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The CHIRP Blog

Erin Van Ness writesErin Van Ness’ Best of 2010

Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members' top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio's Development Director, Erin Van Ness.

(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members' picks.)

  1. The Tallest Man on Earth – Wild Hunt (Dead Oceans)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    What more do you need than a man and his guitar? Judging from this album, not one thing.
  2. Hey Marsailles – To Travels and Trunks (Onto Entertainment)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Songs about love, breakups, and traveling to get over it, coupled with lots of instrumentation like piano, violins, trumpet, and accordion—it’s like this album was made for me.
  3. Dinosaur Feathers – Fantasy Memorial (Dinosaur Feathers)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I don’t even know how to describe the sound of this album, but it’s fun, with funky beats, a good vibe, and a just a pinch of eccentricity that makes me want to listen to it over and over again.
  4. Jenny and Johnny – I'm Having Fun Now (Warner Bros.)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    And so am I! This is the Jenny Lewis album I have been waiting for since Rilo Kiley’s More Adventurous.
  5. Owen Pallett – Heartland (Domino)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Heavy orchestration. Stunning textural layers and complexity. Sounds like drinking a fine wine.
  6. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening (DFA)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The fun and humor are still here, but there’s also a lot more emotion and honesty in this album that was lacking in previous efforts.
  7. Janelle Monáe – The Archandroid (Atlantic)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Genre-bending songs combined with ridiculously catchy hooks make this album an all-around standout.
  8. Junip – Fields (Mute)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Jose Gonzalez’s voice is hypnotic, and each song on this album has this mysterious feel to it that just kind of puts me under a trance-like spell that isn’t over until the music stops. Absolutely beautiful.
  9. Breathe Owl Breathe – Magic Central (Hometapes)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Songs about a pen pal relationship between a princess and a dragon and a love of swimming are just kooky enough to be endearing instead of outright odd.
  10. Joanna Newsom – Have One on Me (Drag City)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Weird and whimsical, but also smart and stunning and magical.

Runner Up:

  • Girl Talk – All Day (Illegal Art)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I can put this album on at a party and absolutely everyone will find something they like about it. Bonus points for including a sample of “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, which was one of my favorite songs as a kid.

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2010

Matt DeRose writesMatt DeRose’s Best of 2010

Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members' top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ Matt DeRose.

(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members' picks.)

  1. Mimicking Birds – Mimicking Birds (Glacial Pace)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The ultimate grower. Subtle. Restrained. Consistently heartbreaking. More, please. Favorite Song: "Pixels"
  2. Phosphorescent – Here's to Taking It Easy (Dead Oceans)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Matthew Houck’s moody, atmospheric, perfectly executed opus. Favorite Song: "Los Angeles"
  3. Suckers – Wild Smile (Frenchkiss)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    An indie rock buffet – a little bit of something for everyone. Favorite Song: "You Can Keep Me Runnin’ Around"
  4. Active Child – Curtis Lane [EP] (Filter US Recordings)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    When you’re this efficient, short and sweet gets the job done just fine. Favorite Song: "I’m In Your Church At Night"
  5. Sun Airway – Nocturne of Exploded Crystal Chandelier (Dead Oceans)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    It’s like Chris Martin wasn’t dying to be Bono. Favorite Song: "Oh, Naoko"
  6. Small Black – New Chain (Jagjaguwar)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    I’m not sure I’ll have fully digested this one for a while yet. Favorite Song: "Hydra"
  7. Beach House – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Teen Dream’s a slippery little gem but it sure is pretty. Favorite Song: "Real Love"
  8. Frightened Rabbit – Winter of Mixed Drinks (Fat Cat)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Who knows how long I’ll love this album, or this band, but for now they’re hitting the spot perfectly. Favorite Song: "Foot Shooter"
  9. The Books – The Way Out (Temporary Residence)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    A lopsided effort from a great band with a few of the year’s best songs. Favorite Song: "All You Need Is A Wall"
  10. Lower Dens – Twin–Hand Movement (Gnomonsong)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Whiskey to Beach House’s soda. Favorite Song: "I Get Nervous"

 

10 Singles from other Albums:
Damien Jurado, “Cloudy Shoes”
Emeralds, “Candy Shoppe”
Eskmo, “Cloudlights”
Shearwater, “Castaways”
Menomena, “Tithe”
Black Dub, “Surely”
The National, “Bloodbuzz Ohio”
Breathe Owl Breathe, “Lion’s Jaw”
Bear Hands, “Belongings”
Foals, “Miami”

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2010

Shawn Campbell writesLocal Community Radio Act Passes Congress

After ten years of effort by low power FM activists, the Local Community Radio Act has passed Congress and goes to President Obama for his signature!

CHIRP volunteers and supporters have worked to pass the Local Community Radio Act since the organization’s founding in 2007. The bill’s passage means that the FCC will be able to license hundreds of new LPFM radio stations – stations licensed at 100 watts or below – nationwide.

What does this mean for CHIRP? The path to a LPFM signal for station hopefuls in the country’s largest markets still will face a tough, but not impossible, road. With the power to license back in the hands of the FCC, the hope is that groups in top five markets like Chicago will be able to use alternative means of finding space on the dial. The FCC has expressed openness to these methods.

Now that the bill has passed, we should learn in coming weeks and months just what new LPFM applicants can expect from the FCC.

Regardless of what the future holds in terms of a broadcast license for CHIRP, this is a tremendous victory for the country’s media democracy movement. We’re so excited to be a part of it, and are optimistic that we can work with the FCC to find a path to a broadcast license.

Thank you so much to all our wonderful supporters and volunteers for all the work you have done over the years, writing letters, making phone calls, and generally spreading the word about this issue. You made this victory possible!

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

Clarence Ewing: The Million Year Trip writesTonight: Beats and Blogs at Subterranean!

Tonight’s the night! CHIRP Radio is pleased to be part of Beats & Blogs: A Musical Hotspot happening tonight at Subterranean! It’s going to be a great night of music from local faves White Mystery, Hollows, Rabble Rabble and Radar Eyes! Be sure to say hi to the CHIRP Radio reps who’ll be there handing out some great CHIRP Radio swag!

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Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: community

Jodi Root writesJodi Root’s Best of 2010

Throughout December CHIRP Radio presents its members' top albums of 2010. The next list is from CHIRP Radio DJ Jodi Root.

(Click here to get the complete list of CHIRP Radio members' picks.)

  1. Beach House – Teen Dream (Sub Pop)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    No other album could possibly come close to the heavy rotation Teen Dream got on my iPod this year. The combination of Victoria Legrand’s lush vocals and dream pop instrumentation is seriously too good to be true. Tracks like the dizzying “Norway,” epic “Zebra” and the surreal “Silver Soul” are twistedly abstract, romantic and damned enchanting.
  2. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Def Jam)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Love him or hate him, Kanye knows how to get your attention. After a pretty rough couple of years, West came hurdling through the haters with his most epic release to date, dropping My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy as his musical redemption. West proves he’s got power with his sleek beats, addicting hooks and rhymes (seriously, who else can get the masses singing toasts to ‘douchebags’?) and featured partners in crime ranging from Elton John, Jay-Z to Bon Iver.
  3. Robyn – Body Talk (Cherry Tree)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Released just in time to secure a spot on my top 10 of ’10 list, our favorite Swedish pop princess compiled her Body Talk trilogy into one cohesive album. Body Talk as a cumulative whole, vs. the three separate eps, rivals the greatness that was her breakout self-titled 2008 comeback. Dropping dance party anthems like “Hang With Me,” “Dancehall Queen” and “Indestructible,” girlfriend proves she won’t be dancing on her own any longer.
  4. The Arcade Fire – The Suburbs (Merge)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    While we will sadly never again experience the epic greatness of another Funeral, Win Butler and crew made a damned fine attempt with The Suburbs. Blowing away their sophomore release Neon Bible, The Suburbs was one consistently memorable collection of epic instrumentation and overall indie goodness. Tracks such as “Month of May,” “Sprawl II,” “Ready to Start” and “The Suburbs” are undeniable examples of awesomeness.
  5. GAYNGS – Relayted (Jagjaguwar)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Not such Broken Social Scene has the indie music scene witnessed such a superhero line-up. The debut release from Midwesterners GAYNGS, Relayted is such an irresistible compilation of sleek, synth heavy, 80’s throwback baby making music that George Michael was pretty much forced into retirement. Who knew the dudes from Bon Iver, The Rosebuds and Solid Gold had such a seductive side to ‘em? Burning hot.
  6. Phantogram – Eyelid Movies (Barsuk)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    The majority of male/female duos are shiny, happy pop music. (See YACHT, Mates of State, Matt & Kim, etc). Phantogram is not one of those bands. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter make musical love into mystery, driven with their synth and bass driven melodies and gaspy, seductive shared vocals. Eyelid Movies is eleven tracks of electronic indie dance bliss.
  7. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach (Virgin)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Anything Damon Albarn touches turns to gold (or at least it should). Even after just releasing the greatness that is Plastic Beach in 2010, Albarn has already announced his intentions of a follow-up album, which was recorded on their current tour—on an iPad. Not sure how he’ll get guest artists like Snoop Dogg and Lou Reed onboard with this current method, but by now I’m pretty sure whatever Albarn’s got up his sleeve is destined for greatness.
  8. Vampire Weekend – Contra (XL)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Who knew some random Polaroid photo from the 80’s would blow up into the biggest indie lawsuit of the year? Luckily for the gentlemen of Vampire Weekend, it turns out there’s much more to Contra than their obscure album art. Tracks like “Giving up the Gun,” “Cousins” and “Holiday” are just a few of the album’s upbeat pop ditties, proving these prep rockers are more than a one album success act.
  9. LCD Soundsystem – This is Happening (DFA)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    James Murphy is a pretty righteous dude. This is Happening was one of the year’s biggest hypes, and if you’ve listened to the record, you’ll see why. “You Wanted a Hit,” “Dance Yrself Clean” and “Home” are several exemplifications of how Murphy and co. have raised the bar on electro-indie bangers once again.
  10. Caribou – Swim (Merge)
    BUY: Amazon / Insound / iTunes
    Daniel Snaith is a mathematician by trade, but he’s better known to the masses as the indie electro composer Caribou. Swim is his best release to date, bursting with formulaic layers of samples, reverb, synth, bass and whatever other magical components he throws into the mix. Impossible to stand still while listening to, this album is consistently mind bending from start to finish.

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Categorized: Best Albums of the Year

Topics: best of 2010

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