One of underground hip-hops more challenging artists, Los Angeles rapper Busdrivers flow is both instinctive and adroit, filled with lightning-fast runs, dazzling flashes of poetry, and impressive vocal shapeshifting. He leaps from impish, sing-songy elocution to a half-speed, haunted croon, to a manic attack thats strangely reminiscent of Mr. Bungle-era Mike Patton, believe it or not. Marry that to peculiar imagery, confusing allusions, odd couplets, illogical tangents, and experimental production, and youve got the aural equivalent to a David Lynch flick: Beautiful and, at times, utterly baffling. A graduate of the acclaimed Project Blowed hip-hop collective (which also counts Aceyalone, Abstract Rude, and Pigeon John among its many alumni), Bus just dropped his ninth LP, Jhelli Beam, which sonically is his most ambitious, and most rewarding, album yet. With Abstract Rude, Open Mike Eagle.
Sun., Aug. 30, 8 p.m., 2009