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CHIRP Podcasts

Artist Interviews Matchess

"So much of our lives are rationalized and routinized, and everything seems kind of known or knowable. So anything that feels like it's not quite knowable is what I like to do creatively. ... When there's no explanation for something, that's where I like to let my mind and my music stay."

Last fall, Whitney Johnson came to the CHIRP studios to talk with Amelia Hruby about Johnson's solo electronic project, Matchess. They discuss how she builds the multi-layered structures of her songs, the inspiration she draws from industrial field recordings, and what magic happens when you listen to repetitive sounds over and over again.

produced by Amelia Hruby (@ajhruby)

photo by Jeremy Deputat

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Topics: amelia hruby, chicago, electronic, interview, interviews, local artists, local bands, local music, matchess, mp3, whitney johnson

First Time First Gig - Elle Quintana

explicit language

If good stories come from a riotous life, Elle’s background is just the thing. Born in Albuquerque, she traveled her whole life, which involved attending 22 different schools, before landing in Chicago 20 years ago. She’s been a talent buyer (translation: books bands) for 17 years, and loves whiskey, taking naps, bad decisions, and her daughter. In 1980 at Washington Elementary in Kalamazoo, MI, she won student of the month. She considers that the pinnacle of her success.

 

produced by Brian Heath and Dan Epstein

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Topics: addict, addiction, chicago, debauchery, drugs, first time, gerald dowd, hole, junky, liam davis, live lit, martyrs', pole dancing, storytelling, stripper

First Time First Gig - Megan Ensley

explicit language

Megan is a writer, actor, singer, political activist, and aspiring psychologist. She sings with the band, The Mashed Potatoes, has performed in numerous cabarets with Brown Paper Box Co., and has told stories for Story Lab Chicago and TUTA Theatre. She has also been a performer, writer, and director for various sketch comedy shows at The Second City Training Center and Stage 773. When not performing, Megan can be found working on graduate school applications to become a clinical psychologist.

 

produced by Brian Heath and Dan Epstein

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Topics: beauty pageants, chicago, first time, gerald dowd, liam davis, live lit, miss america, miss kansas, perfection, queen, storytelling

First Time First Gig - Rachel McCartney

explicit language

Rachel McCartney has performed in way too many bars to still look so out of place in them. Based in Chicago, she is a regular at the Laugh Factory, and recently made her Comedians You Should Know debut opening for Drew Michael at his album recording. She has also performed at the Comedy Exposition, the Green Gravel Comedy Festival, and the Orlando Indie Comedy Festival.


The Chicago Tribune once described her as a "New Year's treat," which probably made more sense when the article was published in early January. In less calendar-sensitive praise, local legend Peter-john Byrnes once called her "Chicago's foremost grammar comedian," and she plans to have that distinction carved into her headstone.

 

produced by Brian Heath and Dan Epstein

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Topics: acceptance, chicago, first time, gerald dowd, guys and dolls, influential teacher, liam davis, live lit, martyrs', procrastination, school musical, special ed, special education, storytelling

News Chicago’s Cajun Connoisseur Serves Deliciousness and Opportunity

Kyle Kelly is the co-owner and head chef of The Cajun Connoisseur. He's a self-taught Cajun chef starting out his second winter in the “deliciousness business” of Chicago’s food truck scene. With his crew of family on board, Kelly serves grits, jambalaya and po'boys, makes plans for his brick-and-mortar restaurant, and offers opportunities to young people from his Englewood neighborhood. But his mantra of good food and forgiveness can't prevent gun violence from touching his business and his life.

This story was produced as part of new collaboration between CHIRP Radio and City Bureau, a Chicago journalism lab. City Bureau reporter Sarah Conway worked with CHIRP producer Dan Epstein to create this day-in-the life radio portrait as part of City Bureau's fall 2016 cycle on Englewood's food desert.

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Topics: cajun connoisseur, cajun cooking, chicago, chicago food trucks, chicago foodie, city bureau, creole cooking, englewood, englewood businesses, englewood food desert, family business, food, food trucks, gun violence, hyde park businesses, opportunity, street food

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