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Underground Q, 87.7 fm, and Alternative Radio in Chicago

We were huge fans of Q101 and were super ticked off when Merlin Media took it off the air, because seriously, Green Bay Wisconsin has better rock and alternative stations than Chicago.  That is sad.  We had been listening to The Mixx (which is pop rock stuff) to replace it.  Trust me, that’s no replacement.

We were happily surprised that 87.7 fm is now playing alternative music!  (Though the problem with the label Alternative is that it isn’t defined all that well.  What I consider alternative may not be what you consider alternative).  On our trip to Green Bay last weekend, we were happy to be able to listen to some pretty good music till we got out of Illinois.  Merlin Media (yes the ones who took Q101 off the air) are the owners of that station.  

My thoughts so far are pretty good.  Right now, we are in a music loop.  They seem to play a lot of the same songs over and over and over again.  Since the new station is about a week old, I’m willing to give them a little time to grow out their playlist.  (Now, supposedly Q101 is now on 1530 AM.  However, I’ve tried several times and I can’t find it).  I’ve heard everything from Pearl Jam to Live to Nine Inch Nails to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Goyte to Fun.

I am a little hesitant to support Merlin Media.  However, they seemed to realize that they made a mistake.  Hopefully, they’ll be able to keep this station on the radio.  I’m loving that they actually play music instead of a commercial every 30 seconds.

If you are in the Chicago market, check it out!

Reader Interactions


  1. I was excited they were bringing it back as well, however their playlist is horrible. It is dated songs and they keep playing them over and over again. I understand they are new, but they should still have the old songs from Q101. I will check out that tidbit about the am 1530! Thanks for the info :)

    • I've noticed that the playlist had gotten a little better in the last week. Keeping my fingers crossed that they keep adding music.

  2. I'am with you 100%. It did suck when Q101 turned talk/news radio. There was not a station on Chicago radio to get my alternative fix. Now 88.7 is the underground Q, but I'm not fully convinced that this will feed my alternative/rock appetite. Almost every time I do tune in it seems like I'm getting Neon Trees and the Black Keys shoved down my throat, I'm not a big fan of either band. When I did go to the Dells there was an awesome rock station (95.1 WILL Rock) that played a lot of Rock music that I do like. It is just unfortunate that Chicago doesn't have a station like that. It seems every station plays the same crap, you got your oldies (which I don't mind) or B-96/KISS which has a playlist of about 15 songs that they repeat over and over throughout the day. I guess I will have to invest in a Sirius Radio in order to be fully happy. Oh well…

    • I had to listen to the MIXX, so trust me, this station is way better than that. I'm originally from Green Bay, WI and they even have a better rock/alternative station than us. At this point, where I live, this is the best station even if I don;t like everything they play. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed.

  3. To be honest, at the moment I think it is even better than the old q101. Has a lot of amazing songs and not just alternative too, its even taking a step towards being indy songs, which are my fav, like foster the people (although I'm not crazy about that band). But it would be amazing if they played pinback or modest mouse. They even played such great heights by postal service, which surprised me. Personally I think the new station is amazing. Has the right amount of everything. And since I've listened to it, I've yet to hear a repeated song

  4. as of today they still suck! same songs over and over.lets see red hot chili peppers,foo fighters,black eyed peas,Cmon!! there are other songs that are considered alternative that are not being played.station does not know the meaning of underground music.I have resorted to listen to country music because not much is left on the chicago market.when I have a chance i listen to WARG 88.9 in Summit. Talk about a good variety,some stuff that no one else wants to play.Yes quirky dj's but different.

  5. I can keep this station on for hours without changing it. I like the indie alternative they play along with a more rock alternative. A balance of both is refreshing. I like hearing the Black Keys played with Sublime and Florence and the Machine. I always like a different vibe. I think they caught onto the new generation of indies that really enjoy this music. Seems it should be nothing but successful.

  6. Underground Q is owned by the same people whom turned Q101 into Talk. Do not support Underground Q! It is not the real Q101! Merilyn Media is playing games by representing Underground Q as Q101.

    • They've made no such representation. I clearly know that they aren't Q101 and hell, I don't care who owns it. They are the best alternative station that the Chicago market has right now.

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