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The CHIRP Blog

Clarence Ewing - The Million Year Trip writesWeekly Voyages: Friday Apr. 25 to Thursday May 1

(Weekly Voyages is CHIRP Radio's listing of concerts in Chicago at select venues. Information about tickets can be obtained from the venues' Web sites. Do you have corrections or updates for this list? Send us an e-mail.)

Friday April 25

Branches, Time and The New Romans, Old Salt Union
Abbey Pub 9pm, 21+

Woodrow Hart & the Haymaker, Mimicking Birds, Gar Clemens, Bubbles Brown
Beat Kitchen 9pm, 21+

Odonis Odonis
Bottom Lounge 7pm

Sunshine Band
Bottom Lounge 9pm

Girl Group Chicago, The Congregation
Double Door 8:30pm, 21+

No Love for Linus, Phil Jacobson's New Month Party
Elbo Room 9:20pm, 21+

I Break Horses, Rival Consoles, The Variable Why
Empty Bottle 9:30pm, 21+

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Categorized: Weekly Voyages

Topics: concerts

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Jim Ellison Edition

Are you ready? Are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready, are you ready....at the close of yet another fantastic show, as drummer Mike Zelenko would launch into the famed drumbeat of Sweet’s “Ballroom Blitz”, Material Issue frontman would pick out someone from the audience and point at him or her, insistently asking “Are you ready” until that person said yes, and the band would then launch into a rocking cover of a glam classic. Skinny, arrogant, passionate and talented as hell, Ellison led one of the best power pop bands of the era, a power trio out of the suburbs of Chicago. Ellison loved the classic tropes of the genre, but injected them with the inspiration of Cheap Trick, glam rock, punk and even some classic ‘60s acts like the Bee Gees. The music was sharp, forceful and hooky as hell, with lyrics that were often as astute as Chuck Berry’s, if he was a teen growing up in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Their first album, International Pop Overthrow seemed to be the start of something big and is an acknowledged power pop classic. The next two albums had tons of great tunes but never caught fire. But even when their national profile descended as fast as it had flashed brightly, Material Issue was still a giant here, playing to packed houses. Sadly, for reasons no one really knows (the contents of a note have never been revealed by his family), on April 18, 1996, Jim Ellison took his own life. Very few rock deaths have affected me more – he was such a talent. On the first Material Issue song I ever heard, “She’s Goin’ Thru My Head”, he brags about the girl who is “playing my very most favorite Sweet record.” Years later, Sweet (well, half of the band, guitarist Andy Scott and Mick Tucker with some other guys) came to Cubby Bear, and at the side of the stage, there was Ellison. And he was rocking out with total abandon, just as I was, at seeing an all-time favorite. It made what was already obvious even clearer – he lived for rock ‘n’ roll. On the anniversary of Jim’s birthday, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Categorized: MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod, jim ellison, mp3

E. Malcolm Martinez writesCHIRP Welcomes The Mountain Goats to Two Sold Out Shows at The Old Town School This Weekend!

John Darnielle, aka The Mountain Goats, will preach to an adoring choir at the Old Town School Of Folk Music (4544 N Lincoln Ave) on Saturday, April 19th and Sunday, April 20th, at 8pm. Both shows are sold out.

A prolific songwriter hailing from Claremont, California, Darnielle formed the “band” in the early nineties and was its only member for many years. Often recording directly onto a Panasonic boom box cassette recorder in his home, Darnielle’s low-fi, acoustic melodies and jarringly raw lyrics earned him a small but dedicated following. The Mountain Goat’s first official studio album, Zopilote Machine (Ajax), was released in 1994, and their following has only continued to grow. Their 14th album, Transcendental Youth (Merge Records), came out in 2012.

Darnielle will perform both Chicago shows solo, with longtime Mountain Goat Peter Hughes joining him on the second leg of the tour in June, the first time they have toured as a duo since 2007. The band’s fan base is an incredibly dedicated one, with many fans traveling far and wide to bask in the musical storytelling of The Mountain Goats. It will be an incredible weekend at the Old Town School Of Folk Music.

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio Shows and Events

Clarence Ewing - The Million Year Trip writesWeekly Voyages: Friday Apr. 18 to Thursday Apr. 24

(Weekly Voyages is CHIRP Radio's listing of concerts in Chicago at select venues. Information about tickets can be obtained from the venues' Web sites. Do you have corrections or updates for this list? Send us an e-mail.)

Friday April 18

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Genome, Chachuba
Abbey Pub 9pm 21+

Excision
Aragon Ballroom 7:30pm, 18+

American Wolf, Boyfrndz, Pisces at the Animal Fair, Space Blood
Beat Kitchen 10pm, 21+

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Categorized: Weekly Voyages

Kelsey Phillips writesCHIRP Night at The Whistler is Back on April 14th with The Iceberg and Cassettes on Tape!

Put your winter coats away and join CHIRP Radio on Monday, April 14th for our monthly CHIRP Night at the Whistler! This month, we have local bands The Iceberg and Cassettes on Tape, both of which are sure to bring us some reverb to go with our libations.

Local dudes Cassettes on Tape are gonna hit us with some fuzzy shoegaze, with hooks like their influences The Smiths and My Bloody Valentine. Joining them are some more hometown heroes, The Iceberg, made up of members of other Chicago bands like Absolutely Not, Swimsuit Addition, and Sybris. This group has been writing songs together for a few years now, and are definitely worth heading out on a Monday night for.

Head to the Whistler on April 14th and let these bands make your Monday less Monday-ish with the help of some excellent Whistler cocktails. Music starts at 9pm and the event is 21+. See you there!

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio Shows and Events

Topics: cassettes on tape, the iceberg, the whistler

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