Mr. Mass
WEDNESDAY 8/17

GRAND GROOVE = SEATTLE HIPHOP'S ROYAL COURT

How can this monthly not be awesome? You got folks from Shabazz Palaces (Ish and Tendai), Mash Hall (El Mizell, also of The Stranger and KEXP), THEESatisfaction (Cat and Stas), Metal Chocolates (OC Notes and Chocolate Chuck), and an heir to a French wine fortune (Johnny Merlot) channeling their advanced-level hiphop skills into five hours of artful exploration that will likely spill outside of the genre's parameters. Capitol Club, 9 pm, free, 21+.

THURSDAY 8/18

SOLE & THE SKYRIDER BAND'S SERIOUS ORCH-RAP

Sole has been a crucial cog in the anticon. label machine since its 1998 inception, as both cofounder and artist. (He went his own way in 2010.) His verbose, metaphorical, and sarcastic lyrical bent helped to define the imprint's aesthetic on albums like Bottle of Humans and Selling Live Water. Sole & the SkyRider Band's 2009 album, Plastique, and the new Hello Cruel World (featuring Xiu Xiu, Lil B, and Pictureplane cameos) are urgent, bombastic communiqués from a sage, aging veteran MC. Sole seethes with conviction; there's no doubting his sincerity and authority, and his Skyrider Band grind out thorny, busy, orchestral rock that stretches hiphop's conventions. Can violins fit in backpacks? Nectar, 8 pm, $5/$7, 21+.

FRIDAY 8/19

PLUNDERGROUND HIPHOP: CUT CHEMIST, EDAN, MR. LIF

Mr. Lif is a solid and astute, if didactic, rapper, and Cut Chemist is a fantastic DJ with deep crates (the 2008 Hard Sell tour where he and DJ Shadow spun all 7-inches was spectacular), an innate understanding of the funk, and a keen ear for sublime samples in his own productions. But the artist on this bill I'm most stoked to see is Edan. The Massachusetts rapper/producer throws down witty, playful verses with throwback rapidity while creating tracks that do wonderful things with psych- and garage-rock samples (see especially his 2005 classic, Beauty and the Beat, although 2002's Primitive Plus is essential, too). How many chances do you get to see an underground-hiphop cult hero named Portnoy? Don't blow it. Showbox at the Market, 8 pm, $15/$18, all ages.