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Live sessions are a growing part of the independent music scene, and CHIRP is happy to announce a partnership with a local group of enthusiasts producing this kind of recording.
Hidden in Chicago’s West Lakeview neighborhood, Coach House Sounds is a DIY analog recording studio set up in an actual coach house, and since late 2009 has been inviting local musicians to record an exclusive performance to be streamed online at coachhousesounds.com.
Matt Baron, curator of CHS, has a unique take on the live session – album oriented, spontaneous and anything goes, once the tape starts rolling there’s no going back. Literally, it’s tape. Doug Lienen, CHS’s sound engineer records the bands on a reel-to-reel, making overdubs and editing impossible.
Along with photographer Neal Morrison and Mike Mayer, CHS’s videographer, Coach House Sounds has built a substantial catalog of sessions from high profile local bands. Artists ranging from White Mystery, Kid Static, and Daniel Knox are just a few of Chicago artists already recorded, and the upcoming release schedule is full.
To be released on Tuesdays, the fall itinerary has a new CHS session launching every week, with artists like Tyler Jon Tyler, Rabble Rabble and Love of Everything. Sessions are stream-only, and things are still growing—newer sessions now regularly have an accompanying video recording.
Matt Baron hopes to increase the touring musicians coming through the coach house but wants to keep it Chicago-focused. “Most other session sites have the Pitchfork trickle-down artists,” he says. “Pitchfork approves them, and sooner or later they make it onto those sites. I want to keep it Chicago-centric and underground.”
Black Cab Sessions, iTunes and even Pitchfork TV produce their own exclusive live performances from the latest bands, and they are a small handful in a recent wave of companies making this type of content. Baron hopes to set Coach House Sounds apart by keeping it analog—the warmth of the sound matches the informal nature of the recordings. He loves it when a band has an early version of a new song or wants to re-start a song in the middle of the session. “It’s just like a concert, but it’s in my coach house.”
Adding to the DIY charm is the kind, professional attitude of the CHS staff and the casual business model. There is no money exchanged, and bands agree to the licensing of the performance through an electronic hand shake, more or less. CHIRP is proud to partner with Coach House Sounds! Listen for exclusive tracks from past and upcoming CHS releases on CHIRPradio.org as well as casual interviews with CHS performers on the CHIRP Blog.
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