Tue Oct 05 2010

 at Schubas/Lincoln Hall

21+
8:00 PM
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Even though he is only in his 20's, the story to date of one Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, has the peculiar twists and turns of a person who has lived through at least several lifetimes, and has seen rather more darkness than most. "I spent my whole life hiding from the things that happened to me, to my family and friends", Hadreas explains now. "The entirety of all these experiences: abuse, addiction, suicide...all that cool stuff. I couldn't bear to look at it".

Now, as Perfume Genius, Hadreas is not only turning an unforgiving mirror on those demons that have beset him, but somehow managing to make breathtaking, utterly heartbreaking music out of them. How this actually came to pass however, is far from conventional. For a number of years Hadreas himself admits that he was headed down the path of self oblivion; as he recalls, "I was running around doing drugs and being fucking insane and getting into some dangerous business". At his lowest ebb, and with the instability of his lifestyle threatening to overwhelm him entirely, Hadreas decided to make a clean break and moved back into his mother's house in Washington. It is here, in this suburban setting, that a self-imposed spell of complete isolation seemed to tap into a wellspring of dormant creativity. "I have always played the piano but was really embarrassed of my voice, so I never sang. But a few years ago, after spending a long time alone, I suddenly had something to say and my voice didn't matter". The watershed moment came one day when he sat down and wrote "Learning", which was to be his first song. Hadreas remembers it with vivid and piercing clarity. "I wrote it and spent at least a month after that constantly writing for long stretches of time. I do not know how it happened, but I intuitively could see and feel my experiences for the first time in this really overwhelming and honest state or whatever. I felt like my heart actually broke but in this sort of hopeful, genuine way. Like I could finally rebuild it".

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