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.


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.


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.

Episode 63: On Nerdery and Games

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Dave’s gaming buddy Zac Beus. Together the three discuss their nerd bona fides, Zac and Dave’s love of board games, a few of Steel’s numerous fringe Game of Thrones theories, and share epic fantasy music by Leonard Nimoy, Rick Wakeman, and Ninja Sex Party, and drop some book wisdom by George R. R. Martin.


Board Games We Recommend

Game of Thrones

Our rightful king

Our religious leanings

Our favorite Character

Unchained Melodies: High Fantasy Edition

Book Wisdom

We shared some frequently highlighted passages from George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones book series.

Episode 62: Eye on the Gold Chain [Rio Olympics 2016!]

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s old friend Jack Bangerter to talk all things Summer Olympics. We talk about our lack of world-class talent, they also throw in a segment of small talk (this week featuring edible crayons, demonic chimpmunks, and metallic hydrogen) and then spend a solid 40 minutes reliving all the great moments from the Rio Olympics 2016 and suggesting some really outstanding improvements to the lineup of events for future games. We also present to you an Unchained Melodies made up of our ideal medal winning songs and bring to you some ancient Greek poetic Book Wisdom from Pindar, whose Olympic Odes are among the earliest records we have of athletic greatness. It’s a gold medal performance, this week, for sure.


Small Talk

Mastery of these three topics are sure to make you the center of any late summer social gathering you might be lucky enough to attend. You’re welcome.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games

Personal Olympian Connections

  • I took an art class with Alev Kolter, and Kelsey Card was a student worker in our son’s daycare last year. Had no idea that either were Olympians until after the games ended, though. [Steel]
  • I met Michael Phelps at a karaoke bar. We sang The Turtles’ classic hit “So Happy Together.” I feel directly responsible for at least 5 gold medal perfomances. [Dave]
  • I accidentally stepped on Jeret “Speedy” Peterson’s finger once and he stood up and punched me in the face. It didn’t really hurt but it broke my sunglasses. I was wearing them indoors, so I guess all’s fair? Also, my uncle, mom’s sister’s husband, Jim Osborne won a bronze medal in the 1968 games in Mexico City.

Favorite Athletic Achievement

Favorite Failures

Unchained Melodies: Olympic Anthem Replacements Edition

Book Wisdom

This week Steel shared the ancient Greek poet Pindar‘s victory ode: “Olympian 12“: For Ergoteles of Himera Long Foot Race 466 B. C.

Episode 61: That One Time at Band Camp …

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s old friend Liz Feezor. Together the trio discusses the recent political conventions leading up the US presidential elections, ask Liz all about her career in HR, recent misadventures in Colombia, her past life as a member of the University of Oregon marching band, and her ongoing expertise as a style/fashion blogger. We also play great drum music by Wilco, James Brown & Clyde Stubblefield, Beyonce, Radiohead, Fela Kuti, and Van Halen, and Liz shares some book wisdom about the art of writing from Stephen King.


On Cargo Shorts & the RNC

On Cargo Shorts Generally

On Khizr Khan

Unchained Melodies: Drum Line Edition

Also, this:

and this:

Book Wisdom

Liz shared a brief passage from Stephen King’s classic writing memoir On Writing.

Featured image: Liz playing caixa (a Brazilian snare drum) at Trolloween in Seattle in 2011.

Episode 60: Art Talk with Jack Bangerter

This week Dave and Steel are joined by the artist Jack Bangerter, who many listeners have long suspected was merely a figment of Steel’s imagination. This week’s episode proved for once and all that he is, in fact, a real human being. Together the three of them discussed their great summer vacation memories, discussed some ideas for meaningful social change, talked about art and creative processes with Jack, who makes his living as a painter, played music to make art to by Barry White, The National, William Basinski, The Beach Boys, Mutual Benefit, and Rostam, and Jack shared some book wisdom from the 19th century French painter Paul Gauguin.


OTC Social Change

Art Talk with Jack Bangerter

Unchained Melodies: Music to Make Art To

Book Wisdom

Jack shared some inspiring words from a 1885 letter from the artist Paul Gauguin to his friend and fellow artist Emile Schuffenecker found in the book Writings of a Savage.

Featured image: Steve von Bergen, with hair by Jack Bangerter

Episode 59: NBA Finals Recap

In this week’s episode Steel and Dave are joined by their old friend Spencer. It’s not exactly as timely as when we recorded it (thanks a lot for being a super quick editor, Steel!!!), but this episode is mostly dedicated to the recent NBA Finals, the gripping, seven game battle between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Dave, Steel, and Spencer recap their own greatest lifetime athletic achievements (lots of running, including Dave’s epic poop marathon), share some finals observations, discuss some of Spencer’s numerous NBA conspiracy theories, discuss the influence of pro wrestling and LeBron’s film watching habits on the course of this year’s title champions, name their favorite bench players and stadium characters, dig in to the historical roots of the Cavalier-Roundhead struggle, and offer some incredible ideas for improving the NBA playoffs in future years. We also suggest songs to replace Queen’s “We Are the Champions” as the go-to post-victory tune, and Steel shared some book wisdom, a dunking-inspired poem by his friend, the poet Josh Kalscheur.


  • City of Meridian, Idaho’s POOP SCOOT 5K Run Poster
    poop scoot fun run registration number
    Poop Scoot Fun Run!

    Favorite Bench Guys

  • Kevon Looney, 45 year old catfisher posing as a 20 year old rookie from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • MOZGOV [Dwight Shrute without glasses?]
  • Sasha Kaun
    Generic dad Sasha Kaun
  • Channing Frye (because his face is 50% skinnier than the rest of his team

    Cavs team photo
    Channing Frye is not like the others
  • Mysterious but radical Warriors employee?/superfan?/all-around awesome dude

Post-Finals NBA Stuff

Unchained Melodies: “We are the Champions!” Edition

Book Wisdom

Josh Kalscheur’s poem “Throwdown