A discussion between NPR writer, Evan Auerbach, and NPR listener, Carl Twocargarage.

Note:
In this discussion, Mr. Auerbach’s comments are taken verbatim from his recent piece, “Gift Ideas For The Hip-Hop Fans In Your Life,” which appears at npr.org. Mr. Twocargarage’s comments were made in his car, to no-one, while listening to NPR on his commute.

evanauerbach

Evan Auerbach of NPR and the blog, Up North Trips.

not buying it

Carl Twocargarage of suburban listenership.

Evan:
…You could go the traditional route when hunting for the hip-hop head in your life—vinyl reissues of Public Enemy and DMX albums, the “Halftime” 12-inch, to name just a few examples. But here we’ll suggest some less obvious ideas for everyone from the indie-label-budget baller all the way up to that I-woke-up-in-a-new-Bugatti paper spender.

Carl:
That last part was just gibberish. I do remember Public Enemy from back in the 1980s when hip-hop was called rap, though. But who performed “Halftime”? Should I… know that, somehow?

Evan:
2013 was a comeback year for Cam: He dropped a mixtape and a movie, and reunited with Dame Dash—even if it was only for a commercial. Killa managed all of this while reintroducing the world to his new-look Dipset clothing line.

Carl:
Okay, I asked my middle-school-aged grandson who “Cam” is and he had no idea. So I asked my son, who said that “Cam” is short for “Cam’ron” and told me I should look it up on “Pitchfork,” before making an excuse and hanging up. Guess the cat’s still in the cradle on that one.

But I didn’t catch who “Killa” is. And is Dame Dash anything like Dame Edna? Because if so, you’ve got my attention—that “lady” is hilarious (and she’s no lady, if you know what I mean)!

Evan:
For people who think 808s were invented by Kanye West, this book is an education.

Carl:
Is an 808 like an LOL? Because I know that one. I’m not totally lost, here.

Evan:
Isn’t there a rule that once you hit your 30s you can no longer refer to yourself as a Ciroc Boy? If there isn’t there should be.

Carl:
“Ciroc Boy?” Okay, look—how much homework am I supposed to be doing to keep up with you people? This feels like the time I had to go to that downtown record store to buy the new Phil Collins album because Suzy had the car and I couldn’t get to Target. I mean, they had the CD in the store, but the guy at the counter acted like he didn’t even want to touch it, much less ring it up. Made me feel like I was already a grandfather. To be honest, he was a real prick.

Evan:
DJ Paul, of Three Six Mafia, is an Oscar winner, a multiplatinum recording artist and the creator of a line of BBQ products. Perusing his site is really a gift to yourself, especially since, in true Memphis fashion, he’s put up 10 (downloadable) free recipes, too.

Carl:
“In true Memphis fashion”? Seriously: I know what recipes are, I know what downloading is and I know what “free” means. And I’ve never been anywhere near Memphis. Do you people not have editors over there because it’s radio, or something?

Evan [subliminal between-the-lines observation]:
Look, if you’re so out of touch that you don’t get my references, maybe NPR just isn’t your jam, grandpa. We have our finger on the pulse up in this m.f.—if it’s too hip, you’re too old. We’re rocking Cam’ron, yo! NPR is where youth culture lives.

Carl:
It has nothing to do with being young or old. It’s about basic journalistic practices and common goddamn courtesy. Flip your ego over and play the B-side, son.

Evan:
I’ll get down with AARP and dance on your grave. Dipset! G-g-g-g-Unit! Kendrick Lamar! Pusha T!

Carl:
Fine, fine; twerk your socks off, junior. I’ll bring your grandparents over to watch. It’ll be a time.

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THEE OH SEES: ARE EYE PEE (ELL OH ELL JAY KAY)

big band style

Okay, guys, I hope you are sitting down. Ready? Thee Oh Sees are not breaking up, but are going on hiatus. Wait wait wait! It’s okay, guys—they are not breaking up! They are just going on hiatus.

Look, Pitchfork has run it all down for you guys, guys. So, look: Thee Oh Sees are going on hiatus. But they are not breaking up. They will have a new album out in Q1 2014, gang. But the main dude and the singer chick are moving out of San Francisco!! So that’s a factor. And to different places!! But to other Californian locales. So that’s a factor, too.

But seriously, gang, let’s keep this all in perspective. It’s not the end of the world. The Oh Sees are not breaking up. They are just going on hiatus.

To be clear, let me quote the main Dwyer guy, who writes in all capital letters, which must mean something: “THIS IS JUST A WELL DESERVED BREAK,” he said to the internet, “AND A TRANSITIONAL PERIOD.”

I WAS VERY RELIEVED TO READ THAT, I MUST SAY!!

Annie Southworth, who is the booking agent for The Oh Sees, is quoted in a newspaper as saying the following words in a row: “They need a break after five years straight, so yes… hiatus time. Will be a little hard to continue with all the different locales so who knows what is going to happen… Cross fingers, we all are that it’s not completely over.”

CROSS FINGERS, WE ALL ARE!!

And Stereogum continues her quote, informing us that other factors are germane to the membrane, as regards the main Dwyer guy: “He’s been living in the Mission on 17th and Valencia, and watching that neighborhood as well as the city transform has been enough for him. He’s over it.”

OVER IT?

OVER IT?!

OH GOD THEE OH CEES

PLEASE

SAY IT’S NOT COMPLETELY OVER

PLEASE

SAY YOU WILL CONTINUE GARAGE ROCKING FOR OUR PITCHFORKS

PLEASE

THE WORLD NEEDS MORE WHITE DUDE ROCKERS IN THE WORLD

FOR OUR STEREOGUMBALLS AND OUR DUDES

PLEASE

FIND A NEW NEIGHBORHOOD THAT YOU ARE NOT OVER

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

OKAY

OKAY

BREATHE

Okay.

Listen, guys:

Thee Oh Sees are going on hiatus. But they are not breaking up.

Goodnight, sweet prince Dwyer guy.

May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest; until, like, whenever.

NPR + WSJ = HIP

A4L YO

Note: There’s no story here. For the record, I acknowledge that making fun of music coverage on NPR is like shooting fish in a barrel, where the barrel is filled with fish and made of fish.

But still, it was objectively hilarious to hear Marc Myers, of the Wall Street Journal’s music appreciation division, run through a fistful of utterly forgettable and Starbucks-primed Christmas tunes on Morning Edition today.

A Nick Lowe novelty tune—that’s not only funny but “hip”? Sold!

A “bluegrass” gal who’s—get this—in her twenties? Stop the (coffee) presses!

A sultry-voiced chanteuse singing over a cool jazz combo, sounding like Norah Jones fronting the Vince Guaraldi Trio? Oh, get out of my dreams and get into my Saab—wait, and she’s hip, too? Shut the front door!

Maybe it’s just me; I don’t know if I can explain this, if you’re not giggling already. He’s from the Wall Street Journal. He’s providing an overview of this year’s crop of holiday music. He’s using the word “hip.” Okay, hang on—he’s the author of the following books (per Wikipedia):

How to Make Luck: 7 Secrets Lucky People Use to Succeed

Affluent for Life (ghost written for Ted Ridlehuber) [Yes, the Ted Ridlehuber]

Ernst & Young’s Profit from the New Tax Law

So, you know—clearly, “hip” is his beat. (Man.)

It’s almost as goofy as mashing up* Raymond Carver and Jay-Z—where we’re all like whaaa? Oh, no, they didn’t… But they did, yo! NPR, you so cray-cray! Can you dig it? Trés clever, beaucoups pithy—implicitly challenging notions of the entrenched and the innovative! Like, the conventional/established short story form of Carver and the, um, hang on—the, uh, way edgy, super-innovative and totally not conventional musical expressions of people like Jay-Z and Drake, who are, like, definitely pushing the envelope.

(Note: The envelope is filled with money and is made of money.)

The calls are coming from inside the house.

* Never mind; it’s something the kids used to do when NPR was discussing the Beatles and listening to their grandchildren debate which was “the best Tribe album”?! (or whatever!).