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  • Car Con Carne – #59: BRGRBELLY TV Pilot Rehearsal With Lauren O’Neil

    Welcome to a truly behind-the-scenes episode.

    Car Con Carne is shooting a TV pilot this summer; a for-real, I’m-not-kidding, television show, produced by some of the most talented TV people in Chicago. Before that happens, there are a lot of audio, video and content questions that need to be figured out. To address those, we held a pilot “rehearsal” today at the original BRGRBELLY (Portage Park, 5739 W. Irving Park Road).

    101 WKQX midday host Lauren O’Neil was gracious enough to be my guest for the rehearsal. She was a trouper, totally game to hang out as the tireless film crew and team at BRGRBELLY worked through several interior and exterior shots. Once that camerawork was done, Lauren and I retreated to my car for food and conversation. You know, typical Car Con Carne stuff.

    Because this was a rehearsal, you may notice some audio issues (overmodulating microphones, for instance). Any issues you hear are part of today’s learnings, and will help the production team make the pilot as good as it can be.

    Featured in this episode:

    -Will the Dashboard Jesus bless the TV rehearsal?
    -Lauren’s choice of burger means she ingested roughly 5000 less calories than me.
    -Lauren seems to think six napkins is plenty, leaving me to ask, “How dainty of an eater do you think I am?”
    -We learn that one should never mess with Lauren when she’s hangry.
    -The importance of the local music scenes in Chicago and Gainesville is discussed.
    -I question whether Lauren’s the only person working at 101 WKQX.
    -Lauren will totally get me a job in her pizza place.
    -Lauren has eaten gator. It tastes like chicken.

    “The World’s Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car,” hosted by Chicago media personality James VanOsdol. James and guest hosts visit new restaurants for each episode, taking their meals “to go,” so they can record a radio show from inside James’s Mazda 3.

    Follow Lauren O’Neil on Twitter
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  • Car Con Carne – #58: Irving’s for Red Hot Lovers with Mancow (Part Two)

    This episode picks up where the last one left off, as Mancow and I eat hot dogs in the parking lot of Irving’s in Wilmette.

    The eating-and-talking-in-a-car concept may not have worked for Mancow. He calls me out at one point (“You’re talking with your mouthful and you’re spitting. It’s very rude.”)

    We also talk about:
    Must-see movies (“Die Hard,” “Beastmaster”)
    80s music (OMD/Depeche Mode/Heaven 17)
    Super hero movies
    Uber drivers
    Yoga pants
    Religion
    and the big question… “Where do you see Mancow in five years?”

    “The World’s Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car,” hosted by Chicago media personality James VanOsdol. James and guest hosts visit new restaurants for each episode, taking their meals “to go,” so they can record a radio show from inside James’s Mazda 3.

    Follow Mancow on Twitter
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    Follow Car Con Carne on Twitter
    CarConCarne.com
    Support Car Con Carne on Patreon

  • Car Con Carne – #58: Irving’s for Red Hot Lovers with Mancow (Part One)

    Media superstar Mancow jumps in the passenger seat for “My Dinner with Mancow (Part One): An intimate conversation over hot dogs”(at Irving’s for Red Hot Lovers in Wilmette).

    I’ve worked with Mancow off and on for years, and remain in awe over how he builds and puts on a radio show. We talk about radio, specifically Mancow’s time away from the industry before returning to host the Loop’s morning show:
    “I walked away… left a TV show… left some radio stations… I was done. I didn’t miss it.”

    We also talk about what else is on the dial:
    “I haven’t listened to another radio show in a decade… I was shocked at how awful it was.”
    “The new reality of my world–and your world–is really awful.”

    Mancow’s earliest memories of rock are discussed, from his first concert to the Kinks song that changed everything for him.

    He also said we’re living in dark times, and explains how he’s responding to it:
    “I think this is it. I think this is the end of it. Something has to give. … I want to be the band playing as the Titanic sinks.”

    “The World’s Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car,” hosted by Chicago media personality James VanOsdol. James and guest hosts visit new restaurants for each episode, taking their meals “to go,” so they can record a radio show from inside James’s Mazda 3.

    Follow Mancow on Twitter
    Follow James VanOsdol on Twitter

    Follow Car Con Carne on Twitter
    CarConCarne.com
    Support Car Con Carne on Patreon

  • Car Con Carne – #57: Pearl’s Southern Comfort with Baconfest co-founder Seth Zurer

    Baconfest co-founder Seth Zurer, answering whether it’s possible to get sick of bacon:
    “First of all, it’s a ludicrous proposition.”

    James VanOsdol:
    “Second of all, shut up.”

    Baconfest Chicago takes over the UIC Forum on 4/30 and 5/1, with dozens of Chicago’s finest restaurants serving up unique bacon creations for all attendees to sample.

    With Seth Zurer sitting shotgun, we visit Pearl’s Southern Comfort in Edgewater to sample their Baconfest creation, Tasso Bacon Pimento Cheese on a Cracklin’. I couldn’t stop eating them.

    In Zurer’s words, Baconfest is “like a bacon wonderland.” We talk about some of this year’s menu highlights, the origin of Baconfest, and I read this year’s bacon poetry contest winners. Yes, bacon poetry.

    “The World’s Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car,” hosted by Chicago media personality James VanOsdol. James and guest hosts visit new restaurants for each episode, taking their meals “to go,” so they can record a radio show from inside James’s Mazda 3.

    Follow James VanOsdol on Twitter
    Follow Car Con Carne on Twitter
    CarConCarne.com
    Support Car Con Carne on Patreon
    BaconFestChicago.com
    Follow BaconFest on Twitter

  • Car Con Carne – #56: The ‘Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work’ Special Edition

    This week sees the return of the annual “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work” Day, and Car Con Carne is a proud participant!

    For this special edition, I took my daughter and son to the Grayslake location of Dog’n Suds, the well-known drive-in chain. Over footlong hot dogs and root beer, we talk about pressing concerns like:

    Nap habits
    Favorite snacks and meals
    Favorite subjects in school
    “Snack” hot dogs
    The “ceremonial” aspect of serving vegetables for dinner
    The children’s general interest in becoming broadcasters (spoiler warning: OUCH.)

    Warning: There’s a dangerously high concentration of adorbs-ness in this show. Proceed with caution.

  • Car Con Carne – #55: Fulton Market with Jason Novak

    The industrial music-heavy festival Cold Waves was started four years ago by Jason Novak (Acumen Nation, Czar, Acucrack, Cocksure) as a way for the community to rally after respected colleague Jamie Duffy took his life in June, 2012.

    Cold Waves continues to grow and gather momentum each year. This year’s event (9/23-9/24 at Metro) is stacked, featuring performances from Meat Beat Manifesto, Clock DVA, The Cocks, Pig, 16Volt and more. The kickoff show on 9/22 at Double Door features nothing less than the 30th anniversary performance of the reunited Stabbing Westward.

    For this episode, Novak sits shotgun for a trip to the Fulton Market location of taqueria/sandwich shop Cemitas Puebla. To summarize: The tacos are poquito and the cemitas have a grande amount of bread.

    Over dinner, Novak talks about the evolution of Cold Waves, focusing on the memory of Jamie Duffy (“I think he would have been overjoyed at this”). He says the success of Cold Waves feels bittersweet (“You’re constantly reminded that this shouldn’t even be happening”).

    We also talk about Cold Waves kickoff band Stabbing Westward’s ascent in the 90s. Novak says, “I remember (Acumen) being the junior version chasing after them.”

    We chat about the 90s scene, industrial music, Wax Trax, Revolting Cocks, and Pop Will Eat Itself. Novak also talks about his charity, Darkest Before Dawn, which aims to provide support to Chicago’s service industry and live entertainment workers, people whose schedules and isolation leave them “susceptible to depression, anxiety and suicide.”

  • Gabatron Morning Briefing – 4-12-16: Creep Factor

    Scholars at Know College in Illinois have done the first scientific study about what is considered to be creepy. To define what makes someone creepy, researchers surveyed 1,341 people between the ages of 18 and 77. The psychologists found that men are typically considered creepier than women and clowns are the creepiest profession, with taxidermists, sex shop owners and taxi drivers close behind. When it came to hobbies, collecting dolls, insects, reptiles, or body parts such as teeth, bones, or fingernails were considered especially creepy.

    And the latest Chicago politician to be arrested is… *spins wheel* former Congressman Mel Reynolds! He was arrested in the Atlanta airport coming back from South Africa where he was helping his sick daughter. He didn’t want to leave her, even though it violated his parole. He was released on his own recognizance a few hours later.

    Rahm Emanuel has given the thumbs down to the idea of closing Addison and Clark during Cubs games. He says the Cubs also have to be good neighbors, and they can accomplish their security goals without closing the streets.

    The Chicago city council is recommending the police pay a total of $6.4 million to the families of two people who died in custody. Forget about the question of morality, the Chicago Police need to get their act together simply because the city can’t afford to keep paying people when they screw up.

    The Minooka Police Department has stopped using officer body cameras. They had been experimenting with them for the past six months. The police chief said it became a burden for staff to fill the many requests for video footage.

    It’s a good thing Donald Trump has a big lead in New York. Two of his children missed the deadline to register to vote for the primary.

    Speaking of Trump, in an interview with USA Today he suggested he could pick Marco Rubio as his runningmate. He said he “likes Marco a lot.” That’s certainly at odds with, well just about everything he said on the campaign trail. Last we heard from Marco, he said he wouldn’t be VP or Florida Governor, but would be heading to the private sector.

    A group of teenagers has decided to sue President Obama and the federal government for making a mess of the planet for future generations. They are upset because they say the government hasn’t done enough to fight climate change, and also continues to permit the extraction of fossil fuels. Because none of them drive cars.

    A restaurant in Utah is serving up fish and chips with a side of the Second Amendment. The restaurant is run by a family of four and they all wear handguns on their hips while they are working. They also all wear kilts, but no one really seems to notice that, what with the guns and all.

    A guy went under anesthesia to have four teeth pulled by a dentist. He woke up with no teeth. While he was out, and without consulting his wife who was just feet away in the waiting room, they yanked all his teeth due, they said, to an infection they worried would spread. He coded twice in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The man, as you might expect is a little upset. The dentist isn’t commenting. The fact that a story like this exists somewhere in the world is enough to make me think twice about ever going to the dentist again.

  • Car Con Carne – #53: 90 Miles with Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano

    This episode has it all: A daring escape from Cuba! A daring yoga escape! An escape from typical mall food!

    Chicago’s broadcasting power couple, Bob Sirott and Marianne Murciano, join the show for lunch at 90 Miles in Lincolnwood. It’s the third location for the Cuban restaurant, tucked away in an otherwise depressing mall (e.g. Kohls, Auntie Anne’s, Family Chiropractic).

    The cool, kitchy decor of 90 Miles doesn’t match the rugged charms of the Mazda 3, so Sirott and Murciano jump in the car to talk about:

    • Their new-ish website (susosfork.com)
    • How Marianne’s family escaped from Cuba
    • Suburban mall rankings
    • Marianne’s pet monkey
    • Hot dogs (Bob names his favorite places, which totally line up with some of mine)
    • Taking feedback from radio/TV bosses
    • The secret to blogging and podcasting success
    • Whether Bob slid into yoga pants on a recent yoga retreat

    As a bonus, listen as Marianne slid into “mom mode” when she saw me spill all over myself.

  • Car Con Carne – #51: Devil Dawgs with Sandy King Carpenter

    You like conflicts? This episode gives you God vs. the devil! Husband vs. wife! Producer vs. professional wrestler! Movie producer/writer/graphic novel creator Sandy King Carpenter sits shotgun to talk about her comic book work (e.g. John Carpenter’s Asylum), working with a young John Hughes on “Sixteen Candles,” her working relationship with “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and how she met her husband John Carpenter (as in, John Carpenter). I also learn that, were John Carpenter to come after me, he’d kill me “creatively.”

    To tie into the themes Carpenter writes about in John Carpenter’s Asylum, we get Devil Dogs from the South Loop and eat them in front of the old Chess Studios building (2120 S. Michigan Avenue).

  • Car Con Carne – #49: Fabulous Freddies with Martin Atkins from Killing Joke & Pigface

    Martin Atkins played with Johnny Rotten/Lydon in Public Image, Ltd. He was a member of Killing Joke. He created the industrial rock supergroup Pigface (now celebrating its 25-year anniversary). He’s played with Nine Inch Nails and Ministry. He’s written indispensable books about the music industry (Tour:Smart, Band:Smart and Welcome to the Music Business: You’re F****d!). And now, his career path has brought him to the front seat of my Mazda 3 to eat Italian Beef sandwiches at Fabulous Freddies in Bridgeport (not all that far from U.S. Cellular Field).

    Over the course of conversation, Atkins talks about his relationship with John Lydon (it’s up and down). He also tells some amazing Pigface stories. For instance: A guy once played a shopping cart on stage; it was exactly what you’d expect. On the more scandalous tip, Martin once turned the tour bus over to a pair of newlyweds who did a lot of what newlyweds do. He talks about the music industry, writing process and a lifetime’s worth of memories I can’t help but be awed by. And I also discovered in this episode that Martin doesn’t need water to survive; he sustains himself on au jus.

    Note: There are a few salty words in this week’s show, but they sound really good and proper when Martin says them.

    “The World’s Only Food Podcast Recorded in a Car,” hosted by Chicago media personality James VanOsdol. James and guest hosts visit new restaurants for each episode, taking their meals “to go,” so they can record a radio show from inside James’s Mazda 3.

    Follow James VanOsdol on Twitter
    Follow Car Con Carne on Twitter
    CarConCarne.com
    Support Car Con Carne on Patreon