As lead singer for essential '80s band Wall of Voodoo, Stan Ridgway carved a unique vocal groove into the pop consciousness. Often dismissed as one-hit wonders for their song "Mexican Radio," Wall of Voodoo was a surprisingly original band. Their snakey spaghetti Western guitars and combination of drum machines and live percussion was a perfect match for Ridgway's odd nasal delivery and bizarre lyrics. The band's debut album, Dark Continent, is one of the great lost classics of early-'80s artistry. With songs about factories, being bitten by a tsetse fly and fishing with your dad, the band explored uncharted musical territory, with Ridgway's distinctive vocals as the perfect foil. Ridgway left Wall of Voodoo in 1983 for greener pastures, working with Stewart Copeland on the soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's Rumble Fish and pursuing a successful solo career with singles saturating alternative radio and MTV. Through it all, Ridgway kept his brave, experimental edge to remain an inimitable vocalist and musician with his own instantly identifiable style. Turn off your "Mexican Radio" and come check out Ridgeway in person Saturday at the Lakewood Theater. Call 214-821-SHOW or visit lakewoodtheater.com for tickets and details.
Sat., April 25, 2009