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Popdust #15: Dad Rock

This isn’t a dad rock playlist, we promise.

Father’s Day goes all the way back to the Middle Ages. A celebration of paternal bonds, brotherhood, camaraderie. Nowadays, it’s become a day for barbecues, for being thankful for an important figure in your life, for the guy who helped put you through college, who helped put up with your teenage years, who has seen you through it all. For the most part, nobody has seen you in every stage of your life quite like your father.

All this said, Father’s Day can be a weird holiday for some of us. Not all of us had that kind of presence in our lives. Some of the best mom’s we’ve ever met have had to be dads, and some of us weren’t even that lucky. Sometimes it’s a granduncle, a godfather, your mom’s best friend, a kindly old bodega owner who lets you cry in the rice aisle at 3 AM before giving you a free cigarette and a gentle pat on the shoulder. A father figure need not be male, or even related to you, or even a father figure. At it’s core, Father’s Day is about having someone to guide you.

Part of this guidance is music taste. Dads the world over are infamous for their musical taste, and there are indeed some dad rock classics in here, but listen closely to what your dad listened to when he was younger and you’ll find kernels of who they were at your age. For this week’s post-Father’s Day mix, we compile the best music our fathers showed us.

You can expect Queen, Nirvana, The Cure and Billie Holiday, along with some unexpected ones; one of our senior writers had a dad who was fond of Britney Spears. My own father was into bossa nova and Brazilian music, so I’ve included a ditty from Roberta Sa to expand your horizons. Enjoy this week’s mix, and call your dad today if you forgot to do that yesterday. Or call your mom. Or head to the bodega and high five your bodega man. Where your father is, send a nod of appreciation.

Tune in next week for a new #MondayMix.


E.R. Pulgar is a music writer, poet, image-maker, and once cried reading Virginia Woolf. Follow him on Twitter.

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