We’re kicking off our week of Unhinged artists with Wiley Gaby. Wiley comes to Brooklyn from the swamps of the Florida Panhandle by way of Chicago. An irrepressible Dolly Parton fan (which makes us love him a little extra), he’s a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. Well, he’s mostly country. Visit his Facebook page to hear some original music, and a truly lovely Leonard Cohen cover. In addition to his appearance as part of Unhinged this weekend, you can catch him monthly at Rockbar NYC (starting June 20) and sporadically throughout the city.
1. What is your hometown?
I hail from the metropolis of Crawfordville, Florida, which is just south of Tallahassee. Right along the Redneck Riviera.
2. With what fictional character do you most identify?
Harry Potter minus the whole shitty-family-life thing
3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.
Meryl Streep. That woman is a god and can play anything. Let’s get her a third Oscar!
4. What work of art speaks to your soul?
Neko Case’s ‘Fox Confessor Brings the Flood’. It’s maybe my favorite album of all time. It’s so beautiful, haunting, sometimes eery in a most gorgeous way. And Julie Morstad’s amazing album art wraps up the package quite nicely. And can I be a total sap for one minute? My niece and nephews. They are the most beautiful, the smartest, the kindest, the funniest, the most amazing little kids on the planet (no, I’m not biased). They fascinate me so much.
5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?
I always recommend The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon and Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch. Those two books, for very different reasons, changed my life.
I just read Just Kids by Patti Smith and I could easily group that in with the other two.
They’re all amazing reads and three totally different books in genre. Patti Smith is a brilliant writer and her relationship with Robert is just so precious and special, plus it’s a love letter to a New York that is long-gone. (Don’t get me wrong. I love this city, but that era had some major glory days.) I also just finished Tammy Wynette: Tragic Country Queen by Jimmy McDonough, and I had no clue how tortured ol’ Tammy was. Fascinating life, that one. She faked her own kidnapping!
6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?
I will not lie: Dolly Parton, Neko Case, and Lady GaGa are always on fairly heavy rotation on my iPod. I’m sure some will scoff at ONE of those, but each lady speaks to me deeply. Currently, I’ve been on an 80s and early-90s country kick. I listened to “Deeper Than the Holler” by Randy Travis about 20 times this past weekend. No, really. 20 times.
7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?
The Muppets. Man oh man, when “Rainbow Connection” happened, the waterworks were turned on.
8. Cat person or dog person?
I love all kinds of creatures, but I am most fond of the doggies. I just need a husband to help me take care of one
9. What is more important, truth or kindness?
I think that will always depend on the circumstances and what’s at stake.
10. How do you define sin?
An act that is usually fun that someone told me not to do? I think we all have a moral compass that tells us what’s right and wrong. What many consider a sin, I do not. I think if you’re doing something to harm another and you’re aware of it, that’s morally out of line. So I guess that’s how I’d define it. But I love the word sin. It will always be a good lyric. Always.
11. How do you define virtue?
I think a person has virtue if he or she tries to do what’s “right”. I think if you’re listening to that moral compass I mentioned before (and following it), you have virtue. Some have a lot more than others.
12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?
I don’t plan to have one. As the Willie Nelson song goes, “roll me up and smoke me when I die.” Willie’s on time.
Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Dolly Parton, though I think I know what she’d say for most of them. So aside from her, maybe some ancestor family member that I’ve never met.