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Preston's picks: Casey James and Perfume Genius

Posted 9:46pm on Tuesday, Mar. 20, 2012

Casey James at Billy Bob's

At long last, the former Fort Worth resident and American Idol alum has unveiled his major-label debut, a self-titled collection already earning plaudits not for the songs, so much as James' punchy guitar work. His live shows are practically guitar clinics, as James willingly lets loose with smoking riffs again and again. It remains to be seen, of course, whether Casey James is a launching pad or a footnote, but rest assured, anyone making the trek to Billy Bob's will walk away having gotten their money's worth.

10:30 p.m. Friday. Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth. $12-$16.

Perfume Genius at Dan's Silverleaf

One of 2012's most arresting records thus far, Put Your Back N 2 It, is a breathtaking collection of pop songs conceived at odd angles. The project of singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas, Perfume Genius is a bewitching blend of folk, electronic and chamber pop that refuses to fade from your mind. Gifted with a floating falsetto and a knack for unsettling imagery ("AWOL Marine/Turn toward the camera/Slowly," he croons in the opening track, AWOL Marine), Perfume Genius stands to be one of the year's breakout stars. With Parenthetical Girls and the Angelus.

9 p.m. Monday. Dan's Silverleaf, Denton. $10, $13 door.

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