S o now our city is on an unprecedented high, instead of just the regular, precedented high. We've got a Lombardi to polish—and the town was already buzzing (huh-huh) from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis winning four fucking Grammys (then apologizing for it) as local music scene folks debate and froth in every direction and national press think pieces rain upon Seattle like major-label contracts did in the early '90s. What a weird fucking time—and frankly, I wouldn't wanna be anywhere or anywhen else. Stand in the place where you live.

Places to stand include a lot of spots on Friday, February 7. Big dogs Grayskul, for one, are headlining a show at Nectar with a thick lineup: the Chicharones, Kimya Dawson (not a rapper, but a very raw and life-changing truth-teller of high pedigree), Triceracorn (more on them in a sec), Void Pedal, with DJ Graves 33—plus a very special guest! Maybe somebody cool, who's done beaucoup work with both Grayskul and Kimya? Man, I dunno. That same fucking night, though, at the Crocodile, Sol's current tourmates Zion I come through (minus Sol). If you don't want to see any of that and want to see some art, producer P Smoov (under his brush-wielding alias Ten Hundred) is opening an art exhibit at Gallery 2312. On Sunday, February 9, go see Porter Ray headline Barboza.

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Stay with me, Marty, as we go into the past to late last year, which brought us two new entries in the growing dark 'n' experimental rap wave simmering in your backyard, both from duos—ICE, the EP from Gorgeous Children (Olympia's Face Vega on voice, Denver's Gila Monsta on wardrobe), and Porcelain, the debut from Triceracorn (aka Seattle MC Beige and Bellingham-based producer IG88). ICE is as cold as promised, and fully sticks to the wave's dominant druggy dirtbag paradigm, but is executed in a manner unique to them, with Vega's stylish Lidocaine slur, chunky sludge-current flow, and well-stacked vocals over Monsta's creepy-crawl. I would love to hear them link with Avatar Darko and Nacho Picasso, for starters.

Triceracorn are almost the link between the current backyard rap-noir pack and its aesthetic scene predecessor, the 2000s-era reign of NW supercrew Oldominion, whose posters once assured from telephone poles that it was "OK to be dark." Porcelain was put out by Heaven Noise Recordings, the label owned and operated by Iame of Oldominion (and of their similarly deep Portland cousins Sandpeople). Beige's lyrics and delivery definitely skew toward emo cutter-rap earnesty (I made all that up) and nerdy boasts ("I can regenerate like a starfish, homie") as opposed to Vega's brolic give-a-fuckness, but these are different lanes to the discerning. Still, Beige's is the least compelling voice to be found here—Open Mike Eagle, Iame, Goldini Bagwell, and somebody named Jesus Chris all steal the show without a lot of effort. Production-wise, IG88, already making a name for himself round these parts, speaks more than adeptly with his hands. And that's your time. See you next week. recommended