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The CHIRP Blog

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Robert Forster Edition

The Go-Betweens started out as a post-punk pop band out of Brisbane, Australia, coming off like Down Under cousins of groups such as The Cure and Orange Juice. As time went on Grant McLennan and birthday boy Robert Forster began incorporating influences from further back, such as The Velvet Underground and more melodic ’60s rock acts. As the band developed and evolved, they went from reflecting their inspirations to having constructed their own musical vocabulary, with rich tunesmithing and literary lyrics of uncommon depth. This approach continued through the sublime 16 Lovers Lane album. Go-Betweens fans may claim other albums to be the band’s best, but no one would doubt the quality of what apparently was the band’s swan song. Forster and McLennan both put out fine solo records, but eventually wound up back together, putting out three more fine Go-Betweens albums. McLennan’s death put an end to that, and Forster’s next solo record was a triumph, including recordings of some of McLennan’s last compositions. Forster has not put out any music since. In honor of this underrated singer and songwriter, grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Todd Rundgren Edition

He’s a pop star, a cult figure, an innovator, a classicist, and some say he’s God. Todd Rundgren first got a share of the spotlight writing songs and playing guitar for The Nazz in the ’60s, and then rose to prominence in the ’70s, with classic hit singles, highly revered albums and production work for an amazing variety of artists. His talents behind the mike and behind the boards are unassailable, but Todd has remained an unpredictable artist who, on any given day, produce a perfect pop tune, a self-indulgent mess, or something that points to the future. His idiosyncrasies probably diminish the respect he now gets, which is a big mistake, as his legacy (well captured in Paul Myers’ book A Wizard, A True Star) is extremely impressive. Let’s pay tribute to the man who produced the first Sparks album by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up. 

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: ipod, mp3

Bobby Evers writesAlbums I’m Just Now Getting Into: “Body Talk” by Robyn

Whoa hey! This Deepwater Horizon thing is pretty crazy, right? And what’s with all this Wikileaks stuff? Man, 2010 is a pretty crazy year so far, right?

What’s that? It’s actually 2012? Coulda fooled me, because I just got into this Robyn album SO. EFFING. HARD.

OK, so I missed the boat by a couple years.

But let me be clear here: Body Talk is an amazing album.

Things I knew going in:

1) Robyn was a Swedish pop icon from the late 90’s who made a crazy comeback in the mid-2000’s and then took fans and critics by storm, emerging even more universally-loved than
2) This album was a 3-parter (with Body Talks 1 & 2 featuring 8 songs and this album being THE ALBUM)
3) Don’t fucking tell Robyn what to do.

Why I missed the boat:

I am not necessarily the biggest fan of POP MUSIC as a genre, or dance music as a thing. If something is really catchy, it will win me over eventually, but for the most part I was wondering what all the hype was about. I heard Konichiwa Bitches and Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do, and I think those songs as standalones were not going to make me LOVE Robyn with the ferocity that I now do.

Additionally when Robyn played at Pitchfork in 2010, I was dying of heat exhaustion against a tree to the side of the stage, and the sound was not that great at that angle, and I was again wondering what all the fuss was about. 

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Categorized: Rediscovering Our Record Collections

Topics: robyn

Erik Roldan writesCHIRP + Coach House Sounds Present: VERMA

Chicago’s music scene is constantly bubbling with new talent, and five-piece VERMA is no exception. Having release two cassettes in 2010, the band’s ambitious self-description on their facebook page reads, “Verma is amoebic in nature, coexisting with the mechanical.” Their Coach House Sounds Session will be released on Thursday, June 21, stream it at and listen to CHIRP all week for preview tracks!

1. What the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a basement?

Last fall, we got asked to score one of the Vice Guide to Travel documentaries set in the Congo. We had a really short time to put it all together. We decided to go into our friend Zaid Maxwell’s (Shapers, Laser and Fast and Shit) basement and record the whole thing, mix, and master it in two days. At the time it was a dumb plan but we actually ended up having a great session. Everything couldn’t have turned out any better than it did….and Vice was really happy with the final score. (side note – we will be releasing those recordings in September… more to come on that, but for now check out the webby award winning doc in full:

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Categorized: Interviews

Erin Van Ness writesScore 10% off at Insound while giving back to CHIRP!

Want to get 10% off your order at Insound and give a little something back to your favorite radio station at the same time?

Now you can! Click the Insound logo on our website or visit, and use the promo code “happyjune10” when you make your purchase. Doing so will score you a cool 10% off your entire order, and Insound will kick a portion of the sale back to CHIRP.

Insound is an online store that stocks a variety of LPs, CDs, downloads, and other merch. It’s a great way to show off your multi-tasking skills by grabbing new music from the comfort of home while giving back to the best radio station in Chicago.

This promotion is only valid until July 1, so don’t delay and visit today!

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

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