This content originally appeared on my former Chicagosphere online-media blog, hosted on the Chicago Tribune‘s ChicagoNow network.
Richard Giraldi’s Loud Loop Press aims to “amplify Chicago’s music scene” over the Internet. By the look of things, Giraldi’s doing a pretty good job of it, too.
Giraldi (@rgiraldi), an Illinois native and DePaul University journalism student, launched the blog in January 2009 on the advice of a J-School professor who suggested (much as I often do) that the successful reporters of tomorrow will be those who create their own online platforms today. Giraldi hooked up with site designer Josh Reed via Craigslist, and the duo launched the site in April.
In less than a year, the site now boasts 10 regular contributors and a core staff of six. “The Loud Loop Press goal is to provide…one centralized location to find Chicago music news, reviews and feature stories,” Giraldi told me via email. “We really want to keep it as hyperlocal as possible and talk about only Chicago bands, Chicago shows, or touring bands that are on their way through Chicago.”
Though Loud Loop Press maintains a tight local focus similar to popular local-music site Pitchfork.com, Giraldi says he tries to avoid the “pretentiousness and snobbery” he feels is evident in the larger site’s coverage. Regular Loud Loop Press features include ongoing news bites for local acts of all sizes (“from Wilco to The Streets on Fire,” as Giraldi puts it), album reviews, and Daily Diversion and Weekend Diversions reader picks for the best live shows that often include lesser-known acts.
It’s all timely coverage–since launching, the blog’s inbox has been overwhelmed with emails and press releases from local labels and musicians happy for the site’s Chicago-heavy focus. As year two of the blog progresses, Giraldi says to expect more feature content this year, including local artist Q&A’s and exclusive video performances.
“The music industry here is large and sometimes intimidating,” says Giraldi. “There are so many bands and so many clubs. Basically, Loud Loop Press is a cool little community of music fans sharing what we known and like with Chicago’s scene, so that in turn some of the lesser known acts will gain some publicity.”
Those seem like overly modest words about an engaging site that’s becoming a go-to source of local music news, alongside fellow indie sites like WindyCityRock.net and Gapers Block Transmission. Expect a one-year anniversary live show for the blog to be announced sometime this spring.