Interview + New Release: 5 Questions with Sidewalk Chalk


Sidewalk Chalk releases the new album, Leaves, today and hit the road over the weekend on their North American tour. We dropped five questions to Charlie Coffeen (keys) on the day of his hometown release show in Chicago. New Yorkers will have a second chance to see the 8-piece in action on Thursday night at Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery. Details here and enter to win tickets here. A full list of tour dates are here.

Your new album, Leaves, drops today. Can you tell our readers what they can expect to hear?

Leaves is raw. We’re pushing our limits with sound, emotions, our writing…all of it. The album marks the evolution of not only our music, but us as people.

An MC, a vocalist, keys, bass, drums, horns, and even a tap dancer, how did Sidewalk Chalk come to be?

Sidewalk Chalk formed in Chicago and was born at Columbia College. As we added the pieces, everything seemed to fall into place. The group formed out of everyone’s individual love for music and creating, and wanting to put those elements together to create something.

What artists do you find influence your sound, whether they are legends from the past or contemporary artists?

There is so much J Dilla influence in the rhythm section. He changed the way we hear music and hear rhythms. Otherwise, there are a lot of D’angelo’s Voodoo-esque production elements on the new album. We’re influenced by so much music that’s coming out right now – Snarky Puppy, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote, Janelle Monae…all of that stuff.

You are about cross North America on a tour. We imagine that being a group of 8 people, traveling can be quite a task. What is the road situation like?

We just got a new ride (a converted school bus) so we will have more space on this tour than any of the others. We make it work. We all hang out and kick it, but it’s obvious when somebody needs some room to chill, read, be by themselves, and everybody appreciates that.

What have been some of your favorite cities or venues to play and which shows are you most looking forward to playing on this current run?

There are a few spots that we absolutely love playing every time we go – Lincoln (Nebraska), St. Louis, Nashville, Cincinnati, Fort Wayne (Indiana). They’re always so live. We’re hitting a ton of new cities on this tour, mainly in Canada and the Northwest, so we’re really excited to get up there and rock for them.

Purchase Leaves on iTunes / Amazon / Google Play.

Interview: Rich Medina Checks In Before Feb 24 DJ Set at Le Bain



Party people! Join us this coming Monday, February 24 for a beautiful night with Rich Medina spinning tunes at Le Bain in NYC. Leading up to the night, we have our maestro bringing us up to speed on his favorite artists of the moment, what makes a great party, and other exciting morsels. Enjoy!

Event Details
Rich Medina DJ Set at Le Bain
Monday, February 24

Free with RSVP

Le Bain at The Standard
444 W. 13th St.
New York, NY

Giant Step: You’ve played at Le Bain a couple times for us now. What’s your favorite part about spinning there?

Rich Medina: There are many things I love about Le Bain, but the most important factor for me is the clientele. The meat packing district is a different monster in the 21st century, so the music heads and dancers who come to the nights I do there really make me happy.

GS: What type of music can folks expect to hear you spin on the 24th?

RM: So far, we’ve kept the music mature and sophisticated. A bit of a tip of the hat to the NYC dance club pioneers like Larry Levan, David Mancuso and the like. Freedom music. Sounds that bring people into the light rather than fan the flames of rebellion or angst.

Read the rest after the jump

Video: Mara Hruby – “Cry Me a River” + “Character” (Live at Billboard)


Darling Oakland singer Mara Hruby visited Billboard studios recently to perform the first single off her upcoming EP, Archaic Rapture. Watch the live video for “Cry Me a River” above, and catch the interview as well as a performance of Van Hunt‘s “Character” after the jump.

Look out for Archaic Rapture on March 18.

Watch the interview and “Character” after the jump