CHIRP Radio (Chicago Independent Radio Project) is a volunteer run, non-commercial community radio station based in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood. You can stream CHIRP online at Pretty soon, you’ll also be able to hear them on your FM dial at 107.1FM. CHIRP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization funded primarily through individual giving, special event revenues, and grant support.

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I first heard about CHIRP four years ago from a guy named Dave who is a long time J.C. Lind Bike Co. customer. I gave it a listen and it wasn’t long before I was hooked and CHIRP has since been the go to music source for me and the bike shop.

I’ve always been a big music fan and I’ve experienced it in a number of formats all the way back to vinyl and 8 track (ok, only vaguely but I do remember we had a record player at home and we had a late 70’s Chrysler Cordoba with an 8 track player).

cordoba picture

With Corinthian Leather

Growing up and starting to build my personal music collection the format was cassette tapes and later in high school CDs came along. We were lucky to have some great record stores in Oak Park- 2nd Hand Tunes, Val’s Halla and Chicago Digital. Val’s and Chicago Digital are both still rocking to this day.

In college, Napster was all the rage, but I never got into downloading music for free partly because it felt wrong but mostly because I have always been technologically challenged and didn’t understand how to do it. So I was limited to my CDs or whatever friends and roommates had in their collections.

Post college, the iPod came out and having one full of digital music was all the rage. At that point my collection expanded as I would borrow and rip CDs from friends to fill up my hard drive.

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Old school

While living in Amsterdam, there was a co-worker friend of mine Bram who was an absolute music freak and for awhile he would come into the office each week with a stack of CDs for me to digest. He introduced me to a lot of great stuff, LCD Soundsystem and Arcade Fire to name a few. He helped motivate me to search out more new music and to check out as many live shows as I could in Amsterdam.


Chicago’s very own Wilco at Paradiso 5-31-07

Side note for anyone visiting Amsterdam, try and see a show at Paradiso or Melkweg, both outstanding concert venues.

Fast forward to today and it almost seems all you need is Spotify or Pandora and you are pretty much set, right? Well, not exactly. I do have Spotify and when I know exactly what I want to hear, it’s great for that. However, their radio feature is brutal and will go super random playing stuff that has nothing to do with the artist you selected. For example, this morning I put on Jimi Hendrix radio and the second song they played was Sweet Home Alabama.

Enter CHIRP Radio, they play an insanely wide range of music, a lot of which you would otherwise never be exposed to. They also have a heavy bent towards showcasing Chicago artists. CHIRP DJ’s are all volunteers who are passionate about sharing their love and deep knowledge of music on the airwaves. In short, CHIRP DJ’s are like the music freak co-worker friend of mine Bram from Amsterdam.

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A look inside the CHIRP studio

As you can clearly tell, I’m a huge fan and supporter of CHIRP Radio. I feel there are some similarities between CHIRP Radio and J.C. Lind Bike Co. They are independent and play under the radar music they feel deserves to be heard in the same way we are an independent small business that sells non-mainstream bikes from independent bike companies that we feel deserve to be ridden.

We are excited to be part of their Spring fundraising campaign that just kicked off today by offering up one of our bikes to a lucky winner. Make a donation of any amount and you will be entered in a sweepstakes with a chance to win a Pilen Lyx. Visit CHIRP’s website for more details. Now if that’s not a reason to check out and hopefully support CHIRP, I don’t know what is. Have a listen and hear for yourself.

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