Theme Songs



A music-based podcast from the guys who made 'Off the Chain.' Every episode presents a handful of songs around a specific theme.


  • Theme Songs, Episode 17: Irresistible Dance Music

    30/03/2018 Duración: 40min

    This week’s theme was Irresistible Dance Music. Dave & Steel were joined by Steel’s old friend Alice to talk about her love of ecstatic dance and play great dance tracks by Michael Jackson, Sly & the Family Stone, Bag Raiders, MGMT, Disclosure, and Tani Diakite & the Afrofunkstars. Links Tommy Franklin [Bag Raiders] appearance on … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 17: Irresistible Dance Music"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 16: Songs You’ve Listened to >1000 Times

    22/03/2018 Duración: 32min

    This week’s theme was songs you’ve listened to >1000 times. Dave and Steel were joined by Steel’s sister Sarah and played beloved music by the Fruit Bats, Weezer, Sufjan Stevens, The Beatles, Martin Sexton, and Otis Redding.

  • Theme Songs, Episode 15: Hair

    15/03/2018 Duración: 32min

    This week’s theme was hair. Not only did Dave and Steel cover the greatest hair in Minnesota High School boy hockey and their profound appreciation for what Ricky Rubio and Elfrid Payton are doing to revolutionize basketball hair this year, but they also played great hair-related music by P.M. Dawn, Pavement, The Cowsills, Old 97’s, Hunx, … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 15: Hair"

  • Theme Songs, Episodes 14: Reading, Writing, & Arithmetic

    14/02/2018 Duración: 48min

    This week’s theme was “Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.” Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Mark and played songs by Dan Baird, Led Zeppelin, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss, Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, RJD2, and The Ramones. Featured image by Internet Archive Book Images

  • Theme Songs, Episode 13: ROBOTZ!!!

    31/01/2018 Duración: 31min

    This week’s theme was robots. Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Spencer to play robot-related music by Rock Plaza Central, Dan Mangan, Grandaddy, Daft Punk, The Flaming Lips, and Andrew Thompson. Featured image by Steel’s co-worker Ken Fager.

  • Theme Songs, Episode 12: Oceania

    24/01/2018 Duración: 29min

    This week’s theme was Oceania, meaning that the show focused on music by artists from Australia and New Zealand. This week Steel and Dave played songs by Tjupurru, AC/DC, Sarah Blasko, Flight of the Conchords, Sampa the Great, and Camp Cope. Featured image by Martin Snicer Photography

  • Theme Songs, Episode 11: Sea Shanties

    02/01/2018 Duración: 44min

    Happy New Year! Our first episode of the year features sea shanties and is dedicated to the Aubrey-Maturin novels, which Steel read for the first time in 2017. Steel & Dave play classic naval themed songs from Stan Rogers, The Decemberists, Jackshit, Katey Red & Big Freedia, The Beach Boys, Louis Killen, Jeff & Gerrett … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 11: Sea Shanties"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 10: Songs to Clean Your House To

    15/12/2017 Duración: 38min

    This week Dave and Steel were joined by Dave’s sister Melissa to talk about music to clean your house to, with great tunes from LCD Soundsystem, Rufus Wainwright, James Brown, The Eagles, Radiohead, and Bomba Estéreo. You’re in for a couple of extra special treats this week as well, as they also talked for a while … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 10: Songs to Clean Your House To"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 9: Kids Music You Don’t Hate

    05/12/2017 Duración: 32min

    This week’s theme was “kids music you don’t hate.” Every parent knows that there’s plenty of kids music out there that’s just plain dreadful. This episode is designed to help you find great music that you and your kids will both like. Our old friend Amy joined us to play songs our kids like by … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 9: Kids Music You Don’t Hate"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 8: Strange Voices

    08/11/2017 Duración: 28min

    The theme of this week’s episode was “Strange Voices” meaning that we played music by beloved artists with unusual vocal stylings. This week’s show featured music by Victoria Williams, The Mountain Goats, Anonhi (formerly Antony of Antony & the Johnsons), Sigur Ros, Aldous Harding, Tom Waits, and Woods. Enjoy!

  • Theme Songs, Episode 7: Spooky Songs

    28/10/2017 Duración: 31min

    Ooooooooooh! This week Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Jordan Faux for a special Halloween edition of Theme Songs. The theme for the week was “spooky songs,” and we played bonechilling tunes by Interpol, Mick Gordon, Napoleon XIV, Monkeygrinder, Phil Collins, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, and Henry Hall. Featured image by NASA Goddard … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 7: Spooky Songs"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 6: Codependency/Independence

    24/10/2017 Duración: 37min

    This week’s theme was Codependency/Independence. Steel’s sister-in-law Jennie Bastian joined the two hosts to discuss how we can prevent sexual assault and harassment and best support its victims, and then the trio played great tunes from Waxahatchee, Tina Turner, John Prine, Fiona Apple, Lesley Gore, and the Isley Brothers. Links: Sexual assault is a major … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 6: Codependency/Independence"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 5: Secretly Inappropriate

    18/09/2017 Duración: 37min

    Our theme this week: songs that, despite their popularity, were secretly (and sometimes) wildly inappropriate. Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s old friend Katie and play shockers by Benny Mardones, Bob Seger, Lour Reed, The Police, Dave Matthews Band, and Clarence Carter. The lesson of this episode in case you didn’t already know it: … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 5: Secretly Inappropriate"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 4: Story Songs

    18/09/2017 Duración: 35min

    This week’s theme: “Story Songs,” featuring songs that tell a story and tell it well. This week Dave and Steel were joined by their old friend Alan and share miniature gems from The Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie, Cat Power, Jens Lekman, Bishop Allen, and Steve Earle. Featured image: art from The Crane Wife by Carson … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 4: Story Songs"

  • Theme Songs 3: Desert + Island = Desert Island

    11/09/2017 Duración: 23min

    This week’s theme was Desert + Island = Desert Island. Steel and Dave discuss and play desert music, island music, and pick their ‘desert island’ songs. The episode features music by U2, Steve Reich, Tinariwen, The Mantles, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, The Silver Jews and Otis Redding. Dave’s pick for his “Desert Island” song, “Random Rules” by … Continue reading "Theme Songs 3: Desert + Island = Desert Island"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 2: “That Wasn’t What I Was Expecting”

    04/09/2017 Duración: 35min

    This week’s theme was ‘That Wasn’t What I Was Expecting’ and we featured songs by bands whose musical sound doesn’t match their name. On this week’s episode Dave & Steel are joined by their old friend Spencer to play music from bands with misleading names, including Los Campesinos!, The Final Solution, Yo La Tengo, Dr. … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 2: “That Wasn’t What I Was Expecting”"

  • Theme Songs, Episode 1: Firsts!

    28/08/2017 Duración: 33min

    This week Dave and Steel present the first episode of their new podcast Theme Songs. This week the theme is “Firsts!” and they play groundbreaking music by Kono Michi, Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam), Bill Haley & His Comets, Harry Belafonte, Bruce Springsteen, Domenico Modugno, Beck, Patty Griffin, and the Rolling Stones. We hope you enjoy … Continue reading "Theme Songs, Episode 1: Firsts!"

  • Episode 77: The Last One

    04/08/2017 Duración: 01h15min

    We’ve got some bittersweet news. The sweet part: Spencer and Jordan rejoined us for another terrific episode. The bitter part: it’s our last ever Off the Chain. This week, our old friends and frequent guests Spencer and Jordan come back for one last ride, in which we give some pro-level small talk advice (including, for … Continue reading "Episode 77: The Last One"

  • Episode 76: Physics Hair

    06/07/2017 Duración: 01h02min

    This week Dave and Steel are joined by Dave’s physicist friend Jason. Together the three of them discuss proton therapy, Jason’s top three physicists of all time, describe the new “Physics Hair” calendar they’re working on, answer Dave’s questions about fringe physics concepts, give parenting tips, play science-themed music from The Flaming Lips, Elton John, … Continue reading "Episode 76: Physics Hair"

  • Episode 75: Ken, Yakov, and an Ornamental Hermit Walk Into a Bar …

    23/06/2017 Duración: 01h10min

    This week Dave and Steel are joined by Steel’s friend Sigrid. Together the three of them discuss transportation options for families with tons of kids, Dave and Sig’s shared loved of drawing and illustration, play a few rounds of Indie Band Name Balderdash, present another edition of Small Talk, share great nighttime driving music by … Continue reading "Episode 75: Ken, Yakov, and an Ornamental Hermit Walk Into a Bar …"

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