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Chicago’s Numero Group label to broadcast pop-up radio station on Record Store Day

Proposed bumper sticker art for Numero Group's pop-up radio station

Record Store Day, now in its fifth year, is an annual celebration of the independent record store. This year it goes down next Saturday, April 16. Participating stores hold special events, like in-store concerts, while selling limited-edition singles and albums. I’ve been attending since 2008 and enjoy the recognition of the threatened species of the indie music store, even if the day seems to be getting a little too focused on standing in line to snap up the limited releases. This year I’ll be using Record Store Day as an excuse to visit stores around the city that I’ve never been to before.

Chicago’s Numero Group is a record label specializing in releasing compilations of lost and forgotten music, especially regional soul and R&B records from the industrial Midwest. This year the Numero Group is joining the celebration by opening a pop-up store in the Wicker Park neighborhood. To go along with the store they’re also broadcasting a pop-up radio station called WTNG at 89.9 FM. Though no technical details have been released, the folks at Numero have said “pirate” or “low power” are sufficient terms to describe the station. In a follow-up blog post they predict a five-mile listening radius, which certainly requires more power than a “legal” Part 15 transmitter would provide.

Listeners tuning in can expect to hear

“The Eccentric Soul Hour,” “Cutty’s Cutting Room Floor Cuts,” and Mad Dog Sevier’s “Severe Morning Advisory.” We’ll also play vintage regional advertisements (“Funtown,” “Ember Furniture,” “Friendly Dodge”), air checks, bumpers, news, weather, and if things get really hot we’ll dust out the Browns/Raiders live broadcast from 1967. PARTY YA’LL

For those outside a five-mile radius of the pop-up store, Numero is promising a live internet stream as well.

I really like the idea of running a pop-up station to coincide with an event, show or celebration. It’s not dissimilar to the Monkeywrench Radio station Pearl Jam set up outside of concerts during the band’s 1995 and 1998 tours. Putting on such “run and gun” broadcasts helps mitigate the risks associated with a regularly-scheduled or 24/7 broadcast, while still providing a special and interesting radio alternative for a day (or more).

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