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Karin Fjellman writesTONIGHT! CHIRP Night at the Whistler with Ken Camden & Magical Beautiful!

Join CHIRP tonight, Monday, December 20, at the Whistler for an ethereal evening with improvisational guitarist Ken Camden, accompanied by the experimental DIY rock explosion Magical Beautiful — both local acts you won’t want to miss. CHIRP receives a percentage of bar sales from the evening, and CHIRP DJs spin after the performance.

Released in March of this year, songs from Ken Camden’s debut album “Lethargy & Repercussion” promise to be powerfully enchanting. The album title alone sets the mood for a single malt of melody. ‘Birthday’ opens the album with carefully plucked guitar solos that sound like stars and the album ambiently moves to rusty experimental techno. Expect to hear live variations of songs from the album or new improvisational experiments. The guitarist will most likely navigate his way through warmth of new texture and sound in the presence of an active audience.

Magical Beautiful is sure to continue to lend trance-like live music manipulation to the scene. Formally trained and performing from the ground up, the quartet has a penchant for innovation and ritualistic sound. Songs like ‘Ghetto Tourist’ bring both synth and reggae into the band’s tinny, heavy soundscape. Well-known in the Chicago improvisation scene, Magical Beautiful will impressively add to the dream-like sequence of upbeat electronica, percussion, and acoustic experimentalism. With never a dull moment in its search for rhythm and a history of improvising with some of Chicago’s most well-respected musicians, this band can’t help but enchant you.

A perfect pairing for CHIRP and the Whistler, the combined sequence of Camden and Magical Beautiful will certainly lend to a low-lit evening of listening, mixology, and sound.

-Sondra Morin

Ken Camden (

Magical Beautiful (

The Whistler (
9:30pm – 2am
No cover
Percentage of bar sales benefits CHIRP

CHIRP DJs spin before and after bands!
Raffle tickets sold throughout the night — win killer prizes!

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Categorized: Event Previews

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

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