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The CHIRP Blog

Entries on the topic of “Ipod” 220 results

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Minnie Pearl Edition

Today we pay tribute to a country music legend. There has been a long tradition of country comedians that goes on to this day, and none have even come close to the longevity and popularity of Sarah Ophelia Colley Cannon, known throughout the world as the Gal from Grinder’s Switch, Minnie Pearl. Cannon was a theater major in college who developed the Pearl character in 1939, picking up her signature hat in a Nashville department store for $1.98. One year later, she got her first chance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry and was an instant success, and was regular at the Opry until her stroke in 1991. During those 51 years, she performed with everyone (on the Hank Williams at the Opry disc, Hank does two routines with Minnie) and as the years went on, she not only encourage other comedians, but she mentored artists like Vince Gill, k.d. lang and Chely Wright. Minnie was a breast cancer survivor who campaigned to fight the disease. Rare is the entertainer who can say he or she was a star for a half a century. Minnie Pearl was one of those rare entertainers, who made generations of fans laugh with her traditional homespun humor. Give Minnie a big birthday How-dee!!! by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share October 25, 2013 https://chrp.at/2awu Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, minnie pearl, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Chuck Berry Edition

Today, we celebrate one of the true founding fathers of rock ‘n’ roll, a man who created many of the musical and lyrical archetypes that defined the sound for decades. No artist had a larger role in establishing rock ‘n’ roll as the music of youth culture, which not only changed music, but all entertainment in general. Chuck Berry’s songs are still covered to this day, as classics like “Johnny B. Goode”, “Sweet Little Sixteen”, “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Back in the U.S.A.” still endure. And when not singing about “School Days” or the “Havana Moon”, he wrote one of rock’s first important songs about race, the classic “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”. There’s simply not enough you can say about a man whose influence still reverberates, both directly and indirectly, to this day. So in honor Mr. Berry’s birthday, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: chuck berry, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Jody Stephens Edition

Today, let’s pay tribute to the drummer of the legendary cult power pop band Big Star. Jody Stephens was the only main stay, other than Alex Chilton, for every iteration of the band. And Jody brought some skills to the table. His work on “Oh My Soul” alone is enough to show how skilled he was, and he certainly influenced future drummers (I would guess Will Rigby of The dB’s learned a thing or two from those first two Big Star records). Jody helps keep the Big Star flame burning and works at Ardent Studios, where the band’s classic albums were recorded. I’d reckon if you stop by there when he was in, if he wasn’t recording some band, he’d probably show you around. Let’s salute Mr. Stephens by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, jody stephens, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Don Cornelius Edition

He was a journalist who came up with one of the most popular syndicated music programs ever, bringing soul, funk and hip hop stars to larger audiences. There had been tons of record hop shows on television, but none geared so specifically towards black music until Cornelius started up Soul Train here in Chicago, on WCIU-TV, Channel 26, in 1970. The show was an instant sensation, and within a year, Cornelius moved it to L.A. as it went national. He hosted the show until 1993, closing every show by saying "... and you can bet your last money, it's all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I'm Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!" Soul Train broke out beyond the African American community and became a trendsetting show, as everyone watched the Soul Train dancers (who included, briefly, future Chicago Bears great Walter Payton), the Soul Train Scramble Board and a lengthy list of great performers. Cornelius was the epitome of laid back cool, emphasizing a positive message and adding legitimacy to great music and a culture that wasn’t seen before on national TV. Let’s salute Don Cornelius by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle, and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share September 27, 2013 https://chrp.at/28x0 Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: don cornelius, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Patrick Pentland Edition

Sloan has been one of the most consistent bands of the past 20 years. This is due in part to the fact that all four members of the band are talented songwriters. Sloan’s lead guitarist Patrick Pentland celebrates his birthday today, and while he has not been as prolific as other members, he has written (and sung) some of their most beloved songs. Pentland’s first band was a heavy metal outfit called Prosecutor, which they intended to call Persecutor. Perhaps in this ill-fated act, Pentland developed his love for the big riff, which he has used to great effect on Sloan classics like “Money City Maniacs” and “If It Feels Good Do It”. He’s not all about the rock, as he has written great pop tunes like “Everything You’ve Done Is Wrong” and “Losing California”. And next year, Pentland will get one album side for his own tunes, as the upcoming Sloan album will give each member one side for their tunes. In honor of Pentland, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, mp3, patrick pentland, sloan

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Bill Monroe Edition

This week, let’s celebrate the birthday of the King of Bluegrass, Bill Monroe. The Kentucky born Monroe got started in music in 1929 and had a number of hit records with his brother in the ‘30s. After World War II, Monroe assembled a legendary group of musicians for his Blue Grass Boys, and really began to spread the style of music around the world. Monroe’s band included the future duo of Flatt & Scruggs. Over two years, they recorded classic after classic, including Monroe’s theme song, “Blue Moon Over Kentucky”. Great musicians would come and go in his band, which rode high until the latter part of the ‘50s. The folk revival revived Monroe, who kept recording for years, and played his final show in 1996. His influence on American music is towering. In honor of Bill Monroe, grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share September 13, 2013 https://chrp.at/2agM Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: bill monroe, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Jimmy Reed Edition

Today, let’s pay tribute to a legendary bluesman, Jimmy Reed. Reed was a key figure in moving blues towards the electric guitar and his laid back sound gave him crossover appeal. Well, that and classic songs like “Bright Lights Big City”. Reed got his start in Chicago and became a success on this city’s Vee Jay label. Reed’s other hits include “Big Boss Man”, “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby” and “Baby What You Want Me to Do”, and he has been covered by everyone from Elvis Presley to Neil Young to Grateful Dead to The Rolling Stones. Indeed, the Stones have done a number of Reed tunes. In honor of Mr. Reed, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, jimmy reed, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Kitty Wells Edition

She was thinking of getting out of the music business entirely, when a Decca Records executive asked her if she’d cut a record. She said yes, since they would pay her $125 for the session, but she didn’t think it would go anywhere. So Kitty Wells cut “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels” and it wasn’t much longer before she became the first queen of country music. The proto-feminist song was controversial but paved the way Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and other independent thinking female country singers. Wells became the first female to top the country chart and then had an amazing run of chart success from 1952 through 1969. She blazed trails all the time. For example, she was the first female country singer to record a full album. Her influence resonated for decades, as shown by her appearance on k.d. lang’s Shadowland album (along with Brenda Lee and Loretta Lynn). Nowadays, she’s not remembered enough, but her impact cannot be understated. Let’s pay tribute to Kitty by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle, and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share August 30, 2013 https://chrp.at/29hB Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, kitty wells, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Keith Moon Edition

He came to audition for the band that ultimately became The Who with ginger hair. And ginger clothes. He played like a wild man. He was the final piece of the first great power trio in rock history. Keith Moon was an outsized figure amongst the outsized personalities of the British Invasion. In addition to becoming a very influential, oft-imitated (but never equaled drummer), he established himself as the Clown Prince of Rock. Whether it was tasteless adventures with Viv Stanshall or trashing hotel rooms or who knows what, Moon truly was the Loon. And as The Who progressed, he adapted (listen to his work on Quadrophenia). Sadly, his lifestyle aged him at double the rate of a normal human, and he passed away 35 years ago. But try to find video of the band around 1966 or so and watch him play. There’s never been anything like him – a real joy to watch. Let’s celebrate Keith Moon’s birthday by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share August 23, 2013 https://chrp.at/2a0r Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, keith moon, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Madonna Edition

Her debut album came out 30 years ago, a piece of R & B and dance inflected pop that was diverting. Then her videos hit MTV, and Madonna became a star. But no one anticipated that she would become the best selling female solo artist of the rock era. Today is Madonna’s birthday, and let’s face it, anyone who can stay fairly relevant over three decades in pop music is a formidable talent. She went through as many image changes as any singer since Bowie. She made headlines in the gossip columns and so often shocked sensibilities. More importantly, she wrote and performed scads of great songs. And you can never count her out. Sure, she’s had her share of lackluster releases, but she is capable at any time of putting out something great. Let’s pay tribute of Madonna by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle, and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share August 16, 2013 https://chrp.at/29vT Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, madonna, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Kurtis Blow Edition

Today, let’s pay tribute to one of the pioneers of hip hop, Kurtis Blow. Blow was the first rapper signed to a major label, and the first rapper to have a certified gold single for his classic, “The Breaks”. Blow ended up recording eight albums, racking up hits like “If I Ruled the World” and “Basketball” while influencing many rappers with his flow. For example, Run of Run-D.M.C. early on got the nickname “The Son of Kurtis Blow”, and he has been name checked in numerous hip hop songs as well as artists like They Might Be Giants and, most memorably by Tom Tom Club in their immortal hit “Genius of Love”. In honor of Kurtis Blow, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share August 9, 2013 https://chrp.at/2aMe Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, kurtis blow, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday David Yow Edition

Let’s pay tribute to a leader of a legendary Chicago band. David Yow first came to prominence with the noise rock band Scratch Acid. Scratch Acid quickly built a reputation for its visceral music (one journalist compared them to The Birthday Party) and Yow established himself as one of the most unhinged frontmen anywhere. After Scratch Acid dissolved, Yow and guitarist David Wm. Sims hooked up with Duane Denison to from The Jesus Lizard who came from a similar place, but developed a more sophisticated musical approach, with Yow’s antics contrasting increasing intricate (and somewhat arty) noise. I’ve seen Yow stage dive off the Metro stage with no one to catch him. A July 3 Didjits show at the old Exit found members of the audience wielding protest signs that said F— The Pigs, while Yow came out to introduce the band wearing a Nazi uniform and then gave a speech in convincing German (or something that sounded like German). This same wild man is an accomplished cook, who has worked at restaurants here and in Austin, Texas. Earlier this year, he released a limited edition solo LP of experimental music that was packaged in a concrete monolith. Yow is a true original. Let’s wish him a happy birthday by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: david yow, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Mick Jagger Edition

Let’s give it up for Mick Jagger on his birthday! The Rolling Stones may have not made any relevant music in ages (and let’s not forget Superheavy...or perhaps we should?), but Mick is still a bundle of energy fronting them on their 50th anniversary tour. Moreover, while the Stones may not have ever been the World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band (in the ears of the beholder), they are pretty darn great. And Mick may not have been the best of the blues obsessed British Invasion singers, but he brought something distinctive to it that allowed the Stones to adapt over the years and make so many great records. Moreover, he seems to have a great sense of humor about the whole thing. In honor of Mr. Jagger, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, mick jagger, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Brian May Edition

Today let’s give a birthday salute to one of the all-time greatest rock guitarists, Brian May of Queen. The curly haired fretmeister is more than just a guitarist – he has a Ph.D in astrophysics. So it should come as no surprise that not long after his 16th birthday, Brian and dad made the main guitar he has played for almost 50 years, the Red Special. Made primarily out of wood from an 18th Century fireplace with ornate detail, the Mays designed the guitar so it would naturally feedback. This guitar is a large part of May’s distinctive sound, which has so many great Queen songs, including some of his own classic compositions such as “I Want It All”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “Fat Bottomed Girls” and that sports stadium perennial, “We Will Rock You”. Queen was one of the most musically diverse bands of any era, so in that spirit, grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share July 19, 2013 https://chrp.at/29ip Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: brian may, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday RZA Edition

Today we’re paying tribute to an important figure in hip hop, RZA of Wu-Tang Clan. RZA was only 11 when he got into his first rap battle, a portent of things to come. In the early ‘90s, he led the amazing collective of talent that was Wu-Tang, kicking things off with the great Enter The Wu-Tang LP. Of course, RZA, like his fellow members, has made some fine solo music, and he has also acted in numerous films. Just last year, he directed his first film, the martial arts/action flick The Man with the Iron Fists. In honor of this hip hop giant, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, mp3, rza

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers Edition

Today we pay tribute to a giant of American popular music, composer Richard Rodgers. He is the first person to garner an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and a Tony award. Oh, and he won the Pulitzer Prize too. Teaming with Oscar Hammerstein and Lorenzo Hart (each who penned lyrics), Rodgers composed some of the greatest melodies in American popular song. From “My Funny Valentine” to “The Lady Is a Tramp” to the amazing run of musicals he did with Hammerstein (Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound Of Music), Richard Rodgers’ music has had so much impact and still delights audiences to this day. So in honor of Mr. Rodgers, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, mp3, richard rodgers

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Ray Davies Edition

Ray Davies is one of the most important figures in ‘60s rock music. He’d be deserving praise if he had only written “Waterloo Sunset”, which former Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau called (and I’m paraphrasing) the best song in the English language. Utilizing the same blues and rock ‘n’ roll influences as his British Invasion counterparts, Davies (with the help of brother Dave) created some of the first riff rock on classics like “You Really Got Me”, planting the seeds for heavy metal and punk. He quickly advanced to more sophisticated territory. In so doing, he got away from aping American sounds (especially vocally) and really creating a British vocabulary for rock music. His initial observational songwriting was closer to Dylan in spirit, but soon he was creating lovely vignettes that touched on specific experiences that were sometimes witty and sometime poignant. While their commercial prospects waned somewhat, The Kinks reeled off one of the great album sequences in history, from Face To Face to Something Else to Village Green Preservation Society to Arthur (and one could argue Lola... too). Davies’ influence loomed large on many British acts, including XTC, Madness and Blur, inspiring even more classic music. Of course, he couldn’t keep up that pace, but he is still a warm and wonderful live performer and still might have classic song or two in him. Let’s celebrate Ray’s birthday by grabbing your iPod or MP3 player, hitting shuffle and sharing the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: ipod, mp3, ray davies

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday David Thomas Edition

It’s time to wish a happy birthday to the man once known as Crocus Behemoth. David Thomas helped found the short lived but extremely important proto-punk band Rocket From The Tombs, and once they split, formed Pere Ubu, the self-proclaimed avant-garage band. With the large and oddly compelling front man whose quavering high voice somehow was perfect for an ultra-arty take on rock tropes, Pere Ubu has been making important music over five decades. From spooky to rocking to pretty darn catchy (the band’s Cloudland album is one of the great pop albums of the ‘80s), Thomas has managed to put his stamp on everything he’s done. And he’s had some nifty side projects too. In honor of Thomas, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Topics: crocus behemoth, david thomas, ipod, mp3

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Prince Edition

He’s enigmatic, charismatic, and a-u-t-o matic. Prince turns 54 years old today, and while he hasn’t wowed anyone with his new recordings lately, he is still a king on the concert stage, and why not? With his deep catalog, ace bands, killer guitar skills, amazing dance moves and total command of an audience, he is one pop music’s all time great live attractions. On top of that, he built a musical empire in the ‘80s. A studio rat, he played everything on his earliest records, mixed funk with new wave sounds, and pushed the envelope lyrically and visually, taking an androgyny page out of the David Bowie playbook. Then, in the mid-80's, he was one of the biggest stars, and deservedly so. I still remember the electricity at the Yorktown Theatre, watching Purple Rain in packed movie house, everyone going nuts when “Let’s Go Crazy” kicked in. In honor of this legend, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle, and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share June 7, 2013 https://chrp.at/29aP Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, mp3, prince

Mike Bennett writesFriday iPod/MP3 Shuffle—Happy Birthday Wesley Willis Edition

Today, let’s pay tribute to a local legend, the late Wesley Willis. When I moved into the city from the ‘burbs in the early ‘90s, he was a ubiquitous presence. Wesley was a big dude who you’d see at shows or in the middle of the street, hawking his ink pen drawings of cityscapes and other things. He’d greet many folks with a head butt. Wesley was schizophrenic, and in addition to his visual art, he bought a cheap Casio keyboard and began composing and recording brief songs, often depicting shows he’d seen, with direct, narrative lyrics, ending almost every song with “Rock over London/rock on Chicago” followed by some advertising catch phrase, like “Cadillac – it’s got style.” He later fronted the hard rock Wesley Willis Fiasco. As with other outsider art (ex. – Daniel Johnston), the question was always whether Wesley was being exploited, and that can be debated. All I can say is that he was a memorable part of the Chicago music scene and he sure seemed to enjoy being a part of it. In honor of Wesley, please grab your iPod or MP3 player, hit shuffle and share the first 10 songs that come up.

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Share May 31, 2013 https://chrp.at/28qf Share on Facebook Tweet This!

Topics: ipod, mp3, wesley willis

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