Songs by the Killers, Outkast and Kelly Clarkson are heard across eight episodes of “Looking for Alaska.”
David Lindquist/IndyStar, David Lindquist/IndyStar
The songs heard in new Hulu series “Looking for Alaska” match what high school students listened to in 2005.
Hits by the White Stripes, Killers and Gorillaz populate an eight-episode adaptation of John Green’s debut novel published 14 years ago.
“Looking for Alaska” characters attend an Alabama boarding school, matching Green’s experience in the 1990s.
Executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage frame Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska” in the 2005-06 school year — which lines up with teen TV hit “The O.C.,” which Schwartz and Savage oversaw from 2003 to 2007.
Charlie Plummer and Kristine Froseth star in “Looking for Alaska,” a Hulu series based on the debut novel by Indianapolis author John Green. (Photo: Alfonso Bresciani photo)
Schwartz and music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas bring back “O.C.” artists such as Death Cab for Cutie/Postal Service vocalist Ben Gibbard and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club for prominent placement in “Looking for Alaska.”
Gibbard is represented on three tracks: Miya Folick’s new cover of Death Cab song “I Will Follow You into the Dark”; the Postal Service’s “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight”; and Iron & Wine’s cover of Postal Service song “Such Great Heights.”
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club contributes “Shuffle Your Feet” to “Looking for Alaska,” and Bailen covered BRMC song “Salvation” for the show’s soundtrack.
Green, the author who moved to Indianapolis in 2007, is known for his affection for 2005 song “This Year,” by the Mountain Goats.
“This Year” doesn’t appear in “Looking for Alaska,” and it didn’t make filmed adaptations of Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Paper Towns.” There’s still a chance it will be heard in “Let It Snow,” a Christmas-themed adaptation of a book written by Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myracle and Green. “Let It Snow,” starring Kiernan Shipka, premieres Nov. 8 on Netflix.
IndyStar provides a track-by-track breakdown of “Looking for Alaska” music below, and we also compiled a Spotify playlist.
Here’s a listener’s guide to the the series, which arrived Oct. 18 at Hulu:
Episode 1: “Famous Last Words”
Jose Gonzalez, “Crosses” (2003): The first song heard in “Looking for Alaska” also appeared in the Season 2 finale of “The O.C.”
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth” (2005): Considered to be a definitive “blog rock” band, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah built a following thanks to positive attention from MP3 blogs around the time “Looking for Alaska” arrived in bookstores.
The Killers, “All These Things that I’ve Done” (2004): This song is known for its “I’ve got soul, but I’m not a soldier” refrain.
Pinback, “Fortress” (2004): San Diego-based band Pinback grazed Billboard magazine’s Top 200 chart with 2004 album “Summer in Abaddon” (peaking at No. 196).
Rilo Kiley, “With Arms Outstretched” (2002): Featuring Jenny Lewis on vocals, Rilo Kiley debuted with 2002 album “The Execution of All Things.”
Buddy, “Milkshake” (2005): This cover is a slow-motion interpretation of Kelis’ Top 5 hit.
The Postal Service, “The District Sleeps Alone Tonight” (2003): Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello wrote Postal Service songs by exchanging tapes through the mail.
The White Stripes, “Blue Orchid” (2005): The opening track of 2005 album “Get Behind Me Satan” reached No. 1 in Canada.
Bloc Party, “So Here We Are” (2005): English rock band Bloc Party won the NME album of the year award for 2005’s “Silent Alarm.”
Episode 2: “Tell Them I Said Something …”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to Mexican revolutionary Poncho Villa.
The Strokes, “Ask Me Anything” (2006): This song is a rare ballad from the band that debuted with 2001 album “Is This It.”
50 Cent, “P.I.M.P.” (2003): More that 15 million copies of “Get Rich or Die Tryin’ ” — 50 Cent’s debut album of 2003 — sold worldwide.
Bangs, “Fast Easy Love” (2000): “Looking for Alaska” character Alaska Young plays this punk rock song in her car. Bangs formed in Olympia, Washington, in 1997.
Gorillaz featuring De La Soul, “Feel Good Inc.” (2005): This song won a Grammy in the category of Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals.
Fang, “Yellow” (2004): New Zealand band Fang issued an album titled “Swim Up Stream” in 2004.
The Hives, “Walk Idiot Walk” (2004): Sweden’s Hives helped spearhead the garage rock revival of the early 21st century.
Communique, “Dagger Vision” (2004): This underground San Francisco band has reverted to its original name, American Steel.
Episode 3: “I’ve Never Felt Better”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to actor Douglas Fairbanks.
Outkast, “The Way You Move” (2003): This Big Boi tune reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.
Bobby “Boris” Pickett, “Monster Mash” (1962): Shows that have licensed this Halloween favorite include “Stranger Things,” “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “The Office.”
Ohmega Watts, “Move!” (2005): This hip-hop selection ranks among the most obscure songs in “Looking for Alaska.” Ohmega Watts grew up in New York City and now produces music in Portland, Oregon.
LCD Soundsystem, “Daft Punk is Playing at My House” (2005): This song provides the soundtrack for a college party in “Looking for Alaska,” echoing its appearance in a Season 2 episode of “The O.C.” titled “The Rager.”
Young Summer, “Take Me Out” (2019): Singer Young Summer covered this Franz Ferdinand hit for the “Looking for Alaska” soundtrack.
Episode 4: “The Nourishment is Palatable”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States.
Fleurie, “To Be Alone with You” (2019): Michigan native Fleurie covered this Sufjan Stevens song for the “Looking for Alaska” soundtrack.
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Shuffle Your Feet” (2005): This California band borrowed its name from Marlon Brando’s gang in 1953 film “The Wild One.”
Jet, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (2003): Australian band Jet sold more than 1 million copies of this single in the United States.
Beck, “E-Pro” (2005): The opening track of Beck’s “Guero” album samples drums heard on the Beastie Boys’ “So What’cha Want.”
Matt Sharp, “All Those Dreams” (2004): Matt Sharp is known for his work in Weezer and the Rentals.
Jens Lekman, “Julie” (2004): Indiana-based recording label Secretly Canadian has distributed four albums by Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman.
Bill Withers, “Lovely Day” (1977): Perhaps the most upbeat scene of “Looking for Alaska” depicts a Thanksgiving dance party and this Top 30 hit.
Episode 5: “I’ll Show You that it won’t Shoot”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to R&B singer Johnny Ace.
Spoon, “The Way We Get By” (2002): “The O.C.” showcased this indie-rock classic in a Season 1 episode titled “The Outsider.”
Kelly Clarkson, “Since U Been Gone” (2004): Two years after winning “American Idol,” Kelly Clarkson reached the Top 10 in nine countries with “Since U Been Gone.”
Los Del Rio, “Macarena (Bayside Boys remix)” (1995): This novelty hit is an unexpected success at a “Looking for Alaska” school function.
Coldplay, “Fix You” (2005): Characters Miles Halter and Lara Buterskaya slow dance to this international hit (which premiered on a Season 2 episode of “The O.C.”).
Beginners, “Macarena” (2019): Because one rendition of “Macarena” was not enough, the producers of “Looking for Alaska” commissioned this cover by L.A. electro-pop band Beginners.
Mating Ritual featuring Lizzy Land, “An Honest Mistake” (2019): Pop duo Mating Ritual and vocalist Lizzy Land collaborated on this Bravery cover.
Episode 6: “We are All Going”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to William McKinley, 25th president of the United States.
Mary Lou Lord, “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go” (2002): Folk singer Mary Lou Lord recorded this Bob Dylan cover at a subway stop.
Wolf Parade, “This Heart’s on Fire” (2005): Canadian band Wolf Parade has recorded four albums for iconic Seattle label Sub Pop.
Phantom Planet, “California” (2001): Characters Miles and Lara listen to this “O.C.” theme song while watching the show.
The Darkness, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003): England’s the Darkness defied the odds by finding glam metal success in the post-grunge era.
JR JR, “Young Forever” (2019): Previously known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr., this Detroit duo changed its name to JR JR in 2015.
Miya Folick, “I Will Follow You into the Dark” (2019): Miya Folick covered this Death Cab for Cutie song for the “Looking for Alaska” soundtrack.
Episode 7: “Now Comes the Mystery”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to 19th-century religious leader Henry Ward Beecher.
Erich Bachmann, “Man O’ War” (2006): North Carolina native Eric Bachmann sang in the bands Archers of Loaf and Crooked Fingers before becoming a solo artist.
Kat Cunning, “Orange Sky” (2019): Kat Cunning covered this Alexi Murdoch song — heard in Season 1 of “The O.C.” — for the “Looking for Alaska” soundtrack.
Iron & Wine, “Such Great Heights” (2009): This Postal Service cover appeared on Iron & Wine’s B-sides and rareties album “Around the Well.”
Bailen, “Salvation” (2019): Bailen, a New York-based trio of siblings scheduled to perform Dec. 7 at the Hi-Fi, covered this Black Rebel Motorcycle Club song for “Looking for Alaska.”
Find the best things to doEpisode 8: “It’s Very Beautiful Over There”
The title of this episode refers to last words attributed to inventor Thomas Edison.
Modest Mouse, “The World at Large” (2004): This song appeared on Modest Mouse’s breakthrough album, “Good News for People who Love Bad News.”
J-Kwon, “Tipsy” (2004): St. Louis rapper J-Kwon accompanied Nelly during a 2019 show at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The Wailers, “She’s Coming Home” (1965): This Seattle band, not to be confused with Bob Marley’s supporting cast, recorded this Christmas-themed song 54 years ago.
Trent Dabbs, “Quite Often” (2004): Mississippi native Trent Dabbs co-wrote “High Horse,” a standout track on Kacey Musgraves’ “Golden Hour” album.
Goldfrapp, “Ooh La La (2005): English duo Goldfrapp sampled Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” on this song.
Kelis, “Milkshake” (2003): This song written by the Neptunes (Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo) is featured in a memorable “Looking for Alaska” prank.
Mondo Cozmo, “Shine” (2017): Singer-songwriter Mondo Cozmo reached No. 1 on Billboard’s adult alternative songs chart with “Shine.”
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