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Chorus Vs. Chorus

A "competitive" music history & discussion podcast. What's the greatest ever use of accordion? Which is the best Beatles solo song? How do you reform a Jimmy Buffet fan? For each question, the hosts propose a candidate and then battle it out. Discover new music or hear commentary on old favorites. Listen to full songs on Spotify with the "Chorus Vs. Chorus Official Playlist."

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Episode 33 – "Sequencing"

We're joined by songwriter, guitarist, music-opinion-haver, and bard of all things brütal Luke Henley to discuss songs that rock, songs that stink, and the important ways in which artists sequence the music on their albums. There may even be some accusations of dad-rockism thrown about. Our categories are: (1) best first track (2) best Side A closer (3) best final track Featuring music from In Solitude, Baby Huey, Lauryn Hill, and more. Follow Luke on Instagram @sexheadaches, and buy his music at Bandcamp (Sex Headaches / Microdoser /  Fibber).

1hr 8mins

16 May 2021

Rank #1

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Episode 32 – "Registers"

Today we stop thinking with our heads, and start thinking with our chests. That’s right, singing nerds — your hosts are doing a cantabile episode about vocal registers. Whether you’re an expert in all things glottis or you’re wondering if a larynx is a type of mythical creature, you’re about to hear us talk about what singers do best: push air out of their throats in different ways. We discuss our favorite instances of singers using the following vocal registers: (1) whistle (2) falsetto (3) modal (4) vocal fry Featuring music from Björk, The Dismemberment Plan, Ruth Brown, Ariana Grande, and more.

1hr 4mins

12 Apr 2021

Rank #2

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Episode 31 – "Guilt"

We're joined by Charles Frantz (@charlesfrantz), a friend, funnyfella, and former coward who refused to come onto our show for months. When asked why, he explained that he currently subsists on a music diet exclusively of guilty pleasures. That's why we drafted in Charles for today's episode to explore what it actually means to feel guilty about the media we consume, touching on songs by problematic faves, shameless sugar pop, room clearing nuisances, and evilest of all: Shaggy.  The categories are: (1) Guilty guilty pleasures (2) Guiltless guilty pleasures (3) Should I feel guilty about this? Featuring music from Ted Nugent, Ashlee Simpson, System of a Down, and more.

1hr 6mins

13 Mar 2021

Rank #3

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Episode 30 – "Auteur"

We’re joined today by Nana Adjoa, the versatile and virtuosic Dutch indie rock musician dubbed this month by NPR a “Name You Should Know” and a "2021 Artist to Watch." Nana took the time to chat with us about her skill with multiple instruments and her extraordinary new album, “Big Dreaming Ants.” In between bits of shop-talk, we nerd out with her about Stevie Wonder and Feist, discuss filthy bass lines, and wonder how French people manage to sound so cool. Because Nana is a solo visionary, our theme for today’s episode is Auteur – songs by artists who have execute full control over their expression. The categories are our favorite songs by: (1) an artist who plays every instrument (2) an artist who sings every vocal part (3) artist who self-produces their tracks  Buy Nana’s music at Bandcamp and keep up with her work on Instagram and Twitter. Featuring music from Beck, Kate Bush, The Streets, and more. (The interview in this episode has been edited and condensed for clarity).

1hr 5mins

26 Feb 2021

Rank #4

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Episode 29 – "Wonder"

For our second ever artist deep dive, we ascend to higher ground with the Captain of Clavinet; the Hotshot of Harmonica; the Champion of the Charts: the genius and the virtuoso himself, Stevie Wonder.  Our categories for today’s episode will guide you through his biography, bringing you facts, figures, some love and hate for Barry Gordy, and a whole lot of Wonder: (1) The Little Stevie Wonder era (2) The early Tamla/Motown era (3) The classic era (4) The later era (5) Best Stevie Wonder song Links mentioned in the episode: - Jacob Collier’s "Sir Duke” analysis on Vox - Stevie Wonder playing a drum solo - Slate’s “Wonder Week"

1hr 32mins

7 Feb 2021

Rank #5

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Episode 28 – "Modulation"

On today's episode, we hawk a miracle tonic for all those songwriters stuck in a rut. Chord progressions stale? Emotional climax unreachable? Is your song not "karaoke-ready"? Try modulation – otherwise known as a key change!  Push the play button in the next twenty minutes, and we'll throw in a brief explainer on the theory of modulation, a confusing Werner Herzog joke, and a relentless string of analogies comparing key changes to fistfuls of saffron, single-take scenes in movies, and Maradona's "Hand of God" play. The categories are key changes that are most: (1) joyful (2) cheap (3) emotional (4) unexpected. Featuring music from O-Town, David Bowie, The Beta Band, The Four Seasons, and more. Key-p the change!

1hr 22mins

27 Jan 2021

Rank #6

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Episode 27 – "2020"

We hope you’ll join us for a year-end wrap-up episode as organized as our country’s COVID-19 response and as cohesive as our populace’s mask compliance. No categories, no competition – just 10 songs that we loved, that we needed, that got us through this Kevin Federline of a year. Auld lang syne, suckas!  Featuring music from Angelica García, Nana Adjoa, Antibalas, Phoebe Bridgers, Ohmme, and more. Follow us on Instagram, listen to full songs, and more at our Linktree. 

58mins

2 Jan 2021

Rank #7

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Episode 26 – "Obscurity"

We're joined by Elif Bereketli (@elifbereketli), a powerhouse culture and arts journalist (host of "Showcase" on TRT World, founder of Sabit Fikir, bylines in Vogue Turkey, Calling Mag) to discuss obscurity and the intersection of marginalization and music. We touch on everything from Turkish Arabesk, New Orleans bounce, Puerto Rican reggaeton, Romani folk -- everything except, thankfully, how unqualified Dane and Ethan are to be talking with someone of Elif's stature. The categories are: (1) A marginalized genre that later became mainstream (2) An obscure artist that later became popular (3) An obscure song that deserves attention  Featuring music from Orhan Gencebay, The Velvet Underground, Mahotella Queens, and more. Listen to full songs here. Links: - Showcase, TRT's flagship culture and arts program, hosted by Elif Berektli - "Dem Bow, Dembow, Dembo: Translation and Transnation in Reggaeton" by Wayne Marshall - "Untransformed: For Better or Worse, Lou Reed Was Always Lou Reed" by Bill Wyman - "Arabesk: Turkey's Sound of Change" – Elif's documentary on Arabesk and Orhan Gencebay - "Romania's 'Gypsy Pop' Revolution" – Elif's documentary on Romani folk

1hr 23mins

9 Dec 2020

Rank #8

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Episode 25 – "Live"

Slam into that circle pit, glower in the back corner, or rest your creaking knees on a dirty velvet chair in the mezzanine – on this week's episode, we're doing it live. We're joined by friend, fellow Semite, and chronic venue hopper Nicole Feinberg to celebrate the experience we so dearly miss right now: paying $18 for a Stella Artois, waiting through two hours of opening bands, and losing your nice spot in the crowd to go to the bathroom. Our categories are: (1) Live version that’s better than original (2) Best complete reworking of studio version (3) Best live song with audience participation Featuring music from Jill Scott, Ween, Vulfpeck, and more. Many of these songs are not available on Spotify, but links to their YouTube versions are here. 

1hr 23mins

30 Nov 2020

Rank #9

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Episode 24 – "Covers"

This week, we take our show under cover, celebrating that brazen artistic move that traces all the way back to music's oldest roots in folk tradition. NOTE: Quiet Riot was not harmed during the making of this podcast. The categories are: (1) Best faithful cover (2) Best revisionist cover (3) Cover that shouldn't work, but somehow does (4) Cover that's better than the original Featuring music from Aretha Franklin, Ministry, Punch Brothers, and more. LINKS: Adam Neely's video on covers of rap songs Jeff Lewis' "History of Punk on the Lower East Side" The 12 Crass Songs booklet

1hr 24mins

22 Nov 2020

Rank #10