In S1E7, Lane is telling Rory all the things she’s learned about Dean. Lane says, “He likes Nick Drake, Liz Phair, and The Sugarplastic.” Later in the episode, Dean is looking around Rory’s room and he picks up a CD, presumably a Nick Drake album. He says, “How much does it suck that they used ‘Pink Moon’ in a Volkswagen commercial?”
Nick Drake is an English singer songwriter who slowly built up a small following that continued to grow after his death in 1974. He lived with major depression and eventually died of an antidepressant overdose. His album “Pink Moon” is considered his most authentic album, consisting of mostly just guitar and vocals with some piano accompaniment. The title track from “Pink Moon” was indeed used in a Volkswagen commercial.
The Sugarplastic are a rock band who released their first EP in 1993. Their third album “Resin” was released in 2000 after a long 4 years of recording and negotiating contracts. Reportedly, The Sugarplastic were often compared to XTC and, humorously, didn’t really mind it.
Liz Phair is a pop rock musician whose career began in the early 90’s. Phair was actually born in New Haven, CT (the third most important town in Gilmore Girls) and her career began in Chicago (where Dean lived before moving to Stars Hollow).