episode, you'll hear Sebastian's new single Snakehold, learn about his decision to delay its release in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests and his views on the role of the artist in protest movements. Mark and Enbani dig into the impact of the pandemic on musicians, the disappointment of cancelled festivals, and the unique opportunity to write in different genres and to explore collaborations with artists.
THEME - MASCULINITY
"boys don't cry but...
your playlist sucks"
Episode 6, AKA the episode when Mark and Enbani finally tear into each other and go for the jugular. The time for puff pieces and complimenting each other has passed. In this episode, our hosts investigate how masculinity is depicted in popular culture and what it means to be a man through their 10-song music playlists.
Enbani discusses the importance of self-determination and gives credit to businessman Jay-Z for making it out of Marcy Houses in Brooklyn (I Did It My Way by Jay-Z), while Mark gives a sharp critique of "shiny suit" rap. You'll also learn about the curious but disturbing social phenomenon of My Way karaoke killings. Our hosts consider the subtle ways in which boys are taught how to express (or not express) their emotions (Boys Don't Cry by The Cure), and the musical figures that have shed light on issues of gender identity and expression, consequently pushing their listeners and all of us toward a more just and inclusive society (Androgenous by the Replacements).
Not to worry, Enbani and Mark eventually come together over their shared love of Kid Cudi (Heart of a Lion), as they discuss his struggles with mental health and his immense impact on the genre of rap.
INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR OLIVIA PODOLAK LEWANDOWSKA
"YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC: INTERVIEW WITH PROFESSOR OLIVIA PODOLAK LEWANDOSKA"
Hosts Enbani and Mark interview Olivia Podolak Lewandowska, PhD, Assistant Professor with the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough, delving into the interdisciplinary field of music cognition, which combines music, psychology, neuroscience, music theory, musicology, music therapy, computer science and linguistics.
Olivia discusses her life-long passion for music as a pianist, how it led her to study the science of music more intensely, and her research, which investigates how the structural elements of music can guide performance and listening. She also compares musical processing between musicians versus non-musicians, both at the behavioural level and the neural level using EEG. Olivia lets Mark and Enbani pick her brain on topics such as the relationship between music and performance, how popular music has changed over time, what the research says about what sounds good to our ears and the role of music in a society.
You'll learn about atonal music (check out Olivia's YPS Atonal Bangers), how people with perfect pitch process music differently, and get her recommendations about the best soundtrack to listen to when you're writing a thesis (Interstellar by Hans Zimmer).
Olivia received her B.Sc. in Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, with a specialization in Music Cognition at McMaster University in 2012. She recently completed her doctorate at the University of Toronto Scarborough in 2019, where she works as an Assistant Professor (Teaching Stream), primarily teaching statistics, but also music cognition when the opportunity arises.
THEME - EARWORMS
"I JUST CAN'T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD but...
your playlist sucks"
We're back this week with an episode about ear worms that might just make their way onto your rotation! Mark and Enbani talk about the song that you have on repeat, the song that got stuck in your head and then you couldn't get it out, no matter how hard you tried. Maybe you even tried listening to another song (God Save The Queen/The National Anthem or maybe you're a Happy Birthday freak) to push it out of your head.
This week you'll learn about the tunes that are burrowing into Enbani and Mark's minds and how they experience these hits, whether classic pop, hip hop or chill wave. Our hosts discuss why a song may be impossible to ignore (whether you like it or not) and ponder why the hell is whistling so catchy anyway?
HOOKED ON SONICS
INTERVIEW WITH DR. ALAN SHINER
"THE JINGLE KING: INTERVIEW WITH MUSIC DIRECTOR AND KEYBOARDIST ALAN SHINER"
alan's 10-song playlist
This episode Dr. Alan Shiner regales us with stories that span his career of over 50 years in the music industry. From composing his first jingle (967-1111 Call Pizza Pizza) in high school, a jingle so famous it has been cited in case law for being used by border guards to tell real Canadians from the would-be Canucks, to writing an international hit with over 15 million copies sold, Alan Shiner gives us a glimpse into his work as a composer, music director/conductor, producer and a performer. His music career is astounding both in its longevity and breadth, not to mention the fact that for many years he was simultaneously running his own dentistry practice.
Mark and Enbani get the origin story, beginning with his first composition at age 11 and then the The Nova Sounds, a band that Alan entered into a high school talent show on a dare (and won!) and now has thousands of performances under their belts.
Join our hosts as they discuss what makes a tune persist in people's minds with the King of Jingles (Marineland, Sleep Country Canada, African Lion Safari, Coca-Cola, to name just a few) and learn how Alan's charm, audacity and a little knowledge of celebrity gossip got him playing his song on the piano for Mariah Carey and then being flown to London to record. You can find out more about Alan's work at vwww.collageweddings.com.
THEME - ELECTIONS
"ONE, YOU'RE LIKE A DREAM COME TRUE but...
your playlist sucks"
Now that the election fatigue has hopefully worn off, we bring you episode 8 - the final episode in Season 1 of Your Playlist Sucks Podcast. What a wild ride it has been, a huge thank you goes to our listeners for sticking with us! Recorded prior to Election Day, hosts Enbani and Mark talk about elections, democracy, protest music, and civic engagement.
What are voters looking for when they head to the polls (Somebody To Love by Jefferson Airplane) to choose their commander in chief (Mr. November by The National)? You'll get a laugh when Enbani surprises Mark with a game of Who Said It? the Kanye or Trump Twitter edition and join us in reflecting on the past four years and the state of the union today, as Mark and Enbani discuss how those feelings have been perfectly captured by artists of all genres (FDT by YG and Nipsey Hussle, Normalization Blues by AJJ).
Finally, our hosts know that there is anti-racism work to be done regardless of the outcome of this election and have one last call to action for you. If you have 10-20 minutes a day, invest in your community and become more informed by taking the The Unity Collective Challenge. Sign up at https://www.unitycollective.co/ to receive bite-sized emails for 21 days that focus on foundations, connection and activation.