OTL: Episode #551- Chicago Market Co-Op, Our food truck scene has stalled, How to get craft beer in a local bar

Mike Stephen talks with:   Chicagoist food editor Anthony Todd about the development of the Chicago Market, a new co-op grocery store that’s coming to Uptown;   Chicago Reader staff writer Julia Thiel about why Chicago’s once-promising food truck scene is having a rough time; and   Fooditor editor/publisher Michael Gebert about how your potentially favorite new beer gets into Chicago bars.   Meanwhile, we discuss how Mike recently spoke at the NISPA (Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association) high school journalism conference… about how much he loves tacos!   This week’s local music is provided by The Bishop’s Daredevil Stunt Club.   OTL host Mike Stephen spoke at the 2017 Northern Illinois Scholastic Press Association (NISPA) high school journalism conference about… tacos. Check out the screen behind him. [photo courtesy @EldesAyse]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

OTL: Episode #515- Back taxes for Chicago music venues?, Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project, Visiting Studio Gang’s rooftop garden

Mike Stephen talks with:   freelance reporter Lee V. Gaines about Cook County attempting to define “fine art” while going after small venues for supposed back amusement taxes;   Great Lakes Surf Rescue Project executive director Dave Benjamin about how his organization is working to prevent drownings in Lake Michigan through education; and   Studio Gang model shop co-workers Schuyler Smith and Lydia Meyer about the wheat they’re growing in their rooftop garden and where it ends up in the community.   Meanwhile, via a listener tip, we run through some of the Chicago Transit Authority sounds featured on the Chicago “L”.org website.   This week’s local music is provided by The FeverTones.   OTL host Mike Stephen boats way out into Lake Michigan for his safe swimming practice. [photo circa 2008]   To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.   Wait… that’s not Andy Hermann. (We love you, Illinois Entertainer!)

OTL: Episode #419- Chicago storyteller Jack Zimmerman, Local Star Trek hardcore music, Mike Loves Tacos

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (broadcasting on the “Chicago stories” radio station WGN-AM 720) Mike Stephen talks tacos, visits with acclaimed local storyteller and author Jack Zimmerman, and debuts a new hardcore metal song about Star Trek: The Next Generation.   Jack Zimmerman– Chicago author and storyteller One of the most unique storytellers in Chicago drops by the studio to chat about his life, his work, and his new book: Cooked. Jack Zimmerman and Mike Stephen in the WGN Allstate Showcase Studio    Collin Seaman & T.J. Martin– Band members of TNG Take Star Trek: The Next Generation and add hardcore metal.  The result is TNG.  We go on-location to Backhouse Productions in Glendale Heights, IL and get a behind the scenes look at the latest song: “Up the Long Ladder.”  Check out the behind-the-scenes making of the song HERE.  T.J. Martin, Mike Stephen, and Collin Seaman lay down sweet vocals on TNG’s “Up the Long Ladder.”   Mike Loves Tacos– He really does. The latest edition of this Chicago-centric taco series is online HERE.  Mike wakes up his guest John Berka to reflect on his time eating tacos on camera at El Asadero in Lincoln Square (2213 W. Montrose). John Berka and Mike Stephen eat tacos at El Asadero in Lincoln Square.     OTL #419 local music provided by The Artist Formerly Known As Vince…

OTL: Episode #411- OTL is moving to WGN, Reclaiming local old wood, Chicago Rarities Orchard Project

TO HEAR THE SHOW, PRESS THE “PLAY” BUTTON AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST… (podcasting from the studios in the OTL Bunker, somewhere in Chicago) (broadcasting on the “Chicago rarity” radio station WLUW-FM (88.7) Chicago) Mike Stephen announces the show’s move to WGN Radio, visits a local carpenter who reclaims old wood, and learns about the plan to create unique fruit orchards in Chicago.   Andy Hermann– The new producer of OTL…again BIG NEWS: This show is moving to the airwaves of WGN-AM (720) starting October 4th!! We get the details on what to expect.       Rob Christopher– Founder & Owner of Emotive Reclaim We visit Rob’s Humboldt Park workshop where he turns found materials around town into beautiful furniture.     Rob Christopher at work in the Emotive Reclaim shop.     Dave Synder– Founder and Board Member, Chicago Rarities Orchard Project It’s the goal of this organization to build neighborhood orchards around the city.  We learn how this project could bring the community together.     The plan for the first orchard.     OTL #411 local music provided by Maks the Fox…