SCHOOLBOY Q, CASSOW, EMMORAL
(Peter's Room at Roseland, 8 NW 6th) Don't get the name twisted: LA's Schoolboy Q is not some backpack-wearing conscious rapper. Though he earned the moniker from an older member of the Hoover Crip gang (with which he was once affiliated) for earning good grades and starring in multiple sports in high school, Q excels at gritty street raps with enough lyrical chops and flow switches to avoid the repetitive hole some of this stuff falls into. His second official full-length, Habits & Contradictions, was front-to-back solid, and remains one of the strongest rap releases I've heard in 2012. MIKE RAMOS
WIZARD BOOTS, OBJECTS IN SPACE, SLUTTY HEARTS
(Dante's, 1 SW 3rd) Christopher Elsken has been keeping his far-out band Wizard Boots going for years, creeping out of the woodwork just enough to keep everyone looking over their shoulders. And with that, he now offers up a collection of outtakes, remixes, and remasters called Five Years on Earth with Wizard Boots... An Improper History, which should only add to the band's freak mystique. Choice cuts like "Retarded Love" and "Yogurt (I Just Ate Some)" are present and accounted for, along with 19 others that pile silliness inside tasty, rock-'n'-roll shit sandwiches. As would be expected, Wizard Boots offer an off-kilter take on rock from the past three decades—which is to say, drugs have been very kind to these guys and the music they love. MARK LORE
SUNSPOT JONZ, ACEYALONE, J NATURAL, DJ TRAM, MYG, DJ WICKED
(Refuge, 116 SE Yamhill) Aceyalone is arguably the Greg Ginn of the underground hiphop world. Hear me out. They both have an incredibly dense group and solo discographies, plus major indie cred and innovation in how their own (and those that they've mentored over the last few decades) music is marketed, packaged, and sold. If Freestyle Fellowship were Black Flag—both early but highly esteemed and revolutionary independent groups—then Project Blowed would be SST. In 1994, Aceyalone and Abstract Rude's first LA hiphop compilation (Project Blowed) completely transformed the way independent rappers gained success and acknowledgement. DIY tactics like encouraging people to share and swap music have made Project Blowed, after 18 years, not only a cult classic compilation series, but also an entity as a network of independent artists worldwide. Acey teams up with another LA game-changer and Living Legend, Sunspot Jonz, for the second JonzAlone Tour. ROCHELLE HUNTER
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