The local music community endured a considerable loss in mid-2007 when Loyola University decided to take back its radio station, WLUW, from the hands of local activists and the two talented programmers who were running it, Shawn Campbell and Craig Kois.
Never one to stay down for long -- and, I should note in the interest of journalistic disclosure, formerly a volunteer on my own radio program, "Sound Opinions" -- Campbell immediately began work on a new initiative, the Chicago Independent Radio Project or CHIRP, along with Metro publicist Jenny Lizak and other music- and radio-loving locals. But finding funding and winning approvals for radio ventures is almost as difficult as getting the city to O.K. a new rock club, and it took longer than anyone expected for CHIRP to actually get going. Now it's here.
According to a statement from the group, the "non-profit, volunteer-run organization... will launch its station online at CHIRPradio.org at noon on Sunday, January 17, 2010. The station will broadcast live 21 hours a day, seven days a week from the CHIRP studios in Chicago's North Center neighborhood. [And] each three-hour on-air shift will be curated by a volunteer host, and will feature an array of independent and under-appreciated music from a variety of genres and eras, as well as conversations and information about happenings in the city's diverse arts and cultural scenes."
CHIRP will celebrate its launch with a party and fundraiser starting at 10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western, featuring Chicago bands the Yolks, Hollows and Rabble Rabble. (Tickets are $8.)
For more information, visit www.chicagoindieradio.org.