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June Panic

June Panic is one prolific fellow. Since 1990, he has released eight cassettes on 3 Out of 4 Records, five full-length CDs on Secretly Canadian Records, and appeared on numerous compilations. Mixing a bizarre combination of old Sebadoh and Simon and Garfunkel into a trashy lo-fi cocktail, Panic explores the familiar territory of broken hearts and shattered dreams with a raw urgency that shines brightly on his four-track bedroom recordings.

Glory Hole, released on cassette in 1995 (3 Out of 4 Records) and on CD in 1996 (Secretly Canadian Records' first release!), is a 78-minute, 28-song album based on the 28 categories of ancient Tibetan yogic practices. But don't let the high concept fool you: these are lo-fi love and loss songs at their best. Every song is like a Harlequin romance novel: though you pretty much know what to expect, you have to keep paying attention because the thing is so darn enthralling. "Born on a Saturday," "Gender Bender," and "The Source (To Destroy a Girl)" all come from Glory Hole.

1998's The Fall of Atom: A Thesis on Entropy, featuring "Man of Your Dreams" and "Don't Love Me Too Long," was Panic's eighth full-length record. It is an introvert's attempt to come clean and to make sense of the parts of life that will always be bizarre. Panic's efforts to unravel life's mysteries are indeed enchanting and addictive. They may even inspire you to pick up that old acoustic guitar and write a hearfelt song about getting dumped.

For his next record, 2000's Horror Vacui, Panic moved out of his bedroom and into the studio, layering his '60s pop-inflected songs with additional washes of guitar, bass, and percussion. The result is a meditative collection of what he calls "devotional" pop songs like "David Poe" and "The Blues of a New Man." 2002's Baby's Breadth, the tenth Panic album, is a mid-fi schizophrenic pop record that takes pop, rock, soul, country, and folk and smears them into a blur of thought from this eccentric soul.