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Show Preview/Photo Essay: Ulrich Schnauss & Gruff Rhys

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Coming your way in the next week are Ulrich Schnauss, who was interviewed and whose album Goodbye was reviewed on LAist this month, and and Welsh minstrel Gruff Rhys of Super Furry Animals fame.

Gruff Rhys will be playing on Wednesday, October 3rd at the Rec Center Studioin Echo Park. UIrich Schnauss will be performing at the Troubador on Friday, October 5th, with Manual and LA's own Fleeting Joys.

LAist had a chance to see them together as they launched their US tours in the performance space at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this last Sunday. Schnauss was an intense knob-twiddler at the MFA as incredible graphics swirled behind him. I'm not sure the space at the Troubador will do his graphics justice but at least it won't be a sit down affair there, because people will doubtless be inspired to do some dancing. He performed solo, essentially remixing his songs live but his intensity was much appreciated by (the seated) crowd at the MFA. He had a couple of unscheduled breaks due to technical problems and received long ovations which more than reassured him to continue. Below are pics from his set:

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Continue on for more pics from the show and a summary of Gruff Rhys...

In dramatic counterpoint to Schnauss' multi-layered electronica, Gruff Rhys' semi-acoustic set was punctuated by hilarious anecdotes told in barely understandable Welsh-accented English. Accompanied by a female vocalist and percussionist, Lisa, Rhys put together a virtual DIY band on his table: a drummer named "Kevin" was drum tracks on a portable CD player, "Veronica" was on bass (a strange little box that played a single sustained bass note), as well as wind up birdies, toy xylophones and a myriad of other gewgaws - these amusing details made his half of the show much more of an experience than that of yet-another-singer-songwriter-folksinger. Most songs were in English but there were a couple Welsh ones in there as well.

The intimate space at the Rec Center Studio is ideal for his performance. This show was a weird pairing but it worked; it's a shame that they didn't combine their tours and perhaps alternate from night to night and really shake up the worlds of snob purists across the US and Canada. LA has its choice, and that's probably OK since both venues are better suited to each performer.