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PHONEATHON 2014: February 21st – 28th!
Every winter WNUR conducts its annual Phoneathon, the only time of the year we ask listeners for their financial support. As an independent, commercial-free station this fundraiser is how we survive! We have plenty of new and exciting premiums to offer donors, from concert tickets to signed posters to CDs and records.

Update: Premiums!

Our goal this year is to raise $30,000 and we can only do that with your help! A successful Phoneathon lets us keep our programming ad-free, bring world-renowned musicians (Cave, SoSaLa, and Expo 70 just in 2013) to the Chicagoland area, and host shows at venues as prestigious as Chicago’s Smart Bar.
Keep tuned to Chicago’s Sound Experiment for more info and check back for the new premiums list on Friday!

Frank Rosaly - Cicada Music

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These are our favorite Jazz & Improvised Music albums that came out in 2013.  If you listened to the Jazz Show (M-F 5am-12pm) sometime in 2013, chances are you heard us giving one of these a good spin.  It was a really tough choice to narrow it down to the top 10, but you’ll notice we have a convenient 6-way tie in the 10th position (^_-).  Big congratulations to the artists on this list—may you continue to create amazing records long into the future.  We are also extremely grateful to the labels and promoters who hooked up WNUR with so much fantastic music last year, keeping Chicago’s Sound Experiment as new and bold and fresh as ever.

Here are the Top 10 Jazz/Improv Albums of 2013 as voted on by the Jazz Staff at WNUR

  1. Frank Rosaly – ‘Cicada Music’  (Delmark)
  2. The Whammies – ‘Play The Music Of Steve Lacy Vol. 2’  (Driff)
  3. Black Host – ‘Life In the Sugar Candle Mines’  (Northern Spy)
  4. Dawn Of Midi – ‘Dysnomia’  (Thirsty Ear)
  5. Ches Smith & The Arches – ‘Hammered’  (Clean Feed)
  6. Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal – ‘Aquarius’  (Delmark)
  7. Spontaneous Music Ensemble – ‘Challenge’  (Emanem)
  8. Flex Bent Braam – ‘Lucebert’  (BBB)
  9. Keefe Jackson’s Likely So – ‘A Round Goal’  (Delmark)
  10. (tie) The Kahil El’Zabar Quartet – ‘What It Is!’  (Delmark)
  11. (tie) Carl Testa  – ‘Iris’  (LockStep)
  12. (tie) Jon Irabagon’s Outright! – ‘Unhinged’  (Irabbagast)
  13. (tie) Cecile McLorin Salvant – ‘Woman Child’  (Mack Avenue)
  14. (tie) Harrison Bankhead Quartet – ‘Velvet Blue’  (Engine Studios)
  15. (tie) Iverson / Konitz / Grendadier / Rossy – ‘Costumes Are Mandatory’  (HighNote)
To all our listeners, if you haven’t heard these.  Click the links and go fix that!

 


Congratulations to Rock DJ Grace Hahn, the Northwestern sophomore who won this year’s t-shirt design contest! These tees will become available as gifts for listeners who donate (called premiums) to the station starting a week before our annual Phoneathon: Feb. 21st – 28th. Since WNUR is an independent, non-commercial radio station, over half our operating budget comes from your donations. In addition to t-shirts, we’ll have more WNUR merchandise, as well as tons of CDs, records, and concert tickets to offer donors in February.

More on Phoneathon and all of the premiums to come very soon! Long live independent radio!

Tshirt


Photos and videos by Jessica Peng ’16

In SoSaLa, front-man, saxophonist and vocalist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi blends melancholic melodies with those of his native Iran. Fueled by improvisation, with lo-fi electronics, the diverse instruments make for an ambient and psychedelic take on World music.
Members: Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi on sax & vocals, Lucas Gillan on drums, Alex Wing on guitar & oud and  Daniel Thatcher on electric bass.

 

SoSaLa Live at Dittmar 1

Buy their album, Nu World Trash, at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/sosala


dakhabrakha

By Svyat Nakonechny ’14

On my way to the DakhaBrakha show, as the cold and lonely after-rush-hour Chicago swam by, the band’s solemn “Nad Dunaem” (“Over Danube”) came on in my headphones. Between the pauses of the melodic vocals and the distant hums of the harmonic, I zoned out, only to come back to the far less pacific cannons of the Red line. And such was their concert – an alchemy of familiar tones spiced with crafted peaks of DakhaBrakha’s brilliant voices.

By the time Marko Halanevych thanked the generous audience for the first time (after the opener), the room was theirs. Then came “Oi za lisochkom” (“Far by the creek”), a fine crescendo of vocals and tender bass, a composition in the realm of its own. Iryna Kovalenko poured her sharp Old Ukrainian dialect into Nina Garenetska’s somber cello, then Marko’s resonant vocals stole our ears, all to Olena Tsibulska’s colorful drum tone.

Then there was a jazzy twist, a rhythmic tune about how to plant Ukrainian beans, but what DakhaBrakha sang mattered far less than how they did it, how they organically merged their poised voices and skillful multi-instrumentalism with the unknown to most of us ethnos, a mystical land that has seen much agony and far less joy, peoples firm in their melodies and witty in their tongue. Spontaneously all this cliffs back to Marko’s echo, back to a bizarre bag pipe-sounding flute, to the vivid atmosphere of the show.

Like true Ukrainians still hibernating after their late Eastern Orthodox Christmas, DakhaBrakha produces a schedrivka, a traditional well-wishing and celebratory tune, one I’ve never heard before. Again, splendid. Even my Peruvian neighbors agree.

In my conversation with Marko after the show (I admit, I pretended to have recorded it – “Can we do an interview for our listeners?” sounds substantially less preying than “I just want to talk about this music of yours”), a colleague interviewer asked about the environments in which the group prefers to play. The truth is that this journalist-y query fades behind DakhaBrakha’s virtuous performance, regardless of the venue or the quantity of hands clapping. With this band comes some strange ambiance, one that no mic can amplify and no record can reproduce. To an unfamiliar ear it’s all a beautiful sound contraption – mysterious, profound, virgin. To this humble servant, it’s a summer’s trip into the dense Ukrainian woods my six-year-old self used to make; it’s my grandmother’s painful but sweet lullaby, one I will never fathom hearing but will always shiver when I do.

All that’s left to do is pick up our jaws from the ground, for DakhaBrakha’s diapasons and vocal ranges are second to none. And all I can do is convulse in the ecstatic rhythm of “Carpathian rap.”

At some point I put my phone down and stopped taking notes. It’s shameful, but I couldn’t rack up bits and pieces of this mosaic. It’s unjust. To the quartet, to the audience, to the reader. I zone out again, then wake up to “Howard is next, doors open on the left on Howard.”

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DakhaBrakha Official Site