OC-centric Shallow

This is the sound The O.C. makes

OC_soundtrack.jpgYou’re going to write the perfect three-minute pop song. You’ve been saying this to yourself since you saw Beck open for Beth Orton at that secret show he did at the El Rey for her a few years back, only, for you, it wasn’t a secret show, because you knew about his playing an intimate acoustic set hours in advance. And when an excited hush fell over the floor when Beth Orton came out to announce her opening act, you smiled knowingly. Your friends said you glowered, but that was most likely because you thought Orton’s Central Reservation was such a letdown. You have nothing against Beck.
Besides, he’s the old guard. You’re all about Rooney, now, and The Walkmen, and labels like Sub Pop. You adored Eric’s Trip way back when, and you’ve been listening to Minnesota’s slowcore riot act Low well before they first appeared on “Music From the O.C. Mix 3: Have a Very Merry Chrismukkah“. Fuck, you had that original EP before the word “Kranky” was being whispered by every other record-buyer at Amoeba. You know droning music, and you’re not even Finnish like that Mika Vainio motherfucker. That shit’s just noise. Static. Like Felix Kubin on fucking heroin. You know this because you got yourself a Nord Lead years ago, just so you could create your own take on the percussive mathematic chaos of labels like Schematic and Warp. You were going to outshine Autechre.
But then you ended up having to work seventy-plus hours a week at your marketing firm during that product launch for Coke’s newest clear soda, and you lost interest. You fucking hated clear soda. You did, however, develop a severe drinking problem, in that other sense of consuming fluids. And started to appreciate the way that vocal-based indie music better complemented your commute on the fucking 10 freeway as you rolled into work later and later after those long nights out, and you tuned off KCRW and KXLU and popped in the latest Doves record. That somehow led to your getting, finally, that old Unkle record from 1998, which you had ignored for so long, because you never liked DJ Shadow, even when he did his own production work, much less his manning the decks for that cross-eyed James Lavelle motherfucker as he did on this record…but then you heard Ian Brown sing on that remake of that one song, and Richard Ashcroft, and Thom Yorke, and you were hooked. It was like the Britpop fad from the mid-90s, all NME and shit, but, somehow, cooler. Like, Flaunt– or index-caliber. And so you bought the soundtrack to Jonathan Glazer’s “Sexy Beast” because Unkle collaborated with South on it. And you grew to love South, too. Those beats were so slinky. And the guitars, so synthetic. You traded in your Nord Lead for a Fender Stratocaster and an amp. You couldn’t really figure out which effects pedals to get, so you winged it, and fucked around with the sounds as they ran through your G4 laptop.
And it all sounded like shit. It certainly didn’t sound like Interpol’s first record.
You had somehow failed to capture that mélange of angst and self-loathing and morose despair that ran throughout “Untitled”. Instead, you had penned a series of asinine ditties that sounded more like the fucking Shins, which was ok, except you weren’t into Sub Pop just yet, so it wasn’t ok at the time. You were a wreck. You hated yourself, and your friend Leslie, who had played drums on the record in certain parts, invited you over to her place in Los Feliz to watch this new Fox TV pilot for which she had done some of the casting. And when The O.C. began, and you heard those first few strains of Phantom Planet singing their rapturous hit “California”, you were hooked. Really, it was, just…rapturous (and yes, you fucking hated the DFA up to this point, so re-treaded disco beats had been done to death as far as you were concerned, and you were instead eagerly seeking out guitar hooks).
Phantom Planet, man…You still hate Jason Schwartzman. He was at the Wiltern once while you were watching Damien Rice play, and he just looked so fucking smug. Then he made some small talk with the bandmembers, and they ushered him backstage, and you really, really hated him. You fucking love Damien Rice. And you’re going to write the perfect three-minute pop song about that. It’ll be like that song that girl group wrote about David Duchovny in 1998, only less stalkerish. Probably more like the song Ben Gibbard wrote about Evan Dando in 2001 as part of the build-up to his later Postal Service success. You could totally do that. Three minutes. That’s all you need. Now for some inspiration…sixty fucking minutes thereof.
Actually, I’ve never seen The O.C.; I’m sure it’s pretty good.
The O.C. airs at 8PM EST on FOX.
Earlier: You can’t stop, can you? You just can’t.

2 replies on “This is the sound The O.C. makes”

Ha! that was great, but isn’t that california song b y phantom planet? Or are you talking about a different one?

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