Thanks to the rise of the Internet and mp3 technology, music is now more accessible than ever. Delivery can be instantaneous, and in many cases free, allowing people a new way to access music that they might never have heard before. Enter birdandwhale.com, a Web site that is dedicated to the personal musical tastes of Brad Loving, a local Chicago DJ who performs regularly throughout the city.
“The idea surfaced out of just sending a lot of music to different people on CDs, whether it was like, ‘Have you heard so-and-so’s new album,’ making mixes for friends or even music I had made,” explains Loving. “So the Web site started out as a more convenient, economical and even an environmentally friendly way of distributing music. I posted some mixes online, and invited some close friends to post mixes, and then it picked up a little bit of steam.”
The site, which was launched in January of 2007, has several mixes by Loving and artists such as Kate Simko and John Herndon that are available for visitors to listen to and download.
Besides DJing, Loving also creates original, beat-oriented ambient music, which is available through the site in addition to the different mixes. He’s also performed live, improvised laptop music with different jazz musicians around Chicago such as Jeff Parker and Herndon.
As for the future of birdandwhale.com, Loving plans on doing a series of showcases. The first one, which takes place this Thursday, will feature a DJ set by John McIntire of Tortoise, as well as DJ Alo and others. In addition to the showcases, Loving is also planning on sprucing up the site itself.
“I’d definitely like to get some more video work up there,” he says, “and anything to make it more visually engaging, and more aesthetically pleasing.” But for now, Loving seems content with the success of his site so far. “For the handful of people that are interested in the same type of music as I am, that little community has been very supportive.” And with the vast audiences that can be reached thanks to the Internet, it sounds like Loving’s community will only get bigger and bigger. (Zeb Resman)
John McEntire of Tortoise DJs at the Bird & Whale showcase for Minor Figure$, along with DJ Alo, Caural and Bundy K. Brown at Sonotheque, 1444 West Chicago, (773)226-7600, on May 27, 9pm-2am. No cover.