From the minute Gossip Girl premiered in 2007, music on the show proved to be as important as the headbands and heartbreak. As the carefree whistle of Peter Bjorn and John’s “Young Folks” opened the premiere episode, the scene was set for the show’s delicious combination of Upper East Side extravagance and angst.
No surprise there, since Josh Schwartz, the creator The O.C., is also behind Gossip Girl. Schwartz and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas practically pioneered the art of infusing TV with must-see musical moments that rival the show’s plotlines. When they joined forces again to bring the drama to life at Constance Billard and St. Jude, they revisited the tried and true formula of using indie rock mainstays like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party and Cold War Kids and having bands like the Pierces and No Doubt appear onscreen, but the show has also taken even more dramatic steps to showcase artists. In the so-called “Virgins-isode” (official title “Seventeen Candles”), the Virgins’ entire EP served as the score.
In honor of our Gossip Girl cover story, Patsavas gave us the rundown of some of her favorite music moments from the show (check out the clip of “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” on the show, above):
“We try to mix it up a little on Gossip Girl — bands from NYC, poptronica, indie rock, pop proper and some gems from the past. I work closely with executive producers Stephanie Savage and Josh Schwartz to define the sound of the show, who by the way, are some of the most sincere and savvy music fans around. Some of my favorite musical moments on Gossip Girl are the ones that we can collaborate with the artists. Both Sonic Youth and No Doubt covered some of our favorite tracks from the vinyl archives (in addition to the original versions of a Love and Rockets and Siouxie and the Banshees track from said archives). We had a call to talk “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker” with Thurston Moore and [former Be Your Own Pet singer] Jemina Pearl and the result was their version of the track synched to Jenny’s Fashion Show. No Doubt’s version of Adam and the Ants “Stand and Deliver” was performed by the band in an upcoming episode.
Certain bands seem to synch really well to Gossip Girl — the Kills, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Virgins, the Pierces, Bloc Party, Cold War Kids, MGMT, the Little Ones and we have returned to their album cuts, demo versions and remixes time after time. I am looking forward to the finale — hopefully to include some exclusives and debuts.”