Matt Pond PA 

Thursday, February 23. 8 p.m. at Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois)

When the producers of the teen drama The O.C. need a little mood music for a closing montage or an emotional reunion, they call one band: Matt Pond PA. (Thought I was going to say Death Cab, didn't you?) The group's versions of Oasis' "Champagne Supernova" and Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" have been used in the smash series, which is a little bit of a shame since Matt Pond PA writes its own songs quite well. The band kicked off 2002's The Nature of Maps with "Fairlee," a song so wonderful and absorbing that I briefly considered visiting the small Vermont town (population: 967) to see if it held any of the magic of Pond's lyrics.

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