With all the punch-ups, breakdowns and making out happening on “The O.C.,” you wouldn’t think music would be a top priority.
But throughout all of last season’s turmoil, Ryan, Seth, Marissa and Summer (and show creator Josh Schwartz) proved to be A-list audiophiles, chatting up classic punk acts like the Clash and extolling the virtues of up-and-comers like Bright Eyes. And now they’ve lined up an indie-heavy list of bands to appear on the upcoming second season of the show.
A spokesperson for the show confirmed that Modest Mouse, the Walkmen and the Killers are all scheduled to grace Orange County’s sunny shores this season, which begins November 5. The Walkmen and the Killers have already taped their appearances.
“The characters are opening a club — like the Peach Pit After Dark on ’90210’ — it’s called the Bait Shop,” Walkmen bassist Pete Bauer said. “They wanted a band to open it up. So I think we’re the first band at the Bait Shop.”
The Walkmen perform two songs, “What’s in It for Me” and “Little House of Savages,” from their album Bows + Arrows, in a key scene during the new season’s third episode. But just what happens in the scene is a mystery. Bauer is mum on the details.
“Characters kiss during our slow jam. But I don’t know if I’m allowed to give that away,” he said. “They have a crane shot from us up to a balcony, and then everybody watches them kiss and the girl runs off. That’s going to be the highlight for us, a scene where characters make out and then run off.”
The Killers’ Brendan Flowers was equally reluctant to divulge details of his band’s appearance on the show, saying only that the show’s characters “come and see us play. [They’re] like, ’Oh, are you going to the Killers tonight?’ And then they’re there and we’re playing in the background.
“We [played] ’Smile Like You Mean It’ and a little bit of ’Everything Will Be Alright,’ ” Flowers said. “We don’t get to watch anything.”
Schwartz could not be reached for comment on the upcoming season of “The O.C.”; a spokesperson said he was on vacation.
This isn’t the first time the show has featured music acts in prominent roles. One episode last season was focused almost entirely around a concert by Rooney. Songs by acts like Franz Ferdinand and Interpol have been played in the background of scenes, and March saw the release of Music From ’The O.C.': Mix 1, a soundtrack packed with songs from artists like Spoon, Jet and the Dandy Warhols. The show’s theme song, “California,” is performed by Phantom Planet.
“I think it’s good. A lot of young kids who watch the show don’t hear bands like us,” Bauer said. “Like, my 13-year-old cousin wants a Walkmen T-shirt now, and she never did before.”