I have a confession to make. I may have two turntables and a microphone, but neither of my turntables works, and if they did, I’m not sure I’d have anything to plug them into. But what does work is the CD player in my car. If I had a turntable in my car, I don’t think that would go well, given how many potholes Chicago has. But the CD player works like a charm, and truth be told, I have more CDs than LPs, and I’m always looking to fill holes in my collection, much to my current wife’s chagrin.
If I lived closer to North Center, I would have my car radio tuned to 107.1 FM, CHIRP Radio, as I’m a volunteer and DJ there, but I’m close to O’Hare, and the low-power FM signal doesn’t carry that far, so it’s a rare day I don’t have a CD playing, and my laptop at home is old enough to have a CD drive. I bring a selection of my CDs (and sometimes some vinyl) to play on my weekly radio show at CHIRP. When I’m at home I also listen to CHIRP via the website or their mobile app, but sometimes I’m in the mood to listen to an album or two while I work or match socks or whatever I might be doing.
Like a lot of people of my generation, I suspect, our family’s first CD was “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” given that the Fab Four was one of the few shared loves of mine and my parents. Of course, by the time I was growing up, my parents had matured and were more into classical music than what became known as classic rock, even if the Beatles LPs they had were heavily orchestrated rock.
When I started in college radio in 1989, our station had just installed its first CD player, and we were figuring out how to use it. They had three turntables. By 1992 the CD was so ubiquitous that CD singles of Alice In Chain’s “Would” were being handed out freely before Screaming Trees went on at that summer’s New Music Seminar.
But my point here isn’t to tell my personal history of the CD. You know who has a lot of CDs? CHIRP Radio. They take donations of CDs (and vinyl) and put on record fairs every year at Plumber’s Hall and at Pitchfork, selling them to raise money for operating the radio station. This weekend they’re having their Second Annual CD Blowout Sale at Burning Bush Brewery in North Center. The event also features CHIRP DJs spinning records and local bands playing.
Why a CD sale? “CHIRP is known for its two big record fairs each year,” says CHIRP founder and general manager Shawn Campbell, “but we’ve also accumulated tens of thousands of CDs that have been donated to us over the years. Since we know many CHIRP fans are music collectors, we want to share the musical wealth while also benefiting the station, so we’ve priced these CDs to move—we want them to go to good homes where they’ll be loved and listened to!”
CD shoppers need not thirst or hunger, as Burning Bush will have beer, wine, cider and soda for purchase and Dimo’s Pizza will be slinging slices throughout the day.
While the plan is to use the back patio and have a beautiful day like last year, if the weather looks dodgy, CHIRP will set up in Burning Bush Brewery’s new River Room space.
So… free admission, tens of thousands of CDs priced to move, pizza and drinks for sale, outdoors (weather permitting, and a lovely indoor space if the weather does not permit), live music and CHIRP DJs spinning music… If this sounds like a pretty good time to you, then I guess I’m not just a biased partisan, but this thing sells itself, doesn’t it?
Here’s the schedule of DJs and live performances:
DJ rexi DJ set: 12-1:30pm
Superfrye acoustic set: 1:30-2pm
Melissa K. DJ set: 2-3:30pm
Schlupp set: 3:30-4pm
Jack Ryan DJ set: 4-5pm
Sunday May 21, 2023, 12-5 pm, Burning Bush Brewery, 4014 North Rockwell, free admission, all ages. For more details, visit CHIRP’s website.
Craig Bechtel is a freelance writer and has also been a Senior Staff Writer for Pop’stache. He is also a DJ, volunteer and Assistant Music Director for CHIRP Radio, 107.1 FM, and contributes occasionally to the CHIRP blog. As DJ Craig Reptile, you can hear him play music on the FM dial or at www.chirpradio.org most Sunday nights from 6pm to 9pm. He previously worked in radio at KVOE AM and Fox 105 in Emporia, Kansas, and served as a DJ, music director and general manager for WVKC at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, where he also won the Davenport Prize for Poetry and earned a B.A. in English writing. Craig has been working in various capacities within the hotel and meetings industry for over twenty years, and presently works at a company that uses proprietary systems to develop proven data strategies that increase revenue, room nights and meeting attendance. In his spare time, he also fancies himself an armchair herpetologist, and thus in addition to a wife, son and cat, he has a day gecko and a veiled chameleon in his collection.