Like a lot of things in my life, it all started over a girl. I remember it was late October and I was sitting in front of my computer late at night on a Friday. I'd just gotten home from a really weird and difficult break up in a playground. My roommates were all out of the house, and I was listening to some sad song that my sister had recommended to me and, I'm being totally factual here, crying into a gin and tonic.
All of a sudden this image popped in my head of a girl sitting on a couch and playing guitar while singing the old Townes Vand Zandt song, "No Place To Fall." I started running through actresses I knew who were also musicians, planning the shots out, trying to figure out what kind of narrative this scene could be fit into, visualizing a whole short film based around a girl playing a song on a couch. But the only really poignant thing I had was the image of the intimate performance in the private space. And I decided to strip it down. The song would be without context. It would just be.
And I started thinking, then, about the musicians I knew, about how I could do a couple or even a whole handful of these types of things. About an hour later the idea for Couch Potatoes//Living Room Songs was formed and I was feeling a lot better.
Have you made other music videos or films before?
Yep. And almost all of my projects have had a whole lot of music in them.
In college, I made this omnibus film called, "Terminus," which was set in Atlanta and followed a wannabe musician. We cast the Atlanta singer/songwriter Victor B. Bicycle in the lead, and he wrote some songs for the film. I think overall there were about a half dozen live musical performances in the movie (including what I'd call now my first living room song) and probably upwards of twenty songs on the soundtrack.
My last film, "A Girl Named Clyde," focused on a confused post-grad in a crappy band that did lo-fi harmonium renditions of old Christian Hymns (one of these is on my playlist, the only song I ever really helped record and you can tell).
Probably my favorite piece so far is a short I did recently called, "Waltz Across," which was just a 6 minute conversation between two people dancing to an Alex Chilton cover of "Waltz Across Texas."
What is your favorite thing about your work space?
I like the big window to my right, especially in the spring. I like the color of my chair.
If you started your own band, what would the instrumentation be?
Oh lord. Probably drums, piano and electric guitar. If I ever started a band, it'd probably be a twee Dead Milkmen thing.
What is your favorite color? (question from Sarah)