Monday, January 30, 2006

Come on, get happy

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.")


Tosy And Cosh said...

The TV show whose music has made me perk up my ears the most consistently over the past year and a half or so has been Lost's--and not the pop songs. That such a cult-y show, with such a rabid fan base, hasn't yet spawned a score CD is beyond me. Michael Giacchino's stuff is just brilliant--easily the best dramatic TV scoring I can remember in a long while.

Anonymous said...

"Giacchino also working on “Mission Impossible 3,” which J.J. Abrams is directing. And he’s currently putting together a soundtrack CD of music from “Lost.”

Tosy And Cosh said...



Alan Sepinwall said...

I would agree that Lost has the best orchestral score on TV right now, very reminiscent (I'm sure deliberately) of Bernard Herrmann's Alfred Hitchcock scores. Scares the crap out of me half the time.

And even when the writing's mediocre (as it usually is these days), the West Wing score still can conjure the feelings of the good years.

But Grey's Anatomy in particular is a show where I think the music kept me watching after I thought the first few episodes were just okay.

Tosy And Cosh said...

The West Wing has a fine theme, but the background scoring has never grabbed me really. I find myself listening and noticing the Lost music pretty much continuously--and that has never happened for me with a TV show, whereas in movies it happens all the time. Part of it might be that there's much less recycling. I love me my Gilmore Girls, but they have been recycling the same exact few musical cues over and over and over since its beginning. Not sure if the WW is guilty of this or not. Even when Giacchino recycles themes, and he does, they are usually heavily reorchestrated.

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

The "Lost" music is so original and so exact that it makes the show seem more coherent than it is. It's also the most musically daring score on network television, often atonal and rhythmically surprising. If every episode of "Lost" were as adventurous as Giacchino's cues, the show would be mind-boggling, as opposed to merely diverting.