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 Steel’s old friend Aaron Peck, a real-life professional film critic. Together the three of them recap their holiday adventures with children, talk with Aaron about his expertise in running, reading, and reviewing films (Aaron shares his perspective on the best films of 2015), play great movie soundtrack music from The National, Van Morrison, Bill Conti, R. Kelly, The Who and Radiohead, and Aaron shares some book wisdom from Roger Ebert’s memoir Life Itself.
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.
This week Dave and Steel are joined once again by their friend Josh. They share back to school memories (lots of bus ride reminiscing), ask Josh about his loved of technology, pedagogy, video games and uvulas, and then Dave and Steel share some great music from Pulp, The Korgis, Modest Mouse, Blackalicious, Bombadil, and Camera Obscura, before Steel ends the episode by dropping some anti-teacher book wisdom from Roger Waters and Philip Levine.
This week Dave and Steel discuss highlights in NBA draft fashion, Dave’s opinion of the film Jurassic World, play another version of Lost the Plot with the Stallone/Schwarzenegger film Escape Plan, share some unjustly forgotten Biblical baby names, induct the newest member of the Off the Chain Hall of Fame, share some great America-inspired music from John Wayne, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen, Brother Ali, and James Brown, and drop some moving wisdom from a famous July 4th speech by Frederick Douglass.
This week Steel was out, so Dave was joined by his old friend Jordan. Together the pair discuss the top 5 action heroes working today, speculate on what would happen if various fictional characters from comic books and movies were to face off in battle, share great music from CHON, The Tallest Man on Earth, Bill Evans, and Three Dog Night, and drop some wisdom on imagination and the good society from Charles L. Black’s book The Humane Imagination.
This week Dave and Steel are joined by their old friend Jordan, a Las Vegas-based lawyer. Together, the trio talk about professional dumpster divers, meditating mummified monks, and the maker Jimmy DiResta, introduce a new segment focused on Dave & Jordan’s shared love of Vin Diesel, take a question from a listener about how to deal with boring lecture classes, share some of their favorite recent music, and explore the wisdom of the 8th Century Buddhist monk Shantideva.
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.
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: