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Ghostland Observatory 

When: Sun., Sept. 19 2010
Price: $25, $23 (adv.)
ghostlandobservatory.net
The two men behind the Austin-based electro-rock duo Ghostland Observatory insist they’re “not a band, but an agreement between two friends to create something that not only heals their beat-driven hearts, but pleases their rock ’n’ roll souls.” It’s a heck of a mission statement, but damned if Aaron Kyle Behrens (vocals, guitar) and Thomas Ross Turner (drums, synth) haven’t held their sound accountable. Since 2005, the pair have released three records, and their fourth, Codename: Rondo, is due out Oct. 26. If the sneak preview of Rondo available on YouTube is any indication, the album continues building on Ghostland’s unique foundation of synth-heavy funk influenced by the glam of David Bowie and the outlandish verve of Freddie Mercury. The brief clip evokes a surreal world where one can imagine cowboys and robots and masked wrestlers grooving into the sunset. It’s in keeping with the pair’s reputation for dynamic live shows built around their most popular dance anthems. “Sad Sad City” kicks off with a straight-forward drum beat and eerie-but-playful synth rhythms while “Robotique Majestique” features that awesome hollow knocking sound popular in every ’80s pop song. These numbers may not heal beat-driven souls, but they certainly step up the shimmy. —Andrea Warner

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