Tackling the States remains a huge slog. For many bands it still means a souldestroying two-year tour around the toilet bowls of middle America doing ten radio interviews a day with Oklahoma's answer to Simon Bates. The toil nearly broke Oasis, and has finished off many of a more fragile nature. Last week Lily Allen postponed the second leg of her American tour, complaining that the country was "boring".
However, for some lucky (or canny) bands, a possible shortcut to American success has emerged - a route involving much less back pain and fewer Taco Bells. At the recent South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, the most highly prized names on the bands' guestlist were not A&Rs, celebrity rock journalists or even TV show bookers; they were the music supervisors of primetime US TV dramas. Get the attention of Alex Patsavas, music supervisor for Grey's Anatomy and The OC, or ER's Ann Kline, and you may be well on the way to breaking the Billboard Top 10, as Snow Patrol did after Chasing Cars won the coveted "finale scene" slot in Grey's Anatomy (most observers credit this win with introducing Snow Patrol to the US so effectively). Similarly, Coldplay's huge success in the States is linked to the use of Trouble during another finale in Without a Trace, Fix You backing a dramatic heart attack scene in The OC, and Clocks' slot on ER.
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