[Quick, irrelevant side-note: The editors of this site will be slowed by torn ACLs and out-of-town trips on the week of Monday, Aug. 9 (which also partially explains the slow week last week). Thanks for your patience.]
The last time I saw Kyle Field's Little Wings play was at tiny venue in a small town sandwiched between an oil refinery and the San Juan islands. As Field approached the upright piano (which looked long-neglected, sitting against the venue's wall) and laid his hands on the untuned keys, the whole room hushed. His soft, almost reverent melodies crippled any stray thoughts from the crowd. We sat in awe as honest beauty escaped his fingers and lips.
Field is often lumped into the freak-folk genre, but the truth is that he was here before it existed and he'll be here long after it fades out of the cultural landscape. With lyrical imagery that bleeds in sea green and sun-bleached yellow, the music of Little Wings is haunting, original and unhindered by cultural fads. Field is a songbird.
What kind of bird do you identify with the most?
Why the pelican?
Because of the sound of that van. That is called an "Irrelevant Answer."
Touché! Other than your home state, what state do you feel most at home in?
(Long pause) I'm really trying to nail this one. Perhaps…it'd have to be…Arkansas.
What about Arkansas makes you feel at home?
A grandparent connection. We had a different, separate life where our grandparents lived. I have a lot of emotional connections there.
Where did they live?
In a town called Warren. It's a really small town. My mom grew up there, too.
Do you still have a family connection in Arkansas?
Yeah, my aunt still lives there.
When was the last time you were back?
I was just there in the spring for my cousin's wedding.
Was it all you remembered it to be?
Yeah, in a sense, in a sense. But it's gotten real metro. Or, at least, Little Rock has. It's gotten kind of cosmopolitan for the South. Just a little bit more metroized.
Has the metroization reached Warren yet?
I don't know. I haven't been back to Warren since my grandparents left the earth. No one I know lives in Warren anymore.
What's your favorite song with the word "Babe" or "Baby" in the title?
"Sandy Babe" is a song I really like. It's by the Mere Beach Boys*.
When's your most productive time of the day?
When do you usually wake up?
It depends. I've been getting up early for the last two days because I'm trying to get ready to get travel. I usually get going around 7 or 7:30 if I'm intent on it.
Do you prefer denim or corduroy?
I'm wearing both right now, so the answer is yes. Yes I do.
What are you wearing?
Corduroy shorts and a denim vest. I don't really like denim and denim together.
Isn't that called a Canadian Tuxedo?
Would you rather be able to swim like a fish, fly like a bird or run like a gazelle?
Where would you swim?
Around the world.
What's your favorite Asian country?
Japan is the only one I've been to and I really loved it. There's such a wide range of experiences there. Being in Tokyo versus being at a temple in the mountains—those differences are pretty incredible. The culture's impressive as far as diet and food and architecture goes, too. The use of space is really beautiful.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A visual artist?
Did something inspire you to want to do that or was it the joy of drawing?
I think it was the joy of creating.
What's your favorite thing to create?
What's your best gym class story?
One time, when I was 13, I got in trouble and I got put inside with this girl I had a crush on. We were sitting in the dugout together and had this really intimate conversation. I remember thinking I was lucky to not be in gym class.
Do you think she liked you, too?
I think there was something there, but we were both too embarrassed. She always kind of intimidated me, too. She was the youngest of three girls; she seemed kind of fast to me.
Did she try anything?
No, but she was always suggestive in this weird way. I think this was just her personality. She never tried anything, but…
When did you lose touch with her? Did you lose touch with her?
I did lose touch with her, yes. She went to a different high school. I think it was because—I can't be sure of it, but I think it was because—she got spinal meningitis. They moved after that. I'm not sure if it was related, but maybe it was.
That's so sad. I'm sorry. Ok. Um. Describe the first time you were really scared by a movie.
I saw this movie, Never Cry Werewolf
**, when I was five. Our babysitter let us watch it. It was about this kid who didn't know that his dad was a werewolf. So then his dad would change and...you know…
That sounds terrifying.
Yeah. I know, right? It kind of coincided with this weird fantasy that I had, too, that my parents were these different creatures that had human suits on. I only had this fantasy a couple times, but I thought that if I went into their room at the right time that I would catch them—that they would be different, you know, in their sleep or something.
Apples or oranges?
Apples. Pink lady apples.
THE BOY WHO CRIED WEREWOLF
: Little Wings plays the Artistery this Tuesday, Aug. 10, with Lee Baggett and Sandy's. Doors at 7:30 pm, show at 8 pm. $6. All ages.
*Mere Beach Boys is a Little Wings, Rustangs and Mollusk collaboration band.
** The movie is called The Boy Who Cried Werewolf. Never Cry Werewolf is a made-for-TV movie about werewolves and hot babes from 2008.
The Boy Who Cried…
Kyledraws dot com, Field's art site
Little Wings at Krecs dot com