October 28, 2010 § 1 Comment
I produced a television feature for Oregon Public Broadcasting. It’s advertised as a story about a Portland, Ore. band called Super XX Man. But it’s really about this guy, Scott Garred.
I was drawn to this story for its simplicity. Scott is prolific. He has just released his 13th album as Super XX Man. Anyone who has written over a hundred songs with moderate success has something to say. And his tale came embedded with a second angle. Scott works as a music therapist at Oregon State Hospital – the hospital featured in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
I got to know Scott well over the course of the project. I think ‘modest’ is the first word most people would use to describe him. He never talks in grand terms about his songwriting or his future plans. And Scott’s music as Super XX Man won’t put anyone out of their comfort zone. The songs pretty much follow straightforward rock and pop forms. On the surface, it’s all too uncomplicated.
I think Scott’s greatest talent as a songwriter is his ability to write a good song about anything. Scott is no Dylan, he’s no poet or philosopher. But by writing consistently and constantly over the past 15 years, his discography is effectively a vivid self-portrait. It’s not really a case of art imitating life. Rather it’s a life subsumed by art. Throughout the project I became more and more aware of this symbiotic relationship between Scott’s life and his music. This is the story I wanted to tell in the feature.
It was a challenge in the end to translate what I thought was interesting about Scott into a short documentary. A story about genius or anomaly will always be more compelling than one about a normal guy. But maybe you’ll see what I mean?
You can watch it here.