Elvis Perkins | The Sleeper Has Awakened

Elvis Perkins
Ash Wednesday
XL, 2007

If you’ve been meaning to check out Williamsburg’s freshly relocated Luna Lounge, Elvis Perkins’ upcoming show there is as good an excuse as you’re likely to find. Though at first blush, you might be tempted to compare him to Dylan or Bragg, or even other Elvises, it’s probably the Perkins you should be paying more attention to. Man, this kid’s had a rough couple decades, but don’t feel too bad for him—he’s got a record contract, been featured on NPR and just got back from touring Europe with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. What have you done with your life lately that’s so great?

I accidentally caught EP’s set during CMJ last year, and was pleasantly surprised to find I didn’t hate it. While to call him a folkie sounds like an insult these days, he is first and foremost an old school troubadour. And in the event that you’re unable to, you know, tolerate that shit, this singer-songwriter comes equipped with a backup band that manages to give every sullen, melancholy ballad an upbeat turn.

In point of fact, I’m sure it’s them I have to blame for adding another notch to my long and well-documented tradition of missing the point entirely. I must have listened to “While You Were Sleeping” over 20 times before noticing it had anything to do with 9/11, and just thought it was about someone who, you know, takes a lot of naps. A heavy sleeper myself, I instantly related. Ah, well, I guess I still like it anyhow, so I’ll see you at the show.

While You Were Sleeping by Elvis Perkins

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