Current DJ: Joe Monahan
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In 1990, a friend of mine walked into my high school cafeteria, in his ratty unbuttoned flannel shirt and matching ratty hair wearing a Mudhoney shirt. He looked like a combination of Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes and a moodier, dirtier Steve Albini. I was never sure where I stood with him, but no else really did either. He was either slightly just less than happy to see you, or entirely indifferent to your existence. That day, he was a bit more pleasant than usual and was enthused to tell me all about this great band he saw over the weekend. He demanded that I do myself the favor of finding the Superfuzz/BigMuff record. I did just that, mostly because I generally found his music taste agreeable with mine.
CHIRP volunteers have been working all summer to get the new station ready to launch at CHIRPradio.org. We’re excited to be getting very close to the point where the new station will go live, and to make it to the finish line, we need your help.
One of CHIRP’s biggest expenses will be streaming fees — our next biggest cost after rent. That’s why we’re so excited that social funding site Kickstarter invited us to launch a fundraising campaign to cover our first year of streaming expenses.
The way a Kickstarter campaign works is that donors pledge money in support of a specific project, but no money is collected unless the group meets its goal. CHIRP’s goal is $4800, the anticipated cost of our first year of streaming.
You can help get CHIRP Radio up and running. Make a pledge right now and you can pick from all sorts of cool thank you gifts, from CHIRP t-shirts and water bottles to limited edition mix CDs and exclusive house parties from well-known CHIRP DJs. And everyone who makes a pledge at any level will be invited to a special open house at the brand new CHIRP studios later this fall!
With your help, Chicago’s brand new music and arts focused community radio station will launch before the end of the fall. Make your Kickstarter pledge now to show your support!
By now most people have heard of the “vinyl killer,” a miniature VW bus (and the new VInyl Killer 2.0 Mini Clubman) that drives across the surface of your vinyl LP in ever decreasing circles playing your record via built in speakers. It’s an adorable invention, but indeed it truly destroys your records.
Let’s up the ante a bit shall we? Enter Australian artist Lucas Abela, who devised “The Vinyl Arcade” for this year’s This Is Not Art (TINA) festival.
The Vinyl Arcade, running from 4-7pm on October 1st to the 4th, is a participatory play-set, playing off vinyl fetishism, video arcade mystique and the machismo of motor sports. An immersive sound instrument putting you in the drivers seat of a tiny remote control car with styli attached as it navigates it’s way through a landscape of disused vinyl records.
Sadly, you’ll have to go to Australia to see it. It’s perhaps not the most musically pleasing exhibit you’ll ever see. Still, the concept is pretty amazing; count it as artistic Driver’s Ed.
All that’s missing is that killer video of “Blood on the Highway”
Abela created the exhibit with electrical engineering assistance by Frederick Rodrigues and it is Co presented by Electrofringe and Renewcastle.
Earlier this year I discovered Blinking Pigs, a song on a double A-sided 7” by Little Dragon. The drums, sculpted cleverly out of multiple delays, fill every corner of the room but that’s nothing compared to the incredible and eerie voice of Swedish-Japanese Yukimi Nagano. In a flurry of harmonics reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, she captured my heart with this little love song. I wanted more.
I dug around and noticed their first self-titled album from 2007 but to my ears it lacked the inspired emotions and nuanced vocals I was after. Several months later a seductive and soulful single again with this astounding voice work finally emerged called Feather and it was clear that this electro dream pop outfit from Gothenburg, Sweden, had been working hard at perfecting a brilliant new sound.
This September, their pristine cathedral of work was revealed: the Machine Dreams album. From start to finish Nagano’s vocals pleasantly flow in, around and over the drums of Erik Bodin, bass of Källgren Wallin and a wide range of electronic sounds constructed by the long bearded Håkan Wirenstrand. The album’s mood generally compliments something like a romantic dinner or an afternoon on the couch but it ventures into dancefloor territory on the “step, slide, lightning, fire, topical times” of 808 driven My Step and in the P-Funk boogie of Runabout.
There seems to be a lot of unwritten rules in electronic music these days. One standout moment on Machine Dreams is when Wirenstrand breaks two rules: he wields a crunchy clavichord tone along with a synthesized flute in the exquisitely exotic Swimming. And it works. On this number, Little Dragon leads us through a lush, tropical paradise that I imagine to be full of elated toucans and sneaky monkeys. The album ends on Fortune, an epic tune driven by a climbing melody embellished ever so slightly by Nagano’s breath, the perfect ending.
The next new volunteer meeting for CHIRP is coming right up on Wednesday, September 16th. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with CHIRP, we have lots of opportunities. Find out about working in the music department, becoming a DJ, writing for this site, assisting with promotions and events, and much more. CHIRP is an all-volunteer organization, and there will be plenty to do as we speed toward the fall launch of our new station.
The meeting will take place at Sulzer Library at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. at 7:15PM. If you’re interested, please RSVP to volunteer coordinator Jenna Murfin.