When my wife and I are in the car together, I have this habit of controlling the music, first with the radio stations and eventually with the playlists on my iPod. It used to drive her crazy, as there was only so much Springsteen or Stones she could listen to in a given month. But in the last couple of years, she's stopped complaining as much -- and a few months ago, in fact, she said, "You know, your taste has really expanded lately. I like it."
I thought about it, and I realized that most of the new groups and styles I was playing for her, I had discovered through TV. And she was right; if "The O.C." or "Grey's Anatomy" or "Scrubs" hadn't led me straight to all these songs, they had sent me in their general directions. New York radio is pretty awful, and I haven't made the investment in satellite radio yet, so most of my exposure to new music was coming through my job.
So when I went out to LA for press tour, one of my goals was to talk to as many of the people responsible for my new and improved taste as I could. (Or, as my friend Dan argued, maybe I just wanted them to declare me cool.) I did so many music-related interviews that I wound up with two stories: a mega story about how scripted TV has replaced radio and MTV as the place to break bands, and a profile of Alexandra Patsavas, the music supervisor for "O.C." and "Grey's."
And speaking of music, a few weeks back I wrote about the bizarre recurrence of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" at the exact same time whenever I worked out. For the first time in a while, I didn't hear it at all when I exercised yesterday; at the point where that song usually came on, I got "Time For You," by The Tories. (You may remember it as the theme song from "Jesse" -- or, as my friend Phil puts it, the only good thing about "Jesse.")