Women's Impact Report: One Giant Leap
V’s hottest music supervisor continues to expand her horizons.
Not only does Alexandra Patsavas oversee the song choices on the most-talked-about shows on network and cable — “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Mad Men,” “Gossip Girl” among them — but she’s now launched a record label with, so far, four artists she’s discovered along the way.
“More and more, our job is to find brand-new music for producers,” she says. “Supervisors are now doing what was traditionally known as A&R — sorting through demo tapes, listening to early versions of songs, unsigned bands — and a few years ago I realized that I was really enjoying this discovery process.”
Her label, Chop Shop Records, is an Atlantic imprint and shares the same name as her South Pasadena-based music-supervision company. Its first CD features Republic Tigers (whose songs have been heard in “Gossip Girl” and “Grey’s”). Upcoming releases feature indie-rock artists Jade McNelis, Anya Marina and the Little Ones.
In the meantime, Patsavas continues to select and/or clear one to 10 songs per episode for nine shows currently on the air (the others are “Private Practice,” “Chuck,” “Without a Trace,” “Rescue Me,” “Numbers” and “Supernatural”). And even that job has changed — for the better, she says.
“More than ever, bands, labels and publishing companies are seeing the value of a great placement in a TV show or movie or ad campaign,” she adds. “It’s not taking away from them or their music. It’s just a new way to reach people, as the traditional ways have become more and more obsolete.”
Patsavas, 40, has been a music supervisor since 1995. Her power as a contemporary-music tastemaker is acknowledged by producers, managers and label execs, as her savvy song choices have drawn attention to such previously little-known alt-rock and indie bands as Death Cab for Cutie, Phantom Planet and the Killers (via “The OC”); Snow Patrol, the Fray and Ingrid Michaelson (“Grey’s”); and the Virgins (“Gossip”).
“I feel like I’m getting away with something all the time,” Patsavas says: “Our producers are into really good music these days, and we are putting forward some very obscure and nontraditional choices. And I’m so happy about that.”
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