Current DJ: Jack Ryan
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We know how inane Valentine’s Day can be. And just because society makes us feel like we need to search for a better half one day a year, we at CHIRP would like to celebrate our appreciation of The Single. Both the carefree, unbound guy or gal who gets your heart a-racin’ — and the standout song that does the same.
And so, for singles and B-sides alike, we’ve put together a post-Valentine’s Day “Singles Mixer” and Mix CD swap on Tuesday, February 15 at Cole’s Bar . (Get it? A mix CD of singles! A “singles mixer!”)
If you’ve got the notion, bring a mix CD (of love songs, or anti-love songs, or love-devoid songs) to exchange with other folks — single or otherwise — and even if you don’t meet Prince or Princess Charming, at least you’ll take home a new mix CD!
Cole’s Bar is located at 2338 N. Milwaukee Ave and entry is free! It all starts at 8pm and the venue is 21 and over.
He is the frontman for what many consider the greatest hardcore punk band of all-time. Bad Brains combined lightening speed with incisive songs and a charismatic lead singer. Of course, the band also knew it’s way around a reggae tune. While Bad Brains was never prolific, they inspired legions of bands and fans over the years and continued to shine in concert long after their best recordings had been released. They even provided the title for the great indie rock magazine, The Big Takeover. In honor of H.R., get out your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.
Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs is conducting its 2011 Creative Chicago Survey, which invites creative practitioners who live and work in Chicago to describe who they are and what they need to thrive, including specific space and business assistance information.
This information will help the City determine policies and programs to support its Creative Sector, and be shared with interested organizations, research and advocacy efforts. The Creative Chicago Survey is unique because it invites the creative community to opt-in and define itself, rather than working from a pre-determined list.
To have the greatest impact, their goal is to hear from all creative people who live and/or work in Chicago. Who is a creative? An artist or an architect, a chef or DJ, a member of a church choir or a fashion designer, a teaching artist or playwright, an arts administrator or a filmmaker, a knitter or an industrial designer. Not just professional artists, but every person who engages in a creative practice as their job or their hobby is considered “a creative.”
Click here to take the survey, in Spanish or English, from Friday, February 4th to Friday, February 25th.
Roommate is a Chicago-based five piece band, self-described as “Stoner Crooner.” They recently recorded a Coach House Sounds session and had some interesting reflections on coaches, Chicago and basements.
Their CHS session released on February 3rd. Hear the entire session over at coachhousesounds.com!
What the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a basement?
In 1999 I started playing keyboards in an Iowa City band called Swim Team. At my birthday party that summer we played a basement show in the house where I was living and ended our set with a cover of Europe’s “The Final Countdown.”
Our singers/guitar players Cody & Jason Hennesy didn’t want to even try to do the ridiculous guitar solo, so they cued up a tape of the original song to the solo and when we got to that moment in the song we all stopped and they put a little portable cassette player up to the mic. That maneuver was pretty clever, but the song is really dumb.
Tell me about a coach you had as a child. What did you learn from them?
Rick French was the coach of my high school’s swim team. I was on the team in 9th and 10th grades. We were a terrible team with barely enough members to fill all of the events in a swim meet. Coach French always assigned me to swim the 200 Meter Intermediate Medley and I always puked my guts up shortly after swimming it. So I learned from Rick French that if I swim the 200 Meter Intermediate Medley I puke.
Describe a scenario where Roommate could be someone’s life coach and the top 2 life lessons you’d teach them.
[Our drummer Seth Vanek fielded this one.] I think we could do a good job with something called Sarcasm Therapy for people who have trouble getting that ’90s ironic sensibility out of their system. We would 1) help them start saying what they really mean and in the process have them figure out what they really think 2) Help them realize that you don’t have to be intelligent to be sarcastic and not to confuse sarcasm with wit.
What do you like about Chicago, and what makes it special to you?
I’m no music historian, but I think Chicago’s music culture represents a particularly vital intersection of the avant-garde with traditional music. When I think about how Sonny Blount became Sun Ra and recorded seminal albums like Angels and Demons at Play and Nubians of Plutonia in Chicago, or when I put on a track like The Art Ensemble of Chicago’s “Theme De Yoyo” (the most electrifying marriage of pop and free jazz I can think of) or an album like Bonnie Prince Billy’s Beware (essentially a country album played by Chicago jazzbo heavies like Josh Abrams and Michael Zerang), I feel deeply humbled and inspired and grateful to be here.
Also, I’d argue that the breathtaking corruption of Chicago and Illinois government has inspired an especially vibrant culture of activism here. Publications like AREA, grassroots groups like Tamms Year Ten, our burgeoning community gardening movement, those things make me really proud and excited to call myself a Chicagoan.
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?
Our CHS session was a blast. The Coach House is a really cozy space, and Matthew and his crew are courteous, charming, professional dudes. We hadn’t played in almost two months, so we had a short practice just before the session and decided to stick mainly to songs we’ve been playing live for a while.
We almost nixed “After The Boom” because we thought maybe it needed some more tightening and polishing, but Gillian ended up insisting that we do it and I’m glad she did, it’s my favorite song of the session… so that was a nice surprise.
Like in any live show, each of us tried to maintain a little bit of spontaneity in our performance—sometimes that resulted in little flubs (or “clams” as they call ‘em in the biz) but it also yielded some beautiful surprises, where the music gelled and swelled in unexpected ways.
It was interesting for me to listen to multiple takes of the same song and to hear how our playing evolved in the course of the session as we got more comfortable with the space and situation. We’re always honing our arrangements and group dynamics so that the songs evolve and stay fresh and get more powerful and interesting with every show, so it’s nice to have the CHS session as a document of where we were on that particular day.
What’s happening? What are your current/upcoming shows or releases?
Yesterday we had quite possibly our best rehearsal EVER – we’ve invited our friend and guitar hero Reid Coker to join us at our next couple of Chicago shows and on tour, so we’re a five-piece again and we are sounding pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.
We’re really excited to return to the Hideout on Saturday and to get to play with SHAPERS. Later this week a remix I made for a track by the soul singer Bilal (whose album Airtight’s Revenge was released last year on our former label Plug Research) should appear on our Soundcloud page…
What else? A video I made for our song “Snow Globe” was premiered at Magnet Magazine a couple weeks ago, and sometime around the release date (March 22) for our new album Guilty Rainbow we’re planning to release a remix and super-surreal video that our friends mr.666 made for the album’s first track “My Bad.”
Our record release show is set for March 18 at the Empty Bottle with Dozens and Algernon, and a week later we’ll head out on a two-week tour through the midwest, southeast and northeast. In the last couple years we recorded a lot of material that didn’t make it onto the album, so it’s fairly likely that we’ll release some of those songs later in the year. Lots is happening!!
Vincent Furnier, the son of a minister and the original theatrical rocker turns 64 today. In the late ’60s, he fronted Alice Cooper, eventually taking on his band’s name. Alice Cooper signed originally to Frank Zappa’s Bizarre label and made two albums of psychedelic tinged hard rock. Graduating to Warner Brothers, the band’s songwriting got a bit tighter and suddenly they were reeling off one classic rock song after the other. And the stage show became a legend, paving the way for Kiss and a host of other artists. Meanwhile, Mr. Cooper showed an appealing wit, leavening any heavyness with a wink and a nod. Ever since his heyday, Alice has had his ups and downs, but he is still capable of making good records and is still a great live performer. So let’s pay tribute to Alice Cooper by grabbing the ol’ iPod or MP3 player, pressing shuffle and sharing the first 10 tunes that come up.