The O.C. made music its own character. Rooney, Modest Mouse, Death Cab For Cutie, and more made appearances in different episodes. Other bands premiered their singles on the music-intensive show such as Coldplay, Imogen Heap, and The Shins. More than any other show of the time, indie music was in the foreground.
For all of this emphasis on strategic soundtracking, I have the show to thank for my own passion for music. Around peak O.C. popularity time, I bought the Music From The O.C.: Mix 1 CD admittedly for the pictures, especially since I didn’t know a single one of the bands on the album. After obviously plastering the album artwork all over my room, I realized I actually liked what I heard. After getting familiar with the tracks themselves, I explored other songs by these indie artists. After dabbling in all of the discographies of featured bands like Joseph Arthur, Spoon, Jem, and The Dandy Warhols, I became obsessed with the “Just For You” iTunes application (the predecessor to Genius). Soon enough, my mom would have to force me to come out of my room after spending hours upon hours downloading and sampling and perusing music. It started to and still does give me a thrill to know a band first and to spread its awesomeness to others. I’m active believer that my obsession with music has helped me make friends I may have never bonded as much with. It has given me exhilarating concert experiences…from sneaking under the fence of an outdoor sold-out festival to being pulled onstage with my best friend during the last song of a Rogue Wave show. Tangent aside, that first O.C. mixed tape had me hooked and I haven’t looked back since.