I first heard of Mark Steele through his book Flashbang! How I got over myself. It was recommended to me by someone at work who felt like as they were reading it, they were hearing a voice that reminded them of me. After reading it myself, I took it as a huge compliment, because I found that book to be hysterical and profound, all at the same time.
The last two years, they have conducted a Christmas contest with some awesome prize packages. And both years, I just didn't have it together to try and enter. Also, I didn't feel like the contests would be in line with my strengths, so I just let them pass. But this year, I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Mark and Jeff have coined a word on their show: the "jangle." This is a word that it used to describe what happens when a word or proper name reminds Mark of a familiar (or less familiar) song. He then breaks into an a capella phrase that combines this word with the song - it's not a jingle; it's a jangle. (Best example: like Pavlov's dog, Mark cannot say the name of director Danny Boyle without crooning "Danny Boy") These jangles have evolved to be show openers, segment segues, anything that Mark could croon, he was willing and able to do so.
And so that then became this year's contest: to create and write your own jangle, and four judges (not Mark and Jeff) would be voting to pick the best one. So I recorded and wrote a parody to Don't Stop Believin'. Like I said, right in my wheelhouse.
And would you believe it? I won! I got the phone call on Wednesday and their Christmas Party podcast includes the top five contestants, along with the "live" phone call that I received. The prize package includes books, CDs, Blu-Rays, Steelehouse swag. It's incredible.
It was great to be able to participate, and great to win! And I highly recommend subscribing to the podcast. You can do so right here. The Christmas Party episode that features the contest winners is #126: Blitzenkrieg. Merry Christmas everyone!