Get Hustle | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Get Hustle 

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Set up an imbalanced ratio of artsy to fartsy and you risk sounding either pretentious or asinine. Get Hustle's secret to success is their lineup, which seems so wrong it just has to be right: pianist Mac Mann and drummer Ron Avila used to be in Antioch Arrow, practitioners of white-belt, black-hair indie rock; organist Mark Evan Burden was in the trashy neo-no-wave outfit Glass Candy and the Shattered Theatre; and then there's Valentine Hussar, a mysterious and elaborately tattooed chanteuse who lives in a house across the street from a graveyard. Their heavy-lidded apathy--a hangover from having subsisted for years on LA's plastic sleaze, maybe, or a side effect of Portland's overcast days--is barely leavened by the pliant shuffle of their cabaret-influenced melodies. While as tragic and hypnotic as the rest of Get Hustle's releases, Dream Eagle (on Three One G, the label run by the Locust's Justin Pearson) seems a tad more spontaneous than the last, Earth Odyssey (5 Rue Christine). The hoarse and sultry Hussar purrs and screeches while Mann and Burden drag their fingers over the keys. When one swoops in to peck out bits of Transylvanian dissonance the other soars into a frivolous cruise-ship ditty, and Avila chugs or clatters like an old wooden roller coaster one bolt away from falling apart. Saturday, November 30, 10 PM, Fireside Bowl, 2646 W. Fullerton; 773-486-2700. Sunday, December 1, 8 PM, Pink Section, 3165 S. Archer; 773-927-0136.

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