Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Depth of Kyle (An Email Reprint)

A few years ago, before I started this blog, I sent emails with musical attachments to friends. I had learned how to convert songs from old vinyl albums, 8-track tapes, and cassettes into mp3s. I was excited to share forgotten music from recordings that I had discovered in thrift stores. You might be surprised how many great songs were left to rot on these "dead" formats.

I had this theory that every record, no matter how bad, had at least one interesting song on it. I wasn't restricted to thrift store finds; sometimes I found music out in the "wild."

Here's an email about a CD that I found in 2010:

Listening to a found mix CD is a little like reading a page torn out of a diary. The songs are a snap shot of a person's identity and tastes at the moment they clicked the "burn CD" button. I was pushing Charlotte in her stroller when I found Kyle's discarded CD on a road near our house, and it's got me a bit stumped.

There are twelve tracks on this CD, eleven of which are rap songs that are performed by artists I don't know, and most become school inappropriate within a few bass beats.

So, just as I'm thinking there's not much I can share from this CD, I come across one country song. I don't know this artist either, but at least I can google a lyric at work without getting fired: "I recognized them dark green eyes when you do-si-doed across the floor." It's "8 Second Ride" by Jake Owen.

Now, I don't know if country music and rap are exactly polar opposites, but it's a pretty big jump to go from popping champagne corks to popping in a dip. Which leads to me to reconsider Kyle.

Is he that diverse, or is one of the genres on the disc just a ruse? Is he spinning "8 Second Ride" as he pulls into the driveway so his rap music doesn't worry his parents? Does he cruise around town thumping his subs only to secretly crave driving a tractor down a gravel road?  

And what about the title "Plies Mix"? "Plies" is plural for "ply" which is defined as "a thickness or layer of a folded or laminated material". Maybe Kyle's hinting that both rap and country are only two levels of his multiple layered personality?  I don't know, and maybe Kyle doesn't either. 

Maybe that's why he threw away his CD.


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