November 30, 2004

Various Artists: Music From the OC Mix Two

Ah, the O.C. For the longest time, I avoided this show like the plague. I never was a fan of 90210 or Melrose Place or The Heights or any other night-time soap opera that FOX had to offer, mainly because I never let myself pay attention to the storyline. I was well aware that The O.C was playing great music on their show; as I understood it, Adam Brody’s character was waaay into Death Cab for Cutie. An interesting idea for a soap, but I’d managed to steer clear...until now.

See, my old lady is a big fan. She bought the DVD, and on Sunday, we watched about 8 hours of this show. Like any other soap opera, it sucks you in once somebody makes you watch it. It is for this reason that all throughout 2001, I planned my day around Passions. The O.C.’s plot is so bad it’s good. An attractive rich family adopts an attractive kid from the wrong side of the tracks, and he and his new attractive friends go to a lot of parties and get into a lot of trouble. He falls in love with his next-door neighbor, who is still hung up on her ex-boyfriend, who is, in turn, having sex with her psychotic mom. It’s so ridiculous..yet it’s enticing!

Thumbs up to this show’s music director. She makes such great use of music on this show; I recall a show last season that played “That’s the way we Get By” by Spoon during the opening credits. I bet she could make a great mix cd. Wait, she can! In fact, she released two of them on Warner: Music from the O.C. vols. 1 and 2. Apparently, volume two’s content is to be used during the second season. Songs from Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, Interpol, the Killers, Beulah and more riddle this disc like a new generation indie rock girl’s Ipod. Like a good mix cd should, there isn’t a song on there I don’t like. Some I like more than others, i.e. Jem’s cover of “Maybe I’m Amazed”, and the Killers’ “Smile Like You Mean it” On a sidenote, this show is helping launch the careers of many bands. Millions of teeny-boppers tune in to this show every week, and they see that Seth Cohen listens to Death Cab for Cutie. They then go right out to BEST BUY and buy the cd. When Death Cab comes to town, they are first in line to buy the concert tickets, causing the show to sell out before the slackers get to buy their tickets.

While this new sudden popularity has alienated some of their fans who have been around since they were but a mediocre struggling indie rock band, they are now selling more records then they ever have before. To show how the times have changed, the short-lived My So Called Life (another popular teen soap) had a soundtrack, but I don’t remember the teenyboppers flipping out over Buffalo Tom or Archers of Loaf. When the Flaming Lips appeared on 90210, they slipped further into obscurity. The Walkmen are slated to appear on The O.C. this season. We’ll see what good fortune may come their way. So I guess I’m all for The O.C. after all. The show’s plot is addicting enough, and when you include music such as this, it’s must-see TV. Excuse me, I gotta go, I’ll be in front of the idiot box if you need me.

--Kyle Sowash

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