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Gruff Rhys


Who is Gruffydd Maredudd Bowen Rhys? No one, not least Rhys, seems to know for sure. Self-perpetrator of one of the music world's most fascinating ongoing identity crises, Wales' hammiest ambassador views each new release as a shot at artistic reinvention. Depending on where you dip your toe, his tiny-icon Super Furry Animals have passed themselves off as techno ravers, punk thrashers, prog distorters and pop dispensers. Dive into a solo record, and you may get whacked-out, native-tongue non sequiturs (Yr Atal Genhedlaeth) or whittled-down, sweetheart treats (Candylion). As Neon Neon, Rhys and producer Boom Bip used a flux capacitor and a grab bag of guests (Fabrizio Moretti, Spank Rock, Cate Le Bon) to pay a "bonkers disco" homage to retro-futurist automaker John DeLorean (Stainless Style). And yes, that's Rhys, alongside De La Soul, out-Damon-Albarning the Gorillaz frontman on Plastic Beach centerpiece "Superfast Jellyfish." Last year's radiant Hotel Shampoo (Ovni) segues from Bacharach-and-David looks of love ("Shark Ridden Waters") to baroque, spring-loaded odes to joy ("Honey All Over") without missing a beat. But what else is new? ArchAnimals opens. Tickets $10. — Noah Bonaparte Pais

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