Breakin' it Down at Rockville, CA

Having Josh Schwartz and Alexandra Patsavas, the creator and music supervisor of The O.C., as enthusiasts was a pretty sweet deal for Phantom Planet in 2003. The duo’s placement of Phantom Planet’s “California” as the theme song to The O.C. scored the band a passageway to success. Phantom Planet was just the first of many bands that would rise to fame in large part due to The O.C. During the show’s second season, Schwartz added to the script a hangout known as The Bait Shop, where music became just as important as the plot. It was in The Bait Shop where bands like Rooney, The Killers and Death Cab for Cutie got their first national exposure to millions of American teenagers and those teens ate it up.

Bring on the Bloodshed

Gossip Girl is alluring and utterly addicting. Desperate Housewives, despite Eva Longoria’s recent departure from modelesque glamour and Teri Hatcher’s ever-escalating ability to irritate me (though she used to be my favorite) will always hold a special place in my heart. I hear Lost is fantastic and that The Office is the best thing that’s ever happened to NBC (no, I would not know this from personal viewing experience — please don’t hurt me). As for Grey’s Anatomy, in my opinion if it hopes to be remembered as anything at all, its best bet would be to go off the air immediately. Although a friend recently told me that something amazing just happened with Izzy, I’m going to have to say that it’s too little, too late.

Mind the Generation Gap

My mom called and exclaimed, “I just saw the commercial!” in one of the most excited tones I’ve heard from her in months. She was calling in reference to a conversation we had had about a month prior, when I mentioned a new band I loved who I originally heard on a Sears commercial. Like most technologically illiterate mommies, mine was fascinated by the Internet’s capacity to help me figure out a random song I heard in the background of a commercial. This all rang a bell in my mom’s head about a song she liked in the background of a commercial. However, she couldn’t remember for the life of her, how the song went or in which commercial it was featured.

Black Friday Shopping: Contact Sport Gone Wrong

In the wee hours of the morning, while the sun shone brightly on the other half of the world, a couple thousand Long Islanders sat in their cars in silent anticipation. The cars were neatly packed into a dark parking lot, every here and there one illuminated by the eerie glow of a lamppost. The fenders sat a little lower than usual in these first moments of the day after Thanksgiving, as most bellies were still stuffed to unusual dimensions with turkey and pumpkin pie. Floor mats were littered with the pages of a Wal-Mart flyer that had long been committed to the memory of every shopper. Visions of $69 digital cameras and $28 vacuums danced in their heads.

10 Things I Love About Music

In the interest of summing up the semester — this being my final column of 2008 — and because I’m at a loss for things to write about, I’m going to supply loyal readers (that means you, Dad) with a Weiss-a-roni-style list of my favorite musical things. The underlying message here being that because I love these things, you should love them too.
Number One. Les Choristes. Les Choristes is a French film, directed by Christophe Barratier, about a failed composer who goes to teach music at a dreary boarding school for “troublesome” boys. Rebellion and learning ensue, and the movie ends up making me so happy every time I watch it. If you are feeling sad, you must watch this movie. You will grin by the end.

French Finger Tips, Red Lips … Bitch Is Dangerous

Yesterday — whether or not the majority of you readers know — was an epic day of importance in the lives of millions of gay men across the United States. No, Proposition 8 was not overturned, nor were laws preventing homosexuals from adopting. Something more directly correlated to these individuals’ happiness occurred: Britney Spears’ latest album, Circus, was released. This happening coincided with the international star’s 27th birthday, and it signifies the beginning of the entertainer’s latest (and most promising) attempt at a comeback.

Whiteney Houston

Most people’s parents don’t allow their grade school kids to choose a path of habitual insomnia via excess consumption of Nick at Nite. But mine did, and thank God, because I found my soul mate in the fogotton Brady Bunch middle child, Bobby. He and I are kindred spirits. His voice begins to crack just as he and his siblings get a recording contract, just like my siblings and I, whose single “Yeeeeee” — where we do three-part harmonies of the word “Yeeeeee” — never got released.

From Ivory Tower to Bullet-Proofed Mansion

I woke up yesterday morning and sat bolt upright from the cushy, puke-green sofa in my living room I had fallen asleep on earlier that night (morning?). Something was definitely not right. I pulled the notes I was using to write a rather fabulous English essay (due in approximately three hours) from my face and took stock of my emotions.
What was this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach? Could it be that third helping of my Jersey cousins’ stuffing from Saturday afternoon, rising ominously up from the depths? Perhaps it was the caffeine pills — I mean tic-tacs — I’d been popping like an addict for the past nine hours?