Local Wire

Stan Ridgway

Stan Ridgway was there when the doors opened, and he never left the building. In the late 1970s, when L.A. punk was kicking off and Black Flag, X, and Darby Crash were climbing out of the primordial muck, still covered in La Brea tar, Ridgway was establishing his mutant view of the musical universe via his band Wall of Voodoo. But what made Voodoo great was its deep connection with Sunset Blvd. -- the movie, not the street. The band drew strength from ancient Hollywood tropes, not only writing for movies, but from movies. Ridgway continues to score for films to this day, much like his ancient IRS Records labelmate Danny Elfman, who went from Oingo Boingo to scoring Spider-Man. But Stan Ridgway's work in the last 25 years has never deviated greatly from his Voodoo roots, and there's a deeply skewed sensibility at work here. He's a bit like a creepy uncle who tells you weird stories that stick to the soul, even when they might not make any immediate sense -- a non-sequiturian who works off his wit and Day of the Locust soul.
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Henry Cabot Beck