Episode 38: All Hallows' Eve!

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Jordan for a special Halloween edition of the podcast. We discuss our all-time greatest Halloween costumes, share spooky stories, talk about scary films we’ve enjoyed, give an update on Vin Diesel and his latest Witch Hunter film, share spine-chilling tunes from Thurl Ravenscroft, Perfume Genius, Henry Hall, Nina Simone, Vince Staples, and Mastodon, and read a scary story to tell in the dark.


Diesel: Running on Gas

  • Grantland’s Shea Serrano developed a Vin Diesel character matrix that we all agree is pretty accurate.
  • The folks at the Nerdist invited Vin to join a round of Dungeons and Dragons. They made a short teaser, called D&Diesel:

Unchained Melodies: Spooky Songs Edition

Book Wisdom

Jordan read “The White Wolf” from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a book which features haunting tales collected and retold by Alvin Schwartz and very memorable illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

Featured image by vandalog

Episode 37: Owning It

This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by Dave’s old neighbor Matt Brown. Together the trio discusses Matt’s vinyl collection, the best and worst American sports teams owners in recent memory, give their recommendations for book of the year, play great music by Pavement, Jonathan Candido, Andrew W.K., The Baseball Project, and Barrett Strong, and share book wisdom from Don DeLillo’s first novel, Americana.


Recommended Record Labels

OTC Sport Team Owners




  • Bill Veeck, the best owner of all time. Just watch the first 2 minutes of this if you need proof:






  • Donald Sterling [LA Clippers]. This guy’s whole life. Holy crap.


  • Steve Ballmer [LA Clippers]. Amazing everything. THIS COMPANY YAAAAAAAAAAAASSSS!
  • Jim Dolan [NY Knicks]. Amazing musician, bizarre friendship with Isiah Thomas
  • Mikhail Prokhorov [Brooklyn Nets]. Just read this. Yikes.
  • Ozzie and Daniel Silna [Spirits of St. Louis]. These brothers and former ABA team owners worked out a deal guaranteeing them a fixed share of TV money in perpetuity for giving up their team. Best legal deal of all time?

Books of the Year

Unchained Melodies: Sports Owner Theme Songs

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage came from Don DeLillo’s 1971 debut novel, Americana.

Episode 36: Wonka!

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Dave’s old neighbor Matt Brown. Together the trio discuss their coldest ever nights, cover some important small talk topics (French Scrabble champions who don’t speak French, achievement beards and Bastrop, Texas’ Chicken Refuge), have the first ever segment of OTC Debate, and play great Wonka-approved music from Mary Lou Lord & Semisonic, The Flaming Lips, The Silver Jews, Cibo Matto, Woods, and Abner Jay before Dave closes the episode with some book wisdom from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.


Small Talk

OTC Debate

Topics Covered:

  • Willy Wonka: artistic genius or weird candy guy?
  • Poems should rhyme or maybe they don’t have to?
  • Cursive: let it die or teach the children?
  • Apes or Bears?
  • Kenny Rogers or Dolly Parton?
  • Magic the Gathering: cool or uncool?
  • Phil Collins or Peter Gabriel?
  • Turtles or tortoises?
  • Should the NCAA pay its student/athletes?

Listen to the episode for our hot takes on these pressing issues!

Unchained Melodies: Songs Willy Wonka Would Dig

Book Wisdom

This week’s book wisdom comes from Roald Dahl’s classic children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Featured image by JaredFrazer

Episode 35: We've Got You Covered!

This week Dave and Steel bring Zac back on the show to discuss the joys and terrors of fairs (County and State alike), the golden era of Pauly Shore films, a guy who surfed a 20 foot wave on a motorcycle with skis attached, and the new Alexander Hamilton hip-hop Broadway musical. They also have their first poetry face-off (Mary Oppen vs. David Berman), cover some zany corporate hijinks, play great cover songs by Earth, Wind, & Fire, Pavement, M. Ward, Jamie Cullum, the Lemonheads, and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, and Steel shares some book wisdom from the poet Brian Teare.


Small Talk

  • Top 5 Pauly Shore films [Dave]
  • Robbie Maddison surfed a 20 foot wave on a motorcycle with skis:
  • Alexander Hamilton, the hip-hop musical

Unchained Melodies: Cover Me!

Book Wisdom

This week’s book wisdom was provided by Brian Teare‘s poem “When we are on the right track, we are surprised by joy

Featured image by Robert Bejil Productions

Episode 34: A Mighty Wind

This week Dave and Steel are joined by Dave’s old neighbor Zac, an accomplished pianist (you probably know him from his work with world-renowned Neil Diamond cover band Diamond in the Rough or his life-changing guest session with George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars at a Barack Obama inauguration with the Congressional Black Congress in a DC hotel) and holder of a five-year chip for meritorious bus driving in the Mesa Unified School District. He’s a big deal, obviously! In addition to Zac’s “expert testimony,” in which he explains the cultural value of jazz to the philistinic hosts, and gives some tips for avoiding disciplinary hearings as a high school bus driver, the trio share the latest in Vin Diesel developments, some great music featuring wind instruments from Beirut, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Vulfpeck, and Tjupurru, and Dave drops some great vehicle related wisdom from Flannery O’Connor’s novel Wise Blood.


Vin Diesel: Running on Gas

  • Vin’s a must-follow on Instagram
  • The Last Witch Hunter is less than one month away.
  • Although the search for a director for Fast & Furious 8 continues, Vin promises a closing trilogy for the series.

Unchained Melodies

Songs with wind instruments

Book Wisdom

This week’s passage was chosen by Dave and comes from Flannery O’Connor’s first novel Wise Blood.
Featured image for the post by Tom Marcello