Chicago Independent Radio Project is completely volunteer run. No one is making money from this endeavor. A bunch of music lovers just thought, “Hey, we should start an independent radio station.” Well, that was a couple years ago now, but soon it will be up and running. Beginning in January, you’ll be able to tune in online and hear disks jockeyed by real live people, and hopefully within the next few years you’ll be able to tune in on the old fashioned radio to the same station and rock out during your commute.
What CHIRP has accomplished so far is no small feat, and I’m not sure people truly realize how much an independent radio station could mean to Chicago (the FCC certainly doesn’t.) As the media forever falls into the abyss of corporatization, our country basks in capitalism, and new technologies usurp the old, the independent world finds its spaces endlessly fluctuating – up and down, more and less, something akin to the Emperor tightening its grip on the galaxy: the more it tries to hold onto, the more will slip through its fingers.
For a big metropolitan area, Chicago has a lot of “small scale” potential. Small art stores, galleries, and indie venues dot the map, but few things beyond the streets themselves tie them together, they lie in the ether waiting for those “in the know” to go and check them out. Of course that is part of the draw, being one of the few-ish to know, and these places can’t always handle a large crowd, for a multitude of reasons. CHIRP, however, can handle all of these people, and then some.
CHIRP has a virtually limitless threshold for the independently minded media and arts consumer, many of whom are the same people that venture out into the city to discover the independent stores, galleries, and venues. In the independent’s world competition is not number one. Cooperation is. Originality must always be the Independent’s weapon of choice and it must work through the conduit of community. CHIRP has the potential to be that conduit; a “physical” entity around which community can be built.
This is what CHIRP should, in part, be (aside from a radio station.) CHIRP can reach out to those underground and independent groups and shine some light on them, exposing their alternative offerings to those who are interested in being a part of a scene, a community, or even a movement. Hopefully, if you have come to this website, and if you are reading this, you know what I’m talking about and are one of the many in this city and country who are tired of being spoon fed the same superficial and sensationalist media. If that’s the case you’ve come to the right place.