INTERVIEW: Chris Malinchak


Classically trained musicians are often the first to spout their criticisms toward the rise of EDM, and the increasingly popular laptop DJ’s of today. But take five minutes to chat with a virtuoso like 26-year-old house DJ Chris Malinchak, and I guarantee that those feelings will swiftly begin to dissipate.

Best known for his 2013 hit So Good to Me, the DJ and Producer’s talents don’t stop at his Macbook Pro. He vividly remembers learning how to play the piano, which he began studying at the ripe old age of two. “When I was in kindergarten, I would literally get up at midnight and play for hours,” Malinchak says. “I couldn’t get enough of it.” Recently, even major European and US tours haven’t stopped the hungry artist from finding time with a keyboard. “Right now, I’m enjoying messing with a Chopin Polonaise and a piece by Rachmaninoff, which are pretty heavy duty pieces of music on their own,” Malinchak says, chuckling at his own use of “messing with” when referring to some of the greatest Pianists of all time.

With a red hoodie pulled over his head, the handsome and wide-eyed Malinchak shifts excitedly from side to side in his chair in anticipation of his headlining performance on the Soundcloud Stage during the eighth annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival. And it’s appropriate that he would play this namesake, considering he just released his newest hit single, Happiness, via that medium. “I was driving back from Pennsylvania when I had a very weird feeling on the highway, and I think it must have been the meteor,” Malinchak says. “I hadn’t put [the single] out yet, but when I got home at three or four AM, I chopped the vocals, I rewrote part of it, and then the next morning I just put it up on Soundcloud. It felt so natural, and I was excited about it.”

 Happiness, which features British singer/songwriter MNEK, possesses a lilting, melancholy quality that incorporates soulful elements that culminate in a sound that’s almost timeless. It’s not surprising that his music feels like something from another time, because in many ways, Malinchak himself seems to have come from another era, or perhaps another world completely. “It’s weird; people say [my music] makes them feel nostalgic,” Malinchak says. “I go through records and I literally say out loud, ‘this must have been such a cool time to go to clubs’, like you’ll hear something form ’78 or ’92, and [the sounds] are so fucking cool.” Malinchak’s unique sound has attracted the attention of numerous other house artists, Pete Tong among which, who has featured Malinchak’s singles as part of his BBC Radio 1 Essential mixes on multiple occasions. “He is an absolutely fucking genuine dude, with a love and a passion,” Malinchak says with a wide smile on his face that’s both authentic and infectious.

Now that Malinchak’s tour has come to a close, he says it’s time to get back to work. “I was home for two days, and I’m excited because there’s new stuff coming,” Malinchak says, gently reaching for my arm. When I ask him of his interests outside of writing and performing live, he doesn’t miss a beat. “There is no distinction to be drawn when it comes to what I like doing; It’s the same no matter what: write, hang out, lift, play, lift and hang out,” Malinchak says. “I’ll be writing, [then] I’ll go do 100 pull-ups, then I’ll come back, meet up with whoever and hang out. That’s literally just what I like to do.”

Check out Happiness below:

A two-story laser cat threw a party in Williamsburg last night


Laser Cat; credit: Gothamist

Just another day in Williamsburg, only with a two-story, inflatable laser cat care of the artist collection Hungry Castle. This all went down in a lot on Havemeyer street last night:

The Laser Cat experience goes like this:
* Someone gets on stage and pushes the big red panic button;
* The overly familiar dance song suddenly switches to another, equally familiar tune;
* A piece of pop-culture-laden video art, projected onto the side of a building overlooking the lot, also instantly changes;
* Laser Cat just keeps Laser Cat-Catting along.

Here’s some video below and Gothamist has more pictures documenting the experience.

Williamsburg sports bar 4th Down is set to reopen tomorrow

4thdownAfter being forced from their North 4th street location due to rent increases over a year ago, Williamsburg sports bar 4th Down will re-open tomorrow in their new location. Their new spot is at 750 Grand street between Graham and Humbolt. From [Read more...]

Free drinks at The Good Room tomorrow — aka that spot formerly known as Europa

05C3A415-466B-471F-AD66-92F9219053ECJust passing along the good word.

Tomorrow night at Good Room, we’re launching our cocktail menu and celebrating with select complimentary Absolut cocktails and beers from Coney Island Brewery from 10pm-11pm!
Eric ‘Dunks’ Duncan DJ (Know Wave // Rub-N-Tug)
Justin Van Der Volgen (My Rules // Golf Channel Recordings)
Bad Room featuring music by Sammy Jo$15 at the door // $10 with RSVP


Previously: Two new music clubs open in Greenpoint: Aviv and The Good Room

Top five shows of the weekend

DBA5) Occultation, Kosmodemonic, Mountain God, Think Tank at Palisades
In the interest of full disclosure, this one was booked by yours truly and is flying under FREEwilliamsburg’s This One Goes To Eleven banner, also written by, umm yeah, you guessed it. But rest assured, I wouldn’t splatter my name all over something I didn’t believe in, and this one—headlined by Brooklyn dark rockers, Occultation, and featuring support courtesy of local Kosmodemonic, Mountain God, and noise punk upstarts, Think Tank—has me truly hyped. Throw in Palisades, probably Bushwick’s preeminent seen-and-be-seen venue these days (FYI: I consider Shea/The Acheron to be East Williamsburg staples), and you have one hell of a Friday night rager on tap. Tickets are just $10, so come out and support your local nepotist.

Friday, doors at 8pm

[Read more...]

Santacon officially banished from Bushwick and seeking a new hood to puke on


After a ton of pushback from City Councilmember Rafael Espinal and local bar owners, the drunk bros of Santacon have decided to steer clear of Bushwick:

“We’ve had interest from quite a few Bushwick bars but, after our initial exploration, the team at SantaCon NYC has determined that Bushwick does not have the capacity to be an appropriate destination for this year’s celebration,” the organizer, who requested anonymity as “Santa,” said in a statement to amNewYork. “We appreciate local businesses’ willingness to work with our charity event and we thank all of them for their support.” [Read more...]

Shopping Alert: Made in Brooklyn Holiday Market & American Field coming next week



During the weekend of November 22, Industry City is hosting two events that celebrate American-made goods:

American Field, a pop-up celebration of American makers, artists, and craftsmen, is a who’s-who of American makers, and features vendors like American Trench and Shinola.

Steps away is the Made in Brooklyn Holiday Market, curated by WantedDesign and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, featuring home furnishings, lighting, housewares, accessories, artisanal foods, and gifts made in our borough.

Visit both events at 274 36th Street, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues. For more information visit Industry City.

The L train may be getting sliding subway platform doors

slidingIn light of the recent deaths due to subway riders being pushed onto the tracks, the MTA is looking for ways to protect patrons. One proposal is to test sliding platform doors on the L train line similar to what they have on parts of the London’s Underground system. From [Read more...]