Seems like just last week when we sat down with a six-pack and some pretzels to watch the premiere episode of The O.C. And as it turned out, millions across the country were doing the very same thing. And that was it: in one night—yes, just one night—Orange County became "the OC," Mischa Barton graced the cover of Time—okay, Star—and the bros down in Newport were stumbling around, hitting one another and howling, "Welcome to the OC, bitch!" And now when the world hears "the OC," it means so much more: alcoholic teenagers and alcoholic mothers, a pier—and boardwalk—in Newport Beach, high school cafeterias with espresso machines, perfect skirt weather all year round, endless weeks of bitchen surfing and scores of beautiful, gorgeous, sexxxay . . . white people. And yet for many of us who regularly watch the show—Never seen it? Here's the CliffsNotes rundown: there's Ryan Atwood, the no-good kid from Chino; Seth Cohen, his geeky pal/almost brother; Summer Roberts, Seth's gorgeous-if-vacant girlfriend; and Marissa Cooper, the ultimate boozed-up, shit-stirring sexpot—there's an even greater reason to tune in every week: the music. In just three seasons, series creator Josh Schwartz has plunged indie rock into the mainstream, arguably single-handedly vaulting bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse and the Killers into the same Billboard spots the Britneys and Christinas once owned. Thanks to The O.C., this world is a very strange place: one where you read about college bands in Teen Vogue, where unsigned indie bands land distribution deals with Warner Bros. in a matter of hours, and where your 12-year-old little sister sports a "I [heart] Nerds" T-shirt while burning your Pinback CD. It's done for indie rock and emo bands what grunge did for Seattle—yeah, we just typed that—except . . . where's the love for bands actually from the OC? Oh, it's right here (you're welcome). Tracks from 13 local bands we feel could be—should be, one day will be—on The O.C. And to help out the writers and producers and soundtrack advisers over at Fox—hey, gang!—we've even suggested some scenes they might want to use them in. Need visuals? We got those covered, too. So please join us—as well as our Seth (Harris Pittman from Senior Recreation), Summer (Andrea Babinski from Dusty Rhodes and the Riverband), Ryan (Erik Matson from Coto Normal) and Marissa (Carole McCarty from Sendaero)—as we guide you through OC Weekly's 2005 music compilation, The Real, Real, Real OC Mix.
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