I started volunteering for CHIRP back in 2009, a few months before the actual station, chirpradio.org, went live. It was an exciting time as we prepared for the launch of a station that was built, literally, from the ground up. When I started the goal was, and still remains, to procure a Low Power FM (LPFM) broadcast license. Yes, we have a strong online presence. And you can bet we will be ubiquitous at the summer festivals that will be starting very soon. But now is the time to act if you wish to hear us on the FM dial.
I love volunteering for CHIRP. Over the course of the last few years I have met some amazing people who have worked tirelessly to keep the station running so smoothly. People who care so much about the station that they devote countless hours to keep the station sounding better than a lot of commercial radio stations for little more than pride. It definitely is a labor of love.
If you have seen CHIRP signs around town or if you happened to pass by our booth at the Pitchfork Music Festival but have never taken the time to listen, I implore you to give it a try. Each time I tune in I am astonished at the tremendous music that I’m introduced to by incredibly informed DJs. You can definitely hear the passion. You will hear the passion.
Listen to Mike Bennett on Saturday mornings and you will hear one of the best DJs in the city on any station. Or tune in to hear the incredible record collections of Kumar McMillan and Dustin Drase. Check out the infectious enthusiasm of Nicole Oppenheim and Jodi Root. Every Wednesday I am preceded by two of my favorite CHIRP DJs, Andy Weber and Kristin Marks. They not only are enjoyable to listen to before I start, but they make it a tough act to follow by the time I roll in at 3pm. A heartfelt thank you goes out to all of the other extremely talented DJs who have brought me joy since we started streaming back in January of 2010. Thanks to Karin Fjellman, Evan Chung, Mike Scales, John Lombardo, Bobby Evers, Caitlin Lavin, Stephen Dobek, Bonnie Page, Matt Garman, Robin Whitney, Lawrence Peters, Dave Staples, Blake Burkhart, Mary Nisi, Jason Zenz, Elizabeth Ramborger, Patrick Seymour, Micha Ward, Jodie Bargeron, Mike Pakowski, Jocelyn Geboy, Kyle Akerman, Jenny Lizak, Owen Harris, Matt DeRose, Carolyn Kassnoff, Mike Gibson, Jenna Murfin, Andrew Mall, Austin Harvey, Erik Roldan, Craig Bechtel, Dee Titel, Tony Breed, Scott McKenna, Alli Klein, Jim Davis, Dylan Peterson, Michelle Nadeau, and Brendan O’Neill. I’m sure I’m missing somebody, but just know that your work has been appreciated too.
And I can’t forget to mention the remarkable contributions of music directors Billy Kalb and Pat Masterson. The station would not sound as great as it does without the extraordinary efforts of these two guys.
And of course, I could not write about CHIRP without talking about the great Shawn Campbell, who started the whole darn thing. It’s because of her super-human efforts that you are able to hear a tremendous station that continues to bring you the best music anywhere.
A lot has happened in my life since 2010 and through it all the one constant has been CHIRP Radio (and baseball). I can’t imagine my life without it.
And now to the plea:
Want to help CHIRP get a low-power FM broadcast license? The FCC is accepting public comments right now about whether to allow new stations in big cities. There’s an easy tool you can use from Prometheus Radio Project. You can use the copy they provide, or you can write your own. Either way, it would be great if you could mention that you are a supporter of CHIRP Radio in Chicago. Here’s the link: http://prometheusradio.org/takeaction
See you at chirpradio.org and hopefully, with your help, on the FM dial soon.
image courtesy of LaFamilia Green.