Television

Got It Covered / Artist Spotlight: Birdy

By Bekah Touma

With a mouthful of a name like Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde it’s no surprise that she quickly adopted a stage name, Birdy. Although don’t let the girl with the cute name and equally cute, fifteen-year-old, brace-filled smile (if smiling at all) fool you. There is an incredible maturity to her voice that belies her years, giving the impression of a lifetime of brooding not yet earned.  Playing the piano since the early age of four and winning a UK talent contest at the age of 12 contributed to her signing a record deal by 14.  Her self-titled debut album was released in the UK only via Atlantic Records in early November.

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Music in Media / For Some Cable Television Comedies, Bizarre Is Better

By Andrew Thomas


I’d like to take a moment to discuss an area of composed music that is frequently overlooked: comedy.  Consistent with the attitude of the rest of the industry, comedic music is seen as the cheap, uninteresting little brother of the bold, exciting dramatic score. Want proof? In the 12 years since the Academy stopped giving Oscars for both comedic and dramatic scores and consolidated them both into one category, only one comedic score has actually won (Michael Giacchino’s, for Up.) And only 7 of the 60 nominees in that span were comedies, and 5 of those were animated. 

But I don’t even want to discuss music in comedic features. I’d like to draw your attention to a few programs that are doing interesting things with music on the small screen. Comedies on cable are employing music in ways that network comedies and studio features wouldn’t even consider, using it not just to create mood and reveal emotion, but also to set up expectations and then defy them, or even comment on the on-screen action.

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Film + TV / Your Music in Media Guide to the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards

Often times with all the Rihannas, Biebers, Gagas and Taylor Swifts running around on Grammy night, it’s easy for the indie artists to get lost in the shuffle.  Fortunately with the help of Stephen Colbert, the Best Alternative Music Album category got some love on mainstream television (though let’s face it, as indie artists go Vampire Weekend, The Black Keys, and Arcade Fire are pretty well known).

Where is the love, though for the soundtracks, scores and songs written for films or television?  Right here, my friends, right here….
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Music in Media RETROSPECTIVE / TV / The Adventures of Pete & Pete

The Adventures of Pete & Pete aired from 1993 – 1996, which for me was roughly third through sixth grade. Like most things during that era, the details are now a bit fuzzy, but the emotions remain clear. I remember worshiping Little Pete and wanting to have adventures like his. I remember looking up to Big Pete and wishing I had a big brother too. I remember high school seeming like a million years away.

A few weeks ago a friend revealed that she had the first couple seasons on DVD. Naturally we watched a few episodes. As the credits rolled at the end of one of them, a familiar band name jumped out at me: The Magnetic Fields . I was stunned. Here I was watching something that aired almost a decade ago, using music still popular today. Not long after this, I stumbled across a cover of the theme song, “Hey Sandy,” recently done by the band Grand Lake – 6 blogs had featured the track. Memories were flooding back and with them a new awareness of just how big a part of the series the music was.

In my research for this article I found an interview done by Robert Agnello – another musician/artist involved in the show – with creators Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi in October 2008. Over a decade over the show went off the air, it’s clear that Pete and Pete still holds a special place in all of their hearts. In the interview they chat about various aspects of the show, with a focus on the music. Agnello begins the discussion by recounting:

“I’ll always remember talking to you about doing music for you guys and I think it was you Will who said, ‘go listen to Yo LaTengo and The Lemonheads.’”

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TV / Music in Media / Far East Movement in Gossip Girl

gossip girl season 4 Music in Media: Far East Movement In Gossip Girl

Ever left a movie wondering what that great song was? Each week Music In Media will spotlight tunes and explore collaborations between music and the Arts.

Why do people watch Gossip Girl? I’m not asking to be judgmental or anything, I get sucked in like everyone else. Overall though, the writing is not the best, the acting is not the best, the storylines are predictable, and most of the characters are unlikable. Yet I have lots of friends who DVR it each week, some that even throw viewing parties. None of these people would argue with my assessment above, but they still tune in Monday nights to eat up the latest drama. Because really, that is the reason why: we love the drama. We love witnessing beautiful people parading around lifestyles (and designer clothing) most people couldn’t imagine affording, constantly seducing and scheming to get what (and whom) they want. Just look at this week’s episode, Goodbye, Columbia. The final sequence captures the very essence of why we watch—Gossip Girl at its juiciest—in large part due to the use of the song “Like A G6” by Far East Movement.

Read the rest at Strangers in Stereo…

Far East Movement – Like a G6 (ft. Dev)

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