In reference to The Bait Shop, one of Seth Cohen’s famous quick-witted lines goes like this:
Seth Cohen: The Bait Shop? Could be our very own CBGBs.
Ryan Atwood: Could be what?
Seth Cohen: C’mon. What? The only music they had in Chino was the sound of gunshots and helicopters?
The Bait Shop, an intimate nightclub and concert venue on the pier, was a crucial part of The O.C. and Seth Cohen, along with the other characters can be seen there regularly throughout the seasons. Many indie bands are featured live at the club, including Death Cab for Cutie, The Walkmen, The Killers, Modest Mouse, Rooney, The Thrills, The Subways, and Rachael Yamagata. It is a really neat idea that even to this day is not done very often. For The O.C. to have so many bands make guest appearances and “perform” live on the show is major, even over a decade later.
An interview with Alexandra Patsavas, the music supervisor of the show, revealed her opinions on the show’s music choices and what makes them “hits.” She says that in her case, her choices are creatively based, and not because she has to adhere to a specific budget. She picks the songs that are tailored to fit a certain scene and that songs can become hits based on the scenes they are associated with. While researching, I came across a series of videos on YouTube called “The O.C. Best Music Moment #…” I thought this was pretty perfect considered it demonstrates exactly what Patsavas was trying to get across. The music gains so much more meaning when it is paired with the clip from the episode. The episode also has a lot more emotion with the addition of the music. It really does make a difference.
Indie music in The O.C. was something that had not been done before. The O.C. was a forerunner in doing this and not until about a year later did Zach Braff do something similar with Garden State. After these pioneers started the trend, films and television shows began to pick up the on the idea. It was new and unique; everyone wanted in. Since the show was so closely associated with the indie genre, even today one cannot be mentioned without the other. Even people that are not familiar with the show, know that it has some relation to the indie music culture. Patsavas continued her legacy with the Twilight Saga and Grey’s Anatomy. Grey’s is said to be a more mature version of The O.C., using the same types of music but in a way that attracts a slightly older audience. Patsavas does an excellent job, in my opinion.
I interviewed Madeline Sita, a music geek in her own right, to see what she had to say about The O.C., its music, and Seth Cohen specifically. Check it out below!
Phantom Planet‘s “California” is featured on The O.C. as its theme song. The band gained a lot of attention when the show decided to go with this song to exemplify all that is Orange County.
Death Cab for Cutie, an indie band based out of Washington state headed by Ben Gibbard, is Seth Cohen’s all time favorite band. “A Lack of Color” can be heard playing as well as discussed many times throughout the series. Seth even suggests that they create a Chrismukkah hymn to the tune of it.
Listen below for a Public Service Announcement about Spotify and music from The O.C.
Good, Dave. “Why Is There So Much Indie Rock on Television?” LAWeekly.com. LA
Weekly. 13 Nov. 2012. Web. 5 May 2014.
jdpink (jdpink). “Garden State, along with The O.C., paved the way for the Grey’s Anatomying of indie music.”
The OC – Best Music Moments #1 (Dice – Finley Quaye) [HD]. Rodrigo Silva. 2 Mar. 2012. YouTube. Web. 5 May
Stern, Marlow. “Bands Made Popular by ‘The O.C.’: The Killers, Death Cab for Cutie,
Rooney, More.” TheDailyBeast.com. The Daily Beast Company, LLC. 5 Aug.
2013. Web. 5 May 2014.