Some observations from the first two nights of Blue Scholars and Common Market's recent three-night stand at Neumos:

• Mass Line fans (all ages, predominantly young) were not really feeling the Truckasauras rap set opening Saturday night. Still, the Truck's experiment in hybridizing their old-school analog techno to 206 hiphop paid off toward the end. First with rousing guest spots from stoneriffic cartoon-rap crew They Live! who hit the stage in sweatshirts, beanies, and shades, looking like they were about to knock over a 7-Eleven (or at least purchase some jumbo Slurpees and assorted munchies), and proceeded to murder their weedy punch lines over the Truck's "Angels Sound Like Bottle Rockets." Finally, the set climaxed in a freestyle battle over the Truck's analog reversion of Boogie Down Productions' classic "The Bridge Is Over," with They Live! and Champagne Champagne MC Pearl again owning, the former working the chorus of their "Weed Murder" into the set and the latter dousing the crowd with bottled water and announcing, "Y'all need to wake the fuck up!"

• I overslept on Macklemore, seeing him perform for the first time only just last summer, but dude continues to win me over with his breathless high energy onstage, his intricate rhyme schemes, and his off-the-cuff freestyles. Even when his subjects veer toward the heavy-handed (extended metaphors about hiphop as religion, an antidrug PSA), he tackles them thoughtfully (the PSA, for instance, turns out to be less "just say no" rhetoric than a complex examination of hiphop's various glorified drug problems). Coolest part of his set: the live violin and trumpet players accompanying the backing beats spun by DJ Ohmega Watts. The weirdest part: the parodically right-wing, pro-America song skit in which a mullet-wigged, leather-jacket-clad Macklemore, rapping with a Bush-lite, faux-folksy Texas accent, delivered lines about "uhmerikuh" and "the terrorists" to great cheers.

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• Is it weird that I like Common Market more in video form than I do in real life or on record? On-screen, RA Scion is a telegenic presence, his facial expressions bringing out some subtle humor in his raps that's too easy to miss when he's red-faced ranting around a stage. Hence, the best part of their Sunday night, for me at least, was when the duo debuted a new CM video shot on the streets of New York City, RA Scion rapping along in perfect time to his giant, on-screen double.

• It seems almost redundant to sing the praises of Blue Scholars at this point, seeing as how they've been the biggest thing in Seattle hiphop for a long minute now, but here goes anyway: Sabzi (who saved much of his energy and scratching prowess for the headlining spot) can produce a hell of a beat, and Geologic can command a crowd on the mic like the populist rabble-rouser he is. A long-familiar but still affecting highlight: Sabzi spinning the guitars of Modest Mouse's "Float On" to buoy the Scholars' anthem "The Inkwell." A new treat: Sabzi dropping some wobbly-ass, up-tempo club techno and Geologic running all over it in double time. recommended