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Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 shuffle—Happy Birthday Charlie Christian

Let’s pay tribute to Charlie Christian. Who is he? Merely one of the earliest, if not the earliest, innovators on the electric guitar. He is the man who turned the guitar into a solo instrument, getting his start in 1940, playing with Benny Goodman. But his legacy isn’t just about being the first prominent electric guitarist. Some say his distinctive playing was a precursor to bebop. He is certainly a figure who should be remembered. So let’s salute Mr. Christian by getting out your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle, and sharing the first 10 tunes that come up.

  1. Robyn — In My Eyes (Body Talk, Pt. 2): You’ve got to figure that some day, Robyn will be back topping the pop charts. Her three records last year were brimming with melodic dance floor fare, sometime with pretty decent lyrics. One thing I appreciate about her music is that she seems to take inspiration from a wide swath of electronic pop music, so her albums play like the best of the ’80s to now in the various trends in synthesized stuff. This is a mid-tempo number with a particularly urgent vocal, with some wise mulit-tracking in spots.
  2. Bill Moss — Sock It To ‘Em Soul Brother (Eccentric Soul: The Capsoul Label): This is from the first ever Numero Group compilation, which chronicled this Ohio label. Moss, the founder of the label, was a singer who liked positive messages. This song has a light funk groove, somewhere between James Brown and Sam and Dave as Moss lists famous black people and emphasizes that African-Americans need to work hard and they can make it. Of course, Moss never would have anticipated that O.J. Simpson would later not be much of a role model.
  3. Doleful Lions — Ocean Stars (The Rats Are Coming! The Werewolves Are Here!): A bouncy tune from the Lions’ second album, finding Jonathan Scott trading in jangly pop that would fit well in between The Smiths and The Housemartins. Hearing his angelic voice sound quite playful on this fairly simple tune is a real pleasure. Fun song.
  4. Guided By Voices — Everywhere By Helicopter (Universal Truths And Cycles): A slicing, riffy tune from GBV. This song seems somewhere between ’60s freakbeat with a bit of punk rock snarl. I could actually hear The Smithereens covering this, though it would be a bit cuddlier.
  5. The Byrds — Hickory Wind (Sweethearts Of The Rodeo): A weepy country ballad from this seminal country rock effort. Gram Parsons caused a major shift in The Byrds’ sound, as they suddenly purveyed classic country sounds. The sincerity is evident, but I find this album to be overrated, as the band is often too measured and the vocals aren’t that strong. One would be better off with a contemporary Buck Owens or Merle Haggard album.
  6. The Wonder Stuff — The Animals And Me (The Eight Legged Groove Thing): If you like melodic British guitar pop, you can’t go wrong with the Stuffies’ debut album. Great riffs, strong melodies and hooks out the wazoo. The Wonder Stuff managed to incorporate some creative rhythms (not just 4/4 stuff) while not sacrificing the great pop song structure, as on this excellent tune.
  7. Superchunk — Certain Stars (Here’s Where The Strings Come In): This song fades in on some feedback before hitting stride in a galloping rhythm. The bouncy drums and lockstep guitar chords always get to me. Everyone from The Clash to Big Dipper has a song like this in its repetoire, and it always works for me.
  8. The Boo Radleys — One Is For (Giant Steps): An interlude from the Boos second and best album. They straddled the border between Brit pop and shoegazer music, eventually heading more to the pop side. They could be pretty arty, as this brief snatch of chamber pop illustrates.
  9. Split Enz — Titus (Second Thoughts): A Phil Judd number from the second Split Enz album, which is produced by Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music. This is a twee psychdelic number with Judd’s compelling, quivering voice. A lot of early Enz sounds like a mix of The Beatles, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Genesis. This short number has a great instrumental break with stately horns.
  10. Freda Payne — Band Of Gold (Have A Nice Decade: The ’70s Pop Culture Box): A classic slice of ’70s pop-soul. A lot of retro soul heads right to the ’60s, but I wish someone could revive the sounds of Payne, Honey Cone, The Spinners and other of the early ’70s.

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Categorized: Friday MP3 Shuffle

Topics: charlie christian, ipod, mp3

CHIRP DJ writesTonight: “A Fond Farewell…” at the Music Box

In a Chicago summer packed with concerts, street parties, and music fests, The Music Box Theatre is presenting its own music series on the big screen. CHIRP Radio is proud to be a part of this week’s Music Box Theatre Summer Music Film Festival, a celebration of new, classic, and underground movies about music!

We’re especially excited to present “A Fond Farewell Night” on Tuesday, July 26. The night’s lineup includes:



It’s a tremendous week of movies and music in the beautiful décor and atmosphere of the Music Box. Don’t miss it!

Music Box Theatre / 3733 North Southport Avenue / Full schedule

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Categorized: Movies

Topics: concerts

Erik Roldan writesCHIRP + Coach House Sounds Present: The Eternals

Damon Locks and Wayne Montana (currently) are The Eternals . The band has been fusing rock, dub and Caribbean rhythms into a sound that was once so hard to categorize, they made up their own: “rawar style.” This year, they released Approaching the Energy Field (Addenda Records ), garnering critical praise for evolving with the sound they pioneered in 2000. CHIRP is proud to present their session with Coach House Sounds, streamable and downloadable at on Tuesday July 26th!

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

Assumed that the water wouldn’t get any higher.

2. The Eternals have a long history in Chicago. Can you tell me about one time when you realized this was YOUR city?

Hmm…as a band? I think only recently. Our old band Trenchmouth always felt like outsiders (our label was out of Minneapolis) and The Eternals have felt similarly. After years and years of playing, we feel as though we have successfully graffiti’d the walls of Chicago’s musical landscape.

3. Describe a scenario where Eternals could be someone’s life coach and the top 2 life lessons you’d teach them.

Over the years, I think the band could be described as a life coach to other younger bands like Watchers or Jai Alai Savant. Whether they took heed is another thing all together.

Top life lessons for bands:

The music industry doesn’t care about you. It doesn’t know good music. Pay as little attention to it as possible.

The more universal you attempt to make something, the less personal. The more personal you make something, the more universal it can be.

4. Tell me about your CHS session—what did you like about it? Was there anything that surprised you or was spontaneous that came out in the recording?

I generally enjoyed the experience. The guys were very friendly and accommodating (thanks for the cookie and the use of the sunglasses).

During the performing of “Shadow Radio” I was so enthusiastic that I inadvertently knocked my sampler off my keyboard and it fell onto my vocal effects pedal and changed the setting. I really got into that performance.

5. What’s happening? What are your current/upcoming shows or releases?
We have a bunch of shows coming up this summer:

w/ Ted Leo at Fireside July 26th
Milwaukee Art Festival July 30th
Experiment Sound Studio August 27th

We are in the planning stages of doing a show at the MCA. That should be a lot of fun. We are also talking about playing The Hideout Block Party.

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Categorized: Interviews

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesThis Week with CHIRP Radio (Week of July 25, 2011)

Tuesday, July 26

CHIRP Radio presents “A Fond Farewell Night,” part of the The Music Box Theatre Summer Music Film Festival, featuring screenings of CIMMfest Shorts, The Last Dispatch, and The Last Waltz!

Music Box Theatre / 3733 North Southport Avenue / Full schedule


Friday, July 29

CHIRP Radio welcomes the Handsome Furs to the Bottom Lounge!

Bottom Lounge / 1375 W Lake Street / 9pm / 17+


Saturday, July 30

CHIRP Radio is proud to sponsor the 2nd Annual AHHH!!! Pilsen Music Festival!

18th Street and Morgan, outside of Simone’s Bar / Noon-3 AM / $5 Suggested Donation, Free after 8 PM


Saturday, July 30

CHIRP Radio presents The Flat Five, featuring Kelly Hogan, Nora O’Connor, Scott Ligon, Casey McDonough & Alex Hall with Chris & Heather’s 16mm Film Jamboree!

Old Town School of Folk Music / 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue / 8pm / All Ages

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Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: this week

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesTomorrow Night! Summer Sessions on the Square Featuring The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

This Saturday (July 23), CHIRP Radio and The Whistler are proud to present the second performance of our Summer Sessions on the Square concert series at the Logan Square monument!

The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, Girls Rock! Chicago veteran Alex Lund and Matt Ulery’s Loom will be performing al fresco during this FREE event. It’s a perfect way to spend a summer Saturday evening with friends and family. Join us!

The Logan Square Monument (corner of Milwaukee, Kedzie, & Logan Blvds.) / 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM / All Ages / $5 Donation Requested

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Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: concerts

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