Car Con Carne timeline

April, 2014-James VanOsdol and close friend Mike Bratton decide to launch a BBQ podcast, recorded at a different restaurant for each episode. Background noise was a concern, so Mike suggested recording in the car. As a professional voice over artist, he noted that he frequently has to record voice tracks while away from the studio, and cars tend to be as close-to-soundproof as you can get.

May, 2014-Pilot episode recorded with guest Elliott Serrano of RedEye.

December, 2014-First appearance of Smoking Popes’ Josh Caterer.

July, 2015-Car Con Carne opens the Taste of Chicago’s “Food For Thought” podcast pavilion.

September, 2015-First trip to Epic Deli, to sample the “JVO” sandwich.

November, 2015-Mike Bratton’s last show before moving to New York City.

November, 2015-Car Con Carne relaunched as a weekly show with rotating guests, and BBQ is no longer the only type of food eaten on the show. Radio personality Alex Quigley is the first guest.

December, 2015-Josh Caterer makes his second appearance, doing the first-ever Car Con Carne “in-car” performance.

December, 2015-Josh Caterer provides the now-famous Car Con Carne theme song.

February, 2016-Joe Principe of Rise Against is interviewed on what would become the most-listened-to Car Con Carne episode to date.

April, 2016-Take Your Children to Work Day finds James’ kids coming along for the recording.

May, 2016-Work begins on a Car Con Carne TV pilot with WCIU. Radio personality Lauren O’Neil (WKQX) films the pilot rehearsal.

July, 2016-Second year in a row opening the Taste of Chicago’s “Food for Thought” podcast pavilion.

July, 2016-Filming for the TV pilot kicks into high gear with guests Scott Lucas (Local H) and Allie Quigley (WNBA/Chicago Sky).

September, 2016-WCIU passes on the pilot. Sigh.

October, 2016-First out-of-state broadcast, with Matt Pinfield in San Francisco.

May, 2017-Site relaunch; partnership with Boost Mobile begins.

September, 2017-The branded Car Con Carne mobile becomes a reality! 












November, 2017 – Smashing Pumpkins mastermind Billy Corgan makes a guest appearance.

July, 2018 – Frank Orrall of beloved Chicago band Poi Dog Pondering eats duck tacos in the Mazda 3.

August, 2018 – Event coverage at the annual 350 Fest finds punk legends Descendents jumping in the car for tacos!

August, 2018 – What to do after getting Tony and Grammy nominations? Talk to Car Con Carne. Tom from Plain White T’s jumped on the podcast for a long-overdue catch up!

September, 2018 – Jeff Pezzati of legendary Chicago band Naked Raygun jumps in the car for one of 2018’s most-listened to episodes!

October, 2018 – Partnership with the Autobarn Mazda of Evanston kicks off!



December, 2018 – New logo, courtesy of the mega-talented Brian Lueck.

December, 2018 – First “live remote,” inside Autobarn Mazda of Evanston and featuring live performances from Hi Ho and OUTDrejas!

April, 2019 – Banner month for shows, including alternative music icon Robyn Hitchcock, journalist/author Jim DeRogatis, Smashing Pumpkins keyboardist Katie Cole and legendary comic book artist Alex Ross.

June, 2019 – 80s pop superstar and hitmaker TIFFANY jumps in the car for a performance!

June, 2019 – Car Con Carne is the only media outlet in Chicago invited to cover Cirque Du Soleil’s production of “VOLTA” from in the band pit.

July, 2019 – Car Con Carne is mentioned in Newcity’s annual “Music 45: Who Keeps Chicago in Tune 2019” issue.

September, 2019 – Three-day onsite coverage of Riot Fest helps September, 2019 to become the most successful month in the podcast’s history, shattering all previous audience records. Interviews include Rise Against, The Struts, Anti-Flag, GWAR and the Hu (pictured).

September, 2019 – Event overage of Cold Waves includes interviews with industrial legends like Paul Barker (Ministry, Revolting Cocks), Chemlab, Pop Will Eat Itself and Filter (pictured).

October, 2019 – C&H Financial Services joins on as a podcast sponsor.

November, 2019 – Car Con Carne is named runner-up in the “Best Music Podcast” category of the Chicago Reader’s annual Best of Chicago issue.

December, 2019 – Merch (t-shirts, baseball jerseys, hoodies) launched on Amazon.

December, 2019 – Car Con Carne provides onsite coverage at the first annual “MS Sucks” benefit and interviews Plain White Ts, Lucky Boys Confusion, El Famous and more.

February, 2020 – Dave Pirner of iconic alternative band Soul Asylum jumps in the car before the band’s Metro show.

March, 2020 – COVID-19 forces Car Con Carne to take a new approach. During the pandemic, Car Con Carne becomes Quarantine Con Carne. Shows air nightly and are done over video chat, shared on Facebook, YouTube and the podcast.  The first “Quarantine Con Carne” guest is Patrick Brower of Challengers Comics (3/14/20).


April, 2020 – Car Con Carne merch relaunched on Below the Collar (owned by One Hour Tees) in Chicago. First two products include “Quarantine Con Carne” shirts.

April, 2020 – Chicago venue owners (CIVL) participate in a roundtable about the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses.

May, 2020- Multiple Grammy winner and jazz great Ramsey Lewis does an interview about his stellar career.

May, 2020 – Author Christian Picciolini returns to Car Con Carne for a timely conversation about the rise of white supremacist groups in America.

May, 2020 – Hockey Hall of Famer and Blackhawks great Ed Belfour talks about the Belfour whiskey brand.

May, 2020 – Local H announces the first of two “drive-in” concert events scheduled for June, 2020 in Gibson City, IL.

June, 2020 – Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated actor Michael Shannon gives a fantastic interview about his impressive career in film, television and theater.

June, 2020 – Car Con Carne drives downstate for Local H’s first “drive-in” show (photo by Zach Spangler)

June, 2020 – Comedy legend Tom Dreesen appears on Car Con Carne.

July, 2020 – “Guest Host Week” has Daryl Wilson (The Bollweevils), Tim Virgin (101 WKQX), Stubhy (Lucky Boys Confusion), Gillian McGhee (Hi Ho) and Herb Rosen (Liar’s Club) filling in. Each did a phenomenal job, and they all booked fun, smart and interesting guests! 

July, 2020 – Kansas lead singer Ronnie Platt does an interview which is one of the show’s most successful live videos to date.

July, 2020 – Marilyn Manson guitarist/composer for the “Terrifier” movie franchise Paul Wiley is interviewed.

July, 2020 – “1BR” writer/director David Marmor, producer Alok Mishra and actress Naomi Grossman talk about the new horror release.

July, 2020 – Car Con Carne’s best month yet, with listens and video views skyrocketing as COVID-19 keeps people at home.

August, 2020 – Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Chris Frantz (Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club) talks about his amazing career and autobiography, “Remain In Love.”

September, 2020 – Partnership with Happy to Meat You delivers listeners for the start-up high-end meat delivery company! It was a delicious week on Car Con Carne.

September, 2020 – Live Aid co-creator/Band Aid co-writer/music legend Midge Ure appears on Car Con Carne!

September, 2020 – Steve Kilbey, frontman for the long-running, prolific and awesome Australian band The Church, comes on the show!

November, 2020 – Jim O’Heir (Jerry on “Parks and Recreation”) makes a delightful and totally engaging appearance on Car Con Carne.

November, 2020 – Industrial music giant Raymond Watts of PIG checks in from overseas.

December, 2020 – Sandy King Carpenter returns to the show, and her husband John is heard in the background.

December, 2020 – The Car Con Carne newsletter is launched.

December, 2020 – “Club Con Carne” becomes a thing.

December 30, 2020 – The final show of 2020 is a solo show. I was blown off for that episode, which seemed like an symbolic way to wrap up that miserable year.

January, 2021 – TV/film/comedy hero Joel McHale appears in an episode, part of a content partnership with the Brent Sopel Foundation.

February, 2021 – Car Con Carne is nominated for Best Music Podcast and James VanOsdol is nominated for Best Podcast Host in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2020” issue. Car Con Carne didn’t advance, but James VanOsdol was runner-up in the Best Podcast Host category (losing to the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky).

February, 2021 – Joe Shanahan (Metro), Scott Lucas (Local H) and Jerry Bryant (JBTV) bring their estimable local music clout to Car Con Carne to preview a weekend-long JBTV livestreaming event.

February, 2021 – Guitar god Duane Denison (Tomahawk, The Jesus Lizard) comes on to preview the new Tomahawk album.

February, 2021 – Multiple Olympic gold-and-silver medalist Greg Louganis appears, in another episode done in conjunction with the Brent Sopel Foundation.

February, 2021 – Power pop legend Joey Molland of Badfinger tells stories from his star-studded past.

March, 2021 – Actress Heidi Johanningmeier talks about her lead role in the psychological thriller “100 Days to Live”

March, 2021 – Alligator Records turns 50! Owner Bruce Iglauer and blues superstar Shemekia Copeland talk about the label’s history.

March, 2021 – “Psycho Goreman” director Steven Kostanski talks about the insane, instant cult classic, film.

March, 2021 – Lou Malnati’s turns 50! Owner Marc Malnati talks about the iconic Chicago pizza restaurant’s long history.

April, 2021 – In a powerful episode, Donna Diane of DJUNAH talks about wrestling with suicidal thoughts and depression, and discusses her path forward.

April, 2021 – Radio legend Kevin Matthews talks about his career.

April, 2021 – EPISODE 600! The “Night of 1000 Stars” was a 5+ hour-long live broadcast that featured close to 30 guests.

May, 2021 – Car Con Carne goes downstate to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to record from “The State of Sound: A World of Music in Illinois” museum exhibit.

May, 2021 – After 14 months, Car Con Carne returns to the car to record an episode at Byron’s Hot Dogs with Blake from Letdown.

June, 2021 – Car Con Carne visits FEW Spirits for a tour and conversation with owner/master distiller Paul Hletko.

June, 2021 – 2-time WWE champion Drew McIntyre appears on the show!

June, 2021 – Tiffany returns to Car Con Carne!

July, 2021 – WWE superstars Apollo Crews and Damian Priest appear on the show!

August, 2021 -Mr. Agitator of V is for Villains joins me for an onsite interview at Temperance.

August, 2021 – Blind Adam and the Federal League join forces with Anti-Flag’s Chris #2 for a virtual episode.