Ghostland Observatory is an American music duo based in Austin, Texas. Their music has been described as a combination of electro, rock and funk by Allmusic, and "electro-dance soul rock" by Gothamist.
Front man Aaron Behrens provides vocals in addition to occasionally playing the guitar. Thomas Ross Turner plays the drums or synthesizer.
The band released their first full-length album, delete.delete.i.eat.meat, in 2005 on Turner's Trashy Moped Recordings. They also released their second CD, Paparazzi Lightning, on the same label in January 2006. On October 16, 2007, they made their national television debut on NBC's Late Night with Conan O'Brien, performing the song "Sad Sad City". They appeared on Austin City Limits in 2007, and released their first live DVD, Live from Austin, TX on November 13, 2007. In a video shot at the Vegoose Music Festival, they announced their album Robotique Majestique, later released on March 4, 2008. On December 26, 2007, Austin newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman, announced Ghostland Observatory as their band of the year. They performed at the Austin City Limits Music Festival, in Austin, TX in 2006, 2007, and 2009. During their 2007 Austin City Limits performance of "The Band Marches On", the "University of Texas"" marching band accompanied the duo on stage for a lights out performance. They have appeared at Coachella in Indio, CA and Voodoo Experience in New Orleans, LA.
2010-2014: Codename: Rondo, hiatus
October 26, 2010 saw the release Ghostland Observatory's fourth album, Codename: Rondo, which was introduced with a show at the Cedar Park Center, in Texas, on October 28, 2010. At that time they took the laser show to another level, having 16 lasers and a sophisticated assemblage of mirrors scattered around the stage to produce visual effects in real time usually only seen in movies. On Thursday March 17, 2011 they participated in a friendly battle against Snoop Dogg live at the Red Bull SoundClash on South Padre Island, Texas. On August 13, 2011 they performed at Pacific Festival in Orange County, CA alongside Cut Copy and Steve Aoki. They played in the Beat Tent on night 3 of CounterPoint Music Festival in Fairburn, GA.
On April 10, 2013, they posted on their Facebook page "Yes it is true. We are on hiatus right now. Bathing and relaxing in the cosmos. Rejuvenating our spirits and soaking in the cosmic rays. Much love to all our GLOheads out there. See y'all in the future."
They returned for one show on January 31, 2014, opening for Jurassic 5 at the Icelantic Winter on the Rocks concert at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Kaitlyn Farrington said this is what she was listening to when competing in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
- Aaron Kyle Behrens – Born on January 11, 1982 in San Saba, TX. Behrens is the lead vocalist and guitarist. Behrens was previously involved with the band Dismount and Waking Helix (also consisting of Thomas Turner).
- Thomas Ross Turner – Born on August 7, 1979 in Pecos, TX. Turner contributes to background vocals (usually in robotic form), drums, keyboard, and synthesizer.
- 2005: delete.delete.i.eat.meat (Trashy Moped)
- 2006: Paparazzi Lightning (Trashy Moped)
- 2008: Robotique Majestique (Trashy Moped)
- 2010: Codename: Rondo (Trashy Moped)
- 2007: Twin Cities (Trashy Moped)
- 2006: Austin City Limits: Music Festival 2006 (Trashy Moped/Austin City Limits)
- 2007: Live At Lollapalooza 2007 (Trashy Moped/Lolla)
- 2007: Austin City Limits: Music Festival 2007 (Trashy Moped/Austin City Limits)
- 2007: Live From Austin TX (New West)
- 2007: KVRX Local Live Volume 11: Assacre To Zookeeper ‒ CD/DVD combo (KVRX)
Pitchfork Media: Ghostland Observatory are sometimes said to be "simple" or "fun" and thus necessary in the overly stuffy world of indie rock. This overlooks that most of the other acts that Ghostland immediately conjure (Daft Punk, Hot Chip, Scissor Sisters, even George Michael balladry on "Mama") have already proven more than capable of mainstream consumption without a first-gen ringtone version of itself existing. The problem isn't that Ghostland Observatory seem like unserious people, it's that the same flippant attitude infects their musicianship. Codename: Rondo sounds like two people doing the least amount of work possible before something can be considered a "song." If you're the type who enjoys watching 35 straight minutes of College Humor clips, Codename: Rondo might be up your alley. Everyone else will just hear 10 songs that fail as both pop and humor. Codename: Rondo and Robotique Majestique each received 1.5 points out of a possible 10.
Wall Street Journal: From Austin, Texas, the duo Ghostland Observatory revels in unpredictability. On their fourth full-length album, the spirited "Codename: Rondo," released in late October, they reduced their output on most tracks to funky synth beats and sounds, percussion and conversational vocals-raps—walking away from the fuller, textured music on their earlier discs. But a live album recorded at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in late 2009 and released earlier this year gives a sense of the frenetic music they can conjure in concert. Comparisons to Daft Punk are apt to a degree, but there's really no act like them.
Album Review LA Music Blog: Sometimes I wonder if, during all his research and experiments, Benjamin Franklin ever suspected that electricity would play such a vital role in music. Who knows, maybe Ol’ Ben strapped that key to his kite because he desperately wanted to cut loose to a wicked techno beat. Imagine if things would have advanced differently, Benjamin Franklin could have been DJ Kite Keys, spinning the best beats of the 18th century. Can you imagine the hundred dollar bill with Franklin wearing aviator sunglasses and oversized headphones? Can you see why I was never able to concentrate in History class? Electronic music is a really crowded market, which can make standing out a bit of a challenge. It seems the only way to keep the sound fresh is to meld it with other genres of music. At least, that seems to be what Ghostland Observatory founded their style on.
- on Myspace
- "Heavy Heart" -
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- 27 March 2008 -
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- 7 December 2010 -
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- 19 November 2011 -
- 27 April 2012 -