Happy Anniversary Chicago Independent Radio Project!

By Katie Bijak | Friday, January 14, 2011

CHIRP operates from the Northcenter neighborhood.

Jan. 17, 2011 marks the one-year anniversary of the Chicago Independent Radio Project (CHIRP). CHIRP—launched from a studio in the Northcenter neighborhood of Chicago—is a community radio station that plays local, independent, and eclectic music.

CHIRP is celebrating all month long with a series of special events across the city.

CHIRP Radio is also celebrating the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. Currently you can only listen to CHIRP Radio on the web, but the Local Community Radio Act gives independent radio stations like CHIRP the opportunity to apply for a low-power FM broadcast license.

This is a momentous achievement for local radio everywhere, since previously many local radio stations were not able to obtain a license for a spot on the radio dial.

Shawn Campbell, president and founder of CHIRP, said they chose a Northcenter location because many of the volunteers live in the area.

“Since we are an all-volunteer operation, it was important to have a location that was convenient to our volunteers,” he said, “especially since we are live 365 days a year from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m.”

Your neighborhood radio personalities include Campbell (Saturdays noon – 2 p.m.), Owen Harris (Sunday 9 a.m. – noon), Billy Kalb (Tuesdays 6 – 8 p.m.), Andy Weber (Wednesday 9 a.m. – noon) Dustin Drase (Wednesdays 8 – 10 p.m.), and Andrew Mall (Fridays 9 a.m. – noon).

CHIRP works with neighborhood organizations, too, including Old Town School of Folk Music, Half Acre Beer Company and local businesses like Laurie’s Planet of Sound.

And there’s so much going on in the neighborhood(s) that there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about and work with some other great neighboring organizations.

“We searched long and hard for a location—it was one of our biggest challenges—and we couldn’t be happier about where we ended up,” said Campbell.

Campbell said the summer festivals and community vibe is part of what attracted them. They enjoy their neighbors—Screwball Press screenprinters and Third Coast Percussion—and that the neighborhood is walking and biking friendly

“We’re all about community, and we just feel that this set of neighborhoods is the perfect place to get out and interact with current and potential listeners.”
Go online and listen live: CHIRPradio.org. CHIRP Radio is celebrating all month long, so join in and participate in one of their events below.

  • On Friday, Jan. 14, Beauty Bar hosts a CHIRP Dance Party with DJ sets by Mad Decent artist Depressed Buttons (featuring former members of The Faint) and CHIRP DJ Dustin Drase. The party starts at 10 p.m. and is $5. Beauty Bar is located at 1444 W. Chicago, 21+.
  • Monday, Jan. 17 is the official one year anniversary date of the launch of CHIRPradio.org, and will be celebrated with the monthly CHIRP benefit show at The Whistler with a live set from Rambos, plus another special surprise live set.  It starts at 9:30 p.m. and is free. A portion of the bar proceeds benefits CHIRP. The Whistler is at 2421 N Milwaukee, 21+.
  • Thursday, Jan. 20 is CHIRP’s One Year Anniversary Party at the Empty Bottle with music from Campfires (Mexican Summer Records), Black Math (Permanent Records) and Cool Memories. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western, 21+. Ticket sales benefit CHIRP.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 26, CHIRP’s popular reading series “The First Time” happens at Schuba’s, with “First Car” as the theme. Special guests include Robbie Fulks, Josh Caterer (Smoking Popes), Susan Messing (Annoyance Theatre), Erin Shea, James Van Osdol, Matt Spiegel and Jim DeRogatis. Guests will write original pieces on the theme featuring a musical reference. Immediately following the CHIRP House band – Steve Frisbie, Liam Davis and Gerald Dowd – will play their song. It all starts at 8 p.m/ and tickets are $10. All proceeds benefit CHIRP. Schuba’s is located at 3159 N. Southport, 21+.
  • Thursday, Jan. 27, The Hideout hosts a CHIRP anniversary month wrap up party and benefit, with special guests TBA. The Hideout is located at 1354 W Wabansia, 21+.

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