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A Club serves up hip-hop, indie-rock

Fri., June 15, 2012

L.A.-based rap singer Busdriver lands at A Club on Wednesday night.
L.A.-based rap singer Busdriver lands at A Club on Wednesday night.

Busdriver plays Wednesday, followed by Pickwick Thursday

Whether you have an appetite for deranged hip-hop experimentalism or purist indie-rock, The A Club has a couple of midweek offerings that are sure to sate your taste.


An ultra-ecclectic rap singer, LA-based Busdriver pushes musical boundaries beyond the edge of where the sidewalk ends.

And the 10th album by the self-proclaimed “hyper-literate” hip-hop intellectual and overlord of elocution is no exception.

Released earlier this year, “Beaus$Eros” represents a Busdriver who is barely able to color within the defining lines of hip-hop, proving once again that his title as MC has more to do with him being as master of chaos.

Busdriver hardly raps at all on half of “Beaus$Eros,” electing instead to play vocal jazznastics that flow in multidubbed voice streams and overlap on each other in dizzying, refractive patterns of melodious rhythms.

Since coming up in the outlying periphery of West Coast hip-hop, Busdriver has amassed an extensive and unexpected list of collaborators, including experimentalists such as Daedelus and Nobody, indie-rock projects such as Deerhoof and LA punk band The Mae Shi.

And while the album was produced entirely by Belgium-based electronic music producer Loden, “Beaus$Eros” (pronounced like “bows and arrows”) is barely coherent, jumping from thought to thought in a maelstrom of off-kilter beats that sometimes switch directions mid-song.

Lyrically, Busdriver borders on something out of an emo kid’s notebook, lamenting failed relationships and revealing and reliving self- and subconscious nervous tics. There are moments where you can almost hear him fidgeting on the mic between vulnerable lines like, “I’m more than a boyfriend, I’m a mistake to learn from.”

Busdriver is just as spectacularly awkward on stage, blurring lines between genius and madness as he flails around in front of the crowd, wailing into two microphones simultaneously that filter his erratic menagerie of delirious imagery in a flurry of aural acrobatics.

While his lyrics are often spun with indecipherable speed, it’s clear this odd artist has something to say and he doesn’t care who he has to run over to be heard.

Pickwick and Cathedral Pearls

A young Seattle band with tight Spokane connections, Pickwick kicked off the New Year with major kudos from NPR, which listed the indie sextet as one of this year’s next big bands.

KEXP, Seattle’s anchoring voice in indie-radio, described Pickwick as a mix of Arcade Fire and Fitz and Tantrums for the band’s celebratory soulfulness and exuberant live show.

And Seattle’s City Arts magazine called them one of the 10 best new bands in town.

While Pickwick has been collecting props on the regional and national radar, so, too, did Spokane cohort Cathedral Pearls.

A quartet of couples, Cathedral Pearls was listed alongside Pickwick as one of Paste Magazine’s picks of “12 Washington Bands You Should Listen to Now.”

Pickwick and Cathedral Pearls bring their national-level reputations home for an indie-rock homiefest with Brandon Cate and Horse Thieves on Thursday at The A Club, 416 W. Sprague Ave. Tickets for the all-ages show at $10, through


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