Personal Playlist: Alexandra Patsavas

Share via

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Head of Chop Shop Music Supervision Alexandra Patsavas talks about her favorite music these days.

As head of the L.A.-based firm Chop Shop Music Supervision, Alexandra Patsavas has placed music in television shows and films such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Gossip Girl,” “Mad Men” and the “Twilight” series. Her ear for music and knack for breaking new acts via the big and small screens have translated into sales for Death Cab for Cutie, Modest Mouse, the Killers, Snow Patrol and the Fray. The longtime music supervisor spoke with Pop & Hiss about what she listens to, and what she wants you to hear.


The last song she fell in love with: “ ‘Turning Into Stone’ by Phantogram. It’s seductive and yet still symphonic. [The song is] intimate and large at the same time. I really appreciate that it can create intimacy and still have build-ups and big moments within the song. It’s vocals and keyboards and guitar. Phantogram makes so much beautiful noise with just two people.”

An album she hasn’t been able to stop playing: “ ‘Imperial Bedroom’ by Elvis Costello. It’s an album that’s always in my car, or in my iTunes. I just love it — really a timeless record for me. It’s interesting — it came out in ’82 but I don’t think I discovered it until three or four years later. I’m a big Elvis Costello fan. It was [one of the first Costello albums] not produced by Nick Lowe, and the first to include lyrics. The lyrics are just beautiful. I especially love the first track, ‘Beyond Belief,’ but I love the whole album.”

The artist she still most wants to get into a show or film: “I’ve always wanted to clear a Neil Young track for any project that I’ve worked on, and I still haven’t been able to do that. That’s something that’s a goal of mine. His music is so beautifully cinematic and tells a story with vocals, and tells a story with just instruments. That’s on my wish list for sure.”

Her proudest moments: “It’s been rewarding to have so many artists create music for the ‘Twilight’ series. We’ve had some interesting duets, like Beck and Natasha Khan [Bat for Lashes], gotten the Black Keys, Thom Yorke. I also loved the Bait Shop on ‘The O.C.’ and the series of covers we created. We had the Killers, Modest Mouse and Death Cab for Cutie perform live on the Bait Shop. On ‘Grey’s,’ ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol. Those songs really reached an audience.”

RELATED: Personal Playlist: Henry Rollins

Personal Playlist: Joss Stone: A lot of ‘Blue,’ a little Birdy


Personal playlist: Tom Waits recalls Captain Beefheart, the late Don Van Vliet

-- Gerrick D. Kennedy