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The CHIRP Blog

SKaiser writes@CHIRPRadio (Week of September 18)


  • CHIRP is excited to welcome the corduroy-clad brainchild of London-based J. Willgoose, Esq. Public Service Broadcasting to Schubas (3159 N Southport) on Tuesday, September 19th | 8:00 PM | 21+
  • Enjoy a group album listening experience September 24th at Saturday Audio Exchange (1021 W Belmont Ave) for Classic Album Sundays! This week we will feature Björk’s classic “Homogenic” for its 20th anniversary. | 5:30 PM | All Ages


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Categorized: Events Journal

candylocs writesAn Interview With Matt Brooks of Sofar Sounds

written by Candice Triche

Inspiration to pursue your passion can come from places we least expect. When I went to my first Sofar Sounds show, I was both impressed and in awe of how effortless it all seemed to go down. Putting together a secret show, wrangling a curious crowd and making sure the bands are set to go cannot be done without knowing a thing or two and hard work.

Matt Brooks is the City Director for Sofar Sounds Chicago market, and along with a stellar group of others, they put together awesome shows multiple times a month around the city of Chicago. I was hooked since that first show in October and have been to a few more since then. Discovering new bands, meeting new people, and dancing without a care (BYOB!), has made for many a great weeknight for me this summer!

From my first experience, Matt has been front and center, meeting and greeting, and making things happen. On Sept 20th, Sofar will be debuting a series of shows across the world, including 8 shows in Chicago, that will surely put them on top of intimate music venues everywhere and will be talked about for a long time to come. They are indeed changing the way we listen to live music, one show at a time.

Before the big show in September, I wanted to get his take on how he started and why he has such a passion for Sofar Sounds.

What was your first Sofar Sounds show/experience?

The first Sofar Sounds show I ever attended was in Chicago on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2015. I was attending in preparations of starting up a new Sofar city in Indianapolis, and this experience immediately thrust me into the wonderful community that I have the pleasure of working with every day now. The show was a beautiful, unfamiliar, yet refreshing experience that only gets more special as time goes on. We hosted in the Sq3 Whiteroom, a beautiful studio space run by a friend of ours near Goose Island that is no longer in that location, though we certainly miss it. The artists were SKYLR, KSRA, and Quinn Tsan, some of which still perform with us today. I can remember this distinct moment that is not so uncommon at Sofar shows, when I felt like I had discovered the best kept secret in the city.

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Categorized: Community

Topics: sofar sounds

Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Levelling

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's weekly e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the Netflix feature The Levelling.

This edition is written by CHIRP Radio volunteers Kevin Fullam and Clarence Ewing.


You grew up in Nebraska, right, Clarence? I have to imagine that all around, there were glistening fields of crops as far as the eye could see? Admittedly, I've never been to the Cornhusker State, but such is my impression of most everything west of the Chicago suburbs... at least, until you hit the Rockies or so. Even for an urbanite like myself, the landscapes I'm envisioning are rather majestic.

The farm depicted in 2016's The Levelling? Far from majestic. Did we see the sun emerge even once here in the English county of Somerset? The farmhouse sits rotting after a flood, with its former inhabitants evacuated to a nearby trailer home. Cows shuffle dutifully to and fro, through muck and mire. 

Returning to her rundown family farm is veterinary student Clover (Ellie Kendrick). Her brother Harry has just died via a self-inflicted gunshot wound; he had been drinking -- was it suicide, or an accident? No one seems to give a convincing answer either way. Money problems abound, with Clover's father Aubrey (David Troughton) in dire financial straits. Also telling? Clover refers to him by his first name, and shows a decided lack of warmth towards him and her brother James (Jack Holden). As we'll find out, there's good reason.

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Categorized: The Fourth Wall

Topics: the levelling

Sophie Holtzmann writesAlbum Review: “Strange New Universe” by C.H.E.W. (Split Album with Penetrode)

The DIY hardcore scene has always had its certain charms: as low as $5 covers, Old Style flowing like milk and honey, name your price albums, and my personal favorite - split side albums. For those that need a refresher, the ‘split side album’ is when two bands join up and each get a side of the vinyl. Of course, the penchant for split side albums is wholly dependent on the two bands collaborating, which is why all punks should be ecstatic over C.H.E.W.’s new album with Philadelphia band Penetrode, titled Strange New Universe. Each band has a separate digital album for their releases, and you would be missing out if you skipped a listening to C.H.E.W.’s 4 track masterpiece.

C.H.E.W. is a Chicago hardcore favorite, and you should probably know that the name doesn’t stand for anything (while they themselves joke about its meaning ranging from “Chicago Hardcore Exists Within” to “Cocaine, Heroin, Ecstasy, Weed”). They have a reputation for a ruthless rock sound and wailing femme-fronted vocals. On this album, C.H.E.W. releases 4 new tracks that deliver on everything you’d expect after hearing their first album (s/t).

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Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: c.h.e.w.

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