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Chicago’s burgeoning indie music scene is loaded with talent, and two of the city’s most promising singer/songwriter acts, Tenci and DPCD, share the bill at Wednesday’s edition of CHIRP Night at the Whistler at 8:30 pm. Tickets are free show but you will need to RSVP to this 21+ show.
Tenci, featuring guitarist/vocalist Jess Shoman and bassist/vocalist Tina Scarpello, will appeal to anyone who appreciates the artistry of Aldous Harding, Liz Phair and early Joni Mitchell. Tenci, which was named in honor of Jess’s grandmother, Hortencia, began as a solo project, producing the EP I Opened My Mouth and Nothing Came Out. Seven months ago, Jess began working with Tina, who also is a member of the band Spencer Radcliffe & Everyone Else. Later this year, they will release their first full-length album, My Heart is an Open Field.
DPCD is a singer-songwriter project led by Iverson guitarist/pianist Alec Watson, with support from Iverson percussionist/guitarist Ethan Parcell and vocalist Samantha Connour. Their first album, Good Visions, features nine acoustic songs that highlight Watson’s finger-picking guitar style and soft, emotive vocals, drawing comparisons to artists like Sufjan Stevens, Ryley Walker, Elizabeth Cotten and Nick Drake.
I had the chance to sit down with Tenci and DPCD to discuss their music, artists that influenced them and what they have in store for the Whistler crowd.
CHIRP is such a vital part of Chicago’s incredible music scene, and one of the benefits of being a volunteer is having the opportunity to hear great new music by deserving artists like Ego Mechanics.
In December 2017, CHIRP volunteer Seth Arp posted on Facebook about his band performing at the Elbo Room. I checked out the band and debuted their song, “Burnt Orange,” on my show. Arp commented, “My Band’s new single, ‘Burnt Orange’ was featured on the radio here in Chicago tonight! I’m not getting shit for sleep tonight! I’m over the moon right now. Ever since I picked up a guitar and started writing songs, I’ve dreamt of this. Three years ago, I decided to take my music career seriously and today is another one of what will be many milestones along my path. So thankful, so happy, so excited!”
“Burnt Orange” has received a lot of airplay on CHIRP since then, and the band is headlining CHIRP Night at the Whistler on Wednesday, March 27. Tickets are free, but you will need to RSVP to this 21+ show.
Wednesday, November 28 will be a special evening when Chicago lo-fi dream pop duo Zigtebra delivers an encore performance at CHIRP Night at the Whistler. The Andy Pratt Trio, which also has received extensive airplay on CHIRP-107.1 FM, opens the show.
This is the second time Zigtebra has performed at CHIRP Night at the Whistler, and after spending a good portion of 2018 touring the country, the duo is looking forward to performing before an appreciative hometown crowd.
Emily Rose and Joe Zeph met while performing with an LGBTQ dance troupe called Pure Magical Love. They began writing musicals and playing basement shows, before going on the road in 2017. While they were touring, they made a pact to write and record one new song and music video every month. Those songs were just released on a brand-new album called Major Crush, which is currently in the CHIRP rotation, and Zigtebra will play many of these songs on the Whistler stage. Tickets are free, but you will need to RSVP to this 21+ show.
I had the chance to sit down with Joe to discuss the upcoming show.
Q You and Emily have performed together since 2013, and CHIRP has played your music ever since. How did your work with Pure Magical Love turn into a musical duo?
A I met Emily while we were members of a Pilsen-based underground dance troupe called Pure Magical Love that morphed into a couple of other projects. We began writing our own musicals and one of the first was called the Parrot Pirate. It featured Emily and me performing in a clothing chest that we called the SS Zigtebra. Since then, we’ve collaborated on several other musicals, including one about Leonard Cohen, which we have performed live during some of our longer Zigtebra shows.
Chicago has one of the world’s most vibrant garage and psychedelic music scenes, and Diagonal is one of the city’s greatest ambassadors. The sextet just returned from an East Coast tour to support its first full-length album, Tomorrow, and performed many of the tracks from that LP when it headlined CHIRP Night at the Whistler on October 24th.
The band features Dan Jarvis (guitar and keyboards), Alex Brumley (guitar), Andy Ryan (vocals), Dale Price (bass), Silas Mishler (guitar/keys/noise) and Chris Detlaff (drums). Tomorrow features 11 reverb-soaked tracks that feature touches of garage, shoegaze and psychedelic music. Several CHIRP DJs, including me, list Tomorrow among our top albums of 2018.
Dan Jarvis will guest DJ with me at 2 pm on Friday, Nov. 2. We will play some of his favorite cuts from Tomorrow, as well as some of his favorite cover tunes.
Q How was your East Coast tour?
A We just got back a week ago and had a great time. One of our best shows was at the Grog Shop in Cleveland. It’s a pretty legendary venue. The White Stripes played several shows at the Grog Shop early in their career and Cursive is playing in November. We had a solid show and after our performance, the manager, owner and bartender came over and bought tapes and shirts from us. That was a good sign.
written by Mike Nikolich
When Sparkletears delivers their sonic assault at CHIRP Night at the Whistler on Wednesday, Sept. 26, you may be surprised by what you hear and see.
The Chicago trio plays an infectious blend of garage rock, punk, surf and doo-wop that sounds familiar, until you realize those noisy guitars aren’t guitars, but an electric, solid-body ukulele. And, it isn’t a gimmick; it’s how this band rocks.