When the finale to your hilarious, avert your eyes music video features you frolicking in a fountain while displaying some open-mouth PDAs, casting can be everything. No one has ever accused singer-songwriter Graham Colton of being stupid. “We cast my wife,” says Colton of the video for his single, “Pacific Coast Eyes.” The singer, who first shot to fame with his 2008 hit single “Best Days” (used on both “American Idol” and “Oprah”), comes to Vinyl at Centerstage in Atlanta Wednesday night to introduce fans to songs from his latest project, “Pacific Coast Eyes, Volume 2.” “The director told us, ‘I have this idea for an elaborate, sarcastic make-out scene in the middle of a fountain.’ The chance for hitting a rough patch in your relationship is greatly reduced when the beautiful woman you’re making out with is your wife.” The video features Colton running and singing. For three minutes. So, is he a runner in real life? “Oh, hell no!” he concedes chuckling. “I haven’t run like that since I played football in high school. I just said to the director, ‘I don’t want to be the guy with the guitar, lip-syncing for the camera again.’ We had some fun with it.”
As an artist, Colton prefers communicating more frequently with fans via EPs like “Pacific Coast Eyes, Vol. 2” and “Twentysomething” both released this year. “I did the whole ‘make a record, tour as much as you can and wait three or four years and do it again,'” he says. “Now in this business, unless you’re Coldplay, you can’t really afford to do that. Fans want transparency and frequency. I like reconnecting in that sense.”
Ten years ago, after scoring a record deal with Universal, Colton recorded his album “Drive” at Southern Tracks with Atlanta producer Brendan O’Brien. The album led to opening dates for John Mayer, The Dave Matthews Band and Kelly Clarkson. “I was 20 when we recorded that,” Colton recalls. “Brendan was kind of our fifth band member. He taught us how to take our songs and play them for people. I remember thinking at the time, ‘Wait, shouldn’t a major label record sound a lot glossier?’ But we trusted Brendan and it turned out to be the best thing. Making some big pop album at the time wouldn’t have served me as well. I still play those songs. The record still holds up.” For more info and tickets to Wednesday night’s show at Vinyl, check out Colton’s official website.
“Southland” and “That Thing You Do!” actor Tom Everett Scott and pals Oscar winner Marisa Tomei and native Atlantan and veteran “Saturday Night Live” cast member Keenan Thompson hanging at Atkins Park in Virginia-Highland. According to the Murphy’s restaurant Facebook page, Everett Scott has also been a recent regular there.
MARKING A MOVIE MILESTONE
Atlanta movie mogul George Lefont was feted by friends last month during a private party in Buckhead honoring his 35 years of bringing independent and foreign cinema to the south (Lefont even served as an advisor for Atlanta magazine’s “Hollywood of the South” issue this fall). “I don’t tend to think about anniversaries until my wife and my daughter remind me,” Lefont told us. “Honestly, the only thing I ever really wanted to accomplish was to bring some of the classics of the silver screen to Atlanta the way cities like San Francisco were doing in the 1970s. To be able to introduce film fans to foreign films and independent films before videotapes and DVDs and all that was a happy by-product.” Lefont fans in attendance, included veteran Atlanta film critic Eleanor Ringel Cater and her husband Arthur, Georgia Trend editor Susan Percy, politico Tom Houck and TBS trailblazer Bill Tush. Ringel Cater is more succinct about Lefont’s cinematic contributions: “Thanks to George, for 35 years Atlantans have been exposed to the world’s best movies. Films we might never have seen without George bringing them to us. For film fans, he’s an absolute treasure.”