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.

Test Spin: Bishop Allen

They graduated from Harvard. They performed in the movie Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. They released a four song EP every month during the year 2006. Heck, they even made it into my top 100 most listened to songs in iTunes quite a few times. Now (well actually, two weeks ago) Bishop Allen released their third full-length album, and it’s so upbeat and prepped-out.

A Bad Hair Day

After a few days under the sun searching for seashells in the sands of Sanibel Island, Florida, I returned to my native New York to do what I always do on break: go to the theater with my mom and aunt. Sadly, it was a total bust this time around.

Tardy Ticket Buyers Beware

There are few things more frustrating than missing a concert because it’s sold out and you can’t get a ticket. One of those more frustrating things is being a member of the Concert Commission and telling all of your friends on a daily basis to buy tickets to a show before it sells out. Then, getting texts, voice messages, Facebook messages and emails begging you for tickets when there aren’t any left. It was the story of my life last week, and it totally took a toll on me. Although I was ecstatic that the Ludacris concert sold out, I can totally relate to my friends’ feeling of wanting to get into a show but not having the means to get a ticket.

Anthem For A Ex-13-Year-Old Girl

It’s been almost two weeks since the Grammy’s. In fact, it’s been exactly 12 days since I sat in front of my television in awe of three presenters. Mark Hoppus, Tom DeLonge and Travis Barker –– the members of the pop-punk sensation, Blink 182 –– stood on stage together to announce their reunion.

Test Spin: Howlies

Trippin’ with Howlies is a legitimate trip through rock ’n roll time. The album starts with “Sea Level,” a subdued ’70s punk-esque song, continues on into “Smoke,” a ’60s Beatles-in-India type track and then proceeds into “Howlies Sound,” a ’50s rock meets doo-wop song with the added bonus of a Chuck Berry-like guitar solo. Overall, the album reeks of imitation from such famed acts as the Kinks, the Beach Boys, James Brown and the Ramones, to name a few.

Wait I've Got It: It's the Spice Girls!

My roommates are fools. There’s really no nicer way to state it. Whilst having a sing-a-long in my room with said fools this past weekend, I was mixing up a playlist between the oldies but goodies and the newly nostalgic ’90s songs that will never get boring. Song after song, my roommates’ eyes would light up in excitement as each track changed to a different one they both knew and loved. But somewhere between “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes and “Praise You” by Fat Boy Slim, I chose “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel. My roommates’ faces fell to perplexity. The song was completely foreign to both of them. I’ll be the first to admit that “Uptown Girl” is not the most famous song in the Billy Joel discography.

Test Spin: Glasvegas

Across the board, European music critics loved Glasvegas in 2008. In mid-summer, NME named them “The Best New Band in Britain” and by the close of the year, their album had peaked at no. 2 on the UK charts. The singles “Geraldine” and “Daddy’s Gone” as well as the self-titled album by the Scottish foursome, topped quite a few of the British year-end lists.

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.

Britney Spears: Circus

On her MTV special “For the Record,” Britney Spears proclaimed, “I don’t really like it when they say, ‘the comeback.’” Damn straight she shouldn’t like it, because it’s not true! Yes, she had a few life crises over the past year, but her music career never went away. While quite a handful of reviewers say that Blackout (2007) was not a true comeback, I strongly disagree. There were five solid singles off that CD (“Gimme More,” “Piece of Me,” “Radar,” “Break the Ice” and “Toy Soldier”) and it was one of the most successful party albums of last year. Now, Spears’s 2008 release, Circus, which some media outlets are calling her true-comeback, is in reality just an interesting follow-up to Blackout.