INTERVIEW: Chris Malinchak

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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

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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.

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 RSVPhttp://rsvp.goodroombk.com/

 

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

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This One Goes To Eleven: Weekly metal roundup

bulbsI want to begin this week by saying goodbye to Death By Audio, which, after many years serving as Kent Ave’s BEST venue, has now entered its final days of existence. Although a punk haven by trade, DBA hosted its share of metal weirdos in the past, so please, when you’re cracking a PBR at Vitus or The Acheron this week, make sure to pour a little out for the DIY icon. As the condo plague continues to spread north and east over the coming months, you’re going to want all the karma you cant get.

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

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Aviv, 496 Morgan Street in Greenpoint

DIY club Aviv has already had a show or two, but officially opens this Friday. Brooklyn Vegan has more:

Some of the folks behind now-closed Bushwick venue Emet (and who ran Showpaper for a while) have opened a new place in Greenpoint called Aviv. Located at 496 Morgan Ave, you may have seen a show there on Halloween (it was just called 496 Morgan at the time) with Pop. 1280, Voidvision and Pawns. The all-ages spot has its official Grand Opening on Friday (11/21) with Painted Zeros, Turnip King, Shadow Walker, and Ritual Howls.

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Drunk belligerent frat boys dressed as Santa coming to Bushwick

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Williamsburg is already filled with drunk, belligerent frat boys on the weekend. Now another north Brooklyn hood will get a taste as Santacon invades Bushwick on December 13th. Bushwick Daily published a letter that was sent to many local bars warning them about the horrors set to descend upon them:

SantaCon 2014 is coming to Bushwick on December 13th from 10am till 2pm. We would like to list your venue as one of our participating locations. We are also partnering with the local police precinct, community board and parks department. We are operating as a completely legal and transparent entity that wants to celebrate our annual creative charity event. [Read more...]

Porn festival coming to Bushwick

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The NYC Porn Film Festival will debut at Secret Project Robot Feb. 28 through March 1 and they are seeking your pervy submissions! Huff Post spoke to the event organizer, Simon Leahy:

It’s important promote discourse around sex, sexuality, porn-economics and gender. NYC sometimes seems like such a white-washed, gentrified space. We live in a hyper-sexualized society but some have archaic Victorian values around sex. Porn is something we all take part in, whether it be jacking off behind closed doors or walking down the street consuming an image of Nicki Minaj’s butt. To progress culture we need to have these conversions to challenge the older values around sex and sexuality. Homosex and Hetrosex need to find meeting points — ideally, we want to spark the next sexual revolution. I want to live in a world in which these labels don’t exist. I would like to point out that the festival isn’t a “queer” festival or a “hetro” festival. We want to include the full range of sexualities, fetishes and genders.

So there you go. Now get to work on your “submission.”