TVLine Mixtape: Your Favorite Songs from NCIS, Girls, The Carrie Diaries, Bunheads and More

Pump up the volume, ’cause it’s time for another edition of TVLine Mixtape.

We’ve pulled together a collection of songs from recent TV episodes, complete with artist and album information in case you want to add them to your permanent collection. Spoilers abound, and we chose songs we liked – but we always want to hear your thoughts and suggestions.

So peruse our playlist, and then hit the comments with your favorite TV jams!

ShivaSERIES AND EPISODE | NCIS, “Shiva”
TITLE | “Not Alone”
ARTIST | Patty Griffin
ALBUM | Living With Ghosts (1996)
WHY IT ROCKED | A warm hug and some Hebrew words of reassurance from Tony sent Ziva off to Israel, with this song as a comforting backdrop for the mourning daughter as she bid her abba goodbye.

Ratings Bones Season HighSERIES AND EPISODE | Bones, “The Diamond in the Rough”
TITLE | “When the Morning Comes”
ARTIST | Jon Allen featuring Amy Smith
ALBUM | Songs to Save a Life (2011)
WHY IT ROCKED | We have to agree with Wendell: Bones and Booth’s ballroom debut looked more like a bar brawl than an elegant turn on the dance floor. But when Seeley beams at the baby mama in his arms and Allen’s strummy ballad fills the room, does choreography even matter? (Though we maybe could’ve done without the breakdance moves, Tempe…)

SUTTON FOSTER, HOWARD S. MILLERSERIES AND EPISODE | Bunheads, “You Wanna See Something?”
TITLE | “It’s Oh So Quiet”
ARTIST | Bjork
ALBUM | Post (1995)
WHY IT ROCKED | What’s not to love about Michelle leading the girls in a fun, freewheeling routine to Bjork’s ’90s hit? There was delicate pointe work. There were sassy jazz moves. There was Michelle jumping in with her students (and complaining. Loudly.). And just maybe there was us, trying to mimic a move or two in front of our TVs. Practice makes perfect, after all.
LINER NOTES | The version used in the show was recorded by a sound-alike singer. And if you want to try to reenact a pirouette or two, the clip of the dance number is below the Bjork video.

girls season 2 premiere donald gloverSERIES AND EPISODE | Girls, “It’s About Time”
TITLE | “I’m Going Down”
ARTIST | Vampire Weekend
ALBUM | The song hasn’t been released as a single or on an album — aside from the band’s six-song iTunes session — but you can download a free acoustic version.
WHY IT ROCKED | Despite all of her declarations of cosmopolitan-adult-woman independence at the beginning of the episode, the Season 2 opener found Hannah late-night calling on new boo Sandy after a charged interaction with old boo Adam. Yeah… you’re not quite grown up yet, Hannah Banana. At least there’s this Bruce Springsteen cover — which played over the closing credits — to groove to in the meantime.

PilotSERIES AND EPISODE | The Carrie Diaries, “Pilot”
TITLE | “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
ARTIST | Greg Laswell
ALBUM | You can find the song on the soundtrack for the film My Sister’s Keeper.
WHY IT ROCKED | “In a way, the pain of love is what changes us,” a wise-beyond-her-years Carrie tells us at the end of the episode as Laswell puts his own spin on the Cyndi Lauper classic. If young Ms. Bradshaw is going to have this caliber of musical accompaniment whenever she sums up her lessons learned, we’ll happily be privy to her diaries anytime.
LINER NOTES | This’ll make you feel old: The original version of this song was released nearly 30 years ago.

mixtape7_mindyprojectSERIES AND EPISODE | The Mindy Project, “Bunk Bed”
TITLE | “Watch the Tapes”
ARTIST | LCD Soundsystem
ALBUM | Sound of Silver (2007)
WHY IT ROCKED | Trying to fish Danny’s letter out of the mailbox was a bad plan, Morgan, but at least you had a kickass song to go along with it.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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21 Comments
  1. Jane says:

    One of the best use of songs I have seen recently was re-watching the beginning of Season 2 of Suits. I thing it was Episode 1 of the season opened with Smoke and Mirrors by Gotye. Brilliant tie in with the subject of the episodes and a brilliant song.

  2. Amanda says:

    Speaking of great songs on TV, have you heard about this morsel?
    http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2013/01/18/169706944/ive-heard-that-somewhere-glee-covers-baby-got-back-and-it-sounds-familiar

    They didn’t even change the lyrics where he SAYS HIS OWN NAME!
    (And I loved hearing It’s Oh So Quiet on Bunheads!)

    • dena says:

      First of all, I hadn’t heard that Amanda so thanks! I love Johnny’s version! And second of all, what the heck Glee. :/
      Looks like they did the same thing with Greg Laswell’s Cyndi Lauper cover mentioned above as well http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J00bnYkjJIQ
      http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/glee-girls-wanna-fun-cyndi-lauper-271995

      • Amanda says:

        I didn’t realize they had covered Laswell’s “Girls..” as well. Such a beautiful rendition, and I don’t know if he got credit. I’m such a geek about covers and covers of covers and where to draw the line on originality and credit. If they sing “Like a Prayer” as a ballad, does John Wesley Harding get a nod? Speed up “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and you’re ripping off Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s? Either way, they used proprietary JoCo’s lyrics, he totally got the shaft.

    • kavyn says:

      That’s… wow. I mean it’s one thing to sing a popular strong with a different tempo and atmosphere, but glee just flat out ripped off someone else’s cover. It’s not even a case of “We’re going to sing Baby Got Back differently,” it’s more like “We’re going to sing Baby Got Back the same way as someone else did, ripping off everything he did, claiming it as our own and giving no credit to the artist that made those changes”.

      Most people that watch glee will be mislead into thinking that the show came up with that arrangement, which would just be absurd and unfair to the original artist. The two songs sound pretty much alike aside from the different singers (but face it, if you only heard audio from both it’s not likely that you’ll distinguish them that easily). It’s not simply a case of covering a cover song, Jonathan clearly distinguished his version of Baby Got Back from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s version and made it his own while making no profit off of it, and unless Fox or Glee do something to credit the original artist (which they won’t), then they will sell Jonathan’s song on iTunes and make a profit off of something they didn’t create.

      I really hope Jon sues glee for this. He’ll win, and he’ll teach the writers not to pull this b/s another time like they did with Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

  3. DisneyFan says:

    The sound-alike singer for the Bunheads episode is Lucy Woodward. It was used on the soundtrack for the Disney movie, Ice Princess.

  4. Astrid says:

    It’s Seeley not Seely..
    God I love Bones!! <3

  5. Amanda says:

    I really loved the material girl cover that played in TCD while she was decorating her purse. Actually the use of originals and covers in the show makes me really happy.

  6. Beca says:

    I love that version of Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. They covered the same version on Glee as well. (Saw someone mention the Baby Got Back number above so had to mention this one too! LOL!)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fugv9kja-2I

  7. Pat says:

    This list is incomplete without Person of Interest. Almost every week there is a song-vocal or instrumental-that nails the mood, theme and message of the episode and the characters. That show’s music person is a genius.

  8. Ken says:

    Vampire Weekend’s cover of “I’m Going Down” can be found on their “iTunes Sessions” release from 2010.

  9. Dena says:

    I’m starting to love the comments more than the article itself! I love to read everyone’s song inputs, some I’d forgotten about and some I’d never heard. I do a radio show every week and I try to mainly play music from TV shows so I love to find out about great songs like these! I’ve always loved Greg Laswell’s version of “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” I remember hearing it years ago on “The Hills” beautiful!

    Loved Bunheads scene!

  10. I loved the song that they picked for the NCIS episode of “Shiva.” It was perfect and beautiful. It fit so well with Tony telling Ziva that she wasn’t alone. Loved that scene. It also worked so well with the funerals for Jackie and Eli. That whole ending scene with the funerals and the song playing in the background bought tears to my eyes. Such a moving episode. Great job NCIS.

  11. Katie says:

    Thought the song and the last two minutes of ncis were riveting. Ziva in a spiritual goodbye and VAnce with the traditional American funeral. The only negative was that Vance children looked like they were bored and not at their mothers funeral. The direction could have been better with the kids but the ending with Ziva planting a tree,rubbing the knife on her sleeve and staring above the camera was riveting. Kudos to Cote again.

  12. dude says:

    When they started playing that Greg Laswell cover I got so happy. One of my all-time favourite covers, glad they used it over the more 80s-sounding original.

  13. shump says:

    Where can I download “The Best Around” from Bob’s Burgers?

  14. dena says:

    I loved IKO’s “Lightning Bolts” from the Jan. 10th Grey’s episode “Things We Said today”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eMar78LRVk

  15. Wesley says:

    Greg Laswell is enchanting, love his voice. Him and his wife Ingrid Michaelson are wonderful artists.

  16. Lisa says:

    I’m pretty sure the original English-language version of “It’s Oh So Quiet” was this 1951 release by the incomparable Betty Hutton (a translated cover of a German song from a few years earlier) … the B-side of “Murder He Says” which I’d LOVE to see them do something to on “Bunheads”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmlNOaVGrRM

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