Transistor Radio is the webcast of Transistor. Tune in to hear programs featuring indie & archival rock, Americana, electronica, house, disco, funk and soul, tracks from our live performance archive, original sound pieces specially made for Transistor Radio, interview and discussion programs, and more.

 Black Diamond Quartet

Black Diamond Quartet

TRANSISTOR RADIO FOR THE MONTH OF MAY 2018

This month on In Store: Selections From Transistor's Live Performance Archive, host Jon Monteverde has recordings from jazz combos Dan Meinhardt Quartet (02-07-14) and Black Diamond Quartet (05-20-16). 

Emotional Rescue returns with a fun and often funky exploration of all things 1970-1980, with plenty of air time given to pop, disco, soul, funk, punk, reggae, Afrobeat, New Wave, classic rock, and even some occasional jazz.  Andy Miles hosts; on this episode he has music from Aretha Franklin, Eric Clapton, The Grateful Dead, B-52s, The Cure and much more.  

Presented by Joshua Wentz, Show of Songs shares the ever-expanding "background music" playlist for Show of Hands (www.showofhandschicago.com), an independent design and craft show in Chicago. The event features 100+ local and regional makers, and the music is 100% Chicago indie acts.

On this month's Interlopin', it's DJ Tashtego's valedictory set for the California life that was once his dream and will soon be his memory. The house beats evoke the surf of Big Sur, the sunsets over the Pacific, and that uncanny nostalgia that is quintessential California -- the sense, despite it all, of endless hope for the future.

Scott and Odie return with a new episode of The Good Music Show.  They say this: "Donning our Aqua-net-infused Blue/Black hair, skull boots and cloves we set out to smoke and brood. GMS takes a look back at '80s goth and we smile, smile, smile...as we rock back and forth in the corner."

 Matthew Buccilla, Cowboys and Astronauts

Matthew Buccilla, Cowboys and Astronauts

We hear from the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, with a Transistor-produced monthly omnibus version of their Always Andersonville weekly podcast.  This month's edition of Always Andersonville Monthly includes interviews with four guests:  Rick Verkler, the general manager of The Guesthouse Hotel (4872 N Clark); Sonat Birnecker Hart, co-owner, president, and founder of Andersonville’s KOVAL Distillery (5121 N Ravenswood); Matthew Buccilla (pictured), co-owner of Andersonville's newly established modern men's lifestyle and supplies store, Cowboys and Astronauts (1478 W Summerdale Ave); and Karin Moen Abercrombie, executive director for the Swedish American Museum (located at 5211 N Clark), which has been an Andersonville institution since 1976!

On This Show Will Change Your Life, comedian Dave Maher talks to creative people about a movie, song, book, even a piece of furniture that changed their lives in ways big or small, obvious or surprising. This month Dave's guests are comedians Shannon Noll about the TV show "Strangers With Candy" and Conner O'Malley about "Terminator 2."

Cine-File, the Chicago guide to independent and underground cinema, is now in podcast form as Cine-Cast.  On the May episode Cine-File associate editors Ben Sachs and K.A. Westphal discuss recent releases and screenings they're looking forward to at the Chicago Film Critics Film Festival; Sachs and contributor John Dickson chat about the Philippe Garrel series at the Gene Siskel Film Center; contributor JB Mabe interviews the new Pick-Laudati Curator of Media Arts at the Block Museum of Art at Northwest University, Michael Metzger—they talk about upcoming programming and the direction Mike is taking within the Chicago film community; and contributor Kyle Cubr interviews Chicago Film Society co-founder Julian Antos about their new season.

And at the top of the player, Andy Miles kicks things off with 15 Songs.  This time he has music from Gorillaz, Cibo Matto, Pavement, Jesca Hoop, Wye Oak, and more.   

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Many of Transistor Radio's shows are recorded in Studio C in the basement of Transistor. Learn about renting that studio and our music rehearsal & teaching room here


Want to become a Transistor Radio sponsor or promote your organization's event through our webcast? Visit this page to learn more, or email hello@transistorchicago.com.


Our Programs

Andy Miles regularly offers the self-evidently named 15 Songs, a mix of music new and old from Transistor's 40,000-song library. That means lots of indie rock and electropop, but it also includes post-punk, post-rock, New Wave, No Wave, Britpop, dream pop, trip-hop, math rock, Kraut rock, glam, lounge, soul, lo-fi and the hard-to-classify.

Always Andersonville Monthly is a podcast produced by the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce with Transistor; it brings together the month's interviews from the weekly Always Andersonville podcast.   

Blame It On The Boogie: Deep & Dirty Disco, Funk & Soul from Lechstafari is deep vinyl cuts from a deep time. Lechstafari brings back the funk & boogie that shapes today's modern dance music.  From '60s soul to '90s house, he follows the transformations of the groove through one of the most influential periods of music.  (This show is not in current production but remains in our archives.) 

Bring Your Own Beat is the show in which Transistor Radio invites sound artists of all kinds to create an original piece for the webcast.

The Cine-Cast is a monthly podcast from cinefile.info, a website that spotlights alternative, underground, and non-commercial screenings in Chicago. The podcast features commentary from Cine-File contributors, as well as interviews with people in the local film community and information about upcoming screenings.

Depth of Field is a mix of news, music and conversation concerning all things Transistor. Andy Miles hosts,with Danielle Echols.

Emotional Rescue is a fun and often funky exploration of all things 1970-1980 with plenty of air time given to pop, disco, soul, funk, punk, reggae, Afrobeat, New Wave, classic rock, and even some occasional jazz.  Andy Miles hosts. 

Andrea Garces' Gems are the sounds running through her headphones. Hear picks from the vault, hidden gems and fresh new tracks that must be given a listen or two. It's the webcast version of her weekly Soundcloud playlist with a selection of experimental electronica, UK Garage, trip-hop, electro-funk, hip-hop, glitch-dub, and much more. (This show is not in current production but remains in our archives.)

On The Good Music Show with Scott and Odie, you'll be immersed in a quintessential college radio show, even if you don't live within a block of a university's antenna. Indie rock and underground sounds past, present and future. You might hear it first and or last, on The Good Music Show.  

Jon Monteverde hosts and curates In Store: Selections from Transistor's Live Performance Archive. As Transistor's Friday (and occasional Saturday) night sound engineer, Jon has recorded more than 300 sets of live music at Transistor. On this show, he showcases highlights from this collection.

Presented by Mike Benz (DJ Tashtego), Interlopin' hops eras and genres to concoct a special brew of dance floor euphoria. Featuring everything from space disco, minimal techno, indie rock, synth pop, and Afrobeat, to all manners of house -- deep, tech, classic and French -- the show emphasizes seamless blends that tease out the unique resonances of tracks.

On Sideshow, curator Bloodshot Scott unearths, examines and displays roots music in its myriad forms. From unknown oddities to adored luminaries, it fits if he says it fits. Step right up, tune right in, and hear it only on Sideshow, folks! 

Stereo Hysteria is an hour-long exploration of pop songs. Each show, host Charlie Crane compiles an eclectic series of songs that explore a various topic, time period or genre. Charlie also regularly interviews a notable musician or songwriter, typically ones of a DIY mindset. You're bound to hear anything from Metric and Merseybeat to Mekons and Motown. (This show is not in current production but remains in our archives.)

On each episode of This Show Will Change Your Life, comedian Dave Maher talks to creative people about a movie, song, book, even a piece of furniture that changed their lives in ways big or small, obvious or surprising.

The White City Cinema Radio Hour is a film-themed talk show. Host Michael Smith brings his Chicago-centric White City Cinema film blog to the air with observations on an almost impossibly eclectic blend of cinema, both classic and modern, and features film reviews, film festival coverage, interviews with filmmakers, critics and programmers, and much more. (This show is not in current production but remains in our archives.)


Our Presenters

Mike Benz pilots the mix Interlopin' and can sometimes be found behind the decks at Transistor's live music events in the guise of DJ Tashtego. His musical education took off in college, when he hosted a Sunday night indie rock show, broadcasting through the ether of northern Indiana nights to truckers who were often flabbergasted to come across the likes of Sigur Ros, Crystal Castles, and F*ck Buttons, while they were innocently skimming through their FM scanners.

Charlie Crane hosts Stereo Hysteria. Though the show made its Transistor Radio debut on January 6, 2015, it's been around since New Year's Day 2011, with more than 200 episodes produced since then. Apart from the radio show, Charlie is a multi-instrumentalist who has lent his talents to such diverse projects as The Parasites, The Dyes, Airline-X, The Loudness War, Feature Flick and Leroy Slim. He has a B.A. in Audio Arts & Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago and lives in Downers Grove.

Danielle Echols is a Chicago-based PR specialist who loves producing shows that promote local creatives. Her most recent endeavors include co-creating Can We Kick It Chicago, a brunch that features performances by Chicago hip-hop and soul artists; and serving as the program manager for Collective Voices, Chicago's Ethnographic Film Festival. In addition to promoting the works of others, she has her own artistic niche: she is a trained belly dancer and SLAM poet competition winner. Danielle can be found hanging out at Transistor most Saturday mornings. You can hear her voice on Transistor's webcast, interviewing local creatives as a contributor to Depth of Field.

An obsessive music enthusiast, Andrea Garces is ecstatic to be hosting Gems of the Week for Transistor Radio. Aside from working at Transistor, music continues to encompass her life as you will find her either enjoying herself and/or working at various local shows on behalf of Chicago-based promoter/production company React Presents, Concord Music Hall, Thalia Hall, and CID Entertainment, where she is involved in digital marketing, talent finding, box office, production, VIP experience, and merchandising. She enjoys digging through endless tracks on Soundcloud on a daily basis; check it out for sounds running through her headphones chosen from the vault, hidden gems, and fresh new tracks that must be given a listen or two.

This Show Will Change Your Life host Dave Maher is, according to Gapers Block, a “smartly unhinged, wildly funny comedian with a big heart and warm smile,” and the Chicago Reader would “watch Maher do just about anything.” He has achieved acclaim for his ambitious and genre-defying live shows like “Dave Maher Coma Show,” “Dave Maher II,” “Bracketology: The Tournament of Everything,” and “What’s a Hamilton?: ‘Hamilton’ Recreated By People Who’ve Never Seen Nor Heard ‘Hamilton.’”

Andy Miles hosts Depth of Field, a mix of news, music and conversation concerning all things Transistor, Bring Your Own BeatEmotional Rescue and 15 Songs, the music show that leads off every installment of Transistor Radio. He also engineers and edits talk shows Cine-Cast and Always Andersonville Monthly and previously produced The White City Cinema Radio Hour. He has written for various publications on the arts, history & culture, made audio documentaries, worked in radio and public television, owned and operated a company specializing in congressional hearing transcripts, and since 2009 owned and managed Transistor. Born near Chicago and currently residing in Chicago's Ravenswood neighborhood, he has also called Madison, Washington, D.C., and Berlin home. He holds a bachelors degree in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and plays drums in four or five bands.

Jon Monteverde presents In Store: Selections from Transistor's Live Performance Archive. He has been doing live sound and recording in-store performances for Transistor since 2012. He currently plays in the bands Boundary Waters and Decent People, and also does original music and sound design for commercials, documentaries, and Web stuff. Keep tabs on him at www.jonmonteverde.com (and visit the Recordings page to find dozens of sets he has recorded for Transistor).

Scott Schaefer, host of Sideshow and co-host of The Good Music Show, has been the lead singer for several stalwart Chicago indie rock outfits and has also blazed a trail through the cover tune circuit with his numerous acoustic duos. In addition to performing and recording, Scott also holds down various DJ residencies around town, from venues well-known to the forever unknown. Alongside his live musical endeavors, he has also carved a niche for himself on the industry side of the Chicago music scene, first as head of operations for the venerable Checkered Past Records label, and most recently as the label manager for local indie powerhouse Bloodshot Records. With the little free time he has left, he hosts Chicago's longest-running weekly open mic competition at Uncommon Ground. Scott is enveloped in music, and he wouldn't have it any other way.

Odie Schaefer, co-host of The Good Music Show, is also but not limited to: a Halloween/haunted house enthusiast; a roller coaster fanatic; and a vinyl junkie. Odie has been in and around the music scene pretty much all of his life: he formed his first band at age 9, and recorded his first album while still in junior high school. With his musical tastes crossing many genres, you’re never quite sure what will be coming through your speakers ... hopefully at high volume.

Michael Smith, host of The White City Cinema Radio Hour, is an independent filmmaker, author and film studies instructor based in Chicago. His first feature film, 'Cool Apocalypse,' premiered in 2015 and has won multiple awards on the film festival circuit. His first book, 'Flickering Empire: How Chicago Invented the U.S. Film Industry,' a nonfiction account of early film production in Chicago, was published by Columbia University Press in 2015. He contributes regularly to TimeOut Chicago, The Reader, and Cine-File Chicago, and teaches at various Chicago-area colleges. He is the creator and sole author of the blog whitecitycinema.com.


Our Sponsors

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Giving Tree Guitars and Musical Oddities is Chicago's only musical oddity shop and features loads of 1980s keyboards, 1970s analog synths and drum machines, exotic hand percussion from around the world, vintage toy musical instruments, records, boomboxes, rock 'n' roll and music memorabilia, and a wall full of rare and rad vintage guitars and basses.
Buy, sell and trade your vintage gear as well as pickup accessories like strings, adapters cables and more. 

Giving Tree Guitars is located inside Transistor and is open five days a week, Wednesday through Saturday 1:00-7:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00-5:00 p.m.

My shop's namesake, Basya Berkman, comes from my Yiddish great-grandmother, whose lifetime spanned all ten decades of the 20th century and who, for me, is the symbol of living a creative life through limitations. She would take our old curtains and reinvent them as dresses. When the dresses got too small for her girls, they became vest-and-skirt ensembles. She had poise and dignity, and knew that looking good was more about who you were and how you felt about yourself than chasing trends or labels. 

In my Etsy emporium you will find everything from lace-trimmed Edwardian bloomers to designer Parisian silk jumpsuits of the 1990s, but as spring draws near, transitional weather pieces will hit the store, such as trench coats and leather jackets. Later in the season, be on the lookout for bright, printed dresses as well as swimsuits, skirts and sun hats. I also take private appointments in my home studio, so please contact me for more personalized services.  — Julia Marchenko, Wardrobe Mistress, Basya Berkman Vintage

Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here. 


Our Story

Transistor Radio is the webcast of Transistor. Launched December 27, 2009, the shows were recorded live in the store every Sunday night for the first year and a half of its existence. Those shows included The Roundtable, an arts interview & discussion program hosted by Rani Woolpert, a comedy quiz show called The Silent K with contestants pulled from our "studio' audience," and a two-hour music show presented by Andy Miles as patrons played ping-pong on the main floor of the shop. (This was in our Andersonville location, where we had a lot more space, and yes, a ping-pong table.) In 2010 we went live, webcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Costs proved prohibitive and we returned to recording and uploading shows, with DJs Jeff GoodSmith, Amanda Walz, Joshua Wentz, Sarah Luczko, Planet Claire and others added to the lineup. Our spoken-word-program offerings also expanded with Molly Merkel and Sayward Schoonmaker coming on board. When we moved to Lincoln Avenue, Jeff and Amanda continued to host music shows, and Kevin Golden & Claire Kander came by every once in a while, sometimes with their dog Yoshi, to make some shows. In our current location, new addition Liz McCabe started coming by on Friday afternoons to record a set until the webcast went on hiatus in early 2014. On the first Tuesday of 2015, Transistor Radio was re-launched with a new slate of programs and a bevy of new hosts. We've continued adding shows in the years since. Details above!