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The CHIRP Blog

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: a Light Sleeper

by CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows / Read his blog)

Aight Bet

a Light Sleeper is an orchestral rock band from right here in Chicago. They’re an expressionist collective founded by friends Dheeru Pennepalli and Matthew Jung back in 2005.

The group has weathered many a shifting tread in DIY music but has remained dedicated to an investigation of the ghostly ambient potential of chamber music through a blurring of the line between rock band and orchestra.

Their latest album Distinction (a Ballet in Six Parts) dropped back in 2019 and was the first recording they produced with the current lineup. The album is an interrogation of the creative process, its challenges, the anxieties it allows to manifest, and the intoxicating by ultimately fleeting victories it offers.

Notable highlights like the pensive “Ends and Means” and the title track presently a swarthy swooning croonerism that resembles a demonic twist on a Norah Jones set, while numbers like “Invisible Measures” and “Blankly Stated Spaces” manage to muster an exhilarating tension and momentum through the interplay of jazz-like theses and curving post-rock ramparts.

a Light Sleeper will be playing at the Hideout on May 3, 2022 with Maurice and Graphics. Doors open at 9:30pm, and entrance is $12. You can get tickets here. Remember to bring a mask and proof of vaccination.

Because we’re excited about their upcoming show and a Light Sleeper in general, we had a quick, but highly informative (if we do say so ourselves) chat with the band via email and you can now check out the full interview below.

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Categorized: Interviews

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CHIRP Radio writesCHIRP Radio Weekly Voyages (April 25 - May 1)

Upcoming Events:

  • Thursday April 28: CHIRP Radio welcomes Juana Molina to the Old Town School of Folk Music
  • Tuesday May 10: CHIRP Radio welcomes Bambara to Sleeping Village
  • Thursday May 12: CHIRP Radio welcomes Julianna Barwick to Lincoln Hall
  • Thursday May 12: CHIRP Radio welcomes Destroyer to Thalia Hall
  • Sunday May 15: CHIRP Radio's CD Blowout Sale at Burning Bush Brewery

On the Podcast:

Top of the CHIRP Charts for the week of 4/25/22:

Julmud جُلْمود – Tuqoos | طُقُوس (Bilna'es)

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

CHIRP Radio writesCHIRP Radio Weekly Voyages (April 11 - April 17)

Upcoming Events:

On the Podcast:

On the Blog:

Top of the CHIRP Charts for the week of 4/4/22:

Kaina – It Was A Home (City Slang)

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

DJ Mick writesThe CHIRP Radio Interview: JEFF K%NZ

Photo credit: Ari Faunaby CHIRP Radio DJ and Features Co-Director Mick R (Listen to his most recent shows / Read his blog)

Rapper, painter, entrepreneur, all of these things are applicable to Chicago based artist JEFF K%NZ but none of them capture his essence on their own.

He’s a distinctive voice in the city’s hip-hop scene, tying together the worlds of DIY music and visual art under a name that speaks to his thoroughly modern sensibilities.

His latest album 2 Player Mode was produced by TheGr8Thinkaz members Rokmore and H.Kal-El (the later of which is actually his brother) and will take you to the next level as JEFF unlocks GOD MODE in this next stage of his career defining campaign.

His style of lyricism is singular and unique, a combination of earnestness, ingenuity and interpersonal insights that will activate the conscious  centers of your brain as you jam on his flow. Check out our interview with JEFF below and listen to the full stream of 2 Player Mode here.

Editor's note: This interview was conducted over email on March 3, 2022. It has been edited very slightly for the sake of clarity. Photo credit: Ari Fauna

How did you get your start making rap music? 

I started making rap music from following the lead of my older brother, producer H.Kal-El. He introduced me to the craft when I was 11 years old. From there I fell in love.

How did you decide on the name JEFF K%NZ?

My favorite contemporary artists name is Jeff Koons. Since I was in high school I've been a fan of Jeff’s work. It wasn't until I was in college when I discovered that I shared a similarity with Jeff sonically. Some of his more popular works are big, loud, expressive, shiny, and even provocative; I felt like my music was a sonic representation of him as an artist. With my name being Jeff, and me being a painter in my own right, it made sense to take on the persona as a rapper.

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Kevin Fullam writesThe Fourth Wall: The Power of the Dog

Welcome to The Fourth Wall, CHIRP's e-conversation on cinema. This week's subject is the 2021 film The Power of the Dog.

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

Clarence Ewing:

In the opening scenes of Jane Campion’s 2021 Oscar-nominated film The Power of the Dog, the audience is treated to a familiar site in movie history: a good old-fashioned cattle drive. It’s 1925, and a group of herders leads a river of beef along the lonesome trail, nothing but blue skies and open scenery for miles. Not many Hollywood images get more American than that.

The group is led by two brothers, Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George (Jesse Plemmons). Although the men under his command like and respect him, it’s obvious that Phil is a walking mix of tension and bile. If something annoys him, he’ll let that something know it, whether it’s his less-aggressive brother who he constantly insults and belittles, or the skinny, awkward-looking young man who serves the crew dinner one day at a hotel along the trail (Kodi Smit-McPhee), and who is the son of the establishment’s owner Rose (Kirsten Dunst).

Along the way, other names are mentioned: Old Lady and Old Gent Burbank. The Governor. Bronco Henry. The audience gets more details of these characters and how they relate to each other. Phil is a constant presence in everyone’s life, whether he’s physically there or not, and that fact drives the other characters’ actions and events forward.

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Categorized: The Fourth Wall

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