Episode 70: 2016 in Review, part 3

Here’s the last of our 3-part year in review for 2016. In this episode we bring on our old buddy Spencer Gardner to talk about the year in sports. It’s pretty much only for the hardcore fans (there’s a lot of nerdy talk about the NBA, among other things), but we had fun. Happy New Year to you all. We’re really holding our breath for 2017 …

Links

The Year in Sports Hair

Top ‘Do Nominees:

Most with Least Award Nominees [Bald of the Year]

Best Sports Moments

Kabaddi!

The coolest sport you’ve never heard of. Check it out:

Featured Image: Collage made from Robert Beck‘s images of Steven Adams for Sports Illustrated

Episode 69: 2016 in Review, part 2

Here’s the second part of our 2016 year in review podcast. Think of it as an early Christmas present from us to you! On this episode Jack Bangerter joins us to talk about the year in art, culture and food, and Aaron Peck comes to talk about all things film. We’re pretty happy with how this one turned out, so please enjoy!

Links

Art & Culture with Jack Bangerter

Jack’s Hairstyle of the Year:

The Last supper [La Ultimate Cena]

Jack’s Art Show of the Year:

John Kilduff’s Art Basil LA

Our TV Recommendations from 2016:

  • Trailer Park Boys [Jack]
  • HBO’s Night Of [Jack]
  • Detectorists [Steel]
  • Maria Bamford’s Lady Dynamite [Steel]
  • Stranger Things [Dave]
  • Rewatch 30 Rock [Dave]

The Year in Film with Aaron Peck

Top 5 movies this year that you probably didn’t see

    • The Witch
    • Krisha
    • Swiss Army Man
    • Cameraperson
    • Manchester by the Sea

Best performance by the Rock in 2016

  • Central Intellegence [the misspelling here is soooo fitting, Dave]
  • Ballers (HBO) [Aaron]

Surprising film you really enjoyed

  • The Shallows [Aaron]

Family film that you were into

  • Pete’s Dragon [Aaron]
  • Trolls [Dave]

What are you looking forward to in 2017

  • John Wick 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Aaron]
  • Fate of the Furious!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! [Dave]

Featured image: Photography of a recent oil painting by Jack Bangerter. Jack writes: “There are spirit/shadows of the players represented by chess pieces. I was inspired by images of Ajax and Achilles playing a board game/planning a war on some Greek amphora pots.”

Episode 68: 2016 in Review, part 1

This year we’re trying something new (and awesome). We asked six of our friends to join us for a recap of the year that was, with each of them covering a subject that they’re an expert in. We’ll be bringing you our 2016 in review in two episodes (this week and next), but this week we were lucky to be joined by Rosie (the social issues that defined 2016: populism, political rhetoric, violence, and environmentalism); Jordan (the year in music, featuring songs from Mick Jenkins + BadBadNotGood, Camp Cope, Mitski, Big Thief, Pinegrove, and Snarky Puppy); and Rose (the year in books & reading).

Links

Social Issues

Political Rhetoric

Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2016 DNC

Theresa May setting out a vision of Conservative leadership as socially responsible and humane (gasp!)

Violence

Subscribe to journalist Torie Rose DeGhett‘s “This Week in War” newsletter for weekly updates about violent conflict around the world.

Unchained Melodies: Favorite Songs and Albums of 2016

Book Recommendations

Our Top Children’s Books of the Year

Steel’s Poetry Tips

Finally, Rose has been writing a young adult fantasy book, Lesser Demons. Check it out on her site and share your feedback!

Featured image: Basil Bunting, from the cover of The Poems of Basil Bunting.

Episode 67: Our 2016 Guide to Christmas

Ho! Ho! Ho! This week on Off the Chain Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Jordan to discuss all things Christmas. The three of them share Christmas memories, cover their gift giving guide (with lots of help from Oprah), give a quick run down of the best/worst Christmas movies ever made, share great Holiday music from the Jenson Family, Neil Diamond, Eef Barzelay, and the Jackson 5, and drop some Seussian book wisdom.

Links

Gift Giving Guide

Christmas Movies Appraised [by Jordan, mostly]

BEST

  • Die Hard
  • Home Alone
  • A Christmas Story
  • The Original Grinch [animated]
  • White Christmas
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Elf
  • Rare Exports (Finnish movie)
  • Saint Nick (Sint)
  • Scrooged
  • Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Joyeux Noel (WWII Christmas)
  • Rocky IV (Rocky fights Drago on Christmas day)

WORST

  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • Jingle All the Way
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Gremlins
  • The Home Alone sequels
  • Jack Frost
  • Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn is Santa’s older, loser brother, Fred)

DISPUTED [BEST & WORST]

  • Hook
  • Jingle All the Way

OTC Festivities & Feasts

Recommended Eats & Drinks

  • Darigold Eggnog. It’s the best there is. Available in both original and old-fashioned varieties. [Dave]
  • North African Christmas! Don’t eat the same old doldrums. Try making and enjoying something from North African this year, like this spiced pie dish. [Steel]
  • Turon
    Turon

    “We always eat food white people don’t eat or even know what it is. Things like lumpia, pancit, ginataan, polvo, puto, pan de sal, leche flan, sinigang, champurrado, etc. Oh and turon! Oh my gosh turon. You guys would like turon. It’s a big chunk of plantain wrapped in a flaky pastry, coated with sugar syrup and then fried in butter. It’s so sticky and gooey sweet delicious. So good! Reminds me of Christmas! Also ube cake, white rabbits, chocnut.” [Jordan]

Unchained Melodies

Book Wisdom

Dave shared the final lines of Dr. Seuss’s immortal “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Episode 66: Collections

Dave was out on vacation for a while, so Steel invited his old buddy Jack Bangerter to fill in for a week. The two of them talked about the latest news in the world of sports hair, ran through a segment of small talk (toilet recommendations and drawings of Buraq!), talked about collecting and collections, shared great music from Donovan, Beck, Herb Alpert, and Greg Brown, and Jack shared some hippy futurist poetry from Richard Brautigan. Enjoy!

Links

Sports Hair

Some really great specimens collected here.

Small Talk

Unchained Melodies: Artists We’ve Collected

 Book Wisdom

Jack shared Richard Brautigan’s poem “All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace,” from his 1967 collection of the same title.

Featured image: Jack’s painting of Puppy as Buraq.

Episode 65: The Art of Photography

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s sister-in-law Jennie Bastian, an artist and professional photographer. Together they talk household pets (cats. vs. dogs), take questions from listeners throughout the great state of Illinois, ask Jennie a bunch of questions about her upcoming show on Fear and her photography practice generally, share great music from Mulato Astatke, Gasper Nali, American Wrestlers, Smog, Tim Maia, and Camp Cope, and Jennie shares some dreamy book wisdom from Gaston Bachelard.

Links

Unchained Melodies

Book Wisdom

Jennie shared a brief passage from Gaston Bachelard’s 1958 classic The Poetics of Space, which examines the phenomenology of architecture in beautiful and moving ways.

Featured image: Jennifer Bastian

Episode 64: The Party! Party! Party! party

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Spencer to discuss the latest in Vin Diesel news, their favorite fringe presidential candidates, historical also-rans, and fringe political parties, revive Lost the Plot, share outsider classics from Daniel Johnston, Dan Reeder, The Toadies, They Might Be Giants, Congress-Woman Malinda Jackson Parker, and Leonard Cohen, and hear the calming anti-road book wisdom of the Honku.

Links

Perpetual Candidates and Favorite Third Parties

Unchained Melodies: Outsider Music

Book Wisdom

This week Spencer enlightened us with “Honkus,” anti road-rage haiku poems by Aaron Naparstek.