'Twilight' Countdown: Ready for Twi-rock? Meet the Twilight Girls
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Plenty of bands and artists count the "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" books among sources of inspiration, but there may be only one that can credit "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke for its very existence.
The Los Angeles-based Twilight Music Girls stress they're not so much a band as a collective of individual singer-songwriters, but there they are, lining up gigs at the 2009 edition of Twi-Con and performing Sunday (Nov. 16) at Borders in Westwood as part of an afternoon of "Twilight" music and discussion.
Actors Michael Welch and Peter Facinelli are scheduled to be on hand, and four of the five Twilight Music Girls will perform, singing songs of love, desperation and being obsessed with a vampire. Or, as Lyndzie Taylor may sometimes introduce her "Twilight"-inspired tunes to the non-bookstore crowd, "nerdy things."
But though the women who make up the Twilight Music Girls -- all in their early 20s -- may sneak in a sly reference or two to Stephenie Meyer's books, you won't find specific passages quoted in the lyrics, and f the characters' names don't pop up in the acoustic-guitar-and-piano-based songs. Yet there wouldn't even be a Twilight Music Girls, says Kris Angeles, if Hardwicke hadn't suggested the idea to them.
Back in the summer, the members of the Twilight Music Girls scored entree into an early, pre-reshoot screening of the film. Invited to give comments to the director -- "We're not supposed to talk about what we saw," says Taylor -- someone mentioned to Hardwicke that some of their songs had been inspired by the books.
"It was back in July that we got to meet with Catherine Hardwicke and talk to her about the movie," Angelis says. "We were saying that we had been inspired to write songs about ‘Twilight,’ and she said, ‘You should form a group. That would be so much fun.’ So it was Catherine Hardwicke who put the idea in our head. We formed the MySpace page that night."
In addition to Taylor and Angelis, the Twilight Music Girls consist of Lauren Harding, Mallory Trunnell and Laura Serafine. They're all budding singer-songwriters and friends from theater school. They perform regularly at West Hollywood clubs -- not as the Twilight Music Girls -- and discovered their mutual love of "Twilight" long before seeing the film in July.
But their "Twilight" references are specifically for the in-crowd. Sure, Taylor's "Breathless" may allude to shifting eye color of the object of her affection (an Edward Cullen trait, but those reading this blog probably already knew that), but her hurried strumming and fraught wailing can live outside of the "Twilight" lexicon.
"The wizard rock thing is really cool, but a band like Harry and the Potters, it’s schtick," Taylor says. "That’s what they do. They’re really cool, and I do think they’re a lot of fun, but we have more general themes going on."
Trunnell, who penned the Gothic, piano-based tune "How's the Weather," notes it was never the objective to hit the audience over the head with "Twilight" references. "There are other ‘Twilight’ bands, but a lot of people love the fact that we don’t talk about the characters specifically," she says. "If you read ‘Twilight,’ you know it’s about ‘Twilight,’ but if haven’t, you can still like the songs."
That being said, the Twilight Music Girls are ready to geek-out over specific chapters. Ask Harding about her graceful ballad "Give It Away," and she'll get right to the point, saying the song is inspired by a scene in the series' third book, "Eclipse." "It's about Chapter 20, actually," she says.
The Twilight Music Girls are selling a 9-track compilation CD via iTunes, having utilized CDBaby to distribute their music to the digital retailer. They've already written additional "Twilight"-infused songs not on the disc, such as Angelis' Western-influenced "Drowning" (she has a more cabaret cut in "You Gotta Know" on the digital album).
While working the odd retail or coffeeshop day job, the Twilight Music Girls are continuing to try to advance their own individual careers. But they're not worried about long being associated with the vampire books and film, and forever playing the library/bookstore circuit, if that's the way things work out.
"However we can get our music out there is just amazing," says Trunnell. "This [Sunday] is going to be the biggest crowd any of us have ever played to individually."
Watch more videos of the Twilight Music Girls on the act's YouTube page.
The Twilight Music Girls will perform Sunday at Borders in Westwood, 1360 Westwood Blvd., (310) 475-3444. The music starts at 1:30 p.m., and a panel discussion will follow. Click here for more information. Those wanting to attend are encouraged to RVSP to TwilightLive@gmail.com.