If you are running an experimental debian kernel the perf tool isn’t working out of the box. If you run the perf command it will tell you to install the package linux-tools-<kernel-version> which is nonexisting for experimental kernels. The solution is to manually install the perf tool.
Compiling perf is straightforward, use apt-get source <kernel-package> to download the source for your running kernel. Then goto the directory tools/perf and do a make install.