Perfume Genius, Just Like Love

I stumbled across a Top 50 albums of 2017 list that was published on a website in July. No reason to share, so far the returns have been a big yawn, except for this tune.

Just to get this out of the way, I think Perfume Genius is a terrible, perhaps career wrecking, band name (even if this is a single artist taking a collective name). The artist’s real name is Mike Hadreas, which is better I think, but whatever. It’s his choice.

His latest album is called No Shape, and I’d suggest that the record lacks shape. It has too many spare slow songs that don’t really go anywhere, even when they’re adorned with interesting rhythms and strong singing. Maybe more listens will reveal more. If there are more listens it will be because of the song Just Like Love.

It has that Chris Isaac reverb and a little Willy DeVille strut. It sounds like the fifties, like Roy Orbison (and Isaac and DeVille), and it sounds contemporary, not nostalgic. Or maybe it’s on other songs, where he can sound like Prince and at other times like David Longstreth of Dirty Projectors, that he doesn’t sound nostalgic. Ultimately, this is an art band, and in the case of Just Like Love, often the best art steals from the best sources.

Hadreas is from Seattle, but lived for a number of years in Williamsburg and worked in an East Village bar. I hope he adopted his nom de tunes because he knows that when the New York Times writes about him, on the second reference to his name, they’ll have to call him Mr. Genius. Aim high!

Update: Original post called Perfume Genius Patrick Hadreas. His given name is actually Mike. I fixed it.

Worth Noting: The album track and the live track are arranged similarly, but the album track is sonically very different. The music on the album is electronic and layered track upon track. The live version captures the shape of the song, but is a much more organic version than the album version. This is not an indictment of the album.

This is a Google Music link to the album track. I don’t know what happens if you’re not a Google Music subscriber. 

Amuse Bouche: Pop Pandering

This little vid is so right on about how I feel about how Spirit in the Sky and that “I got a friend in Jesus” and other crap stuck in a pop song. Hardly spiritual like Beethoven or Eno or Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor which don’t even have lyrics.

But, even more than reflecting Spirit in the Sky, this clip says so how we are as a stupid culture of sheep.

Armageddon Amuse Bouche!

Listening to Def Leppard I was not reminded of these two great songs, but both come to mind when I’m in an armageddon frame of mind.

There is a 12″ cover of the Willie Williams song, by the Clash, which I own, that goes beyond beyond. It doesn’t make me want to smoke pot, it makes me feel like I’ve smoked pot, and while the 7″ version that I found on YouTube is pretty great, it isn’t the best. While the original, which I have the 7″ of, too, is very very fine.

Patti Smith, of course. Though she screws up the armageddon line. But they’re in Sweden in 1976. Sweet.