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Suck it, Chicago winter

I can’t stand the sight of my winter clothes anymore. My boots, coat, gloves and hat just piss me off at this point. I resent any day when I have to layer up and see my breath within seconds of walking outside.

Thinking I wasn’t the only one who must be having these thoughts, I decided to have a “winter clothes burning” party; a chance for people to come by and purge apparel that will be forever associated with this year’s awful weather. Then I realized I  can’t be trusted to control a bonfire of clothes. Further, there’s surely a more responsible approach to getting rid of our collective cold weather-wear.

I decided instead to do a “winter purge” for charity. Only problem is, that’s as far as I’ve gotten with the idea. I’m open to ideas as to how to coordinate location/charity. My goal is to do it before Opening Day, Chicago’s unofficial beginning of Spring.

I’d love your input!

Chicago bands – it’s time to celebrate LOCALCEMBER

I’ve had a very memorable year podcasting with the Steve Dahl Network. Most recently, and shockingly, my show was nominated for the national Podcast Awards. Once I get more information on how to vote for a winner, I’ll probably be asking for your help (In fact, I think voting officially starts tomorrow).

I’ve been lucky to have had some big-time guests on this year, mostly from the world of music (go figure). It occurred to me, however, that I should probably take a few steps back and spend more time focused on an area I love and have unintentionally underserved: Chicago music.

December, 2012 is LOCALCEMBER on the James VanOsdol Show, featuring nothing but Chicago bands. I’ll be interviewing cool up-and-coming local bands all month and, if the bands are willing, also playing their music on the show.

What does this mean to you? If you’re in a band, I want to hear your stuff. If you know someone in a band, please tell them about Localcember. It’ll be just like when I hosted Local 101 back in the day … only this time around, I don’t need to edit out profanity from songs. Well, that, and I’ll have to get formal permission to actually play the songs.

Genre is unimportant. I’ll play rock, metal, alt, blues … whatever sounds good.

Contact me at Localcember: it’s a Chicago thing.


Local bands: you can follow in the footsteps of these honorable folks, who have all been interviewed on my show this year (listed in no particular order):

Jenny McCarthy
James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins/A Perfect Circle)
Alan Parsons
Queensryche (Geoff Tate)
The Yardbirds (Jim McCarty)
The Tubes (Fee Waybill)
Steve Howe (Yes/Asia)
Thomas Dolby
Johnny Winter
Rebirth Brass Band
Dick Dale
Pat Travers
Soul Asylum (Dave Pirner)
actor Paul Adelstein (“Private Practice,” “Prison Break”)
Eve 6
The Toadies
Smoking Popes
musician/producer Butch Walker
The Last Vegas
Martin Atkins (Pigface, Public Image Ltd.)
Die Warzau (Jim Marcus)
Girl in a Coma
Chantal Claret (solo artist/Morningwood singer)
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound
Off Broadway
Emilie Autumn
author/rock critic Jim DeRogatis
author Brian Cronin (“Was Superman a Spy?”)
author Will Murray (Doc Savage)
horror film host Svengoolie

We Appreciate Your Enthusiasm: the Cover

Details about its release coming soon!



This blog has been well-traveled over the past several years, spending time at Blogger, Chicago Now, Quick Blogcast, and a few others I’ve likely forgot.

Now in its current/permanent WordPress home, I’m painfully aware that a lot of older posts are out of sorts either because of the text formatting (something to do with “div tags,” which I never really understood) or missing images.

As work on my podcast and book continue, it’s been a challenge to go back into the archives to work on bringing all my posts back to a consistent standard. It’s something I’m aware of, and will continue to work on as time allows.

Thanks for reading!

I’ve got some big news …


More details soon.

Podcast Debut! Episode One: Svengoolie

Well, it’s official: I’m podcasting again. On a related note, I really need to come up with a name for the podcast.

I’m proud to say that Svengoolie agreed to be my first guest. The long-running local horror host and rubber chicken aficionado didn’t even blink when I asked him to come on a brand new podcast with absolutely no history or reputation.

Thanks for listening!



RSS info

Guest hosting on the LOOP this weekend

I swear I’m done with radio, and have no plans to return in a part- or full-time capacity again. I am, however, open to the idea of popping on the air every now and then, just for fun.

This Saturday night, I’ll be doing just that. The Loop is focusing on the 90s all weekend, and wanted to address Q101’s demise in some way. They asked me to host three hours of “alty” hits, and share memories about the artists I’ll be playing. If nothing else, it’ll be a curious distraction from Led Zeppelin and Rush for the station.

Everything’s been prerecorded (taken care of on my lunchbreak today, in fact), but hopefully it will still have that awkward “live” feel you’ve come to love over the years.

My last days in radio (for now)

(Update 6/10/11)-

I spoke too soon. My final day is tomorrow, June 11.

tick … tick … tick …


I’ll be off the air for good-ish on June 12.

After working two jobs for the past two years, frequently on a seven-day schedule, something had to give. That something? My part-time gig at Q101.

I’m grateful to the station for welcoming me back; even more so to anyone who was generous enough to listen, comment, call, SMS, or tweet nice thoughts my way over the past two years. Thank you.

On my first day back, Tim Virgin and I both had a laugh when I said, “we are living proof that a person can be unceremoniously shitcanned by a major radio station one year, and enthusiastically welcomed back only a few years later.”  If Tim were a little league dad or if I were a strip club enthusiast, we’d probably hang out every day.

Speaking of Q101’s airstaff, Electra’s clearly one of the “good ones” in radio. I’ve only seen her twice since I came back, but she’s become one of my favorite Twitter pen pals. #sherocks

I want to also recognize the other world-class disc jockeys I’ve worked with over the past two years: Pogo, Dana, JP, Chris Payne, Jaime Black, Jen Jameson, Erik, Kevin Manno, and Sherman & Tingle. My interactions with each have kept my enthusiasm for radio high, even as the industry’s will to live has at times seemed suspect.

This move leaves me gone, but hopefully not forgotten. I’ll still be active on this blog site and Twitter. If I can ever get my shit together, I’ll also start podcasting again.

James VanOsdol
Chicago, IL 6/4/11


If you miss me already, don’t forget that  my book is now available on Amazon…

The Self-Publishing Chronicles Part Ten: It’s out, kinda.

As I mentioned in my last post on the topic, I made the decision to surrender control of Kindle formatting to Kindle’s publishing services. Their solicit says that conversion usually takes 2-3 weeks, though after committing to the process and having my credit card charged, Team Kindle let me know that I’m looking at something closer to five weeks.

This has completely thrown off my plan to simultaneously launch the paperback and Kindle versions on June 7. As a result, I’ve been wondering whether I should push the official launch back or do separate releases.

The tricky thing is that the book is now technically available, though I’ve made no public announcement of that fact.  A formal public push and marketing effort will come in June, but visitors to my site deserve an early heads-up. With that, let’s just consider this blog post a “soft release” of the paperback version. Kindle will have to wait.

You can knock $3 off the obscene cover price with a limited-time (this weekend only) discount code on CreateSpace:

The link
The code: RWNDPPKH

CreateSpace is owned by Amazon, but I’m not entirely sure if your Amazon login will work on the site. Let me know if that is/isn’t the case.

If Amazon is more in your comfort zone, you can pay full price here.

Off we go…

First Time/First Car: Written Words About a Night of Spoken Word

Last month, I was invited to speak at CHIRP Radio’s “First Time: First Car” event at Schubas.

As explained on the Schubas site:

<<The First Time is CHIRP’s reading series that combines the written
word and music. Local musicians/performers/writers write and read an
original piece based on a “first time” theme. This month, we’re
featuring “First Car.” The piece will reference a specific artist or
piece of music, and immediately following, a live band will perform the
aforementioned song. This is a benefit for the Chicago Independent
Radio Project.

Also featuring Steve Frisbie, Liam Davis and Gerald Dowd playing live accompaniments to each piece.>>

The line-up puts me in great company, which is to say the company of people way more talented and interesting than myself.

Jim DeRogatis is a writer’s writer, a tenacious rock journalist with a spirited and honest voice.  I’ve known and adored him since I first worked with him in 1994, as producer of “Sound Opinions” on Q101 (then hosted by Jim and Bill Wyman).

Robbie Fulks and Smoking Popes frontman Josh Caterer have been two of Chicago’s most beloved and celebrated music voices since the 1990s.

Matt Spiegel is an insanely talented broadcaster.  I’m not much of a sports fan outside of baseball, but I look forward to hearing whatever Matt has to say, alongside Dan McNeil on the Score.

I’ve never met Edelman Digital V.P. Erin Shea.  I do know that she’s a fabulous writer, though–so much so that I feel like I already know her from reading her blog.  She’s seriously pregnant, too, so she could in theory steal the show by going into early labor.

Susan Messing is a well-respected and gifted comedienne.  I’ve been a fan since I first saw her in “The Real Live Brady Bunch” at the Annoyance in the early ’90s

Not only do I not belong in such esteemed company, I have no business talking about cars. If my life depended on having to identify the various parts of an engine, my life would be as good as forfeit.

I’m working on my speech right now, wondering how on earth I’ll be able to write five minutes’ worth of meaningful content, let alone memorize it.  A big part of me right now is wishing I’d waited until CHIRP hosted a “First Comic Book” or “First Schwarzenegger Movie” night.

I’ve attempted to stack the house with friends, family, and industry friends so that if I mess up too dramatically, I’ll at least be able to garner sympathy applause.

  • Schuba’s
  • Wednesday 01/26/2011
  • 8:00 PM
  • |21+
  • $10.00

Ray Charles

Ray Charles is dead. What a total drag.


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