Carlye Wisel is a fashionista and self-described web nerd. She is also the co-founder with boyfriend, photographer Donald Rasmussen, of the buzzy new Brooklyn-based music blog Big Ugly Yellow Couch. Carlye answers our daily Questionnaire, and Donald chimes in too.
1. What’s your backstory?
As a writer and avid music fan, I was growing tired of visiting music blogs that were taking everything way too seriously — there was no fun, silly site taking a lighthearted approach to music, so I figured if I couldn’t find the type of site I personally wanted to read, I’d just start it myself.
As for the sessions, we inherited a seven-foot-long, debatably hideous couch before we moved to Brooklyn last August, and needed to do something with it to make it worthwhile. We wanted to get to the core of bands we love, and there’s no better way to do that then to invite them to hang out, eat homemade snacks and play some songs inside your home. And, with Donald being a phenomenal photographer who lives under the same roof, it all came together really easily.
2. Everyone has a “thing.” What’s yours?
We have artists come over and play acoustic versions of their songs on our smushy ol’ yellow couch, which we record in HD and post on BigUglyYellowCouch.com with free MP3s every Monday.
3. Everyone also has a karaoke song. Name yours (and don’t be shy).
I’ve had a long-term ban on karaoke for something ridiculous, like eight years, and I just broke it a few weeks ago with Hall & Oates’ “Private Eyes,” which I botched horrendously. And, on top of that, there’s a terrifyingly large chance it might end up on television. I’m freaking out.
4. Who are your biggest influences?
We regularly visit The Hype Machine, Daytrotter and a ton of music blogs for new tunes, but we also check a smattering of other sites to keep up-to-date with what’s happening outside of the music community. Donald’s hooked on technology blogs like Gizmodo and a bunch of photography sites, but I tend to spend all my free time looking at my Tumblr feed and reading a bajillion personal style blogs.
5. What is it you most dislike?
People singing in public for absolutely no reason, that Alexa Chung’s legs aren’t connected to my torso, alcoholic drinks with milk in them, and Facebook chat.
6. Whose job would you like to steal?
Yours, because then I could just talk to myself and get paid for it.
7. What was your best date?
Donald and I went to Wisconsin Dells for my birthday last summer and rode waterslides, bought ridiculous tchotchkes and ate so much family-style breakfast at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty that we almost barfed. It was amazing.
8. What was your worst?
Whenever we plan anything outdoors, it’s always a bust. Valentine’s Day plans? Ruined by winter. A White Sox game for Donald’s birthday? Rained out. A drink at the swanky bar on top of the John Hancock building, back when we lived in Chicago? Foggy beyond belief. It was even cold and rainy for one of the days we were in the Dells, but as long as the water isn’t frozen solid, I’m going down that waterslide.
9. When I wake up in the middle of the night its because I’ve had a nightmare that I’m ___ .
Waking up for work at 6:45 am. Oh wait.
10. I feel my best when I’m wearing ___ .
Flannel. For him, with Levis; for me, with humongous Jeffrey Campbell wedges.
11. Please settle the debate: New York or LA?
New York. They sell carnival food on every corner! What’s not to love?
12. What’s on your playlist at this very moment?
We just posted a couch session with a phenomenal band called Brahms, but besides that we’ve been listening to Tanlines, One For The Team, Fang Island and trying to decide if we dig the new MGMT or not.
13. What are you watching on TV?
Community, Lost and 30 Rock, which continuously comprise our watch-it-the-day-after-it-airs Hulu trifecta.
14. If you alone held the power to pick a boyfriend for Jennifer Aniston, who would you pick?
Jesse James. He seems like a real stand-up guy.
15. Given the chance, would you rather hang out with George Clooney or Robert Downey Jr.
George, for sure. We’d put on some ridiculously fancy outfits that we’d probably have to rent and sit in some dark bar in leather chairs and drink 20-year-old scotch and laugh about things like politics and theatre and aviation or something like that.
16. If you were a character on any movie or TV show, past or present, who would you be?
Alex Mack! No question about it. Donald’s pissed that I’m not letting him answer this, but I don’t care because she can turn into a pool of silver goop whenever she wants. Do you have any idea how many awkward social situations could be avoided by melting into the floor on command? How many chores could have been skipped while growing up? How easy it would be to ride the subway?! I need to start scoping out hazardous chemical trucks and hope one crashes into me so the mega-morphing fun can begin.
17. What is your drug of choice?
Nespresso. We totally got suckered into buying one during the department store holiday shopping craziness, but it ended up being completely worth it. Well, that or a big ol’ bag of nose candy.
18. What’s the last thing you think about before falling asleep at night?
That we should have gone to bed two hours earlier.