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“Twilight” Spawns The Black Ghosts

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The hysteria over teen-vampire flick Twilight has subsided a bit since the movie first hit theaters and spawned a chart-topping soundtrack, but that soundtrack continues to shift units largely based on the success of Paramore's gone-Evanescence modern rock hit "Decode."

Love or hate the film, you have to admit, the soundtrack features some pretty cool tunes, including contributions from Muse, Mute Math, Perry Farrell and Iron & Wine. But the track I'm most jazzed about is "Full Moon" by the Black Ghosts, mostly because of the fact I hadn't heard the band prior to its inclusion in film and on the soundtrack. It's a haunting track with a '60s psych-folk vibe that belies the band's electronic roots, save for a trip-hop flavored backbeat.

So far, the track is merely bubbling under. It was receiving airplay on the late great KDLD-KDLE (Indie 103.1) in Los Angeles before that station's recent flip to Spanish and was also heard on a dozen other alternative and college radio stations last week, according to Mediaguide. Given Twilight-mania, it's not too surprising that the song has served as the soundtrack to several home-made video clips mashing up images from the film, like the one below, which is followed by the official video.

(Unfortunately, the fan-made clip has been disabled due to a WMG copyright claim, but you get the idea. You can still watch the official clip below.)

 

 

 

Most terrestrial playlists continue to suffer from unadventurous programming and one-time music video networks MTV and VH1 devote much of their programming to reality programs. As a result, films, TV, commercials and the Internet have become avenues for many acts to get their first shot of mainstream exposure. This isn't exactly new and it's not limited to so-called "alternative rock." If I remember correctly, Snoop Dogg, then known as Snoop Doggy Dogg, received his first exposure in 1992 on the Deep Cover soundtrack. In 1998, The City Of Angels soundtrack helped further the careers of Alanis Morissette and the Goo Goo Dolls.

Although the ala carte world of downloading and streaming on the Internet has lessened the importance of soundtracks to some extent, they have continued to serve as an entree for new acts to gain entry in the mainstream. Case in point, The Garden State soundtrack from 2004, which helped expose indie rockers the Shins and electronic duo Frou Frou to a wider audience. That same year, a soundtrack to Fox's The OC, featuring such up-and-comers at the 88 and Phantom Planet, helped break a number of hit indie rock acts. The series continued with five more discs released over a two-year period.

Perhaps it's no surprise that the woman behind compiling Music From The OC and similar soundtracks from Grey's Anatomy and Gossip Girl is Alexandra Patsavas, who was also the mastermind behind the Twilight soundtrack, which brings us back to the Black Ghosts. Apparently the band has been around since 2006 and has a history that dates back even further. The duo of Theo Keating and Simon Lord both had previous bands. Keating was once known as Touche from the '90s British duo the Wiseguys, famous for "Start The Commotion," heard incessantly in a 2001 Mitsubishi TV commercial.

 

Lord was in Simian, whose claim to fame also came from the use of one of its songs in a car commercial. (Its "La Breeze" was featured in a Peugeot advert).

Keating and Lord actually met over the Internet and wrote half their first album via cyberspace before meeting face to face. The band's self-titled debut, which was released last summer, features a guest spot from Gorillaz/Blur main man Damon Albarn on "The Repetition Kills You." Here's the video clip for that track along with an album preview. Watch 'em while I go get the album.

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