Music for the masses

Local band Rooney talks about heading to 'The OC'

In 2003, Josh Schwartz couldn’t find a band willing to play live on “The OC.” Too teeny-bopper, too tacky.

Today Schwartz has become a modern-day Medici for artists like Modest Mouse, Death Cab for Cutie and Imogen Heap.

For local band Rooney, it was ego that won them over.

“They sent scripts and we were on every page,” says Rooney’s lead singer and guitarist Robert Carmine.

Signed to Geffen, their single “I’m Shakin'” was only getting occasional airplay when Schwartz asked them to appear on the show.

So does that make Schwartz a patron of the arts or a sell-out Svengali? He favors the former.

“Being a sell-out because you’re on TV or in a commercial is an outdated idea,” Schwartz says. “Radio is increasingly consolidated and less varied. It’s hard to make it happen on satellite radio and Internet downloads alone.”

Case in point is Death Cab for Cutie, which appeared on the show last April. The band’s new album debuted Aug. 30 in Billboard’s top 10.

“They’re a little ‘OC’ed out,” says the band’s publicist. “They were thrilled to do the show, but they’ve been a band for eight years and there are many reasons they’ve achieved success.”

Rooney, which is still seeking its big break, isn’t as quick to dismiss the show’s benevolence. Says Carmine, “You can’t be too picky these days.”

MIXMASTER SCHWARTZ

Not content with his favorites being background music, Schwartz created the Bait Shop, a live-music venue that’s never too crowded but always sold out. Here are the bands that have taken the stage, what they played and their subsequent star power.

The Walkmen (Record Collection)
Appeared: 11/08/2004 (“Little House of Savages,” “What’s in It for Me”)
Since then: Toured this summer as opening act for Modest Mouse

The Killers (Island)
Appeared: 12/02/2004 (“Smile Like You Mean It,” “Mr. Brightside,” “Everything Will be Alright”)
Since then: Won MTV’s VMA for new artist in a video

The Thrills (Virgin)
Appeared: 1/20/2005 (“Saturday Night”)
Since then: Played MTV’s “TRL” and promoted the European launch of Xbox’s “Halo 2”

Rachael Yamagata (RCA)
Appeared: 2/03/2005 (“Reason Why”)
Since then: Toured with Ryan Adams and Ray LaMontagne

The 88 (Mootron Records)
Appeared: 09/08/2005 (“Hide Another Mistake”)
Since then: Reached number 43 on the CMJ 200 chart.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading