Car Con Carne Highlights

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 at Willy’s Rib Shack in Chicago.

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 coverage 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 – “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.

August, 2021 – J.J. Burnel of the Stranglers joins me for a remarkable conversation.

September, 2021 – Riot Fest is back! Car Con Carne talked with a dozen-ish artists, including Les Savy Fav, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, BLACKSTARKIDS, the Bollweevils and Airstream Futures (pictured).

October, 2021-Dez Money, son of the legendary Eddie Money, comes on to talk about his musical career.

October, 2021 – After another pandemic sideline, Car Con Carne jumps back in the car for a visit with Wolfden Brewing in Bloomingdale.

December, 2021 – Partnership with iconic Chicago restaurant company Buona begins!

January, 2022 – Just as Urge Overkill prepares to release their first album in over 10 years (“Oui”), Eddie “King” Roeser jumped in the car on a frigid winter day to talk about Urge history.

January, 2022 – The live recording of Episode 700 was a 3-hour affair! Featuring former colleagues from Q101, the episode was broken into three separate episodes for easier consumption.

March, 2022 – After the latest wave of COVID kept Car Con Carne to going virtual for a couple months, the podcast returned to in-person shows with a special episode recorded with Local H at the Weiner’s Circle.

March, 2022 – In a first for the show, Car Con Carne does a special preview of the new Ravinia season that launches on the day of the announcement. Recorded on Ravinia’s grounds, the episode’s featured guest was Ravinia CMO Blake Smith. We were also joined by Chef Sam (pictured), who provided a preview of the amazing food offered at Ravinia this year.

April, 2022 – Jimmy Gnecco of Ours may be the best vocalist in rock. He came on to talk about the band’s long history and the “Distorted Lullabies” 20th anniversary tour.

April, 2022 – Liv Warfield, of Prince’s New Power Generation, came on for a special episode recorded at Haymarket.

May, 2022 – Synth-pop legend Howard Jones discussed Live Aid, all those hits and his upcoming tour with Midge Ure. Photo: Simon Fowler.

May-June, 2022 – Car Con Carne interviews all eight artists scheduled to perform at Pravda Records’ Pravdafest, held at Sketchbook Brewing in Skokie. (Pictured: The Slugs)

June, 2022 – Three episodes recorded onsite at the first-ever Chicago Podcast Day event are shared, featuring helpful panels for podcasters and digital creators alike.

July, 2022 – Legendary new wave artist Midge Ure (Band Aid, Live Aid, Ultravox, Visage) returns to the show to again prove that he’s the nicest and coolest man in music.

August, 2022 – Alternative music pioneer Angelo of Fishbone appears on the show!

August, 2022 – Award-winning comic artist Bill Sienkiewicz checks in from California.

September, 2022 – Riot Fest coverage includes interviews with Alexisonfire, Boston Manor, Wargasm UK, Sincere Engineer, Bad Religion (pictured) and more!

September, 2022 – Smashed Plastic’s first-ever live music event was previewed across two episodes, including an interview/live performance with John Mohr.

October, 2022 – A visit to Old Joliet Haunted Prison with James the Boneless brought the monsters to the car!

October, 2022 – Car Con Carne does its first political interview, with Chicago mayoral candidate Paul Vallas.

December, 2022 – Episode 800 runs on December 9, 2022!

December, 2022 – Susan Voelz (Poi Dog Pondering) talks about her solo work and Poi Dog.

December, 2022 – One of Chicago’s finest pizzas gets its moment as Piece owner Bill Jacobs jumps in the car.

January, 2023 – The first non-alcoholic brewery in Illinois is featured, as Go Brewing’s Joe Chura celebrates Dry January in the car.

January, 2023 – Punk Rock Tacos creator Noah Corona talks about redefining the all-ages live experience.

January, 2023 – “Car Con Carne Snacks” (originally called “Extras”) are introduced on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On those days, single songs from independent artists are featured and played in their entirety. Caroline Lucius was the first to be featured.


January, 2023 – Car Con Carne is nominated for “Best Music Podcast” in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2022” survey.

February, 2023 – At long last, the Brokedowns finally appear on Car Con Carne.

February, 2023 – Poi Dog Pondering leader Frank Orrall returns for a special episode recorded at FEW Distillery.

March, 2023 – Donna Diane of Djunah comes on to talk about her ferocious second album, “Femina Furens.”

March, 2023 – The Nettes deliver an absolutely perfect performance of their song “Another Bet” in the car.

March, 2023 – Adam T. Siska of Chicago pop-punk heroes The Academy Is talks about the band’s upcoming Wrigley Field show with Fall Out Boy.

April, 2023 – Emmy-winning comedian and movie producer Dwayne Kennedy talks about Chicago comedy documentary “Out of the Loop.”

April, 2o23 – Video Game Hall of Famer Doc Mack (Galloping Ghost) and the production team (Craig Bass, Lydia Koranda) behind an in-progress documentary about him, record at Motion Source studio!

April, 2023 – Car Con Carne is named “Best Music Podcast” in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2022” issue!

April, 2023 – Sean Connors Sean Connors (Ensemble member and Technical Director) of Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion joins me for cinnamon rolls.

May, 2023 – New wave innovator and personal favorite Gary Numan does an interview backstage at the Rave in Milwaukee!

May, 2023 – Rock and Roll Hall of Famer/Police legend Stewart Copeland does one of the podcast’s most memorable interviews.

May, 2023 – Ugly Kid Joe chats while on their first U.S. tour in a VERY long time.

May, 2023 – Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Alcatrazz, MSG) talks about his career as one of rock’s most powerful singers.

June, 2023 – Josh Caterer returns for an insane amount of delicious food from Chicago Culinary Kitchen.

July, 2023 – After the passing of Radio Hall of Famer Dick Biondi, Biondi family friend (and former JVO radio colleague) Scott Miller talks about his legacy.

July, 2023 – Veruca Salt’s Louise Post chats about her first solo album.

July, 2023 – To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Delmark Records, Car Con Carne goes into the Delmark studio to interview CEO Julia A. Miller.

August, 2023 – Nathan Graham returns to Car Con Carne to perform and preview his debut album.

August, 2023 – JC Brooks talks about why we haven’t heard much from him lately.

August, 2023 – Comedian Kyle Kinane makes a special appearance!

August, 2023 – Sincere Engineer eats corn dogs on the show!

September, 2023 – Filter chats backstage before opening the Alice Cooper/Rob Zombie show in Tinley Park!

September, 2023 – LiV Warfield returns!

September, 2023 – Spitalfield chats at a private interview recording at Beard & Belly, taped in front of a live audience.

September, 2023 – Riot Fest 2023 coverage includes interviews with Bowling for Soup, Smoking Popes, Aquadolls, Sludgeworth, and Snapcase (pictured).

October, 2023 – CANDY CORN CARNE launches! Every October interview and/or location is Halloween adjacent. Pictured: The Ooozin’ Ahhhs.

November, 2023 – EPISODE 900!

Recorded at Epic Deli with Deanna Belos (Sincere Engineer), Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes), Tom Higgenson (Plain White Ts) and Dr. Daryl Wilson (The Bollweevils)

November, 2023 – Robert Fleischman (Journey, Vinnie Vincent Invasion) jumps in the car to talk about his storied career in rock.

December, 2023 – Car Con Carne is announced as a nominee for “Best Music Podcast” in the Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2023” issue, set for publication in early 2024.

December, 2023 – Robin Taylor Zander (Cheap Trick) plays a couple acoustic songs in the car, while legendary producer Jack Douglas joins the conversation from the back seat!

January, 2024 – After interviewing Art Alexakis of Everclear on the radio for many years, he joined me for a conversation from his home studio.

January, 2024 – Radio guests make the best guests. Legendary Chicago DJ Tom Marker (WXRT, WDCB) met me in the dead of winter to talk about the blues.

February, 2024 – Turns out you CAN go home again. Car Con Carne teams up with Q101 on a podcast partnership.

February, 2024 – For the second year in a row, Car Con Carne is named “Best Music Podcast” by the Chicago Reader. The “Best of 2023” issue arrived on February 22, 2024.



February, 2024 – Pop superstar Tiffany returns to the podcast (pictured here with guitarist/producer Mark Alberici)

March, 2024 – Iconic Celtic punks the Tossers participate in a St.Patrick’s Day episode: CAR CON BLARNEY!

March, 2024 – Ex-Bush guitarist Nigel Pulsford talks about Bush and 90s memories.

April, 2024 – Car Con Carne is named a finalist in the Chicago Headline Club’s 2023 Peter Lisagor Awards for “Best Arts and Entertainment Reporting – Audio.”






April, 2024 – Legendary Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers announces “final” U.S. tour. Frontman Jake Burns talks about the band’s legacy before the farewell run.

April, 2024 – Shortly before the opening of Goose Island’s Salt Shed Pub, Goose Island Beer Co. President Todd Ahsmann came on the show to talk about Goose Island’s history in Chicago.