Thursday, May 8, 2014

I Fell in a Hole While Shopping for Vinyl in Austin

We had a pretty packed weekend, really. But no weekend getaway can be properly deemed complete without a trip to a used record store. We came close to missing it, but as fate would have it, there was like a 90 minute wait for brunch on Sunday morning, and there just happened to be a vinyl shop a block away. Score!

We popped into Friends of Sound on S. Congress -- well, no, it has an address on S. Congress, but it's really on the back side of the block in the alley, and the ingress is really, really creepy. iwishuwould pointed out the newly cleaned bloody rags hanging on a rack outside the door, and I noticed underneath there were all these empty Jelly Belly dispensers... as if someone had been trying to lure children or maybe people with the munchies... In any case, Friends of Sound! Clean it up! Be friends of vision as well! Once we got inside, it was full of dusty records and filthy, music-lovin' types just like any record store. They had a pretty amazing selection, tons of records, but it was a little pricey. New Arrivals (to-be-sorted) were $25! That's too much for a used record that's not some special collectors' edition or something. I guess they change the price once they sort them? And the $25 is just if you have to have it before they have time to price it properly? Also I wasn't really excited about the prospect of taking vinyl back on the plane, and I was dragging pretty hard from getting out of bed before noon, so it was really more of a window shopping thing. But the way they had everything organized was kind of nuts. I always find the different used vinyl stores' taxonomy / etymology of the discs interesting. I was fairly amused to begin with, but then I ran across this:

Dad Rock?  WTF?  The thing that made it more hilarious was that I didn't recognize any of the bands in that group, and I don't mean to brag, but I Know My Bands.  I was just going to post this picture and say "Look everybody!  At this hilarious thing!  Tee-hee!"  But then, like a good journalist should, I did some half-assed, cursory research.  Dad Rock is a thing!  What?

Yeah, that's from the Oxford American English dictionary, so I guess I'm the last to know...

But this instantly clears it all up for me for a second.  All I have to do is think of Larry and his love of dinosaur bands, like his favorite, Grand Funk Railroad, plus other faves like Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, and America.  OK, yeah.  Dadrock. 

But wait, aren't there some Dads that aren't 70?  Kevs is a Dad in his 50's, and he has a totally different taste in music.  Johnny Foos just turned 40 and he's a Dad, and again, his music taste is completely different from Dad or Kevs.  My nephew Alex is also a Dad and he's just turning 21 this month.  And again, completely different taste in music.

Like many people my age, I turned to Jeff Tweedy for all the answers.  But I thought he came off sounding like a defensive, grouchy old Dad about it.  So then I turned to a stranger called dad-rock on tumblr to see if he could light my path.  He defines Dad Rock as "a genre of rock music popular among boomer-aged dads."  Which would be fine if he didn't then go on to define "the holy trinity of dad-rock: Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page" because that just makes it all super confusing for me.  I've said this before and I'll say it again:  Eric Clapton is the most overrated musician in the history of space and time.  I am insulted on behalf of all Dads everywhere.  Second, you would have to be deaf to not love Jimi Hendrix, no matter how guilty of a pleasure it may be.  I feel like both he and Led Zepplin have too much of a timeless appeal to be nailed to boomer Dads.  So, thanks for nothing, tumblr stranger.

Apparently, the National has been fighting the Dad Rock label, so it must be something good. (Sorry Zach, couldn't resist myself)

So then I popped over to flavorwire to check out their list of 20 Dadrock albums that I should listen to in the car with my Dad on a road trip, and I can assure you that this list would mainly just piss me and Dad off completely.  I think this list was written for someone who has a Dad that's about my age, but with crap taste in music.

I think I've spent enough time in this hole, the stupid articles just go on and on listing bands that don't make any sense to me.  I'll stick with the dictionary definition, but not necessarily its example sentence.  Dad Rock is just music that you can't like beyond a guilty pleasure because your Dad liked it.  Which would, eventually, include all rock music.

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