National Trust | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

National Trust 

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Last we heard from Neil Rosario and Mark Henning, the core duo behind this rarely convened local group, they were neck-deep in 70s soul, but on the new Kings & Queens (Thrill Jockey) they trawl through early 80s R & B and electronics-kissed funk. Much of the album was coproduced with Abel Garibaldi, who's recorded the likes of R. Kelly, Ciara, and Britney Spears; the popular local street brass band Hypnotic lays down charts as tight and plush as anything from Earth, Wind & Fire; bass duties alternate between band vet Doug Demers and soul and blues session pro Charles "Chuck-a-Luck" Hosch. Latin percussion breakdowns, falsetto vocals, and archaic-sounding synths stoke a bacchanal of slinky grooves, and though Kings & Queens is decidedly retro, there are some solid tunes and strong hooks under the glossy veneer that take inspiration from, but don't ape, Prince, the Isley Brothers, and late-period Marvin Gaye. I don't know how it'll play live, but I'm curious to find out: my initial shock over the change in sound has given way to delight. This show is a release party. Avery R. Young opens after a screening of LeFunktion, a local dance-party show produced by Jarvis Mason. DJs Supreme Court and Chris Johnson spin throughout, and DJ Craig Alexander follows the National Trust. Fri 2/24, 10 PM, Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, 773-227-4433, $10.

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