It’s the End of the World As We Know It: Dad Rock

Mike Grabman


So, at what point do you get old and stop listening to popular music? And I don’t mean downloading the newest T. Swift or Black Eyed Peas made-for-the-radio bullshit. I mean, at what point do you stop discovering bands that are a little under the radar that make the type of music that touches you where only Father O’Bryan used to touch you, the soul?  


I’ve got friends from multiple age groups, but the people that are my best friends are from about 27 to 37. At this point, we’ve pretty much settled into the types of things we like. Dinosaur Jr, Lucero, and Bob Dylan aren’t moving off my favorite music list anytime soon. And I’m most likely not picking up the newest Skrillex album at Virgin Records (wait, that sentence doesn’t make sense to anyone under the age of 30). But that being said, I try to keep abreast of the music that the 21- to 25-year-old crowd is listening to. I work at a bar (the Upper Deck Tavern, 353B King St., 29401) where the average age of our customer is about 26. I want to stay abreast, but then again, the movies I’m most looking forward to this summer are about NWA and The Beach Boys. I’m a guy clearly stuck in the past.


I really hope my daughter will appreciate music that I think is good. In 1994, my father really was excited about Woodstock ’94. He and I were going to buy an old mail Jeep together and drive it up and see the concert. When the original '69 Woodstock happened, my father had already been drafted. I think he wanted that experience of three days of peace, love, and rock and roll. I was more than happy to go with him. I was a weird kid, though. In ’94, I was less concerned with pop music and was more focused on old blues, punk rock, and hard rock albums. My mom ultimately put a stop to us going and insisted we order the concert on pay-per-view (the most punk rock thing an adolescent could do). I stayed up watching and recording all the concerts. My dad and I watched those VHS tapes a couple times over.  


When I was a senior in high school, my dad wrote me a letter telling me that one of the things he was proud of me for was the fact that I listened to complex music. I hope I will offer the same praise to my daughter one day. I know my dad didn’t understand some of the stuff I listened to, but at least he gave it a shot. I hope that as my daughter gets older, she listens to stuff I’ve never heard of in genres yet to be discovered. And I hope, like my old man, I’m big enough to give it a shot.