Step aside Lady Gaga; Emilie Autumn is taking pop music performance art to yet another level — com- plete with tea and crumpets.
The California-born singer-songwriter established her musical rep as a violinist for Courtney Love, Billy Corgan and Otep, as well as with songs on the “Saw III” and “Saw IV” soundtracks. But on her own — including her latest “Asylum Tour” — Autumn combines elements of vaudeville, burlesque, circus and Broadway, complete with aerialists and baking cupcakes onstage that are subsequently thrown to the audience.
“Every time we go onstage, it’s just crazier,” says Autumn, 30, who studied music at Indiana University. “Every night is just bloodier and more ridiculous and more obscene — and that’s the way we like it.
“I have the most massive respect for people who get onstage and really entertain, so that puts me in a mindset where I have no interest in making a rock show. I want a Broadway musical, so that’s what we’re doing.”
There’s a dark side to the festivities, however. Autumn’s current show is tied to an about-to-be-published book, “The Asylum For Wayward Victorian Girls,” which was inspired by and partly chronicles her own struggles with bi-polar disorder and experiences with in-patient treatments, including alleged sexual abuses.
“It was something I felt had to be done and a story that had to be told,” Autumn explains. “I felt that I’ll never be entirely understood at all until it’s out. So even though it’s intensely painful to relive a bunch of really gory things in my life ... once the slate is clean and you have no more secrets and everything is out there — the good things, too — maybe I can move on to the next chapter.
“I think that’s what it’s about, really, knowing I need to get over this by getting it out.”
Emilie Autumn performs Sunday (Dec. 6) at the Eagle Theater, 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $18. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.
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