Mike Hadreas, the 28-year-old Seattle-based pianist who makes music as Perfume Genius, creates hyper-emotional ballads so fragile a stiff breeze might knock them over.
He's found plenty of strength in the them, though -- Hadreas turned to the keyboard to quell the inner turmoil that roiled from his difficult childhood in suburban Seattle and years of hard partying afterward, a period that twice landed him in rehab for substance abuse. The stark tales on his debut album Learning ended up being a welcome outlet for his emotions, he tells SF Weekly:
"You have to actually feel your feelings before they can go away. That seems simple, but I put off certain feelings for so long."
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An early song about a troubled high school teacher, "Mr. Peterson," was discovered on the Internet by the Welsh band Los Campesinos! and released as a single on their label. Matador then swooped in and unveiled Perfume Genius' debut album in June.
Tonight, Perfume Genius plays his first L.A. show, performing at the Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.
Elsewhere: It's the second sold-out night of the Black Keys at the Palladium; Guster, its sixth album Easy Wonderful on the way, plays a sold-out show at the Troubadour; and Jerry Lee Lewis visits the Grammy Museum for a short performance and a talk about his new album Mean Old Man.
Also: Jimmy Eat World at the Fox Theater in Pomona; Sara Bareilles and Greg Laswell at the Orpheum Theatre; Bettye LaVette and Brian O'Rourke at Largo; the Drums and Surfer Blood at the Glass House in Pomona; Nevermore at the Key Club; White Hills and Mount Carmel at Spaceland; Jamey Johnson at the House of Blues; the final night of the Funeral Party residency at the Bootleg Theatre, with Useless Keys supporting; Paul Layton at the Silverlake Lounge; Los Einstein and 29 Mules at the Viper Room; a Pretty Mess at the Redwood Bar; Conor Oberst and the Felice Brothers at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown; Oneohtrix Point Never and Sun Araw at the Echo; Anna Nalick and Kim Divine at the Hotel Cafe; and in-stores with No Age (DJ set) at Amoeba and Torche at Vacation Vinyl.