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 #617: Saucy Porka expands, Park District life hacks, The Tim Gleason Band plays live

    Mike Stephen drops by the new Saucy Porka restaurant in Hyde Park and chats with owner and chef Amy Le about what it’s like as a restaurant owner in the city, learns about some tips and tricks to navigating the Chicago Park District’s signup process, and rocks out to live music from Tim Gleason and Kathleen Riordan in the studio. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #616: Cycle of Injustice, First time run for alderman, The Secret History of Marvin Smith

    Mike Stephen discusses the inequities of a Chicago Police bike ticketing policy with Streetsblog Chicago editor John Greenfield, meets 33rd Ward aldermanic candidate Katie Sieracki to learn more about what it really takes to enter the political thicket, and visits the lair of Plastic Crimewave (AKA Steve Krakow) to discover the Secret History of Marvin Smith. Local music this week powered by Stardusk Encounter. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #615: Disparities in school funding and school discipline, A tribute to Val of Val’s Halla Records

    Mike Stephen chews through the CPS funding data with Jessica Kursman of UIC’s Voorhees Center, explores the impact of discipline policies in Illinois public schools with Kalin Belsha of the Chicago Reporter, and tips his hat to the late local music legend Val Camilletti of Val’s Halla Records in Oak Park.  The local music this week is powered by Rum Velvet. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #614: Ald. Waguespack on Chicago leadership, IL Railway Museum, The Secret History of The Riptides

    Mike Stephen talks with Chicago Alderman Scott Waguespack about his views on the city’s leadership, learns about the Illinois Railway Museum, and visits the lair of Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) to discover the Secret History of 60s garage-rockers The Riptides. Local music this week courtesy of Sun Cop. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #613: Aldermanic impact on affordable housing, Closed Loop Forum, Tacos y Tamales Fest

    Mike Stephen talks about the role Chicago Alderman play in affordable housing development with Chicago Area Fair Housing Executive Director Patricia Fron, discusses the sustainable benefit of closed loop economies with Jonathan Pereira of Plant Chicago, and geeks out over tacos and the upcoming Tacos Y Tamales Fest  with the fest co-producer Nick Pobutsky. Local music this week courtesy of local synth-pop GOSH! To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #611: Connecting Chicago communities, The Mattachine Podcast, Getting excited about local science

    Mike Stephen chats with Jahmal Cole of My Block, My Hood, My City and Delores Lucas of We Keep You Rollin’ about uniting Chicago communities, talks to Devlyn Camp, the creator and host of the Mattachine Podcast, about the history of gay culture, and discusses the relevance of science in today’s political climate with the founder and executive director of the Illinois Science Council, Monica Metzler. Local music this week courtesy of Nora Jean Wallace. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes […]

  • OTL #612: Chicago Voyagers, The Secret History of Matt “Guitar” Murphy, WRWO-FM serves Ottawa, IL

    Mike Stephen declares his love of Wisconsin and supper clubs, learns about having at-risk youth experience the outdoors through the Chicago Voyagers program, checks in with Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) to discover the Secret History of Matt “Guitar” Murphy, and connects to the studios of WRWO-LP in Ottawa, IL to find out how that station serves the community. Local music this week courtesy of All the Wine. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #610: Ogden’s vision for Chicago, The Battle of Lincoln Park, The Secret History of Mugicians

    It’s a historic day for Mike Stephen as he chats with Craig Pfannkuche of the Chicago and North Western Historical Society about the ambitions of Chicago’s first mayor, author Daniel Kay Hertz about his book The Battle of Lincoln Park, and pays a visit to Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) to learn about the Secret History of prog-rockers Mugicians. Local music this week is powered by Aurora L’Orealis. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #609: Police oversight reform, Woodworking in Portage Park, One Illinois aims to unite our state

    Mike Stephen discusses community oversight of the police with Frank Chapman of the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, visits an Irish immigrant who is a great craftsman and musician named Aidan O’Toole, and learns about a new media company called One Illinois and its mission to unite our state.  The local music this week comes from the local Celtic band Anish. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.

  • OTL #608: The Parking Ticket Geek returns, 26th St. is a food destination, The Secret History of Iron Lung

    Mike Stephen talks with transportation enthusiast The Parking Ticket Geek about the latest local parking and transportation stories, gets the delicious details of all the great food along 26th Street with Mike Gebert, editor of Fooditor.com, and hangs with Steve Krakow (aka Plastic Crimewave) to learn about the Secret History of Elgin’s 70s Blues-rockers Iron Lung. The local music this week comes from V.V. Lightbody. To subscribe to the OTL podcast, please visit our iTunes page or RSS feed.