Friday, February 23, 2007


California, Here We Come

OK, so my most inexplicable guilty pleasure, The O.C., closed up shop last night.

No more silly teen brawling, no more cool comic-book geek references from Adam Brody, no more general trash. C'est la vie. The show jumped the shark a couple of years ago (which would have been midway through its second season), but great casting choices such as the aformentioned young Brody, Peter Gallagher and the underappreciated Rachel Bilson (Summer) made the whole thing still have a few sparkling moments in subsequent seasons. (Bilson was given the best line of the finale: Talking about "The Valley," the hit TV show that exists in The O.C. universe, Summer says, "It's been renewed for another five years; those teen soaps go on forever.")

Anyway, as
this piece points out, the real star of The O.C. was the music. When I was in DC, I was a part-time DJ for several years and managed to stay "plugged-in" with the latest sounds. However, after moving up to New York in 1999, I lost track (so to speak) of the music --- after being an alternative music fan for decades.

The OC helped bring to light some pretty cool tunes and artists that I would have otherwise missed. Yeah, much of it could be considered relatively "mainstream" considering the broad parameters of today's disjointed music scene. But, it also helped expose to a broader audience some relatively overlooked modern classics such as the decade-old, yet now-ubiquitous "Hallelujah" by died-much-too-young Jeff Buckley. And, of course, the show's theme -- Phantom Planet's "California" hooked you from the get-go.

And now, four years later, it's over. Smallville may now be the best option for a weekly dose of nice, atmospheric music mixed with teen sturm und drang. Alas, only its first season is available on CD -- whereas The O.C. spawned six "Mixes" in its four short years. A good guide to the music is
available here.

Bye, bye, Newport.

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