Playlist of the Month: La-Las and More – Songs From Gilmore Girls

If you marathon Gilmore Girls episodes, there are two songs you won’t be able to get out of your head. One is the theme song, which is surprisingly hard to skip on Netflix. The other, of course, is the la-las. Literally, a woman singing the word “la.” Sad las when things get rough, lighthearted las when things are peppy, a romantic la or two during a confession of love. In our imagination, this post was comprised of all of the different types of la’s. But since those aren’t on Youtube, actual songs will have to do. From that early Bangles concert to Lane’s band, music was actually a big part of life in Stars Hollow.

Listen to the whole playlist on Spotify! 

Traci’s Picks

Eternal Flame by the Bangles

{Season 1, Episode 13: Concert Interruptus}

When Sookie offers tickets to the Bangles concert for Rory AND Lane, I remember thinking, ‘Wow, that’s a really tight knit group of gals’. Seems stupid, but I didn’t grow up with a mom who was a teen in the 80s when she gave birth to me, nor did she have a cool best friend, nor did I have a best friend who hung around enough for my mom’s best friend to get her a concert ticket. All of it just seemed so cool and it was one of the first scenes that made me really fall in love with the show.

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

{Season 2, Episode 7: Like Mother Like Daughter}

In one of the rare moments of the series, Lorelai and Emily are surprisingly getting along without even saying a word. They’re both signed up to walk in a fashion show benefit for Rory’s school and Lor is stunned to find out she’s wearing a match outfit to her mother. But what was her worst nightmare turns into something she wants deep inside – to just have fun with her mom. The scene shows a playfulness in both of them, especially Emily, and it doesn’t hurt that Luke’s watching on admiring Lorelai from the side.

Reflecting Light by Sam Phillips

{Season 4, Episode 21: Last Week Fights, This Week Tights}

SPEAKING OF LUKE – let’s be real, I’m a Luke and Lorelai shipper til the day I die. I had to stop myself from putting every L+L related song on the playlist. But let’s start with the first real romantic moment between them. Luke saw her face. He invited her to be his date to his sister’s wedding. He does the unexpected and takes her out on the dance floor. Proves he can waltz. Luke can waltz. Luke can waltz? Luke. Can. Waltz.

Wedding Bell Blues by The 5th Dimension

{Season 5, Episode 13: Wedding Bell Blues}

I have a love/hate relationship with this episode. On the one hand it’s perfect and hints at Luke and Lor heading down the aisle, and they take the dance floor yet again, but then Christopher comes into the picture, and if you’ve seen the episode, you know what happens. But during the ‘love’ portion of the episode, Richard (</3) dedicates the first/second dance to his new/second wife Emily with a song that was engrained in his memory from when their only child Lorelai was a baby, and the sentiment is too sweet. I became obsessed with this song after this episode and retroactively became a stan for The 5th Dimension. Is that weird?

Magic to Do from Pippin

{Season 6, Episode 5: Magic To Do}

Another reason why I love this show – the amount of musical theatre references. From Into the Woods to a kid production of Fiddler to Tony winner Kelly freaking Bishop just being in the show, Amy Sherman-Palladino clearly has a love for the Broad Way. I recently saw the revival of Pippin and TBH, I only knew two songs, Corner of the Sky and Magic To Do – solely because of this episode. Whenever Miss Patty has some kind of show, it’s always a treat, and it was no different when Lorelai and Sookie had to sit through kids doing a fairly creepy version of this song and blowing glitter in their faces. Their reaction gets me every time.

Molly’s Picks

Walkin’ My Baby Back Home by Nat King Cole

[Season 3, Episode 7 They Shoot Gilmores, Don’t They]

One of my favorite things about Gilmore Girls is all of the crazy Stars Hollow events. The dance marathon of season 3 really brought it – both as a plot device in the Rory and Dean relationship, and as a way to gather some of our favorite town personalities in one place. You have to love the visual of Kirk running his victory lap around a crying Rory and Lorelai.

99 Luftballoons by Nena

[Season 3, Episode 13 Dear Emily And Richard]

I’m always a sucker for any reference to Young Lorelai. Like Traci said, we don’t have parents who were teenagers in the ’80s, so when we were in high school it seemed so cool to have a mom who was just like all those kids from John Hughes movies. In this episode, we were treated to flashbacks of young pregnant Lorelai – a reminder that while she’s a hip, successful mom throughout the series, during Rory’s early years she was just a kid listening to ’80s German pop on her Walkman.

Fell In Love With A Girl by The White Stripes

[Season 3, Episode 19 Keg! Max!]

Pull up a chair, children, while Granny Molly tells you about the good old days. See, back in the early 2000s, hipsters weren’t like they are now. Especially in the high school set, the same people were more likely to be called “alternative” or “scene kids” or “emo.” Any self-respecting early 2000s teen knows that the White Stripes were in no way emo, but they were part of a lot of indie kids’ playlist for a while there. When Lane’s band plays this, it’s a nice cultural window into the demographic she (covertly) fell into. Plus, remember Lane and Zach’s wedding cake?

Science Vs. Romance  by Rilo Kiley

[Season 5, Episode 4 Tippecanoe and Taylor Too]

This one is another cultural touchstone. Since we were basically Rory’s age (a year younger), a lot of the soundtrack lines up with what I was listening to when the show is on. Nothing can put you in the mindset of your 18-year-old self quite like listening to the same songs you did then. When I was rewatching the show and Lane played this, I had a big rush of “oh yeah, remember that song?”

Kool Thing by Sonic Youth

[Season 6, Episode 16 Bridesmaids Revisited]

Gilmore Girls has fans from all walks of life – even people like then-Sonic Youth members Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore. You may have seen their cameo playing at a Stars Hollow festival along with their young daughter. When I was reading Kim Gordon’s memoir, she mentioned how her family’s thing was watching whole tv series together, and immediately knew that this was one of them. So anyway, I’m including a Sonic Youth song because that’s what’s so awesome about Gilmore Girls for me – everyone from one of the coolest rock stars ever, to her tween kid, can find something to love about it.

 

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Highs and Lows: 2013 Tony Awards

Very High [Like When You Score In The 99th Percentile On A Standardized Test Because There Is No 100th]: Matilda the Musical performance

I know as a grown adult I’m supposed to find kid actors insufferable, Broadway kid actors even more so, and Broadway kid actors affecting Mockney accents worst of all. But MATILDA! I loved the book and the movie, and my inner 10-year-old is scheming about how to get herself into the title role. Revolting Children was the most energetic Tony performance I’ve seen since Totally Fucked from Spring Awakening.

Middle-to-Low [Like When You Get Lower Orchestra Seats But They End Up Being Right Before The First Section Break]: Characters from musicals introducing numbers from other musicals

There’s a reason that, in Disney princess marketing, all of the princesses stare vacantly into different directions. You need to pretend that they’re all part of their own story. Tiana doesn’t know Ariel, you know (except probably in fanfiction).

I need the same things with my plays. The Newsies do not know Matilda, right? I willfully suspend a lot of disbelief when I’m watching a musical. Basically, we all know about the fourth wall, but now I want us to build a fifth one, too – between characters from different musicals who never the twain shall meet. What is this, that 90s antidrug video where every character from every cartoon united to keep kids off of opiates?

High [Like A Hemline That’s Not Scandalous But You Probably Wouldn’t Wear In A House Of God]: Neil Patrick Harris’s  play-musical mashups

42nd Streetcar Named Desire; Children of a Lesser Godspell; Cats on a Hot Tin Roof;The Diary of Anne Frank-enstein the Musical (Justin Bieber would love it!); Cabaret-son in the Sun. I have a soft spot for grandpa humor.

Low [Like When You Make A List Of Common Denominators Then Choose The Least One]: Tom Hanks’ mustache.

For a role, maybe? I used to live in the Mustache Capitol Of America (Buffalo, NY), and I’ve seen better. It’s looking kind of Chaplin-y… and that’s me being as inoffensive and charitable as possible.

Somewhere kind of in the middle, maybe slightly more toward the high end [like a house in a suburb where the school district is good but not great]: Bring It On: The Musical

I love musicals and I love Bring It On, but It’s All Happening was not all happening for me. Does anyone know if the musical is set in the early 2000s like the movie? I ask because of the costumes. If so, that bumps this performance up to a high.

Lower-Middle [Like If It Was A TV Family’s Socio-Economic Status It Would Be The Conners from Roseanne]: Cinderella

I don’t care how 90s this makes me, I love the version of Cinderella with Brandy and whoever that smokeshow prince was. And I always love a good Rodgers and Hammerstein show. It’s sort of nice how this revival is just genuinely and unironically Cinderella. Like, it’s the difference between naming a baby Barbara because it’s your grandma’s name and naming your baby Barbara because all of the other hipsters have used the good old-lady names. I just can’t get too excited, is all. My praise is this, then: this revival of Cinderella is like a baby unironically named Barbara in 2013.

Upper-Middle or Possibly High [The Huxtables in the TV Family Class System]: Motown The Musical

There’s no good reason this should be too much fresher than Cinderella. I mean, this could be a baby unironically named Sharon. I just really like these songs, though! I Want You Back is one of my top cleaning/ chopping veggies tunes and that little boy is SO good! Plot? Who needs it!

Pretty High [Like When You’re Doing A High Five But It’s With Someone Smaller Than You Like Maybe A Child]: Cyndi Lauper winning best score for Kinky Boots

Is her accent real or just an impression of Rizzo from the Grease movie? Or a NY-area pickle vendor from the 1930s? I don’t know and I don’t need to know. I love it.

Middling [Like A Regular Five With Someone Your Same Height]: The performance from the Annie revival

Like any glitter-blooded hammy American kid, I loved Annie. Still do. But I wasn’t much more blown away by this performance than by your average good local production of it. Jane Lynch got laughs, but it seemed more like that “haha, there’s Jane Lynch” thing that happens with stunt casting, not so much her performance. Also, the adorable and talented little girls are seriously borrowing Lauper’s accent, right?

Very High Indeed [Like The Woman On The Bus Last Week Who Pulled On One Of My Curls Then Asked My Ethnicity]: Anna Kendrick

She only presented an award, but we’re fans here. I just like when she’s around.

High [Like a Thermostat On A Winter Day]: A Christmas Story: The Musical

Ladies and gents, 2013 is the year of musicals with a title followed by “colon – The Musical”. I don’t know if this musical is any good. I don’t care, either. The marriage of one of the most beloved Christmas films ever and the musical genre? I don’t object. Also, tap dancing.

Middle [Like A Christopher And Banks In The Center Of A Shopping Mall In The Middle Of The County In The Center Of The State That Is The Middlemost Point In Middle America]: Phantom Of The Opera

If Rodgers and Hammerstein is naming your daughter Barbara without irony in 2013, and Motown is naming her Sharon, this is naming her something crazy-80s yet flashy at the same time. Khrystall or Tyffani perhaps?

A Little Low [Like Realizing That Post-College You Can’t Drink Without Getting A Hangover]: The moment I realized that Billy Porter looks better in a dress than I do.

High But Trying Not To Be High [Like my friend in college who was smoking and started talking about how communist China was the best set-up in the world, and I told him “Yeah, unless you’re a baby girl”]: Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors In Memorium

This song always gets me. Remember the Dove commercial or something when a bunch of self-confident Girl Scouts sang it? Ugh. But it’s even worse when it’s played over an in memorium slideshow with Lauper on a melodium or something. I don’t want to love it, but I sort of love it.

High [Like A Beautiful Eagle Flying Higher Than You Can Dream]: Cicely Tyson

I understand that technically everyone is created equal. I just can’t help but feel that some people are actually a little better than the rest of us, though. Cicely Tyson is one of those people. Don’t think that I’m just saying that because she’s almost 80, either. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman-era Tyson was every bit as superior to you as well.

High Because It’s Low [Like that one song that reminds you of whatever it is that makes you saddest, that you still listen to sometimes to remind yourself that you still can feel]: Once: The Musical performance

Once is one of my favorite movies that I have seen only once or twice and may not be able to bring myself to watch  again. I love The Swell Season but they’re kind of a downer, in a hurts so good kind of way.

Low and Deep [Like that pit in your stomach when you check your work email on Sunday night and find out that Monday’s going to be crazy.]: The embarrassment that in 2013 we’re treating New York State Of Mind like a relevant song to parody.