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The CHIRP Blog

DJ Bylamplight writesLittle Dragon - Machine Dreams

Earlier this year I discovered Blinking Pigs, a song on a double A-sided 7” by Little Dragon. The drums, sculpted cleverly out of multiple delays, fill every corner of the room but that’s nothing compared to the incredible and eerie voice of Swedish-Japanese Yukimi Nagano. In a flurry of harmonics reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser, she captured my heart with this little love song. I wanted more.

I dug around and noticed their first self-titled album from 2007 but to my ears it lacked the inspired emotions and nuanced vocals I was after. Several months later a seductive and soulful single again with this astounding voice work finally emerged called Feather and it was clear that this electro dream pop outfit from Gothenburg, Sweden, had been working hard at perfecting a brilliant new sound.

This September, their pristine cathedral of work was revealed: the Machine Dreams album. From start to finish Nagano’s vocals pleasantly flow in, around and over the drums of Erik Bodin, bass of Källgren Wallin and a wide range of electronic sounds constructed by the long bearded Håkan Wirenstrand. The album’s mood generally compliments something like a romantic dinner or an afternoon on the couch but it ventures into dancefloor territory on the “step, slide, lightning, fire, topical times” of 808 driven My Step and in the P-Funk boogie of Runabout.

There seems to be a lot of unwritten rules in electronic music these days. One standout moment on Machine Dreams is when Wirenstrand breaks two rules: he wields a crunchy clavichord tone along with a synthesized flute in the exquisitely exotic Swimming. And it works. On this number, Little Dragon leads us through a lush, tropical paradise that I imagine to be full of elated toucans and sneaky monkeys. The album ends on Fortune, an epic tune driven by a climbing melody embellished ever so slightly by Nagano’s breath, the perfect ending.

Share September 8, 2009 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Album Reviews

Topics: reviews

Shawn Campbell writesBe A Part of CHIRP

The next new volunteer meeting for CHIRP is coming right up on Wednesday, September 16th. If you’ve been thinking about getting involved with CHIRP, we have lots of opportunities. Find out about working in the music department, becoming a DJ, writing for this site, assisting with promotions and events, and much more. CHIRP is an all-volunteer organization, and there will be plenty to do as we speed toward the fall launch of our new station.

The meeting will take place at Sulzer Library at 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. at 7:15PM. If you’re interested, please RSVP to volunteer coordinator Jenna Murfin.

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Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

Topics: volunteering

Shawn Campbell writesCHIRP Winds Up as the Summer Festival Season Winds Down

CHIRP’s been out at summer festivals all season, and we’ve loved the chance to talk to the hundreds of you who have dropped by our booths to ask questions and show your support. September is the last big month of fests, and this weekend is packed!

As you celebrate 15 years of Bloodshot Records with this Saturday’s “Beer-B-Q” at the Hideout, featuring Alejandro Escovedo, Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, the Waco Brothers, reunions by the Blacks and Moonshine Willy, a drunken spelling bee, and much more, be sure to stop by the CHIRP tent to say hello.

And while you’re in Wicker Park perusing nifty handmade items at the Renegade Craft Fair on Saturday and Sunday, don’t neglect CHIRP booth #2 near the corner of Division and Wolcott.

When you stop by, we’ll be able to give you all the latest information about the launch of our new radio station at later this fall. We also have great new t-shirts and water bottles to get you through this year’s remaining warm weather. The summer festival season may be cooling off, but CHIRP’s future is heating up!

Share September 6, 2009 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: appearances, concerts

Shawn Campbell writesCHIRP preparing for a fall launch

Well, slowly but surely we get closer and closer to the launch of the web version of our brand new radio station. We embarked on this project just over two years ago with an amazing group of volunteers and a ton of community support, and now we’re almost there!

We spent much of the early summer building the walls of our space at Irving and Rockwell. I don’t mean watching other people build them — I mean framing out the walls, drywalling, painting — all done by CHIRP volunteers! You can check out our construction progress here.

Now that the walls are up, we’re going to be starting to install equipment. Once that’s done, we’ll get all our DJs trained up, and voila! — a brand new station for Chicago will begin. It’s hard for us to pin down the exact date quite yet, but it should be sometime in late October. We’ll have lots of cool launch events that we’d love to have you be a part of.

Thanks for all your help with this long journey — soon, we hope we can repay you with some great radio!

Share August 4, 2009 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: CHIRP Radio News and Info.

Topics: chirpradio

Shawn Campbell writesAnother busy summertime week for CHIRP

We have a busy week ahead of us at CHIRP. Not only are we beginning to work on equipment installation for our studios, but we’ll be out and about all over the place!

On Friday, July 31, CHIRP will be providing the musical accompaniment to the Printer’s Ball, a great celebration of all things print in Chicago. All supporters of the city’s independent literary scene are welcome at the free event, running from 5-11PM at the Luddington Building, 1104 S. Wabash.

On Saturday, August 1, CHIRP is pleased to present The Astronomer, performing a set of new songs and scores to accompany a live reading by acclaimed author Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned, The Boy Detective Fails) in celebration of his long-anticipated new novel “The Great Perhaps”.

Renowned poster artist Jay Ryan and photgrapher Todd Baxter will be projecting visual art based on Meno’s work, making this event a unique multimedia event.

Canasta opens the night with their wide-ranging brand of chamber pop.

The show takes place at the Old Town School, 4544 N. Lincoln Ave. Showtime is 8PM. Sign up above for CHIRP e-mails for a chance to win tickets to this and other upcoming CHIRP shows!

And finally, the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival runs all weekend in Logan Square – up and down Milwaukee between California and Ridgeway. The weekend features an amazing musical lineup, some of it curated by our good friends at The Whistler, who’ve asked CHIRP to be the official between-set DJs for the fest. We’ll also have a booth where we’ll be offering up all the latest CHIRP swag in preparation for our launch — coming soon!

Share July 27, 2009 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Categorized: Event Previews

Topics: concerts

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