La Musique Nostalgique


In the words of TV teen music obsessive Lane Kim, “Stars Hollow, are you ready to rock?” With Our Little Corner of the World, writer-producers Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino cull songs from Gilmore Girls, their witty single mother-daughter drama (now in its third season) set in an idyllic Connecticut town where best friends Rory Gilmore and Lane’s idea of a good time is catching up on Elvis Costello reissues. Their breadth of knowledge and refined taste is as much a fantasy as the place they call home. Lane hides her CDs—filed: “classic rock, progressive rock, pretty-boy-rock, punk, new wave, German metal bands, Broadway soundtracks”—under the floorboards, and pleads with Amazon to overnight the new Belle & Sebastian single in a “plain package with a return address referencing something Korean and religious.”

Though the Rhino packaging is impeccable, the Palladinos’ liner notes reminisce upon past favorite bands, rather than note, for example, which song was playing during Rory and first boyfriend Dean’s cinematic season-finale make-up scene (PJ Harvey’s “One Line,” with its nostalgic opening, “Do you remember the first kiss?/Stars shooting across the sky”). Many tunes recall Rory’s early romance with the reliable Dean and the confusion inspired by his bad-boy rival, Jess. John Lennon’s tender “Oh My Love” plays when Dean gives Rory the car he built for her before declaring his love (Lennon’s words match the wonder of the moment: “For the first time in my life/My eyes are wide open”); Elastica’s lively “Car Song” is the heartless companion to the fateful night that Rory lets Jess drive this car; and Yoko Ono’s innocent synth-pop “O’oh” is the fitting lyrical accompaniment to Rory’s out-of-character, school-skipping visit to Jess in New York City (“O’oh, Central Park/O’oh, evening skyline”). Black Box Recorder’s eerie “Child Psychology” is a rare note of adolescent malaise (“Life is unfair/Kill yourself or get over it”), levied by the soundtrack’s lighter moments. The Palladinos remember the first kiss, and they know how important it is to get the music right this time.