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Busdriver

Show up early for Deerhoof at the El Rey and you’ll catch an opening set by esteemed Los Angeles MC Busdriver, who’s no stranger to the world of indie rock: In 2005, Busdriver formed Th’ Corn Gangg with members of the Canadian psych-pop outfit Unicorns, and last year, he appeared on Return to the Sea, the debut by Islands, another Unicorns splinter group. Too often, indie rap + indie rock = a supersize helping of self-aggrandizement cloaked as moral outrage (and boring, dead-sounding moral outrage, at that). Yet on RoadKillOvercoat, his first effort for Anti records, Busdriver circumvents that sad tedium with the simplest of strategies: Dude seems like he’s having a good time. He rides lush, whimsical beats produced by backpack biggies Nobody and Boom Bip with the guileless abandon of a kid on a merry-go-round, and he’s unafraid to bust out a little singsong action when the time is right. He’s also smart (and honest) enough to recognize self-aggrandizement for what it is. “Last year, I was passing out Green Party leaflets when you’re at the chalet on ski trips,” he play-huffs in “Pompous Posies! Your Party’s No Fun,” a genuinely funny assault on holier-than-thou types. So why is this the exception rather than the rule?

BUSDRIVER | RoadKillOvercoat | Anti

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