In ‘Desperate’ need of a tune-up

Music lets 'Housewives' play out midlife crisis

“Desperate Housewives” music supervisor David Sibley says his job is simple. He just does the bidding of Marc Cherry.

“Marc is a very musical guy, with a heavy musical theater background.  His writing is very lyrical and lends itself well to the score. If we pay for a song, there’s a specific reason for using it,” Sibley says of Cherry’s hands-on involvement. “Every season we’ve had a musical character. Now, we have the milieu of the garage band.”

Unlike many series using pop music to set the tone, “Housewives” relies more on original scores by Steve Jablonsky.  When one of the women performs a slightly inappropriate act, there’s always a certain pizzicato theme dubbed “the desperate tune” that plays.

So when pop tunes crop up, they stand out: Susan singing “Carwash” while trying to jog Mike’s memory or Bree’s homicidal lover George singing “Don’t Give Up on Us” on her front lawn as Bree opens fire with her shotgun.

James Denton, who plays Mike, ignited the garage band storyline through his off-hours Band From TV gig. Members include Greg Grunberg, Hugh Laurie and Teri Hatcher all busting tunes for charity through live performances and the recently released “Hoggin’ All the Covers.”

“The producers had seen Band From TV and thought it would be a great idea to have (the men) play out their midlife crisis through a garage band,” Denton says. “I’m hoping this will spark some interest in the CD so we can raise more money for charity.”

“Housewives” provided a nice plug for indie group Tokyo Police Club after members appeared in a heated Battle of the Bands episode pitting them against the Wisteria Lane boys. Despite using the fictitious name Cold Splash, Tokyo Police Club’s publicist Steve Martin says there was a spike in album sales and a significant increase in traffic at the band’s MySpace page.

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