(Rendezvous) As the rise of Dark Druggy Rap™ in Seattle continues in the wake of extreme bright whiteness shining at the other pole, one prolific collective has best seemed to capture the zeitgeist: the cult-like UDF, short for Unity-Diversity-Freedom, U Die First, or a million other breakdowns. If there were a local rap corollary to doom metal—or even a proper successor to the gloomy church of Oldominion—UDF is it. Their sound is that of existential abandonment. Grave as the pit, their lyrical content stunningly bleak—but oft malleable, subtly lining silver into Mobb Deep's gray guns-and-dope nihilism via Based God's thou-art-God positivity and a heavy dash of occult rhetoric. The core of rappers Bolo Nef, Caz Greez, and producer Khrist Koopa has grown to include young-life Dizzee Slick, gravelly Paid Roza, and a host of others—and this show is their first as a collective. Show love, 'cause that's the law. With Mackned and Key Nyata. LARRY MIZELL JR.
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(Columbia City Theater) Talk about uphill struggles… Getting people to attend a prog-rock festival in the 21st century ranks among the toughest challenges in the entertainment world. So kudos to the folks behind SeaProg for trying while not relying on the genre’s old warhorses for curation. Tonight’s show comes in the middle of its three-day run, and it’s headlined by Canadian quartet Miriodor, whose songs circumnavigate some of the same fascinating, unpredictable routes as King Crimson and Univers Zero. Miriodor’s beautiful melodies flow in unusual ways and guitarist Bernard Falaise has that Robert Fripp/Richard Pinhas serpentine-snarl tone down to a science. Spacebag might be the most raucous, nerve-wrackingly intricate group on the bill. Fans of Lightning Bolt and Nomeansno should explore. Check out the rest of the bands on the bill and in the festival at seaprog.org. I especially recommend Midday Veil and Being John McLaughlin on Sunday. DAVE SEGAL
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(Redhook Main Stage) The 43rd Annual Fremont Fair celebrates “delibertas quirkas” (uh, that’s the “freedom to be peculiar”), but it isn’t JUST a bunch of art cars or ballsy naked bicyclists—nor is it JUST a super colorful parade celebrating the summer Solstice. This year the Fair adds a live music stage, introducing the “Solstice Concert Series.” And a big body-painted high five to the booker! Friday brings the excellent local rock, plus Built to Spill and more, and Saturday is an A+ hiphop and funk showcase with Cascadia ’10, the Flavr Blue, the Physics, and the Blue Scholars. THE BLUE SCHOLARS! It’s been a bunch of summers since you’ve seen those boys. Full schedule at fremontfair.com. KELLY O
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(Tractor) Calgary, Alberta musician and producer Chad VanGaalen, redheaded father of two, is among the independent recording world's most unprepossessing-looking participants. If he claimed to be a chemistry teacher or a computer programmer, no one would think twice, but the surrealistic imagery that populates his work bespeaks a rich and twisted inner life (VanGaalen's visual art includes album covers and animated videos for himself and other artists). On his new Sub Pop album, Shrink Dust, the singer and multi-instrumentalist creates an idiosyncratic version of psych pop in which Art Garfunkelesque vocals and steel guitar mix and mingle with a party of echoes, rumbles, and clangs. If Jeff Goldblum's soulful mutant in David Cronenberg's The Fly reinvented himself as a folk singer, he'd sound exactly like this. KATHY FENNESSY
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(Neumos) Norway’s Magnus August Høiberg has been producing and DJing under various names since the mid-’00s, but he came seemingly out of nowhere as Cashmere Cat with his 2012 Mirror Maru EP, a next-level blend of spacious, melodic R&B influences and aggressive, quantized “trap” percussion mixed with dance-floor rhythms that made serious waves in the electronic/Soundcloud music realm. Though only four tracks long, the EP (along with his plentiful remixes) earned major recognition from well-known producer/DJ-types like Rustie and Hudson Mohawke and a spot on the Grand Theft Auto V soundtrack, and his latest Wedding Bells EP was released by reputable Glasgow label LuckyMe. Yes, Cashmere Cat is kind of a big deal now, but his music lives up to the hype. MIKE RAMOS
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And here's all our recommended music events—tonight, tomorrow, and beyond!