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Benefit Tue Jan 11 2011
It's a big month for CHIRP, Chicago's independent, all volunteer run, online radio station (CHIRP is acronym for Chicago Independent Radio Project). Not only is CHIRP launching a month long celebration in honor of its first 365 days on-air, but CHIRP is also celebrating a major victory in the passage the Local Community Radio Act - the bi-partisan bill which will decentralize radio and expand community radio in urban areas.
From its launch on January 17, 2010, CHIRP has dedicated every on-air hour to providing Chicago with community radio focused on the representation of local people, events and issues alongside an eclectic array of independent, under-appreciated and local Chicago music. CHIRP volunteers have also dedicated many off-air hours to lobbying for the passage of the Local Community Radio Act.
The Local Community Radio Act represents a hard-earned victory for CHIRP and other low power FM (LPFM) stations across the country. Through letters, calls, petitions and generally raising awareness over the past three years, CHIRP played a major role in the Act's January 4th passage. LPFM stations operate at 100 watts or less and broadcast locally (within just a few miles of a local community) and are generally run by small local organizations like colleges, churches, schools and non-profits. The Act will open LPFM airwaves for hundreds of new low power radio stations across the country by repealing restrictions on the LPFM spectrum lobbied into place by large commercial broadcasters. Essentially, the restrictions limited the frequencies available to LPFM's in urban to every fourth frequency on the dial instead of every third, which left less space on the dial for community radio stations. Commercial broadcasters argued that opening LPFM airwaves in urban locations would interfere with their own megawatt signals, despite overwhelming counterarguments from engineering experts (like the 2.2 million dollar study, the MITRE Report from 2003). In repealing these restrictions in January, unused radio spectrum is now freed up for new local stations like CHIRP to apply for a low powered FM broadcast licenses. CHIRP will continue to closely monitor the FCC's rulemaking in the hopes of applying for a license in the future.
In addition to the major legislative win, CHIRP had a successful first year on the air. With 150 dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers putting in over 7,200 volunteer hours on-air and off-air, CHIRP's grassroots marketing efforts were all over Chicago in 2010. Outside of staffing their DJ booth's 21 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, you may have heard a CHIRP volunteer DJ provide ambiance at a craft fair or you may have signed CHIRP's email list at one of Chicago's music venues or a CHIRP volunteer may have given you a button at one of Chicago's street fests. The efforts paid off, CHIRP's listenership grew steadily throughout 2010 with thousands tuning in each month. In celebration, CHIRP has anniversary events of every kind throughout the month of January:
Dance Party! Friday January, 14th 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 10pm and is $5. Beauty Bar is located at 1444 W. Chicago. This event is 21 & over.
Official Anniversary Party Monday January 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 9:30pm and is free. A portion of the bar proceeds benefits CHIRP. The Whister is located at 2421 N Milwaukee. This event is 21 & over.
Live Music! Thursday, January 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 9pm and tickets are $8. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western. This event is 21 & over. Ticket sales benefit CHIRP.
Reading Series on Wednesday, January 26. CHIRP's popular reading series The First Time happens at Schubas 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 8pm and tickets are $10. All proceeds benefit CHIRP. Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport. This event is 21 & over.
Wrap Up Party! on Thursday, January 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. This event is 21 & over.