And once again, Alexandra Patsavas will be the musical supervisor. But don’t expect Dan Deacon or Deerhunter to be playing showcases at the Peach Pit or the Bait Shop, or whatever they’re going to call it in the new show:
“What ‘The OC’ did for indie rock, we’d like ‘Gossip Girl’ to do for pop,” she says. The pilot episode of “Gossip Girl” spotlights music by Rihanna, the Mooney Suzuki, Hanson, Amy Winehouse, Angels & Airwaves and others.
I’m sure Rihanna could use a little more exposure.
Our old friend Alexandra Patsavas, the music supervisor for the OC, Carnivale, and Grey’s Anatomy, is forming her own record label, Chop Shop Records, as an imprint of Atlantic Records.
“A label seems like a natural extension of what a music supervisor does . . . You can come across things very early, and there have been bands along the way I would have loved to have worked with more closely.”
You know what the best job in the world has got to be? Music Supervisor. Especially for a hip TV show where the main characters love indie rock.
So I just spent 15 minutes on the phone Alexandra Patsavas, the music supervisor for “The OC.” Warner Brothers is releasing the fourth volume in its series of Music from the OC Mixes (review), and Patsavas is making the rounds talking to dorks like me so people will go out and buy the new release. She seems like a very nice person who really does love great music as much as you and I do. No surprise there, I guess, because the music choices on the show are stellar.
So you’re probably wondering how someone ends up becoming a music supervisor? I was too. So I asked her.
Patsavas: I’m from Chicago, and I started out booking clubs in Champaign during college. I eventually moved out here and got a job working for Roger Corman. [Editorial note: some of this is paraphrased due to the lack of a telephone recorder – Ed.]
GLONO: It’s obvious that music plays a huge part on the show.
Patsavas: Definitely. Music is a character on the show.
GLONO: How’d that come about?
Patsavas: Josh Schwartz is totally into indie music. And from the very beginning, there was always a big focus on the music, and on indie rock in particular.
GLONO: Have you ever had any pressure from FOX to put certain songs in episodes that maybe they own or whatever?
Patsavas: None whatsoever. There’s really been no pressure at all.
GLONO: Anyone ever offer you money to get a song on the show?
Patsavas: No, never.
Patsavas: No, they never have. Really.
GLONO: How do bands get their songs on the show?
Patsavas: We get sent around 400 to 500 cds a week.
GLONO: What are the last cds that you actually went out and bought and paid for?
Patsavas: Let me think. I just bought the Dears. Oh, and Death Cab. They’re going to be on camera in an upcoming episode…
GLONO: At the Peach Pit?
Patsavas: The Bait Shop. But I realized I didn’t have all their cds, so I went out and picked up the rest of their releases.
GLONO: Any other exciting music coming up in future episodes?
Patsavas: We’re going to have Bloc Party. And Spoon! We’re going to have the new Spoon.
GLONO: That’s cool. I just heard a thing about how “WKRP in Cincinnati” will probably never come out on DVD because they don’t have the rights to use the music anymore. That’s not going to happen to “The O.C,” is it?
Patsavas: Ha ha. No, they clear for all TV and video. The industry changed a lot with DVDs.
GLONO: Back to the OC Mixes. How come there’s only, like, 12 songs on them? There’s obviously plenty of room for more?
Patsavas: I honestly have no idea. But Warner Brothers Records has been very good to us. Sorry I don’t really know about that, but I can talk all day long about how great the new Aqueduct album is.
GLONO: What’s the deal with that Boys II Men song in that one episode? That was hilarious. And awesome.
Patsavas: That was all Josh. That’s him being inspired, and writing to the scene.
GLONO: Ha. But it really is amazing how much good music you fit into the show. Ever have any licensing problems with a song you really wanted to use?
Patsavas: That’s actually one of the things I’m proudest of: bands who never license for TV who we’ve got. Like Bright Eyes, Beck, the Beastie Boys…
GLONO: I think you expose a lot of great music to a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise hear it. You’re not going to hear it on the radio or on MTV.
Patsavas: I hope we’re playing that role. The whole team is extraordinarily involved in the music.
GLONO: I’m surprised how well music fits the scene. Although I’m not sure if I believe that Caleb would be playing Kings of Convenience at his cocktail party…
Patsavas: He might! But really, we choose the songs that fit the emotion of the scene.
GLONO: Oh yeah, I know. Hey, one final question.
Patsavas: Uh oh.
GLONO: Any chance you can kill off Marissa?
Patsavas: I love Marissa.
GLONO: She’s got to die.
Patsavas: No way, I love Marissa. I do.
So there you have it. The person with the best job in the world. After the interview I discovered that she also supervises the music for “Carnivale” on HBO. I love that old-time crazy shit. What a wild record party you could have at her house! Mixing it up between Death Cab and Cab Calloway. Fade from Sufjan Stevens to the Carter Family.