Tonight: Blue Scholars Kick Off Three-Night Stint at the Showbox, The Slackers at El Corazon

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Blue Scholars, with Common Market, Gordon Voidwell, Bambu, DJ Phatrick, DV One. Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave., 628-3151. 8 p.m. $16. All ages. Feeling like a scaled-down version of "The Program" - the five-night hip-hop showcase orchestrated by the Blue Scholars in 2007 - the brilliant pair now brings us The Double Triple Feature, beginning tonight. A three-night soiree billed as "cinematic music spectacle," the lineup features local talents like Common Market, Macklemore, The Physics and DV One as well as New York's Gordon Voidwell and LA's Bambu. But the main attraction is still a rapper-producer duo that seamlessly blends party energy and political fierceness with poetic purpose. The Scholars are equally polished and focused, but it's their spirited honesty that rightfully placed them at the forefront of Seattle's hip-hop scene and conscious movement. Last year's OOF! EP proved they hadn't lost their fire (or fun), and with an as-of-yet-unnamed full length scheduled for 2010, you can bet an unheard track or two will surface. NICK FELDMAN

The Slackers, with Get Down Moses, Harmonic Superkill, The Whorewoods. El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., 381-3094. 8 p.m. $17. All ages. Remember when ska was crazy popular, oh, about 12 years ago? The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were telling people all about the impressions they got, Reel Big Fish was selling out, and Gwen Stefani was still just a girl. That was the third wave of ska, and longtime ska fans--the ones loved the Wailers and the Skatalites in the 1960s - knew that someday this fad, just as 2 Tone did in the 1970s, would pass. They were right - it's been long time since a ska-punk record sold millions of copies, but the contemporary first-wavers, like New York's the Slackers, are still around. Since forming in 1991, the Slackers have released 12 albums, toured prolifically, and signed to Hellcat Records. Maybe that's because it takes effort to dislike the Slackers' super laid-back, rocksteady sound, best showcased on 2006's Redlight. Like a well-tuned classic car, it'll always be in style. PAIGE RICHMOND

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