Sleepy genius

PGcover

Mike Hadreas — aka Perfume Genius — has grown into an ethereal messenger since 2010’s Learning. Touching on themes that can apply to anyone, Hadreas is both a beacon of hope and a teller of dreamy tales on his new CD, Put Your Back N 2 It (Matador Records).

Hadreas starts the album on a sleepy, languid path with “AWOL Marine” and stays consistent throughout the 12 tracks. This can be a turn-off for someone looking for a more spirited album, but Hadreas is about depth and his lyrics reveal a major advance since Learning.

Finding inspiration from homemade basement porn never sounded so exquisite as it does in “Marine,” but the minimalist approach adds gravitas, not to mention beauty. He adds stunning emotions to “Take Me Home” (based on “hookerism”) and “Floating Spit” (about overdosing). Hadreas is fearless about turning out butterflies from such depths of social standards.

On “17,” Hadreas writes an ode to gay men who have issues with image. He admits the song is a “gay suicide letter” (and a short one, too, at 2:30) but it’s a shattering one. He doesn’t shy from abstract lyrics but they still bring enough poetic power to have a heartbreaking impact. When he quietly sings In the body of a violin/String it up on a fence/Cover it with semen/I am done, I am done with it, the words are piercing even through his simple delivery.

From suicide to romance, the title track is a love song that floats on a lush piano and brings to light the feelings of budding love and awkward gay sex. Hadreas is gloriously blatant, but decidely poignant. Lyrics like There is love with no hiding/Nothing you’ll show me I will never leave here/Let me be the one to turn you on whisper gently and before you know it, it’s already on your mixtape to your beau.

Put Your Back N 2 It is impressionistic in its package and addresses life as a gay man, but also life in general. He sings about his mother, holding his boyfriend’s hand and even death, all with a delicacy that speaks volumes if you listen closely.

— Rich Lopez

Three and half stars.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition February 24, 2012.

—  Kevin Thomas

Ask (*but with a tentative question mark). Tell (*but you’re best off in a whisper)

When this writer was young, there was a hotline students could call to see if school was closed on a particular day. On snowy nights, I’d dial that thing until my fingers were raw, hoping with the fire of a thousand incomplete homework gods that the message would’ve been altered since my last call two seconds prior. Everything could change in instant, and it mattered greatly to know for certain whether the following morning would be filled with boring ol’ long division or the joy that is Plinko.

Perhaps the military should set up one of those lines for LGB soldiers, so that they too will be able to gauge the ever-changing policy currently governing their careers:

In a sign of the wide-reaching impact of U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Phillips’s injunction halting enforcement of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith today wrote that “[r]ecruiters have been given guidance, and they will process applications for applicants who admit they are openly gay or lesbian.”

Pentagon to Recruiters: Accept Applicants “Who Admit They Are Openly Gay or Lesbian” [Poliglot]

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*UPDATE: DAN CHOI, DISCHARGED UNDER DADT, SAYS HE’S HEADED TO THE TIMES SQUARE RECRUITING STATION [Towle]

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***MAJOR UPDATE: BREAKING: U.S. District Court Rules on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Injunction [SLDN]




Good As You

—  John Wright