Now, I’m a big proponent of “don’t judge a band by its YouTube comments,” but you can’t argue with the one of the highest voted comments on Sidewalk Chalk’s music video for Water Song: “I like the part where it starts. I disliked when it ended.” So says the comment, so sayeth we all.
Sidewalk Chalk is a hip-hop group unlike any you’ve ever heard before (unless you happened to be at the Terrace around this time last year). Their unique combination of an old-school live brass section and jazz singer with a new-school emcee creates an entirely new and refreshing sound that it’s pretty much impossible not to groove to. Throw in a tap-dancer who views himself as a piece of living visual art to compliment the band, and you’ve got a party. This octet aims to conquer the world and encourages listeners to do the same with their determined (but never heavy-handed) lyrics about social activism and leaving your mark on the world.
Sidewalk Chalk’s most recent visit to our fair city comes as they’re touring the world in support of their album Corner Store, available via iTunes. Additionally, the well-established band has years of musical experience up their collective sleeves that extend far beyond the scope of this album. The entire band has shared the stage with De La Soul, Company of Thieves, J*Davey, ?uestlove of The Roots, and Action Bronson. As if that wasn’t enough, individual members of the group have acted as musical director(s) for Brother Ali, toured with Jazzanova, sung in the Armed Forces, and played behind Buddy Guy and Talib Kweli.
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Sidewalk Chalk has been lauded with praise, named “Best Hip-Hop Act in Chicago” by the Chicago Reader, and can count Lupe Fiasco among their many fans. And considering all this, it’s no wonder that Sidewalk Chalk loves performing live, and that live crowds love them right back. During shows filled with dancing, freestyling, inspiring messages, and occassionally even writing new songs right onstage, they continue to pick up new fans wherever they go.
Supporting Sidewalk Chalk is a veritable crowd of up-and-coming artists from the Twin Cities, all of whom are currently working with each other. Psymun and Damacha have an album together, SSV3. One of its last tracks, Hyperghost, gives you a good preview of what to expect. Psymun and K.Raydio also have a collaborative full length album coming out soon, and you can listen to their first single from it, Flight, here. To further confuse things, the song Flight is currently on the SSV3 album and everybody is collaborating with everybody. This trifecta perfectly completes a night so jam-packed full of Midwestern talent that you’ll hardly be able to see Lake Mendota behind it all.
So come on down and spend your Friday night with some of the best in the biz. We guarantee that you’ll like the part where it starts, and dislike where it ends.
Friday, July 19th, 9:30, FREE