OTL: Episode #480- Local criminal justice stories of importance, The Secret History of guitarist Snake Boy Johnson, Clearing up common Chicago parking confusion

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Mick Dumke about criminal justice and some of the other important issues he wrote about in 2015;   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about Luther “Snake Boy” Johnson for this week’s “Winter Blues” edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music; and   The Expired Meter blogger The Parking Ticket Geek about where you can and can’t park in the city in the winter months.   Meanwhile, “Santa Claus” calls in and nearly derails the show!   This week’s local music is provided by The Fource.   OTL host Mike Stephen III introduces his son Mike Stephen IV to his old friend and radio show guest Santa Claus.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

The OTL Christmas Spectacular 2015

Mike Stephen welcomes some great local musicians to the WGN Radio studios to hear their takes on some classic holiday songs. Danny Cozzi of All the Wine puts his unique spin on “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” Sam Burckhardt gives us his solo tenor saxophone version of “The Christmas Song,” and Noah Gabriel of Noah’s Arcade makes a strong case that “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” is indeed a Christmas song. We also feature a classic rendition of “Deck the Halls” from OTL #14 — our very first holiday spectacular back in 2006. Merry Christmas!   OTL host Mike Stephen gives the thumbs up to the greatest gift he received this year… the WGN Radio listeners!   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.   (additional music: “Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming” and “Silent Night” by Matthew Morgan, “All I Want for Christmas” by On A High Wire, “The First Noel” by PJ Anderson & John Pacini of Jackson Bailey, “Rock N Roll Pizza Party” by Tigernite, “Christmas Wish” by Mick Flores from Gidgets Ga Ga, “Mele Kalikimaka” by Magic Milk)

OTL: Episode #479- The importance of CTU’s vote to strike, Jefferson Park Forward, The Secret History of local folker Bob Gibson

Mike Stephen talks with:   In These Times associate editor and Strike for America: Chicago Teachers Against Austerity author Micah Utrecht about the importance of the Chicago Teachers Union strike;   Jefferson Park Forward founder Ryan Richter about the future of Chicago’s northwest side; and   Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) about folk hero Bob Gibson for this week’s edition of The Secret History of Chicago Music.   Meanwhile, we discuss Chicago the band entering the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame via a controversial fan vote.   This week’s local music is provided by Vamplifier.   OTL host Mike Stephen always dresses a little nicer around the holidays. Nice shirt!   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #478- Chicago public housing’s future, Newcity gets into the film biz, Chicago’s Eye Health Life Health Coalition

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicago Housing Initiative executive director Leah Levinger and board member Rodney Dawkins about the struggles of public housing in Chicago (see also Eve Ewing’s New Republic story “Rahm’s Next Scandal? Public Housing“);   Newcity editor/publisher Brian Hieggelke about getting into the local film industry via Signature Move and the Chicago Film Project; and   Illinois Eye Institute executive director Dr. Leonard Messner about how the Eye Health Life Health Coalition is advocating for eye health in this region’s most underserved communities.   Meanwhile, we recall an encounter from a TBOX (aka The Twelve Bars of Christmas) past.   This week’s local music is provided by Fever Chills.   OTL host Mike Stephen is passionate about eye health.   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.