Next week my father turns 54. This post is inspired by and dedicated to him. He’s taught me a lot over the years, but now I’m going to return the favour.
A couple weekends back I somehow found myself spending my saturday night at my parent’s house. So of course I was drinking with them and one of my dad’s friends. When I first arrived my dad was on the computer which is kind of a strange occurrence in it’s self. Sure he’s constantly doing whatever the fuck it is he does on his iphone, but it’s rare that you’d ever see him actively surfing the internet. On this night he was watching old band performances on youtube.
Drinking with or hanging out with people considerably older than you is both an interesting and unintentionally hilarious experience, especially when computers are involved and all parties present are convinced they know what they’re doing.
Watching him try to find videos is painfully funny. Many of my parents generation seem to have issues when it comes to using search engines. They either type in way too much information or not nearly enough; often slowly pecking in letters on the keyboard with the use of one or two fingers. The addition of alcohol makes this process even more troublesome. There are few things as amusing in this world as watching a group of people who know next to nothing about computers arguing about how to use a computer. It’s fucking hilarious. Eventually common sense won out and the old folks gave in to my computer savvy. The catch phrase of the night became “just let her do it”.
Hanging out with older generations can also prove frustrating as conversation turns to how much better things supposedly were back in their day. This particular bout of conversation centred around music. Apparently the 70’s and 80’s were the pentacle of music and the only person who’s releasing singles today is Justin Bieber.
I cry foul. Yes, there’s a lot of crappy music clogging the air waves these days but there’s a whole slew of shit that came from any and all decades. It’s just easier to forget about the bad music when it no longer gets radio play. Like whatever the fuck this is…
I’d argue that today we also have some of the greatest working musicians in years. It’s all about what you’re listening to. The biggest issue I have with my dad and music is that I know bands that I KNOW he would like if he’d actually listen to them and give them a fucking chance! The problem is his ears fear change. He likes the old stuff and isn’t interested in expanding his itunes library. How he doesn’t get bored of the same 12 CDs I’ll never know.
Yes, bands like The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and Rush are amazing and today’s artists owe them a lot. I grew up on classic rock and I love it. If pressed to name my favourite band Led Zeppelin is almost always my answer. But there are a lot of great bands who are making music now who have picked up where these guys left off and in some cases, dare I say, may have done it better. I know a lot of people my age are in the same boat with their parents. Trying to defend today’s music to set in their way geezers who seem pained to admit that Justin Timberlake is a multitalented, creative force. These are 5 bands my dad needs to shut up and listen to.
The Black Keys
Ok dad, I’m sure in passing, you know who The Black Keys are but I’m gonna give you the run down. They’re a dynamic rock and roll duo with eight albums under their belt who’ve blown up to mainstream success in recent years taking home 7 Grammys in including 2013’s best rock album of the year for El Camino. They’re a throwback classic rock band with heavy blues influences and it’s totally up your alley. I’ve chosen to go with an earlier track I’ve Got Mine as a sample for no other reason than I felt like it, so just give it a chance.
Band Of Skulls A heavy rock band from England, Band Of Skulls’s songs land on varying points of the rock spectrum between blues and metal. The have three studio albums including Himalayan which was released this past spring. They just fucking rock so pretend it’s the late 70’s and your listening to a record and I promise you’ll like it. They’ve got that classic metal kind of edge from before metal got to damn complicated. Only they have more… I don’t know, groove? Is groove an actual thing? I’m by no means qualified to explain music to anyone. Just listen to it.
This whole album is just gold. You’re obligated to AT LEAST listen through the first two tracks.
The Arctic Monkeys Another band out of England, Arctic Monkeys have been around since 2002. They are less classic and more indy than everything else I’ve included on this list so it might take a little more effort for some people’s hearing aids to adjust, but I think they could open up the door for a whole new genre of rock for you dad. And this song is just so fucking good.
Apparently These guys are also from England. I never would have guessed. If anyone is ever wondering, “What happened to good music?”, the appropriate response is, “It relocated to the U.K.”. A self described “voodoo rock” band The Heavy, I think, are one of the most dynamic and interesting working bands out there today. If you haven’t noticed I’m kind of a sucker for the blues sound which they definitely have going as well obvious tones of soul and funk. I’ve yet to hear a song from them I haven’t liked. Plus horns show up all the fucking time and I’m a sucker for a good horn. In the end I went with ‘Can’t Play Dead’ because more people need to see this video.
Jack White/The White Stripes/The Raconteurs Now dad, I know what you’re going to say. “Yeah, yeah you’re mom plays that all the time. I’ve heard it. I just don’t care for it.” To which I say, why the fuck not? Sure mom plays him, she’s pretty much obsessed, but do you really listen or do you just have it as background noise to Pawn Stars? It’s just because it’s new material isn’t it? You know that if Jack White was releasing the same music forty years ago you would have been all over it so just stop and actually listen to a couple damn songs. Just don’t do it while mom’s around. She comes on a little strong. Honestly though. The guy is crazy talented and you need to give him a chance. He has such a vast catalogue and every band he’s been with has their own edge and sound.
Bonus: Gin Wigmore: Because I know you love a lady who rocks (who doesn’t?) and I think we need some female representation here. Plus I’ve apparently taken up the task of shamelessly plugging her to pretty much anyone who will listen. She’s kind of the shit you guys.