Watch enough TV and it’ll start to seep into other parts of your life. Thankfully that’s not always a bad thing as I’ve also managed to find some new tunes along the way. Here’s five of my favorite bands that I first heard on TV.
Oz’s band Dingoes Ate My Baby on Buffy the Vampire Slayer was actually the real-life band Four Star Mary. They only appeared a handful of times between seasons two, three, and four, but their music was used on both the soundtrack and diegetically in The Bronze.
I was in my early teens during those seasons, so Four Star Mary holds a special place in my heart as they were one of the first bands I fell in love with that didn’t appear on the Billboard Top 40. And while my taste in music has mellowed out over the years, there was a good chunk of my life where I had Four Star Mary on repeat. Their songs still remain on my gym playlist.
The O.C. is practically synonymous with music so there was no way I could spend so much time watching it and not come away with at least one new favorite band. Honestly it was hard to pick just one, all of their soundtracks are solid, but Sufjan Stevens gets the pick here because he made me not dislike Christmas music as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Sufjan Stevens’ more traditional albums like Michigan and Illinois, but as a person who typically avoids holiday music at all costs come December, I’ve at least found my one exception to the rule in the aptly titled album Songs for Christmas.
Friday Night Lights, both the movie and TV show, are responsible for my love of Explosions in the Sky. While I always enjoyed their instrumental rock alongside the tales of Texas football, I got really into their music while working on my master’s thesis. I couldn’t write while listening to music with lyrics so I turned to movie scores, remembered Explosions in the Sky, and then began listening to their entire discography on repeat.
Their music kept me sane throughout the entire process and it’s not an overstatement to say I couldn’t have finished the damn thing without them. I’ve since been fortunate enough to catch Explosions in the Sky in concert, twice. Both shows were incredible.
You can still discover music on MTV, you just have to watch their TV shows to find it. Several songs from A Minor Swoon’s self-titled 2010 album were featured in a handful of episodes from Awkward.’s surprisingly good first season.
I haven’t really been able to find out a lot about the band, they don’t have a website, and their Facebook page hasn’t been updated in over two years, but a second album is available on Spotify if you like what you hear and want some more.
I’m probably watching more MTV than I need to be, but apparently for every mediocre to terrible show I sit through I find a new band I like. So I guess that’s a win. Finding Carter may not have been a very good TV show, but it had a really good theme song in Misterwives “Vagabond”.
The rest of their debut album Our Own House is solid too if you’re into the poppy alt-rock kind of thing. Finding Carter clearly dug their sound as the show utilized no fewer than six of their songs and even had the band play live in the episode “Wake up Call” (2×5).
I’ve been trying to see them in concert for the last two years but they remain elusive due to scheduling conflicts and cancelled shows. One day though, until then there’s Spotify.