May 16, 2016

We are getting closer...

We are getting closer to bringing WLPN 105.5 FM on the ariwaves! In the past few months we have been streamlining our systems here in Lumpen Radio Land. We have new shows in place, our schedules set, and anticipate getting on the air this June.

While we are waiting for our final building permit approval please continue to tune in live here online or visit our archives and mixcloud for archives of some of the best shows featured on WLPN.

If you are interested in reaching our listeners on the air please inquire about becoming an underwriter or sponsor of the station by contacting Leah Menzer.

Jan 10, 2016

There is a Light and it Never Goes Out

We are in the last phases of launching WLPN on the FM airwaves. Our friends at Public Media Engineering recently finished installation of our studio equipment. And now we are waiting for our building permit process to be completed. After we get our permit from the City of Chicago we can hire a crew to install our antenna on the tower and hook up the gear to our transmitter cabinet.

We are keeping our fingers crossed.

We couldn’t have done this without all of your generous support and great vibes.

Fall, 2015

Bridgeport’s Got Beef Contest

November 14 • 3-6pm
Bridgeport’s Got Beef
Co-Prosperity Sphere • 3219 S Morgan St
$35 Admission

THE BEST ITALIAN BEEF sandwich in Chicago will be decided November 14, in WLPN 105.5 Lumpen Radio’s first annual BRIDGEPORT’S GOT BEEF competition, a live broadcast BEEF BATTLE in front of a studio audience.

Eight local beefs will be judged by celebrity judges including 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson, Michelin-Starred Chef Kevin Hickey of the Duck Inn, Bridgeport Food Critic Chuck Sudo, 9th District Police Commander Daniel Godsel, and Vanessa Sanchez of Yollocalli Arts Reach.

For too long, Bridgeport, the birth place of the Italian Beef, has been left off haphazard “Best Of” put out by clickbait journalists. This disrespect will end November 14, when BRIDGEPORT’S GOT BEEF, hits the airwaves.

The evening will be hosted by the Host of Radio Free Bridgeport, John Daley. The live broadcast will feature music about beef, live judging and more.

Limited tickets are available, and attendees will taste each of the beef sandwiches, enjoy complementary beverages, and cast their vote to decide who makes the best beef sandwich in the neighborhood.

Participating restaurants include: Phil’s Pizza, Ricobene’s, Soluris, Johnny O’s, Kathey De’s, Fabulous Freddies Italian Eatery, Turtle's Bar and Grill, Mangia Fresca, and others.

Proceeds of this event go to Public Media Institute, the organization that manages WLPN 105.5FM, Chicago’s newest independent radio station.

Oct 19, 2015


Attention friends and fans of Lumpen Radio and Lumpen Magazine. Starting today until November 1, 2015 we are conducting a Lumpen Radio Frying Pan Drive.

Yes you read that right, we are doing a FRYING PAN DRIVE!

We need hundreds of your old, unwanted or neglected frying pans! They can be of any shape, size and material. We need them to help us complete or new Broadcast Radio Studio located in the front window of the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The frying pans will be displayed on the studio facade as part of an installation by artist and fellow Lumpen Radio supporter, Juan Angel Chavez.

You can drop off your donated Frying Pans at:

Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar ( 960 W 31st Street)
Uprise Skate Shop ( 1820 N Milwaukee Ave )
Co-Prosperity Sphere ( 3219 S Morgan St )
The Beer Temple ( 3185 N Elston Ave )

Email if you need us to pick some up or have leads on where we can get a bunch of frying pans.

Please spread the word as widely as possible. We really need hundreds of frying pans to complete our studio!

May 29, 2015

WLPN 105.5 FM is Lumpen Radio.

With the help of hundreds of supporters we recently completed our funding campaigns to build a new Low Power FM radio station in Chicago. Over the next few months we will be working to get our station on the air. In the meantime stay tuned.

Lumpen Radio (WLPN) is a non commercial radical radio station from Chicago (on 105.5 FM) that showcases innovative ideas, plays highly curated music, and broadcasts commentary on the issues of our day. WLPN spotlights the hidden parts of the city we love, amplifying its voices and sounds. We are a station for the people that live and work in the city, people everywhere that love Chicago's underground cultures, and people who love the idea of freeform radio wherever they are.

March 21, 2015


Lumpen Radio Is Here.

In later part of 1978, Elvis Costello and the Attractions released their single "Radio, Radio" in protest of the commercialization of radio broadcasts in the UK and specifically on the BBC's ban of the Sex Pistol's 1977 punk anthem "God Save the Queen". It's chorus, "Radio is a sound salvation, Radio is cleaning up the nation, They say you better listen to the voice of reason, But they don't give you any choice 'cause they think that it's treason. So you had better do as you are told. You better listen to the radio. I wanna bite the hand that feeds me. I wanna bite that hand so badly. I want to make them wish they'd never seen me." was a direct attack on rigid restrictions that ran counter to the prevailing mindset of strictly controlled and formulaic content that the emerging punk scene was intent to shatter.

But, just imagine if you had a radio station. What would you do with it? Would you succumb to the prevalent normalcy of playing it safe with your programming or would you use the opportunity to push the boundaries and alter the airwaves in directions in unimagined ways that were creatively expansive and diverse?

Luckily for us, the FCC recently granted our non-profit corporation, Public Media Institute, a license to build a Low Power FM radio station, WLPN 105.5 FM, that will serve our community of up to 1.7 million listeners in Chicago, thus giving us the great opportunity to push the limits on what we truly believe what FM radio can, and should be. Like a very young Orson Welles who stated after his first tour of the RKO Studio before beginning his now-classic Citizen Kane, "This is the biggest electric train set a boy ever had", we feel a combination of immense exultation and cautious trepidation for the immense task at hand of creating from the ground up such an important public outlet.

To begin setting the initial foundation for our audio laboratory we have approached and elicited the help of some of Chicago's premier creative individuals from within and outside of the normal radio industry. These innovative experimenters and visionary designers run the gamut from various radio producers, audio alchemists, activists, DJs, podcasters, record labels, ham operators to musicians, story tellers, spoken word/performance artists, librarians, art critics, educators and sound editors whose expertise and knowledge are indispensable for such an imposing undertaking.

To publicly kick-off this endeavor, the Public Media Institute's new radio station, WLPN 105.5 FM (aka Lumpen Radio), will premiere at the fourteenth annual VERSION FESTIVAL 15: 100 WATTS on Thursday, April 23. The eleven-day festival will kick off on that Thursday with a fete at Co-Prosperity Sphere featuring eats by Fat Rice, Parachute, Nightwood, Thank You, The Rice Table, Big Star, and Sobramessa Supper Club. Live music will be provided by Lord of the Yum Yum, HIDE, Oshwa, Bobby Conn, and Sally Timms, & V4mee. Tickets to the opening night are $85 and include access to open bar and food, as well as admission to all Version Festival 2015 events. 

Version Festival 2015 will continue daily at various locations until Sunday, May 3 becoming an on air laboratory and campaign to create the kind of radio station we think our city needs. The station will be a conduit for musicians, artists, thinkers, critics, activists and instigators from Chicago and around the world while the festival will be a beta test to produce and experience the types of sounds, ideas and programs that will broadcast over the airwaves.

The entire festival will be a demonstration of the type of radio station we will bring to Chicago and include a live, on-air reenactment of The Lager Beer Riot, live broadcasts of performances, soundscape and and micro transmitter workshops, the inaugural MARZ Community Brewing Liguid Release Mixtape, live music, and visual art installations. From day one, WLPN will feature Blimp casts over Lake Michigan, dusted off gems from obsessed crate diggers, the only sports show featuring local wrestling, audio art experiments, live on air performances of psycho-magical music, advanced electronic sounds, experimental musicology, field recordings, and underground storytelling.

Currently, we are in the midst of transforming our gallery, The Co-Prosperity Sphere, into a studio in which we will record and broadcast live events, talks and other programs. We will also record and broadcast live music, performance and shows remotely from clubs and spaces throughout the city. Everything presented at Version Festival will be aired online and then rebroadcast when our station is built and our transmitter and tower have been installed.

We greatly look forward to this great opportunity to contribute to the creative landscape that is public radio and hope we can provide both imaginative and resourceful programming that will both inspire and inform.

Please visit for a detailed list of events.