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Tag: "Under Supervision"

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Under Supervision: That’s A Wrap

All good films and television shows have the typical bittersweet ending—the one where the characters all smile through tears, look around at each other and embrace the end and the future.  Well, that time has come for the Under Supervision blog.  But before the end credits roll, I thought I’d share with you the 10 most interesting things I’ve learned while delving into the supervision industry.

1. A Web site that supplements your placement can give you an extra push to make it big.  For example, Gossip Girl’s soundtrack is not only badass, but heavily supplemented by a Web site that works as an electronic guide to all of the featured music.  Webisodes, detailing the use of music and how it enhances each scene, are posted each week by the show’s music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas.  Also included in each webisode are introductions to new artists so viewers can learn more about their back-story.

2. Being featured on the hippest primetime shows isn’t always the way to go.  Children’s shows like Yo Gabba Gabba are offering excellent exposure.  The creators started the show with the simple idea of showcasing music that’s suitable for children but still fun for adults while presenting back to basic lessons for kids.  As time progressed, they found popular artists were knocking on their door asking to perform for the younger audience who in turn were treated to performances that rocked.

3. Scoring placements in America can be difficult, but you can find success overseas.  Pop duo the you know who… found success with their cover of “Putting On The Ritz” which was used by Lindex, the Swedish equivalent of a combined H&M and Victoria’s Secret, for their Fall 2009 campaign.  Subsequently, the band signed with Warner Chapel Sweden and produced their first full-length debut.  Passing up Britney Spears and Beyoncé on the iTunes Swedish charts, “Putting On The Ritz” became a European hit.  Now the band is back in the states and ready to get America up to speed using their arsenal of irresistibly synthy tracks.

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Under Supervision: Yo Gabba Gabba

Of all of the places to find new music on TV, there is one place that could be the industry’s best kept secret — Yo Gabba Gabba. The Nickelodeon Jr. children’s show, started by Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz of The Aquabats, features a never-ending list of eclectic indie artists playing irresistibly cute and instructive tracks.  Of Montreal, Weezer, The Ting Tings, The Roots and Jimmy Eat World are just a few artists that have had the honor of entertaining young audiences.  Hosted by LA indie pop music maker DJ Lance, the show’s regular features include Mark’s Magic Pictures with Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo fame and beat-boxing instruction by Biz Markie.

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Under Supervision: How Gossip Girl Stays Cool

Rarely does a primetime soap opera geared towards teens last longer than a third season, but The CW’s Gossip Girl was recently renewed for its fourth season and shows no signs of slowing down.  This begs many cynics to ask, “Seriously? Why?”  Well, OurStage believes we have the answer: music.

Gossip Girl first captivated audiences in September of 2007, with Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Chace Crawford and Ed Westwick starring as the core cast.   The series is based on a book series of the same title penned by Cecily von Ziegesar.  Narrated by the omniscient “Gossip Girl,” the young characters lead dramatic lives in a luxurious, high class setting amid the Upper-East side of Manhattan in New York City.

Some consider the show’s portrayal of drinking and drug use to be cool.  Others tune in for the glamorous people and sex appeal .  Here at OurStage, we know the answer lies in the trifecta of sex, drugs and good old rock ‘n’ roll.

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Under Supervision: the you know who…

Self-described as a duo of 80s-loving gear-geeks, the you know who… recall 80s hits with the perfect flair of today’s pop.  The product of Chau Phan and Matt Engst, the sound is something that Europeans embrace and stuck up Americans eventually give into.  Either way, the you know who… has listeners dancing.   For this reason among others, the flashy duo was easily selected as a band to watch in Sweden.

With their sound overseas, the you know who… found success with Lindex, the Swedish equivalent of a combined H&M and Victoria’s Secret, who chose the band’s cover of “Putting On The Ritz” for their Fall 2009 campaign.  Subsequently, the band signed with Warner Chapel Sweden and produced their first full-length debut.

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Under Supervision: My Radio Slam Dunks

In an industry inundated with artists desperate for fame, some bands manage to get it right by staying above the water yet under the radar.  My Radio is one of those bands.  Successfully staying away from the chaotic side of the industry and still getting heard, My Radio sets an example for others trying to make it in music.

Working from Roanoke, Virginia, singer JP Powell has done the touring thing — the broken relationships, the ups and downs, the “financial ruin”— and he’s all set with that.  His band, My Radio, knows what they want and what they want is to get placed on TV, ads, movies or anything else that comes their way.  So far, they’ve been incredibly successful working toward their goal.  Their super fun single, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” was first placed on Fox Sports, reaching millions of basketball fans, thanks to its presence on OurStage.  Now, the same song is reaching viewers through the movie trailer of the upcoming blockbuster, The Joneses. With all of this success from just one song, it’s clear My Radio are doing something right.

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Under Supervision: Alice In Wonderland

When Tim Burton announced he would be directing Alice in Wonderland, fans everywhere rejoiced. Burton’s wonderfully creepy style combined with the classic Lewis Carroll story is a perfect match. Then the track listing for the accompanying soundtrack was released. Many were comforted to find Danny Elfman on board to do the score however critics immediately questioned the Top 40 lineup.  Did the Almost Alice music supervisors take a cue from the Mad Hatter when making the final choices for the compilation?  I gave the album a listen to decide for myself.

The first track, “Alice (Underground)” by Avril Lavigne is a powerful track that sounds different than her usual pop rock fare. While you can’t deny Lavigne’s catchy pop allure, the song doesn’t really hit home as much as it should. Boasting a softer sound, All American Rejects’s decent track, “The Poison” follows Lavigne.  Then Owl City and Metro Station appear to quickly remind listeners of the album’s Top-40 sensibilities. Unfortunately, their contributions,“The Technicolor Phase” and “Where’s My Angel” lack quality.  Shinedown manages to pull off some evocative vocals, but sounds as run-of-the-mill as their predecessors.


Kerli, a great addition to the album, lends her her eerie style to two songs.  “Strange,” performed with Tokio Hotel, doesn’t show off the singer’s creepy side enough while the overwhelming dance beat on her solo song, “Tea Party” doesn’t quite fit the film’s mood.  3OH!3’s track, “Follow Me Down,” isn’t as blatantly obnoxious as their previous hits.  In fact, Neon Hitch lends her soothing voice to the track, making it pretty memorable. An odd follow-up to 3OH!3 is Robert Smith’s “Very Good Advice.” The song is more weird than enjoyable, but still manages to capture Alice.


The long-awaited collaboration from Mark Hoppus and Pete Wentz, “In Transit” is underwhelming — a boring, droning song when compared to the rest of the album (perhaps that’s why it’s placed between two slower tracks). The Plain White T’s manage to steal Hoppus and Wentz’s thunder with a stripped tune, “Welcome to Mystery.” Franz Ferdinand follows with something a slower, vaudeville-influenced tune,“The Lobster Quadrille.”  “Running Out Of Time,” from Motion City Soundtrack lightens the mood with a light, airy sound that the soundtrack needs more of. Then Wolfmother’s “Fell Down A Hole” booms in, loud and rocking. A great track on it’s own, the harder rock sounds doesn’t necessarily vibe with the rest of the album. The refreshing “White Rabbit” by Grace Potter and the Nocturals is the album’s true gem. A cover of the Jefferson Airplane hit, the vocals are strong and loud with a balance of hard and airy guitar backing.  The album concludes with They Might Be Giants and “You Are Old, Father William,” a silly tune based on the poem by Lewis Carrol but a fantastic close to an otherwise flat album.

Overall, the album has a few hits and a lot of misses. The songs that shine do so brightly and the ones that severely lack quality are, at least, terribly catchy. As a compliment to Burton’s film, most tracks fail in comparison to Danny Elfman’s score. His work, as well as the actual film, is generating far more excitement. As a whole, I’ll just say this soundtrack won’t be fielding any GRAMMY nominations soon.

Here’s the full track listing:

1. “Alice (Underground)” performed by Avril Lavigne
2. “The Poison” performed by The All American Rejects
3. “The Technicolor Phase” performed by Owl City
4. “Her Name Is Alice” performed by Shinedown
5. “Painting Flowers” performed by All Time Low
6. “Where’s My Angel” performed by Metro Station
7. “Strange” performed by Tokio Hotel and Kerli
8. “Follow Me Down” performed by 3Oh!3 featuring Neon Hitch
9. “Very Good Advice” performed by Robert Smith
10. “In Transit” performed by Mark Hoppus with Pete Wentz
11. “Welcome to Mystery” performed by Plain White T’s
12. “Tea Party” performed by Kerli
13. “The Lobster Quadrille” performed by Franz Ferdinand
14. “Running Out of Time” performed by Motion City Soundtrack
15. “Fell Down a Hole” performed by Wolfmother
16. “White Rabbit” performed by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

17. “You Are Old, Father William” performed by They Might Be Giants

Under Supervision: Drive-By Placements

Ever watch TV and see a car commercial accompanied by a catchy tune but it’s over before you can say, “Was that really just a Grizzly Bear song?”   You’ve just witnessed a drive-by placement. During the Super Bowl, the car commercials featured a plethora of Indie artists and millions of viewers questioned their placements.  Why put Indie songs on mainstream TV to promote cars?   But this trend has been growing for years now.

The following commercials, along with many others, represent this long-standing phenomenon — the drive-by placement. After a few successful test placements, car advertisers realized that they could use all of the emotion evoked by an awesome song to give the product (cars) the personality they lack. To compensate for their hard, steel machinery, these companies use happy, evocative music. For this reason, car ads are becoming yet another avenue to showcase new music.

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Under Supervision: Scores That Won’t Bore

OSBlog02_UnderSuperv_MASTER_01With the score from Disney-Pixar’s Up garnering more and more attention as it sweeps every awards show this season (the GRAMMYs, Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globe Awards to date), it’s clear that movie scores are more than just the alternative to vocally-focused soundtracks. Film scores have always been around, but often times songs contributed by industry pop stars and up-and-coming acts get all the glory. During the past few years, many scores have proven strong enough to carry a film and captivate audiences. Now it’s time for them to get the appreciation they deserve.

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Under Supervision: The Chop Shop Touch


Named one of the “Top Women In Music” by Billboard, Alexandra Patsavas has made a living by bringing new music to television viewers with her supervision company, Chop Shop.  She posses a gift for matching the perfect song for each scene in countless prime time television shows including Mad Men, Gossip Girl, Grey’s Anatomy, The OC and Chuck. In doing so, Patsavas gives each audience exactly what they’re looking for while simultaneously creating numerous opportunities for artists.

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Under Supervision: iGetSigned

OSBlog02_UnderSuperv_MASTER_01If you ever want to make in the music industry, there are a couple of roads you can take.  You can pimp yourself on social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook or Twitter.  You can tour relentlessly and earn some cred along the way.  Or, you can just get your song placed in an Apple ad, which according to Billboard is the Number 1 way to gain success and recognition in the industry.

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