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Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Elvis Perkins

With his strange lineage, is it any wonder this Perkins' songs blur emotional lines?

When Elvis Perkins takes the stage, ladies swoon. He bears a scruffy resemblance to his father, Psycho star Anthony Perkins, but his songs of alienation, heartbreak and emotional mending conjure up the poetic lyrics of Leonard Cohen. Elvis' personal burden is public record; dad died of AIDS in '92, and his mother, photographer Berry Berenson, was one of the victims aboard American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11. That, combined with his duct-taped shoes and tattered V-neck sweaters, surfaces in his music where songs whisper and wail the heartfelt pleadings of a man unraveled. But they're beautiful. He's tapped into that meta-point that dawdles along the brink of consciousness and slumber, then he scored its musical accompaniment. Not sad, not joyful—Elvis juggles the range of feelings freely until they blur into a lovely blend of sound and color. It's bathtub music, Sunday morning music, baking cupcakes on a rainy day music; it's what you want playing when you wake up on your 30th birthday and don't know whether to be happy or sad. Elvis Perkins opens for Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.


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