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Spindrift's Psychedelic Spaghetti Western Comes to L.A.

SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WESTEXPAND
SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WEST
Screenshot from Roberts Ranch Larimer / CO by Burke Roberts

Spindrift has been making cinematic soundtrack-art since the '90s. Right now, they're roaming the range in a genre dubbed "Psychedelic Spaghetti Western."

Their latest cinematic trip began two years ago, when the band embarked on a month-long trek across the West; performing live at historic sites, cooked-desert terrain, and behind the dusty vestiges of old ghost towns.

The vision of both the band and filmmaker Burke Roberts was to create a cinematic experience — a psychedelic western soundtrack that now (after two years) has a monument: a whiskey-soaked, spaghetti western peyote trip called Spindrift: Ghost of the West.

SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WEST
SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WEST
J.T. Gurzi

The film premieres this Thursday, July 24 at the Downtown Independent Theater, which includes a live performance of the soundtrack by the band. This will be the first-ever screening of the film.

Spindrift: Ghost of the West is a visual trip through what Rimbaud called a “systematized disorganization of all the senses,” but at the same time, a haunting spaghetti western that chases down a story, sort of. Judging by the trailer, the storytelling is driven more by the marriage between LSD cinematography and western rock 'n' roll.

The Ghost of the West soundtrack, released last October on Tee Pee Records, was the result of inspiration Spindrift singer and founder Kirpatrick Thomas and bassist David Koenig (formerly of Brian Jonestown Massacre) found in campfire acoustic sessions following gigs in Joshua Tree.

The result sounds like a Syd Barret-led orchestra from the Old West producing psychedelic-rock instrumentals in the same vein as The Shadows' "Apache," except flowing down a river of Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam" and Ennio Morricone scores. 


Spindrift has been around since 1992; corralling members from The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Warlocks, and Psychic TV. The band originally formed in Newark, Delaware, but relocated to Los Angeles in 2001. Throughout all the changes, which include sonic transitions between spaced-out garage rock and psychedelia (they even contributed to the soundtrack of the Tarantino-produced Hell Ride in 2008), the one true constant remains musician and actor Kirpatrick Thomas — whose outlook, and that of his band, is inspired by Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West.

Spindrift: Ghost of the West is the visual culmination of his psychedelic western soul. 

Tickets for the L.A. premiere of SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WEST are available here.  

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