Since opening in January, Logan Square’s Hostel Earphoria’s warm, welcoming (and cheap) atmosphere has caused touring bands to, ahem, sing its praises.
Hostel Earphoria offers musicians and listeners short- to long-term housing options. Rooms and shares are available from $15 a night for musicians via their Couch Surfing option ($25 for non-musicians or “Listeners”). Monthly rentals are also available at similarly affordable rates. However, the best part about Hostel Earphoria isn’t the rent, but its facilities.
The PLAYroom features an upright antique piano, acoustic guitars and several percussion instruments, making it perfect for low-fi jams and impromptu performances. There is also iMac with Logic for audio/video recording/editing, and internet (WiFi available). An easel and art supplies are even available for visual artists, who make use of these regularly, as the walls are covered with art created by community members.
Guests at Hostel Earphoria can use the basement or the expansive backyard for shows. Recently, I was able to have a brief talk after one of these events. There were about three bands staying at the hostel that night and the house was crawling with activity.
Sitting on the carpet in the basement, I caught DC hardcore rockers Sinatra as they performed with intense energy and screams that felt like a mile-long Band-Aid being ripped off. In a good way.
I also got to talk to North Jersey instrumental rockers and all around cool dudes Au Revoir, who were playing their first show in Chicago. They were impressed with the space and the city itself. “This show has been better than any show we’ve played in Brooklyn,” says Eric Annicchiarico.
After the show, everyone retired to the backyard porch, which provides a relaxed and chill atmosphere excellent for sitting and drinking beers on a sticky August night. Everyone I spoke with was happy with the digs.
I closed out the night with a chat with Jules Esh, the mastermind behind Earphoria.fm, an interactive media platform supporting the sustainable growth of music culture. Earphoria inspires listeners and empowers musicians by providing an outlet for expression, experience and education. She sees the hostel as a natural way of bringing the collaborative, DIY ethic of Earphoria.fm into the real world. She took me on a tour of the excellent facilities as we talked; I couldn’t imagine a nicer person to rent a room from.
In the coming months, Hostel Earphoria may become a popular go-to spot for couch-surfers and traveling bands. The hardest part would be checking out; I know I didn’t want to leave.