More info is coming in about this year’s Gilmore Girls season finale where Stars Hollow is overrun with musicians vying to take over the Town Trubador position currently held by Grant Lee Phillips. (In the show he’s discovered by Neil Young and brought on tour with him.) As reported last week, Joe Pernice is one of the many candidates, and now Entertainment Weekly has learned that Sonic Youth (with Thurston and Kim’s daughter Coco on shakers), Yo La Tengo, and avant-pop legends Sparks (!) will also be part of the proceedings. Plus: Sam Phillips, who provides the strummy, "bah-bah-bah" incidental music on the show; and the awesome Mary Lynn Rasjkub (24‘s Chloe, but also a Mr Show regular who has featured in Superchunk videos) who will sing the self-penned "I Drive an ’89 Volvo." Maybe it’s not Tom Vek at the Bait Shop, but that much quality indie rock talent in one show — The OC will never top it unless they do an episode from Coachella or something… which would be kind of cheating if you ask me.
I think much like the bike race finale last year, this whole troubador thing will be the wacky undercurrent to the more serious storylines: Lane & Zach’s wedding; Logan graduating from Yale and moving to London to work for his dad; and the sure-to-happen blow-up between Lorelei and Luke over their perpetually postponed wedding, not to mentions Luke’s daughter who, as of this writing, he hasn’t really introduced to Lorelei. The finale’s title is "Partings," so expect some teary moments.
Of course, Gilmore Girls had cool music references before almost any other show* (unless you count that Blossom where they mention the Pixies; or Darlene going to see Daisy Chainsaw on Roseanne). Any teen drama with kids dressed exclusively in Modern Amusement couteur can toss around a Shins reference; but only the Double-G could pull off mentions of Young Marble Giants or The Shags and not have it seem forced.
Someone on the current writing staff certainly seems enamored with rock n’ roll’s seamier side: we’ve already had an homage to indie rock doc DIG!, complete with a cameo from former Brian Jonestown Massacre tamborinist Joel Gion (who has guested again since); and there’s been a fixation with the human train wreck that is Pete Doherty (BTW, GG script supervisor… it’s pronounced "dockerty"). This week’s episode had Lane’s fiancé, Zach, mentioned Babyshambles.
*Now that I think of it, The Adventures of Pete & Pete was the first show with an indie rock sensibility. It’s not that far in spirit from Gilmore Girls, really.