Perfume Genius: “Learning”

It’s no secret that I’m heartbroken, and the road to recovery feels less like a road than a quagmire. And I don’t care who knows it, because I lost all sense of shame when I lost the man I loved. And, since I’m an unconvincing liar and extremely sensitive, I often end up talking about my troubles to anyone who will listen (sorry, people—you know who you are). But every once and a while something coaxes you to emerge from your cocoon of narcissism and think that, maybe, just maybe, life could, actually, be worse, and the ground might not actually be crumbling like crackers beneath your feet. In this case, the one who has inadvertently lifted the shroud of perpetual pessimism, self-pity, and hopeless pining that has been covering my head like crown of despair for the past three week is one of my very best friends from home, Ariel, who is doing relief work for UNICEF in Haiti right now. Her emails detailing what the people down there are going through make my troubles pale in comparison to their plight. So, although my pain still hasn’t gone away, it certainly makes it seem less apocalyptic.

And a similar phenomenon transpired last night. I went to see Perfume Genius, a new KEXP discovery of mine, perform at Bottom of the Hill, even though it was a Monday, and I was already at home, and I hadn’t been able to convince anyone to accompany me to the show, and I knew it would go late, and I haven’t been feeling that well. But then I said fuck it and hopped on my bike. It’s a downright travesty that the show was so sparsely attended, because Mike Hadreas, a frail wisp of a boy with an equally fragile voice and a devastatingly mournful mien, delivered such a haunting, soul-baring string of piano ballads that afterward I wanted to walk behind his keyboard, take him in my arms, and tell him everything is going to be ok, even though people have been telling me that on a daily basis and I never believe them. Singing with an ethereal timidity, he managed to muster so much sadness with his music that the air felt thick with tears, and it was obvious that he often dwells in a very dark place. I think he really is sadder than me. By a lot. So there’s that. For perspective.

Perfume Genius – Learning

Who: Perfume Genius

What: Learning

When: 6.21.2010

Where: Seattle, Washington

Why: “No one will answer your prayers until you take off that dress / No one will hear all your crying until you take your last breath”

How: Matador


One Response to “Perfume Genius: “Learning””

  1. A Kard Says:


    I just wanted to let you know, I love your blog and I check more than weekly. You’ve inspired me to start my own, so that I too can share my love for music with the world, or who ever will listen.

    But I really wanted to let you know, that, like you, I recently was told by the man I love more than anything else in the world, that he didn’t love me anymore. I hated him. loved him, missed him. was disgusted by him. I did things that I question know, and i was crazy for months. All in the name of love. But its been 7 months now since that fateful night, and although I miss him at times and may allow myself a good 3 minutes of sorrow (with a well picked song) from time to time, I am okay. I am better than okay. I have found that life sometimes throws you a one-two punch, sometimes, shit happens. But it is your destiny to carry on, to live up to your greatest potential, whatever it may be, and its ok if you don’t know yet what that is.

    I’m rambling.

    But I just wanted to write you this morning, from dreary Washington, to let you know that you are not alone. You are beautiful. and you will be okay. BETTER than okay. Just believe and keep listening to those beautiful tunes.

    Try this one on for size,
    Bad Veins -Crosseyed

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