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Busdriver

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Los Angeles's Busdriver spits dense rhymes that are clever as hell and bite like a shot of Jameson. The indie rap vet—who's been a regular fixture of the L.A. underground scene since the 1990s—sprinkles ample doses of sarcasm, absurdity and self-deprecation into labyrinthine rhyme schemes. He's a pioneer progressing a musical form that's been flooded as of late with bland imitators and not nearly enough innovators.

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More recently, the rapper has added singing to his vocal repertoire, which adds a touch of pop to his ever-changing, experimental palette. His newest record, 2012's Beaus$Eros, is chock-full of this hybrid vocal style. It weaves hip-hop beats with tight hooks borrowed from synth pop, experimental electronic and indie rock. It's a deliciously odd combination highlighted on the dance floor-ready jam "You Ain't OG" and on "Kiss Me Back to Life," which features piercing, post-breakup lines like "I'm more than a boyfriend / I'm a mistake to learn from / I'm more than a boyfriend / I'm a mistake to live through."

The last time he played here—in 2007, to a packed crowd—his speedy and verbose wordplay was intoxicating. I'd expect an even stronger buzz onstage when he returns this week.

Busdriver plays the Palace Tuesday, June 19, at 9 PM, with locals Zoo Effort and The Codependents. $8.

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