Episode 4: Food Kiosk, Men's Room Graffiti, Unchained Melodies, and the Brothers Karamazov

This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friends Spencer and Jordan. Together, they discuss the best meals they’ve ever had, some graffiti Steel recently spotted in a men’s room, some of the best tunes they’ve heard recently, and Spencer shares some wisdom from Fyodor Dostoevsky.


Food Kiosk

The idea for this segment came from Stephen L. Peck‘s book A Short Stay in Hell, which Dave recently read and enjoyed. The premise for the story is partially based on Jorge Luis Borges’ famous short story “The Library of Babel

Aglio Olio e Peperoncino Recipe


Amounts are very approximate and not that important – you really should experiment a little, it’s a sign of culinary maturity and confidence — Spencer

  • Spaghetti pasta – 1 lb
  • Fresh garlic – 3 cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 1/3-1/2 cup
  • Red pepper flakes – to taste
  • Parmesan cheese – to taste

Start water boiling in a pot. There should be enough water to completely submerge the spaghetti. Add a generous amount of salt to the water. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until it has reached the desired consistency.

In the meantime, add the olive oil to a pan over low-medium heat. Crush the garlic and sauté with pepper flakes.

Combine the pasta and the oil/garlic/pepper flakes and toss. Serve with grated parmesan.

Men’s Room Graffiti

Check out the Men’s Room Graffiti Tumblr, where you can find a couple of images of the piece of graffiti which inspired our conversation.

Unchained Melodies

Timber Timbre: Demon Host

Shovels & Rope: Lay Low

Mikal Cronin: Made My Mind Up

Flume & Chet Faker: Drop the Game

Vulfpeck: Outro

Book Wisdom

Spencer shared a beautiful passage from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brother’s Karamazov. The passage he read appears in Book II, Chapter IV of Constance Garnett’s translation.

Episode 3: Small Talk, Lost the Plot, Ask OTC, Unchained Melodies, and The Little Prince

In this episode of Off the Chain, we introduce a new segment called Small Talk, in which we offer you some advice for improving your conversation skills and give you some rich content for your next informal chat with friends (Is it safe to read on the toilet? Coke vs. Pepsi? What does Ayn Rand think of recent children’s movies?), play another version of our Lost the Plot game, in which Dave asks Steel to describe the plot of a bad action movie he’s never seen (this week it’s Lockout!), answer listener questions in another installment of Ask Off the Chain, share some of our favorite recent songs, and drop some book wisdom from French adventurer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.


Small Talk

  • “Reading on the Loo” article in The Guardian
  • Why blind taste tests might be misleading & the Coke vs. Pepsi wars by Matthew Yglesias in Slate
  • Guide to open heart surgery from Healthline.
  • Ayn Rand reviews children’s movies by Mallory Ortberg in The New Yorker.

Lost the Plot

Unchained Melodies

Benjamin Booker: Violent Shiver

Pavement: Gold Soundz

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks: No One Is (As I Are Be)

Foxygen: No Destruction

Book Wisdom

  • Taken from Chapter 21 of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s story Le Petit Prince [The Little Prince]

Episode 2: Castles & Coasters, Super Bowl Ads, Ask OTC, Unchained Melodies, and Beloved

In this episode of Off the Chain podcast, we discuss the Phoenix-based amusement park Castles and Coasters, talk about our favorite water slide rides, review the best and worst Super Bowl ads, answer listener questions in a new segment called ‘Ask Off the Chain,’ share some of our favorite recent music in ‘Unchained Melodies,’ and share some life-changing wisdom from Toni Morrison’s novel Beloved.


Castles & Coasters

The Sky Diver

Super Bowl Ads

Budweiser [Squeak E. Clean soundtrack]

Loctite Glue

Daddy [Dove Soap]

Grub Hub [Burrito abuse]

Like a Girl [Always Maxipads]

Skittles [Arm-wrestling]

Dodge Elders


Unchained Melodies

Little May: Boardwalks

Little May: Boardwalks [Karl K edit]

Gramatik: Just Jammin’

Gregory Alan Isakov: Amsterdam

Book Wisdom

Toni Morrison’s Beloved

Episode 1: Planet Hulk, Non-Stop, & Damien Jurado

In the first episode of our Off the Chain podcast, we discuss the meaning of ‘Off the Chain,’ the Planet Hulk storyline from Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk series, the Liam Neeson film Non-Stop, and the music of Damien Jurado.

We’re also including a Damien Jurado sampler playlist with some of Steel’s favorite songs, in case you want a taste of his music. The Spotify playlist features music from most of his albums, presented in rough chronological order. You can listen to that below: