I think I'll skip the usual tired attempts to encapsulate my existential angst over ecological megadisasters, wanton police brutality, and the Drake album and just send a solid-state shout to my comrade Xperience, who just dropped his sophomore solo, William the VIII. XP is stationed in our state's capital, so the CD release is goin' down at Oly's the Royal on June 25, with his Ol-D co-Ds Grayskul, his Stepcousin Macklemore, Candidt, JunkYard Gang, and more. Make sure you get his album, as it serves as a varied, well-paced, just-keeps-getting- better-the-more-I-listen testament to the skills XP claims in spades (rapping, singing, writing), with his neo-soul star-grade sangin' voice and heartful songcraft tempering the occasional overly self-serious tendencies of his typically fantastic rapping. English: The boy raw. Tartare.

Okay, and fine, here's some timely, not at all played-out references to show you I'm hip: You should all go out and get one of those ever-so-goddamn-controversial World Cup vuvuzelas, scrawl "Conflict of Interest" on the side in Sharpie, and blow like Chloë Sevigny in The Brown Bunny every time you see me engaging in shaky music-journalistic ethics. Imagine that deeply irritating wall of droooone ringing out while I drop this fat double-stack COI on you: I am a proud part of the team over at the about-to-be-reopened Columbia City Theater on Rainier Avenue South, and opening night, June 25, my crew Mash Hall headlines a free show there with the Cloud Nice crew and DJ Suspence. While we're at it, I'm also part of Seattle's newly minted City of Music Commission, working alongside 20 great minds to improve Seattle's music landscape. Just trying to be transparent here. Glass.

Clockwork rock that same night at Nectar, a CD release for the Season One compilation, featuring the Clock, Mystery One, Pistol Pete, and R.O.B.; those attending will also get their money's worth of Wizdom, Spaceman, Double Hockey Sticks, and your host with lutefisk Grynch. June 27 at the Nec, Stay High Brothaz, Saturday Morning Cartoon (which is Jonnie Storm and Nitro Fresh), and Yirim Seck rock, with their host, the deranged Everett mutant Ripynt.

Now let's talk about what is truly proper: Oakland's son MC Hammer. Hammer, Hammer, I am! They put me in the mix! I grew up on Stanley Burrell and am unashamed to say that the first tape I bought on my own was Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em... I think I had to cop it because my brother refused. There I go talking about myself again. But I'm saying... "Pray" sampled Faith No More—how "epic" is that? Anyway, Hammer will be breaking fool (and possibly breaking out "the typewriter") at the Emerald Queen Casino on June 26, and I really think I might just have to see.

Cage, patron saint of damaged goods and crazy tattooed girls of all types, subject of Shia LeBeouf's perhaps overzealous (but, no doubt, very welcome) mythologizing, is bleeding black all over Nectar on June 28. Local emo-rap soldier (dealing way heavy in Slug's cadence, tone, and classic girls/weather/existential angst palette) Sadistik, who has an EP coming soon called The Art of Dying, is opening up, full-disclosure-style, as well. Bring it on. recommended

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