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).
Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2016 DNC
Theresa May setting out a vision of Conservative leadership as socially responsible and humane (gasp!)
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.
Steel recommends using AMAZON SMILE to give a small percentage of your Amazon purchases back to charitable causes. If you’re looking for a worthy recipient, he suggests either the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council or the Friends of Lorine Niedecker.
Fred Claus (Vince Vaughn is Santa’s older, loser brother, Fred)
DISPUTED [BEST & WORST]
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]
“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]
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Frank “The Gorilla Hulk” Molinaro–the most ‘jersey shore’ US athlete in Olympic history, got bitten while wrestling. He narrowly lost out on a Bronze medal to an Italian guy (born in Cuba) also named Frank (heart breaker) [Steel].