'Gossip Girl' namedrops South Philly woman's record label

South Philly’s Kristin Thomson received a flurry of texts Monday night from friends telling her that her old record label Simple Machines was just namedropped on “Gossip Girl.” Dan (Penn Badgley) asked Vanessa (Jessica Szohr) to “swear on your Simple Machines 7-inches,” to keep a secret. Thomson, now education director for the Future of Music Coalition, ran co-owned the indie rock label with her Tsuami bandmate Jenny Toomey. Ending in 1998, Simple Machines put out records by Tsunami, Monorchid, Retsin, Ida and a limited-edition cassette called Late by a pre-Nirvana Dave Grohl, an old friend of Thomson and Toomey, of songs that later became Foo Fighters tunes. “I think it’s really interesting when people who write movie and TV scripts get wider in their cultural references,” Thomson told us yesterday. “Simple Machines throws back to the ‘90s but for a certain set of people and given the context of the show it makes sense even though the characters are one generation from Simple Machines,” she said. Future of Music is a national non-profit which works to ensure that artists can be properly compensated for work in the age of downloads.