What is Hip? Tell me, tell me if you think you know.
What is hip? If you're really hip, the passing years will show.
You're into a hip trip, maybe hipper than hip.
But, what is hip?
-From Tower of Power's What is Hip, 1973 Warner Brothers Records
So here I am, working at Ticket Liquidator. I'm the newest member of the team. I'm also (ahem) the oldest. Not in length of employment, but in length of time occupying the planet (although Ian claims to actually be a member of an alien race that brought intelligence to earth a few million millenia ago. After which earth promptly lost it).
I have a confession to make: You'll find the radio presets in my car tuned to an assortment of NPR stations (going over a hill in rural Connecticut usually results in the loss of reception) and my Pandora account is heavily weighted toward music recorded prior to 1980. So, what the heck am I doing working for a site dedicated to providing opportunities to see the latest, greatest, most popular entertainment?
Learning a lot.
Recently, a lot of the summer blockbuster tours have gone on sale, most of them selling out with their primary sellers within a few hours. I didn't realize how out of touch I was with popular music until I started looking at the numbers. I mean, who would have thought we'd have to bring in extra help in the customer service department to handle calls the day Taylor Swift tickets went on sale, but not for the Rolling Stones "Fifty and Counting" tour?
And Bruno Mars?
Oh, I'd heard the name before, and when I went to YouTube to see who the heck he was, I realized that I actually recognized--and liked--his hit songs. But I got a swift kick in the ego when an artist I'd barely heard of sold out major arenas in under twenty minutes.
I guess I'm just not hip.
Maybe there's a cure. Since I've started working here, I've been spending more and more time on YouTube, "discovering" new artists. I can bring them up in casual conversation, citing specific songs (which impresses the hell out of my younger relatives) and discussing their styles. Some, I really like (Imagine Dragons, Fun., Paramore) and some I just don't get (Swedish House Mafia).
But none of them gets me chair dancing like Tower of Power, a band which I refuse to believe is not ETERNALLY hip.