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The CHIRP Blog

SKaiser writesIs 2015 Your Year for the Car Trader Challenge?

The deadline is fast approaching to enter New Belgium's Tour de Fat car-for-bike challenge. If you're unfamiliar, take a look at details and enter your spectacular self-made video here.

CHIRP Radio supports the Tour de Fat celebration in Palmer Square on Saturday, July 11. Entries are due by Wednesday, July 8.

In 2013, Johnny Mays took the challenge and says this for the next winner: Don't half ass it. Read on for Johnny's commitment to the yearlong ride.

CHIRP: Where do you currently live and what are you doing these days?

Mays: I live in Houston, TX and work for Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), IT auditing Fortune 500 companies. I also teach yoga on the side.

CHIRP: Why did you take the challenge to give up your car? 

Mays: I was sick of working corporate America life, and I wanted to get out to travel and see the country - on a bike!

CHIRP: What kinds of adjustments did you have to make to your life and daily routines? 

Mays: I was fortunate not to have to worry about commuting to work, as I was traveling at this time.  Riding a bike actually makes it a lot easier to explore new areas because you can get around quickly, and hop off whenever you need to walk. It's definitely important to get prepared for life without using a vehicle though - you can't carry as many supplies and must be mindful when planning what to bring with you.

CHIRP: Would you say you’re still fairly committed to commuting by bike?

Mays: Unfortunately, Houston is not the most bike-commuter friendly city. Additionally, I have to wear a suit to clients when it's 100 degrees out, so it's not practical to bike at those times. But I still prefer to cycle around town for many things (going to yoga, shopping, meeting up with friends, etc.)

CHIRP: How has living without a car changed you? Have you taken up any other new habits during the year?

Mays: Living without a car forces you to get creative in how you do things. Planning is important. Some things take longer, you just have to know that, and be patient. I have taken up a daily habit of yoga and meditation which brings peace to my life and helps me find my center.

CHIRP: What do you feel are the biggest benefits of the lifestyle change you made?

Mays: The biggest benefit is cultivating a life of mindfulness, which is a state of active, open attention on the present.  When you are able to step back and observe yourself, you can become aware of your typical patterns of behavior, then change them for the better.

CHIRP: How can your town, your state, and/or society in general make bicycling more attractive to other people?

Mays: Add more designated bike trails, create greenways in cities, and most importantly - lead by example.

CHIRP: What would be your advice for the next person who is going to take up New Belgium's offer?

Mays: Make sure you are ready and that it is a good time in your life for this. Don't half-ass it. Make a commitment.

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Categorized: Community, Events Journal

Cher Vincent writesA Chat With Chastity Belt

On their sophomore album, Time to Go Home (Hardly Art), Chastity Belt have left the house parties behind in Seattle, WA, and risen through the ranks. From spotlight performances at this year's SXSW, to an opening slot on rock's newest leading lady, Courtney Barnett's latest NA tour, they have had continued momentum that will likely land them on many year-end lists.

Embracing their womanhood, Julia Shapiro and her all-female band command, and rightfully earn, respect. While they were here for their headlining tour through the Midwest, Cher Vincent got to chat with them, and discussed their humble beginnings, feminism, and their future pursuits.

You all met in college in Walla Walla, WA. When did you decide that you could form a band together?
The band started as a joke. Julia and Lydia thought up "Chastity Belt" as a great name for a punk band and they started chanting it at parties and flipping over tables. We were friends, so eventually Annie and I joined. Sometimes after a band played at a party we would take over their instruments and start playing "Photograph" by Nickelback. One of the frats had a battle of the bands at the end of the year, which we took as our opportunity to extend the joke one step further. We wrote one song, performed it in heavy eyeliner and chokers, and won the battle of the bands.

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Interviews

Topics: chastity belt

CHIRP DJ writesCHIRP Factory Session - Circuit des Yeux

Our latest Factory Session features Chicago’s own Circuit des Yeux. Principal singer & songwriter Haley Fohr is joined by her new touring band, which features members of Verma, Implodes, CAVE, and Bitchin’ Bajas! The songs that they performed from her new album In Plain Speech were recorded on location at the CHIRP studio building by Mike Lust of Manor Mobile Recording. Video of the session was captured & edited by Big Foot Media.

The band is made up of Haley Fohr on Guitar & Vocals, Whitney Johnson on Viola, Adam Luksetich on Drums, Rob Frye on Flute & Bass Clarinet, and Matt Jencik on Bass & Organ.

Circuit des Yeux>>
Manor Mobile Recording>>
Big Foot Media>>
January 2014 CHIRP Radio Podcast Interview with Circuit des Yeux>>

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: CHIRP Factory Sessions

Topics: big foot media, bitchin bajas, cave, circuit des yeux, implodes, manor mobile recording, verma

Eddie writesFaux Yeah! Top 5 Songs with F-Bombs in the Title

[Editor’s Note: For our purposes, the F Word in question will be replaced by a series of creative alternatives in order to prevent the word from losing its powerful allure. And also to not get you in trouble when you read this in the office. That being said, be warned that the videos are MOST DEFINITELY NSFW!]

The word “fock” is a loaded word, no matter how it is used. It is often used to denote disdain towards something or someone, and if placed in the right hands, can become a work of poetic art (i.e. the works of Armando Iannucci such as “The State of It” and “Veep”).

The most popular song with the word “feck” in the title is the Cee-Lo Green song from 2010, which was edited for radio play as the 3rd level cornball “Forget You.” Playing both songs back to back shows how neutered the “clean” radio version has become once “frog” is taken out like it is something to be ashamed of, like a dog or child urinating where they are not supposed to.

Well, freak that. These are songs that are out and proud with their titles, and they don’t give a foch if you like it or not.

N.W.A., “F%$# Tha Police” from the album Straight Outta Compton (1988, Ruthless/Priority)

Though Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You” is the most commercially popular song with “funk” in the title (unless you are listening to it on the radio), the most influential “filler word” song is this track from the landmark album Straight Outta Compton. Written and performed as a protest towards the LAPD, this song has been banned in numerous markets, caused the FBI to condemn them, and the phrase has been chanted during rallies and protests in Ferguson and Baltimore; further proofing that these three words have become bullets for the oppressed.

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Top Five

SKaiser writesLearn Your City’s Streets with Tour de Fat’s Car For Bike Challenge

Chicago has over 200 miles of on-street bike lanes and routes. It gets a wee bit easier each passing year for riders as the Department of Transportation works to grow the network of bike facilities. 

CHIRP Radio supports our bike-friendly city's efforts and is partnered with New Belgium Brewery for the Tour de Fat celebration in Palmer Square on Saturday, July 11. Click here for details on entering the 2015 Car Trader challenge. Entries are due by Wednesday, July 8.

Dave Pabellon, Car Trader of 2011, knew of Tour de Fat's car-for-bike swap and thought, "Why not me?" The time spent commuting by bike made him more in tune with Chicago and the city's strides in building a strong bike culture.

CHIRP: Where do you currently live and what are you doing these days?

Pabellon: Still residing in Chicago, but have moved out of Humboldt Park further North, past Lincoln Square. Also, I'm still employed as a senior designer at a wonderful studio, Faust but soon I will be transitioning into a new position at Dominican University as a professor in design.

CHIRP: Why did you take the challenge to give up your car? 

Pabellon: Well, in 2011 I had this Saab that kept dying on me and at the time I thought it was a necessity because the Faust studio was located in Riverside IL (now we are in Pilsen). But after doing some google mapping and talking to some friends about going car-less I decided to go for it. I've loved attending the Tour de Fat's in the past and thought, "why not me?"

Keep Reading…

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Categorized: Community, Events Journal

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