Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Rundown: Hip List

When I picked Sarah up from school last night, she told me about a conversation she had with a mutual friend of our's named Dylan. He's the boyfriend of a girl in her class that we've hung out with a bunch over the past few months, and at some point or another I told him Kanye West is the greatest music artist on the face of the planet today. He disagreed.

"Tell Spencer I owe him an apology," he said to her yesterday. "After listening to the new Kanye West album (Graduation), I liked it so much I went out and bought the other two and they're outstanding as well."

My response... I told you so.

And it's with that in mind that I bring you today's Rundown.

The Top Five Things I Can Make You Hip To
(Yes, I'm tooting my own horn... deal with it!)

5. Better Magazines
There is more to the world than Maxim and FHM. Put those down for a minute and go pick up the latest Details or Esquire or GQ. Excellent writing, better suggestions on style, fashion, music, technology and all safely outside of the Fratboy "Look at her tits!" stance of the magazines you read when you were, well, a fratboy. We all have to grow up sometime...

Oh - do yourself a favour and pick up Passion Magazine next Tuesday too.

4. Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio
It doesn't matter if you're not a film geek like me, this show isn't just about movies. It's about listening to people speak passionately about their craft, where they came from and the decisions that put them where they are. Plus, finding out what people's favourite curse word is is always entertaining.

3. Nick Hornby
There shouldn't be a lot of people who aren't hip to one of the best writers of our generation, but there really are. His works are outstanding and whether you know it or not, you've enjoyed them too. High Fidelity, About A Boy, Fever Pitch - even though Hollywood bastardized the story - are all Nick Hornby. Johnny Depp even bought the movie rights to his second last release - Long Way Down - before the book was finished. Also falling into this category are Chuck Klosterman, Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith) and Cormac McCarthy.

2. The Hour
I can't stress this enough - you need to be watching this show. It mashes politics with pop culture and something about Strombo makes guest feel comfortable enough to be candid. If you're in the 20-30 demographic, this is the best show on television for you to watch. I know you love House (I do too) or maybe The Hills (ech!) but honestly, do yourself a favour and give it a shot...

1. Good Ass Music
Open your ears and experience things outside of your comfort zone, then thank me for it later. Buy an album by The Roots (My picks: Things Fall Apart or Phrenology) and hear what intelligent hip hop on top of an incredibly talented band sounds like. Download Stop Me by Mark Ronson (feat. Aussie Daniel Merriweather) and realize that North America missed the boat on an incredible track, not to mention his entire Version album. Get over your "he was in 'N Sync" bias and listen to the best album of the last year and a half, FutureSex/LoveSounds. Lily Allen is brilliant, so too are Wilco and The Shins. Rilo Kiley, Rilo Kiley, Rilo Kiley...


Sarah said...

I find it a little interesting that you are recommending Cormac McCarthy... I seem to remember being in Chapters a few months ago and, upon seeing one of his books, you said something along the lines of "I don't know what all the hype is about. I have no desire to read his books". But suddenly, after seeing the No Country for Old Men trailer, you're promoting his books? Oh spencer...

E. Spencer Kyte said...

Yet again, called out by my own girlfriend...

She is right - 100% - but hey, even I'm prone to mistakes. No Country looks so damn good that it makes me want to read everything McCarthy has ever written, even that one that Oprah endorsed.