Most dads–even the weird ones–have one thing in common: their taste in music. After being lectured about the underrated glory of certain bands and seeing them go crazy with their steering wheel drum solos while driving us to soccer practice, we feel we have a pretty good sense of the “Dad Music” genre, and we thought it was time to document it. Check out our Dad Music Field Guide, after the jump!
The Guitar Heroes: Hendrix, Clapton, Carlos Santana, etc. Dads love these guys because they want to be these guys, and in some cases, like when they pull their old acoustic guitar out of the attic and start plucking the intro to “Smoke On The Water,” it’s obvious they think they already are.
The Classics: Elvis, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra. These are the non-negotiables of a Dad Music collection. Even if a dad is not particularly fond of one of these selections on a personal level, he knows he must pledge his allegiance to them as part of the Dad Code Of Conduct.
The Guys That Sing About America: Neil Diamond, Bruce Springsteen, Johnny Cash. No matter the reality of our dads’ upbringing, they all seem to relate very strongly to narratives about blue-collar life and the glory of the American dream.
The Easy Listening: John Mayer, Michael Buble, Jack Johnson, James Taylor. These smooth-voiced staples of adult contemporary radio stations have earned some of the most modern spots in the Dad Music collection.
The “We Probably Don’t Want To Know What Our Dads Were Doing While Listening To These Bands:” Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers Band, The Doors, etc., etc, etc. These days our dads might wear Dockers and watch their cholesterol, but there was a time when they were sneaking backstage and generally raising hell. These bands were the soundtrack to their crazy pre-fatherhood lives.
The One Hip Band Our Dads Know About: Arcade Fire. We’re not sure how or why this came about, but Arcade Fire is one of the only bands to make the extremely complex Hipster Music/Dad Music crossover.
The “Really, Dad?”: Norah Jones, Enya, Dixie Chicks, Celine Dion. Every dad has at least one of these out-of-left-field favorites: it might be a sassy country trio or a soft rock songbird, but there’s always at least one unexpected vagina in the rock ‘n roll sausagefest known as Dad Music.