Blondie @ Foundry on First

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

Growing old in rock 'n' roll is one tricky beast, especially when you are Blondie, a band with a catalog defined by youth culture: sleek, sexy, funky, and ever stylish. Panic of Girls, the new record from Blondie, struggles with the contradiction. At 66, it's hard to think of singer Debbie Harry as the same fiery young woman who sang "Rip Her to Shreds," but on tracks like the group's cover of Beirut's "Sunday Smile" and "Mother," all you have to do is close your eyes and it's '78 again. Not that it's the goal of the band, per se. "Generally, we don't really try to reference the old stuff," guitarist Chris Stein says. "It just comes out sounding like us . . . with the instrumentation and vocals and stuff. I don't try to deliberately sound like Blondie; it just happens that way." Even if the band isn't focused on the past — and Stein's taste in modern pop like Katy Perry and Rihanna suggests that's the case — the record's best moment is "Love Doesn't Frighten Me," a surging power-pop blast that features Elliot Easton of The Cars. The record probably won't take over modern radio ("Everybody in the pop music scene is still all about youth culture," Stein says), but then again, the band's longevity surprises even Stein. "I never gave it a thought. I probably took too much for granted at the time."

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.