Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

WXRT Radio Chicago

I recently spent the day in my musical paradise. Lori and I lived in Chicago for 9 months after we were married. We loved a lot about Chicago, especially the train system (which I actually rode to work everyday), the museums and stock exchanges (very interesting tours), and endless concerts and cultural opportunities. The one thing I have always missed more than anything else was the best radio station I've ever heard - WXRT.

Before and after Chicago, I've rarely listened to the radio. I rarely enjoy much of the music and the DJ chatter, contests, and crude humor is of absolutely no interest. XRT, on the other hand, is better than Pandora at choosing songs to fit my musical tastes and the conversation doesn't insult your intelligence.

Since we left, I've always visited the XRT website 2-3 times a year to see if I could listen online. For years, it wasn't an option and when they added the ability last year it was through AOL and required a PC. Still no luck.

Then, last week I checked once again and streaming is finally available. I've listened for hours already and quickly found  5 new albums I want to get. I will admit that the station trends older and can have a touch of a classic rock feel at times, but they do a wonderful job of incorporating the best new music as well. Even when they play the biggest names, they select from the artist's entire catalog, not just the solid gold hits. If you want to know how unique the station is, all of the hosts are the same as when we left nearly (gulp!) 14 years ago - just a bunch of interesting people who love music and Chicago.

You can get a taste of the fantastic music selection by viewing the recently played list. Here's a random sample over a few hours:

Elvis Costello, B-52s, Van Morrison, White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Reed, Collective Soul, R.E.M., Nirvana, The Cure, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Who, Sinead O'Connor, Robert Randolph, Coldplay, Phish, Rolling Stones, Wilco, Norah Jones, Elton Jon, David Bowie, Al Green, Neil Young, Santana, Beck, The Kinks, Eurythmics, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, and Gomez

Plus, you get to share in the cold and snow without actually being there! Listen in and see what you think. And I can't write a post about Chicago without saying congratulations to the Bears for reaching the Super Bowl!