Week Didn’t Start

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19. “SAT won’t get you in (and neither will Lori Laughlin)” May 24, 2020

Boxing! Grokking! Things that make us mad! We give a LOT of lyrical real estate to the Picasso raffle lady. We revisit the question "WHAT IS NEWS?" and we also tease a new format for next week... 

Highlights: "Marciano," "British Politician Sex," Gilgamesh tablet returned from the Hobby Lobby Museum, Doja Cat saying "gang sunk that dunker" 

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Bonus: The “We Didn’t Start the Fire” Music Video

What are those burning photos? Who is the baby? Why isn't Billy warning them?? Does the video predict THE FUTURE??? Bra burning! Pre-internet memes! Lucille Ball impersonations! Making up for things that aren't in the song! So many toys! Jack Ruby! The Joel-centric bias! The song is NOT in order!

We discuss the 1989 music video for "We Didn't Start the Fire," directed by Mark Blum. 

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18. “Beer dump in Australia, British genitalia” May 17, 2020

Baseball! Sh*tty people resurfacing in the news! Playing the "meta game!" How many people in this song are still alive in 2020?? 

Highlights: Mickey Mantle, Designated Hitters in the National League, Bernie Goetz, Shkreli/Goetz/Manafort/Kabuga 

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17. “X Æ A-12, Cover shoot for Judi Dench” May 10, 2020

The word "slog" returns! What do Billy Joel and Puck from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" have in common? What about Giannis Antetokounmpo and George Stephanopoulos? Sam has no choice but to stan Colombo! Is an octameter just two tetrameters? 

Highlights: Cannabis laws, "Angels in Disguise," British Beatlemania, Little Rock

16. “Thai king lives in luxury quar” May 3, 2020

Trochaic Octameter! The "We Didn't Start the Fire" music video! The Google News Archive! Rib injury! Disco ball batteries! 

Highlights: Missing great white sharks, Sudan bans genital mutilation, Ole Miss, England's got a new Queen

15. “North Korea’s ailing leada, ‘Quarantine Pinot’” April 26, 2020

We are getting INTO IT. Lowercase news words. Leslie Jamison! A unified theory of Billy Joel bias! Other songs?? Nobel Laureates! "Next Stop Greenwich Village!" 

Highlights: Pasternak, Dylan, Mark Warner's tuna melt, Travis Scott's Fortnite concert

14. “Pope scotch, Walkout, Climate-driven mega-drought ” April 19, 2020

Long toast! The rules of the song! Syllables! Our favorite TikTok account! How do you say "no-go" in French? And we can't take "I can't take it anymore" anymore!

Highlights: Princess Grace, Chubby Checker, Poland protests, Chess upset

13. “’Speaking moistly,’ Cats’ butts, Why are people licking stuff?” April 12, 2020

We both had a lot to say this week. We discuss the impact of c*****v***s, the lyrical artistry of B***y J**l, toying with the chronological order, syllable stress, and the camera toilet. 

Highlights: Payola, Dacron, Cavallari Bahamas drama, Yemen Ceasefire

12. “Furloughs, Rent strikes, Can I teach my dog to drive?” April 5, 2020

We are... really enjoying this now? This episode was recorded as a video- we're gonna keep doing that. We talk about Nixon showing up in the song twice, which makes us feel better about our repeats. Also, we are filled with terror to learn that the song is coming from inside the news. 

Highlights: Studebaker, Stranger in a Strange Land, FDA blood donor ban, Irish PM practices medicine

11. “No California baseball / Survivors of Thalidomide” March 29, 2020

Our first remotely recorded episode! The show was driving us insane- now it might be keeping us sane???  We discuss Cohen brothers spoilers, how we are breaking through the constant bad news, and we use the word "horny" a LOT.


Highlights: Peyton Place, The King and I, Ikaria Warioota, the Kinkularity

10. “Cases grow, Cuomo, ‘Imagine” vid with Gal Gadot” March 22, 2020

From the first full week of NYC quarantine. A lot of news; none of it wanted to fit in the song structure this week. But it got there.

9. “Social Distance, Italy, Contactless delivery” March 15, 2020

The week everything changed. Jerzy flies solo (from a few weeks in the future) to recap the events and news that we missed while the global Coronavirus pandemic took over our lives. 

No highlights this week, just the song and a quick recap.

8. “TurboTax, Trump hates court, Kelly Slater surf resort” March 8, 2020

We do this for the EIGHTH time. We keep getting better at it. There's a lot of news to cover. Sam was away on vacation but still could not escape this project.

Highlights: "Vaccine," "Heavy metal suicide," Bob's Red Mill, Wuhan students review-bomb homework app, and "grocs?"

7. “U.S. Comms firewalls, Steyer chases Waterfalls” February 23, 2020

We test out the new format. We like it. Also: confronting the songwriter's OBVIOUS Brooklyn Dodgers bias and getting even deeper into how the song works.

Our Highlights this week: Syngman Rhee, Roy Campanella, WhatsApp/Signal, BBC Africa Eye's "Sex for Grades" documentary expose. 

With Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski

6. “Idlib, Malcolm X, South Dakota sucks at sex” February 16, 2020

Episode 6: We figure some stuff out! Highlights: Where are we getting our news? Jerzy pitches Sam on a new format, the Renegade dance, Yemen, and THE PIANO MAN.

5. “Joaquin vegan milk promoter, ‘lying dog-faced pony soldier’” February 9, 2020

This week, we try out our new, streamlined approach. It goes well. We didn't hate doing it this week.

With Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski.

4. “Locust Swarms, Samsung” February 2, 2020

What IS news? What happened to the "World's Worst Cat?" What if this song had been written during World War II? Why are we doing this?? We also get more efficient with our news gathering and our method of writing the final verse.

With Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski.



3. “Kobe and Gianna Gone” January 26, 2020

We recap and discuss the week's news by forcing ourselves to write it into the lyrical format of a hit song from 1989. Every week. 

With Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski. 


Episode 3... was a slog. We discuss how to reduce major events into rhymes- and how we feel about that. We also have a VERY hard time writing the fifth verse this week.

2. “Bong Joon-ho, LSU” January 19, 2020

We recap and discuss the week's news by forcing ourselves to write it into the lyrical format of a hit song from 1989.  

With Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski.


Episode 2 covers January 13-19, 2020. We discuss what it was like to cover our first 7-day week, whether we are already getting sick of this, and the finer points of searching the Google News tab.

1. “Don Larsen, David Stern” January 12, 2020

We recap and discuss the week's news by forcing ourselves to write it into the lyrical format of a hit song from 1989.

"Week Didn't Start" with Sam Corbin and Jerzy Gwiazdowski

First episode, covering January 1-12, 2020.

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