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Stan Ridgway

At 56 years old, L.A.-based singer-songwriter (and founding member of Wall of Voodoo) Stan Ridgway will release his newest album, Neon Mirage, in September. In the process of writing and recording it, however, he had a string of losses. His uncle died, his father died, and a friend and contributor to the album committed suicide, which he said impacted his creative process, calling the album "a journey as much as a destination." Ridgway says there's a "weird, old American jukebox in [his] head." Believe it. He has been creating music for more than 30 years and, in that time, has written songs about driving a taxi for a woman who just robbed a bank, being saved in combat by the ghost of a marine named Camouflage, and a couple's depressing drive back from Vegas after having lost all their money yet still hoping to hit the big time. His music is laced with Farfisa organ and Western film-style guitar, which gives his songs a driving sound and tension that makes a listener think they're about to witness a shootout at the OK Corral. Since his music has such a visual quality to it, it is unsurprising that he has worked on a number of movie scores and soundtracks, and his 2001 album, Holiday in Dirt, has a short film by independent filmmakers accompanying each song.

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