Music Mixx….Kyle Long
If you’ve picked up a copy of NUVO or tuned into WFYI within the past year, there’s a good chance you’ve come in contact with some of Kyle Long’s work. A longtime local music advocate, the Cultural Cannibals co-founder also orchestrates and DJs at all kinds of parties around town as well, exposing dance floors to a unique blend of music from around the world.
Before Cultural Cannibals upcoming New Year’s Eve party (in partnership with Old Soul Entertainment) at Georgia Reese’s Downtown, Seth Johnson caught up with Long to talk about his musical roots and how they led him to where he is now.
Seth Johnson: I know that you’re someone who’s now very passionate about local music. That being said, when were you first introduced to Indiana music, and do you remember if there was anything specific that initially sparked your interest?
Kyle Long: I used to go to shows all the time. I would go to all-ages shows when I was a teenager. They used to have shows out on the Westside at the India Community Center, which was literally an Indian community center. It was mostly straight-edge bands that would come through there. Like, that was kind of the home base for a lot of Split Lip’s early shows. So I would go there, but the main venue that I really loved was called the Sitcom [mentioned in Seth Johnson’s NUVO story on music venues lost to time], which was in SoBro. I saw a lot of local bands there, but I also saw Bikini Kill, Beat Happening, Rancid, Huggy Bear and all these other cool groups play there. So I was hearing local hardcore and punk rock groups at those venues, but what really got me fascinated with local music… and I remember this vividly… is I went to a record sale at the Speedway Public Library. It was in the middle of the day. No one was there, and they were selling used books and records. This was pre-Internet, so you’re just kind of experiencing everything at face value. But, I found this record for a quarter. It was called In This World by Billy Wooten, and Billy Wooten was a vibraphonist who played with the great Blue Note guitarist Grant Green.
So I was curious about this record and bought it, and I was just blown away by this track called “Chicango.” It was just this funky Latin track recorded here in Indianapolis. I was reading all the musicians’ names and reading where it was recorded, and that just set off an interest. I was like, “Wow. There’s this whole history of music here that I never was aware of — things that I couldn’t have possibly imagined happening here.” So from that point on, I just started picking up local albums when I would find them. And over the years, I accumulated tons of local records. I would just buy them because they looked interesting, and that turned into a deeper fascination with the music scene.
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