Our special guests for FACT013 are longtime CHIRP Radio favorites NE-HI! The band joined us in our factory studio building to record this exclusive live session, featuting songs from their brand new ablum Offers on Grand Jury records. The Chicago quartet is made up of Alex Otake on Drums, Jason Balla on Guitar, James Weir on Bass, and Michael Wells on Guitar. This session was recorded on location at the CHIRP studio building by Mike Lust of Manor Mobile Recording. Video of the full session was captured & edited by Big Foot Media.
1. Out of Reach
4. Stay Young
“Are you enjoying this? We’re trying, I think we’re playing pretty good,” Julien Ehrlich, drummer and lead singer of Whitney innocently asked, drawing laughs from The Head and the Heart fans fumbling for their seats. Ehrlich’s easygoing banter between songs reflected the youthful personality and kaleidoscopic tones of Whitney’s debut LP, Light Upon the Lake.
The darkened Peoria Civic Center crowd continued to collectively bob their heads until the six-piece dove into a cover of NRBQ’s “Magnet”, before which Ehrlich joked again, “You can dance if you want, but I wouldn’t stand up if I were you.” Nevertheless, small groups of new fans jumped to their feet to bounce along, adding some much needed energy to the now packed venue. But it was the bursting trumpet solo that made the room explode with excitement, summoning hoots and hollers from every corner of the theater. Whitney closed their set how every opening act aspires to, with the audience on their feet, singing along to their latest single (“No Woman,” in this case), and excited, of course, for The Head and the Heart.
Today on the MP3 Shuffle we wish a very Happy Birthday to Ira Glass, as much a modern radio pioneer as we have in the 21st century. His radio program This American Life, originally produced right here in Chicago, is the standard for non-commercial radio interview/news/essay/non-fiction variety shows. This program is, in this writer’s opinion, a national treasure with a knack for making the local universal as well as addressing the big issues of our time. Check out the show archives for a couple of hundred examples. (I rank “The Giant Pool of Money,” “Plan B,” “The Fix Is In,” "Somewhere in the Arabian Sea," and “Fiasco!” among the best examples of journalism produced by any media outlet in the last few decades.) Moving from local to national and international distribution at a time when radio was being written off as a dead medium, Glass proved that public radio could compete with multi-million dollar media operations when it comes to telling intelligent, compelling stories that matter to people.
Like some others who got their start in Chicago, Glass has taken his talents elsewhere (he currently resides in New York), but there’s no question that his show and voice are an institution tied to Chicago. Let’s wish him a happy birthday by playing the MP3 Shuffle: Take your MP3 player, press the “shuffle” button, and share the first 10 songs you hear…