Regan Farquhar’s Hip Hop nom de plume is the rather prosaic Busdriver, but we’re not talking Ralph Kramden’s city vehicle here — more like Ken Kesey’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Metro. There is a swirling Psychedelia woven into Busdriver’s diverse and intense catalog that defies a simple Hip Hop label and pushes him closer to the Art Rock end of the musical spectrum, like Eazy E influenced by Tom Waits and Frank Zappa.
At 21, Busdriver dropped his debut album, 1999’s exquisitely weird and wonderfully heavy Memoirs of the Elephant Man, which was followed in 2002 by Temporary Forever, an album that Vibe cited as one of the decade’s “24 Lost Rap Classics.” Busdriver later signed to Epitaph/Anti-, releasing his major label debut, 2007’s RoadKillOvercoat, followed by Jhelli Beam in 2009, after which he broke from Epitaph. Since then, Busdriver released the Computer Cooties mixtape and formed two bands, Physical Forms and Flash Bang Grenada.
After the stellar cultural and musical eccentricity of 2012’s Beaus$Eros, Busdriver’s latest album, Perfect Hair, may be his most ambitious and satisfying record to date. On the new album’s “Bliss Point,” Busdriver asks the tongue-in-cheek musical questions, “Where exactly is Hip Hop going? Did Hip Hop have breakfast this morning? Does Hip Hop really have the body type to pull off that outfit?” In reverse order, the answers have to be, “Hell yes,” “Hell no, it was this afternoon” and “Wherever the Busdriver is taking it.”
Busdriver plays at the Thompson House Saturday, Oct. 25. Find tickets/more info here.