Ghostland Observatory

One of the problems with going electronic was how to perform on push-button gear in a world reared on Gibson-stroking, face-twisting, pelvis-thrusting men and women onstage. Even the quintessential electronic band, Kraftwerk, appeared to be comically—perhaps even rebelliously—stiff and robotic at performances. More recent electronic-dance-music (EDM) acts (Orbital, the Crystal Method, Daft Punk) solved some of the problem, or, at least, they walked into a solution: Dance-floor denizens aren’t always looking for a long-haired guy onstage. They’re usually focused on personal space, so EDM artists have been free to pump out music almost anonymously, like DJs do. Enter Ghostland Observatory, the Austin-based, indie electronic band that have brought back some of rock & roll’s showmanship without abandoning the dance floor’s inner vision. Artists today have more freedom to surf between paradigms (Kanye goes electronic, deejays, Moby picks up his guitar), and Ghostland have exploited the pop buffet to become critical darlings. The duo have been living off two-year-old material while cashing in via a heavy road schedule (including a stop at the House of Blues in Anaheim), but they promise a fourth album is on the way for 2010.
Sat., Nov. 21, 8 p.m., 2009

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