Outside the Loop Radio is a weekly audio magazine featuring fun segments and interviews with local newsmakers, artists, musicians, and others who are doing some cool stuff around the Chicago area. The show covers topics that don’t always get the proper attention in the media, all with a strong and independent Chicago slant. OTL provides for discussion that goes beyond just the headlines in our local papers.


Recent Articles
  • OTL #582: The Secret History of Jason McNinch, Louder Than a Mom, Holiday Remix

    Mike Stephen puts out the call for cozy neighborhood bars to feature this winter, visits Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History of the late industrial guitarist Jason McNinch, chats with Louder Than a Mom co-founder Kate Hill about the power of family storytelling, and discovers an environmentally friendly way to Christmas shop from Jay Lyon, founder of Remix Chicago, a non-profit dedicated to making art from recycled materials. This week’s local music is powered by Coyote Ghost. Send us your […]

  • OTL #581: Decatur, IN’s WDBF-LP, Dorothy Day’s personal story, Illinois Election Data

    Mike Stephen syncs up with Jovan Mrvos, Zach Martin, and Quinton Swenski, (teacher and student managers, respectively) of WDBF-LP in Decatur, IN, to talk community radio from the high school prospective in another installment of Low Power to the People, chats with author Kate Hennessy about her book on her grandmother Dorothy Day called Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved By Beauty, and explores the website Illinois Election Data with creator Scott Kennedy.  This week’s local music is powered by Minor Characters.

  • OTL #580: The Color of Law, The Secret History of Royal Flairs, Inside the OPRF Food Pantry

    This week, while processing high level of tryptophan in his system, Mike Stephen talks with author Richard Rothstein about his new book discussing the forgotten history of government-designed racial segregation, visits Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History of 60’s garage-rockers The Royal Flairs, and pays a visit to the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry to talk with Executive Director Michele Zurakowski about volunteer work and the Thanksgiving holiday. This week’s local music features the awesome jamz of […]

  • OTL #579: Teamwork Englewood, The Stamp King of Chicago, Chi Hack Night

    Mike Stephen chats with Teamwork Englewood’s Executive Director Perry Gunn about community stakeholders working to better that neighborhood, talks with Chicago’s “Stamp King” Charles Berg about the power of stamps and ChicagoPEX 2017, and checks in with Emily Drevets, organizer and master of ceremonies for Chi Hacknight, about citizens coming together and using public data to solve some of the city’s problems. This week’s local music is powered by WC and the Fam.

  • OTL #578: Harvard’s WHIW-LP, The Secret History of Spaceship Love, The experience of driving for Uber

    Mike Stephen connects with Dave Gardner and Vicki Logan, general manager and board member (respectively), of WHIW-LP in Harvard, IL for another installment of Low Power to the People, visits Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History of 1980s cosmic-jazzers Spaceship Love, and chats with author Pat White to discuss his book on driving Uber for 90 days, Buzz Ride: Driven to Disruption. This week’s local music features The Dress Circle.

  • OTL #576: Inside Space Oddities, The Secret History of Aliotta, Haynes, Jeremiah, Underneath Read-Dunning Park

    Mike Stephen takes the OTL roving microphone to Humboldt Park and talks with Sarah Luczko, owner of the unique book and “everything-store” Chicago Space Oddities, visits Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History of 70s rock band Alliotta, Haynes, Jeremiah, and finally heads to Read-Dunning Memorial Park with the former president of the Chicago Genealogical Society, Craig Pfannkuche, to talk about the mass grave there.  Local Halloween-themed jamz this week provided by Psychobilly rockers 13 Angels. http://traffic.libsyn.com/outsidetheloopradio/otl-ep576-171028.mp3 To subscribe to the OTL […]

  • OTL #577: Ride sharing’s impact on local transit, Going behind the scenes of an IL gubernatorial campaign

    Mike Stephen talks with Dr. Regina Clewlow, research associate at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, about the impact ride sharing apps are having on public transit in Chicago and then sits down with former Pawar 2018 gubernatorial campaign manager Sam Hobert to get a better understanding of what running a modern political campaign looks like.  Local jamz this week provided by space-funkers Blue Dream. http://traffic.libsyn.com/outsidetheloopradio/otl-ep577-171104.mp3 To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #575: Chicago Kids Film Fest, Will Guzzardi on rent control, SloMo dance party

    Mike Stephen learns about the rich history of children’s cinema in Chicago with Ann Vikstrom, Director of the 34th annual Chicago Children’s Intentional Film Festival, chats about the growing momentum for rent control in Illinois with  State Representative Will Guzzardi, and slows things down with Kristen Kaza, co-founder of Slo’Mo, a slow jam movement to celebrate LGBTQ communities in Chicago.  The local jamz this week are provided to us by K-Nein. http://traffic.libsyn.com/outsidetheloopradio/otl-ep575-171021.mp3 To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS […]

  • OTL #574: WRFU serves Urbana, Chicago Books to Women in Prison, The Secret History of Stumpwater

    Mike Stephen crosses radio waves with WRFU-LP station manager DJ BJ Clark in Urbana, IL for another installment of Low Power to the People, chats with Vicki White, President of Chicago Books to Women in Prison, about the organization’s efforts to bring a little humanity to female inmates all over the US, and visits Plastic Crimewave (aka Steve Krakow) to learn about the Secret History 1970s folk-pop band Stumpwater. http://traffic.libsyn.com/outsidetheloopradio/otl-ep574-171014.mp3 To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #573: Fighting to end gun violence, Homewood Hobo Night, Keya Trammell plays live

    Mike Stephen brings the national gun headlines closer to home and chats with Colleen Daley, Executive Director of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, turns south to learn about the unique history of railways with Allisa Opyd, Community Events Manager for the Village of Homewood, IL, and welcomes Keya Trammell into the studio to perform as our live musical guest and talk about her journey as a Chicago artist. http://traffic.libsyn.com/outsidetheloopradio/otl-ep573-171007.mp3 To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.