Wouldn't Mickey Avalon and Spinderella be a good group? Yeah, I think so too. Well, if you play it right, you can pretend: The two star-crossed collaborators are separated by mere blocks on the night of Friday, August 24. Miss "Very Special" is spinning at the War Room, and "the Ave" is plying his sleazy glam-rap trade at Neumo's with Dirt Nasty (Simon Rex no more!), Andre Legacy, Dyslexic Speechwriters, and our very own Nite Owls. Now do the Jane Fonda.

On Sunday, August 26, you're faced with another dilemma: Neema of Unexpected Arrival at Neumo's or the legendary Sadat X of Brand Nubian at Nectar. Much love to my man Neema, but I gotsta see Dotty X. Not only is he one of my favorite MCs, but his last two albums, 2005's Experience & Education and 2006's Black October, were dope as hell, yet another great example of one of the early '90s best aging gracefully and still making great hiphop music (see also: Masta Ace). Sadat is back in effect after a brief jail bid right before October dropped. Yeah, and some of you Stranger readers may remember some controversial lyrics of X's from years past (though I really doubt you do), but yo—you can't Buju my man's juju.

Seeing as how I just got back from a beautiful but all-too-brief trip to SF, it's only right I mention the latest in NorCal-PNW connects—namely, Luni Coleone and Cool Nutz's collaborative LP, Every Single Day. Luni, formerly the rapper known as Lunasicc, hails from Sacramento; Cool Nutz, of course, is the King of Northeast Portland and an all-around pillar of Northwest hiphop (just check his label Jus Family or his Executive Branch Management, which handles Boom Bap Project and Siren's Echo, just to name a few). The two connect nicely for a funk-fueled Fresh Coast swag-out over slumpers from the one and only Kuddie Mak (who handles the majority of the record) and Portland's superproducer Bosko.

Nutz in particular cuts loose on this, exposing a hunger you might not expect from one of the Northwest's true pioneers, likely due to the ever-sleeping nature at the top of the West—square journalists listen up. "I'm a staple artist in the Northwest, but I have to bug people just to get a little show listing in my own town," the Cool one relates. "It's frustrating—you've got to tolerate so much lack of knowledge when it comes to urban music in the Northwest. I'm a fan of good music and I listen to everything—Talib, Living Legends, a lot of stuff that gets a lot of play out here. Yet, something like this record, which has been reviewed in the Source, is treated with some skepticism because it's not so-called underground." Seattle, however, has been the biggest market for Every Single Day, so y'all peep 'em at Chop Suey on Monday, August 27, with the Parker Brothaz, Key Loom, Maniac Lok and DJ Chill, Mr. D.O.G., and I-Gang.

Lastly, RIP Mr. Max Roach. A jazz legend if there ever was one. If you don't know, do yourself a major and look him up. recommended

hiphop@thestranger.com