Northern State | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Northern State 

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In a year already marked by the steep ascent of urban poets Kanye West and Dizzee Rascal, who'd have guessed one of the more talked-about rap acts would be a trio of white chicks from Long Island? Northern State--Hesta Prynn, DJ Sprout, and Guinea Love (Julie Goodman, Robyn Goodmark, and Correne Spero to their parents)--have been hailed as the distaff heirs to the Beastie Boys, at least among the indie-rock masses who're their natural constituency. The wild ride began when Robert Christgau gave their 2002 debut EP, Hip Hop You Haven't Heard--originally recorded as a demo--a four-star review in Rolling Stone. A steady stream of enthusiastic press (plus a healthy backlash) followed the release of last year's eight-song Dying in Stereo (StarTime), culminating in a major-label deal. The group's Columbia debut is set to appear in the spring and will include production from DJ Muggs, Pete Rock, and the Roots' ?uestlove, among others. At a glance Northern State look like a novelty act, but there's more to their music. Showing a dedicated (if somewhat recidivist) allegiance to old-school aesthetics and dropping frequently politicized rhymes studded with upper-middlebrow name checks (Dorothy Parker, Nigella Lawson), they've been well received as openers for De La Soul and the Donnas. DJ Frier Tuck opens. Wednesday, March 3, 10:30 PM, Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western; 773-276-3600.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Rayon.

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