The typical male singer-songwriter m.o.: Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy picks up guitar in order to whine about it. Elvis Perkins, bless him, is not so typical. His lilting compositions possess a lyrical grace that recalls Elliott Smith, or even Dylan, though it's hard not to read into Ash Wednesday's melancholy: The 31-year-old's father, actor Anthony Perkins, died of AIDS in 1992, and his mother, Berry Berenson, was killed nine years later in one of the 9/11 planes. Still, Perkins' songs are neither maudlin nor exploitative just quietly lovely.