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Observatory will have you seeing stars

It’s December, it’s Pittsburgh, it’s freezing. No surprises there, unless you’re from the comparatively balmy winter confines of Texas. Then the frozen north comes as something of a shock.

It’s December, it’s Pittsburgh, it’s freezing. No surprises there, unless you’re from the comparatively balmy winter confines of Texas. Then the frozen north comes as something of a shock.

“It’s in the 20s or something,” groans Thomas Ross Turner, one half of electro rockers Ghostland Observatory. “When I left home, it was in the 70s.”

Fortunately, Turner packed accordingly and the task at hand — promoting the duo’s new fourth CD, “Codename: Rondo” — isn’t too hellish. Besides, the heady glam-funk set is warming up packed clubs and seems poised to push G.O. from the hipster milieu to — dare we say? — the mainstream.

Key to the Austin-based duo’s steady climb from obscurity to the freezing reaches of Pennsylvania is momentum.

“It’s been interesting, the progression,” says Ross Turner. “We spent quite a bit of time touring with the previous record. We were touring and touring for two years straight. We took some time off to do this record, but it wasn’t like we really stopped.”

That can-do attitude is echoed in the spiraling assault of propulsive dance beats and kitsch funk rock of “Rondo.” Turner says the biggest mistake a young band can make is taking a break from the listening public’s eager ears.

“There’s so much stuff coming out. If you take too long, you can’t expect everyone to just pick right up where you left off. You’ve got to stay fresh in people’s minds, especially the way the music business is now. You can’t let up.”

Everybody knows your name

Ghostland Observatory, which formed in 2003 and records for Turner’s Trashy Moped Recordings, isn’t quite at a mainstream level yet, but the Texan twosome is shocked that so many people know about the band.

“It’s surprising, we play towns where you might not think people would know us and we sell 1,500 tickets. It’s starting to seem like our music’s catching on a lot more.”

 
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