Theme Songs, Episode 9: Kids Music You Don’t Hate

This week’s theme was “kids music you don’t hate.” Every parent knows that there’s plenty of kids music out there that’s just plain dreadful. This episode is designed to help you find great music that you and your kids will both like. Our old friend Amy joined us to play songs our kids like by Priscilla Ahn, Jurassic 5, the Old 97s, Toots & The Maytals and Julien Baker.

Theme Songs, Episode 7: Spooky Songs

Ooooooooooh! This week Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Jordan Faux for a special Halloween edition of Theme Songs. The theme for the week was “spooky songs,” and we played bonechilling tunes by Interpol, Mick Gordon, Napoleon XIV, Monkeygrinder, Phil Collins, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Henry Hall.

Featured image by NASA Goddard Photo and Video

Theme Songs, Episode 6: Codependency/Independence

This week’s theme was Codependency/Independence. Steel’s sister-in-law Jennie Bastian joined the two hosts to discuss how we can prevent sexual assault and harassment and best support its victims, and then the trio played great tunes from Waxahatchee, Tina Turner, John Prine, Fiona Apple, Lesley Gore, and the Isley Brothers.


Sexual assault is a major problem in our society. To get a better sense for the size and scope of the issue, you may want to refer to some facts and statistics gathered by the National Sexual Violence Research Center. Just as distressing, RAINN estimates that nearly 2/3 of all sexual assaults are ever reported to the police.

Resources for men to learn about their role in preventing sexual harassment and violence:

Resources for teaching everyone about consent:

Ways for victims to get help and support:

Our love and concern to all those who have suffered sexual violence or harassment. We believe you and want to do what we can to prevent this kind of behavior in the future, to provide the support and care you need, and to seek justice for those who have and are being wronged.

Our theme this week: Codependency/Independence:

Featured image by soozed

Theme Songs, Episode 5: Secretly Inappropriate

Our theme this week: songs that, despite their popularity, were secretly (and sometimes) wildly inappropriate. Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s old friend Katie and play shockers by Benny Mardones, Bob Seger, Lour Reed, The Police, Dave Matthews Band, and Clarence Carter. The lesson of this episode in case you didn’t already know it: all the creepiest, skeeziest characters in music (life?) are men. Watch out, everybody, and stay safe.

Here’s a gallery of some of the men whose music is featured on today’s show.

Featured image by Piano Piano!

Theme Songs, Episode 4: Story Songs

Crane Wife art by Carson Ellis

This week’s theme: “Story Songs,” featuring songs that tell a story and tell it well. This week Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Alan and share miniature gems from The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, Cat Power, Jens Lekman, Bishop Allen, and Steve Earle.

Featured image: art from The Crane Wife by Carson Ellis

Theme Songs 3: Desert + Island = Desert Island

This week’s theme was Desert + Island = Desert Island. Steel and Dave discuss and play desert music, island music, and pick their ‘desert island’ songs. The episode features music by U2, Steve Reich, Tinariwen, The Mantles, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, The Silver Jews and Otis Redding.

Dave’s pick for his “Desert Island” song, “Random Rules” by the Silver Jews isn’t available on Spotify. Here it is on Youtube, however

Featured image by MacBeales

Theme Songs, Episode 2: “That Wasn’t What I Was Expecting”

This week’s theme was ‘That Wasn’t What I Was Expecting’ and we featured songs by bands whose musical sound doesn’t match their name. On this week’s episode Dave & Steel are joined by their old friend Spencer to play music from bands with misleading names, including Los Campesinos!, The Final Solution, Yo La Tengo, Dr. Dog, Chinese Man, and St. Paul & The Broken Bones.

Featured image: The faces of the three folks calling themselves “Yo La Tengo.” That feeling you’re experiencing? That’s called cognitive dissonance.

Theme Songs, Episode 1: Firsts!

This week Dave and Steel present the first episode of their new podcast Theme Songs. This week the theme is “Firsts!” and they play groundbreaking music by Kono Michi, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Bill Haley & His Comets, Harry Belafonte, Bruce Springsteen, Domenico Modugno, Beck, Patty Griffin, and the Rolling Stones.

We hope you enjoy the new format. If you want to suggest a theme for a future episode of Theme Song, drop us a line at themesongspodcast AT gmail DOT com.

Featured image: super awkwardly-posed image of Bill Haley and his Comets from the mid-1950s.