Pop Quiz: Andrew Kenny of The Wooden Birds
If you’re looking for a mellow soundtrack to rock you to sleep, you could always try the debut album Magnolia by The Wooden Birds. However, be aware that while the latest project from Andrew Kenny (American Analog Set, Broken Social Scene) draws you in with folky beats and a rhythmic pace, it is also unexpectedly chilling, enlisting help from songwriter David Wingo (scorer of David Gordon Green films) and hypnotic harmonies by vocalist Leslie Sisson. The band started as a concept by Kenny two years ago, with the album released May 12 on Barsuk Records. First, though, the Austin-based Kenny told us about his love for boobs, his affinity for the channel TBS, and having his dreams realized at a bar in Brooklyn in our airborne (but in no way rigid) Pop Quiz.
When you were in elementary school, what’d you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be a train engineer, and that’s lasted nearly my whole life. Even now, I’d seriously consider a career switch if the opportunity presented itself.
Do you have any tattoos? I don’t. I can appreciate them on others, and for sure I have a few favorites. But when it comes down to it, I’d probably slip up and just get something like a seahorse parasailing with a dreamcatcher or something.
Are you superstitious? I say no. I’m a scientist. I feel like I’m too practical to enjoy the benefits of being superstitious.
First album you bought? I’d like to say it was Purple Rain because it was the first album that I freaked out over, and I still love it so much. But in all honesty, it was the GoGo’s Beauty and the Beat.
If you could have any super power, what would you choose? Okay, I’m supposed to say “super diplomacy” or something, right? But: no. Sadly it would be a tie for first between invisibility because of boobs or time travel because of dinosaurs.
How many times a day on average do you think about sex? I am often thinking about it, and I’m hoping that other people are too? I don’t even have to be involved. I can just be holding the boom mic or something.
What’s your guilty pleasure? I play both home platform and PC-based video games. It is a horrible waste of time, and I feel guilty every millisecond that I’m doing it.
Do you have a favorite bar in New York? Commonwealth. I lived in the neighborhood for a few years, and they put my music on the jukebox, which was a longtime dream of mine.
Ever been star struck? Of course! I get star struck all the time.
When you get good news, who’s the first person you tell it to? Sheila, my wife. Definitely Sheila. There isn’t a success or a failure that she doesn’t hear about first.
What do you always watch if it’s on TV? Jurassic Park, The Hunt For Red October, or Smokey and the Bandit. Like a moth to flame. My television does get channels other than TBS, by the way.
What do you normally sleep in? At home: Very little if anything. On tour: I’m Dr. PJ Bottoms MD. The doctor is IN.
Where’s the craziest place you’ve had sex? The ear? Kidding. I know what you’re asking, and I’ve never had the desire to have sex anywhere “crazy”. What’s wrong with me? But now someday someone is going to say, “Hey, your couch is crazy comfortable” and I’m going to smile a little smile.
What’s on your computer wallpaper? I rotate every few weeks. Right now It’s a photo of a man walking by some art and a photo of the subway stop in my old neighborhood, both in Brooklyn.
If you could be any literary character, who would you be? Chris Leo is one of my favorite author/musicians, and if you’ll forgive for a moment that the main character in his books IS him (more or less), then I would like to try his shoes on for size.
Where do you really want to be right now? I’m quite fine where I am at the moment, and that’s usually the case.
What’s the first job you ever had? I was a stock boy at Toys ‘R Us. It was the only job I was ever fired from. I was called into the manager’s office and shown a “best of” collection of security tape featuring me not doing my job.
Favorite Muppets/Sesame Street character? This is hard because there are so many great ones. Fozzy’s my favorite though because of his whole “my best isn’t good enough but I’ll keep on because it’s all I know how to do” kind of vibe. Also he’s the saddest muppet.