sound garden

chirp radioadio brings free (and fantastic) music to the masses.

by faran krentcil

During our trip to Chicago this week

, we discovered several things: Their slices of pizza are bigger than some dinosaurs.  Their Urban Outfitters is a treasure trove of plaid.  And their local music scene is vibrant, proud... and available to anyone online.

That's thanks to Chirp Radio, a Chicago outfit that mixes hometown rock bands (Panda Riot, Pet Rock) with worldwide favorites (The XX, Curtis Mayfield) to create a 24-hour indie rock explosion. 

Besides a constant stream of great songs, Chirp Radio has some fun (and funny) features:  Each DJ lists a minute-by-minute playlist on their website, which serves as a fail-safe mix tape when you don't have the energy to make your own.  There's also a plug-in to stream the station from iPhones, a Podcast station with Chirp TV (kind of like Wayne's World with Tegan & Sarah...), and a "contact us" policy that makes listeners part of the station - can you have an IM chat with DJs at any other place, while they're spinning on air?

Check it out here, and don't be shy - if you email your favorite DJ, we bet they'll totally hit you back.