Sep 15, 2011

Mathien and Sidewalk Chalk at Lincoln Hall on 9/14/11

Move over uh, Justin Timberlake, Maroon 5, and Michael Buble cuz Chris Mathien is in the house!

Here is a video of one of my favorite songs of the night (professional video embedded here since I was forbidden to take any):

Seriously good right!? Chicago's Got Talent! Singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Mathien formed the band Mathien in 2005 by finding fellow music students from his school, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, and recruiting them for the band. Their style is vintage reggae, soul, jazz, rock, and hip-hop inspired. Somehow the lyrics and instrumentation of Mathien's songs work successfully to combine these music genres. The band includes Chris Mathien (lead vocals, guitar), Arron Bouslog (drums), Mike Schiff (bass/vocals), and Peter Wilkins (keyboard). Not knowing the band prior to seeing them live, it was easy to be sold and captivated instantly. The lyrics are witty, unique, and clever, the band is completely together and tight, and the energy is fun and engaging. The band was aware of sound issues and addressed them immediately. It was also impressive how Chris could sing jazz one minute and play an amazing rock guitar riff the next. He is really a complete musical package. The band seemed both connected with each other and with the audience. There was essentially nothing not to like.

Mathien is currently promoting their new release Alpha Male and ironically on this night I came from a meeting at my daughter's school to select a new principal. It was narrowed down to a male and a female candidate. The Alpha Male was offered the position. I equated the evening at school to an episode of The Bachelor and the rose ceremony. The two candidates were brought back in to the room after the local school council deliberated and had their verdict. Then the question was posed: "Mr. LaRaviere, will you accept this rose?". The opponent was not sent home in a llimousine to the best of my knowledge. Sorry, but had to share. Take a listen to the new title track, Alpha Male, below!

Find more Mathien songs at Myspace Music

Oh, and one more thing. If you are going to a show at Lincoln Hall and are in the mood for awesome sushi, check out Kyoto down the street (north on Lincoln Ave.). My friend Dita and I sat at the sushi bar and had very fresh and unique sushi. One of our favorites was the avocado wrapped maki (avocado wrapped fish).

Mathien is next performing at Bash on Wabash (September 18th). Well worth checking out if you can get there. I have noticed some problems with their website but try to visit for more updates and info. The show, I am happy to say gets a 5 out of 5 guitar rating.

SIdewalk Chalk was the headliner tonight and once again I was duly impressed! This was a hip-hop band with a vocal team comprised of a male hip-hop artist MC K'Neqta Dots (AKA Rico Sisney) and a female vocalist S. Star (AKA Margaret Vagel). On top of that being way cool, they had a horn section and a tap dancer. They were outstanding. S. Star is influenced by the great Nina Simone and especially/most obviously Eryka Badu. It you like them you will like or love Sidewalk Chalk.

Check out this song called "Fly":

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